Monday, April 30, 2012

Flowers In La Casa Primavera

Sunday. In the house?

The flowers were the least of it.

The house was full of visitors from San Francisco and Switzerland.  They came to see the garden and hold the baby.  The sun shone, the baby chortled and we dragged all the chairs from the house and squeezed around the outside table for hours of eating, talking and dog whispering.

Before they came we brought the garden inside.  GG trimmed the fig tree to allow for easy passage and I filled a vase with the branches.  Instant buffet piece.

The window box was cleaned of its greens to allow for tasty eating.

Peonies were tucked about.


And irises were placed in nooks and crannies not so as to be seen but rather smelled.

(Yes that is grape soda you're smelling)


And right after they left, just before we fell into a deep nap, I got the money shot.  The picture that lets you fall asleep with a smile on your lips knowing all is right with the world.

The very heart of the tree peony.

And now? Your house?  Flowers?
Let's take a peek, shall we?

Friday, April 27, 2012

It Was A Very Good Year

Though I had hoped to have a 10 things list up for you last night, the beautiful pictures were too big for blogger to upload.  We're working on that.

We're also working in the garden.  Not as hard as the weigela or the baby love roses, both having a spectacular year. 

The red charm peonies are ready for picking and the Spanish lavender is stopping traffic on our little street.

All of this a prelude to the coming Monday.  Flowers In The House Monday.  Cut 'em from your garden or terrace.  Buy them at your independently owned flower shop or greengrocer.

But join us in a spring floral chain on the last day of April and help me celebrate 6 months cigarette free!

Breathe. Release. Repeat.  For real.

xo Jane

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Week In Review

Well it's not as though I've just been lying about reading the hunger games.

There was the gym and Zumba.  Mr. Baby or,the little pasha I like to call him now, dropped by on Wednesday.

There was the unforseen bobbing of the hair on Thursday afternoon.

Oh,and a ban on computer use after 10:00PM.  

And work; weddings.  The garden: weeding.  

And today, Sunday?  No sun at all. Much needed rain instead.

Trip to the farm rainchecked.

There might be a pedicure and or movie.  There is the gym.  And the possibility of a nap.

And a visit to see what you've been up to.

Much needed rain indeed:-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just Another Manic Monday

Just a quick hello.  GG has taken the day off so we'll be enjoying another morning of boot camp gardening.

At least we won't have to stop at noon as we did yesterday so I could run to the gym for an hour with Andrew.

Stop working out so we can work out?  Curious.

Saturday was a blur of activity:  adding ribbons to bouquets, packing all and then hauling them and the centerpieces up the steps from the basement to the van.  Up a long stairway.  21 pieces for one wedding not including the cake bottles. 42 for the gala.  11 For the other wedding. That's a lot of up and down.  Gwen and I kept trying to do the math and figure out how many trips we'd be taking but some only carried one at a time(me) others two in a small bread tray.  Variable math is not my strong point but I love that I kept trying to work the numbers out. Self soothing:-)

So a few shots, a bit of  the all Coral Charm peony bouquet. The bridesmaids carried all vodoo roses.

And after the simplicity of the bouquets, the centerpieces and buffet arrangements were full of color and movement and sweetness. They had brought us a case of empty coke bottles to fill with loose stems for the cocktail tables and buffets. Did they drink 36 bottles or pour them down the drain?  I didn't dare to ask.

I am being served an incredible looking and smelling breakfast burrito here so it's time to run.  She's fattening me up for our own private hunger games in the back yard.

90degrees here today.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

This Is How We Roll

Two weddings and a gala.  What the hell was I thinking?  I take the appointments, I write the proposals. I order the flowers and then what?  The weekend comes and we have to do all the work.

Just say no Jane.

And then you arrive home all dirty and tired and find out you have half a hour to get into the city to a birthday party.

But you don't panic because you are both a gardener and a blogger so you unearth a sweet casserole from some GoodWill trip, send GG out into the garden with a trowel and Voila!

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Off to the coal mines wish us luck.

xo Jane

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Behind The Scenes At The Museum

Who said my weeds weren't as bad as her weeds?  Oh right , Karin.

What do you think now?  Can you see the one small area I cleared?  All the rest are weeds.  Chickweed, duckweed, sow thistle, bindweed. I could wax poetic about these pests all day but we're off to zumba momentito.

And I couldn't resist this shot.  Does anyone remember we have the roommate? Sweetest guy but with serious stacking issues.  Round ball in square hole issues.  I always tell my workmates when he unloads the dishwasher it looks a scene from a Dr. Seuss book. They think I exaggerate.

Never.  Here's a picture of some of his food stacked up in the pantry.

You can't make this kind of stuff up;-)

May I hear from the rest of your gardeners?  How do your weeds grow?

And your comestibles stack?

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Winds Are In From Africa

The 30 mile an hour winds are whipping through the house and thrusting me out into the garden to begin the weeding of the back yard berm and  beds.  They are in shameful condition.  No pictures will be taken.

Here goes my right shoulder.  Expect mention of a massage or chiropractor in days to come.

While GG and I were enjoying a sodium filled Easter lunch with friends and their family, our family was meeting with a visiting member.

Emil's great grandmother is visiting from India.  Apparently it was mutual love at first sight.

Guess we'll have to wait till Wednesday night so he can tell us all about it:-)

(Sorry Nirmal for using a picture of you but at least it isn't poster sized)

(PPS GG sorry about the baptisia, but you know I weed like Shiva.I'm sure it will be back next year)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ten Things I Can't Live Without: LotteAndBloom

 This is a treat. A chance to turn the tables on Lotte who interviewed every florist on earth  by asking such serious questions as "what is your favorite tipple" or "what is your worst habit"? The world hung on the answers.
If you know her blog you're already smiling and if you are new to the world internet and haven't read her yet hurry over.
 Her flowers are dreamy, her posts are alternately amusing, informative or decorative. Much as i imagine her to be.  Enjoy.
In her words:
 1. my husband. i first met him when i was 15. together we've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. our two little girls are the apple of my eye and a baby boy is joining the crew in may. i can't wait.
anyway, onto the shallower no particular order...

2. travel
it can be so life-changing and inspiring. it challenges me, feeds my curiosity and is something i come back to again and again.

3. the internet.
i admit it. i spend a considerable amount of time on the internet. is that bad?

4. food
i love eating good food and cooking. i'm really quite greedy.

5. riding my bike
not happening as much as i'd like at the moment but there's nothing quite as liberating as pedaling too fast down a hill.

6. bath
i bought an old rolltop bath and had it fixed up in the corner of my bedroom. it's the most wonderful thing after a long day at work to shut the door and soak for an hour with a magazine and gin and tonic.

7. my camera
for as long as i can remember i've loved taking pictures and looking at pictures.

8. flowers
they're such life-affirming things, it's a real blessing to have them in my life as much as i do. making flowers and running my business gives me a creative outlet i don't think i'd find anywhere else.

9. car boot sales
this has actually become more of an affliction. if i don't go then i have a gnawing sense of unease: what if i missed something great? now i've realised it's easier to just drag myself out of bed on a sunday morning and go.

10. good secateurs
i used to work in a shop that had the worst tools in the world. the scissors were used to cut EVERYTHING: flower stems, shrubs, wire, paper, a result they were utterly blunt and useless. it used to drive me crazy. i'm a bit weird now about having good scissors for each job that are kept sharp. these are my favourite secateurs and they rarely leave my side. they glide through anything and are such a pleasure to use.

Lotte, one more good reason to save our pennies and hurry across the pond.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten

As I write this GG is up in a tree in the backyard.  I'm not looking.  But the door is open so I can hear her scream if she needs help.

We lost many plants over this past year.  Miss Kim, our sweet little lilac: RIP. Drought 2011.

A Carolina jasmine growing on the chain link fence since 2002: executed by a weed wacker yielded by next door neighbor.  Severed at the root.

A ga-huge Japanese pussywillow rooted and grown by GG  and planted in the back yard 2006: Dead.  Drought?

 A crepe myrtle, here when I came.  Faithful bloomer, needing no care. Split at root base. Dead as a doornail. 
Commonly thought to be indestructible here in Virgina.  Not in this yard. We're breaking records here.

The last of the woodland azaleas, a pinxter azalea .  I once had two, now I have none.  It was too dry and sunny here, but they struggled to live for 12 years.  They will be missed.

There are other holes in the beds where campanula and anemones bloomed.  They bloom no more.

But every time we cut down a vine or take down the limbs of a tree, new vistas open up and the garden is rethought.

Well except for the crepe myrtle.....that I'm going to miss.  And it won't be quick to come down I fear.

But the rest, to my surprise, I'm delighted.  Glass half full.. 

The garden now has room to grow.

 And judging from these few pictures I took this afternoon, a little breathing room would not go amiss.

xo Jane

Monday, April 2, 2012


Friday night at the gym with the trainer.  " Let's do the whole body" suggested Andrew.  " Great", I enthused , thus ensuring pain in every part of my body for the entire weekend.  But just in case this wasn't enough...

Sunday at home with GG.  Pitchforks in hand, let's go load up the truck with mulch, come home, edge the front beds, cut down the Autumn blooming clematis and the strangely dead Carolina jasmine.  Let's weed, dig up and replant those mystery lilies, move newly sprouted bronze fennel to the front beds and cover everything with a fragrant layer of leaf mulch.

Let's start at 11:00am and finally attempt to straighten up slowly, painfully, almost Neanderthal in appearance about 7:00pm.

 But hey, the sun was shining, the birds singing as if auditioning for a Disney film, the strawberries blooming, the herbs growing, the blueberries berrying.

As Diana Vreeland used to say:

"Why not"?