Sizzle, Sparkle, Celebrate!

July arrives with the gift of a long weekend. And right away, summer goes into high gear. As though on cue, one slows the normal, frenetic pace, puts down the spade and picks up the lemonade.

This is the month when there is not much new to do in the garden. It is all about maintenance. Weeding, watering, deadheading, mowing. There is something reassuring about the rhythmic pattern of the mundane chores.
Time appears to expand. The days open up to all sorts of fun possibilities. Books are read. Parties happen spontaneously and summer meals linger long. Sparkling in sunshine, the days are lulled by the call of the cicadas and sway of the hammock. The nights glow with starlight, fireflies and flickering candles. They are the what we long for all the other months.

Lets resolve to not waste a single moment of summer in July. Make that lemonade. Place the books in the porch. Commission the ice-cream machine. Clean the outdoor furniture, toss on the pillows, spread the tablecloth. Raid daily the salad patch. Count dragonflies and fireflies. Go off the electronic grid as often and as long as possible. Trade FaceTime for pool time. Turn every meal into a celebration. Let your feet rediscover the pleasure of grass.

With this in mind, I’m gearing up for the Fourth of July weekend. A large pitcher of rose geranium and ginger infused lemonade is chilling alongside other potent libations in the refrigerator. The grill on the BBQ is clean and ready. The potager will serve up fresh salads. A basket of books, a choice playlist and favorite boardgames await. Lanterns hang from trees. I’m prepared to celebrate. And I’ve even taken care of the fireworks. Check out the photos below!

Happy Fourth one and all!

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The first two photos are of Heidi and Stephen Ford’s garden in Chicago.To extend the life of the alliums, Stephen decided to spray paint the spent alliums for a fireworks display!

 Heidi reports – ” We used Rust-Oleum  spray paint ( fluorescent, and glossy enamel ) and when spraying we used newspaper to shield the surrounding flowers from the paint . We held the spray can about 6 inches from the alliums and held the newspaper behind or under as we sprayed.”


Photo credit - Heidi Ford

Photo credit – Heidi Ford

Photo credit - Heidi Ford

Photo credit – Heidi Ford


My meadow is full of alliums but it is not practical to paint them in situ. So I harvested the alliums ( below). By themselves, they make a charming ‘shabby chic’ display don’t you think?


Here they are all set for the holiday!




Recreation of Celia Thaxter's porch at the American Impressionists exhibit at NYBG. Note the red, white and blue flowers!

Recreation of Celia Thaxter’s porch at the American Impressionists exhibit at NYBG. Note the red, white and blue flowers!

(c) 2016 Shobha Vanchiswar




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