Sunday, June 29, 2014

Garden Lover of my Soul

Laura, that is of whom I speak. she is my partner in this venture called Thyme in the Garden. And tomorrow is the 'echoing day of her birth' as poet John O'Donahue wrote.

We are united in our love of things that grow. When she was a very little girl, about 4 or so ,on her swing one day, she asked me." mama, why can't I touch the sky?" I wasn't sure how to reply but after 30 plus years, I have realized she touches the sky every day. She is passionate  about the garden and her love and artistry with plants are evident. She gives me the gift of glimpses of nature's beauty through her eyes- and I am blessed beyond compare day after day as she gives of herself in so many ways. I have watched her grow professionally these 8 years and would be honored to be half the woman of strength and beauty that she is. My Laura, garden lover of my soul!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Slowest of the performing arts

I once heard a garden designer describe gardens as being one of the slower performing arts. I have often thought how true that is..... An apt description of what unfolds day by day in the garden.
This year, the changes wrought by significant flooding just as May began, allows for new choices , much editing and interesting observations . Amazing difference in the soil, flooding transported 6 to 9 inches of sand and silt over much of the garden. Some plants completely disappeared while others emerged apparantly unscathed. Sweet William bloomed its heart out.Comfrey, peonies, orange butterfly weed,roses and lilacs all endured as well as a multitude of yummy strawberries . The Brown Turkey Fig is slowly returning and asparagus got the jump on me as it always does!
At first, I was kinda devastated by the flood, but experiencing the ever renewing growth in this little piece of earth is a daily performance of magic and art not to be missed.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Vermiculture has long interested me ..... how those little brown worms can make such lovely soft soil! Out of garbage no less.! I have to admit, I am kinda complusive about saving banana peels, tea bags and veggie trimmings, all for the little darlings!  Eisenia foetda is the official name of these redworms or'wigglers'(don't use night crawlers or other types of worms and a suitable plastic bin with holes can go right under your kitchen sink.
Just this week, I am now the proud grandmother of my beautiful grand baby BEES! A very dear friend gave me her bee equipment and hive, I purchased the queen and nuc which arrived last Wednesday. They were so gentle and sweet, simple to lift them out of the box and right into the hive. After of day of getting settled  in, they seem happy and busy!!! I could spend hours watching them, but had to get busy getting the electric fence up because our neighbor shop keeper two doors down reported big ole bear on the prowl...... So say your prayers for my girls........

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I've just begun reading a wonderful book called Summer with the Leprechauns ,a True Story by Tanis Helliwell. So I am thinking a lot about the various elementals that may live in the garden! And about evolution. Evolution of how the garden changes over time, how our beliefs change and grow over time, and how important is seems to pay attention to these evolutions.

Tanis writes about being co creators, which is an ideal we have embraced at Thyme in the Garden. One of my favorite things I have loved is the collaboration of ideas, creativity, fun and beauty that continues to evolve here. We have been having fairy garden workshops for quite some time,but this is a new adventure- to call upon the leprachauns as well as the fairies and gnomes in our garden! Now that our gnome hut no longer resides as our garden focal point, other changes are afoot as well. This year I intend to grow more veggies  and will be setting up the beehive next month when the queen and her nucs arrive. I am calling them my 'grandbaby bees' and can hardly wait to have them in their new home! I imagine them joining the elementals and making magic all summer long.!  And I will be watching closely  to the signs and activites of both the seen and 'unseen' in the months to come. As I was turning under some ground the other day, there was an interesting little critter . Hopefully I can post the picture, though I'm not really sure how to connect it with this post.  So if you see a strange orange critter all by it's lonesome on the page somewhere, that's the one! And let me  know if you see some mischief in the garden, I'm sure those leprachauns are up to something!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Swollen Buds

April 4,2014

Standing at the kitchen sink this morning,I noticed the swollen green buds on the Enkianthus Campanulatus.This native to Japan, zone 5 tree will have lovely little bell shaped flowers covering it later in the spring. The branching makes it sculpturally interesting through winter and fall color is often brilliant, so basically it is what one would call a specimen for year round landscape interest. I wouldn't recommend it for fragrance, however so locate it away from areas of entertaining!

The swollen buds got me to thinking about the sensuality of spring and how amidst all the glory of spring offerings, it is easy to lose focus on the smaller, less showy gifts of this season..When one looks closely and can pay attention, the richness of a swollen bud can be so astoundingly refreshing, a richly sensuous glimpse and forerunner of the lushness to come. And  looking around, swollen buds are everywhere, some already burst wide open (PJM rhodos, bridal veil spirea, camelias) and still others have already spent their bloom, And so it goes - this birthing season of sensuality.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rhubarb Ruminations

March 28,2014
Whenever I feel bad (well actually good or bad!) the garden is my 'go to' place. It almost always brings me to a better place, a better frame of mind. Yesterday, I had just a short hour ,but my oh my, what I discovered!
Rhubarb already 6 inch green leaves, abundant chickweed, masses of spring bulbs, especially the tiny ones I never remember the name of, though I think are actually Ornithogolum umbellatum ( those yummy little white star flowers commonly called Star of Bethlehem). Careful if you plant them, they spread everywhere but are so early and sweet you can't resist letting them grow wherever.

And in the greenhouse, all those sad brown stems of various wintered over plants are ready to be cut back to the beginnings of new life! I always get excited about seeing them because I never really remember what is in those pots until they begin to appear, having lost the tags quite some time ago!

Winter has taken its toll on so many shrubs this year. Plenty of pruning to get done. And we still have days of frost possible  up through Mothers Day so keep that in mind. But keep an eye out because this is the beginning of joyful spring ephemerals and goodbye to winter ruminations!
 And cut some fresh stems of whatever is in the garden ready to force. Magnolia solangeana, Quince(a personal favorite!) Forsythia, Wild cherry, and even curly willow is such a lovely forerunner as spring emerges.

Friday, March 14, 2014


This is my first post so when I learn how to post pictures, I have one to share. But for now, I began with this topic only because  I have two lovely pods and some seeds sitting on my desk. And they remind me that they are still in their dormant  winter state, as am I. One would think, as we are all so ready for Spring, that  I would be READY!  But every year, I go into the garden on a yummy warm day and realize that I am already way, way behind! However, hope SPRINGS eternal so I am excited to report that the peas , fava beans and spinach are planted and the crocus and my favorite little tete a tete jonquils are blooming and the quince stems are being forced along with the magnolia soulangiana and the first grape muscari peeked it's lovely blue  bloom out of the ground!

New birth , baby birds ,soft brown earth, and all the wonder of God's green earth, Next week , first day of Spring is my actual  birthday! You will find me most days digging away, always trying to catch up and hopefully grabbing a few minutes to share a bit of the joy that the garden brings. Stop by for a visit!