Monday, April 14, 2008

Caltha palustris

Otherwise known as Marsh Marigold, happiest in boggy glens . Truly one of my favorites, and native to boot. Brilliant clear yellow...Hmm, do I have a picture? I might have to cheat and steal one... Here it is!

So cheerful, and so early. Later in the season I might not appreciate its bright starry gaze, but mid-April when we are often as not still frosty in the morning, it is a sight for winterized eyes that have been numbed by relentless grey.

I confess however, that I am even more fond of the white form. AHHHHH, Plant Snob! But it isn't the rarity that appeals, but the pristine simplicity of these flowers. I won't show you one: You will have to search for it yourself, and when and if you discover it, you will understand. And yeah, I would probably qualify as a plant snob.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Um, it's been awhile, hasn't it?

Okay, why would anyone read a blog that hasn't been updated in over a year?

Whatever, here I am. I'm starting a new business venture, though keeping my day job, as they say. The new job is Virtual Assistant - All the stuff that an Administrative Assistant might do,l but remotely, via the fabulous Internet. We shall see. I certainly have the qualifications, now we'll see how I do at marketing myself (blowing my own horn has never been a strength) and finding a client or two. Know anyone?

Meanwhile, back to the garden. It is April in New England, and it certainly doesn't look much like the photo above. The poppy is Beauty of Livermere, and in life it is much more of a true red, a to-die-for red, not a hint of orange. This poppy is one of my favorites and is I believe (despite having been trademarked a few years ago by some enterprising and greedy soul) an older variety. I could be wrong, I could be romanticizing the plant simply because I like it. It is somewhat smaller than many modern varieties. It used to grow under a Cercis (redbud) 'Forest Pansy', but I mercifully moved the little tree to a kinder location in open woods, where it has hopefully forgiven me for last year's midseason transplant shock. Its position near the poppy was far too hot and sunny for the genus, I don't know what I was thinking; except that its beautiful red/purple foliage had just the effect I wanted in that location. I replaced it with a dark-leaved Sambucus (Black Negligee? Or some such silly moniker), not as satisfactory but definitely happier in that spot.

I will probably plant fewer plants this season: I have taken a lover - in the form of a second home that my husband Philip and I bought this year on the southern Gulf coast of Florida. We have an acre and a half of land there and we plan to retire there eventually. Now I long to explore this territory which is largely new to me, of tropical coastal gardening. Where I have had to choose plants in New England for their cold-hardiness, now I will be considering salt- and wind-tolerance. I am very eager to get at it - but at this point in our busy lives, we can spend no more than 3 months of the years there; of course we are very lucky to be able to spend as much time as that.