Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I Can't Go Back, I have Yet to Move Forward

Stuck in suspension waiting for the change. That's my past. I can no longer "wait" for change. I must make it. A whirlwind of fire and walking through hell, endlessly walking in circles undeniably afraid that life itself might be worse than the flames engulfing me. I will now search for a door hidden in smoke. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Last of the Photos Before The Move

Here are the photos I took at my house in the months before the sale. Included are the plants around the house and any photo I could find indoors. 

Goodbye 4*6 Jefferson Street!

One Year Later

It has been one full year since my last entry and so, so much as changed. The biggest, directly affects this blog (although you bet ya butts I'll get around that) is that I sold my beloved home in September and with that all my beautiful plants I blog about have been snatched right from under my nose. There is a long story that goes with the decision to sell my house but let's keep it simple and say the time has come to move forward. With that the opportunity to capture shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, things of nature and all that good stuff has just expanded to include anything and everything. I have decided to keep the name of my blog and as a metaphor "one house" is our world and of course in it lives many plants! Done. And done. The glass certainly is half full. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gone South

Months have passed since I last posted an entry. I am currently residing in Fort Myers, Florida which will be reflected in my new posts. Nature and all the beauty earth has to offer, captured from the perspective of a traveler, new to the south. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Astilbe

In my opinion, the astilbe is one of the hardiest and prettiest perennial in my landscape. Each year in fills in fuller than the previous and it's colorful plunes last up to four weeks. The green foliage remains all summer long.
The astilbe thrives in full sun and tolerates a dry soul now and again. Of course it's best if watered daily especially during the hottest summer months. I have a grouping of three light pink astilbes and a single white plant and a single deep pink.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Climbing Hydrangea, Magnolia & Lilac Tree

Late spring bloomers are making their show as the early spring blooms die away. I love watching the layers of blooms, some overlap and some wait to make the show all on their own. As the last anemone flower fades away the astilbes are growing strong stalks which will make a spectacular summer display, the coral bells and climbing hydrangeas are now in full swing while my hydrangea bushes are all waiting for an early summer bloom. I have given the chrysanthemums their first trim as to avoid an early bloom. I work with mostly perennials and in choosing wisely, I have constant blooms from early spring through late fall.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Long Island

Just a quick moment of gratitude. There are so many beautiful places to live. So many small towns that don't even make it onto the map. My hometown, Franklin Square is essentially one of those towns. It's overlooked, as nothing noteworthy makes it pop. But isn't that in itself the charm? I believe so. We are a quaint community of neighbors who know eachother and families who grew up generation after generation with one another. It's a conservative town yet liberal in it's social beliefs. We are a hop away from the worlds busiest city and a jump away from the worlds most renowned beach town. Smack in the middle of everything one could wish for. I am proud to call myself a long islander and I am proud to be part of my community. Sometimes these "little things" are taken for granted. But I don't take my town for granted. And part of the reason I keep my house looking the way I do, is because of that pride. It's not only a reflection of who I am, my house is one piece of a whole town. Happy Spring!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Red Lace Japanese Maple
Acer Palmatum

My favorite tree, this 40 year old filagree redlace japanese maple. It's beauty and grace isn't justified in this photo. To me it almost feels magical. The art of shaping this beauty comes naturally to me. I clip each branch down to a particular leaf until it "feels" right. It's truly an art form, a craft and a pleasure to care for this tree. I'm so lucky to have bought my house with this tree already on the property. These trees are a common subject in Japanese, Chinese and Korean art.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Goodbye Anemones, Hello Salvia Divinorum
Spring Growing Season 3

The last of the anemones are in bloom with a few new flowers ready to show but as they dwindle, my Salvia Divinorum are ready to burst into appearance. This being their third season in my landscape, I have mastered the art of keeping the purple upright clusters blooming all season long. It's simply a matter of daily pruning. As each purple cluster begins to lose it's luster clip it off (even before it is fully dead) and watch new clusters emerge non-stop as long as the pruning continues. These flowers want to propagate seemingly strongly, as it appears to a novice so as long as the deadheading continues new blooms will grow.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Maiden Mist Rhododendron
Spring Growing Season 3

The one species of plants I did have trouble with were these Maiden Mist dwarf variety rhododendrons. My original 3 have dwindled down to one healthy plant and a sad small "living section" of a second. For all intense purposes, let's just say I lost two to the brutal winter. The lone survivor is currently in bloom, showcasing it's brilliant deep pink blossoms that fade to white upon opening. The amount of flowers and the actual size of the clusters of the flowers are not as plentiful as they were in the first year. I'm going to keep my eye on the lone survivor and see how I can help nurture it back to full health. I'll post it's progress.

[See first year in full bloom here]

Royal Empress Tree
Spring Growing Season 3

The most talked about trees on my property by family, friends and general passerbys, without a doubt are my two curbside Royal Empress trees. Hard to believe I planted two bare roots two years ago. This being the start of it's third season is where the fun truly begins. I've had multiple unknown passerby stop while walking, and even pull over in their car to have a closer look.

In the first year people thought I'd lost my marbles and planted two gigantic sunflowers on my curb. They were convinced! I initially trained the saplings and allowed only one shoot to grow while plucking away any other shoots that fought to grow (seemingly daily new shoots budded) but I left the gigantic leaves all the way up the soon to be stalk that would become the tree's trunk. 

In the second growing season I had an established "pole." No better way to describe what the trees looked like. At this point the nicknames began. "Jurassic Tree" and "Jack and the Beanstalk" were popular. At that point I allowed growth anywhere above the established 8 or 10 foot "pole". I chose the height, especially high as to clear the corner stop sign.

Winter left a pole with a bunch of long branches that reached high and wide. Now with spring in full swing those bare branches are making new shoots. Any buds that have appeared on the trunk are being plucked away. Enjoy the spring view of season 3! I'll check back in in a few weeks to update the tree's growth!

Spring Thus Far
Early Spring 2014

I have had a lovely blooming season. Perhaps it's attributed to the fertilizer spikes I placed in late autumn or maybe it's the fact that my house gets sunlight from sunup to sundown, or maybe plants really do respond to being taken care of with love and respect (:P) haha, whatever the case may be any issues from previous seasons seem to be at bay and the new growth is lively and plenty full!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rhododendron Transplant

Two years ago, on a budget I needed to fill a large space under my front window. I wasn't exactly sure of the direction I wanted to go so for the time being I purchased three large pluming grasses and placed them in the bare spot. The grasses are beautiful, giving a flowing grace in contrast to the other more rigid plants they surround. However, come winter I find myself displeased with the empty space once the grasses turn dormant. As luck would have it a family member asked me if I'd like a newly purchased rhododendron since she was reworking her garden space and no longer had room for it. Wouldn't you know it fit perfectly in place of one of my three grasses. I'll provide a full picture of the newly configured front scape once the grasses have grown in more. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Trees Take Deeper Root

My front yard is beginning to come to life as all the dormant trees and perennials slowly show what they've got. With, believe it or not, 9 trees in my front yard alone, the property goes from drab to lush as leaves fill what appears to be empty space. The greatest memorial I have created is through the use of trees, each memorializes the loss of a close loved one and has been specifically planted with a person in mind. Here on the left is a weeping #katsura tree I bought three years ago to honor my grandmother and to it's left (and out of frame) is my newest addition in memory of my father. The #magnoliavirginiana or #sweetbaymagnolia tree was purchased for my house by my first cousins and was waiting for me at home as I returned from my fathers funeral. It had been beautifully wrapped in a funerary purple ribbon. What an amazing thoughtful gift from my cousins. A piece of history and a reminder of my father that I will care for year after year.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 New Growth
Let the Clean-up Begin

After one of the longest and coldest winters experienced here in the northeast, we are finally experiencing many more scattered days filled with bright sunshine and holding temperatures in the 60s. People are smiling a little more brightly and the trees have begun their return from dormancy.

The weekends are occupied by homeowner's who either find the yearly spring clean-up daunting or others such as myself, who embrace the chore as a sign of the 4 beautiful months ahead where we get to enjoy general gardening, vegetable growing, swimming and beaching, sunning and an overall period of enhanced outdoor living. This is the time of year northeasterners generally snap out of their malaise and once again come alive.

The warmth and light of the past week has beckoned perennials to show their faces and evergreens and trees have sprouted new growth and buds. As it generally happens in the first week the growth seems minuscule and slow and then upon the second week (even though this happens every year from the beginning of time) the rapidness of growth is always eye-catching and something worthy of passerby's conversation.

Here are the plants that I have been documenting for the past 3 years in their spring awakening. While not in full glory, their is something I find so special about this inevitable process that nature has perfected.

Let the planting season begin!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Stoic & Delicate Anemone

Last year in late summer, early autumn I was walking around the nursery when I came upon a bag of bulbs that seemed just right as early spring filler. Boy was I right! The anemones were a little confused as they began growing during a winter warm spell, never flowered and then really took off in early spring. The flowers are delicate yet stoic with deep shades of blues and purples. These are such a great addition to the early spring garden (even before the tulips bloomed) the anemones flowered.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hotel Chocolat

Once upon a time a chocolatier dominated the kingdom offering a luscious creamy piece of divinity not paralleled by any other. It's gold box symbolized exquisite taste in well, taste and preference for good taste. But alas, those days are long gone with the exception of their trite and trying offer to become once again a "small" batch chocolatier by showing us they hand dip strawberries and coconut macaroons in the dizzying array of white, milk and dark chocolates. And yes, you can make your own box of an assortment of all three. (sigh)

Move over gold box. You're just not the gold standard any longer. For now Hotel Chocolat with it's mere two locations in New York, one in SOHO and one in Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall in Garden City, Long Island reins new King (or maybe Queen).

Hotel Chocolat starts with a chocolate base that screams "fine chocolate" upon hitting the palette and follows through with flavor combinations that burst distinction without being different for the hell of it. The combinations such as Billionaire's Shortbread, Tipsy Mandarin or my favorite Apple Cider Truffle are well planned and striking yet so balanced you can't help but to make a dramatic face while sampling each of the many, many, many new and unexpected flavors. 

And why stop there? Each of their collections is artfully packaged and changing as quickly as the seasons. In my opinion, if you want to make an impression, if you want to reminisce those very long ago days when the gold box meant something or perhaps you just like good chocolate then head out and sample Hotel Chocolat; conveniently located near a flailing Godiva near you.

strawberry truffles, apple cider truffles, tipsy mandarin & blueberry truffles

pink champagne truffles, yes please

The Sleekster in fruity selection, white selection and everything selection