Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Primrose Surprise!

It's almost time to harvest the pussy willow and the daffodils are beginning to come on strong in anticipation of ushering in a lamb-like March and what do I find blooming among the the winter-time mulch and layers of fallen, decaying leaves but primroses! The ones blooming in my garden are Primula Vulgaris, a common variety often found lighting up the produce and floral sections of the grocery stores around here.  Come to think of it, I have yet to see them in the grocery stores so far this year.  However, there they are blooming creamy white and bright yellow outside in my herb garden.  Surprise!  What a lovely little surprise they are, too.  While late March into early April is when they usually appear in outdoor gardens, apparently, they could not wait any longer for the first days of spring and decided that this warmer than usual February is as good a time as any to reveal themselves.

The primrose is a hardy herbaceous perennial  with characteristic five-petaled flowers on short stems that are surrounded by crinkly leaves that look a little like lettuce and although they come in a variety of colors ranging from white to purple and even two-toned to three-toned, the sunny yellow hues are often considered the most hardy of the colors.  To me, the yellow reminds me of little sunspots sprouting brilliant rays of lightness to the garden that is just beginning to awaken.  These happy little blooms are also edible, used in salads, preserves, as a garnish and can even be made into a tasty spring wine.

Wild or cultivated, the genus Primula (primrose) has been popular for centuries with not only gardeners who love them in their spring flower borders, but also with poets and authors alike because of the meanings primroses convey.  Shakespeare cited the primrose in several of his works from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to "Hamlet" while his homeland, England, honors this flower with it's own day,  Primrose Day celebrated on April 19, each year, as proclaimed by Queen Victoria back in the 1800's.  How cool is that for a pretty little flower that lives among so many other flowers that could probably be considered way prettier...like for instance an actual rose, the peony or even a lilac?!...Just sayin...

Anyway, in the language of flowers, the primrose represents youth and ardent young love, often conveying the message by the sender that he/she "cannot live" without the one the primrose is being presented to.  Being one of the earliest spring bloomers, the word primrose comes from medieval English as well as Old French, meaning "first rose"  and can also represent the concept of "womanhood."  Very apropos for a hardy, yet lacy, early bloomer that can bring beauty to a windowsill, easily grace a tabletop and even fill a room with the sweet scent of spring.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Start of Something New, Part 2

One year ago, this week, a big lavender truck came trundling down our road and stopped a Blooming Hill, delivering our little garden shop, all ready to be built.  Immediately, we got to work building it. Well, Peter got to work and I supervised...Somebody had to! Then we stocked it with lots and lots of cool garden things and opened for business at the end of April.We talked a lot of  lavender and garden design and all things garden related and we did a lot of gardening, too!  We welcomed many friends and guests, both old and new, through the spring, summer and fall and right up until Christmas,  Then, we closed for the season to get recharged for the 2012 year in our gardens and gift shop. 

So, as we get closer to Friday, April 13 (That's right...I am crossing my fingers) when we reopen for the 2012 year in our gardens, you may be wondering, "What's new here at Blooming Hill?"  Surprise!...We launched our new web site appropriately named,  www.bloominghillva.com to compliment our garden business and enhance my blog by reaching out to more people.  I would love for you to just stop by www.bloominghillva.com and let me know what you think.  I hope you like it and I hope you still tune in to my weekly blog, right here, and stay in touch.

2011 was good to us in so many ways and much of the credit belongs to you my readers and friends and even though I write a little like some kind of  "Mary Sunshine" character, it's because I believe happiness is where you find it and I happen to find mine right here at Blooming Hill.  So, if I can spread a little heartedness, that's what I aim to do because, as we all know, sadness has no problem finding us at the most inconvenient of times.

Anyway, come and celebrate with us as we launch our brand new web site, www.bloominghillva.com and see you soon, at Blooming Hill.  We'll be here rain or shine, online or off, in the gardens or in the shop.  We've come a long way, baby in one year's time.  Tell me what you think.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you.