Friday, March 18, 2011

Boston Flower & Garden Show 2011

Aaah, flower shows. The Boston Flower & Garden Show is going on through Sunday, March 20th, and I had the chance to attend this week. Is there nothing better on a cold, raw, rainy March day than to smell the dirt, see the green, ooh and aah over the flowers and displays and think of Spring? So of course we have to start off with the tulips and bright colors. But there was so much more!
I loved this beautiful display of foxgloves, one of my favorites in the garden.

Another favorite of mine at the garden shows is the stone work. This circular stone sculpture was breathtaking, and of course there are Spring flowers there as well!
And this one I would like to have in my backyard. I have the perfect spot for it, maybe someday.
The theme of this year's show was the Container Garden.
I went to an inspiring lecture by Deborah Trickett of The Captured Garden. Here is a basket of Deborah's with seedlings just hatching from egg shells. I came home with all sorts of ideas, as Deborah said, anything that can hold dirt can be used as a container!

And wouldn't this have been a beautiful place to sit down and have lunch! The Newport Flower Show put on a gorgeous display that made you want to climb right in and sit down.

So after we rested a bit and ate some lunch, my friend Ginny looked at the plastic containers our lunch came in and declared them perfect for seed starting! We collected
containers from the ladies we were sharing a table with and came home with some nice mini terrariums.

And fasion seemed to be a theme this year as well. The stone lady went with the Newport display, and the pink dress with the flower bodice, in the display by Village Arts & Flowers of Walpole, MA was stunning.

But this lady was my favorite. Perched high on the top of a rock outcropping, you almost didn't notice her unless you were really looking. Gazing down on all of us, she looked peaceful and serene in her woodland setting, right at home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


When I was first approached by a friend to hold a Zentangle class at the store, I was a bit apprehensive. Zen what? Drawing lines? I'm really not artistic. But I was attracted to the concept and the instructor, Karen Keefe, is always involved in such wonderful beautiful things that I though it was worth a try. And what a wonderful afternoon!

Sixteen people gathered at Scentsibilities to learn from Karen this meditative art form.

Here we all are, the new artists. And I found, you don't need to be an artist to produce something beautiful.

Zentangle is an easy to learn method
of creating beautiful images from
repetitive patterns. It is a fascinating new art form that is fun and relaxing. It increases focus and creativity.

The Zentangle art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

One of the things I liked was that it can be small and portable, or large and intricate - whatever you choose.

Here are the first and second pieces of work of all the participants, most of whom had never zentangled before. All the participants learned the same patterns, but the interpretations are all so different as can be seen.

And the patterns and ways to use them are endless. Karen had a zentangled mug and box. Imagine a zentangle quilt or large collage, wall mural or as Karen shared, a friend has zentangled sneakers!

Give this a try, you'll be glad to did.

Zentangle is a registered trademark of Zentangle Inc. Learn more at or by contacting Karen Keefe, a certified Zentangle instructor, at

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rosemary Winter Bliss

Rosemary is always a struggle here in New England. It thrives in the summer and then we shock the poor plant by bringing it indoors and asking it to survive for months until Spring comes again.

I get frequent questions at the store about where to keep it, how to care for it and many laments about how it "always dies". I've had those years as well where everything seems to be going fine and then the telltale dropping of leaves. I've been known to beg the rosemary to just stay alive for a little longer!

But this year I seemed to have found the perfect spot with good temperatures and moisture. I came home from Florida at the end of January to find my large rosemary in bloom. It bloomed all through February, bringing a smile to my face every day as I walked by and is still blooming. I've never had my rosemary bloom over the winter so this is a real treat for me.

So here are my tips on how to keep the rosemary going.

1. Preparing it to be brought inside.

This is important. I generally repot and trim back the rosemary, and then gradually accustom it to less light by keeping it outside but moving to a more shaded spot. Once I bring it indoors, I will occasionally put it outside on a nice day, which I consider over 50 degrees.

2. Location.

As they say in real estate, location, location, location. I look for a place that gets as much natural light as possible. Since my rosemary is very large and heavy, I'm limited by places it can go. This year it is in an unheated, glassed in sunroom which seems to be working.

3. Temperature.

Rosemary can be kept cool, and I find this seems to help it through the winter. An unheated room is fine. Since mine is against a glass pane I do lightly cover it if the temperatures are in the teens or below.

4. Moisture.

This is a tricky one. Rosemary likes to be fairly dry, but cannot be left to dry out completely. Especially when it is in a fairly cold temperature location it can be difficult to know when and how much to water. I water once a week or week and a half, lightly so the soil is moist but not wet.

5. Humidity.

One of the things that does seem to keep the rosemary happy over the winter is a high humidity level. If your rosemary is in the house, the liklihood of it drying out just from the heating in the house is high. I mist the plant to keep it moist or it can be put on a tray filled with water and rocks. Just make sure the rosemary is on the rocks and not sitting in the water and the evaporation of the winter will help keep it moist.

So let me know, what tips do you have and how does your rosemary grow?