Garden with Grace

"I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some." ~H.Rappaport


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A Happy Return to the Boston Flower & Garden Show

It’s been about 20 years since I last attended the Boston Flower & Garden Show.

I finally returned for the 2014 show with my mom.

We’re both glad that we made the decision to give this event another try.

The Garden Marketplace
The vast array of exhibiting vendors was impressive. One of my favorites was the book area with titles like this!

Loved seeing titles like this one at the Boston Flower Show.

Great book titles, like this one, at the Boston Flower & Garden Show.

This book was one of my first finds, but I was holding off on purchases at the start of the show. Unfortunately, I forgot to go back to pick up a copy.  I think that I need to order one online for my own library.

Speaking of a library, my vote for most artistic vendor goes to the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Their seed packages are also amazing works of art – definitely suitable for framing.  Since I’m not sure yet what I want to start from seed this year for my own garden, I held back on any purchases, but definitely plan to place an order soon (even just to have these little works of art displayed in my backyard garden shed!)

Loved the artistic packaging for the Seed Library's offering.

Loved the artistic packaging for the Hudson Valley Seed Library’s offering.

I also enjoyed stopping by the display for Peony’s Envy. (The company name, of course, was a draw!) I’ve never seen such a variety peony plants in one small location.  My mom immediately recognized this vendor from the dozens of gardening and landscaping magazines that she’s been browsing. A Peony’s Envy peony is now at my home, tucked in the back of the ‘fridge until it’s ready to plant in the garden in a few weeks (or as soon as the snow melts!) 

One of my early blogs entries shared information about the peonies that have been in my garden for the past 40+ years.  It’s always nice to add something new to the mix!

Dozens of Peonies for sale at Peony's Envy

The new peony from Peony’s Envy is going to make my neighbors jealous!

Spring’s Arrival at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center
The highlight of our visit was the feeling of being outside in so many beautiful gardens, all under one big roof.

Walking through these indoor gardens, on a cold Friday in early March certainly made it feel like spring. It also smelled like spring. So much so that a dose of Benedryl was required while walking through the expo.

One of the more interesting and surprising landscaping themes was the inclusion of many outdoor bedrooms in the garden.  While this is far from practical (imagine mosquitos and other nocturnal critters crawling into your outdoor bed – it gives new meaning to bedbugs), it was fun to imagine and displays like this one fulfilled the overall show theme of ‘Romance in the Garden’!

Sweet Dreams in the Garden.

Sweet Dreams in the Garden.

Something I wasn’t expecting to see was a landscape filled with ceramic fish, provided by a vendor called Fish in the Garden.  There was discussion in this display area amongst other show spectators.  We all thought that this garden looked like we were peering into an aquarium.

Garden Aquarium - Just missing the castle and treasure chest.

Garden Aquarium – Just missing the diver, castle,  and treasure chest.

The inclusion of sculptures into the garden is especially appealing to me — I enjoyed seeing a variety of stone, ceramic, metallic and other types of sculpture (including the giant rope spider web that you can see in the background of in one of these photos.)

Stone Sculptures (look to the far left for the rope spider web!)

Stone Sculptures (look to the far right for the rope spider web!)

Gate posing as sculpture in the garden.

Gate posing as sculpture in the garden.

Back to Life. Back to Reality.
With spring only a few days away, our happy return to the 2014 Boston Flower & Garden Show provided a nice dose of hope and optimism, even for just a few hours, before returning home to my (still) snow covered garden.

Back to Reality! Garden is still covered in a thick blanket of snow.

Back to Reality! Garden is still covered in a thick blanket of snow.

“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.”

~Victor Hugo


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Gardening at the Gardner Museum

Living in southern New Hampshire, I have the luxury of access to some of the most wonderful art museums in the world, all within an hour or so (depending on the traffic!) drive from my home.

My favorite (with no offense to any of the others, since I love visiting them all!) is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  I feel a sense of peace as soon as I walk into the grand old building that features a spectacular courtyard. You’ll have to view the photos of the courtyard on their website since photography is not allowed during visits.

There’s a connection (that I just can’t explain), that I feel whenever I walk though the entrance to this museum. Many of my friends know my secret as to why I became a member of the Gardner a few years ago. I always thought it would be a great place to attend a party.  Well, my membership has not let me down!  I’ve attended some exhibit openings filled with great fanfare.  But, one of my favorite parties at the Gardner takes place on the Third Thursday of each month.

This winter, I made it down for the Midwinter Tropics event on the Third Thursday in January. My good friend, Liz, joined me for this little mid-week field trip into Boston.  Once we survived the nearly 2 hour drive (to go only 45 miles), we had a wonderful time.

It was a trip that ended up filling this gardener’s desire to get her hands dirty!  In addition to the networking and bars throughout the museum, there was a little workshop area filled with hundreds of sedum plants, buckets and piles of peat moss, and dozens of tiny wood boxes.  The fragrance of the peat moss was a great reminder of spring while we were still in the middle of a cold January when the days were still short and the nights were so long.

An opportunity to Garden at the Gardner to create our own mini works of art was such a treat on that Third Thursday night of January. It also made this winter just a little more bearable!

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My friend, Liz (L) and me Gardening at the Gardner!

“All gardening is landscape painting.”  –  Alexander Pope  


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Inspiration!

Maintaining a garden blog has been a challenge during  a long, harsh winter in New Hampshire.

While my head has been filled with motivation to keep a blog interesting during the midst of a winter filled words like “polar vortex” and “arctic blast”, actual inspiration to get the thoughts out of my head and out to the digital world has been lacking.

Until today…

Maybe the idea of an extra hour of daylight this evening and the pending arrival of spring, along with a great find that was tucked away in a binder of gardening materials, was all that I needed!

Here’s the great find. It’s a poem that a former neighbor named Kate,  wrote for my mom, Kathy, about the garden. It was written over a decade ago. Before the dog named Grace came along to inspire this garden blog.

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I love how words, put onto paper to create such a lovely poem, so many years ago, can have such a more impactful meaning many years later.  Which brings to mind this quote about inspiration that I think relates perfectly to gardening.

“Every moment and every event of every (wo)man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” -Thomas Merton