Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

By the Light of the Moon   2 comments

I finally have had success with moonflowers.   I have never been able to get the seeds to germinate in previous years.   This year I happened to see small plants in my local nursery, so I grabbed 2 and planted them on either side of my arch.  They ran up each side and met in the middle rather quickly, but I didn’t get any flowers until very late August.  They truly don’t open until dark, and if you get up early, they are still open in the morning.  It’s a little messy, the dropped flower bracts are all over the lawn, but I throw them into my compost bucket as I walk by heading to the compost pile.  I think I’ll leave the plants and give them some winter protection and see what happens.  I may also try starting seeds again this winter, early, so I can put out well established plants if this year’s don’t make it.  It’s unfortunate that they don’t flower in the summer when we are sitting out there – they are big, waxy and fragrant.  It’s too chilly to really enjoy them in September.


Posted October 3, 2011 by cindyeo in garden, moonflower

Dad’s Nasturtiums   Leave a comment






My father loved nasturtiums and always grew a small patch right by his front door.  It was a square patch, cut out of the grass by his sidewalk, usually surrounded by 4 mismatched stakes and some string.  I’m not sure why, I never asked, probably to keep his golden retriever from stepping on them.  My father was a talented gardener, but it was all about the plants, not the design.  He stuck things everywhere in his yard.  So the individual flowers were beautiful, but the overall effect was not so great.  Funny, his vegetable garden looked better, he was meticulous about planting in straight lines, so except for the odd things he used to support the plants, that garden looked pretty good.

Anyway, one year, a couple years ago,  he had some really pretty orange/yellow nasturtiums, which I remarked that I liked, so he gave me some seeds from the plant.  I put them in an envelope in the basement with all my other seeds, but didn’t plant them.  I’ve been planting nasturtiums in my windowbox, along with other things, and I’ve been going for the red Empress of India lately, although they really don’t do well in the windowbox, I’ve tried several years in a row.

My father passed away in January, he was 84 and had had a stroke last summer, so it wasn’t a surprise, but it’s been a really tough spring for me.  We always shared our gardening passion – “have you planted your petunia seeds yet?”  or “I picked my first tomato, have you gotten one yet?”.  We both start plants from seed, but he always did the tomatoes.  Long after I improved my skills and was quite capable of starting my own tomatoes, I always let him do my tomatoes, he loved to share his plants.  So this year I had to start my own tomatoes.  I decided it was time to do a better job with the nasturtiums.  I’ve heard they don’t like transplanting, so I always direct seeded them into the window boxes.  This year I decided to try making newspaper pots, and starting them indoors where I could keep a better eye on their moisture needs, and then plant only the ones that are successful into the window box.  All of my seeds were a couple years old, I only got one Empress of India, which still didn’t do very well in the windowbox, but I got 3 from “Dad’s nasturiums” and planted them in my garden near the May night. (Dad loved the orange/purple combination in the garden.  Although I just said he didn’t really plant for design, he was the first person to tell me to plant my poppies next to my blue flag iris).

The 3 I got are in the photo above.  All three have different colored flowers, even though I know we took the seeds from just one of his plants, because I liked that particular color.  I guess that’s the bees cross pollinating, or maybe this variety of nasturium doesn’t come true.  But all 3 colors are very vibrant like I remember the one he grew to be, and I’m very glad I had a little bit of Dad in my garden this summer.

Posted September 15, 2011 by cindyeo in garden, nasturtium

Majorelle Garden in Marrakech   1 comment

I recently visited Marrakech, Morocco.  What a magical place!  Yves St Laurent thought so, too, and purchased the Majorelle Garden which was originally started by French artist, Jacques Marjorelle.  It had become run down, and St Laurent and his partner restored it.  Today it is open to the public and it’s beautiful.  Lots of bright colors like the photo above and below:

And some mass plantings of bamboo and palms:

Posted March 30, 2011 by cindyeo in garden

In Memory of my Father   1 comment


I haven’t posted in about a year because my parents had some health issues.  In the past 3 months I lost both of my parents, most recently my father.  My father was a gardener, I learned almost everything I know from him.  For his 75th birthday, about 9 years ago, I took him to London to the Chelsea flower show.   These photos were taken at the show and I thought I’d post them today to remember the nice times we had enjoying our gardening hobby together.


rhodohypoxis (red star) and sempervivum (hens and chicks)

various thymes

Posted January 16, 2011 by cindyeo in allium, garden, herbs

Retro Plants   2 comments

I recently stayed at La Concha Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico and for a moment I thought I was back in the 70s.  I looked around the pool area and there were 2 of my favorite 70s house plants – the ponytail plant and asparagus fern.  I had both of them in my bedroom when I was a teenager and houseplants were all the rage.  Cool!

Posted January 9, 2010 by cindyeo in asparagus fern, garden, ponytail plant

Last of the Mohegans   Leave a comment

Yesterday I noticed this surprise – I still have violas blooming (Bowle’s Black).  I live near the ocean, so my climate is a little milder than most of Massachusetts.  So from March 10 when I took this photo of my first crocus until now I’ve had something blooming in my backyard.  The key to stretching the seasons is to plant early early bulbs in a protected place (like against the south facing foundation) and some cold tolerant plants like violas and Montauck daisies.

Another tip to stretch the season is to plant things that look good even after the blooms have finished.  For instance, I didn’t cut down my sedum yesterday when I was cutting everything to the ground.  The flowers are now dry and still attractive.

Posted November 23, 2009 by cindyeo in crocus, garden, sedum, viola

Italian Beauty   1 comment

villa d este 1

I took a trip to Italy and visited Villa d’Este in Tivoli outside of Rome.  The garden is astounding, this is a photo of the Hundred Fountains, but there are more fountains all over the garden.  The water keeps the garden cool on even the hottest summer day.  If you are ever in Rome, I highly recommend a day trip to Villa d’Este.<\font>

Posted October 18, 2009 by cindyeo in garden