Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New (Gardening) Year!!

Happy New (Gardening) Year!!


Photograph: Vase of Flowers, (Homage to Morandi), copyright Everett H. Scott 2014. All rights reserved.
From the cover of the Potager at Penrose Bungalow 2014 calendar. Now available to order. Please send an email for details.

Dear gardening friends,

      I appreciate that the first week of January may seem a premature moment to discuss gardening, especially as here in the Northeast there is a six-inch blanket of snow covering the landscape, rather like a white board that has been wiped clean, never-mind the temperature hovering around a frosty nineteen degrees!
     Still, the arrival of the first seed catalogues, from The Maine Potato Lady, and Burpee, reminds us that as of January 4, 2014, the first day of Spring is only 74 days away! Just selecting the vegetables and flowers that one will attempt to grow this year could consume a good chunk of that time.  Some of my choices are “perennial,” like Fish Peppers and Cosmos which are always welcome in my beds. It is nice though, to introduce something new into the mix, perhaps a native Asclepia that is preferred by the pollinators in your area, or some leafy vegetable that can be prepared in lots of interesting ways, like the Early Red Treviso Chicory seeds that my friend Carlos brought me from Italy.  I can imagine this raw in a salad, grilled or wilted in a little olive oil. Yum! And, the red color will stand out, especially among the vegetables in the potager.
     But, it isn’t only through tilling the soil and reaping the harvest that our garden interests are satisfied.  In the exhibition of jewels by JAR, at The Metropolitan Museum through March 9, it was a small pair of earrings, one a pave set carrot, the other a pave set beet, that I found to be among the most appealing items, though the artists skill at rendering Nature in precious metal, wood and a broad range of gems and stones was, generally, awe inspiring. 
Then, when this pair of lamps showed up at a recent auction, 

I knew immediately that I wanted them.  These whimsical, decorative accents from mid-twentieth century Italy, have the power to evoke the Spring-time garden, no matter the date on the calendar or their physical setting. 
     So, whether you are reading this from the comfort of your Florida room in Palm Beach, huddled around a radiator in St. Paul, or praying for rain in California, take a moment to plan now for the gardening days ahead.  You’ll be glad you did!
          Thanks for staying “Tooned.” More soon.

The Toonmoose (Everett)

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