A month ago I put a pair of Hosta leaves that were just beginnng to yellow at the edges in my favorite vase. I added a pair of tall reeds from the bog garden and a stalk of white Hosta flowers, aka August lilies. When the flowers faded, I replaced them with a Peony seedpod.
Over the last few weeks as the water in the pot has evaporated, the leaves have continue to yellow and curl up while the seed pod has popped open. I love watching plants transform themselves from one growth stage to another, and there's no better place to watch this happen than in a vase in the house.
2PM: Artist Talk 3PM: Fiesta! Co-sponsored by the UW Arts Institute
Continues through Friday, November 21st
Join the Ruth Davis Design Gallery and the UW Arts Institute in celebrating Transcommunality with a Fiesta! Take advantage of this fun opportunity to meet with the artist, Laura Anderson Barbata and hear her speak on her artwork and upcoming interdisciplinary arts residency through the UW Arts Institute.
Sunday, September 28, 2 pm, Anderson Barbata talk, “Transcommunality: Art and Community.”
Music by Afro-Peruvian Jazz Band, Golpe Tierra
Performance by Madison Stiltwalkers
Viewings of Latin American, Caribbean, and West African objects from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.
The Opening Fiesta will be in The Link of the School of Human Ecology, Nancy Nicholas Hall, 1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI. The artist talk will take place in Room 2235 on the second floor.
Public parking is available in Lot 20, and Lot 26 on weekends. Interactive map here.
Editor's note: Pictures and information from SoHE/Design Gallery press release.
We spent last weekend out in the flatland at Mark's 50th high school reunion. During a break in the action we managed to squeeze in a short visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden as it was only a few miles away from the reunion location.
The last time we were at CBG — in May, 2013 — the garden was a little water-logged as you can see from these images taken at the same locations on the two different trips. Note the height of the water under the restaurant deck in both images.
Check out the top of the railing in both photos.
Note the curving hedge below and above. Also note the brick path in the two images below.
The weather was almost perfect this time, allowing us to hit all our favorite spots: Dwarf conifer garden, Japanese garden, English walled garden and we even discovered a couple of areas that were new to us. As usual, we took lots of pictures and notes. Though this time, we got smart and Mark shot the i.d. signs so I didn't have to write down all that Latin.
A visit to CBG never disappoints as it has lots of all of our favorite garden elements:
Different seasons, almost the same color palette on this slope planted with annuals at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The first two pictures, taken Saturday, show a perfect fall planting scheme of yellow, orange, and red enlivened by blue.
The next two images use the same color scheme but were captured in a springtime visit to CBG. Here, only one flower — poppies — is used to provide the red/yellow/orange tones.
White is the contrasting color instead of blue this time, but provided by poppies rather than introducing a different shaped plant into the mix.
I bought a tiny three-pack of nasturtium plants at the start of the summer and plopped them into my sunny Traffic Island garden. They have bloomed their heads off and given me more pleasure as cut flowers than anything else I've grown this year.
I always have a bouquet of flowers on my bathroom vanity and usually change it weekly, sometimes more often. I also change accessories to contrast or complement the flowers. This summer the accessories have varied but the flowers have remained the same. The current display includes a bowl of artificial cherries and a big chamois sponge.
Though I've added nasturtium leaves and flowers to summer salads and entrees, it is their fragrance in my bathroom bouquets that have been most memorable. To see more flowers "in a vase on Monday," visit Plant Postings and Rambling in the Garden.
Recently Erin at The Impatient Gardener wrote a great series of posts detailing her garden tools and what styles and brands she uses for a number of different tasks like weeding and watering. I thought it was very helpful to see what other gardening women use for specific jobs. So helpful, in fact, I decided I would do something similar.
As I came back to the house after a long day of planting, dividing, pruning, watering and whatnot, I took a look at the wheelbarrow that I used to haul things from the garage to the back garden. As you can see below it was filled with the most mixed up and messy mass of tools anyone could imagine. Mark more or less dared me to show you what my tools really look like.
Truthfully, this is pretty much how my tools look as the season progresses. Big things get put away where they belong after use, but everything else gets dropped into the wheelbarrow just in case I might need it next time. If you look closely you will see a nice tool carrier with all kinds of pockets sitting in the middle of everything. I start the season with everything in place in that carrier and all the oddments in a cabinet in the garage.
But by September, I am hauling around one fabulous and flexible Gertrude Jekyll weeding basket (upside down on top of everything), at least one contractor's garbage bag to dump the baskets of clippings into, a drop cloth, a big rubber kneeling pad. There's also my smaller shovel and a child's rake for pulling mulch away from plants in a tight spot where I want to squeeze in more plants (!). On the day last week that I took this picture there were also 5 bottles of water with varying amounts of sustenance remaining in them, 7 pairs of gloves including one pair of leather ones, 1 odd hot pink rubber glove and 3 latex gloves (good for weeding moss).
There were 8 plastic containers from the plants I had most recently put in, plus the box my bare-root peony had arrived in. Floating in this sea of small tools are the many tags that identify all these plants as well as markers to put in the ground to remind me where I intend to put a particular plant. I decided I would not bother to count how many hand trowels, knives, and assorted clippers might be in the mix.
There's also a spray bottle of Lysol that I use to disinfect shears after each cut on a woody plant (so I don't accidentally transfer disease) and a spray bottle of Safer Insecticidal soap. I mention these last two items so it appears that I actually know what I am doing when I take off to garden.
Once I begin to clean up the garden — and the tools — for winter, I will do some posts about the much more restrained list of tools I actually reach for again and again despite what this post suggests otherwise.
Mark and I began creating our garden when we were both in our late 40s. Our original design included a number of evergreen shrubs for winter interest. Though we've continued to add evergreen and deciduous shrubs over the years, we're now looking at them as plants to replace perennials and thus make the garden a bit easier to maintain. Color, texture and pattern — more of it provided by foliage instead of flowers.
Whether this concept works in practice as well as theory we've yet to discover. But this summer we upped the ante with a slew of new shrubs, many of them added to the large irregular beds on either side of the path in the photo below.
Initially we added a Pinus strobus 'Blue Shag' along the front edge of the left border about halfway down the length of the bed (below). Two mature yew balls and a Taxus cuspidata 'Aurescens' had already been growing in this border for a number of years.
Behind the big ceramic pot in this bed is a new Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' which is in the lower righthand corner of the photo. Eventually it will be larger than the pot.
This is another view from the same location as the above photo.
The garden directly across the path had lost some small new trees as well as a 60-year-old Austrian pine in the last couple of winters. After looking at the gaping holes for part of the summer, we added a Pinus strobus 'Tiny Curls', the tiny plant in the front center of the image with a white i.d. tag. (The two caged plants with i.d. tags are perennials the bunnies keep eating).
To pick up the yellow tones of the yew across the path, we put in a Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes'. We plan on letting that attain a significant size over time, pulling out perennials as need be. The 'Touch of Class' Hosta got moved and in its space we added a mature Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'North Light' (on the right below). We splurged on a large specimen of 'North Light' (from Stonewall Nursery) because our smaller one has done so well.
For years we've planted very little on the slopes around the Tea House (below) because Mark needed access all around the building as he was constructing it. This year we finally started fleshing out the plantings. There already were a few boxwoods balls adjacent to the steps up to the building, a clumping bamboo and a big swath of groundcover irises. We added a small yew ball at the top of the slope and a larger one at the bottom, to make a sharp contrast with all the low perennials. We're currently thinking about putting a Russian cypress in the open space — one more shrub rather than one more swath of perennials. After I took this picture, I decided to add the 'Touch of Class' Hosta in front of the yew at the bottom of the slope.
Here's the list of all the shrubs we put in, as not all of them are pictured.
MAY: Pinus strobus 'Tiny Curls', Pinus thunbergiana 'Yachio'. These are very tiny and will take five-ten years to make a statement.
JULY: Berberis thunbergii 'Admiration' (small shrub with coral red foliage with yellow margins which the bunnies half ate during the first week), Fothergilla major 'Blue Shadow', Philadelphus 'Snow Dwarf', Pinus strobus 'Blue Shag', Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace', Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes'
AUGUST: three Taxus x media 'Densiformis' (two smalls and one large enough for instant impact)