By Al R. Young For the third year straight, we received another delightful bouquet from our angelic, anonymous May Day benefactress.
While thinking of angels, we remembered this under-quoted piece of verse from the rather angelic Godey's Lady's Book editor, Sarah Hale (most famed as the author of Mary Had a Little Lamb--and speaking of under-quoted, we've always loved the fifth verses best: "What makes the lamb love Mary so?" /The little children cry-/ "O Mary loves the lamb, you know," / The teacher did reply:")... Read more »
By Nancy Young
Though it's a month since the most recent issue of The Storybook Home Journal, Our Mutual Friend, wended its way through the US Posts, it's been way too long since we caught up posting sans that venerable institution, so here's what we hope will present a reasonably creditable reparation. We didn't have space to include Elspeth's water-colored label that we used in our own version of clearing Old John Harmon's mounds, so we send it in its easy-to-download form here for anyone's personal use--whether gardening is involved or not... Read more »
By Al R. Young
While men cultivate flowers below, God cultivates flowers above; He takes charge of the parterres in the heavens . . . ~Henry David Thoreau
Our valiant and anonymous May Day phantom sent another luscious bouquet yesterday, and our sole means of thanks is to share their beauty with all of you. A happy and flower-filled May (of both the garden and heavenly variety) to all you from all of us at The Storybook Home Journal!... Read more »
By Al R. Young Our linden tree is in rich, fragrant bloom once again--a scent straight out of heaven. We photographed its blossoms this morning, photograph above, and are reminded of the linden blossom herbal drink blend we included in The Attic article in Vol 4 No 5 of The Storybook Home Journal, which featured James Ramsey Ullman's classic (and a family favorite), Banner in the Sky.
Linden blossom tea reputedly aids cardiovascular health, soothes nerves, calms fevers, and washes toxins from the body--but harvesting it for tea (even if you never drink it) is undoubtedly therapeutic, if only to spend an hour in Eden... Read more »
By Al R. Young We've all seen it--and it may have been in our own gardens--that long row of perfect, apricot-hued shrub roses lining a fence, except one of them is a very discordant red. Or maybe it's a pampered group of tea roses in the midst of a cutting garden, except instead of harboring future long-stemmed bouquets, one of the group is actually a fountaining, red social climber grabbing for space.
The interloper didn't crash the party, and he wasn't mislabeled at the nursery--he worked his way up from the very bottom, and now he's definitely on top... Read more »
By Al R. Young
The Deephaven issue of The Storybook Home Journal shipped yesterday. Nineteenth century poet and inveterate gardener, Celia Thaxter, is part of The Garden article; unfortunately, we couldn't include more than a smattering of her wisdom as regards growing beautiful blooms, banishing nasty pests, and dealing with dodder and other beastly weeds. Anyone can find it all, however, in her delightful classic, An Island Garden.
Weeds are definitely in abundance here after our long, cold, sodden spring; so I adopt my Nana's long standing tradition of never returning from the out-of-doors, without stopping to do some weeding along the way... Read more »
By Al R. Young Krista, a dear friend and Storybook Home reader, brought us this glorious touch of Spring from her carefully tended garden. They added the perfect touch to the kitchen mantle and, in turn, we wanted to share their beauty with our readers. These "Pink Impression" tulips put us into the same frame of mind expressed by Monet: "I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."
(Painting, right, by Claude Monet.)... Read more »
By Al R. Young Every January we look forward to finding the first primroses of the year at a local nursery, garden center or even just at the grocery store. Our very favorites are the double-flowering variety, pictured here.
When our primroses lose their bloom, we tuck them back on a quiet windowsill and around the end of February or beginning of March, we plant them outside--sometimes we get a second bloom, and sometimes we wait a year for their cheery show. They don't usually last for more than a couple of years in our mountain climate, but we treasure each blossom when they do... Read more »