Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Little Summer Warmth - The Garden of John A. Wott

Back in July, Alison and I had the pleasure of touring the garden of John Wott and chatting with the current gardener there,  the talented and wonderful Preston Pew.  Author, garden designer, nursery owner, and genuinely nice person, Sean Hogan was also on hand to answer questions. The midday sun was not helpful in capturing images of this delightful and lush garden and I apologize in advance for the image quality. 

"The original garden, established in 1994, contained many plants selected by Dan Hinkley, Heronswood. The decks and trellis were designed by Robert Jones."

Notice the groovy emerging leaves of Amorphophallus konjac.

"The intent was to showcase rare and unusual plants, supplemented by perennials.  

After twenty years, the garden was overgrown, and in early 2015, most plants were removed, along with the hot tub and some structures.  The soil was completely renovated, and a completely new palette of plants, again largely selected by D. Hinkley was established."

Dianthus caryophyllus 'Chomley Farran.' According to Annie's Annuals website, "This is the only remnant available in the U.S. of the type of Carnation or Dianthus so beloved by plant breeders of the 1700s and 1800’s. Sadly, there used to be over 200 of these striped varieties called “Bizarres” now lost to cultivation."  This color combination is glorious; the dangling habit of the blooms is less endearing.

"Some of the original plants were retained.  Under the supervision of gardener Preston Pew, color is provided through seasonal movable pots along with many seasonal succulents.

Can you feel the warmth?  Oh how I miss summer!

"Several hundred plants showcase themselves during the year, with something always in bloom."

Thank you, Dr. Wott, for sharing your beautiful garden with all of us!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It's Cold Outside - Time to Fire Up the Kiln!

When the mercury plummets, there's nothing like playing with a little 1400 degree heat to warm things up a bit.  Like most people who do crafts, I find myself with a lot of scraps.  It's hard for me to throw away anything useful so here's my latest attempt to use some of what's sitting around.

Cut a triangle, throw on some scraps.

Add a little heat and trees appear. 

Every year for the last several, I've made snowflakes for fun.  These were mostly designed by the delightful and talented Lani Neil whose Etsy shop is here

This year, I decided to depart a little from the blues.

Now I'll just repeat this a few times. It's as easy as baking cookies, less fattening, and they last longer.
Hope you are finding creative ways to keep warm!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

In a few locations around the area, there are water tanks with trees painted on them.  The idea that painting trees on a  huge cylinder will make it blend in with the surrounding trees is a little silly.  On the hill where I work, the water tower is simply painted white.  However, at certain times of the day, when the sun is low in the west, the tank is decorated by the shadows of nearby trees.

When I first saw this many years ago, I assumed that someone had painted the tank.  By morning, the tank was blank again.  Things aren't always what they seem.

This is a little show that I look forward to seeing as I leave the parking lot at work.  Notice the clear sky?  Tuesday morning was the first this year that required me to scrape ice from my car windshield and the clear/cold weather is supposed to last for a week.
Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to join the fun!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Watson's

Truth be told, these pictures were taken on a visit  before Thanksgiving.  Santa's put together quite a parade of tinsel, baubles, and fun!

Watson's is always full of fun merchandise but the holidays really get done up in a big way.  Some may look with dismay at so much non-garden related stuff but if carrying all of this helps keep the business going all year long so that we can enjoy all sorts of plants every day, so be it!  Plus, it's fun to look at all all of the seasonal stuff and wonder what'll be left to buy at deep discounts during the days after Christmas.  

I'm just digging out the bags of goodies I scored at last year's after Christmas sale.  

If the tree is viewed as a huge floral arrangement of sorts, one could start with autumn tones in October and just let things  evolve into December.

I used to do a different themed tree every year but now have settled on throwing the same stuff on every year.  It's still fun to see what designers come up with every year. 

It kind of depends on what the Chinese have been busy mass producing over the summer. 

Have you begun decorating for the holidays yet?  My glass pumpkins are still out from Halloween and Thanksgiving. 

There was a decidedly lighter and more pastel feel to the decorations this year.  

Here's some saturated red and heavy gold. 

The baby grand is in place and soon there'll be live music to enhance the shopping experience. 

Do large nurseries everywhere do this sort of thing? 

Hope you are enjoying all the preparation for the festive season.   It's a nice way to take our minds off the long dark nights and  impending cold of winter.