Hello, and good morning! It’s Friday, so you know what that means– time for some Good Things Gathered!
This week’s Good Things are all about gardening. Now that the bulbs are blooming around here, I am getting so excited about the return of green and flowers. It is still the very earliest part of spring, with freezing temperatures and even snow not out of the questions. Here in Oklahoma, our ‘freeze date’ is April 15, and so I try to reign myself in with planting tender flowers until that date has passed. Usually, though, my roses are already starting to sprout leaves and buds- last year there were several days I was draping roses in old sheets to try to protect them from freezing temperatures.
However, it is the perfect time to plant spring bulbs in indoor pots, and I have some hyacinth bulbs that have been living in the refrigerator since last fall that I potted up. The bulbs had even started to sprout in the fridge, so they’ve had a head start! It always feels like a bit of a miracle to see those bulbs that we tucked away in the fall come alive in the spring!
I also came upon a pot of just-about-to-bloom hyacinths and some pretty little pansies at the hardware store and planted them in a brass pot as a table display. When they’ve been thoroughly enjoyed and the blooms fade, I’ll plant the bulbs out in the garden so that they can bloom next year.
The books I’ve gathered to share with you are some of my favorite garden books, and ones I return to for inspiration year after year. One of my very favorite gardening books is —
- “The Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg.” I love this (very big and beautiful!) book as it shows how to make an old fashioned garden with spectacular color and impact. I love seeing the gardens around the old buildings, and without a doubt spring seems to be Williamsburg’s most amazing season. Williamsburg is probably as close as we get in the US to an old fashioned English gardens and I hope one day I can visit and see them for myself! The homes shown in this book were also an inspiration in choosing the classic white paint for our house, and I love how it turned out.
2. English Cottage Gardening for American Gardeners is a book I’ve had for many years— have probably spoken about it here in the past– but is absolutely a must share if I’m going to talk about my favorite gardening books. This book has a foreward written by Tasha Tudor and also features photos of her garden at Corgi Cottage. So if you have an interest in cottage gardening or Tasha Tudor, it’s an absolute treasure to have.
It’s so inspiring to see the cottage gardens featured in this book from all over the country, because it really brings home the fact that an “English” style cottage garden can be created in a variety of places. If you’re looking for inspiration, this is a great book to cuddle up with.
3. Another great book for getting inspiration for an English style cottage garden is “100 English Roses for the American Garden”, which is essentially a dictionary of a variety of English roses that work well in American climates. The book has a foreward by David Austin, and many of the roses featured in this little booklet are David Austin Roses. It also explains a bit about what makes an English rose, their history and rose classifications. This book was a Good Will find for me, but it can still be found online. This book is over 20 years old now, and there are a lot more English roses available for American gardeners. If you’d like some great English rose eye candy, I recommend signing up for the David Austin Roses catalog, which is free. The catalog is beautiful, and I keep them as references for painting roses!
4) The other book shown here, but which is also one of my absolute favorites, is Claire Masset’s “Cottage Gardens”, which I featured in more detail in a previous Good Things Gathered post. It is such a treasure trove of a book, and I absolutely love it. Showing it here to give you an idea of the interior of a gardening book, and how it can inspire.
I hope that this gathering has given YOU a big of inspiration, and I’d be interested to hear what books get you inspired for spring. And no matter what, of course, I hope that you can–