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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Barb Sawyer's radishes

Hanover gardener Barb Sawyer sent me this photo of a recent windowsill arrangement of hers. LOVE it! But I'm so jealous of the radishes. Why, oh why, didn't I plant some this fall??

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

berry boats

These cobalt blue berries are so extraordinary, but they're usually overlooked because they nestle deep down in tufts of mondo grass. I was determined to give them some "showtime" so I gathered a bunch of them up a couple of days ago and dropped them into cupped holly leaves. Haven't had quite so much fun since I made leaf boats in mud puddles as a child!! Anyway, here are those berry boats sitting under a vase of blue thistle (sea holly) and cryptomeria foliage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

yellow nandina foliage in Japanese vase

This beautiful little vessel, and its slate platform, were gifts from a friend who brought the vase back from Japan. And the little sprig of yellow nandina foilage decorated a gift from another friend. The light streaming in the window and the color of the forsythia outside the window were gifts from Mother Nature. How lucky can I be?!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

thistle in melon-colored vase

The florist calls this blue flower thistle. I call it sea holly, and I have it because I created some wedding bouquets last weekend, and this was left over. The vase came from my daughter, Kate, who sells vases at and was sort of disappointed in the color of this one when it arrived.  Both my photo and the photo in the catalog she ordered it from are inaccurate in their color; the actual color is smokier, but it's a color I love, especially with blue, so it was sort of a miracle that it landed in my kitchen at the same time the thistle/sea holly did.

Friday, December 12, 2014

more leatherwood, with some threaded arborvitae

This is another twig of leatherwood, this time combined with a snippet of some leftover evergreen foliage a friend gave me. The evergreen is some sort of thread-leaved arborvitae--very graceful.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

leatherwood resolution

I'm jumping the gun on New Year's resolutions, but here's one I want to make: I'll look for a source of leatherwood (Cyrilla racemifolia), a native shrub I love and haven't been able to find in nurseries ever since I bought my first one from Burt Shoosmith. Or maybe I'll need to propagate it myself, because I just love this shrub and I've never seen it anywhere other than my own garden and Burt Shoosmith's nursery (which is long gone). It has long white racemes of flowers in the spring and scattered bright red leaves in late fall and early winter. They are just so welcome right about now! Here's a tiny arrangement made with a two leatherwood twigs.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ancient Swiss chard

Gosh, I wish my record-keeping were better. If I took the time, I could probably figure out from my blog how old this chunk of  Swiss chard is. Instead I'll make a guess, which I'm sure is an underestimate: three weeks old since I picked it.  I harvested this thick, almost woody stem of Swiss chard from the vegetable garden because its leaves and stems were so gorgeous. And it has continued to flourish in water -- sort of like a carrot top. Today, two of its leaves were looking ragged, though, so I just tucked them into the coffee mug. The beautiful thing about this is that I could now harvest the healthy leaves to eat if I wanted to.