17 February 2009

i LIKE that: complete!

Thank you, Flower Garden Girl! She left a comment on the previous post pointing me over to Philip’s blog, Gardens of a Golden Afternoon, which is where I saw the grass squares. His assessment of them: “clever this.” They are beautiful. And I want to run my fingers through the shaggy grass.

Betty told me about a thyme garden she saw last year up in our neck of the woods. The point of it is to lie down in it and roll. In church we engage as many of the senses as we can: the smell of the incense, the scritch-scritch of ashes on Ash Wednesday, the sight of morning light pouring through the window above the altar, the taste of the communion wafer and wine, the music . . .

All of my senses are engaged in the garden, too, of course, as I weed and dig and pinch and occasionally taste. And when visitors show up, I want them to experience the garden the way I do, so I take them to B’s vegetable garden and pick a tomato or a basil leaf for them to eat. I encourage them to run their fingers through the Miscanthus or the lamb’s ear, have them feel the soft bristliness of a Verbena bonariensis flower or smell a leaf from the scented geranium.

Alan’s roof garden is exceptional because it’s possible to get close to all of the plants in it.

I have to remember this and consider how to do more of this in our garden.

07 February 2009

hmmm, i LIKE that

Some inspiration (and a little synchronicity in the case of Epimediums; I’ve been thinking about getting one or two for the woods):
Now, if I could just remember where I saw those photographs of a grid of square garden plots planted with a single species of shaggy grass; very cool.

06 February 2009

herrick this morning

Delight in Disorder
by Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction:
An erring lace which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher:
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly:
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat:
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.

I commented on a post over at Plants and Stones a few days ago and ended with “Delight in disorder,” and I remembered loving this poem when I first read it way back in college. Herrick was around during the beginning of the Neoclassical/Enlightenment era, I guess, which was all about restraint and reason and order, not that I think he was a participant in any “movement” (or consciously rebelling against one, in this instance). But I recall my professor surmising that the “disorder” described in this poem might have been far more arranged than casual (along the lines of Marie Antoinette’s playing at being a country shepherdess at the Hameau de la Reine at Versailles); as in very carefully choreographed disorder.

But then I may be misremembering this particular professor’s interpretation.

All that said (and acknowledging for the record that there is not any artifice at all around my disorder), “Delight in Disorder” does it for me this morning. And every morning, as I race to get ready for the day. And every weekend, as I contemplate the “sweet disorder” of our gardens upstate. And always, as I . . . and so on and on (and on) and so forth.

Johnny A, what’s your recollection/interpretation of this poem?

(Thanks to FlowerGardenGirl for the idea of a slightly ragged Echinacea purpurea bloom.)

05 February 2009

test post for feedburner

Heh heh heh. Just migrated my Feedburner account to Google and want to check that my feed will be read by Blotanical.

I have almost no idea of what all this involves, but it's accomplished.

Hope Blotanical picks up the posts easily. If not, I don't know what to do to fix it!

04 February 2009

it begins

Took a jar of change to the bank this morning before I went to work and ran it through the coin-counting machine: $39.46. Spent a dollar at Sam’s coffee cart, and put the rest into an old wallet: PLANT MONEY!

A few wishes for the day (from notes taken this past weekend after an evening spent perusing catalogs):

Eremurus himalaicus: Pure white foxtail lily. Four feet tall, sun . . . “Hundreds of small flowers that open from the bottom upward. Stems are clothed for half their length in flowers.” Zone 4, when most foxtail lilies seem to be hardy to Zone 5+ only!

Gaillardia “Amber Wheels”: Yellow petals, amber-red center. Wow! This is the gaillardia I told Alan about. I think it’s very cool. “Larger (28"–32") plants loaded with wide, deep-yellow flowers all summer long.”

Gaillardia “Oranges & Lemons”: I waited too long to order this last year from Bluestone, and they were sold out. I won’t be too late in 2009. I’ll have to plant this away from “Amber Wheels” because the colors are softer. Pretty, ain’t it?

Hemerocallis citrina: Citron lily (also called the commuter daylily at Niche Gardens in North Carolina), native to China, yellow flowers “open in early evening, wafting their delightful fragrance.” Along with H. flava and H. fulva, I’ll corner the market on old daylilies.

Trollius “Cheddar”: I see this in nurseries and catalogs every year and never buy it because for some reason I remember the species as an early-summer bloomer (meaning four days in the middle of the second week in June, when I know we won’t be at the house), but one catalog says it’s May–July. Hmm.

It would appear I have a thing for yellow flowers.

A little food for dreams tonight.

Photographs from Bluestone Perennials, Niche Gardens, White Flower Farm, and Wikipedia.

01 February 2009

dale in snow

That dawg has got some snow in his ears. Could it be because he went charging up the hill in pursuit of a squirrel and found out too late that the snow was up to his ears? He eventually figured out that if he walked lightly, he could avoid breaking through the crust. Smart dog.

picnic table snow gauge

Snow on ice on snow on ice, with more mixed precipitation expected on Monday or Tuesday. Gosh, it’s been a beautiful winter. Kind of a strain in some ways, but gorgeous.

We are thinking good thoughts about B’s mom and sister in Kentucky, who were and are without power owing to the tremendous ice storm there last week. The utility crews are working as hard as they can, but a lot of people can expect to be without electricity for weeks. Hang in there!


February Twilight
by Sara Teasdale

I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.

There was no other creature
That saw what I could see—
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.