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Friday, April 17, 2009

The Zoo

Dear Mom,

Today we went on a class trip to the Bronx Zoo.

We saw Lions...

and ladybugs...
and bears...

oh my!

What a wonderful, glorious day I spent as a chaperone for our high school anthropology class as we visited the Bronx Zoo in New York City.

The lion was regal.

The ladybugs were photographed in the Butterfly house.

The polar bear exhibit struck me as surreal with the fake ice flows and a live flow of Forsythia cascading down the cliff face

And finally, the huge stand of Mayapples had me green with envy and made me wish I could sneak a few home in my camera bag :-)

Back to gardening tomorrow,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time to Divide!

This morning I only have a few minutes to put up a post. We are having our first perennial division work shop of the season here at 10:30.

I haven't decided yet what we are going to divide, for sure we will do one clump of daylilies as I have about 100 of them that need division. Besides the daylilies I will choose a few other perennials that people a growing around here. Hardy Geraniums like you see at the right in this photo will be a good choice. The Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' (Golden Hakone Grass) is also due for division although I'm a bit nervous about this one myself. I'm only nervous because I love it so much I'm not willing to take a chance on losing it.

In the front beds I have Symphytum (pink comfrey in the bottom left) that could be divided, Coreposis (on the right) that definitely needs dividing and a very tall Thalictrum (seen against the pole) that desperately needs to be moved to a better location.

Actually the Thalictrum you see here is placed perfectly, I have another clump of it out in the middle of a border and it get's hammered by the wind when it's blooming. I want to move that one to a spot like this where it gets a little protection from a nearby structure.

Yesterday I divided the red daylily you see in this photo, it's name is 'Lana Ishee'. Today I think we'll divide the gold daylily with the red eye, 'Always A Pleasure'. The two of them make a perfect pair so if people buy one, I'd like to see them have the other availble too.

If you want to see what we use to make magic around here, take a minute and pop over to Melanie's Perennials. We've got a machine that makes gold!

Off to get ready, we're expecting perfect gardening weather for the next few days. Hooray!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seating areas

One of my most favorite photos taken in a garden is this opening shot. It shows my daughter Lauren (now 19) quite a few years ago. We were touring the horticultural learning gardens at the New York State University at Farmingdale and Lauren was totally engrossed in one of the earliest Harry Potter books. Farmingdale has magnificent tropical gardens and I'll be touring them again in a few weeks with my garden club.

What you see here is the perfect setting for seating in a garden. Surrounded by lush plant material, it's a little oasis, a place to sit and relax while still being a part of nature.

My mom bought us this swing a number of years ago. It took a few tries before I had it located the way I wanted. Now, it is the crown jewel in my herb garden. I have spent many a lunch time sitting in this swing.

It's a perfect place to sit in early spring because the sun shines on you and warms you while you are sitting there. In the summer, you can only sit there with breakfast in hand or in the late afternoon when the roof shades you. It also is the perfect spot to take photos and we've had many people pose here exactly for that purpose.

The most used seating area in our yard is this one, by the swimming pool. For some reason visitors just gravitate to this spot. I think it's the subconscious thought that it's "OK" to relax when you are by a swimming pool.

Now I have to add that none of these seating areas are the new super deluxe, break the bank, kind of furniture sets. In fact, this white vinyl set was bought second hand at least 10 years ago and still does it's purpose. While those fancy sets are fine, they don't really impress me. I don't need my garden to look like the inside of my house, shabby chic works fine when outdoors.

This is not a good photo but it's my gazebo out front and it's the one seating area that I rarely find people sitting in (and that includes myself). I know what's missing from here but I just haven't gotten around to getting it right. This area needs to be part of a setting, it needs to send out an invitation that says "come sit here and your worries will fade away". I guess I can look at it as another challenge in the garden.

Today's challenge though will be to get a few hours of work done without freezing or getting soaked. Maybe in the summer we will be longing for these cold wet days but somehow I don't think so.

It's spring, so think green!

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Here!

I think it must be great to work for UPS or one of the major delivery services. People must always be so happy to get packages. I almost hugged the UPS lady today when she came down my driveway as I knew from the long box she held in her arms that my sign had arrived!

My daughter Emily helped me tie it to the bed frame out front. Every time I looked at it there was another car slowing down to read what it said.

This photo was shot after sunset. My husband Don went out there and fixed the sign with plastic ties so it stretched flat and was easier to read. You can also see how the bed is set in the front of our property, near the road. Yes, that is a chain holding the bed to the tree, we've lost too many things in front of our house to trust that bed to stay there. One day soon I will be planting that bed, can't wait to play with that!

On the way back up the driveway I noticed that my Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) are starting to bloom. These are the sweetest little things. They don't increase for me, I don't think I have the perfect environment for them but still, I just adore them. I also love those little pink tips popping up all over from the Polygonatum. Don't you?