Friday, May 21, 2010

Joanies Cecil Brunner Rose

Approaching this glorious climbing rose, one might view it as a thug, a tangled bevy of thorns, or simply spectacular! I am of the latter thought. When I started my biz here in Edmonds this climbing rose was swallowing the back porch with its layers of greens. Its companion in the knot garden was closing in on the bathroom window, perched on the second story of the house. Joan, the Weed Lady, who planted this rose, would pick these precious flowers in bud form and string them into garlands, make potpourri, and shared them willingly with those who stood long enough to admire it. The rose is scented unlike any other....Some mornings, it's scent captures my thoughts before I am even through the gate. Sweet yet peppery, this tiny, thumb-nail sized pink rose will steal your heart. Perfect in bud, smashing in mid blossom, and even wonderful in repose, Cecil Brunner is a rose to complete any garden. But I will warn to respect this beauty. Cecil is a harsh mistress. Today I enjoy the tales told about this rose and giving her away to those who pause long enough to enjoy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meet "Quiz"..........

Meet "Quiz", our new shop cat. This little tommy arrived on the property with sad green eyes and a cry to melt the coldest heart. He quickly liked to torment me but not letting me touch him. But I quickly realized that maybe not touching this little guy was for the best. As the days slipped into weeks, I saw signs of malnutrition and loneliness. Customers would try to catch him and his little back legs weren't working well with his front legs. I had had enough. I stopped by the store and picked up good soft cat food and grabbed a blanket to make him a bed. Soon this little cracker with waiting for me in the mornings as I'd drive into the Nursery. He's a good little eater and his little body is slowly filling out. I'm not sure where he came from or where he is going....he is a riddle, a puzzle or a Quiz.... our new addition to the shop.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Herb Lovage.

A tall harvest for the timid gardener. To be known as the grower of the "love parsley" might give you an interesting reputation. It is not a common herb. Grow Lovage as an extra herb and to prove that you can really grow something BIG. Giant sized Lovage is a native to the Mediterranean. In Britain it grows wild in the country sides. Greeks and Romans considered it a pleasant medicinal herb. When herbal perfumes were the rage, it was an enjoyable bath cologne. Lovage has beneficial effects and soothing qualities during intestinal upset. But I like it best plucked from the plant and popped into my mouth. It has a celery flavor with a peppery back. Mature leaves are best on a pastrami sandwich and can reach the size of a small leaf lettuce. Its a back of the border perennial reaching 6 feet tall. Available in 4 inch containers. $3.95 each

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Antique Rose 'La Marne"

The rose that greets every customer entering the shop is known to few as La Marne. This antique cultivar is one of those heirlooms that is lost to many but found by those seeking it's beauty and hardiness. A transplant from Europe in 1915 is the perfect hedge rose. It has a neat and erect bush habit, heavily covered in healthy, shiny foliage. It's a constant bloomer. Not a technical term by any means, but the truth! This little cracker has bloomed well into the first snow and photographed by Joannie the Weed Lady who loved and sold this rose and its buds for years. La Marne flowers are born on loose cluster and its color shows best in morning light. The shrub responds best in open, sunny areas vs shade. I defoliate this shrub in early winter on one of those incredibly sunny winter days in Seattle/Edmonds. Then early Spring I prune it to a stout "V" shape and sit back for the show. Blooming now along the walk up to the shop, I'd challenge anyone to resist this little charmer. Cuttings of this rose will arrive at Bountiful Home this Summer for purchase. Get one!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Junk Fence

A little more then three years ago, as I was dreaming of opening Bountiful Home, I had many sleepless nights. Tossing and turning, I'd wake to rethink the dreams I was actively dreaming. On one of those crazy sleepless nights I woke up to see the image of a fence made of other folks cast offs. I saw old bed springs as arbor roofs, glass doors, windows and screen doors as fence sections. Light fixtures turned up on end became planted containers, now adorning the fence, boasting sedums of many sorts. Pickets, lattice, drip pans and mirrors found new homes on the fence. The found objects have become signature in the shop as well as around the gardens. So one man's junk can be an other's treasure. Looking to make something wonderful out of the ordinary, can be an art and a joy. The experience of building it was wonderful and the garden that sits in front of the junk fence is a treat. Wine bottle borders, rusty bolts bouquets and metal rings from broken down whiskey barrels find themselves nestled into a hardy bunch of my favorite plants. The junk fence offers inspiration for all who seek greater joys to live by.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My May Day ....

Saturday morning I got to the shop a bit earlier then usual to find a timeless greeting hanging from the front door knob of the shop. It stopped me in my tracks and then I smiled knowing exactly who it had come from.
A May Day basket is a .... simple gesture of "Hello," or "I love you"...."I'm thinking of you!" This tradition of greeting Spring, adorning someones door knob, and passing on good wishes is a fleeting art. Growing up I remember my great Aunt lived next door to us and every May Day I made a construction paper basket, and then race home to fill it from Mothers rockery now blooming with endless color. Forget Me Nots, Scillia, and Basket of Gold would fill the flimsy paper basket now drooping with wet stems. I'd race thru the garden gate and sneak towards Auntie Cecil's door. Sliding back her screen door I would proudly hang this funny little basket of love on her door.
Saturday, as the day went on, several customers who I have come to know from the shop entered bearing small gift from their gardens or sharing seeds of joy. "Love in a mist" seeds and "sweet pea" seeds accompanied warm thoughts of kindness. And if you think you missed it?.... Think again. You still have time to adorn and surprise an unsuspecting friend or neighbors door with flowers and thoughts of Spring.....and Oh, by the way! Thank you Joannie the Weed Lady for the May Day Basket!