Monday, February 28, 2011

Cat Nappin

Today started with a beautiful sunny sky...

Which turned into black storm clouds,

CRAZY torrential downpours & tornado warnings,

And has continued to be gray and drizzly.

Oh spring, why must you tempt me!

I wish I could just do a little cat nappin like my little loves at home...

Rough life!!

Happy Monday!  *Amy

Monday, February 21, 2011

By George...I think he's got it!

George Washington that is...Happy President's Day!  I know many of you have the day off (not I) so I thought it'd be a great opportunity to showcase some of our first President's gardening skills!

Here's a quick lay of the land:

Image from here
George Washington (Born: February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, VA– Died: December 14, 1799 at his home Mt. Vernon, VA) was President from April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797.  During this time he had quite a full to-do list.  Imagine what he could have accomplished with a blackberry and facebook!

I found it fascinating that his occupation is listed as both Farmer (planter) and soldier.  What a humble guy!  We are lucky enough to live about 15 miles from his home Mount Vernon, a beautifully restored estate on the banks of the Potomac River just outside Washington, DC and have made multiple visits through every season.  (Thanks Mom and Dad for the year passes!)  His gardens are nothing short of stunning and the care and forethought that went into planning them quite meticulous.

Beautiful image of the front of Mt. Vernon taken by David Paul Ohmer @flickr
From Mount Vernon's Website you can lean more about each of his gardens, but here's a quick rundown:

Pleasure Garden - The boxwood garden is certainly a key element in this garden, although I think the beautiful blooming annuals, perennials, bulbs and trees help make this area of the garden a beautiful visit year round.

Image from here
Kitchen Garden - Close to the house for easy access this garden was a favorite of his wife Martha's.  They grew an abundance of herbs, fruits and vegetables.  Although it's a complex garden to plan and plant I love the simple, organized layout!
Image from here
Botanical Garden - This area of his property was devoted to growing plants and seeds given to him as gifts from friends and admirers often in foreign countries.
Fruit Garden & Nursery - The orchard he planted provided enough fruit for his estate nearly six months out of the year!  By using his plant knowledge to screen his fruit bearing trees with a thorny honeylocust tree he was able to prevent his crop from being eaten by animals.  This is a trend that is coming back into style and is called companion plantings.
I love this quote from our founding father:
"It will not be doubted, that with reference either to individual, or National Welfare, Agriculture is of primary importance. In proportions as Nations advance in population, and other circumstances of maturity, this truth becomes more apparent; and renders the cultivation of the soil more and more, an object of public patronage. "  -George Washington

(Eighth Annual Address to Congress, December 7, 1796)
I hope you've been inspired to perhaps plan or tend to a garden of your own this season!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day

MIA again this week-ugh, I don't know how you bloggers do it so consistently.  Please, please share your insider secrets!!  Do you plan posts so you have backups?  Do you write daily, nightly?  Apparently I need to pull it together!

I do have a good reason for not blogging, I was about 3,000 roses deep-yes, Valentine's Day.  We have a floral area in our stores and I am lucky enough to help out when they need it, and need me they did!  Getting these bad boys in water, stripping their leaves, de-thorning them, cutting them to size and water tubing them for transport to their lucky new homes is quite a process!!  But one I was thrilled to work on.
Gorgeous mix of roses we got in for Valentine's Day!
Freedom Roses
Green Tea Roses

Here are few photos of one of the arrangements I made for Valentine's Day
 Antique Hydrangea, Yellow Freesia, White Rose with Pink tinged edges, White Mini Calla Lily
 White Rose with Pink tinged edges, Pink Protea, Yellow Freesia, Green Tea Roses
The ribbon was pink (not purple) as it looks in the photo, sorry for the bad light!  I was just happy to be cranking out arrangements and remembering to take photos!

I did take some beauties of my own home, gotta love a husband that says "Just make whatever you want honey."  I'll ask them to pose for photos tonight.  So check in tomorrow, they include one of my FAVORITE flowers-which is saying a lot...

Did you do something special or was it just another Hallmark day?


Monday, February 7, 2011

Boulder Walls

I have had some requests for "finished" wall photos from my job around Christmas-sorry life has been a little crazy as of late.  To me there is no such thing as finished...I'm sure any other designers understand.  There is always adding of plants, tweaking of stones, additional patios, or seating areas, steps, etc...BUT, both myself and the customer are thrilled with what's been completed thus far, take a look and let me know what you think!
Looking back at the house, this is the upper wall 
Upper and middle walls
Close-up of the stones, I asked the guys to stagger the stones so they could be used as seating, this is roughly 19" above grade, perfect butt height! 
Side view of upper two walls with level area in between-future patio site?? 
Photo from rear of property, lowest wall in foreground then upper two in background 

We still have plantings to do (hopefully this spring), so I will post more photos as we progress, but for now this is the "finished" project.

Do you have a tricky yard?  I'm always up for new projects!