Snowdrops!

 

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I’m tired of this weather but trying to find solace in Galanthus. I need a book on them, with a lot of pictures, so I have some hope of being able to identify them correctly. These are all from the Conservatory Garden and I love some of the delicate markings.

Using thermal mass to create climate zones – may be useful for us low zone gardeners

Tips of hellebore growing

Quite like these new outdoor chairs from Crate and Barrel

Gorgeous photoshoot from Sarah Winward

Kim Wilke’s Franklin Farm

Probably viewed this 100+ times now – really looking forward to seeing San Fermin again this weekend!

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be a different kind

13242345385_db34fd598e_oI went to a more intensive flower class a few weeks ago. It was a lot to process – the sheer number of flowers, the people in the room, all the new techniques and business tips to learn. It was especially good to go after having spent a weekend picking my friend Kelly‘s brain. Kelly has an easy way of breaking things down and making anything sound doable; I admire her spirit. The two events left me more excited about possibilities, more daunted by logistics, but more sure that I want to try anyways. Thanks to Sarah and Nicolette for the beautiful photos and magical two days, and to Kelly for being the best flower friend a girl could ask for.

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Midnight

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Weekly links: Quarterly edition

Piet Oudolf documentary teaser from Thomas Piper on Vimeo.

I’ve been reading a lot about plants/garden design these days (currently reading Planting: A New Perspective which is EXCELLENT). My roommate regularly comes home to find me skimming plant catalogues – I’m so appreciative of specialty plant nurseries that post them online, even if they’re only glorified lists. Let’s just say that the Missouri Botanical Gardens website and I are becoming reeeeally familiar with one another.

The choices available make it less gut-wrenching to plan a semi-hardy garden. I’m not sure that I totally believe the zone designations listed, particularly because few nurseries are located in cold climates, but I’m still facing tough choices making a plant list of stuff that has a fighting chance of surviving a few years. Dreaming about plant choices, configurations, hedging, hardscaping; it’s been an incredibly pleasurable past time over the last month or two. Don’t worry though, my weekly gardening fundamentals class at NYBG ensures that I don’t forget the limitations of soil and pruning, and the importance of compost to making any dream a reality. It’s GROUNDING.

Yet, even with all this distraction, the annual hellebore lust has struck. Last year I thought my interest may be waning but once they began appearing in my instagram/facebook/rss feeds in January, plus for sale on all the specialty nurseries, I was quickly disabused of that notion. I’ll spare you this time, but know that nothing has changed, and once we are rid of this infernal slush I expect them to dominate any March posts here. If you happen to live in a suitable climate, please go purchase a yellow picotee one and send me pictures.

death by peanut butter and chocolate

beautiful photo shoot by Sarah and Nicolette of Little Flower School

Sticky Toffee Pudding

American plan designer Adam Woodruff

Steamed lemon puddings

Butter-toasted oatmeal (I think this should be its real name)

Still utterly fascinated by the Federal Twist garden

Sweet peas!

I made this upside down cranberry cake and my office mates devoured it

 

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Trusting the pleasure

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Lately, I’ve been trying the 9-5 work life. Usually the days are a little longer, although not as long as my friends’. It’s an adjustment. Whereas school made me feel like I was wholly removed from myself, now I just feel as if I’ve lost some important elements. Work forces me to be present, but doesn’t engage me. I’m not sure why it’s surprising that helping people doesn’t instantly make me feel fulfilled, I’ve always been inwardly focused.

My non-work life has had some nice moments in the last few weeks though. Thanksgiving was a success – relaxed and delicious, featuring essentially the same menu as last year. Smitten’s pumpkin pie is still ace. In between there were visits to Ample Hills, Alta, Ippudo, Motorino, and Harney and Sons – all delicious and recommended. Then my roommate and I hosted a holiday party for our friends and colleagues. It was an unexpectedly relaxed and happy gathering. My roommate had the party catered by Dos Toros which was a hit, and I made a tonne of dessert and festivized the apartment. Clearly Nanaimo bars haven’t quite made it across the border as pretty much every American (of which there were many) asked me about them in tones of shock and awe (SHOCK AND AWE I TELL YOU).

Lastly, one of my friends took me to a small Vampire Weekend show. Finally checked them off the list of bands to see live. They were fab and I was so, so happy to be there. One of the things that still makes NYC worth it. That and being surrounded by people who regularly read the NY Times (random segue I know, clearly all that reading has done little to improve my narrative flow). Last weekend we were all discussing crazy ants. I’m never going to Texas now… I hate ants so much.

Of course, this week everyone has been reading the five part series on a homeless family. NY Magazine also published a long article on landlords profiteering off the shelter system. And in October, the New Yorker published a long article focused on the shelter system and the Bloomberg administration’s questionable policy choices (at least that’s what I took from it). The bottom line is that homelessness in NYC is at one of the highest levels since the Great Depression. Living in this city is unsustainable for most people and it’s hard to see day after day.

- snowflakes

- beautiful wallpapers

- my favourite Christmas song these days

- Gravetye Manor

- butterkuchen sounds delicious

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On chrysanthemums

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Fall again – the northern third of the Conservatory Garden finally shines with a riot of mums. Glad that even though there will probably be no tulips here in the spring, at least this tradition continues. Could they do lots of other things in this space? Yes. But I have to say it’s an impressive jumble and certainly preferable to some of the highly trained chrysanthemum displays you see. I’m in awe of what people can do with some members of the family but the thousand-flowered plants and wired cascades don’t speak to me in the same visceral way.

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