Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exotic Looking - But Really Easy to Grow

Took a little break from tax season drudgery to put together this living wreath - a single maroon bromeliad perched in a grapevine wreath....

The bromeliad is a tillandsia - in the same family as those gray, fuzzy things known as "air plants" that seem to be everywhere these days.

One reason "air plants" are so popular is that they're very easy to grow - that is, they're very forgiving plants.
This guy doesn't need soil, so will be very happy sitting in the middle of this grapevine wreath for quite some time.
It only asks to have water kept in its cupped center of leaves, and a misting now and then.

Quite a little trooper, isn't it?

The plant came from a family that has been growing on our San Francisco deck for years - it regularly sends out a long spike with flowers that turn into small plants, that send out spikes and flower and turn into plants - well you get the idea.

This week I'm off to visit....
Home Sweet Home 
Show and Tell Friday

Sunday, March 25, 2012

First Lilacs

Okay, so it's a single stem, but there are a few more blossoms still in the tight bud stage, so I'm hoping to bring more into the house over the next few weeks.

The bouquet also has bits and pieces of foliage and fern that I was able to forage from the rain soaked backyard.

Will be passing around the bouquet over at
Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Tuesday Garden Party
Fresh Cut Friday

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lily of the Valley Opens

Here is what my potted lily of the valley looked like today....

The strong, sweet fragrance of those tiny white bells brought back vivid memories of spending time (long ago) in my grandmother's garden - her yard filled with blue hydrangea bushes and huge purple lilacs, white "snowball" viburnum growing along the gravel driveway, and a climbing pale pink sweetheart rose that had, over time, attached its thorny canes to the shingles of her house.

I never got the chance to thank you, Oma, for growing so many wonderful things, and by doing so, making gardening such an essential part of my life.

Will be visiting....
Feathered Nest Friday
Saturday Show Off
Linky Party Friday

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Paper Pansies

Knee-deep in tax season paperwork - so I'm lucky that vintage paper pansies need little care....

Will be visiting...
Home Sweet Home
Show and Tell Friday

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lily of the Valley Update

The lily of the valley pips I potted up almost two weeks ago have sprouted really quickly - each shoot is growing in its own unique way......

and all but one with a sweet little flower spike....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Orchid Cactus in Bloom!

We grow a few epiphyllum (orchid cactus) on an out-of-the way porch, so it's always a surprise each spring to look around the corner and discover the plants are in bud and bloom....

Isn't this just a lovely shade of shell pink?

The flowers are huge, about 5" across, but only last for a day or two before they drop to the ground.

Best of all, they're really easy to grow outside here in San Francisco, with no special requirements other than regular watering and fertilizing.

Will be visiting...
My Romantic Home
Home Sweet Home
Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Tuesday Garden Party
Home and Garden Thursday

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Art Nouveau Easter Bunnies

Love this sweet little group of bunnies - a fragment from a 1910 Easter postcard....

Framed and available in the Etsy store....

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lily of the Valley Indoors

I have always wanted to try my hand at forcing lily of the valley in containers in the house, so a few months ago I placed an order with White Flower Farm for pre-chilled pips.
(Pre-chilled means that the plants think they've already experienced winter, so they're ready to sprout and bloom).

It was quite a splurge for a tight household budget, but I was truly excited when they arrived this week, along with a package of very fine potting soil, perfect for cradling the delicate little pips in place while they grow green and strong.....


It was lucky we had the perfect ceramic flower pot - scrolled and fluted, with a lovely blue green glaze - stored away in the basement. After carefully arranging the brittle shoots in the soil, I capped off the project with a soft covering of fresh green moss collected in Erica's garden last May -

The pips have found a happy home in a sunny window in my top floor office -

I'm looking forward to sharing their progress with you, and taking in the distinctive, beautiful fragrance of those tiny white bells!

Linking up this week with:
Home and Garden Thursday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Tuesday Garden Party
Wow Us Wednesdays