I’m no expert when it comes to vegetable gardening. I plant things I like to eat, follow the basic instructions, and cross my fingers. It’s amazing how often this actually leads to food! This year I tried something new- okra. I’m not a particular fan of okra, but a friend said it was a beautiful plant and I should grow it just for looks, so I put one in a pot and forgot about it.
One day I was weeding out back and I noticed the container, hidden behind several other containers with big salvia plants in them. Lo and behold, there was an okra ready to pick! That led to some gumbo (not very original) and me moving the pot out to the front porch so I could enjoy it. But once again it escaped my attention because I suddenly noticed this perfectly dried pod and seeds a couple days ago. I asked Meredith of Love & Carrots if it’s easy to grow okra from seed and she said, yes, try it! So I will. I’ll let you know how it goes next spring.
Heading up from the shops to the Inn at Pleasant Beach.
The shops at Pleasant Beach Village.
I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Inn at Pleasant Beach on Bainbridge Island. Aside from a great location and a very comfortable and stylish stay, I absolutely loved the landscape around the hotel and shops! Everything was so much nicer than it needed to be, giving the sense that the buildings were truly situated within a garden. Even the parking lots were integrated into the larger scheme. Plants, water, sculpture, framed views- so many details were considered. A huge thank you to the many people who designed, installed, and continue to maintain this beautiful destination!
I had a wonderful trip to Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, Washington, yesterday. My mother, aka The Plant Collector, goes there on a regular basis, and we finally got to go together. If Port Townsend is in reach for you, go for a visit ASAP! The demonstration gardens were wonderful, particularly the greenhouse, which felt like a trip into the Rain Forest with towering lilies and enormous foliage in every direction.
If you don’t live locally, you’re still in luck, because they have a very popular mail order business. As for me, I had 2 takeaways: 1) I must track down some Melica uniflora f. albida as soon as I get home; and 2) When visiting, always plan to have lunch up the road at the Spruce Goose Cafe at the Jefferson County International Airport!
Inspiration is everywhere! I alway enjoy looking around my client’s neighborhoods to see what people are doing with their gardens. This neighbor made clever use of a sliding door to create a movable wall at the end of their front porch. What a great way to create privacy without completely blocking access to the side yard. I’ll definitely keep this idea in my back pocket!
It seems as if there’s something new blooming every day at this time of year. Walking around the neighborhood I see iris, lilacs, late bulbs, early roses, dogwood, salvia, tree peonies, azaleas, bluebells, weigelia- an embarrassment of riches. Here at my house I have dozens and dozens of irises blooming, all thanks to a friend who transplanted some from her home almost 6 years ago. I want time to stand still now, but of course it’s their transience that makes flowers so special.
We had a superb visit to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. It was a perfect day to enjoy the grounds. In the central museum courtyard are enormous terra cotta pots with bougainvillea as the only color spots- and nothing more is needed. Classic and simple, and I wanted to live there! Although if I did live there, I would add lemon trees. Then nothing more would be needed.
Well, it was over 70 degrees here today, so I could not resist swinging by American Plant just to walk around in the sun. I picked up a few primroses for my mailbox and house number plaque, and I’m loving them! I’ll have to bring them inside if the nights dip down too much, but it’ll be worth it. Spring is coming!