The shape of the hand

Ah, winter! The perfect time to curl up and watch some gardening shows, and dream of better gardens to come. While watching one of my favorites, I learned something new this week. Oh, I’m not good with horticultural terminology….yet. I may be vaguely familiar with the terms “Ovate,” “Palmate,” or “Lanceolate.” 

In this particular episode of “Gardener’s World,” Carol explained that the “Palmate” type of leaf has lobes similar to the fingers of a hand, or “palm.” It was a light bulb moment. Of course! 

Not all palmate leaves have five lobes, though. But I’ll never look at a lobed leaf without thinking of a hand.  Continue reading “The shape of the hand”

Special delivery!

The corydalis bulbs came a lot later than expected; too late to plant before our holiday guests were set to arrive. I was able to plant the Ruby Giant Crocus and managed to put some lovely violas on top of them to keep them company for their short slumber this winter in the frigid earth. 

The new daffodils, tricolor crocus, and corydalis will just have to wait … and wait … and wait. Our precautions of having our Thanksgiving dinner outdoors and keeping all doors and windows open was not enough to prevent some of us from getting “whatever’s going around.” Continue reading “Special delivery!”

Make some space!

Our new habit of social distancing has made everyone even more aware of giving space to one another. In the garden, we have no such methodology, but even in a crowded garden bed, proper spacing must be maintained. 

The surprising gift of two Veilchenblau roses last year was reason enough to rearrange the patio bed. These fragrant purple roses were perfect to go on my backyard trellis. There was one problem; we had a beautiful “Jude the Obscure” rose bush too close to one side of it already.  Continue reading “Make some space!”

Self worth

Are you a narcissist or a doormat? A person whose self-worth is off the charts, or does your view of yourself depend on what others think of you or tell you? Chances are you are somewhere in between, as most of us are.

In a landscape setting, some plants are worth more than others. Late in my gardening “path” I discovered that a few really good anchor trees and shrubs are worth spending a little money on, rather than filling the beds with random bargains. Continue reading “Self worth”

The main focus

What do you see in this picture? An overwhelming majority will see Homestead Purple Verbena, or simply “purple flowers.” Gardeners might see a few Cypress Vines starting to grow, and are twitching at the urge to come and pull them out or train them up a trellis before they overtake the verbena.

Earlier today, i sent the photo to a very dear friend, because she had offered to come and dig out a very large rosebush that I no longer want or need. In the photo, you can see a branch of the rose bush that was shoved into the ground earlier in the summer, and it is growing tiny new leaves. This is a good sign that the rose has made roots. I wanted to entice her to take something easier to move!  Continue reading “The main focus”

A little strength

“You won’t need that many, this is enough.” This is not something you usually hear from a salesperson, but my customers often hear it from me regarding plants that they are about to purchase. Sometimes, all you need is a little bit and it grows into a lot more!

The strawberry plants that have spread out to cover much of our yard are a prime example. Five little plants from a sweet lady at a local church have turned into a never-ending supply of strawberry plants for dozens of my friends and relatives. We even get a few strawberries when we are diligent about picking them before the birds do! 

Several times, I have decided that the trouble of picking them wasn’t worth it, so I’ve given them “all” away. Of course, there were always one or two baby plants that didn’t get dug out, and now (again) we have hundreds.  Continue reading “A little strength”

Tell me the story of Jesus

The new garden bench got a lot of use today. A young couple showed me photos of the new house they just moved into, and the plans they had to take the barren yard and fill it with flowers.

As about ten different people filtered in and out of the garden today, I heard stories of how the small redbud tree could grow along with a granddaughter, and it filled my heart with joy that the plants I sell will have a story.

I, too, shared some stories. This is the optimum time to transplant irises, the state flower in Tennessee and my personal favorite. My customers smiled as I reminisced about the “Lost Iris” and my quest to fill the void left by a simple garden accident.  Continue reading “Tell me the story of Jesus”

Self-Identification

Only a few seeds were dropped into the short furrows beside the wire cattle panels. The panels would later support the vines and the long, heavy fruit of the Trombino squash. Only a few plants were needed for this prolific and delicious vegetable! I pictured the delicious “noodles” that could be made by using a spiral cutter with the coming harvest. The steaming red marinara sauce, the parmesan and mozzarella topping it off, and maybe a few meatballs would complete a hearty meal without the carbohydrates of pasta. 

Zuchino Rampicante, also known as Trombino squash, is prized for its firm flesh without the mushy seedy part until the very last few inches on the three-foot long fruits. It has all the taste of zucchini without the tendency to turn too soft when cooked. As an added bonus, the squash can be allowed to ripen on the vine for a later harvest of an orange-fleshed butternut type squash, with a long narrow neck that’s easy to cut and peel. Summer AND winter squash on one plant!  Continue reading “Self-Identification”

Only skin deep

“You’re so pretty. Here is a penny.”  My little piggy bank was full of pennies from people who apparently thought that my outward appearance was reason enough to reward me. I never understood that as a chubby-cheeked preschooler with long auburn hair. 

Fortunately, my mother kept my feet on the ground. “Beauty is only skin deep,” she would remind me when the compliments, and sometimes the pennies, were paid. That outward appearance has long since faded, and whatever is inside is more noticeable, for better or worse.  Continue reading “Only skin deep”

The consequences of indecision

There is a new colony of bees in the Berglund backyard. We have dubbed it the “Republic,” referencing Ben Franklin’s warning, “If you can keep it.” 

Yes, we are keeping bees, or at least making the attempt. The honey has been minimal so far, but one our goals has been to help save the declining honeybee population. 

So when the call came in on the morning of the Fourth of July that there was a swarm of bees a few miles north of us, we moved quickly to rescue them.  Continue reading “The consequences of indecision”