Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Winter Gardening Pleasures

Tasha's front porch
Like most gardeners, late winter was the time when Tasha perused seed and nursery catalogs. And because I usually visited during February, our conversations rambled off to our favorite heirloom roses, the heady fragrance of scented geraniums and our favorite colors of hollyhocks. Tasha also confessed her habit of now and then, taking a cutting or a seed pod while strolling through a famous garden. If I remember correctly, her boxwood plants were cuttings from a plant at Mount Vernon. She nurtured the same habit in me by giving me poppy seed pods so that I could splash their seeds around my garden. Every year, their lavender or pink flowers shimmer between the dianthus and clumps of thyme.
When I voiced my frustration over primrose seeds from seed companies that failed to germinate, Tasha explained that the freshest seeds came from the American Primrose Society. She encouraged me to join the group, and described the proper steps for germinating primula. Later that spring, I opened a birthday package sent from Tasha and there glowed a silver-green primula with delicate yellow flowers that I had admired in her greenhouse. Whenever I spy primroses as a nursery, I think of the many different varieties that bloomed in her garden and the small pots decorating her kitchen windowsill.
For Tasha, gardening was another art form with a three dimensional pallet of textures, colors and scents. With her imagination and penchant for design, she shaped flowerbeds that linger in her illustrations and inspire gardeners around the world.
In her greenhouse, Tasha and Carol Lueck


  1. Thank you Joan!! :-)
    That is something that runs in my family too!! Hee hee, my Mom took a boxwood snip from Mt. Vernon (in the 70's) as well!!! And started me a small "bushling", recently, that we planted here just last summer!! We have so many startings that came from "pinches and snips" Oh how I LOVE your stories!! :-D
    Many many Blessings and much warmth, Linnie

  2. I have wanted to reproduce Tasha's porch onto my house, but the lay of the land just will not allow it! Thank you this inspiring post.

  3. Thank you all for kind encouraging words and may our gardens flourish

  4. Thank you Joan for another sweet remembrance. I can just picture Tasha casually snipping something and taking it home in a pocket. I almost did this at Smith College Conservatory, but alas, the guilt got to me and the feeling I could be being watched...LOL!

  5. I am so enjoying your stories of Tasha and the pictures!!!! Thank you

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