Thursday, January 15, 2009

Buck Jones and The Duchess of Windsor

At this moment it is 26 degrees in suburban Atlanta, which is a ridiculous concept! Just needed to get that out of my system....

This was one of those days that reconfirmed why I like to garden, and spend most of my life surrounded by gardeners. I went to Kelli Green Nursery very early for pinestraw, where Kenny was completely bundled up in all of these layers, simultaneously talking about how frigid it was this morning and also enjoying the novelty of it all. In true gardener fashion, he was off to test the extra heaters that would be needed to keep the plants going through this cold snap. The others who work there were all inside, since "they don't know how to dress for this weather." I'm not sure why Kenny and I both felt there was something to be proud of in our actions....after all, the others were inside enjoying morning coffee.

I spent most of the day doing what could be done in the garden, spreading pinestraw, making sure the precious koi were doing ok in this arctic weather, tending some things in the glass house. As much as I enjoy being a martyr, it was an easy choice when Jean said, "What about Mexican for lunch?"

Later in the afternoon, I visited Buck Jones Nursery (another favorite spot!), on the never-ending hunt for the PERFECT plants for the Duchess of Windsor-themed display I'm doing for the Southeastern Flower Show in a couple of weeks. Some of you already know that the direction of said display has changed thirty or forty times, and I'm now buried under a number of different (expensive) plants, each representing a different season of the year (that is now not being considered). This latest incarnation is going to be representative of the winter season, after the Duke had died. (The overall theme of the SEFS garden design division is "Lover, Come Back")

In my usual way I pulled Laurie away from what she was doing to help me find the PERFECT plants, meaning something the world has never seen before, something that will make me look brilliant, and something that isn't expensive......oh, and they have to represent my statement that "winter seems colder now that David is gone."

We probably looked a little ridiculous to a bystander, each in our "this is really silly looking but is keeping me warm" outfit, but we did find a few great candidates. You'll be relieved to know that as of this moment, the climbing hydrangea (just starting to bud) will figure prominently in the display......or end up with the others, unused, in my garden later this year.
PS That's not Buck Jones in the photo with the Duchess of W


  1. 26? Oh, my, that sounds positively balmy! (It's minus 11 here and that's NOT including the wind chill factor!) I admit I once had a little bit of a thing for someone named Buck, and I guess I still have a bit of a thing for one Mr. Tom Jones! ;-)
    And I also must comment on pinestraw--I love using it as a mulch. It suppressed weeds better than wood mulches and I like the look. And yet--it's not known in the Midwest! A gardening friend with relatives in NC tells me it's common in the south; here you can't buy it locally. I get some needles from my mom and, um, well, I might have raked some up at my workplace and a local strip mall. (Yeah, I'm a crazy gardener and cat lady; I don't care what people might think. And, as it turned out, if you have "I belong here" body language, no one even notices you!)

  2. It is an interesting phenomenon here in the south. We pay one company to clean up the pinestraw that drops from our own trees because it's "messy," then we purchased bailed pinestraw from another company to spread in other areas. Something tells me there was a clever marketing man in town a couple of generations ago.....

  3. I think the climbing hydrangea will be a perfect addition to the design. It's very versatile...backdrop, foreground cover etc. Can't wait to see what you've come up with.