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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.


      Showing posts with label pussy willow. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label pussy willow. Show all posts

      Sunday, March 2, 2014

      LOOKING HARD IN NYC

      Around NYC we're desperate for a sign of spring. Yes, there have been sightings of witch hazel blooms at the NY Botanical Garden and snowdrops on Abbie Zabar's terrace but I want my own signs, closer to home. On my 18th floor roof garden I seek and find.
      Above, real flower buds of  Hellebores, the lenten rose, tucked deep in a container, preparing for the start of Lent next week.
      Buds are starting to form on the pussy willow tree propagated from one stick, rooted in water six years ago and shoved in a container outdoors. The tree is ready for its spring pruning.
       In my apartment, the new prunings stand in a vase of warm water, giving me pleasure as the buds enlarge and mature. These  stems will root and be ready for transplanting anywhere I chose, the grandchildren of my first NYC grocery store bunch of pussy willow.
      Spring is on its way.

      Saturday, March 16, 2013

      WHAT GOES AROUND...

      photograph by ©Alan& Linda Detrick, all rights reserved.
      Pussy willow, my favorite for spring arrangements. Wind stems inside a glass container, no water; this only works when stems are fresh-cut. Add mimosa at the base of the pitcher. It will dry in place. That's it; a no brain arrangement.
      When I had my farm, I had a shrub big enough to prune and fill every vase. Here in Manhattan, I bought a bunch 5 years ago and rooted them for a month in water.
      They were ready to plant when leaves started to push forth and roots looked like this...
      I stuck a few in the soil of various containers on my roof garden and promptly forgot about them.
      When I bought new containers and transplanted almost everything, these sticks got dumped, except one planted in an old teak container that I kept.
      This March, five years later my New York born and bred pussy willow shrub looks like this...


      and some new branches are ready to grace my living room.
      Whether you buy them at a flower show or the Boston wholesale flower market as did my friend, floral designer, writer, and herbalist Betsy Williams, you can make something wonderful.
      Here I made a table wreath of fresh pussy willow and  mimosa and filled the center with egg shells.
       photo © Alan & Linda Detrick, all rights reserved.





      Wednesday, March 4, 2009

      FAVORITE SIGNS OF EARLY SPRING

      All photos except second from top ©Alan & Linda Detrick, Ellen Spector Platt design.
      I saw pansy flats for sale at my corner store last week. Tulip bulbs peek up through the snow in my tree pits. Hellebores in my roof garden display full bud. The Philadelphia Flower show is in glorious bloom, an easy Amtrak ride from New York City through Sunday 3/8/09.

      Since 1829, now the larg-
      est indoor flower show on
      the planet, over 250,000
      people walk their feet off
      through the 33 acres of
      concrete flooring admir-
      ing all manner of gar-
      dens, arrangements,
      plant competitions and
      educational exhibits.
      There is some immutable
      law that every visitor
      must go home with a
      plant, pack of seeds,
      book, vase, tool or shed.
      Nothing seems as popular
      as pussy willow. Visitors
      to the show create pedestrian hazards as they manipulate long bunches through the crowded aisles of the Market Place.


      I’ve often been poked by someone
      else's pussy willow, and may have
      done some inadvertent poking of
      my own, until one year I rooted
      the fresh stems and grew three
      of my own shrubs, then had
      enough to cut and sell at my
      booth in the Market Place along
      with my dried flowers and herbs.

      Here are some other things you
      can do with the pussy willow you
      buy fresh at NYC greenmarkets.



      When stems are very fresh
      coil each one and lay it inside
      a glass pitcher, building up
      the construction. Three or four
      stems will probably fill the
      container and the willow will
      dry in place. Buds of yellow
      mimosa just starting open
      will also dry as they lay.





      Find a group of similar bottles in different sizes and put one stem of either regular or contorted pussy willow in each bottle without water. (below) The display will last until you get bored by it.













      Make a pussy willow wreath on a metal wreath frame, cutting larger stems into pieces about eight inches in length. Use the finished wreath as part of a table centerpiece with sprigs of mimosa which will dry in place and various size eggs, both dyed and natural.

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