Cutting Garden: Part 1 Late Winter/ Early Spring Bouquet
The Groundhog was wrong. Spring seems to be early. And struggling to the surface of my brain are all the past year’s dreams of garden completeness. A perfect place where each plant is planned according to garden micro-climate and pollinators are aplenty. A place that is not only lovely, but supplies me with endless inspiration and material for flower projects.
It didn’t happen, just like it didn’t happen the previous 3 years since we’ve moved into our house on a hill. Blackberries DID happen. BUT, this year is different and I am ready to attack. Beginning next week…. This week, I plan.
I’m trying to work into my plant palette landscape shrubs, perennials, and annuals that will give me a range of textures and forms to work with for floral design while still keeping a coherent landscape. I’d also like to have something to use during all times of the year. So, part one begins with plants that look good now or will look good in a couple of weeks. Most of them smell good too. There’s something about wet dirt and spring flowers smell that is so good. We’ll all have to imagine the potential arrangements until these sweet smelling plants beef themselves up.
First are hellebores. They are always so unexpected and lovely. I love Helleborus foeditus called Stinking Hellebore (I have not found the stinking part to be true). They are tough too.
Then Creeping rosemary. Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’. I have limited hot spots in my yard. But where there are, they are also on top of rockeries. This will look good dripping down and give me those deliciously pungent, beautifully textured leaves. (side note, I made rosemary orange jelly last year and it rocked my world, you should try it)
And there must be Daphne. If you don’t know about this plant, inform yourself. It’s not that it’s all that eye-catching but the smell is unbelievable. It will seriously stop you in your tracks and turn you into that weirdo walking down the street looking feverishly through the bushes. (I am that weirdo, I could use a fellow weirdo) Also, it’s toxic. To what degree? I dunno. I just don’t eat it. Me or Fido. I promise to find out before I make you an arrangement of the stuff. Botanical name is Daphne odora.
I also like the foliage of the licorice plant. So sweet and soft. It’s not a hardy plant in the Northwest but I’ve been told that sometimes it will more than one season. Helichrysum petiolare. The picture is a variegated variety. (by the way, this one and the creeping rosemary are also great in pots… hmmmm. shall we do a container gardening post in the future? I think so.)
And Pieris. Now I know this plant is everywhere but something about this time of year makes me seek it out. I rearrange my walking route just to encounter a sniff of this stuff. One smell of it and I can remember my elementary school. The grounds were full of white pieris. Good memories, not like Juniper which brings back memories of middle school. Juniper= bad memories. (Juniper and I are currently reconciling.)
And I’d really like some willow. It’s so versatile.
And finally this Flowering Quince. My family has a red one on our Lavender Farm. Most of the summer when people are buzzing about, it is generally a big scrambley, crazy bush filled with birds. Right now, it is jaw-dropping gorgeous. I actually just planted one. Color is unknown, but this light pink one would look lovely in our imaginary arrangement. Botanical name is Chaenomeles speciosa.
There, one gorgeous winter/ early spring arrangement. This is going to get harder as it gets warmer.
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