Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I'D RATHER BE GARDENING: A Few of My Favorite Spring Bulbs

It's 3:00 a.m. on a crisp fall night in October and rather than lay in bed wide awake, my mind whirling with its usual cacophony of thoughts and ideas, I thought "What better time than now to write about spring bulb planting."


Brent and Becky's Bulbs, Gloucester, VA

In my Zone 6 garden I usually do my planting around mid-November (soil temp. must be under 55 deg.) I often split a large order from Van Engelen with a friend, which is a great value, or for smaller orders I purchase from their sister company, John Scheepers. But recently while visiting my local garden center I had the good fortune to find the bulbs on this year's wish list.

So what follows are a few of my favorite bulbs, most of which I've grown, starting roughly by bloom time.


SPECIES CROCUS (crocus tommasinianus)

Following are a couple of "species" crocus varieties which I choose because squirrels supposedly don't like them so I figure that gives them an advantage.

Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Meneerke_bloem/Photographic_Collection_2b

Photo: BloomingBulb.com

DAFFODILS

Of course daffodils are on my list! I don't think there is an easier or more pleasurable bulb in the world and squirrels don't like them either. I usually grow varieties that naturalize well and I like to plant them in large numbers for greater impact.


Brent and Becky's Bulbs, Gloucester, VA

This year I intend to plant them directly in the lawn rather than a mulched bed. Here is my list of favorite naturalizing daffodils:
Dutch Master
Carlton
Ice Follies
February Gold
Fortune
Fortissimo
Tete-a-tete


'Tete-a-tete' daffodils
I especially love the little Tete-a-tete daffodils.


'Tete-a-tete' daffodils with viola.
So lovely with little violas planted around them. If I could only have one variety of daffodil,  'Tete-a-tete' would be it.


SUMMER SNOWFLAKE


'Gravetye Giant' Snowflake
Said to be the "big brother" to the Snowdrops, Gravetye Giant Snowflake boasts larger blooms than the species Snowflake.

Brent and Becky's Bulbs
After touring the gardens at Brent and Becky's Bulbs a few years ago, I fell in love with their large drifts of Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). This will be my first year growing them and I just learned that they prefer moist soil, even boggy areas, so I'm not sure how well they'll do for me here.


ALLIUM 


Allium 'Purple Sensation'
Here you can see Allium 'Purple Sensation' growing at my former home, along with the little heirloom shrub rose 'Midnight Blue'.


Allium 'Gladiator'
And here is the taller Allium 'Gladiator' that I planted last fall here in my new home. I think it needs some "companions" so I may add pretty white Ornithogalum magnum as well as more tall bearded iris in this bed.

Well, hopefully I've inspired you by this small list today! Of course I do have other bulb varieties on my favorites list, but I'll have to save those for another day. As a working artist, I am in the midst of my busy season right now so I'm afraid gardening and blogging are having to take the "back burner" for awhile.

I have been very, very busy in my studio creating lots of new jewelry designs to add to my Etsy shop, which I will begin listing today.

New Bracelets by Cynthia Crane's Pottery!

New necklaces by Cynthia Crane's Pottery!

I would love to know YOUR favorite spring bulb selections, so please do share them in your comments below!

That's all for now friends! I think I'll go back to bed and get a few more hours sleep because later on, well, you know ....

I'D RATHER BE GARDENING!
 



Monday, September 8, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop: Sharing My New Video "One Fine Day ...."

"One Fine Day at Cynthia Crane's Pottery"
Well, the day has finally arrived for my turn in the Around the World Blog Hop. I'm supposed to answer a series of questions about my creative process....yada yada yada....but rather than ask you to spend 10 minutes reading all about moi (which might bore you), I thought you might rather only spend 5 minutes watching a neat little video my daughter helped me make recently.

I think it should tell you all you really need to know!

So.....without further adieu....here 'tis:

One Fine Day at Cynthia Crane's Pottery




I certainly hope you enjoyed that! 

Now I must give a big THANK YOU to my blogger friend Jan of Sew and Sow Farm for inviting me to participate in this Blog Hop. A real "salt of the earth" gal is she, helping manage a huge farm in north George while she makes time to create the most splendid quilts you ever did see. 

Featherweight Quilt Company
Jan's current specialty is designing and stitching quilt blocks called Patchwork of the Crosses using the English Paper Piecing method. She even offers her lovely quilt block kits and supplies in her Etsy shop, FeatherweightQuiltCo.

Sew and Sow Farm
Her blog is full of heartwarming photos and stories about the animals on her farm, interspersed with loads of helpful information about quilting. And she has the most wonderful and generous Giveaways, too! So be sure to visit her blog and tell her I said "Hello"!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Well, friends, this will be my last post for a few weeks as I prepare for the upcoming Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in Berryville, VA at the end of this month. My first fiber art show! Yay!

Button, pendants and beads.....and stuff with bunnies and sheep painted on, will be the order of the day. 

Buttons, pendants and beads, oh my!
But these lovelies are being fired in my kiln as I write, to be listed in my Etsy shop on Wednesday. Oh, what but that the kiln gods will be kind to me tonight as many many hours of love and devotion went into the making of these precious little jewels.

Thanks so much for visiting and watching my new video!