“If you have a Garden and a Library, you have everything you need.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Our mild winter ended when biting cold temperatures caught a ride on gusty winds and held fast.

Yes. Winter is here. Cocooned, safe from the elements. Enjoying the solitude winter brings.

My garden sleeps except for the beautiful Hellebores blooming in the depths of winter.

I sit in my sunroom overlooking one of my favorite garden beds: peach drift roses, purple lavender, Miss Kim lilac, and bell-shaped clematis; their beauty held in remembered images.

An earlier memory of second grade: I woke up with painful, swollen glands on the day I was supposed to make my First Holy Communion. Measles. I spent the next several weeks in bed; my neck wrapped with strips of a cloth diaper that smelled of Vicks VapoRub. It wasn’t all that bad; my mother made me chocolate malts and brought me library books to read. I guess you could say that was the beginning of my love for books.

It’s a perfect day if I have had enough time to read; gardening days sometimes don’t afford me the luxury.

A favorite book I’ve been reading is: The Lost Kitchen by Erin French. 

In one episode of Erin’s television show: The Lost Kitchen, we see Erin surrounded by beautiful flowers in her edible garden; her small glass jar filled to the brim with the delicate, orange marigold blossoms she gathered. Each course she serves in her restaurant is enhanced with the beauty of herbs or flowers. The blooms can be used as a garnish or in salads.

IMG_3918

Two other books I’ve been reading for inspiration: The Complete Kitchen Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden, and The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner.

IMG_3922

IMG_3924

Both books have information about growing edible flowers.  I am inspired to order edible flower seeds to plant in spring. I will definitely include my favorite Nasturtiums; the flowers and leaves are an excellent, peppery addition to salads.

IMG_2398

Seed catalogs are arriving in the mail. Yes. winter is here. Time to peruse the colorful, detailed pages.

A few of my favorite catalogs:

High Mowing Organic Seeds, Sow True Seed, Select Seeds, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” ~ Gertrude Jekyll

Last October I waited in anticipation of a package soon to be delivered. Bulbs. Did I really order 500 of them? Oh my! Allium Purple Sensation, Allium Christophii, Camassia Leichtlinii Alba, Gladiolus Communis Byzantines, and Ornithogalum Ponticum Sochii arrived in cardboard boxes labeled with their names. It felt like a holiday opening the boxes. Large, small and tiny promises of new life. Included in the box: detailed instructions stating where to plant , proper planting depth and spacing of bulbs. Perfect. Just what I needed. 

May 2022

IMG_1820You can see Allium Purple Sensation in the above photo. They are 4″-to 5″- wide , violet-purple starry globes. I planted them in my perennial beds; Allium leaves can become straggly; later blooming perennials hide them.

58CBABAA-05B5-4679-BE3A-27D0EF25767B

If you like show-stoppers plant Allium Christophii with over 50 starry, amethyst-violet florets on each one. White spires of Ornithogalum Ponticum Sochii with their tiny star-shaped flowers are mingling with the Allium. Below: Perfect companion plants Allium Christophii and dark purple Salvia. 

IMG_1842

Camassia Leichtlinii Alba can grow to be 24″ to 30″. The creamy-white flowers have mauve and green centers. 

IMG_1852IMG_3428

Love the cut flowers of Camassia in a vase.

Now once again I am waiting in anticipation of a package soon to be delivered. Bulbs. This time I ordered Galanthus: Snowdrops. Elwesii have broad creamy-white flowers with inner green markings and gray-green foliage. Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to bloom in winter whispering the coming of spring.

I’ve been doing research on Galanthus bulbs. I found out they like moist soil. They need to be planted in areas that get sun, so under deciduous trees is perfect. Look for places where you pass by frequently or have a good view; right outside my kitchen window will be perfect.