Early morning spring walk through the woods…
From darkness to dawn, magnificent oaks, elms, pines and sycamores stood silent…not a dog barked, not a bird chirped among the dark farm houses down beyond the woods. Then, the solitary chirp of a cardinal started in the trees and soon others began adding their mellifluous voices…birdsong filled the air against a rustling of leaves in the breeze. As daylight broadens in the eastern sky, the morning mist cleared away as I stood looking and listening to the expressive cooing of doves in the treetops while more birds joined the burble. Stopping for a moment by a fallen tree, a sudden flicker of movement catches my eye. A tiny bird, jaunty with a flirting tail, alighted on a branch across my path and began chirping off at my intrusion to the minute wren’s world. Sitting on the fallen tree, Holly by my side, listening and watching as squirrels began to scamper in search of nuts while a doe followed by her twin fawns meandered by just a few feet away from me, I know there is nothing like this experience of hearing and watching and being a part of the dawn chorus.
From my back porch…
Enjoying a lite lunch outside in the garden on a warm spring day, I have the perfect spot to look over and study the innermost secrets of my garden in harmony with its surroundings. The profusion of unseen activity shows in the soft falls of lavender & purple iris, the sun lighting up apricot, blush pink and white rose bloom, the richness of an amethyst clematis flower opening to the brightness gracefully weaving up and over the garden arch, clumps of deep pink chives in blossom mingled with the grayish tinge of French thyme edge the path in front of several pink and white roses…my garden, my many jewels!
Petal Power…Late spring to early summer heralds the flowering of peonies in my garden with their showy voluptuous blooms…shown here with one of my favorite hydrangeas…Annabelle! The repeated use of this all season blooming white hydrangea acts as a transition from the perennial garden to my wild cutting garden.
As a “country gardener” I’m not concerned with current trends…I much prefer the traditions of the past by including familiar plants such as peonies, foxgloves, hollyhocks, “pinks”, iris, roses, phlox, blooming shrubs, roses and all kinds of herbs in my garden and for clients that ask me to design gardens for them.! In a “too fast-paced” world these plants offer a reassuring sense of enchanting chaos for me…my garden and my home are my joy…my comfort everyday.
Annabelle, coneflowers white & pink phlox and more…
Fresh-faced annual appeal…I’ll go along with some annuals that are ideal for filling any gaps in a garden from early mid-summer to fall. Tucked in among perennials sometime in early spring, heirloom plants such as tall and wispy cosmos, bachelor buttons, love-in-a-mist and cleome will create a haze of color and texture…save the seeds to create new plants from year to year.
It’s just that simple…extend the bloom time of annuals and perennials with regular deadheading, if you have time! Just cut above a strong leaf joint instead of simply cutting off the flower. Prompt removal of flower heads and their stems promotes new side shoots and continuous flowering. Along with consistent moisture, good mulch and some foliar feeding…the plants will bloom longer than if left alone. Also, if you want to collect seeds, be sure to let some flower heads alone to create seed pods.
Vintage Charm…over many decades my homes have been filled with pieces I have been drawn to and collected, eclectic pieces that fill my home and every room that reflect the gracious marks of time and use…when everyday objects were made to last…along with a few whimsies that often inspire conversation. My heart is always drawn to the charm of French pieces…to use, to care for and lovingly pass down to the next generation who will hopefully appreciate their passage through time and travels.
During spring and summer…a chilled glass of white wine pairs very well with fresh cheese and fruits of the season. One of the most sublime food and wine combinations is fresh goats cheese, crispy baguette and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The same SB also flatters the flavor of fresh cut asparagus and grilled salmon. For an even sweeter treat, try a nice Sauternes with a classic French style fruit and custard tart for dessert.
Here…chick, chick, chick! My little chicks are now 6 weeks old, living in their pen and are growing like proverbial weeds…of course I do give them fresh watercress, clover, meal worms and corn on the cob to peck at…everyday!!
Enjoy every spring day!