I'm a novice gardener who creates arrangements using cuttings and plants from my yard, vintage containers, and found objects both natural and manmade. In my work life, I am a writer and editor, who recently joined the team of Flower magazine as digital media manager.
My sister-in-law in Nashville has beautiful pots of succulents on her patio. This week when I was visiting, she was kind enough to let me raid them. (I tried to be discreet; her containers still look great.)
I snapped off some individual leaves, which I will try to propagate, but I also snipped and divided some larger sections. I used the larger plants to make this tiny container garden for the guest bedroom.
The shell planter is vintage Fitz & Floyd ($4 at an estate sale; yes, I may be a little obsessed with vintage FF). It has no drainage holes, so I added rocks before topping with cactus potting mix. I’ll have to be careful not to overwater.
Okay, the title of this post should definitely be “Collecting the Seeds of Stokes’ Aster,” but I’ll be darned if this dead stem with tightly clustered seeds at the end doesn’t look like it belongs in the hand of an itty, bitty witch. Also, it’s almost Halloween, so bear with me.
“No, my aunt wasn’t much of a gardener,” said the visitor.
“Oh,” I said, trying not to look disappointed.
Flame-haired and cheerful, the visitor chatting on my carport was the niece of the original owner of our 1960 home. She had popped by while driving home to Virginia from vacation in Florida. I wasn’t expecting her. I was in leggings and an old t-shirt and in the middle of laundry, but when she introduced herself I was curious to glean some house history.
Work some garden zen into your Wednesday. If you have an oak tree, you probably have lots of acorns on the ground this time of year. Collect a couple of handfuls of the loose caps, and use them as decorative mulch. It spruced up this pot of succulents quite nicely.
This 1970s Fitz & Floyd kangaroo toothbrush holder was a $2 estate-sale find (thank you to the best estate-sale-scouting friend I know for taking me along on a lunch break). I figured the (C) FF mark on the bottom stood for something, but I was surprised to find it was Fitz & Floyd. The Kangaroo pattern is a bit whimsical, but it’s not – how shall I say this – as loud as the Fitz & Floyd I know, 1980s to present.
Add the Gulf Fritillary(Agraulis vanillae) to the list of butterfly visitors to our zinnias.
When I showed this photo to a co-worker at our frequented “cheap Mexican” lunch place, I learned she grew up calling zinnias “old maids.” It might not be the most PC nickname, but it makes sense. Their blooms last a really long time and even age gracefully, as is the older-but-still-beautiful bloom in this photo.
Lately, I find myself missing grade school, good old-fashioned K-12. I know there’s a lot of debate today about public education and what’s wrong with it. But as an adult with a job that only uses a narrow scope of knowledge and specialized skill sets, I find myself longing for the brain calisthenics of five to seven subjects a day.