Saturday, May 23, 2009


No fragrance, almost impossible to work with in flower arrangements, nevertheless, what jolt of beauty in the garden when almost everything is still bare! My four bushes are named, but right now the varieties escape me. I've just enjoyed their flashing, colorful display, mostly from a window as the days were so cold and drizzly. The bushes were covered in color, the branches hanging from their weight of blooms. It is a cliché, I know, but still, what a sight for sore, wintry eyes.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this: whenever I see a magnificent oriental peony [this one is Sangu Kiku] I think of those fantastic Latin American celebrations for girls when they turn fifteen. Yes, I had mine too, and I was tempted to post my pictures here, but really, as time goes on, they become more and more elaborate, expensive, over the top. This peony reminds me not only of my own birthday dance party but of all the skirts and crinolines and ruffles my young aunts wore in the 50's. Christian Dior came up with his 'New Look' after WWII. I wonder if he was inspired by an Oriental peony


Finally the rain has stopped and the gardener must get to work. Backaches will certainly ensue. Deep digging and heavy lifting are not for sissies.
This statue was a surprise gift from Cristina and Freddy de Castro. Freddy thought it  should face not only the garden gate but also the guest room window and so it does.
The truest blessing is cultivating a garden of friends and sharing them with others.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It's been raining for days. Good for the garden; not for the gardener who cannot go out and dig and pull and say hello to her little friends she hasn't seen since last spring. So what's left is to take pictures from the windows or wait for the rain to stop for a few moments and snap a shot or two. The pink lawn is not covered with flowers. Those are the petals of the cherry tree that the rain brought down. The house looks smothered by the viburnum opulus with its green snowballs and the white dogwood that the birds planted by the window. From the house it feels as if you're inside a cloud. The Buda Cat is a constant companion and the birds are not afraid of him. He is a serene reminder of our beloved Percy the Sweet Babboo whom we lost last September. Rain is good. I'd love to see some rainbows, though, and a few rays of sunshine peeking through these clouds.


Nobody is indifferent to green flowers. Some, like me, love them, plant them and use them as much as possible in flower arrangements. Others are incensed if not downright insulted by Mother Nature's blatant lack of common sense. A green flower! Who'd think of such a thing? Leaves are green, but flowers have to be red or pink or yellow or whatever. Here we have three of my favorites. They thrive at Furball Cottage, where nothing is ever coddled and plants have to fight it out. The winner stays. That's always been the plan. Viburnum opulus is bending right now under the weight of so many green snowballs. Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Mariesii' or double-file viburnum is majestic once the flowers turn from green to white and it can be seen from our bedroom at night if there is a full moon [and there will be one at the perfect time this year]. Helleborus orientalis [lenten rose] started blooming in January and is still going strong. There are a gazillion seedlings all around my hellebores. They also will have to fight it out. Whoever wins will need a new home soon enough. Any takers?

Monday, May 4, 2009


Dear, all-knowledgeable about flowers Rene Torres has reminded me that no matter what the 'marchantas' call them in the DR, agapanthus are not lilies. They're summer bulbs. But we knew that, didn't we? When I first did my posting it was like 2:00 in the morning and I called them panthenotis! Thanks to Rene, this has been rectified. Now if he'd really go to the blog Generation Y and see what's happening in Cuba, I'd die happy. Gracias, René. MC
A friend has mentioned that her father used to quote Omar Khayyam often. What a treat! It is also a treat how he is able to fit in Spring, Moses and Jesus in one verse. Was he a Zoroastrian? Was he a Moslem? I know he did much work in algebra, which should be a reason for me to hate him as they had to burn the school to get me out of algebra I. Any comments?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Agapanthus.. Blue blossoms so hard to find. Not much luck in sultry New Jersey, but these were everywhere in Johannesburg, South Africa. Johannesburg is as high as Denver, so I'm wondering if that thinner air would make a difference compared to our unbearably hot and humid summers. Or maybe it's the longer growing season there. The flower vendors in the Dominican Republic call agapanthus Lirio-panty. Panty-lilies, that's something anyone will remember. They are grown in the hills of Jarabacoa and Constanza, so again, lighter air, nicer temperatures.
O love, how green the world, how blue the sky!
And we are living --- living --- you and I!
Ah, when the sun shines and our love is near,
'Tis good to live, and very hard to die.

For spring is here, with all his ancient fires,
Quick with old dreams, and thrilled with new desires,
Vowed to repent, yet sure to sin again --
O leave repentance to your withered sires!
O listen, love, how all the builders sing!
O sap! O song! O green world blossoming!
White as the hand of Moses blooms the thorn,
Sweet as the breath of Jesus comes the spring.
Spring, with the cuckoo-sob deep in his throat,
O'er all the land his thrilling whispers float,
Old earth believes his ancient lies once more,
And runs to meet him in a golden coat.
Omar Khayyam - XI century



About Me

My photo
Moorestown, New Jersey, United States
Let's talk about our gardens. Let's talk about all the flowers and critters that thrive within the confines of our personal paradises. Let's talk about those we love and love us back, although once in a while they scratch us and make us bleed a little. Just to remind us that we are alive. Those roses and cats and people that thrive in our gardens... How important... How important they are...