What's New at the Garden

Tread Carefully!

 

“I’ll snap pert fingers full in the thin face of thawing winter and go seek a squill.” ~Ben Belitt from 'Squill Song' in the April 1930 issue of Poetry Magazine.

     The garden beds are splashed with drifts of white that look a bit like mounds of snow still in the process of melting. Thankfully, the snow is gone and you are looking at our newly blooming Scilla mischtschenkoana bulbs, the first flowers this year. Yes, they beat out the crocus somehow, so we may be in for a strange spring.  Please heed our signs that caution visitors to stay on the paths, as the crushed blooms of trampled squill are thought to release evil spirits. The botanical name Scilla comes from the Greek goddess, Scylla, who can appear beautiful and then transform into a sea monster. In Homer’s, the Odyssey, the ships must pass between Charybdis and Scylla. Odysseus heeds advice to steer closer to Scylla’s side of the strait, because Charybdis could wholly drown all the ships at once, while Scylla could only attack them with her six heads. Six of Odysseus’s men were killed, each by one of Scylla’s heads. Scilla blooms hold six petals curled back to reveal six stamens.

Nature Nerd Word: Marcescence

The leaves are all dead on the ground,

 Save those that the oak is keeping

~Robert Frost from Reluctance

 

Ever notice that some of the deciduous trees in our Shoulder Hedge hold their leaves until the beginning of spring? These golden, paper-like leaves create a pleasing, rustling sound.  This was an intentional design feature to add visual contrast and aural interest to the winter garden.  Our bi-colored hedge is making use of the phenomenon of
marcescence [mahr-ses-ens]

Healing Products Inspired by the Lurie Garden

This time of year can be difficult for Midwestern gardeners. We have been kept inside this year by freezing temperatures and abundant snow and ice that have made even simple outdoor tasks more difficult. However, there are some great indoor activites that can bring the garden inside, heal our winter-weary skin, and inspire us to start planning for the upcoming gardening season. This past week, we shared some our our healing recipes on ABC 7.

How to Use Cookie Cutters to Make Holiday Candles!

This morning our horticulturist, Laura Ekasetya, joined Stacey Baca on ABC7 to demo a fun holiday project using natural beeswax sheets. Check out how you can create these beautiful, sweetly smelling gifts at home! Great project to try with kids. Beeswax candles are dripless and non toxic. This project requires only the heat of your hands--no need for a hot stove and thermometers. If you have cold hands you can always use a blow drier or electric hair rollers to heat the wax up. Great gift idea and the cookie cutter candles fit nicely in a holiday card.

Click here for the video and recipe!

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