Friday, June 28, 2013

U-Pick Lavender at Blooming Hill

We have had such a great spring that lavender is blooming up all over the place here at Blooming Hill...Hey, maybe that's we call ourselves Blooming Hill!!  U-Pick lavender starts today, June 28 and will go into July Fridays and Saturdays while supply lasts.  We have 'Grosso', 'Provence' and 'Royal Purple' varieties ready for you to pick and ribbon up yourself.  'Provence' and 'Royal Purple' are culinary varieties, as well.  Come and enjoy the beautiful day and pretty gardens and hum along with the bees as they flit from stem to stem.  Just don't grab one of those bees...they really don't care for that!...Trust me, I know from where I speak.

Anyway, make a (or several, whatever you prefer) bouquet by filling up a Ball Jar for $12.00.  Minus the Ball Jar, of course...sorry...they are supplied here to assist you in making your bundle of lavender, approximately 150 stems, the prettiest it can be.  If you don't want to pick that lavender, we have freshly picked bundles all ready to go as well.  Stop by.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Colors of the Season--What's Trending (Growing) Now

Red Rose and Sun Drop hosiery compliment flow blue high heels.
It's Fashion Week here in the Blooming Hill Gardens.  Come to think of it, every week is fashion week here from early spring to frost.  Okay, okay--it may not be exactly what we all think of when it comes to fashion week but the warmer months, especially June, bring out the season's brights, pastels, prints and textures that rival even the best of the couture designer's ideas.  Perhaps, because designers often rely on Mother Nature for inspiration, especially when it comes to color and style.

African Daisies are never posers!
Although the buzz around Blooming Hill by those in the know, so to speak, is all about the color lavender.  It's the reason for the season, the icing on the cake, the bees knees, (ohhhhh, you know what I mean) and, the Grande Dame is just about to make her appearance here.  So, naturally, there many other flowers who want to take advantage of center stage before her entrance into summer and some even dress in the chosen color, too!  And, why wouldn't they?!  It's the color of royalty, rich and deep and, the crowning glory to my gardens.

Pretty striped petunias make a wide-brimmed sun hat.
'Crystal Palace Gem' Garden Geranium wrap the statuary  in style.
Asiatic Lilies flaunt themselves in orange.  What's old is new again.  
Blushing begonias.
Butterfly Weed for only the most discerning of fluttery creatures. 
A zesty and sassy Nasturtium blossom.
Subtle Sea Holly.
 Rose Campion atop silver-fringed stems.
An urn all decked out for the media.
Madame Mandevilla, I presume.
Pale pink 'Melissa' lavender beginning to make her entrance, not wanting to miss a thing and fit for  a bridal bouquet. Oh my!
 Petite Lobelia paisley-shaped petals.
Dahlias for day into evening.
Oakleaf hydrangea for the office.
Guara, great for weekend wear.
 Daylilies and Coreopsis whisper together while peaking through the crowd.
Martha Washington geraniums can always dress up a garden party.
Brilliant, tiny Brachyscome.
Youthful, dewy Sun Drops emerge twirl in their emerald green petticoats!

Uh, oh! Here come the lavender brides, at last!

There is so much more to the floral fashions of summertime-- kissed by the sun, coiffed by raindrops and fluffed by soft breezes highlighting the colors and patterns of what is trending (growing) now at the outdoor showrooms of Blooming Hill. Everyday brings new fashions to the show designed by Mother Nature, herself.  What's debuting in your garden runways?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

We Are Not Alone!

Last week, my friend Kim, sent me an article about the appearance of Garden Gnomes as decorations at the 100th Anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show in England.  The article, published in the New York Times, talked about how many British gardeners (I'm sure they consider themselves gardening purists at heart) were shocked and horrified that something as silly as a simple garden gnome could be allowed in such a sophisticated and historical event, while other Brits were glad to see a little whimsy and good humor finally make their debut into the stiff, upper-crust crowning glory of the British gardening world.  It's hard to believe that garden gnomes seem to have no place in the traditional English garden when the country itself is steeped with legend and lore about creatures such as these.  You know--like fairies and elves and leprechauns.

Gnome Ranger and his trusty frog.
Gnome Rider and his dependable turtle.
According to some, the gnome is often said to be the actual caretaker of any garden it inhabits, helping out with at least some of the smaller garden chores, once the lights of the house have gone out and everyone has gone to bed. I'm pretty sure we have all experienced a plant or two placed thoughtfully in the dirt without our assistance while more than a few weeds somehow got pulled when we were not looking and, quite frankly, I'm glad for the help mystical, whimsical or just plain practical.  Gnomes are said to enhance the harvest and help any and all creatures, great and small, that live in the garden.

An acorn-capped  happy little elfish gnome.
In any case, whether you believe or not, in the existence of gnomes, fairies and other mythical folk who mysteriously move around in the garden at night or in the day--things/movements that we see from the corner of our eye for a fleeting moment--we cannot deny the beauty of a garden and it's attraction of all things magical.  According to legend, gnomes are woodland creatures that represent the spirit of the earth.  They are said to bring good luck to the garden and the gardener who invites them in.

Next year, the Chelsea Flower Show will revert back to it's No-Gnome policy--at least no gnomes in the strict statuary sense, as we all know they are always out there, travelling through our neighborhood gardens and reaching far beyond our hometowns to points unknown, in search of the perfect poppy to sit and read under or count the birds and the butterflies flitting through the flowers--all very important tasks that fall into the realm of the cosmos, you know.

So, perhaps the powers that be of the Chelsea Flower Show should lighten up and welcome these decorative wee folk, in stone or terracotta, often painted in gay colors and sometimes not, especially since garden gnomes came to England way back in the middle of the 1800's from their homelands in Germany and Scandinavia, which means they have been gracing the English countryside and all over the world, including the good old U.S.A., long before the Chelsea Flower Show became the icon of "high-garden society."  Gnomes are here to stay and in plain sight or not, their presence is acknowledged and appreciated for their uniqueness, just as each bud, leaf, branch and flower are welcomed upon their arrival in the garden.
A gnome in the (garden) zone!