Plants – Update/Pussy Willow Catkins

The pussy willow branches, placed in water and displayed on my mantel, thrived for weeks. The lengths below the water line rooted, and the catkins grew and developed fuzzy yellow pollen. The catkins had a life of their own, dropping from the branches onto the floor, becoming toys for my cat to play with in the middle of the night.

Today I potted one branch up to plant as a tree in the backyard.

The tips are already growing leaves, and I have high hopes I won’t have to buy branches next year to force indoors, but will have a supply of my own to use.

Quote & Perspective – Busy as a Bee

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The weather has turned warm in my area of New Jersey…perfect for an early Spring Walk. I took advantage of the warmth and strolled the paths of a local park. I love pussy willows, and as I gazed upward at the fuzzy catkins, awash in pollen, I made my first bumble bee sighting of 2015.

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He was “Busy as a Bee,” butting and bumbling amongst the golden strands of pollen. On arriving home I followed his example and busied myself making a list of Springtime garden chores. The list looks daunting, but contrary to other to-do lists, this one fills me with JOY! Sunshine, birdsong and muddy fingers await me when I put this list into practice. Yes, I will be busy as that bumblebee this week.

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As I was composing this post my husband walked by the room and said, “There’s an orange sky behind you.”

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The sight of the brilliant morning sky reminded me that while I can choose to be as busy as a bee, I also need set aside time to cherish the splendor of the springtime and guard against being so completely immersed in the seasonal tasks that I fail to enjoy the glory surrounding me.

ORIGIN OF “BUSY AS A BEE.”

“Ey! Goddes mercy!” sayd our Hoste tho,
Now such a wyf I pray God keep me fro.
Lo, suche sleightes and subtilitees
In wommen be; for ay as busy as bees.”
~ Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Squire’s Tale

Posies – Alstromeria and a Few Willow Twigs

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I put together this floral arrangement a few days before Easter. It contains only one bunch of alstromeria, some pussy willow branches, some curly willow branches and a few pieces of beautiful foliage. It is lovely, and I have enjoyed it very much. Even better…it is still going strong, and the curly willow branches have leafed out.

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Willow twigs will readily root in water or loose soil. I have used branches as trellises and had them regrow once more as they gave support to the vines. I might try to grow these and plant the resulting bushes in a back corner of the yard.

Alstromeria is one of the best flowers for long-lasting arrangements. I wonder how long I can keep this beautiful display alive.

Floral Tip: Remove the bottom leaves of the alstromeria stem. These leaves yellow and die long before the flowers are finished blooming. Your arrangement will last almost a week longer if these leaves are removed.

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