Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First day of spring ...

A snow garden by Heimlichs Nursery at the
2013 Boston Flower and Garden Show.

Who else is in denial that winter is not leaving New England without a fight? I think we are all getting a bit tired of posting pretty pictures of snow covered landscapes. Lets just pretend that spring will actually start on March 20th as scheduled ...  

It felt like spring last week at the Lynnfield Library during the annual Art in Bloom exhibit. As a member of the Village Home and Garden Club, I was asked to interpret a work of art with fresh flowers. My particular inspiration piece was a vibrant cut paper collage titled “Nicaraguan Volcano by Lynnfield high school student Alisha Fodera. I loved her mix of colors: lemon yellow, ocean blue, and emerald green.

The arrangements that I created for the show appeared (by complete chance) to be both submerged and rising out of the library provided cube-stacked pedestal that I draped with a delicate light blue wrap. Yellow tulips and green Bells of Ireland burst boldly from cylinder shaped glass vessels. The centerpiece of the arrangement was a plant form called “kokedama.” We were taught how to make these at our last club meeting. 

Plant root systems are wrapped in a clay-based bonsai soil (akadama) then wrapped in moss and bound with twine to create a living container. Typically the moss ball is more rounded, but mine ended up looking more like a triangle, which actually made it an ideal stand-in for the image of the volcano. Thank you, Laura Thomson, for introducing us to this unusual technique which we were told is all over Pinterest these days.

On Sunday I attended the Boston Flower and Garden Show and saw kokedamas on display. They were nice and round (although they looked a bit dry – they are watered by either submerging the ball in a dish of water or misting them daily) and inside of each of these was a paperwhite bulb. Kind of a cool idea to create a surprise garden starting with bulbs as opposed to a grown plant like we did (mine is home to traditional ivy).

paperwhite bulbs at the Boston Flower and Garden Show

boxwood, daffodils, Jacob’s ladder, ferns, azaleas

There were lots of bulb and woodland gardens at the flower show. These first-up favorites say spring to me. 

I will be borrowing this idea for my backyard this summer for sure! Vertical containers made out of aluminum air ducts hold twig gardens and sphagnum moss. Finally a way to make my husbands HVAC supplies look fabulous! Love it!  

large leaf hostas, curly willow, fern, vinca // Crystal Brinson

Gardens are more than just plants ... stepping stones and rocks add interest to a predominantly green shade garden at the show.

forsythia, gerbera daisy, Italian ryegrass, birch, ivy, billy balls 

The show had plenty of garden club variety arrangements, too. This was one of my favorite constructions titled “For the Love of the Game – Tennis” by Andrea Graveline of the Hopkington Garden Club. It won a blue and red ribbon for creativity and design. Playful!

This birthday party theme table top arrangement was designed by members of the Wareham Garden Club. I could appreciate their explanation: “Life for a six-year old boy can be a piece of cake, but often looks like a circus!” Yeah, I can attest to that.

Serenity! If you have trouble growing gardens, why not try starting a collection of moss covered rocks? They are basicaly maintenance-free and verdantly gorgeous, too. And you won’t find a quicker growing plant to go with them then bamboo. This minimal landscape, artfully arranged, makes gardening look like a simple task.

Japanese garden by members of the Newport Flower Show

If you don’t have a lot of room or time, you could start your garden out really small like this Japanese rock garden which was just a few feet across. Sweet. I think I will make one of these in my patio area. I have plenty of moss, ferns, and pea stone. I love a cost-free plan that isn’t labor-intensive.

design by Hiroko Matsuyama and Keiko Thayer // Ohara School

I am totally into vertical gardens lately. White mitsumata branches are striking in this Ikebana display (Japanese art of flower arranging) when combined with camellia leaves, yellow oncidium orchids and dripping amaranthus caudatus ‘Rosary.’ Thankfully names of plants and materials used are posted beside each arrangement! 

More vertical fabulousness. Electrical pipe curls and grows out of a white rocked stream surrounded by dwarf mugo pine and spritely English daisies. This flowing sculpture garden is titled “Beneath and is inspired by the forms and textures found on the ocean floor. Delightful!

This year I vow to give my garden the attention it deserves. I have been completely inspired! How about you?

1 comment:

  1. Totally inspired! Now if only I can find my garden under all this snow....!


Thanks for visiting! I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s post. Please note: all comments will be reviewed before being published to protect readers from spam. Thank you!