Monday, July 13, 2015

 When it comes to gardens, bigger isn't necessarily better---or more beautiful. The striking pansies shown here were located in a 10-inch-wide window box, as gorgeous as any pocket garden. The cheerful faces turned toward the sun and random passersby made my day on a stroll in Petoskey, Michigan's historic Gaslight District.
"Flower gardens" don't necessarily need to be populated with traditional flowers either. Yet another eye-catching window box consisted of cabbage-like plants surrounded by a sea of Dusty Miller.  The blue-green and mauve-veined leaves created a powerful contrast against the feathery gray-green foliage behind it.

The experience left me aiming my camera lens at even smaller 'gardens' along my route.  This sea of yellow and orange and lime was cascading from a hanging flower pot outside a Gaslight shop.  Even in the smallest of spaces and containers, gardening can happen.  The result?  Eye-catching and creative encounters with nature that transform the landscape for the better.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A lovely duo in the spring garden is this unlikely marriage of Bachelor Buttons and Alium.  They are both relatively tall, and because they bloom at the same time, their unique flowers gave the garden give a sense of drama and panache.  The Bachelor Buttons are whimsical and feathery.  The Alium explode like fireworks over the green of other later blooming perennials around them.
Bachelor buttons are old fashioned staples of perennial gardens in the Upper Midwest. My grandmother, long deceased, loved them. When she passed away around the Christmas holidays, we had to work hard to find sprigs of Bachelor Buttons to place on her coffin. I pressed and framed them and still remember her and her love of gardens every time I come across the now faded tribute.  Alium though related to the lowly onion all but shouts, "Never judge a book by its cover!"  New hybrid varieties like Schubertii are garden show stoppers.  Fun also is the prospect of drying them for use in earthy crunchy displays. Someone I know even sprays them silver and uses them to decorate their holiday trees.   Bottom line: variety is the spice, of the garden and life.