Welcome to the Tropics of Connecticut

Have you noticed? It’s hotter and wetter in warm weather, and less cold in winter. Still, every gardener welcomes rain as an alternative to being eaten by mosquitoes when you’re trying to water thirsty plants. And it’s wonderful to look out at the lush greens, especially as the lilies haven’t quite burst into bloom yet. It’s an almost-water feature! I adore my new water hyacinths that live in a small metal pot embedded in one of the flower beds. And you don’t have to water. What a concept. Water plants are new to me and I find the leaves with
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Summer is Ushered in Courtesy of April and May

April is the name I gave to my new Paola scarf. Early spring after all brings narcissus, daffodils and early baby sedum greens.  Love the softness of color this time of year.   These days, most of my time is spent in the garden -from weeding to watering to pruning and mulching. Today, I bought some bone meal to supplement a stubborn rhododendron that refuses to flower. I pruned the plant carefully, applied the bone meal around its base and layered on some compost bought expressly to hold it close around the roots. The plant sits on a steep hill
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It’s Azalea Time Again

Did you know that azaleas and rhododendron are in the same family? Both members of the genus Rhododendron. My azaleas usually start blooming first here in CT, followed by the rhododendrons. Evergreen vs. Deciduous Azaleas Most azaleas are evergreen and offer good winter landscape interest. The deciduous azalea -typically orange or yellow, is taller and drops its leaves for winter. I think they’re adorably unusual in a landscape. However, they’re adorably unusual in a landscape. This year was not a good one for our azaleas tho. Large sections of the plants had what looked like tiny brown, dry flower buds
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Annual Pilgrimage to ICFF, NYC -May 2019

Every year we go to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) to see what’s trending in home décor. As an international venue, many products are quite extravagant but the show also includes new materials and ideas just barely fleshed out by architectural students or young companies in search of distribution. The show showcases all aspects of home décor- inside and out. A must-see. I pulled a few to show you. The Italians are coming! Every year, there’s an extensive display of Italian companies- traditional leathers to very modern materials and high line designs. Worth the visit. There are many styles-
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Spring Fling

I landed in Iowa two days ago to join my sister for her hip replacement. Great little town called Ames- if I ever make it out to the great walks and shops. I’ve heard it’s a great place to enjoy the out- of-doors too. Love the people. This was the week for flat out work on fair prep for our Spring show in Simsbury. Then, re-locating all Paola Prints pieces to the car…in the pouring rain. This gala event was the day before my flight to Ames. Great planning- not. And who knew, the flight took 7 additional hours due
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Spring Sale- Scarf Prices Are Going Up May 1

We’ve been sewing and ironing like crazy to get ready for the Simsbury Flea and Smorgasbord Show. It’s next Saturday, (rain or shine) April 27, from 9-5. The show is one day only and I’d love to see you there but if you can’t make it, no worries, scarves in stock today and ordered before May 1, will be sold for the current price of $42.00. After May 1, the new price will be $44.95. SORRY- THIS SALE IS OVER!! Peony Heaven Takes Planning Spring is the time for fertilizing some plants. Today, it was time for the peonies. Having
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Spring is Sprung

Sedum (aka Stonecrop) is a beautiful succulent that appears in early Spring (that’s today in Litchfield). I recently posted a new scarf design and asked people to guess what plant I drew the green from. Sedum!  An unusual shaped succulent that spans the length of our growing season in New England. Sedum is a hardy, perennial addition to a sunny garden. There are both tall and creeping varieties. Mine get pretty tall- up to 2.5 feet and leggy. One might choose a creeping variety for a more tidy garden. It’s early Spring in Connecticut and the usual suspects are slowly
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Your Home Can Be Your Personal Art Place

 “Artists are picky people. The objects they live with — furniture, artifacts, ceramics, works by other artists — are usually carefully chosen, and they look it.”* My parents were both ceramicists, clay their primary medium. They engendered in us a certain mysterious connection between creativity and nature. Potters surround themselves with organic materials including plants. As children, we were in the garden daily in warm weather, playing and raising flowers and vegetables. Bennington Pottery, Bennington, Vermont Last week we visited Bennington Pottery in Vermont, a business that put its town on the map and employed many local residents for years.
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Easter Bonnets

We found Jack in Savannah a few years ago just about this time. He was buried in the basement of a familiar antique haunt. He caught our eye because he was alone. How many fu dogs have you seen without a partner? Few fu. Because they’re generally conceived in pairs. We brought him home and welcomed him into the family. Today, it was just too cold for me to pose outdoors in a hat. Then there was Jack. For years, my mother dutifully attired myself and my six sisters in thin dresses and flowered bonnets for Easter Sunday. It was
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They’re Baaack!

The skunk cabbage are here. And more coming. One of my favorite signs of spring. I just have to write about them every year! It’s not just their color and shape. Or the fact that they’re pioneers, early adaptors. Or perhaps it’s their undeniable motherly qualities against all odds and threat of inclement weather. Interestingly, skunk cabbage also reminds me of the work of an artist by the name of Henry Spencer Moore- a celebrated English sculptor known for his monumental semi- abstract bronze sculptures. And an artist my dad was a big fan of. Read more here about the
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