Open season

Sweet pea — Lathyrus odoratus ‘Nimbus’This is it. This is when it all begins. It’s President’s Day. It’s time to sow the sweet peas! And that means the great rush and push of spring begins this week. I’m taking just a moment at home this holiday to mark the seasonal shift with a small awards ceremony. Then I plan to curl back up with my pestering cashmere cat, a restorative cup of tea and a book.

E for ExcellentCaroline at Earth Friendly Gardening awarded this blog an E for Excellent and I’d like to pass it back to her and to a few others. First I’d like to say Thank You to everyone who has been reading and joining the conversation here. Your comments have led me and others to your own E for Excellent blogs. The intention with the award is to single out my favorites but I want to spin it a bit back to you. To start the ball rolling, I’ll send an award to Robin at Bumblebee. I haven’t been a faithful reader but her comment on my last post led me to Bumblebee again this morning. I found this post -and others- recommending that you get out to public gardens and flower shows and bring home whatever useful ideas you find there. I loved reading that because it’s a reminder that Blithewold and all other public gardens are a resource just for you. We need you to visit and are really only gratified if you like what you see enough to try it at home. (Deciding to become a member is gratifying for us too – and keeps us in plants and ideas.) Has anyone else out there written about visiting – and being inspired by – a public garden? Please send the link(s) and take an E for Excellent home with you! (Layanee, Jodi, Pam, and Digital Flower, I know you have many posts about public garden visits – please send your favorites and consider yourselves Excellent.)

10 thoughts on “Open season

  1. Thanks, Kris. You are right—I have written many a post about botanical gardens I’ve visited. Here’s a link to my “botanical garden” category, where you will find posts about Chicago Botanic Garden, San Antonio Botanical Garden, Zilker Botanical Garden and the Wildflower Center (Austin), and the Dallas Arboretum, among others. Enjoy!

    Thanks for sending your link – it was fun to peruse those gardens (again) and your pictures are so good! I hope you’ve taken an award and pass it on! -kris

  2. Hi Kris,

    Thanks for the nice recognition. What a nice surprise on the day that client concerns kept me from posting my President’s Day story on Mount Vernon–one of my favorite historic garden locations!

    I have visited your neck of the woods many times but didn’t know about Blithewold. I will certainly make a point of visiting the next time I’m in your direction. I adore historic and public gardens, which serve as a vast store house of ideas and knowledge for even the casual gardener.

    All the best,

    Robin at Bumblebee

    Robin, My biggest impetus with this blog was to get Blithewold “on the map”! Now that you know we exist, I will look forward to meeting you here! -kris

  3. You are already sowing sweet peas?! Wow. What zone are you in again? (Should I be sowing them sooner than I think in Zone 6? I was going to wait until St. Patrick’s Day!

    Kim, We are zone 6 too and we do start our sweet peas ahead of others because of having the cool greenhouses. No matter when you sow them, they’ll bloom around the same time anyhow. We let them take their time germinating (by keeping them cool) and then we plant them out at the end of April. (I promise a sweet pea post soon!) -kris

  4. How funny — we traditionally sow our sweet peas on or before St Patrick’s Day, but we’re in the other hemisphere! The sweet peas grow slowly through winter and suddenly reach for the sky in spring.

    Chookie, Do you direct sow them? Our winters are too cold to do that here! -kris

  5. Thanks to Digital Flower I’ll be visiting Planting Fields Arboretum on my next trip to Long Island. I’m sure I’ll learn something too. The Island is quite a bit different than home and hopefully I’ll eliminate some of the trial and error of the gardening I’m doing nearby.

    I don’t consider myself unlucky not having public gardens nearby since most of my inspiration comes from the “wild’ of which we have in abundance around here.

    It’s good to take your inspiration where ever and when ever it comes! Just make sure to stop by here if you’re ever in Little Rhody… Even if you can’t take every idea home with you…. -kris

  6. Hi Kris, and thank you so much for the vote of Excellence! Right back at you, because now I hope and dream about visiting Blithewold sometime in the not too distant future. I just went and added the label “public gardens” to 11 posts, and it’s a tossup as to which is my favourite–the Rock Garden at my alma Mater, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, the Botanical Gardens at my other Alma Mater, Acadia University, or Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrews NB. I love them all….I haven’t yet mastered the art of putting a link into a comment even though I can do it in a blog, so I’ve made a tinyurl of my public garden posts:

    HOpefully that works….cheers from jodi in snowing-again NS!

    Jodi, Your link worked like a charm – thank you for creating it! And I can see why you had trouble picking a favorite. -kris

  7. Kris:

    You know I adore Blithewold and the only thing preventing my visiting more often is that you can’t get ‘they a’ from ‘heeya’! It is probably the farthest point from your place to mine in RI! LOL and that, for those out of towners, is a good hour ride! Love that sweet pea variety. Did it come in a mix or does it have a specific name?

    Layanee, I’m glad your route occasionally brings you here. I know how it is – we have to pack a lunch to go these kinds of distances! (I haven’t gone up your way since … gawd … high school!) That sweet pea is ‘Nimbus’ and it was my fave last year so of course I tried to order it again (from Sweet Pea Gardens) and they had had a crop failure. Boo! -kris

  8. Kris: How could I forget to thank you for the ‘E’! I am computer and time challenged so you may not see the ‘E’ on my blog but it is in my heart!

    Not to worry! Just keep up the great work! -kris

  9. Thanks for the info on the sweet peas, Kris. I may just copy you, then, since I think I just opened up some space for more plants on the windowsill–in the attic, near the south window. Very bright, and yet very cool.

    Kim, That sounds like a perfect place – I’ve heard of starting seeds down cellar but never yet in the attic! And won’t it be gratifying to start right away?! -kris

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