A Southern Dance With Daffodils

“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”

William Wordsworth

Daffodil 'Souther Gritty Mix'

Daffodil ‘Souther Gritty Mix’

Those words from William Wordsworth are familiar to many and probably oft remembered most when Spring is around the corner, and we wish for the Earth to come back to life!  Though the Adonis, the snow drops, hellebores and earliest Spring ephemerals usually beat the daffodils into bloom, it is the blooming of daffodils that assure  us that Spring has arrived.  Here in Savannah,  the daffodils I planted last Fall began blooming weeks ago!  They are still blooming since I planted a mix called ‘Southern Gritty Blend.”  My next door neighbor smiled when she saw me planting bulbs, and remarked, “I love your optimism.”    She most likely referred to the deer and the extreme heat of Summer which are deterrents to a lot of bulb planting, but the daffodils are immune to deer and this blend promises to withstand the Summer heat.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is just a year ago that dear husband and I drove from Connecticut to Georgia to find a new home.  So I can safely say that you can garden year round on the Georgia coast.   We have been enjoying lettuce from our plot at Skidaway Farms from May to March, and  I have just planted ‘Flashy Trout Back’ and ‘Pirat’ lettuce, so yes, you can garden year round in Georgia.  I have also just planted ‘Hon Tsai Tai’, similar to broccoli rabe from the flowering brassica family.  You see it here with the lovely red stems, elongated leaves and as it grows it produces delicate yellow flowers that are deliciously edible! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our little plot is just about planted out, with garlic, green onions, radishes, lettuce, beets and a couple of herbs.  Where to put the tomatoes and the dahlias?  You guessed it!  We had to rent another plot!  I am going to try the dahlias for a second year in Georgia.  They were a dismal failure last year, but I didn’t start early enough.  I am checking the average soil temperature and it is already predicted to be about 58 for late March.  That is warm enough for a dahlia tuber.  They like 60, but come on, dahlias!  Let’s get started!  What are you starting in your garden or under grow lights?


P.S.  My posts are a bit further apart these days, as I am writing a gardening column for a local magazine, but I do not plan to abandon Weed Street blog!  The Georgia gardening adventures continue!  And  I am planning trips to Taos, New Mexico and to Longwood Gardens, so stay tuned!

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Cup and Saucer to the moon

Yes, it is cold all over the South today, and coastal Georgia has not been spared.  But the Atlantic Ocean 5 miles from our home will moderate the temperatures and we will not see snow or ice like our Northern neighbors are fearing.  Still, the sunless and cold day keeps me inside, which is just fine because it is time to transplant the basil and nasturtium seedlings to a larger space.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe arugula did not germinate well.  Any secrets, readers, to growing arugula that you would like to pass my way?

My experiment begins today.  Cup and Saucer vine (Cobaea scandens)cup_and_saucer_vine_425

was a favorite of mine while I gardened in the Northeast, but it takes FOREVER to grow, and if you got it to bloom at all, it wasn’t until late September or October, and the frosts quickly brought it all down.  The fleeting joy of observing this vine produce the very big blousy cuplike blooms with lovely light scent was too great to discourage me, and so I grew it for many years.  If the vine reached 5 – 6 feet that was a success.  HOWEVER, in Zone 9, I potentially have a monster on my hands!  The seed pack OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsays this half hearty perennial in this Zone could reach 70 feet.  Grow me to the moon!!!!  Do I believe this will happen?  No, but I have to try!


The funny flat seeds need to be scarified or soaked in water overnight. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A person like me who cringes to trim her dogs’ nails, IMG_5219certainly could not be trusted with a tiny fragile seed, so the soaking method works just fine.  The seeds must be planted upright, not flat.   I planted them just so, in an organic seed starting mix.  Wish me luck!


Now, for my tip of the day.  I know, I do not share tips every day but this one is worth MANY days’ worth of tips!  Do you have trouble with ink or pencil staying legible throughout the season?  Do you come upon a lovely plant you started from seed, look around for the label, only to find that by August the sun has faded or the rain has washed away your careful labeling?  Sharpies were better than some, but the BEST,  I have found is this Deco Color pen.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can find it in your local art store.  If you keep the top on tight, they last forever, and can even stay outdoors in a covered area on your garden bench through Winter (oops!)  Trust me, if you want to be able to read your label at the end of the season – this is the pen for you.  Because I love dahlias and showed them – this was imperative in October when the shows demand you correctly label your dahlia.  The labels shown above with the nasturtiums are not Deco Color.  Why?  Because if germination is poor, or is a complete failure, I don’t want to waste a perfectly good label with PERMANENT ink.  So, if the plant goes on into the garden, I write over with the Deco Color paint!

Corkscrew vine

Corkscrew vine

Call me thrifty!


Hope you are enjoying some garden time inside; maybe you are also starting seeds in anticipation of a new growing season right around the corner!


P.S.  As for the cup and saucer vine, all bets are off if the deer like this.  I battled deer appetites for many years in the North, but so many gardeners I’ve met on Skidaway Island continually harp about the deer and claim they can’t grow plants because of them.  I don’t buy that, because I always found a way to grow lilies, roses, hosta – their favorites – with the use of repellants.  So, let’s see if I can battle their Southern cousins as successfully.

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I was not literally skipping around Skidaway Island this afternoon, but surely children were skipping under the warm, sunny skies.  The adults were running, walking, biking, kayaking -soaking in the glorious day.

The daffodils DSC_4184I planted are beginning to bloom.  I wasn’t sure that daffodils would like Georgia’s summer heat, so I bought a blend – Southern Gritty.    Birds are moving through the area and new feathered friends are stopping by the bird feeder.  Great excitement here on Skidaway Island over the owlets that have hatched.  The owl Mama has successfully hatched two eggs in an abandoned eagle’s nest.  You can see the progress 24/7 via video cam.  Go to www.landingsbirdcam.com.  Thousands of viewers are enjoying this close up look!  Back to my skip about…. here are

DSC_4200some familiar sights on the water along my walk…



Georgia, I am becoming really fond of you!

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Contemplation and Camellias

2015 is here; the old calendar is down and the new one is hung so we begin anew!  The camellias are in full bloom as if to welcome the new year!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA One big difference between living in CT and living in GA is the longer days in Georgia.  The sun set at 5:34 p.m. today but that doesn’t mean it gets pitch dark!  We still have civil twilight until 6:01, which means riding your bike or walking your dog can still be done safely.  Nautical twilight lasts until 6:31!  A longer day, means more time to play.   I don’t have the hibernating tendencies here in Georgia that manifested in Connecticut, but still, I feel the need to take a little break from Jayne On Weed Street. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I am working on garden plans for the coming year, so please don’t take me off your list of blogs to visit – I will return soon!  While I am taking my blogging break, I will be observing my camellias

Camellia Sasanqua 'Leslie Ann'

Camellia Sasanqua ‘Leslie Ann’

which are happily blooming and contemplating my additions and changes for the garden. The Lizard Hotel is filling up!  How many more do you think can take up residence here?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Pinteresting Christmas and Cavaliers

Did Facebook presume to show you on your timeline what your year has been?  Did you get an album created by FACEBOOK of your 2014??IMG_3025I enjoy sharing photos and newsworthy items with friends and family on Facebook, but I was taken back when I realized that I am sharing all of that with the computer mind at Facebook.  Presumably, a real human mind thought that Facebook users would appreciate this album showing up on their timeline?  When you think about it, every day we show our face to the world and people make what they will of us.  Why, then, do I care that I’ve shown my life to FACEBOOK and it has made what it will of me?  This is a question I need to ponder.

And how about Pinterest?  Riding in the car or faced with watching one of dear husband’s movie picks for the evening, I will sometimes pull out the I Pad or phone and see what Pinterest thinks I would be interested in as I randomly click through photos.  I pin other’s photos and they pin mine.  Is this something to be of concern?  Will Pinterest begin to form an opinion of me based on my interests, or …..even, photos of my Christmas mantel?IMG_3021 Is this any different from showing your face to the world, each time you go to your favorite dress shop, make up counter, interior design shop, antique store?  Do you like it when the sales associate greets you by name and shows you something she thinks you will like based on your prior purchases?

I have truly enjoyed clicking through photos on Pinterest to see what Christmas looks like from other points of view.  It is pinteresting!  Creating and maintaining a blog is in some ways the same; we bloggers show a side of ourselves to the world as we write about ourselves, our activities, our interests, our dilemmas and concerns.  We even show our beloved pets!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat we need to be mindful of is the way in which all of this DATA is used.  There is no such thing as anonymous!

I wish you all a very Pinteresting Christmas!  But let’s put down our devices and really enjoy showing our true faces to our friends and family!!  We can save our worries about social media and all of this Big Brother stuff for 2015!   Merry Christmas!


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Sometimes we get so caught up in the crazy rush of the holiday season, that we lose sense of time.  Adults feel there aren’t enough minutes to the day; children feel that Christmas day will never arrive. The expectation of Christmas morning is overwhelming.  It is Christmas time.  IMG_2917 Last week, I took a step back in time when I volunteered at a historic home, the Reinhard House, built in 1840 and one of only two pre- Civil War  farm houses surviving in Savannah.  Now owned and maintained by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs, the home and garden are open to visitors.    This  fireplace reminds you of the many hours spent tending the fires for cooking and heating water.  I wrote about visiting the garden behind this house in a July post to this blog, when it was over 100 degrees!  The air was cooler on this December morning, but  the roses are still blooming. (In December!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This friendly feline is still greeting visitors in the garden. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The quiet in the garden was welcome and I was grateful for the undisturbed time.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nature was showing her Winter colors. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpeaking of Nature, I joined a boat trip through the Savannah Wildlife Refuge on the Savannah River yesterday.  It began as a very cold gray morning, IMG_2939but ended on a sunny note.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  What a wonderful way to escape the usual madness of the holidays!  With the rise and fall of the tides,  Nature reminds us of her power.  There is no way to rush or slow the tides.  She needs no twinkling lights or grand design schemes to make the season bright.  The countdown to Christmas is a stopwatch we set ourselves;  be assured that out in the marshes of coastal Georgia, there is no such measure.

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Christmas is coming , play the music!

Christmas in Connecticut often saw  a sprinkling of snow, but almost always chill weather,  but when it was too balmy, getting out the Christmas decorations and turning up the volume on the Christmas carols was

sure to put you in the spirit!  IMG_2876

This will be our first Christmas in the South.  Instead of seeing bright flashes of red cardinals against a snowy landscape, we see our friends of the slithery type checking out the warm temperatures!IMG_2857

The landscape has changed but the holiday sights and sounds are similar.  Christmas trees with twinkly lights and imaginative ornaments IMG_2873spark the warm holiday spirit, but in coastal Georgia we don’t need a roaring fire to get those warm feelings!  (Chilly nights here do call for a gas lit fire and a glass of bourbon, don’t get me wrong – this isn’t Florida!!)

Changing out the urns with evergreens and red bows seemed right, but adding the pansies was something different!   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Palm trees and pansies!

I will be observing the Southern traditions of Christmas, and hoping to incorporate them into our family traditions!  In the meantime, stockings


will be hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas will soon be here!


I won’t be dreaming of a White Christmas, but there is much to said for a GREEN CHRISTMAS!


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Dog Snoods In GEORGIA

All across our country, a cold front has brought plunging temperatures in the last week.  Coastal Georgia was not spared!  Moving to temperate Georgia, I thought that the beautiful snoods that my sister knitted for the spoiled girls, would be put away in case there were any Wintry trips North.  But we had plunging temperatures in the 30’s!  Two of my all time popular blog posts are about snoods for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, so it seemed time to revisit the subject.  Put the light fabric snoods away and get out the wool!  This is what the Cavaliers had to say about that!


Oh no, here she comes with the PRETTY snood that I’m not supposed to dip in the food bowl!  P.S.  When is the needlepoint pillow of ME going to be finished?

Sister, what do you think about this?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just smile, let her take the picture, and we’re out of here!


It’s never that easy!  She wants everything PERFECT!

Psst, here’s my plan……..

You are going where?  Escape?  Oh no!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just because she has the camera in front of her face, doesn’t mean she can’t see what we’re up to!!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



Wait, I almost forgot the magic ball!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Wishing all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving!  May your  week ahead  be filled with food, fun, family, dogs  and thanks!   At the heart of the controversy over immigration reform, I think we can accept, with the exception of the native North American Indians, that we are ALL descended from immigrants.  Open your heart, be part of the discussion, but never forget the blessings  immigrants have brought our nation.  THANK YOU to my  family – some came on one of the first ships to arrive, true Pilgrims in a strange land, and others followed from England, France and Germany.  Wherever you are from, remember to be thankful for your ancestors who bravely came to this land for a better life.   Giving Thanks!


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Skidaway goes to SCAD

Another adventure in Savannah today.  Sunny and 70’s, and we stepped out from Skidaway Island on to the Savannah brick IMG_2610to get a taste of SCAD.  The Savannah College of Art & Design has an incredible “campus” mostly within the Savannah historic district.  The excitement and creativity of the students and faculty is everywhere! IMG_2553 The growth of this world-renowned college has coincided with the rebirth of one of the oldest cities in the United States.  As I have explored the many layers of Savannah, this has been one of the most exciting places to discover.  We met at the Welcome Center on Bull Street where new life was painted on even the most venerable of structures. IMG_2559 Paintings greeted the visitors at every turn. IMG_2557 A fabulous sculpture invited prospective students to create a card with a few short lines describing what they aspired to and what inspires them.  The cards were then tied on to the hanging cords, pulled and a light bulb turns on – with hopes that SCAD would, in the future, throw light on those aspirations!  IMG_2552Love that!

Because this is the week of the Savannah Film Festival, we toured the area of the school that related to those areas of study.   A theater,IMG_2603 a sound studio, IMG_2602film making, IMG_2591photography….I was absolutely dizzy with the possibilities offered to young minds and creative spirits.  The areas created for students to work and to gather were just incredible!  IMG_2600 IMG_2598 IMG_2594 IMG_2588 IMG_2583Do you know a young artist or student interested in architectural history, cinema, design, fashion, fibers, IMG_2568jewelry, film & t.v., industrial design, photography, sound, sequential art, urban design, writing……?  This is the place to be!  The sky is the limit!





The morning ended with a great lunch at Gryphon. IMG_2612The tour left us hungry, for food, but not for inspiration – we had a mountain of that!IMG_2606

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Savannah Treat – Cohen’s Retreat for Review

I went off the beaten path on this beautiful afternoon in Savannah.  Sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s made it the perfect afternoon to explore.  Since I am meeting someone for lunch next week at Cohen’s Retreat, I decided to take a trip in that direction to be sure I knew my way.  I drove past twice as I was not expecting the large brick building behind an iron fence to be a restaurant.  Indeed I later did a little research and discovered that this was formerly a home for old men.  A Mr. Cohen of Savannah gave his fortune to securing a place for elderly men so that they would receive good care and not have to die alone.  The old age home closed in the 90’s, and the building has now become a center for artisans and the newest spot to dine on the outskirts of Savannah.  IMG_2498There is a coffee/juice bar and a fabulous restaurant, and some lovely private dining areas. IMG_2500Also housed in this mammoth building:  Katherine Mathis Van Tosh’s marketing and branding business, Revolver Studios: Evelyn Scott’s upholstery business, FOWD (Fish Out of Water Designs); Elizabeth Demos’ event planning and photo styling studio; and an urban farming business, Victory Gardens, owned and operated by Reid Archer, Kerry Shay and David Hislop.   Just opened in June, this  augurs to be a destination spot for Savannah residents as well as the many visitors to this fine city who want to go off the beaten path.  Today, I took a quick whirl through so let me show you a small sampling of what I found there!  First, you enter through the front door, beautifully decorated with Autumn’s offerings. IMG_2487  As you enter the main space, you are drawn to the comfort of this sitting area and foyer.

Cohen's Retreat entry

Cohen’s Retreat entry

They are ready for Halloween, which isn’t my favorite holiday, but they were clever and I had to smile at the entrance to the dining room. IMG_2501 For the blue & white lovers out there, surely you would find something begging to be purchased in this room.  IMG_2488

IMG_2495 Dog lovers will enjoy this room!  Below are some well priced art/craft works;  I’d love to purchase them to hang in our guest room! IMG_2499Each room had its own personality and everything was displayed with style, IMG_2497and curated well.IMG_2498Truly, something for everyone!   IMG_2489IMG_2491IMG_2492IMG_2493

SOMETHING had to go home with me, so it was a dahlia plate from this room.  Readers, you know how the flowers call out!  Just buying this little plate made me want to entertainIMG_2494 – time to get out the invitations! IMG_2483As I had flowers in the car and groceries that needed to get home, I couldn’t explore all the spaces, but soon after lunch at Cohen’s Retreat next week, I will be drawn back here again and again!

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