Monday, April 28, 2014

I’D RATHER BE GARDENING: The Pretty in Pink Mid-Spring Cottage Garden

This is the first post in my new series “I’D RATHER BE GARDENING” where I'll be sharing over 30 years of gardening experience, including my progress on landscaping my new home in the lovely State of West Virginia (Zone 6b). 

I was first introduced to Cottage Gardening over 30 years ago when I lived in a charming little apartment beside Mrs. Foster, who really was my very own “Gertrude Jekyll”. Mrs. Foster taught me how to care for the multitude of roses and perennials that filled her spacious Cottage Garden. Often I would return home from a long day of work and night school to find a lovely little nosegay of freshly clipped blossoms on my doorstep. 

I have designed and installed gardens in 5 different homes since 1980, and have recently begun work on my 6th. I hope you’ll enjoy following along as I share my immense passion for gardening! Today's post is focused on a select few of my favorite PINK mid-spring (April in my area) flowers, shrubs and trees. 

Peach Orchard
I can’t begin this post without sharing some views of local peach orchards now at the height of bloom.

Orr's Farm
A few miles from me, Orr’s Farm will be hosting an Outstanding in the Field event this fall. I first learned of this wonderful gathering from my friend and fellow blogger Vicki of 2 Bags Full

Yoshino Cherry Tree
Now for a few of my personal favorites in the mid-spring garden. Although their blooms only last a short time, the Yoshino Cherry is a lovely strong tree that can withstand the treacherous winds we experience here below North Mountain. I have several of them now at my new home, but the Yoshino in this late 90's photo was my first.

Eastern Redbud Tree
Here on the East Coast we enjoy the gorgeous deep pink flowers of the native Eastern Redbud tree. They are best planted as an understory tree beneath the dappled shade of taller trees, and although they do not withstand wind and snow very well this established Redbud is hanging in there with the help of some wire (as well as Gorilla Glue thanks to Papa Crane.)

Pink Climbing Roses
Who doesn’t LOVE pink roses?!!! My favorite go-to blog for learning about roses is Hedgerow Rose. Although Laurie claims she is not an expert, her blog is jam packed full of lovely photos and info for the rose enthusiast of any level.

A sweet classic shrub for the Cottage Garden is the must-have Weigela. This lovely shrub makes a great "mingler" since it reaches out and cascades through perennials in the garden. My personal favorite Weigela is Rainbow Sensation with its gold variegated leaves and clear pink blooms.

Flowering Almond
Another old Cottage Garden favorite is the Flowering Almond. We recently rescued this lovely specimen from the foundation at the back of our house where it could not be appreciated. Now beside the driveway it greets us while coming and going. 

Creeping Phlox
Many of the garden beds at my new home are filled with vast areas of creeping phlox in several shades of pink and lavender. I thought this a nice setting for my new Bluebird with Crown Sculpture which I’ll be listing in my Etsy shop this coming Wednesday afternoon. 

How about some yummy lime green Euphorbia to go with the pinks in the garden? And what Cottage Garden is complete without a few bluebirds?!!! My new small cupcake stand with domed thatched cottage will be listed on Wednesday along with dozens more new creations from Cynthia Crane's Pottery on Etsy.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this first post from my new series, but I must bring it to a close since…..

My Screensaver!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Downloadable Desktop Calendar APRIL 2014

So very glad spring has finally arrived and the Red Robins are out in all their glory. My April 2014 Downloadable Desktop Calendar features one of my watercolor paintings of a pair of happily singing Robins, with a lovely view of local Orr's Orchard from the top of the trail at Poorhouse Farm Park.

To download the calendar just click the image above, and either save to your computer or as your desktop background for immediate use.
Now, if you like my Desktop Calendars and want to to be notified when they become available, please consider joining my blog or following by email. (See forms over to the right.)

And please feel free to share my FREE Downloadable Desktop Calendar for APRIL 2014 using the links below. (Those teeny tiny boxes - Twitter, Facebook, etc. - over on the left side within the larger grey box.)