Gardening Tip of the Week & Welcome, Merry Month of May . . .

May 5th, 2014 § 1

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWarm, Golden-Hued Narcissus & A Merry Welcome to May

Although the air is still a bit chilly, and the sky so stubbornly grey, it’s time for May merriment and a happy Cinco de Mayo anyway! Welcome, welcome, sweet May!

Garden tip of the week: make photo notes of your garden beds and place discreet popsicle sticks to help remind you of where you’d like to add more bulbs in autumn! I’ve never met a gardener who has said to me, “darn, I planted too many bulbs!”.

Fire and Ice Follies - copyright 2014 - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.com Fire & Ice Follies (reminder for fall: more early Narcissus, like this reliable beauty, ‘Ice Follies’, in the background). Fire sculpture by Vermont artist, Dan Snow.

Photography & Textⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Gardener's Supply Company

Springtime Reflections . . .

April 29th, 2014 § 3

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetDawn Viburnum Blossoms (Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’) Reflected in the Secret Garden Water Bowl

With a fire in the wood stove and a chance of snow in the forecast, it feels far more like early March than late April today. Still, the peepers sing on and ruddy maples scatter blossoms to the forest floor. It’s spring, Michaela, can’t you tell?

We New Englanders may grit our teeth at the meteorological phrase ‘Wintry Mix’, but the unseasonably cold weather does have its advantages. I note that early spring bulbs (Galanthus, Crocus and Chinodoxa), as well as the first flowering trees and shrubs are blooming longer than usual. But I do confess that as I gather firewood for the upcoming chill, I find myself yearning for new green leaves and warmer days. Come now spring …May Day fast approaches!

Chionodoxa luciliae 'Violet Beauty' - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comJPG Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Violet Beauty’ at Woodland’s Edge

Photography & Textⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Gardener's Supply Company

Daffodil Days . . .

April 27th, 2014 § 1

Basket of Daffodils - Michaela Harlow - thegardenerseden.comGarden Clean-Up Rewards: Baskets of Fresh-Cut Narcissus

Finally, despite prolonged, unseasonably cold weather, the early daffodils have begun to unfold their golden petals. Narcissus ‘February (<—?) Gold’, ‘Lemon Silk’, ‘Ice Follies’, ‘Rip van Winkle’ and ‘Rijnveld’s Early (<—?) Sensation’ are in full bloom now and so many more about to burst into flower.

Designing_Gardens-Michaela_Harlow_thegardenerseden.com With Planting Plans to Create, Meetings to Make and Seminars to Prepare for, These April Days are Amongst the Busiest in My Calendar Year. On My Desk This Week: French Press Coffee, Master Copy of Scale Planting Plans, Tulips from Dad, Email Notes and Overlay Drawings on the Laptop and an iPad filled with Consultation Sketches Atop an Over-Booked Calendar! 

After a packed, rainy Saturday morning seminar at Walker Farm and a cold and dreary Sunday in my studio and garden, the sun finally made an appearance and lit dark corners of the Secret Garden at golden hour. Hard to believe we’ve just a few days left in April and still the pussy willows and witch hazel blossoms remain.

Lemon Silk Daffodils - Copyright Michaela Harlow - thegardenerseden.com And Many More Left to Gaze Upon in the Secret Garden (Narcissus Lemon Silk & Heuchera) 

First Daffodil Bouquet of the Season - Michaela Harlow - thegardenerseden.com And on My Studio Desk Today: First Garden Daffodil Bouquet of the Season

Photography & Textⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Gardener's Supply Company

How to Dress Up a Perennial Garden? Put a Clean, Fresh Edge on It . . .

April 25th, 2014 Comments Off

english edging one - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comCleanly cutting the edge of a border with a half-moon edger, and mulching the “V”, helps with maintenance throughout the growing year {Pictured: a freshly planted & mulched garden with English-style edging. Pretty vessel is by Vermont artist, Stephen Procter}

Having recently presented a gardening seminar on mixed border maintenance, now seems like a good time to cover one of the simplest and least expensive ways to dress up a perennial garden: ‘English style’ or earthen edging. This is a seasonal re-publishing of a very popular maintenance post from a couple of years back . . .

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and every gardener has their own, unique preference in garden style. But well-maintained gardens, be they casually designed or strictly formal, alway seem to elicit the most oohs and ahs. So what keeps a border looking neat and tidy all season long? Well, if your gardens connect to lawn, one of the secrets is an English-style edge, and a thick layer of weed-supressing mulch.

english edging two - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.com

english edging five - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comFrom the simplest, cottage-style garden design to a minimal, modern scheme, every garden is elevated to elegance by cleanly edging and mulching the border {pictured: three of my clients’ newly installed gardens; edged and mulched}

english edging three - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comJPG

A classic English-style edge is a simple and clean-looking way to define the line between lawn and garden. Although the look is quite precise, English-style edging is appropriate in most any garden setting; from formal to country casual. Inexpensive to create and blissfully easy to maintain, I just love the way a sharp edged line brings the bold shapes, colors and textures of a layered perennial border into focus. When designing new gardens in landscapes with sweeping lawns, I often opt for the English-style edge to maintain distinct, weed-free boundaries between grassy pathways and perennial borders. Crisply cut edges help to keep a garden looking great all season long.

english edging four - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comJust as neatly trimmed ends make long hair look gorgeous, crisply defined edges in a garden highlight the beauty of a well-maintained perennial border {one of my client’s gardens in late spring}

Large landscaping companies often use mechanical edgers to create deep, sharp-lined trenches between a lawn and garden and then dress these trenches with mulch. Mechanical tools work very well on big projects, but they are quite expensive and consume unnecessary fossil fuels. For home landscapes, I have always used a manual half-moon edger and my own elbow grease to create and maintain perennial borders in style. It’s great exercise!

519JmG5+R5L._SL1500_ Forged, Half-Moon Edger by Truper

The line of the garden is measured and, if new, marked out with chalk dust or string. A straight line is then cut (with the half-moon edger or a straight blade spade) through the sod to a depth of about 4-6 inches. When working a new bed, the sod is then removed from inside the cut line, and compost/loam is added to the planting bed. In a renovation of an older bed, re-establish the line by digging a new trench to a depth of at least 6 inches. I rock the too back and forth a bit to create a “v” shape. New mulch is mounded up from the center of the “v” and into the garden bed to create a weed barrier. If you are trying this method for the first time, be patient with yourself. With a little practice, your edges will become clean, precise and even. I’ve taught many gardeners how to use a half-moon edger. A little patience goes a long way when you’re learning something new! The border pictured below is the very first effort of a new gardener. Not bad for a first shot!

english edging six - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comThis freshly-cut edge on a new perennial border —the first effort of a new gardener— was cut with a hand held edging tool, like the one pictured above

Although some gardeners like to fill the trench with aluminum or plastic strip to hold border edges, this isn’t really necessary. With with yearly maintenance and mulch, the earthen edge will hold back weeds on its own.  In my own garden I prefer to keep the earthen trench filled with mulch, and maintain it twice a year with touch ups from the half-moon edger. The first round of edging happens along my lawn/garden borders every spring during April clean-up, just before seasonal mulch (I use well rotted compost mulch mixed with just a bit of dark, natural bark). The second round of edging usually happens in early to mid July, when perennials borders begin to look a bit blowzy and need a bit of deadheading and primping. But twice yearly maintenance isn’t always necessary. In the cottage garden atop the article and the minimalist garden pictured above and below, a crisp edge is cut and mulched along the borders once a year in early spring. In landscapes with lawn and perennial borders, I’m  very fond of English-style edging. This clean but natural look works well with many different garden styles and it’s both inexpensive and easy to maintain.

english edge seven - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.comThe edge of this welcoming garden —filled with a colorful border of North American native plants— is looking neat and pretty, even in late summer {pictured: my client’s garden in late summer of 2012}

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Gardener's Supply Company

Wake Up, Sleepy Gardens . . .

April 19th, 2014 § 1

sleepy secret garden - michaela harlow - thegardenerseden.com - all rights reservedA Freshly Filled Water Bowl Returns to Its Place Beside the Secret Garden Door

Happy spring holidays, gardening friends! With landscape design season back in full swing —and many projects and drawings on the drafting table— it’s a working weekend for me. But I did manage to slip outside this afternoon to cut back and rake out the Secret Garden. It’s quite late in the season for this early spring chore, but the snow has only just receded from the darkest corners of this beloved, shady space. Unusually cold temperatures and early-spring snowfall delayed my annal rake up and wake up. What a joy to finally place and fill the water bowl, returning it to its seasonal position, beside the Secret Garden door. At your service, Prince Pickerel!

working weekend - michaela harlow - thegardenerseden.com Dr Goof Oversees Work on Sketches and Planting Plans for a Garden in Amherst, Massachusetts

Last weekend I presented a pruning and perennial garden maintenance seminar at Walker Farm in Dummerston, Vermont. Many good questions were asked and I will be posting some tips and notes from the seminar, later this week. If snow has only just receded from your garden, it is wise to begin your spring clean up by cutting back exposed debris with clean, sharp shears (or a string trimmer if no woody plants are in your borders). Be sure to avoid compacting wet soil: minimize foot traffic in garden beds by staying on paths and stepping stones when possible. Lightly pull away mulch and debris with a wide rake (I use a bamboo lawn rake for the first round of clean up), using a gentle hopping, rather than dragging motion. Work slowly and carefully; watching for emerging bulbs and perennial crowns (especially the delicate, pink-rose eyes of peonies). Once beds are more fully dried out, I do a more thorough manicure with an adjustable metal rake and edging tool. But the ground here is still quite wet, so I will give the borders another week to dry out before beginning my second sweep.

Narcissus 'Rip Van Winkle’ - Michaela Harlow - thegardenerseden.com Happy Surprise: Punk-Rocker Narcissus ‘Rip Van Winkle’, Warmed by Radiant Heat from a Nearby Stonewall, Decided to Bloom Before the Other Daffodils This Year

Photography & Textⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Gardener's Supply Company

Pink Moonrise & Twilight Peeper Song: Oh Spring, You Give Me Fever . . .

April 14th, 2014 § 2

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset April’s Pink Moon will be Full on Tuesday the 15th at 3;42am ET. But at 98%, the Waxing Gibbous Beauty Looked Full to the Naked Eye as She Rose Between the Ghostly Paper Birch on My Southern Vermont Hilltop Last Night

I have been a bit under-the-weather this past week, with a health issue draining my usually-boundless energy. But last night I rallied a bit in the evening, lingering long in the warm, April twilight out on my terrace. Serenaded by a chorus of spring peepers, I watched as the waxing gibbous moon rose through blue mist and ghost-white paper birches. So beautiful.

The Pink Moon will be 100% full on Tuesday, the 15th at 3:42am ET, but at 99%, it will appear completely illuminated to the naked eye as it rises both this evening, (April 14th, at 7:07pm ET), and tomorrow night as well.  The Pink Moon takes its name from wild ground phlox, which blooms at this time of year. I confess a special love for the first full moon of spring. Songbirds are calling out claims of nesting territory, bees are buzzing hungrily out of their hives, and flowers are bursting to blossom. Spring is here and it always seems to give us a crazy kind of fever! Have you caught it?

Viburnum_x_bodnantense_'Dawn'_copyright_2014_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerdeden.com_all_rights_reservedAt long last, the first petals of my Dawn Viburnum have begun to unfold, and their spicy-sweet fragrance fills the air. Spring has been so slow in coming this year, that every little change seems especially delightful. Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, the essence of springtime

Photography & Textⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Gardener's Supply Company

Embracing April’s Coquettish Charm . . .

April 1st, 2014 § 1

Hamamelis_vernalis_April_sunset_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com_ Welcoming April’s Warmer Days & Sweet, Warm, Golden Light (Hamamelis Vernalis in My Garden Last April)

Hello April, you little flirt. Seems you have put aside the foolishness for now and you’re greeting us with warmth and sunshine. Yes, this week it’s all charm, charm, charm —and oh how we love you for it. Oh, we are easily lulled into thinking that this affection will go on forever. And then, as soon as we are hooked, you’ll turn on the cold shower. Brrrrrr…

pussywillow_michaela_medina_harlow The Softness of April Showers and Silvery Tips on Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

Mmm Hmm. Tease that you are, dear April, we know that your cold shoulder will be coming. But we’re letting you take us for a ride anyway. We can’t help it. Spring flings with you are always such a thrill . . .

Erica-carnea-Spring-Heath-ⓒ-michaela-medina-thegardenerseden Love on the Rocks: Spring Heath on the Ledges (Erica carnea)

Photography & Textⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Gardener's Supply Company

New for Spring: Gardening Seminars Sponsored by Walker Farm in Vermont

March 26th, 2014 Comments Off

Spring Garden Design, copyright, michaela m harlow, thegardenerseden.com, all rights reservedSpringtime, Garden Dreaming: Garden Design by Michaela Harlow, Stonework by Dan Snow

It’s been a maddeningly cold and dreary late March here in New England, and like many green-thumbs, I am beginning to feel more than a touch of cabin fever. I want to get out and get going in my garden! But with wintry temperatures and heavy snow-cover, I find myself searching elsewhere for springtime inspiration.

Walker Farm Greenhouse Image 2, michaela harlow - thegardenerseden.com Sweet, Springtime Inspiration for this Year’s Garden Designs in the Greenhouses at Walker Farm in Dummerston Vermont

One of the highlights of March’s calendar is my annual visit to beautiful Walker Farm in nearby Dummerston, Vermont to help plan their springtime gardening seminar schedule (see listing of this year’s events below). And as usual, after we settled upon our dates and topics, Karen Manix took me on a delightful walking tour of the farm’s gloriously verdant greenhouses; currently filled to bursting with the promise of a new season ahead. My winter-weary eyes lit up at the sight of perky pansies, exotic tropicals, jewel-like succulents and the latest in annual delights for this season’s artful container and bedding combinations. What a great a great antidote to late winter’s dirty snowbanks and grit-coated walkways! Got a case of the mud-season blahs? Come join us for some springtime inspiration, laughs and professional horticultural and garden design tips. This year’s offerings include something for every gardener; from the vegetable grower to budding orchardist, to the perennial design enthusiast and container gardening connoisseur.

Heirloom_Apple_Blossoms_in_the_Orchard_at_Scott_Farm_smallJPEG_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden Select, Plant and Grow a Backyard Orchard All Your Own with Help from Scott Farm’s Orchardist and Manager, Zeke Goodband. See Seminar Schedule Below for Details

waterbowl in the secret garden, copyright michaela harlow - thegardenerseden.com Learn to Design and Maintain Beautiful Perennial Gardens, Or How to Use and Place Your Containers in Creative Ways, See My List of Design and Maintenance Offerings Below

veggie basket, michaela at thegardenerseden.com Build a Great Vegetable Garden from the Ground Up with Professional Tips from Organic Farmer, Jack Manix

Spring 2014 Workshop / Seminar Schedule:

Free Spring Garden Seminars at Walker Farm, Dummerston, Vermont

These are popular weekend events & space is limited to 30 people per seminar. Please call or email Walker Farm to reserve your seat in advance

April 12th, 2014 – 10am 

“Spring Forward: Get Your Mixed Border in Tip-Top Shape with Professional Pruning & Perennial Maintenance Tips”

Garden Designer Michaela Harlow

April 19th, 2014 – 10am  

“Building a Better Vegetable Garden from the Ground Up”

 Jack Manix, Organic Farmer and Owner of Walker Farm

April 26, 2013 – 10am 

“Do-It-Yourself Garden Design for Non-Stop Color”

Garden Designer Michaela Harlow

May 3rd - 10am 

“Fruit Trees: Selecting, Growing and Pruning Varieties for a Home Orchard”

Ezekiel Goodband, Orchardist and Manager of Scott Farm

May 10th – 10am 

“Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries, Oh My: Creating and Maintaining the Berry Patch of Your Dreams”

Jack Manix, Organic Farmer and Owner of Walker Farm & Ezekiel Goodband, Orchardist and Manager of Scott Farm

May 17th, 2013 – 10am 

“Pots in the Garden: Designing, Planting and Placing Seasonal Containers in the Garden”

Garden Designer Michaela Harlow

succulent pot, michaela at thegardenerseden.com Succulent Containers are a Low-Water, Low-Maintenance, High-Impact Choice for Busy Gardeners

succulents at walker farm, thegardenerseden.comAnd Walker Farm’s Selection of Unusual Succulents is the Best in I’ve Seen in New England

Photography & Text ⓒ Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Planning, Scheming & Garden Dreaming: While We Wait for the Thaw . . .

March 22nd, 2014 § 3

Calla Lilies, copyright 2014, michaelamedinaharlow, thegardenerseden.comCalla Lilies Blush on the First Morning of Spring

Spring may have officially arrived, but Winter isn’t giving up so quickly. Snow squalls wrapped my hilltop in a swirling, downy-white blanket this morning and wind whipped my clanking compost bin down the walk. Oh White Witch, won’t you loosen your chilly grip and leave us to the thaw? We’ve piles of snow yet to melt before we can begin our work.

The winter-weary squirrels and discouraged songbirds huddle beneath conifers, and meanwhile, beside the fire, we wrap ourselves in fluffy chartreuse blankets and dream of grassy lawns and sunny gardening days to come. New garden seminars are being planned for this spring at Walker Farm, and I’ve been busy flipping through catalogues and garden supply websites; all the while dreaming and scheming . . .

Garden Dreaming, copyright 2014, michaelamedinaharlow, thegardenerseden.com Curled Up on Quiet Weekends with Gardening Catalogues and Books

 Luminous Lilies Brighten March’s Moody Gloom

Inspiration, copyright 2014, michaelamedinaharlow, thegardenerseden.com Design Inspiration for the Mind’s Eye. On My Coffee Table: Gardening Titles by Louisa Jones and New Garden Design by Zahid Sardar

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Welcoming Spring!

March 20th, 2014 § 3

photo 1Anticipating the Spicy-Sweet Fragrance of My Favorite Springtime Blossom: Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’

Welcome Spring! The Vernal Equinox —day and night of equal length— occurs at 12:57 pm EDT today, March 20th, signaling the official start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. And although my Secret Garden is coated in yet another fresh layer of snow and ice today, I know that soon the melting will begin.

Already, songbirds are returning to New England; seeking nesting places to raise their young. And the buds are swollen to near-bursting on Vernal Witch Hazel and early Viburnum branches. Take heart, cold climate, gardening friends! Before we know it, the rush will be on to rake up, mulch up and begin planting in ernest. I can hardly wait!

photo 2 And the Beautiful Warmth of Spring Mornings in the Garden

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

Indoor Eden: Tulips, Hot House Flowers & Intoxicating Floral Fragrance . . .

March 13th, 2014 § 2

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Indoor Eden: Moth Orchid Beside the Bedroom Window (Phalaenopsis)

I truly love all four seasons, and I do find winter to be especially beautiful in New England.  However, enough is enough. It’s been a particularly cold March thus far, and I am more than ready for spring.

It’s nice to get a bit of a break from weeding and maintenance, but there are more than a few things that I miss about my garden during the cold, dark months. The absence of light and color is tough, but it’s the dry air and lack of natural fragrances that I find most difficult to bear. Humidifiers help to add moisture to my home and of course shopping trips to the florist for fresh-cut flowers and new indoor plants also help to brighten the monochrome palette of the season. But what about earthy fragrance? Remember the scent of damp moss, warm pine needles and the sweet, spicy odor of springtime blossoms scattered upon the walkway? Remember the heavenly aroma of hyacinth, the silken caress of perfumed peony petals and the dewy brush of fragrant, freshly-mown grass against bare ankles?

Hyachinth_Blossoms_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenersedeen.com_no_use_without_permission Fresh from the Florist: Heavenly, Scented Hyacinth 

The_Scent_of_Springtime_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Pale Violet Tulips on the Dressing Table 

Processed with VSCOcam Golden Morning Light Warms the Ice-Clad Viburnum and Paper Birch Trees

pale_violet_tulips_copyright_2014_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Weekly Ritual: Fresh Flowers from the Florist

I am very much looking forward to the awakening of springtime senses. But for now —while we patiently wait for the thaw— there are lotions, potions and bottled fragrances. A very generous friend recently sent me a surprise box containing delights from San Francisco perfumer, Ineke. Her ‘Floral Curiosities’ collection of fragrances came packaged in a beautiful ‘Scent Library‘ book. I was immediately smitten with the botanical theme, but when I spritzed on the amazingly accurate floral fragrances? Swoon! I felt as if I’d been transported to a misty, June morning in the garden. I adore ‘Scarlet Larkspur’ and ‘Poet’s Jasmine’, but so far, ‘Sweet William’ (slightly spicy), and ‘Briar Rose’ (wild and rambling with subtle hints of green apple), are my favorites. And then there was a bottle of ‘Hot House Flower’, an intoxicating, feminine, gardenia number not included in the ‘Scent Library’. Like a trip to a steamy, jungle paradise, it’s warm, exotic and deliciously heady. Thank you, dear friend!

Ineke_Scent_Library_.Floral_Curiosities_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comJPG Favorite Gift of Fragrance: Ineke ‘Floral Curiosities’ Scent Library {Miniature Book with ‘Scent’ Library Cards, Includes Samples of the Following Floral Fragrances: Sweet William, Scarlet Larkspur, Briar Rose, Poet’s Jasmine and Angel’s Trumpet}, and Botanist’s Travel Sprays {Each Scent Bound in a Beautiful ‘Book’ Box}

I’m also mad for ‘Moss‘, a silken hand & body cream from K. Hall Designs. With 5% shea butter, it’s soft and silky but non-greasy. I love to share this cream with my gardening friends in wintertime. The fragrance reminds me of a forest floor; earthy, fern-filled and slightly musky. Perfect for those of us struggling through the last days of winter …Pining for the verdant gardens of springtime.

K.Hall_Designs_Moss_Hand_and_Body_Cream_c_michaela_thegardenerseden.com My Wintertime Favorite: Moss Hand & Body Cream by K. Hall Designs

Products mentioned and reviewed in this post are unpaid, and purely based upon the personal opinions and preferences of this author. No promotional product or compensation was received from any source.

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Good Day, Sunshine . . .

February 23rd, 2014 § 2

New_Beginnings_on_the_Windowsill_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comHere comes the sun! Travel back to this post for a seed starting primer/review and get ready for your best garden yet! 

It’s that time of year again …Time to begin preparing for the rush of springtime. And although it’s a wee bit early to start vegetables —at least here in chilly Vermont, where 3′ of snow cover the ground— I am already dreaming and planning for the year ahead.

Scrubbing your pots and trays? Pouring over garden books and shopping catalogs for seed starting supplies? Looking for a little inspiration or review? Travel back to this seed-starting primer/review post and get ready for your best garden yet!

garden_dreaming_and_planning_copyright_michaela_harlow_thegardenerseden.com A favorite spot and pastime: garden dreams upon a winter’s day

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

A Little Romance . . .

February 14th, 2014 Comments Off

Red_and_Pink_miniature_roses_copyright_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Wishing You Red & Pink Roses {click for miniature rose care guide}

It’s Valentine’s Day & time for a little romance  . . .

winter_swans_copyright_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com  Inspired by the Delights of Nature’s Courtship Dance . . .

Red_Red_Miniature_Roses_copyright_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com And the Art of Seduction . . .

pair_of_swans_huddled_on_ice_copyright_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Hope Your Valentine’s Weekend is Filled with Winter Romance

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Of Icy Pink Winter Mornings . . .

February 13th, 2014 Comments Off

Departure:copyright_2014_michaela_medina_harlow:thegardenerseeden.com:michaelaharlow.com:all_rights_reserved Dawn Departure

In celebration of icy-pink winter mornings . . .

Barton_Island_at_Dawh_copyright_2014_michaelamedinaharlow_thegardenerseden.com Misty Dawn at Barton Island, Surrounded by Shimmering Ice

pink ice on the cove - michaelamedinaharlow - michaelaharlow.comA Glazed, Raspberry-Cream Morning on Barton Cove

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset The Pleasures of an Early Rise. Follow Me Here on Instagram, for Daily Doses of Wonder

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Enchanted . . .

February 12th, 2014 § 6

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Sleeping Beauty, Softly Dusted Before Dawn 

In the early weeks of February —as skies begin to blush earlier each morning and light lingers longer in evening— winter takes on a certain softness. Traces of pink, peach, lavender and rose paint the horizon at dawn, and whispers of powder-grey fog stir the valley’s hush. Overnight snowfalls dust the forest with a fresh a coat of sparkling white, creating a magical scene by daybreak. Enchanted.

frost_on_the_window_copyright_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset 

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

For the Love of Miniature Roses . . .

February 6th, 2014 § 3

Miniature_Roses_copyright_2014_michaelamedinaharlow:thegardenerseden.com Fragrant, Gold Roses on a Cold Winter’s Day (Rosa chinensis hybrid)

Although I am very fond of winter, at this time of year, I confess that my indoor garden is a great source of pleasure. There’s something undeniably delicious about waking up to the sweet scent of roses on a cold morning. Buying fresh flowers is part of my winter shopping routine, but I rarely purchase cut roses. Instead, I opt for miniature rose plants, which are usually much less expensive (less than ten dollars this week at my local florist), and when properly cared for, much longer lasting. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, they make a beautiful, living gift! In spring, after the last frost, these cold-hardy beauties can be moved outdoors, where they will thrive for many years (protect with a mulch mound at root zone, as you would other hardy roses, in winter).

A few simple tips for success growing miniature rose plants indoors . . .

1) Provide bright, direct sunlight (near a south or southwest facing window).

2) Ensure even indoor temps from 55-75°F/16-24°C.

3) Water regularly, but avoid soggy soil. Allow planting mixture to dry out a bit at the surface, between waterings. I like to grow roses in double pots or in gravel-line trays to keep the root-zone properly drained.

4) Fertilize monthly with a balanced product, rich in micronutrients.

5) Deadhead spent blossoms and cut plants back after the first flush of bloom is complete (usually 1-2 months after they begin blooming)

6) Repot or move outdoors as soon as possible. When transplanting, any good, well-drained garden soil or quality potting mix will suffice. In the garden, a 2″ top dressing of well-rotted manure/compost serves as both mulch and fertilizer. During the growing season, once-per-month application of Rose Tone or similar, organic product provides a steady wave of bloom.

7) Plants can be container-grown outdoors (be sure to re-pot and separate plants if necessary), however in cold climates, it’s best to overwinter pot-grown roses in a garage or cellar to provide a period of dormancy without freezing the root-zone.

8) If insect pests or spider mites become a problem, spray leaves (including undersides), with an organic, insecticidal soap containing neem oil. Repeat at 10 day intervals until the infestation has cleared. Spider mites are a common problem with roses. Prune away damaged/infested parts of the plant when possible. Because spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions, I like to raise humidity by misting the plants or using a warm-water room humidifier.

For more houseplant tips & ideas, visit the Indoor Eden page by clicking here!

Need help selecting a miniature rose for a special Valentine? There are hundreds and hundreds of varieties of miniature roses. Visit the American Rose Society Website, here!

Minature_Roses_on_the_dressing_table_copyright_michaela_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Miniature Roses on My Dressing Table – Permission is Granted to Move Your Roses Around Daily, as Suits Your Nose!

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Hello February . . .

February 1st, 2014 Comments Off

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Sunrise Salutations 

Hello, friends. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I missed you and I hope you’ve been well. I decided to take a brief sabbatical from blogging during the month of January, in order to focus my attention on painting. Well, the days spilled into weeks, and before I knew it, an entire month had passed. Here we are, in February.

sunlit_winter_garden_copyright_2014_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Sunlight in My Snow-Covered, Secret Garden

Although it’s still winter, there’s something about the increasing light that makes this month a bit less brutal in the northern climes. The weather has been very cold this year, but the atmospheric conditions have made for some spectacular winter walks. How have you been? Do you embrace the season and get outside on snowshoes, skates or skis to enjoy the sparkling, snow-covered landscape, or do you prefer to curl up inside with hot chocolate, seed catalogs and gardening books?

I’ll be here a bit more this month; sharing images from around the garden, forest and beyond. Thanks for stopping by!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Blue Shadows and Sparkling Ice-Clad Branches (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’)

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style

Happy New Year !

January 1st, 2014 § 4

Ice Palace - copyright 2014 - michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden.com A Delicate Hoarfrost Coats the Treetops Upon a Foggy New Year’s Eve Morn

Wishing You a Happy and Healthy New Year!

xx

Photography & Text ⓒ  Michaela Medina Harlow/The Gardener’s Eden. All photographs, artwork, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of Michaela Medina Harlow and/or The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without permission. Thank you!

Do you enjoy The Gardener’s Eden? You can help support this site by shopping through affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale will be paid to this site, helping to cover web hosting and maintenance costs. Thank you so much for your support!

VivaTerra - Eco Living With Style