Monday, April 30, 2007


I just love my apricot-colored Austins. They're at my house in Oxford, so I don't get to see them a lot. I have Ambridge Rose and Tamora in the bed beside my deck, and Evelyn in the bed beside the front porch. I took some photos of them on April 22. All are ready to burst into bloom.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Gardeners are artists of living color

Last Saturday as my husband was driving us up to Oxford for the weekend, I got in some good reading in an old favorite of mine, Flower Garden Designs by Penelope Hobhouse. Penelope Hobhouse is an Associate Editor for Gardens Illustrated magazine and a talented garden desginer with great vision. This book contains two classics by Ms. Hobhouse in one volume: Penelope Hobhouse on Gardening and Flower Gardens.

As I was reading along I highlighted a few thoughts from the book, and I thought I'd share them with you:

Colour effects in planting

Gardeners should study colour behaviour in the countryside as well as in the garden, and above all learn how painters and other colour craftsmen have built up colour associations in their work.


The principles of colour manipulation remain much the same although the painter works with exact colour mixes, while the gardener labours in a constantly changing world. Both use colors not only in pleasing associations but also to play tricks to convey architectural and linear effects.

This quote rings true to me. The color palette of the flowers and foliage in my garden is chosen with special attention to the emotions those colors will evoke. Sometimes in a peaceful arrangement of similar pale yellows and white to complement one another. Then sometimes contrasting hot pinks, bold purples, and firey oranges to bring excitement to the garden. I use the height and spread of the plantings and the delicacy or sturdiness of the foliage – in addition to the color palette – to convey an overall feeling in each garden space.

As gardeners, we are artists of living, growing, changing color. Isn't it a beautiful thing?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Perennial Corner In April

This is the Perennial Corner bed back in November. Take a look at it now! Look at this Shasta Daisy! That is Echinacea 'Sundown' in the front and 'Ruby Giant' off to the right (very tiny). Unfortunately, Echinacea 'Twilight' didn't make it through the winter. I got it from Wayside Gardens. Anyone know about their return policy for plants that die? I added Carolina Jessamine on the iron trellis earlier this year. I felt like this bed needed some height. On either side of the trellis is Russian Sage that hasn't grown much. I hope that it takes off soon because I really want some wispy growth in the back of this bed. Around the drain are gladioli from my granny's yard. She gave me those bulbs a few weeks ago. Behind those? Mexican Petunia, the hummingbird magnet.

I'm trying to stick with a yellow, pink, and purple, color pattern. So far it is going really well. Can't wait to see how everything looks together when it blooms. I plan to put the two new daisies in this bed. 'Mynelle' will go in that bare spot on the left. I'm not sure what to do with 'Marguerite' Daisy . I kinda want to put it where 'Ruby Giant' is and then maybe move 'Ruby Giant' to where 'Twilight' was? I dunno. I'll figure all that out this weekend.

I also have to turn a deserted area in the backyard into an herb garden. We shall see. I'll leave you with some photos from the backyard today...


Purple Iris and Autumn Fern

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Farmers' Markets and Plant Sales

Some clues that spring is in full swing are when the farmers' markets open and the plant sales begin. Last weekend was filled with both. I dropped by the Mississippi Farmers' Market in Jackson on Saturday morning to see what was there. The strawberries looked incredible and tasted incredible! I also picked up a sesame challah - oh so good! I hope the bread folks are there every weekend. My new plan is to drop by every Saturday morning, buy what is fresh, and plan the week's meals around what I buy. That way I'm buying local, homegrown produce . Yum Yum.

After the farmers' market, I made my way over to Mynelle Gardens for the Master Gardeners' annual plant sale. They had a good selection. Many of the plants were the "passalong plants" you'd find in Felder's book with the same name. After about 20 minutes of browsing I decided on six cast iron plants to go around a tree in the backyard, one 'Mynelle' Daisy, and one 'Marguerite' Daisy. I plan to put the daisies in the perennial bed this weekend. The Landscaping students at Hinds Community College were also having a plant sale, but I didn't have time to get over there. I hear that their selection is fabulous.

My herbs should be coming in today. I need to get out there and get that spot ready for them. Hopefully I'll have some time after work today to get a little dirty. The zinnia, cosmo, and sunflower seeds are coming up all over the semi-circle bed. I am super excited about this bed because I haven't had zinnias and sunflowers in years. It should make for some pretty photos and great bouquets.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Herb Garden

Last year I had the beginnings of a pretty good herb garden. I sectioned off a bit of my backyard, improved the soil with compost, and put some plants from the grocery store in the ground. I had a rosemary bush in a container and English thyme, Italian oregano and sweet basil in the ground. The thyme and oregano lived through the winter and are still looking good. The basil (an annual) and the rosemary bit the dust. This year I vowed to expland on the herb garden. I found an online store that sells a huge variety of organic herbs and perennials. This is what I ordered last night:
Rosemary, Pine Scented Rosemary & Spice Islands Rosemary
Dwarf Garden Sage
Lemon Thyme & Hi-Ho Silver Thyme
Sweet Basil

I also ordered a few perennials while I was looking around:
All Purple Mexican Bush Sage
Blue Veronica

I wanted the victoria sage and the spanish lavender, but they weren't in stock. I want an assortment of purple perennials to compliment the yellow rose bushes. Any suggestions?

Spanish Lavender

Victoria Sage

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cold Snap!

It has been down in the low 30s for the past few nights. It is supposed to warm up nicely today, up to 63F. The chilly temps kept me inside on Saturday, but that was a good thing because my house was a wreck! I got some spring cleaning done and did about 5 loads of laundry. Yay!

After church on Sunday I had some time to prepare my semi-circle bed for annual seeds: sunflowers, zinnias, and cosmos. These seeds remind me of my grandmother's country garden. She lines her huge vegetable garden with sunflowers. It is such a sight to see in the summer. She also has a big flower garden with Rose-of-Sharon, gladioli, hibiscus, zinnias, bachelor's buttons, and cosmos. I just love it!

Last year, the semi-circle bed was a wreck. The ground was super hard and the bed was full of rocks and roots. I couldn't even get a shovel through the topsoil without jumping up and down on it. I spent God-knows-how-many hours digging, adding compost, turning, and mulching. I was worried when I put the first shovel in yesterday. Would it still be yucky? Thankfully all my hard work paid off! The soil was in great condition for seeds.

Here's the seed list. I got these from the Burpee kiosk at HD.

Mammoth - 12ft
Evening Sun - 7ft
AztecGold - 6ft
Del Sol - 5ft

Purple Prince - 3ft

Sensation Radiance - 4ft

I have a few other seeds that I plan to put in the front of the bed, but I have pansies there now. Pretty soon I'll pull up the pansies and plant the other zinnias and cosmos.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Scones and a Galette

I got some good baking time in on Sunday morning. I flipped through the Macrina cookbook on Saturday afternoon, went grocery shopping, then did some prep work on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning I made the Cherry Almond Scones and a Butternut Squash and Apple Galette for brunch. Both of these turned out great. I made a few substitutions on the galette, but I was very pleased with the results. We enjoyed brunch with a little mimosa cocktail. Yum! We had galette leftovers for supper.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hoorah for Weekend Gardening!

Wow! I got so much work done this weekend. Well, not on my own. My hubby really helped me out. I've posted some photos I took Saturday of what I did and what was blooming.