Upon a May Night: Fire and Ice Follies

May 10th, 2013 § Comments Off on Upon a May Night: Fire and Ice Follies § permalink

Fire_and_Ice_Follies_Narcissus_'Ice_Follies'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Fire & Ice Follies Upon a May Night: Enjoying Narcicissus ‘Ice Follies’ & Dan Snow’s Fire Sculpture After a Day of Work in the Garden

Now that spring has finally sprung, I find myself caught in a familiar pattern of  Maytime, garden design madness. There’s so much I want to see, and so very much I need to do, how can I possibly fit everything in? Fortunately, Mother Nature has anticipated this problem and she likes to extend us all a bit of daylight credit at this time of year. It’s so nice to have a few extra, late-afternoon hours to bask in the low sunlight and linger in the garden, before twilight shadows settle in.

Once darkness falls, my favorite way to spend a May night is beside Dan Snow’s fire sculpture; relaxing with a glass of wine, a view of the ever-expananding flowerbeds, my furry friends and good company . . .

Fire_and_Ice_Follies_Narcissus_Ice_Follies_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Note to self: you can never plant too many Narcissus! Fire Sculpture: Dan Snow Stoneworks 

As a garden designer, this is my busiest time of the year. Most days, I only catch tiny glimpses of my garden as I run to and from appointments. I like to make the most of those moments, so I choose a different path each time I pass through the garden, and  I carry my camera with me most of the time. First to bloom beside the Secret Garden wall, the Bodnant Viburnum (V x bodnantense ‘Dawn’), is just now fading to leaf. Meanwhile other Viburnum species —my favorite genus of woody plants— as well as the Lindera benzoinAmelanchierFothergilla and Syringa are budding and bursting into flower. I adore the spicy-sweet fragrance of the Viburnum in  early morning and later, in misty evening air . . .

Viburnum_judii_2013_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenersedenWith its silver-green, pubescent foliage, cerise buds and intensely spicy fragrance, the Judd Viburnum (Viburnum x  judii) is truly one of my favorite species.

Viburnum_x_bodnantense_Dawn_Blossom_Reflection_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Mirror, mirror, beside the garden wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Why Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, of course! Although her blooms are slowly fading, I still have her gorgeous foliage —and scarlet autumn color— to enjoy.

Viburnumxburkwoodii_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Beautiful Burkwood Viburnum, Anne Russell’s Buds Swell in Sunset Silhouette: Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Mohawk’ (Mohawk Viburnum)

Viburnum_x_ bodnantense_'Dawn'_ and_Lindera_benzoin_in_bloom_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com The last flowers of Bodnant Viburnum (V. x bodnantense ‘Dawn’) greet the first blooms of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

Fothergilla_major_'Mt_Airy'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com And the fragrant, bottle-brush fluff of Fothergilla major ‘Mt Airy’ (Witch Alder)

Fire Sculpture: Dan Snow Stoneworks

Garden Design: Michaela Medina Harlow

Photography & 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! 

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May Merriment . . .

May 2nd, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Pulmonaria_longifolia_ 'Raspberry Splash'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comPulmonaria longifolia ‘Raspberry Splash’ Greets the First Day of May

Welcome beautiful, light-hearted, May. Named for the Greek goddess Maia, this is the month of springtime flowers. Fragrance, color, warmth and soft light; it seems each and every morning, when I step into the garden, something new awaits. It’s time for May merriment, and a season filled with fresh delights . . .

Narcissus_cyclamineus_'Lemon_Silk'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comPossibly the Prettiest Yellow Ever: Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Lemon Silk’

Viburnum_x_bodnantense_'Dawn'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.com Enjoying the Peak of Fragrant Delight from Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’

Narciuss_'Ice_Follies'_michaela_thegardenerseden.com Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ Catches the Morning Light

Helleborus x hybridus 'Royal Heritage Strain' s Helleborus x hybridus ‘Royal Heritage Strain’

Narcissus_'Ice_Follies'_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden.comOne of the Most Popular Landscape Daffodils, Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’, Fills the Long, Meadow Border

Viburnum_x_bodnantense_'Dawn'_WM_HiRes_michaela_medina_harlow_thegardenerseden I Keep Photographing the Bodnant Viburnum, Hoping to Somehow Capture its Fragrance. Oh, if Only!

Photography & 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! 

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Sweet Anticipation: April’s First Blush

April 1st, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Bodnant Viburnum (V. bondnantense 'Dawn') in Bloom ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden Anticipating the Intoxicating Scent of  Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’

It’s April first, and foolishly —thinking that surely we’ve seen the last of snow— we’re tempted to rush forward with our early season chores. And then —often without the slightest provocation or warning— Spring turns a cold cheek. Over the years, I’ve learned that in early April, a weather forecast calling for rain usually translates to snow-showers. Yes, Spring can be rather cruel, yet we always anticipate her kindness. Perhaps she will gift us pastel flower petals, dusted in powdered sugar . . .

Daffodil Blossoms in Snow ⓒ-michaela-thegardenerseden Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’, Dusted in Springtime Snow

Yes, it may still snow. But in meantime, there are plenty of seasonal garden tasks to fill April’s weekend hours on warmer days. While walking along the garden paths on these early spring days, I often notice broken branches on shrubbery —revealed by receding snow— in need of pruning (click here for spring pruning tips), and in a few days I’ll begin cutting back ornamental grasses and crushed flower stalks along the front entryway. As ice melts away from the terraces, I tidy up the bird feeding stations, rake and then sweep the surrounding stone walkways.

Spring Heath (Erica carnea) ⓒ michaela medina harlow - thegardenersedenSpring Heath (Erica carnea), is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in my garden; sometimes covering the ledges with a hazy blush before the snow fully departs. Click here to read my plant profile on this lovely, ground-cover for full sun. 

Of course, there’s plenty to do indoors as well. Now’s a good time to look over gardening gloves, bug nets, jackets, boots and other gear. Something need mending or replacing? This is the last chance to prepare. In late March and early April, I like to sharpen and oil my garden shears and other tools before the big spring clean up begins. And while I can still find a few free hours, I like to make time to organize and rearrange the garden/potting room. Culling unwanted items now means I’ll have less clutter to trip over later, when it’s time to move things back outdoors.
Oh, and speaking of moving things outside . . .  There’s that storage room packed with seasonal furnishing! It’s time to clean, sand and rub down those wooden tables and chairs with a fresh coat of teak oil. I’ll want them back on the terrace as soon as possible. After all, you never know when a warm evening might inspire a spontaneous, al fresco meal. And as the temperatures rise —and after I finish cutting back, cleaning up and rough raking the beds and borders— I’ll swish out my heavy, glazed containers and water bowls, returning them to their outdoor places. If only for a few moments here and there, it sure is great to get back into the garden!
Waterbowl in the Secret Garden ⓒ 2012 michaela medina harlow - thegardenerseden Almost Time to Replace the Water Bowl, Beside My Secret Garden’s Door

Shears-and-Cape-Cod-Weeder-in-Secret-Garden-Room- Pots and Tools, Waiting for Clean Up, in the Garden Room

Ozzy in Garden Boots ⓒ 2011 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden Time for a Sassy, New Pair of Gardening Boots? Ozzy Thinks So! Tretorn Sofiero Boots in Green, Gray & Black, Click Here

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/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! 

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First Hints of a Changing Season . . .

March 30th, 2013 § 3 comments § permalink

Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn' ⓒ 2013 michaela medina harlow - thegardenersedenApril’s Promise: Beloved Blossoms on My Bodnant Viburnum (Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’). Read More About this Beauty in My Previous Post Here

The first hints of a changing season: warm breezes from the south and silvery pussy willow catkins, soft against the skin, flirty pink buds on my favorite viburnum and the taste of sweet new maple syrup in a springtime cocktail.

Finally, as the snowbanks reluctantly recede, Spring has decided to make her fashionably late arrival. Of course we all smile in eager anticipation —watching her seductively saunter up the garden path— even if she always makes us a bit impatient in our wait. Hello gorgeous, we sure have missed you . . .

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold's Promise' Blossoms in Snow ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden Sweetness to Melt the Snow: The Golden Blossoms of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold’s Promise’ Sparkle Like Drops of Honey, Begin to Open in the Late Afternoon Sunlight (Read More About this Lovely Witch Hazel Here)

Pussy Willow Bundles ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden.comjpg Harvesting Pussy Willow (Salix discolor), Branches by the Armful. (Read More About this Delightful Native Here)

Shall we make a toast to Spring and all of her irresistible charms. Here’s looking at you, kid . . .

Sugar-Moon-ⓒ-michaela-thegardenerseden  My Annual, Frost-Melting Treat: Sugar Moon Cocktail (Click Here for Recipe)

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/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! 

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Of Raindrops & Moody Morning Skies…

March 30th, 2012 § Comments Off on Of Raindrops & Moody Morning Skies… § permalink

Raindrops on Spring Blossoms at the Secret Garden Door (Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’)

Rain Mixed with Snow & Sleet in the Blushing Hills of Southern Vermont

But Even the Greyest of Days Still Glow: Spicebush Filled with Golden Buds of Promise (read more about Lindera benzoin by clicking here)

Well, it seems that Spring has decided to give New England the cold shoulder this week. We’re all complaining —it’s the local pastime— but of course we have no choice but to wait for her, so she knows she can get away with it. After all of that early sunshine and sweet perfume, this morning I woke up to an icy glare, bitter blast and spitting snow. In fact, overall, Spring seems rather raw today! Just when we’d gotten used to frolicking about in short sleeves and sipping evening wine on the terrace, she’s back to her moody ways. Oh, we all knew this would happen, and of course, this is just the sort of tormenting and teasing that makes us want her more. She’ll come ’round again, and we know it, so patiently we don our lined coats and strike a fire in the stove. There will be waiting. Then there will be more waiting. And after that, there will be some additional waiting. The waiting will continue for an almost an intolerable amount of time, until finally —finally— she comes back to us again …

Looking Down the Secret Garden Steps in Late March (Juniperus squamata ‘Holger’, Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’, Cornus alba ‘Siberica’)

Photographs and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina for The Gardener’s Eden. All photos, 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. Thank you!

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