Curb Appeal: Dried Mushroom Wreath

May 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

This simple wreath is made from dried mushrooms that have been dyed. They were made specifically for wreaths and arrangements and come with long thin sticks attached, making them easy to arrange .  As a word of caution they  fade in direct sunlight, so be careful where you put them if you want to preserve the color. Although I imagine they are quite easy to over-dye or pant.

Look Up: NASA Hubble Telescope Pictures

May 27, 2013 Comments Off on Look Up: NASA Hubble Telescope Pictures

Since I was child, thinking I would be an astronaut biologist (right behind author and pony wrangler), I have been in love with the stars. Their vastness holds infinite possibility for as long as it goes fully undiscovered, which fortunately(or maybe unfortunately) for us seems quite a while.  Perhaps it is the reality that is quite heady- WE are the stars. In fact this video even makes me tear up a bit. This is why I am so drawn to the pictures from the NASA Hubble telescope and wanted to share some of my favorites,the beginnings and ends of stars. Something I am sure the early philosophers couldn’t even imagine. An added bonus is that NASA supplies photos with high enough resolutions to be put on a variety of screen sizes.

 

Look Back: Historical New York City Gardens

May 23, 2013 § 1 Comment

I am supposedly part of the generation of “digital natives”, but  even I remember a time where the internet wasn’t so vast.   The mere possibilities that come with having  accessible information still  kind of blow my mind, just think about all the things you could know . So today we peek into the library of congress  photo archive  for pictures of  historical New York City Gardens.

Title: Backyard gardens in New York City Other Title: Turtle Bay Gardens, 227-247 East 48 Street and 228-246 East 49th Street, New York, New York. View east to common garden Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer Date Created/Published: [1920 fall] Call Number: LOT 12637-4 [item] [P&P]

Title: Backyard gardens in New York City
Other Title: Turtle Bay Gardens, 227-247 East 48 Street and 228-246 East 49th Street, New York, New York. View east to common garden
Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer
Date Created/Published: [1920 fall]
Call Number: LOT 12637-4 [item] [P&P]

Title: [The Touchstone Garden, New York, New York. Sculpture exhibition] Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer Date Created/Published: [1919 summer] Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in. Call Number: LC-J717-X104- 48 [P&P]

Title: [The Touchstone Garden, New York, New York. Sculpture exhibition]
Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer
Date Created/Published: [1919 summer]
Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.
Call Number: LC-J717-X104- 48 [P&P]

Title: ["Jones Wood" townhouses, East 65th and East 66th Streets between Lexington and Third Avenues, New York, New York. View from garden to St. Vincent Ferrer church] Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer Date Created/Published: [1921] Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in. Call Number: LC-J717-X98- 72 [P&P]

Title: [“Jones Wood” townhouses, East 65th and East 66th Streets between Lexington and Third Avenues, New York, New York. View from garden to St. Vincent Ferrer church]
Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer
Date Created/Published: [1921]
Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.
Call Number: LC-J717-X98- 72 [P&P]

itle: [Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan house, Turtle Bay Gardens, 228 East 49th Street, New York, New York. Garden] Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer Date Created/Published: [1920 Fall] Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in. Call Number: LC-J717-X107- 32 [P&P]

itle: [Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan house, Turtle Bay Gardens, 228 East 49th Street, New York, New York. Garden]
Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer
Date Created/Published: [1920 Fall]
Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.
Call Number: LC-J717-X107- 32 [P&P]

Title: [Gramercy Park, between East 20th and East 21st Streets east of Park Avenue, New York, New York. Fountain] Related Names:     Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952 , lecturer Date Created/Published: [ca. 1922] Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, sepia toned ; 3.25 x 4 in. Call Number: LC-J717-X98- 78 [P&P]

Title: [Gramercy Park, between East 20th and East 21st Streets east of Park Avenue, New York, New York. Fountain]
Related Names:
Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952 , lecturer
Date Created/Published: [ca. 1922]
Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, sepia toned ; 3.25 x 4 in.
Call Number: LC-J717-X98- 78 [P&P]

Title: [Turtle Bay Gardens, 227-247 East 48th Street and 228-246 East 49th Street, New York, New York. Pergola in common garden] Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer Date Created/Published: [1920 Fall] Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in. Call Number: LC-J717-X107- 17 [P&P]

Title: [Turtle Bay Gardens, 227-247 East 48th Street and 228-246 East 49th Street, New York, New York. Pergola in common garden]
Creator(s): Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer
Date Created/Published: [1920 Fall]
Medium: 1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.
Call Number: LC-J717-X107- 17 [P&P]

 I also found this gem of a poster created by the federal government encouraging Americans to be patriotic and plant a Victory Garden, helping reduce  the possibility of a food shortage by creating  a local food supply. Which, to be honest, is still pretty sound advice even outside of wartime!

Title: Grow it yourself Plan a farm garden now. Creator(s): Bayer, Herbert, 1900-, artist Related Names:     United States. Rural Electrification Administration , sponsor Date Created/Published: NYC : NYC WPA War Services, [between 1941 and 1943] Call Number: POS - WPA - NY .B39, no. 1 (C size) [P&P]

Title: Grow it yourself Plan a farm garden now.
Creator(s): Bayer, Herbert, 1900-, artist
Related Names:
United States. Rural Electrification Administration , sponsor
Date Created/Published: NYC : NYC WPA War Services, [between 1941 and 1943]
Call Number: POS – WPA – NY .B39, no. 1 (C size) [P&P]

Blooming Now: Scotch Broom

May 22, 2013 § 4 Comments

This is the first year I am getting truly nice blooms on my ‘Lena’ scotch broom.  Last year after I transplanted it out of the pot it was in it didn’t bloom, but it has come back in full force this year. It has been a solid deer resistant plant, and was left unscathed through the winter and early spring. However with expansive growth it is starting to get leggy,as you’ll see in the last two photos, and it is easy to see how this species is invasive out west.  I have had to tie mine up in order to keep it upright, which it still struggles to do under the weight of the blooms. This especially helped in early spring when some freak spring snow storms knocked the poor plant completely over, pinning its branches under the snow.

I’ve decided to prune it back after it finishes blooming to control the plant and add back in some structure. I’ve done some non strategic pruning on this plant before, either to get out dead or simply control the spread, and it hasn’t seemed to have had an effect on the plant. I have seen people cut them down to the ground and they still flush out, however I don’t know how this affects blooming. I have read some advice on pruning from the outside in, pruning back the woodier older branches, which is supposed to reduce some of the innate legginess of this plant.  I guess we’ll see how it goes, but I’m pretty confident in this plants hardiness so my advice is prune away my friend.

Lena Scotch Broom Bloom

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Spring Flower Arrangements: Peonies

May 19, 2013 Comments Off on Spring Flower Arrangements: Peonies

There is something great about singularity in bouquets, and peonies are one of the flowers I feel can really pull it off. They  have such a robust structure, that they easily fill up a vase while remaining interesting.

Get Excited : Spring Flower Arrangements

May 12, 2013 Comments Off on Get Excited : Spring Flower Arrangements

Well, I am so excited to have flowers blooming, I will just about stick anything in a vase and call it art. Including this slightly haphazard arrangement of Scotch Broom, Purple Iris, and Purple Rhododendron.

Flower Arrangement

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Favorite Seed Company: Botanical Interests

May 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

Spring! Spring! It’s here!

Like so many things I am in love with as an adult gardener, my love of Botanical Interests seeds goes back to childhood. There was just something special about these seeds that seemed so lovingly illustrated, that came in vanilla packets that look like gifts, and seemed special. My favorites are their combination packets like “Save the Bees” or “Bring Home the Butterflies” both of which I have committed to putting in a new front bed. These packs have an interesting mix of annuals, perennials, and herbs that I’m hoping will be an easy way to achieve a cottage garden aesthetic. One pack covers 15o square feet so now I only have to figure out where to put the remaining seeds.

Botanical Interest Seed Packet

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