Garden Trellises

Love this idea of using a trellis as both support for climbing vines and as an arched backdrop for the potted Geraniums and mass of ferns in front. (BHG)
The curved trio of trellises with circular openings is another terrific idea. A simple hedge curves along the bottom, allowing the stone Puti to dominate the area.

The trellis idea above could be incorporated in almost any small garden or courtyard. Notice that instead of see-through oval openings, the design uses mirrors which enhance the glow of candlelight. Imagine how lovely this would be in the evening!

Not every trellis needs to be elaborate. Here we see a simple trellis leading into a courtyard garden. The picket fence also keeps things homey. The are many plans on line or at local garden centers illustrating how to build a trellis like this. (Also, the website "Costura Club" has a wide variety of DIY trellis designs.)

The simple trellis above, braced in a planting box, is also a great idea for either a small courtyard …


Ferns are at least 350 million years old and more than 20,000 known species grow around the world. Many types flourish both outdoors and as houseplants. Outdoor ferns thrive best in partially shaded areas and those grown indoors flourish in bright light, provided they are not placed in the path of direct sunlight. Ferns rarely suffer from diseases or insect infestations and are easily grown by even the most novice gardeners.Indoor Ferns Boston Ferns: These are the most popular of the houseplant varieties, although they also grow wild outdoors in many regions. They have dark green leaves with evenly spaced indentations in the edges. Boston ferns benefit from frequent but light misting of the fronds. I keep a small mister handy on my kitchen counter.Holly Ferns: This variety has three to four inch dark green leaves that resemble those on holly bushes and are heat, light and water tolerant. They are available in three species including Japanese, Hawaiian and East Indian holl…

Spring, sweet Spring

"In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." - Margaret Atwood

Spring brings to mind early morning light, the bright yellow of daffodils, the clear green of the new leaves on shrubs and trees.

To enlarge photos, simply click in the middle of a picture.

The first show of daffodils in gardens and along back roads never fails to thrill and revive me, even on those inevitable chilly and misty Spring mornings. Fortunately, they're also available these days in local supermarkets, and I buy them by the dozen, leaving those planted in the garden to enjoy when outside on our little patio.

Spring bulbs planted in the fall are usually the first flowers to emerge in the garden. Grape hyacinths, white and blue hyacinths, anemones, scillas and lily of the valley are the most common and can be found as bulbs for sale in fall almost everywhere nowadays. As always, check the reputation and reliability of the growers before making a purchase.

Tulips, one of my favorite spr…

Cut Tulips

As mentioned in my previous post, Tulips 'evolve' after they're cut and placed in water. What I mean by evolve is that they (and other flowers grown from a bulb) continue opening and growing until they're eventually spent of their energy. 

This is Day One when I purchased my Tulips from a local supermarket. Note the tightness of the blooms.

Day Two, when the flower heads were beginning to open and reveal the inside of the petals.

Day Four. Water has been changed and ends of tulips clipped for better water absorption.

Caring for cut Tulips:

Start with a very clean vase. Fill it about 1/3 full with fresh, room-temperature water; tulips last longer in shallow water. Add cut-flower food to the vase. You can also nourish flowers with a solution of one teaspoon sugar and two drops liquid bleach per gallon of fresh water.

Hold each stem next to your vase to gauge how much you'll need to trim. Using a sharp knife, cut stems at a 45-degree angle so they won't sit flat…


Tulip mania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637.

It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble.  In many ways, the tulip mania was more of a hitherto unknown socio-economic phenomenon than a significant economic crisis. Historically, it had no critical influence on the prosperity of the Dutch Republic, the world's leading economic and financial power in the 17th century. Also, from about 1600 to 1720 the Dutch had the highest per capita income in the world. 

In Europe, formal futures market appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. At the peak of tulip mania in February 1637 some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled crafts worker. 

Tulips form a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophytes. The flowers are us…