Monday, September 15, 2014

PAUL......all is now right with the world...

After a whirlwind weekend picking Kale, raspberries and grapes....and enjoying nature, I was happily surprised to find that Paul opened today. 

What is Paul?  It was my favorite establishment  for a quick bite while visiting Paris.  Not a day went by that I did not enjoy watching the inner workings of the kitchen with rows and rows of delectable french pastries tempting my palette.   I would sit outside and patiently wait for my quiche and salad.  Sometimes I would stand and eagerly consider what I would carry out to enjoy at the Tuilleries to snack on as I people watched.

Well, I am home and PAUL is right across the street from my office.  As I sit here and enjoy a quiet personal grand opening....I am so glad PAUL is close by.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Unanticipated gift in my garden.....

Today was a different kind of Monday.  In my haste to get to work, I glanced at my garden noticing that it was winding down and that we needed the 80% chance of showers in the forecast for today.  I knew that I would revisit my garden when I got home before The Garden Coalition meeting.  It is ritual for me to peruse my garden capturing a visual memory as I depart daily.  However today, I was greeted by a special gift in my garden.

Every year I invite one of my tropical plants to overwinter in the house.  One year I tried Ferns.......that did not last long.  Another year I tried a humongous Fuschia...never my world, this is a ANNUAL tropical plant to be enjoyed for a moment, outdoors where it can just be beautiful.  However for the past two years, I have had success with a particular tropical plant that has even given me a gift of bloom about late the house, by a partially sunny window.

Purchased on clearance at Ginkgo Gardens on Capital Hill, it was end of season and she was looking like she was a leave behind after the party.  I brought her home, all 48 inches of her and THEN thought, where will I over winter her.  The dining room window seemed the perfect spot for her to pause until the following season.  Her first gift was mid February....right around the time when I am itching to get outside in the garden.  It was beautiful........and then it was gone.

Flash forward to this evening......a sweet smell permeated the air in the darkness of the evening.  I remembered the cigar like buds when I left this morning......but never had I experiences such an intoxicating scent, sweet, sultry and right by my front door. Perhaps it was the four blooms emitting what must be the perfume of the heavens.

It was my Brugmansia welcoming me home and offering her fragrant gift of Thanks for bring her to The Cottage In The Court!

The scent makes me think I have escaped to a tropical paradise....

I could simply immerse myself in this bodacious bloom.....

I can only admire the intricate beauty that this bloom holds....

I love gifts, especially unanticipated gifts from my garden...I wish I could capture the scent in a bottle........I will appreciate and respect her beauty for as long as I can....prior to moving her inside allowing me space to paint the exterior of the house......

Sharing the beauty that surrounds me.......

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sedum - Silent Princess of the Fall Garden - YOU CAN GROW THAT!

Silently in the garden there is a perennial that requires minimal attention, drought tolerant, full to partial sun (depending on the cultivar) and is rather dependable - Sedum sits and politely waits it's turn to be the Princess of the Fall garden.

A butterfly magnet and a a perennial with many faces, Sedums can range from 1 - 3 inches in height to 18- 24 inches depending on the cultivar. From ground covers to upright forms, as long as proper drainage is given, Sedum can be a dependable long lived plant in the garden.  In wet summers, sometimes rotting may occur and occasionally slugs and snails might prove to be a little pesky - but overall Sedum is relatively pest and disease free. If you remember to not plant it too deep and not allow the mulch to touch the stem, the autumn reward is fantastic.

Some of the more common cultivars are Autumn Joy, Neon, Vera Jameson, Acre, Frosty Morn (one of my favorites) and of course Sieboldii (the form of this one is simply beautiful!) One good point to remember, the upright forms appreciate a little dividing every couple of years in order to maintain their beauty and form.

Sedum is a great container plant and draped over walls or slopes can certainly make a statement. A terrific companion to ornamental grasses and other late blooming perennials - this plant is like a silent film star, quietly growing in the heat of the summer garden, as she waits to strut her stuff as the season changes


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gifts from Thomasville, GA

A little cane and a beautiful cotton bloom.  I have never seen such a powerful bloom. Beauty, simplicity and visions of the past.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Native Flora in District Heights, Maryland.....noticing the beauty that surrounds us...

I love to walk early in the morning.  At this  the year there are so many wonderful sights, smells and sounds that go unnoticed in the course of our busyness.  This Saturday morning I had to make a little more time to pause while walking the dog, because it was certainly a pause worthy moment.

As I approached the woods line on District Heights Parkway, an aroma that certainly speaks to the changing of the seasons wafted up Mason Street. It was the unmistakable fragrance of Sweet Autumn Clematis, draped across other natives like a white fluffy, fragrant robe.  Popping through like exclamation points throughout was another autumnal standby, Evening primrose.

Evening Primrose (Oenethera biennis)

If I was not an avid gardener/plantaholic or simple nature lover, I would never have noticed these plants along this well traveled street.  Another jewel in our crown of naturalness, were the yellow draping blooms of Solidago (goldenrod) and the upright white Boltonia.  Most likely, we can all identify  these plants, but there are some of the lesser known subshrubs and plants like 

White blooming Sumac....a bee worthy shrub with a phenomenal bloom.....

Joe Pye Weed, which is now a hot item for the home garden to increase the pollinator population's of butterfly's and bees....

I also noticed this Pickerel patch...right here in our own backyard!!!  Imagine the possibilities of our positive environmental footprint if we encouraged native plantings that bring life and light into our gardens?

Do you have a corner in your garden that you allow to go natural?  Do you plant pollinators that encourage butterfly's and bees into your world???  Do you rush by nature instead of immersing yourself into observing the beauty that surrounds you??? Share your pictures and experiences of what you notice as our seasons changes and we make time to pause and admire the beauty that surrounds us......RIGHT IN OUR OWN BACKYARD!!!!

Gratitude and Gardening

Two days ago, a friend of mine Sara Boers (@SocialSaraB) challenged me to a five day Gratitude posting.  No problem.....then today I received an invite to share my end of summer gratitude list as well with Laurel Reagan (, I am thinking that both of these ladies feel that perhaps sharing what we are grateful for will plant the seed of gratitude in the lives of those we fellowship with.  Well, gardener that I am, here is my list of a few things - certainly not all and not in sequence - that I am grateful for today at this moment in time..

  • my life, with all of it's twists and turns;
  • my children, Johanna and Thea and my grandsons, Tyree and Tearrance for they are products of the seeds of life planted in me;
  • my parents - mommy for instilling the gift of sewing and sowing seeds of portulaca, red celosia and marigolds in our garden .  Daddy for planting the seed of hard work, confidence, practicing femininity and finding the beauty in all things;
  • my two tomato's I harvested this morning even after no fertilizer or watering all season.....two are so much better than none ( I have harvested quite a few peppers though);
  • my Dad overcoming his little "episode on aging" this summer.....I look forward to being Blessed with more gardening experiences for as long as possible or for as long as the Lord sees fit....;
  • my neighbors - Jackie, Nate, Evelyn, Ron and the unnamed ones who watch out for me daily and have done so for the past ten years;
  • Kathryn Hall who wrote "Plant Whatever Brings You Joy - Blessed Wisdom From The Garden".  Her words have added clarity to my thought processes on gardening;
  • Patricia Patton and the 3B's...for giving me the push to just do it and answering the questions I need to have answered;
  • Sara Broers for just being there, my mid-west sister from another Mother for reaching out and sharing...we need another road trip....for clarity (giggle);
  • Blogalicious for sponsoring a blogging forum where new and experienced bloggers can network, share an experience having a voice and being heard.  I look forward to learning even more at Blogalicious6 in San Antonio!;
  • Aminia, my ever faithful  and protective 140 lb. princess pooch who waits til I am finished writing for her long walks in the middle of the night;
  • Kathy Jentz, Washington Gardener Magazine - for sharing new and different experiences, sharing conversations and understanding how passionate I am about gardening and all things beautiful;
  • Candice Camille, Pure Nuphoria - who inspires me and makes me know that becoming seasoned has nothing to do with slowing down to a snails pace.  It just means paying more attention to the things in life that matter - taking care of the body and the spirit!
As this summer winds down to the cooler temps of Fall, I am so grateful that my journey on this earth is ever evolving, exciting and  like my garden, a work  in progress!!

What is on your gratitude list for today????