Monday, August 19, 2013

It is no wonder so much of gardening is done on one's knees: the practice of horticulture is a wildly humbling way to pass the days on Earth. Even the root of the word "humility" comes from the Latin humus (for "earth" or "ground"), and a good soil is rich in the paritially decayed plant and animal material we call that very thing.   — Margaret Roach

This summer I've been humbled by not only the beauty of the gardens I've had the opportunity to visit, but humbled by the hospitality of the gardeners. Gardeners are a unique breed of people — they are of the earth and grounded.

Last month in my Daily Journal column I wrote about my new friend Andrew Marcinko who had his buddy Tim Alford serve snow cones during their garden tour — best idea ever!
During this same Johnson County Garden Club's annual  ‘Stroll through the Neighborhood” we were invited to tour the phenomenal home and gardens of Indiana artist Raymond and Barbara Turner. 

And today I received my September/October issue of the Indiana Gardening Magazine published by State by State Gardening — I couldn't help smile when I turned to page 52-55 and recalled hanging out with Indiana Hosta Hybridizer Randy Goodwin. He's kind of a big deal and hero— and very involved with the Indiana Hosta Society and American Hosta Society.

Here are a few photos:

One of Randy and Susie Goodwins water features

Goodwins path to hosta heaven — which includes many that he has hybridized.

I love hanging out with gardeners — the good .scent of humility lingers
More to come later...thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Best Use of a Garden...

My midwest garden had a fresh snow dump of 7-inches six days ago...and today the yard is brown and not quite emerging — soooooo.... the best way to add color is to add lots of people and celebrate Easter!

Easter, like spring, displays Faith.
Isaac enjoying the 59ºF Easter.

The triplets and Walter

Cousins Grace and Nev.

Drew celebrating his first Easter — 8 months old

Added a little color with a dozen lavender plants. 

Grandpa Frank hands out the big eggs.
Cousins Phoebe and Madi — high school juniors

Faith — one of the triplets

The glazed look means they were ready to eat.

Grandpa Frank with some of his grandchildren.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Simply Cultivating . . . A Heartland Garden: Indiana Flower and Patio Show — these are a few of...

Simply Cultivating . . . A Heartland Garden: Indiana Flower and Patio Show — these are a few of...: Like the song from the Sound of Music: These are a few of my favorite things ... from the Indiana Flower and Patio Show  In l...

Indiana Flower and Patio Show — these are a few of my favorite things.

Like the song from the Sound of Music: These are a few of my favorite things...
from the Indiana Flower and Patio Show 

In living color.

 A great vertical garden display by Primary Grounds.

 Fun use of cobalt bottles used as a border.

 Who wouldn't love a fun tool shed like this?

 I'm definitely going to use one of our many dead logs as a planter this summer.

(breathe in deeply and sigh...) spring is on the way...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Do You Believe in Life After Lo...pping?

Do You Believe in Life after Lo..pping?

During February’s dreary dormancy, my nineteen-year-old daughter called from Indiana University.

“Mom, I’m helping a friend with a fundraiser. Do you think I could cut some branches for 30 vases to decorate the table tops?”  (And by “I,” she actually meant  “you.”)

“It’s a black-tie event in the Student Union.”  (And by telling me it was a black-tie event, she meant, prune from the living shrubs, not grab the ugly stick pile that was lying next to the compost pile.)

“We’re making paper flowers to attach to the cuttings.”

It just so happened that my husband and I had discussed trimming back the burning bush earlier that week, so the timing worked out well.

As I pruned 30 branches from a row of eight burning bushes, I began thinking about the  creative organic opportunities between lopping off a branch and the trip to the compost pile. With a slight edit to Cher’s song: “Do You Believe in Life after Lopping" — how do you upcycle your organic material before they hit the compost pile or shredder? 

Burning Bush Money Tree Gift
Euonymus alata "Compactus" commonly known as Burning Bush have corky ridges on flat, horizontal branches, which are perfect for a table top design. I cut these quirky branches for my daughter’s black-tie fundraiser, and the girls in her house made and attached colorful paper flowers to them. In the photo below, I chose to make a simple burning bush money tree, which can be used as a table décor in a vase with river rock for graduation, retirement or birthday gifts. The dollars were accordian-folded and attached with hemp string.