January 7, 2016
Renewal: The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion
Happy Newe Ya’ar—sage that is! Does cool, damp spring or hot humid summer send your sage to the compost pile? You’ll “bee” very happy with this one, Daphne’s Plant of the Week.
Developed by horticulturists in Newe Ya’ar, Israel, this hybrid of Salvia officinalis and Salvia fruticosa met their goal for a sage that can withstand harsh climates.
I ran into this silvery, edible beauty in countless gardens last year. Shrubby but compact, its spring flower bedspread ripples with delighted pollinators, including bees.
Find out more about Newe Ya’ar sage.
The new year turned the calendar page to renewal. My New Dawn finally plumped up after a skeletal summer. Many hardy roses abandoned leaves when sudden drought followed an unusually wet spring, shedding the overload to save their roots.
My evergreen matchstick bromeliad (Aechmea gamosepala) anchors a host of seasons: fall’s Lycoris radiata, spring’s larkspurs emerging under a mountain laurel poised for flowery fragrance, and a winter Arum pushing though leaves I piled on to nourish next summer.
On a sunny day, bees hurry on over.
To feed tired soil after summer’s brutal beating, I’m digging into my compost pile. It astounds me, always, how kitchen and garden scraps (along with indoor bunny litter!) transform into new life.
Daphne tells us: “While compost may be applied any time of year, winter is the best time to apply large amounts when plants are dormant. Compost needs a little time to be broken down by microbes and become a part of your garden soil. That microbial action turns the compounds that are tied up in that organic matter into precious, slow-release nutrients for your plants. Better soil structure means better water and nutrient holding capacity, as well as better oxygen exchange.” Find out more.
A renewal for many of my friends involves a big one: cancer. Although it’s not darkened my own doorway, designer Jenny Peterson’s latest book The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion touched me profoundly on many personal levels.
This week, Jenny takes us on her voyage to cultivate hope, healing and joy in the ground beneath your feet.
Colorful, cheerful, and peppered with Jenny’s laugh-out-loud wit, she blends poignant and compassionate stories with practical guides for the body, mind, and spirit.
Jenny profiles cancer survivors from across the country, including designer and author Rebecca Sweet’s spirited response to her diagnosis.
My gardening has been curtailed by mobility issues, and Jenny’s book is helping me on my voyage to recovery, as I know it will yours—be it cancer or any life-altering force.
Adapting is a gardener’s motto! Keep growing all winter—even in small spaces—with John’s easy DIY instructions to build a cold frame.
Viewer Picture goes to Nelwyn Persky who surprised her grandkids on Easter with newly stained concrete bunnies!
Watch Merrideth Jiles’ DIY steps for staining concrete that prompted Nelwyn’s latest adventure.
On tour, Elayne Lansford’s powerful story of her triumph over cancer always boosts my spirits.
A master of creative recycling, she gives orphaned objects new purpose, like her waterfall crafted from a Goodwill patio table. Here’s how she did it (and modified it).
An old galvanized tub and broken tiles set into concrete anchor rebar for a bottle post.
Since childhood, Elayne has loved bottle trees. When cancer diminished her spirits, she rallied by dotting her wildflower meadow with glassware of all kinds. Giving new life to road side or thrift store finds restored her strength in a remaking quest.
Then, soon after her recovery, her husband faced an even momentous battle with cancer. A friend built her an arbor topped with an old bed spring bottle “tree.”
She says, “So there is a possibility at some level if there were lots of bottles out there they might keep some of the bad energy away from the house.”
To fill the meadow with bottle trees, Elayne took welding classes at ACC, a newfound skill that helped her heal.
For intimate-space time, she snuggled a tiny meditative cove into embracing plants.
Watch her story now!
Thank you for stopping by! See you next week, Linda