15 May 2010

Talking and Writing and All Things Plants

Like the old Jackson Browne song, I'm pretty much "running on empty" these past few weeks. It's been madly busy as I've been working like a maniac on the book, plus beating the garden into submission, plus been on the road giving talks, plus being on the road visiting nurseries and garden centres and friends. Everything has to do with plants at this time of year. I talk about them, write about them, read about them, take their photos, sigh over other people's photos of them, swap stories with others about their plants, work with them, flop in the grass and stare at them happily. I'm quite plant-obsessed.
Happily, lots and lots of people share this obsession. Like the Friends of the Garden at NSAC, who tend to the magnificent Rock Garden on the campus. I've written about this garden before, and will do so again. I was there this morning in between taking photos of someone for one client and heading off to Pictou County to give a talk to a group of like-minded plant addicts. It was grey and cold and threatening to rain, but I didn't care. The spring gentians were in bloom. More on the Garden in the next few days. After I catch up on some sleep. I hope.
In New Glasgow this afternoon, I went with a friend to West River Greenhouses after my talk. Though I had sternly told myself I wasn't buying any more plants until I got some of what is at home planted, it didn't quite work out that way. This photo doesn't do this Calluna 'Spring Torch' justice, but I took it tonight in my kitchen with my little camera. The spring foliage is green with new growth in orange, pink, gold...I nearly went into orbit when I saw it. Naturally, I had to have it. I do promise a better photo in the sunlight with some (hopefully) fairly accurate colour.
And the colour is somewhat off on this zonal geranium too, but I had to show it to you. It's called 'Vancouver Centennial' and when I read about it somewhere recently, I knew I'd be very, very happy to make its acquaintance. It looks like it's singing 'O Canada' rather than 'I Believe'; it's a plant for all Canadians, with those maple-leaf like leaves. I don't even care if it blooms. It's just seriously cool.
And speaking of seriously cool--and seriously generous and wonderful--look at this watercolour painting that the members of the Highland Garden Club in Pictou County presented to me this afternoon after my talk! I LOVE it: it's by local (Pictou County) artist Lyn Sue Wice, and it and the handmade card they gave me with it just made me warm all over. Gardeners are such generous souls! The thing about giving talks, or about writing about plants, is that I learn so much from others who share their experiences, wisdom, plants and more with me. And that's the joy of sharing this obsession for green growing things with so, so many people.

That's it for today...I'm truly running on empty and plan to spend Sunday sleeping in, allowing LongSuffering Spouse to cook me breakfast, ignoring the phone and email for the day, and then puttering in the garden if the weather is good and in the greenhouse if it's not. Maybe I'll even put together a bloom day post, only slightly late. I hope everyone has a lovely restful happy day, exploring your own happy plant obsessions.

21 comments:

  1. Oh yes, I am feeling that obsession. I can't stop looking at the garden and when out shopping looking at plants. I have found the reason why I drive an hour and 45 minutes to a greenhouse that has marvelous plants instead of shopping here where I live. Ha..

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  2. May your Sunday be a lovely day like ours. Blue sky, with just a few wisps of cloud. Fresh, but I should be in the garden. Pruning off cuttings then tucking in those new volunteers!

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  3. Hope you have a relaxing Sunday. Sounds like you have been very busy...with fun stuff, though.
    I have the obsession, too. I wake up ready to go outside.

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  4. I think Vancouver Centennial is an essential summer bedding plant every year in my garden. I just love it - not so much for its flowers but its foliage is wonderful in a ceramic container.

    I had to make up exhibition containers a few weeks ago and quite a few of those geraniums featured in one big black ceramic container along with a spirea magic carpet, choysia sundance and tulips.

    I hope the weekend is restful and refreshing for you Jodi and being out in the garden today will give you loads of inspiration for the week ahead.

    From another plant addict :) Rosie

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  5. That painting is spectacular, jodi! Everything in this article has caught my interest: those Gentians...my daughter brought home from Switzerland some seeds for some Alpine plants, gentians among them, and I've always been afraid to start them from seed without a hothouse or cold frame. They're so beautiful! The heather is exquisite, but mostly (and you know how I love geraniums!) that Vancouver Centennial foliage is just amazing! At first glance, I thought it was Heuchera. I hope I can find this locally -- maybe at Baldwin's?

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  6. I love my Spring Torch. I have had it in a container since last fall and this plant gives you more bang for your buck than any I have seen. Its colour is outstanding.

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  7. Your plant selection would have tempted me, too! Enjoy your day of rest. It sounds like you have been extremely busy, but what a wonderful way to be busy! Good luck with your book and other endeavors. I am trying, unsuccessfully, not to be jealous!

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  8. Enjoy your 'running empty' Sunday, Jodi. Schlepping back & forth weekends ( 3 1/2 hour drive), I somewhat feel the same and feel very old tonight after tending my 2 gardens plus tweaking my sister's home now on the market. Wishing us both a good night's sleep! (when you get a moment, come visit my Mid-May garden)

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  9. Sounds like you need a moment to just take a deep breath. Hope that you get the time to do it.

    Van Cent is a gorgeous geranium, and there are many others that have very similar foliage, but slightly different colors.

    Hey, if we need to be obsessed, why not plants?

    Jen

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  10. Jodi - you are busy! - please don't run on empty for to long - hope you had a good weekend and your batteries are re-charged.

    Lovely colour in the leaves of your new geranium - and what a nice gift of a painting you were given
    K

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  11. Yep, my last post was about the addictive tendencies we gardeners have...got to have it....got to have it.....Phew do you have time to garden!!! I hope your Sunday was nice and restful....gardening recharges you for the week for sure.

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  12. Busy is good, but too busy is just too busy. It's that time of year, I guess. Love, love, love the Pelargonium foliage!

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  13. Take care of yourself! It's too easy to get run down after running on empty. That is a wonderful pelargonum! gail

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  14. Hope you enjoyed some much-needed R&R over the weekend. That watercolor IS seriously cool. As is, that stunning blue flower in the top photo. :)

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  15. I hope you're able to find more time to relax a bit and enjoy the fruits of your labor! You're working very hard, indeed! I must comment on your first photo of the blue flowers..I'm not a huge blue fan, but these are spectacular! Great photo!

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  16. Glad you are enjoying plant mania, but I'll add my cautions: remember that plants zapped up on fake fertilizer tend to peter out early, and that all plants go through dormant or slow-growing periods.

    Yours appears to be spring-speedy now; looking forward to seeing your works appear, and doesn't it make you feel nice that those gardeners appreciate you so much they give you a painting? A fine one it is, too, ditto that zonal geranium.

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  17. Thanks, all. I'm still wiped out, but have been screamingly productive the past few days AND managed to do a bit in the garden when it isn't blowing a gale of wind. Now we could just use some rain. I can't believe I actually wrote that, but it's true. Even here on the hill, it's a bit on the dry side. All that wind, instead of fog. Kind of weird.

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  18. Wow, Jodi, you have been one busy girl! Your garden must be gorgeous and kudos on that lovely painting! Is that gentian blooming in your garden. I had one for a couple of seasons, then poof no more. PS - I moved my blog to blogger- I changed the name to: www.DakotaGarden.com

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  19. Definately got to have one of those Canadian o canada plants, even I could tolerate that as a house plant and possibly not kill it with neglect! Which bit do you like best Jodi, dreaming about buying plants, buying plants or finally putting them in? Or All 3!:D
    Respect
    The Gardener

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  20. Such a lovely blue those domestic gentians are. I hope you are able to relax and sleep a bit more, now last week is over. Your new plants look interesting but I'm not a fan of red and yellow foliage. To me the plant looks sick. I don't mind if it is all red or all yellow just not bicolour. :)

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  21. Wow, those gentians are amazing. I wish I had time to be more focused on plants--I have many dozens just sitting in the courtyard, waiting. Not to mention all the weeds. Hoping that Memorial Day wknd will be the window I have been waiting for.

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