January 27, 2015

Mulching in January


Underneath this goofy, happy smile... on a record setting 77 degree high temp on January 26,


resides a low level of anxiety about such warm temperatures in what should be one of our coldest months.


But low grade concern is not ABOUT to dissuade me from getting out on such a glorious, inordinately warm winter afternoon. About this time of year, the barren brown ugliness of the gardens....with all its dusty, leafy debris.....begins to play on my nerves and my spirits. I itch to remove the unsightly beigeness of it all, but am reticent to do so...


as I know better.  I know that it is serving its purpose...protecting and insulating and holding in moisture. All the comforts that plants AND humans need in winter. But it is gloriously warm, after all,  and sure as shootin',  I will scratch that itch to tidy up the landscape.  Not, however, without replacing that leafy mulch without another, better looking, blanket of warmth.




Most, if not all, of the leaves have fallen from my oaks and maple trees in the front, as well as the leaves from nearby neighboring trees and deciduous shrubs.  After all, I don't want repeat this rather laborious process again. Other spring chores will demand my time and attention.




But just try to keep me out of the garden on a day like this in January! Husband is not one to work in the garden much, but he is generally happy to be Chief Procurement Officer, and as such, made a trip to Lowe's for my favorite mulch of the moment, their fine pine Landscaper's Mix Soil Conditioner.





It is dark and rich and a perfect medium for my front garden self-seeders... like violas, chamomile and golden feverfew... to germinate in and get off to a good start.  All the activity in pursuit of






a happy landscape


and a very happy, melatonin infused, gardener. 


January 26, 2015

Stylish and Protective Gardening Attire



Truth be told, serious gardeners (and I am no exception) are often  found futzing and putzing about in the landscape in muddied pajamas...coffee cup in one hand, weedy debris in the other.  But at a certain point in the early spring season...


there are WAY too many unexpected visitors (in both the front AND the back garden ( a usually relatively safe spot to be found in less than respectable attire...)

to warrant the actual donning of day clothes with perhaps even a little attention to one's appearance...AND attention to providing protection from Oklahoma's strong spring and summer sun...all the while upping one's game in terms of stylish gardening attire...Garden Couture, as it were. 

Last Friday I did a spot on FOUR YOUR GARDEN about fashionable garden clothing and accessories to do just that...look good AND provide protection at the same time. COOLIBAR is a great place to buy good looking, sensible clothes that provide 50+ SPF and block out 98% UVA?UVB.  Shirts, pants, accessories, you name it, for men, women, children and babies.


Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing


Garden tough doesn't have to be garden ugly.  Case in point these darling Dirty Laundry Buffalo Plaid Boots,  on sale now at DSW for $29.99.  (Look for similar styles in fun floral prints as well.)

While engaging in some apres-gardening in these boots, the first two garden gals I ran into asked where they could order some for themselves.  Cute, tough, rugged, Doc Martin-like chic...and comfortable. Hurry, hurry, hurry, they're going fast.  :)



 



January 23, 2015

NATURE INSPIRED Valentine Gifts


On one of the first Valentine's Days after my father married my second mother, he gave her a pair of Dutch Girl Painted Wooden Shoes...with, you guessed it... the sentiment "Wooden Shoe Be My Valentine?"  A rather kitschy expression, but as a little girl (though English/German, not Dutch), I thought it sweet and romantic (or I would not remember it still.) 

A pair of wooden clogs is not on my personal list of Valentine gifts, but other nature inspired wooden lovelies would be greatly appreciated.





These wooden bracelet stands are both functional AND sculpturally attractive. Find them here....perhaps with a little stone and metal token of love hanging from them?





I love the masculine vibe of these Hand finished Rosewood Keyboard covers for Macs. Great gift for the man OR gal in your life.












I am generally not a big fan of the heart shape, but I love the subtly of these stylized heart 
Olive Wooden Heart Nesting Bowls in triplicate. The graining is beautiful,  don't you think?







You may not recognize these smart looking jump drives from Oooms Design
as such, but what a voguish valentine they would make for your romantic or platonic valentine. While surfing and shopping online, lust after this chic hand made Haitian cuff bracelet.....a work of art on or off the cuff from Ash and Ames




Grand love calls for grand gestures.  Is this rustically elegant Riddling Rack Succulent Stand from Pottery Barn grand enough?




Not as grand, but enough to make your heart happy are these beautiful form meets function industrial chic hooks from Andrewsreclaimed.

Give you any ideas for your Valentines? If not, join me and LC today on FOUR YOUR GARDEN on NewsChannel 4 at 4:30. We'll be discussing What the Stylish Gardener will be Wearing this Spring.




January 12, 2015

Humble Marigolds


It was unexpectedly good. And not in a gossipy way, but in a beautifully written and dispassionately-passionate manner.


I am a sucker for memoir, and checked out three from the library last week.  
At the top of the heap for no particular reason was Angelic Huston's WATCH ME.  I enjoy peeping into others' lives and my voyeurism in this case did not go unrewarded. Her words are elegantly succinct, passionate without being overly sentimental. A beautifully descriptive telling in a rich, dramatic and compelling voice. 


One of my favorite passages was of an East Indian wedding, describing members of the bridal party "festooned in marigolds and roses..." , enticing an audible 'ahhhh' from this reader, and evoking memories of beloved marigolds from previous seasons in my own garden.


I no sooner finished and put down the book, than I picked up my, as yet lone, seed catalog to check out the marigold offerings. I prefer my marigolds tall and bosomy in voluptuous dahlia-like form, verses petite and bushy and less generous with their petals. 




I have long been a fan of Park's WHOPPER MARIGOLD COLLECTION in yellow and orange...even giving them full possession of one entire quadrant of the summer potager. 

In my mind, repelling insects and battling root nematodes, a well-known (and perhaps overblown) perk of growing them...is just a side gig. Their true raison d'ĂȘtre...

is to fill my summer vases with bright and sunny cut flower happiness...


and my colorless winter thoughts with the same.




January 10, 2015

Good Garden Bone Structure



In the garden, and in the gardener, good bone structure is of paramount importance. 


Never more so than in the winter...


when the complexion of both is pale, absent of color and vigor and vitality.


 But good strong bones...


 with the definition and structure and character they provide...


 lend support,


holding the entirety of the visage together.


Personality and expression intact...


and almost equally as dramatic and attractive.


 Devoid of color, but blessed with flattering light and shadow.


 Jewelry and ornamentation crucial to this winter beauty...


taking the form of select baubles here and there,


 the dripping beauty of rare jewels, accessory... 


and adornment.




Carefully dressed to enhance the loveliness of the total effect...


and communicating 


great love and  unceasing care.