One of my favorite thing about the garden is being able to enjoy the blooms to create a flower bouquet. I grow an assortment of plants during the spring, summer and fall and about once a week early in the morning, I go out into the garden and forage. Sometimes, I am sort of in-between blooms and other times the bouquets seem to be bursting with all flowers. I like to take advantage of both the blooms and foliage in the garden. None of them are off-limits and somehow, even when things aren’t necessarily blooming, they still find their way into my impromptu bouquets.
I adore peonies. I have loved them since I was a little girl. There is something magical about their fragrant, deep intoxicating blooms and the way that they announce the beginning of summer here in the Northeast. It’s been unseasonable cool here. Spring is taking forever to warm up. We have had a few teasers and then we are back into chilly evenings and cold rainy days. How I have longed for my peonies to show their red buds peeking up through the mulch. I’ve missed not seeing them for a whole year. This month I had the opportunity to submit a tissue paper craft to my DIY Network editor. I decided that I could not wait any longer and made some tissue paper peonies of my own.
My friend Deb for years now has grown the most beautiful dahlias. Raised beds upon raised beds dance with dahlias, zinnias and among other blooms in her cutting garden. This spring, I was inspired to try dahlias in my garden. It was Longfield Gardens once again that gave me a boost. They generously sent me some dahlia tubers to put into the ground.
Straight from the volcano. The flowers went through customs. I could not wait to open them up. They had traveled all the way from South America to my doorstep. Hard to believe that including delivery the bouquets range from $40 to $75. I wanted to try the Deluxe- a $50 bouquet that included 24 roses.
One of my favorite things to collect are birds nests. Over the years I have collected quite a few. A little while back HGTV asked me to come up with a fun garden-inspired corsage and boutonniere, nests immediately came to mind. I wanted to fill the nest with round blooms that resembled eggs. Ranunculus blossoms were perfect. For the boutonniere, I created a ribbon wrapped stalk of flowers and threaded them through their own mini nest. I think they are just perfect for a spring garden wedding, prom, Easter, or even Mother’s Day.
By the request from HGTV Gardens, they asked me if I could share garden inspired origami. The timing was perfect! All summer long the kids have been going crazy folding papers into all sorts of wonderful creations. We have all been having so much fun that it seemed like no work at all. I wanted to share a flower that had history. The flower also had to be easy. I am not an origami master what so ever. Figuring out some of those paper folds can be down right brain numbing. This is what we came up with- meet my Kudsudama flowers.
We have had so much rain over the past week that I was beginning to believe that we would never see the sun again. Yet, yesterday it was beautiful, sunny and not a cloud was in the sky. Despite the rain, spring is my absolute favorite season. The spring blooms are just making the yard smell heavenly. I love lilacs and lily of the valley.
The chickens are laying in full force too. I have so many eggs, that we joke that we are lacking places to put them. Do you think it is possible to become an egg hoarder? I think it is time to make some quiche for dinner.
Perhaps my mind is trying to tell me something. Life around Tilly’s Nest has been taking its sweet time to emerge from its winter slumber. The chickens are now laying eggs regularly everyday. The gardens are beginning to bloom. The spring peepers are croaking in the pond and gentle evening breezes blow through the window fragrances of life; hope.
These past few weeks I have spent many hours tending to the gardens. Connecting with delicate new fronds of ferns, dainty Lilies of the Valley blooms, and gently mulching around the tenderest of tiny stalks of Lavender. All these give me hope. Audrey Hepburn said it best, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
Here at Tilly’s Nest this week we have been graced by the annual visit of Monarch butterflies on their way to Mexico for the winter. Every year around this time, they flit from blossom to blossom. Sometimes, I mistake them for the falling leaves at first, and then I notice that they are infatuated with the plantings that I have grown in my yard specifically for butterflies and hummingbirds. It has paid off, this year the butterflies were abundant.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest