Tag Archives: echinacea

Building a Conservatory

Emily Dickinson’s Conservatory

One way I feel connected to Emily is the similar climates in which we nurture our gardens. There’s a great deal of the year that is cold. Like her, I’ve wanted a Conservatory.

This year my husband and I decided to get started on it.

We had the plans drawn up–$400.00, the permit purchased–$500.00 and the concrete footing poured–$500.00. Now we are in the process of getting bids on the materials–wood, windows, french doors.

It will largely be an outside room–a covered porch of sorts–but we’ll try to keep it always above freezing. In the spring and summer we’ll open the windows and doors and let the breeze blow through. In the late fall and winter we’ll close it up and allow only the light in.

Here is what’s growing in my garden in August.

Day Lily


Gay Feather


First Day of Spring and First Flowers: Crocus & Snowdrops

The first day of Spring was a few days ago and it went unnoticed, I’m sad to say, on this blog.

I think today we should celebrate Snowdrops and Crocus–the earliest of bloomers; yet, almost the only types of flowers I have not had the privilege of planting. I went to a local store a few weeks ago to get bulbs, but they didn’t have Snowdrops and they had sold out of Crocus. My husband’s daughter, however, had beautiful Crocus and Snowdrops in her garden when we drove to see them yesterday.

The Crocus:

The feet of people walking home
With gayer sandals go-
The Crocus-till she rises
The Vassal of the snow-

Emily Dickinson (further reading click link to my blog post about The Crocus)

Interesting note: The Greek word “krokos” means “saffron”.

My goal: Get Crocus and Snowdrops in 2010. In fact, I’ll make a list of plants I want to acquire so that I won’t forget at the end of the growing season.

I’ve seen a lot of poems referring to crocus as the first flower of spring, but isn’t the snowdrop the first flower of spring? So, those poems should read, Ah, the crocus, second flower... Check out the weekend gardener for confirmation of this fact and a list of the earliest blooming flowers.

Now, to what is growing in my garden–the mid-Spring bloomers: tulips and daffodils.

The beginning of Columbine’s return–a good memory for me now.

I believe these are the beginnings of my chives, but at this point, I would be very much afraid to “taste” that theory.


Leopard’s Bane


What I’m getting ready to plant:

I have a very large rock planter in front of the house that I didn’t get to last year.

I’m getting ready to plant it as soon as we get the top soil brought in and mixed with the wonderful, aged cow manure we got from our neighbor the other day.

This will be a colorful assortment of flowers arranged around, what I think may be a quaking aspen. I’m not positive, though, about the tree choice. Here are some of the bulbs–peony, echinacea, lilies, clematis:

And some hollyhock seeds my dad gave me at the end of last year. I’m not sure how I’ll start them.

Maybe like my son did. These are his flowers and herbs he grew in school and gave to me a couple of weeks ago with the request: please keep them alive. So far, so good.

Any crocus in your part of the world? Snowdrops? Any plants from last year coming to life?

Happy Spring gardening adventures!