Saturday, October 29, 2011


In they filed, all attitude; boredom written all over their young faces.  Five girls and two boys.  A snowy morning in October and they're stuck in a Sunday School classroom instead  of  being cozy at home in their pajamas.  Two church ladies waiting for them with two toilet plungers stuck in plaster of Paris.  No beginning could have been less exciting.  Breaking the ice took some doing.  Talk of color wheels or elements of floral design was not even considered.  Hands-on would be more like it.  "Volunteers" selected, ideas shared, a great plopping accident - broken oasis ball - a very good example of "be prepared because stuff will happen".  Hot glue guns, Spanish moss, coiled moss converting the plungers into something like nests... Uhm... maybe this isn't so bad after all...  One of the comments:  "We have flowers in church every Sunday?  I never noticed".      
Less than two hours later this group had created two magnificent arrangements to decorate the Sanctuary where they were confirmed on Sunday.  They were so proud of their achievement!  They accomplished this with very little guidance from the "church ladies". 

What never ceases to fascinate me is how the boys, who are always so reluctant to get involved with flowers, are the ones who really become serious about it. 

I have a feeling that from now on these young men and women will notice the flowers in the Sanctuary. 

Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday, October 8, 2011


A summer Saturday full of fun.  Gardens to visit and judge and enjoy.  Good company.  Three 'girls' running around the Philadelphia area, stopping at yard sales and even at a salvage store.  Finding treasures in unexpected places.  A little community church fundraising on the sidewalk in one of those almost scary neighborhoods, but not to worry, girls, you're with me, a smile, a couple of friendly words in Spanish and... what's that over there??? It's blue!  It's cobalt blue!  Yes, and we're selling it for cinco dólares.  Oh joy!  Of course you're coming home with me, blue bottle, I'll find a place for you among all the other blue glass that accentuates nature at Furball Cottage.  The choice was right.  It's been a happy summer.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


This post is dedicated to Pedro Genaro Rodriguez, aka "Flamingo Man".  
OK, one plastic pink flamingo is definitely a garden no-no, but A FLOCK is a statement.  Ironic?  Fun?  Whatever.  Found them at K-Mart.  End of season cheap.  Had to bring them to Furball Cottage.  Almost got served divorce papers by the purist in my life.  He said they had to migrate south, pronto.  Then I showed him the box.  Made in the USA, in Atlanta, to be specific.  How many things at K-Mart are made in the USA?  Begrudgingly they're staying in the marsh for now.  They'll spend the winter in the garden shed and come spring... well, what if I count them as part of the Great Migration and send the numbers to the Cape May Bird Observatory?  After all, they're American birds.  And yes, they're staying.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Rosa Mr. Lincoln

Sniffle, cough, hack, sniffle, sneeze, shivers, feverish...  That was me last Tuesday.  A drizzling, cold, gray day.  What old ladies in Britan call "filthy weather'.  Running from the car to the front door I was greeted by a magnificent view!  The Mr. Lincolns that grow by the grace of God without much care from  this gardener were offering me a show of warmth, color and grace in the midst of all that misery.  Ran into the house, grabbed the secateurs, put on the slicker and wellies and ran back into the garden before the glorious color could be damaged by the threatening thunderstorms.  Glad I did, oh yes, so glad.  They have been my comfort and joy for the last two days while I wallow in bed with the flu and thunderstoms and even a small tornado rage outside.  Thank you, Mr. Lincoln, after all these years you still know how to deliver peace and harmony to a disrupted world.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Rooting through an old folder I discovered this postcard of the Philadelphia Flower Show.  It must be at least 20 years old as the show was still at the old -now demolished- Civic Center in University City.  Those were the days of the escalator that brought the crowds down from the icky winter weather into a magic realm of fragrance and color.  Nobody who experienced it will ever forget it.  Little did I suspect then that one day I'd be the Chair of Competitive Classes or that my garden club would win the first perfect score in the history of the Flower Show.  Which reminds me... I must keep on rooting around to find the pictures of that great exhibit "El Patio de Carmelita" and share it here.  And the little green shed that appears on this postcard?  It's still the background, after all these years, of the Tulip Society's exhibit.  Year after year.  Never changing and always different.  That's the power of flowers.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


You know that winter is getting to you when you start looking for shapes in the icicles.  I'm glad I found you, little horse, you remind me of the great chalk figures that dot the hills of Britain.  Maybe one icy day a couple of millennia ago a woman was as tired of winter as I am, she looked out of her cave and there you were!  A perfect ice horse!  She kept your image in the back of her mind and started working on your portrait on a magnificent scale as soon as the thaw was over.  Then, many, many centuries later, perhaps a man named Pablo saw your very simple lines on an icy Paris day and thought of portraying your simplicity.  Nature.  Ice.  Dead of winter.   Art. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Second Sunday of the Epiphany season.  Celebrating the Baptism of Jesus.   Of course you need white flowers.  Of course they have to look like they're praising the Lord.  Of course you have to find them in the middle of a snowstorm and take them to church while slipping and sliding.  This tropical flower was able to do all that and shovel the driveway to boot!  The mums are like starbursts or fireworks.  To counterbalance the stiffness of the stems, bells of ireland, that curve in whatever direction they want and there's no controlling them and variegated liriope (lilyturf) leaves which are very stiff until you stroke them gently for a little while, then they become supple, pliable, curvy and interesting. No snide remarks, please,  this is a Church arrangement.  An airy arrangement with lots of negative space to fill the air with song.   I do believe that it looks like a prayer, like praise, like thanks.  Amen.



About Me

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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...