Posted by: oldeforest | May 13, 2009

A Real Garden Party

Last spring my apartment building was bought by a new landlord who proceeded to kick my bikes into the basement and then stated his plan to “landscape” the front yard where I had been gardening.  My friend Carol suggested, given his fondness for power tools, that the term “manscape” might be more apt.  Manscaping is a term I associate with beds of dyed red mulch and a few over-pruned shrubs with plenty of space in between them for one’s riding mower.  In horror at this thought, I rallied my friends, and, in one of the most fun impromptu parties of my life, we dragged all of my plants out of the ground, ferried them in repeated trips to a friend’s house, and planted them into an old and neglected bed.  One friend said, at the end of the day’s work as we sat around eating take-out Thai food and drinking beer, “now THIS is a garden party.”

Now almost a year has gone by, and I have started bringing my plants over bit by bit.  You can see some of the ferns in the first picture, although not very well, and some Sweet Woodruff at the base of bench in the second.



Its interesting that the narrow path back to the area behind the garage should have gotten to the my favorite part of the garden but it is.  Here is the view out of it for good measure.  You can see more ferns at the bottom of this photo too.


I thought I would also show our first garden bouquet.  Note the “black” tulips which are actually a very nice shade of deepest purple.  We cut some of them because the slumped over after blooming.  Any ideas on how to prevent that?


Posted by: oldeforest | May 13, 2009

The Maternal Verdict is in…

Apparently they are Stars of Bethlehem.  I feel illuminated :).

Posted by: oldeforest | May 12, 2009

Spring Star Flowers?

Ok, the croci, are actually not croci as I suspected.  They look like this:


Is this a “Spring Star Flower” as Google suggests, or something else?  Mom?

Posted by: oldeforest | May 9, 2009

Garden Views

Since the garden is changing so fast, I thought it would be fitting to throw a few pictures up of it so far.



Posted by: oldeforest | May 8, 2009

Tulip Update!!

We have achieved black tulips!  The god of all things dark and mysterious will be pleased!  Wahahahah….


Posted by: oldeforest | May 7, 2009

My First Garden Meal

So, I just finished my first garden meal, which is also one of the easiest meals I know to grow and make.   As you can see from the photos, I was not capable of waiting to eat until I went upstairs and got a camera, but allow me to assure you that it looked as good as it tasted.  Dish one was pasta with a butter and sage sauce (and lots of garlic).  Chop up ingredients and nuke them with butter in a mug for 45 seconds, then pour over pasta.  The salad was thinly sliced carrots, mint sliced into thin strips and the first little baby greens that I’m thining out.  The dressing was just oil and balsamic vinegar.  The mint provides the needed extra flavor.


I also, in my hunt for mint, discovered that I possess three types of mint.  I think my friend Stephanie gave me one, but other two were possibly already growing here.  Or I brought them from my other garden.  Or I bought one of them.  What type of mint are they?  Heh.  No idea.

Are carrots good for one’s memory?



Posted by: oldeforest | April 30, 2009

The roommate of the …er…pink tulips…

So I mentioned before that last fall, one of my roommates, the one of the blog in my blog roll,  had planted black and deep purple tulips. She’s just that kind of girl. She likes her tulips with a dark soul.  She has been so excited that she has been obsessively tracking their development on her iphone. Well, as you can see from her latest photo…


All I could do is promise they would darken up.  Of course, I totally have no idea what I’m talking about :).

Posted by: oldeforest | April 28, 2009

Mysterious Plants and Spelling

So I’m actually sitting outside in my garden looking at real live arugula, lettuce, spinach and kale now large enough to distinguish from the weeds, and still thriving croci. I’m actually beginning to wonder what the croci are, since some of them have started to get buds on them now, well after the last crocus seems to have faded. Quite mysterious. I have also just noticed that my spellcheck does not recognize the word arugula, despite the fact that I’m *fairly* certain it’s spelled correctly. Still, spelling was never a talent of mine.
I also had another fairly interesting trash find two days ago, when someone living in a big fancy house in Chestnut Hill put out some wonderful rough-hewn boards out to the trash. They will make another awesome gonzo-carpentered bench, though they will probably need a bit of sanding so as not to serve the added function of a splinter delivery system. Sounds like an excuse to by a new sander from myself!
I have also now planted my own seedlings, as well as a shipment of perennials. One thing I have discovered about ordering perennials early is that they seem to take forever, and so one is sorely tempted to by more perennials. Not that this will stop me from doing it again seeing as it is only in planning my next moves in the garden (and riding my bike) that keeps me sane through the Massachusetts winter.

Posted by: oldeforest | April 25, 2009

Found Plants!

So I was ambling about my turf last winter when I spied a number of lumps of dirt, that appeared to have the roots/rhizomes of various perenials.  It was the normal balmy New England winter temps though, so my reaction was to assume that the plants where dead, and and be sad that the person dumped them instead of replanting them elsewhere.  Much to my shock, however, they started sprouting this spring.  I wasn’t sure what they were, so I potted them and pestered both parents for IDs.  Apparently they are Japanese Iris, Day Lylies, and lilys of the valley.  I’m still mistified as to why people would have tossed them instead of replanting or giving them away, but I guess that just contenues to stress the importance of carefully eyeing things that others have designated as trash.

Posted by: oldeforest | April 12, 2009

Deployment: Phase One

So, I finally lost patience waiting and started putting out the rest of my garden’s fashion accouterments. Some of these items I have made over the winter and posted about already, some were made in previous years, some were found in the trash, in the yard, or in the garage, and a few were purchased. At the bottom of the picture below, you can see some prefab concrete pavers that I mosaiced over with broken pottery, to the side of the white stone path, you can also see another mosaiced paver done in pebbles. In the trees I have hung various blown glass balls and Christmas decorations. The orange one was purchased from a friend’s gallery in Ligonier PA called G Squared. Also, on either side of the entrance to the path are two strange metal stakes that I found in our basement, from which I have hung two of the lanterns I made last winter.

The pavers are surprisingly easy to make. You have to get a glue to hold pieces down and a grout of some type. Both seem hard to manage since the directions for mixing them up are meant to make enough for a huge job, and, due to the english measurements, hard to convert to smaller quantities. If you read carefully though, you can find a description of the desired consistency. If you aim for that consistancy and just add water bit by bit, you can easily get a smaller quantity. I would like to give credit to my mom’s friend Susan for helping me figure this out!


In the picture below, you see an interesting cast iron disk that came from the front garden bed and one of the window grates I found back in January that I will probably bolt to this wall as a trellis.


In this picture you can see an odd stone disk that also came from the front lot. I really have no idea what this was cut for. The hole in the middle is off-center, and there are two bands of what might be the remnents of some sort of grout. Quite odd.


On the wall below there is an interesting wrought iron pot hanger that my little sister spyed in the trash one day as we were driving down Boylston st. in Jamaica Plain. On the little table in the corner (also a trash find I think) is a skull, a picture frame and a piece of an old chair with painted flowers. Most of those came from the trash, but the skull was a gift from my friend Leslie.


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