Spring Arrangements & Flowering Plants

After a long winter I love to bring color back into my home as soon as possible. The houseplants have done their duty and brightened the gray days as best they can but now we all want some color!

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When planning your garden or rejuvenating it remember to plan for a variety of sizes, colors, sounds, shapes and textures to provide movement for the eye and a wide variety for bouquets and of course, to support pollinators.

Here are some early spring stars for bouquets that can be used to create the base or backbone of your floral arrangements:

Purple tulip
Tulips

Trees and shrubs – use the branches and flowers: Magnolia, Lilacs, Viburnum, Quince, Andromeda, Forsythia, Fothergilla, Ninebarks ( Physocarpus), Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Spirea, Deutzia, Azalea and Rhododendrons, Redbuds, Mock Orange, Red or Yellow Twig Dogwoods, Corylopsis (Winterhazel), Crabapples, Cherry and Apricot trees.

Magnolia NYBG
Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’ saucer magnolia
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Flowering Cherry
Lilacs Robert Courturier
A Lilac allee’

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Forsythia
Forsythia on the Hudson River at NYBG

Spring flowers that are ideal for arrangements: Peonies, Hyacinths, Tulips, Daffodils, Lilacs, Alliums, Muscari, Pasque Flowers, Frittilaria, Roses, and Ranunculus to name a few!

Muscari
Muscari
Allium
Alliums
Daffodil field- Laurel Ridge
Daffodils as far as the eye can see!
Pasque flower
Pasque flower

Here are my top picks for more spring flowering perennials and bulbs.

Hellebores, Siberian Iris, Primrose, Feverfew, Alliums, Wisteria, Amsonia, Baptisa, Bleeding Hearts, Lady’s Mantle, Epimedium, Roses, Hypericum, Solomon’s Seal, Hosta leaves and Lobelias

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Bleeding Hearts – Dicentra spectabilis
Wickham Park
Siberian Iris

Also, don’t forget veggies when making arrangements.  Think about baby carrots, artichokes and curly kale and parsley.

Maywood-2

I love to pair Siberian Iris, Nepeta, Sage, Allium Globemaster or Gladiator, Amsonia and Baptisa and I mix them with Daylilies, Heuchera and Grasses for all season bloom after the spring flush is done.

Yard
My spring garden

If you want to have flowers for cutting be sure to plant in large drifts not one here and one there. Planning for the next season now will yield you beautiful arrangements all year!

Are you interested in how I created my garden from scratch in just a few months? Here is a link to: Anatomy of a New Garden

Trade Secrets 2017 – Coltsfoot Garden

One of the private gardens open this year for Trade Secrets was Coltsfoot Garden in Cornwall, CT.  This is an enchanting cottage garden that along with the colonial home has been in this family for almost 100 years.  Upon arrival you are immediately dawn in by the multi-colored lilac trees surrounding the garden, the crabapple trees and the surrounding landscape.  This is Litchfield county CT at its finest.

Lilacs

The garden while formal in structure is welcoming and plants are encouraged to self sow wherever they can find a spot.

Coltsfoot Garden-6

There is a newly added second vegetable garden placed closer to the house, surrounded by a picket fence, gravel paths and artful colorscaping of vegetables like asparagus, lettuces, peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers and rhubarbs. Plants are staked using branches and twigs in artful and rustic ways.

Coltsfoot Garden-5

There are perennial gardens framing a neighbor’s old barn featuring boxwood, peonies, crabapple trees, dwarf Alberta Spruce, roses, irises, bachelor buttons, spurge,  and daylilies which create a delightfully soft, uncluttered effect.

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Coltsfoot Garden-3

Gravel paths are created in a geometric pattern to facilitate your winding your way throughout with their edges being blurred by lady’s mantle, nepeta (my favorite plant) and others.

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Coltsfoot Garden-8

This is another garden area with an ingenious method of taming climbing vines. This garden features, raspberries, vegetables, peonies for cut flowers.  I suggest if you love to have cut flowers in your home and hate the idea of cutting in your ornamental beds that you plant a separate area for cutting flowers both perennial and annuals for all season flowers.  Don’t forget to use your greens like hostas, astible,  solomon’s seal, grasses and branches etc. to fill in.

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Coltsfoot Garden-12

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Coltsfoot Garden-10

This couple lovingly maintains the property coaxing dahlias, hydrangeas, lilacs and roses to thrive year after year.  The formal yet informal design of the garden allows for times of not too much fuss!

Thank you to the Hubbard’s for opening their garden to us for Trade Secrets Open Garden Tours 2017. Can’t wait for 2018!

I have written many times over the years about the Trade Secrets event which takes place in mid-May each year.  You can read more about this fabulous event in previous blogs.

Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets GardenTours

Trade Secrets Garden Tours part 2

 

 

 

 

Spring is coming…. but not today!

As I sit by the window watching the first fat snowflakes fall I find an extreme sense of peace.  The snow is so beautiful! Perfect snowflakes in all shapes and sizes blanketing the gardens and keeping my beloved plants safe till spring when it will be time to awaken.

Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings.  Another chance to get it right! A chance to reinvent ourselves to meet our ever changing lives.  I have gone thru several reinventions in my life and I will talk about that another time.

How will you greet the spring … if it ever comes to New England this year?  I am planning to revamp some garden beds and add a few companion plants to bump up the happy co-existence my plants share with the others in the garden.  Hopefully the bunnies and the deer will not interfere with my grand plans!  Each plant effects the next and plays a supporting role to provide beauty for us to appreciate, a source of food for the bees, butterflies and birds or us!  We all have an impact on the ones around us.

How do you see your future? What are your dreams? Stop and assess where you are and where you want to go.  When I started running 6 years ago our team leader gave me wonderful advice that I carry with me into every run and every race. “One step at a time, right foot, left foot!” (Thanks Jody!) Many times when I didn’t think I could take another step I remember that advice.  My dearest friend Nancy told me when you think you can’t go any further “Run faster and you’ll finish sooner”.  I don’t want to run so fast that I forget to enjoy the journey and you shouldn’t either.  There is beauty all around us.  Just stop and notice it.

Spring is coming…… but not today!  Enjoy the  Peonies and Lilacs for now 🙂

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