Sunday, March 31, 2019

This month in the garden: March 2019

The stars of my March garden were crocuses, snowdrops, and hellebore buds. The floral trio appeared when the snow began to melt during the second week of the month. March came in like a lion with a snowstorm; it went out, not exactly like a lamb, but with rain showers and warmer temperatures. I began the spring cleanup by picking up fallen branches and cutting back the grasses and some perennials. I planned to prune several shrubs, but most days were just too cold for my old bones. Spring is late, however, so I believe I have time yet.

March came in like a lion.

The snow brought a bluebird and his wife to the heated water dish. This winter I haven't seen as many as usual, so I was thrilled to see this pair of cuties.

Top: Female Eastern Bluebird    Bottom: Male Eastern Bluebird

Serenity Garden as the snow began to melt.

 After a week, the snow receded and the crocuses appeared.

I found two small, white patches of snowdrops in Serenity. They are all that remain of the five or six I planted some years back, but are welcome all the same. 

I've forgotten the name of these snowdrops
 I saw hellebore buds in the woodland garden.

 Also, in the Woodland Walk ...

The white pine that Duane planted last year is flourishing. I wonder who lives under the old pear tree (in the top picture).

After we cut down the tall grasses near the pond, we could see that the weeping spruce has become very shaggy. I think it may benefit from a haircut.

You will notice that we placed a decoy heron at the side of the pond. Also, we moved the decoy owl from the kitchen garden to the other end of the pond.  You will understand the reason why...

A great blue heron has stolen fish from our pond.

We haven't seen the heron lately, and just hope he didn't eat too many of our koi. We learned the best method of protecting fish from predators is to provide places for them to hide at the bottom of the pond. We hope they are inside the clay pipes that Duane located there. We will find out how many we have when the water becomes warmer and the fish start to eat again.

Soon the daffodils will be blooming!
The broccoli in the cold frame is still surviving

As many of you know, my sweet mini horse, Dude, died last summer. Last week we were happy to welcome Charm, another mini horse, into our family. We met him on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, so Duane calls him 'Lucky Charm.' I'm glad to say my three garden buddies are getting along. I'll post some better pictures soon.

Billy Goat (the white one), Doodles, and Charm.

Do visit Sarah at Down By the Sea  for spring in England and some March hares.

How was your March garden this year?

Pamela x

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Saturday, March 9, 2019

March is Flower Show Season

I welcomed flower show season with more enthusiasm than ever this year as my garden was under a blanket of snow and no signs of spring. How I needed the sight of daffodils and the scent of hyacinths. We spent time at the Philadelphia Flower Show, then we visited the Lehigh Valley Flower and Garden Show. I was not disappointed -- spring was there in abundance at both events. The Philadelphia Flower Show, the nation's largest and longest running, had a 1960's vibe with the theme of "Flower Power." As we walked into the show we were greeted by towering vine sculptures covered with flowers, plants, and stylized butterflies. Over it all, a hanging meadow comprised of colorful wildflowers was suspended from above. Nearly 8,000 flowers of more than 85 varieties adorned the entrance garden. The theme was the most fun I've experienced at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Periodically, the lights would dim, colorful strobe lights would swirl around, and sixties music would blare out. Visitors began to dance and sing along with icons like Donovan and his signature Mellow Yellow.

One of several Pop-Art inspired sculptures adorned with, and surrounded by, beautiful blooms.
There were beautiful floral creations around the base of each sculpture. Some were planted in color blocks like these lovely white blooms.
I noticed the Pop Art influence with the Ben-Day dots behind these stunning peonies. I love the clematis too.
The entrance displays incorporated an abundant variety of flowers. The alliums made me long for mine to be in bloom.
Left: Flowers atop columns and Ben-Day dotted 'leaves'.             Right: Stylized butterfly in the floating meadow.

A favorite display was the tribute to Woodstock; this year is its 50th anniversary. Those visitor who were around at the time of Woodstock remembered the mud; the designers of the display incorporated a path of mud through the center. Original photos of the event were displayed on the back of a barn.

A tribute to Woodstock. Note the mud in the top left picture.

Around the entrance garden were pods -- small stages -- where competitors for the FTD World Cup 2019 created their displays. It was a thrill to witness one of the world's most prestigious floral design competitions. Floral designers representing over 20 countries worked on their creations in full view of the Show attendees. Here are just three of them:

Left: Germany's display.  Top right: Hungary. Bottom right: USA

There was much more to see. My favorite water feature was in a display by Stoney Bank Nurseries. I loved their theme of 'Unplug and Play.' They suggested we 'unplug from the world wide web and connect with the great wide world.'

Unplug and Play -- such a beautiful garden to play in.

My second favorite water feature was by Delaware Valley Water Garden Society:

The title of this feature was 'A Feast For Your Senses.'

A few more highlights for me ...

Love that purple pitcher plant. Native plants were well represented in the Show.

Daffodils and tulips gave me my 'Spring Fix,'

Teapots on a balcony

Two of my teapots at home ...

Grape hyacinth (Muscari 'Blue Magic') and Daffodil (Narcissus 'Tete-a-tete').

I purchased the grape hyacinth and the daffodil at the Lehigh Valley Flower and Garden Show. 

Catkins and Witch Hazel provided more tastes of spring at the LV Flower Show
Snowdrops for sale at the Show

The Lehigh Valley Show is small but quite special. My favorite part this year was the 'She Shed' display. A local dealer donated a variety of sheds of all sizes; designers were invited to decorate them. There was a sewing room and a room with a bird theme. Some were furnished quite luxuriously.

I would have loved any one of the 'she sheds' in my garden.

I've shown you just a small portion of all we saw at the two events. They were welcome breaks from this nasty winter. Did you attend a flower show yet this year?

Pamela x

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