First bouquet of the season!

Spring has sprung, though it’s still chilly in Charm City. One or two flowers popped up and, together, they made a nice arrangement this evening. Peonies, baptisia, irises, rhododendron, and dusty yarrow in back. And my favorite, Zéphirine Drouhin roses in front. Love their hot pink color, their thornlessness, and the fact that they grow in sun or shade. Highly recommend this fragrant climber, introduced in 1868, because it requires little hand holding.

Zéphirine Drouhin rose.

My peonies. 


Ah, Lily of the Valley!

White flowers and a clean fresh smell–what is more spring-like? Lily of the Valley are also called Mary’s Tears. The name alludes to the legend that the flower sprang from the tears of Mary during the crucifixion of Jesus.  Hence, their appearance right around Easter. In the language of flowers, Lily of the Valley signifies the return of happiness. Garden flowers in the spring, Lily of the Valley at my bedside, a candle, and a good book–these make me happy!

An experiment in rooting.

I’m attempting to root forsythia, pussy willow, and quince for the first time. Did a lot of research. Here are my tips:

I filled an old kitty litter container with potting soil and used a wide magic marker to make deep holes in the dirt. Clipped branches to about 10 inches long, removed leaves and flowers except at the top of the stems, and gently scored the bark near the bottom 3 inches to reveal the green layer below. I dipped each branch in rooting powder, gently placed it in a hole, and packed the soil a bit. Gave the container a nice soaking, and that’s it. What I find interesting is that while every article has variations on what to do, each mentions the importance of misting and covering the container with plastic wrap. Not sure why that’s essential if root growth is happening below the soil line. Anyway, I’m supposed to wait 2 weeks and then take a look on April 5th. Could be a catastrophic failure. Or not. 

I do most of my cutting and flower arranging on the island in my kitchen. Here’s how everything looked post planting. Thank heavens my husband is a very forgiving man!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Happy vernal equinox! One of the biggest signs of spring is the emergence of worms in my garden. Found out that the March moon is called “The Full Worm Moon.” Makes sense that nature sends these creatures to aerate and fertilize the soil just in time for planting. And great news, The Old Farmer’s Almanac now has a new all-season, best planting-dates calendar. Plug in your town, and it’ll tell you when to sow seeds and plant herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Check it out!