Saturday, June 28, 2014

Remembering Sage, queen of the world


Tonight I'm thinking about Sage, our sweet, fierce little bundle of love.  Sage was never a large cat--barely more than 5 pounds when we took her in--but when she died today she was 19 years old (maybe older; we never knew her precise age) and down to 3.5 pounds, all skin and bones and unkempt fur and almost completely deaf.  We'd rather remember her as she came to us: absolutely beautiful, with soft rabbit-like fur and bright green eyes, and a dark heart-shaped nose.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Looking almost good enough to eat, one of my favorite perennials this time of year is Asclepias tuberosa, commonly known as butterfly weed.  A tough, low-maintenance North American native, butterfly weed brings a delicious zing of orange to the early summer garden.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cornell Plantations: gardens far above Cayuga's waters

Cayuga Lake (cropped)
Cayuga Lake, view from Stewart Park, Ithaca, NY

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, part of my recent travels included several days in Ithaca, NY to attend my 30th reunion at Cornell University.  Ithaca is a small city in upstate New York at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, and greeted us with early June weather at its very best with blue skies, low humidity, warm sunny days and cool nights.  While there, my husband Dan (also Class of 1984) and I toured the Cornell Plantations, the school's botanical gardens and among my favorite areas on the campus.   I wrote earlier this year about my brief stint as a gardener at the Cornell Plantations after graduation (see Throwback Thursday: summer of 1984), a job that helped change the direction of my career.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, June 2014


Because today is Father's Day, my first foray into "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day" is dedicated to my dad, Martin E. Boggan.  My father had a major stroke last November (see "The Roots of a Gardener") but he has come a long way since then, and recovered in ways that we never expected.  Sadly, he is currently in a nursing home and unable to see his rhododendrons in their spring splendor.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What a week!

Wedding cake
Wedding cake

A wedding (not my own!) was the perfect way to end an exhausting 9 day stretch when I attended my 30th college reunion at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; spent 3 days visiting my parents in Buffalo; spent another day in Buffalo after my flight was cancelled due to weather in the DC area (with the rescheduled flight the next evening delayed and nearly cancelled for the same reason); got home late and exhausted for exactly one night in my own bed; did a quick check to make sure no plants were in dire need of water, and then headed out of town again the next morning for a wedding in the hills of southern Pennsylvania.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spring Garden Day at Green Spring Gardens

Tradescantia cultivar

One of the pleasures of spring is attending the various plant sales, and the Washington, DC area has a couple of big ones every year.  The first is the Garden fair and plant sale put on by Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) to benefit the U.S. National Arboretum.  I missed that one this year but did attend the other big one, the Spring Garden Day at Green Spring Gardens.