The Garden Worm blog Digging up the best dirt on gardening!

March 24, 2010

Early Spring

Filed under: Flowers,Spring — Judy @ 7:27 pm

Yes! We’re moving into Spring now. Have spinach, lettuce, and snow peas planted in planters on the deck, the garlic is up about 3 inches in the big veggie garden (but the strawberries are still sleeping), and artichoke and leek seeds are germinating in the greenhouse. We were spoiled last week by almost 70 degree weather, teasing us to come and start cleaning up the yard. We resisted, knowing that Ol’ Man Winter is probably not done with us yet. However, after two days of solid rain, an escape was needed from the house and the gloves, clippers, rake, and wheelbarrow suddenly appeared begging to be put to work!

Mossy rock

Look at this mossy rock! The backlighting from the bright sun shows the spore capsules in wonderful detail. Lots of things are showing their stuff now. Of course, there are the daffodils, looking just about ready to burst forth with their cheery faces.

Early daffodils

Then there are the pussy willows . . .

Pussy Willows

and look at the peach trees! My mouth is already watering just thinking about how luscious those peaches were last year.

Peach tree buds

The Toronto tulips were such a success last year in a container that I planted them again that way – this time on purpose! Don’t you love the red streaks on the leaves?

Toronto tulips

And some of the perennials are starting to poke their heads up. The poppies with their lime-green, fuzzy leaves were quite a surprise to see!

Poppy leaves

Winter was a time for snoozing, for regenerating. Spring is a time for awakening, for a fresh beginning. The sun is bright, the air is crisp, the birds are singing their songs loud and clear and long. Now, where are the peepers?!

March 15, 2010

GardenScape 2010 Recap

Filed under: Shows and Tours — Judy @ 5:11 pm

This year’s theme, “Eye of the Garden,” was certainly delightful as my sister, sister-in-law, and I escaped the rain to take in the smells and scents of GardenScape 2010 a few days ago. GardenScape is an annual indoor event put on by the GardenScape Professionals Association of the Rochester Region. The show has a different theme each year that allows landscape, nursery and garden supply firms a chance to show off their creativity and talent. As for us, we were looking for color, for inspiration, a break from the gray days!

This particular garden had color and a touch of whimsy with a rotating frog with outstretched legs spitting water at the red impatiens! Little birdies perch on a nearby stone.

We were absolutely fascinated with the International Bonsai Arboretum and the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York exhibits. My cousin, Mark Arpag, gave us a tour and background on the various bonsai displayed at the show. He had two in the show with probably, he says, 80 or more in his garage! One of his bonsai was selected for the poster and brochure advertising the upcoming show that the BSUNY is having on May 15-16. He also pointed out William Valavanis whose 2nd US National Bonsai Exhibition will be in Rochester June 12-13th. Mr. Valavanis is an internationally known classical artist of bonsai. Unfortunately, the two pictures below of some of his GardenScape bonsai don’t do justice in any way to these incredible specimens!

Bonsai by W. Valavanis

Bonsai by W. Valavanis

Wisteria bonsai by W. Valavanis

Wisteria bonsai by W. Valavanis

This exhibit of an awesome outdoor fireplace by Twin Oaks Landscape made you want to stay and relax, just like this woman and her husband making a beeline for the chairs.

I found these little stone lights fascinating as an alternative to the usual lights on stakes along a pathway. The rocks are split, the top raised a little, and a light inserted on the inside. They would wash the walkway with enough ambient light to navigate, but not be obtrusive.

Our favorite garden exhibit was by Oriental Garden Supply though. They have all kinds of “rare and unusual” plants, shrubs, trees, and other hardscape features at their nursery and they used (it seemed like) a ton of them in their display. The well-deserved Plantsman’s Cup went to them along with many other medals and awards. How about these two views of the sedum and slate table!

Sedum and slate table

Closer view of slate and sedum table

Don’t you just love the leaves on the variegated sweet gum?

Variegated sweet gum

And this copper miniature landscape dish started putting ideas into our heads.

Copper landscape dish

The Oriental Garden Supply display had all sorts of little vignettes throughout, and the plants and lanterns and fountains were cleverly placed to be seen from any angle. I helped at the display on Sunday and it occurred to me that most people that day were aware of the general overall beauty, but perhaps not the specifics. For example, in this vignette below, look at the juxtaposition of dark versus light, soft texture vs rough, smooth vs crinkles, blue vs red, green vs blue, hard vs soft, variegation vs one solid color. Of course, one couldn’t plant this close together in a real garden, but perhaps you get the idea – that this play of opposites in the garden creates a bit of tension (i.e., interest). Notice too that the band of nine dwarf mugo pines in the center calm the scene and gives your eye a rest from the cacophony around it. So much to look at and consider!

Lantern and azaleas

Although there were numerous other wonderful sights, I leave you with one last image at GardenScape 2010 – of a yukimi or “snow-viewing” lantern. Let’s hope that Spring is on its way!

Yukimi lantern and pine

March 7, 2010

Technicolor Day

Filed under: Creatures,Miscellaneous,Spring,Winter — Judy @ 5:16 pm

Late winter sky

Brilliant sunshine, temps moving into the 40’s – maybe spring is moving northwards? The snowdrops are blooming . . .


and this yin-yang picture of crazy daffodils poking up through the snow and their leaf mulch shows that the snow is receding. Slowly, slowly.

Early daffodils

The dark-eyed juncos have returned now that it has warmed up a tad and it looks like this one is scolding Mrs. Cardinal about how much seed she is consuming.

Cardinal and Junco

A good day to take another trip to Mendon Ponds! In the woods, the little beech glows in the sunlight . . .

Beech in snow

and the rushes are golden.

Through the rushes

The ice is starting to go out of the outlet . . .

Outlet ice

So tell me, is Spring arriving in your neck of the woods yet?

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