So we have a few Senorita Blanca cleome, a flat of Blue Horizon ageratum, several Black & Blue salvia, cosmos, lime-green nicotiana, purplish-red celosia. A couple of six packs of a brilliant salvia, pale yellow marigolds and ? bachelor’s button.
What fun I’M going to have figuring out where these go!!
Shopping at Soares yesterday for a client’s plants, I came across this lovely, appropriately positioned just by the entrance! Pale purple, with a yellow center on each petal, and just plain adorable. So adorable, I called the client and suggested she might want one, too!
Most of my hydrangeas have blessedly come into my life as hand-me-overs. But here was a chance to BUY one—-too beautiful to pass by.
Tuff Stuff is its name. And when I hurried her home last evening, the challenge became where best to show her off. She gets 2-3 by 2-3. Can’t wait to settle her in later today.
When I installed an oversized window in the front of my house, letting in lots of beautiful light, I found myself feeling a little “exposed” to the outside world. And I really didn’t want to look out across the street to my neighbor’s yard. The decision to buy great blinds was very effective for the nighttime. But I needed something more for the day.
I turned to a fellow plant person for some advice. She suggested a Japanese Snowbell, or Styrax japonicus, as I wanted a tree that only grew to a certain size, to go with my rather small house. I wasn’t familiar with the tree but I took a chance.
And here she is, two years later, strutting her stuff and doing a swell job: providing me with beauty to view and a “curtain” against the world. And she’s getting prettier every day! You can grow your own view, too.
The yellow of this spirea and the lime green of the hosta are perfect companions for the lupine as it opens, just picking up the tip of the flower. Simple and elegant.
This large holly had been pruned into a tight mass over years of shearing. My client wanted my opinion on removing it.
I asked her if she’d let me “open it up”, reveal the truck and also give her a view from her kitchen window! She’d still have the privacy and we could save the tree.
It was interesting and challenging, especially getting up inside the tree. And then I was able to approach from the top because of the flat roof. To accomplish this style of pruning, I find it critical to regularly step back and look at the tree from all angles, as it could be pretty easy to mistakenly lop off the wrong branch and end up with a gaping, bare spot. (Like making other decisions in life, which cannot be undone.)
I was thrilled that she was happy with the results. And I love that she allowed me to do this for her—and for the tree.
One before picture, two after.
While inside a new client’s home this week, I noticed that telltale “beeping” noise that usually is a result of battery failure in an alarm. So I asked her about it. Had she checked out that nearby ceiling smoke alarm in the foyer? It had been checked and actually was hard-wired. I thought maybe there was a battery backup. She said no.
I took a few minutes to listen, allowing for echo effects. She had been prepared to call in the electrician to resolve the problem. So she didn’t mind a little help from me.
Crouching by a sidetable, looking underneath, seeing nothing, I asked her to open the drawer. Inside was a carbon monoxide detector mechanism. The culprit was found! Her niece had been searching for that sound all winter while housesitting. Batteries removed, beeping thwarted.
I think she was a little impressed with my persistence and solving her issue. While probably saving her a nice chunk of change, I think I brought a little more peace to her day. And that’s what I like to do.
Here’s a reminder as you weed and edit your gardens.
See how similar these two plants appear? I almost dug out both of them until I became more aware!
The plant on the left and below IS a weed. The upper plant is NOT. The upright twigs from last year’s growth was the clue. And nearby were two similar plants. A group of three. Whew! So be careful and pay attention. Because sometimes in the garden (and in life) what you think is a weed—is not.