Feb 18, 2012

Garden: Education

Last month my sister in law, Anna (or Nanna as Porter calls her), moved back to Boise. We love her so much and she's already upgraded our lives in the few weeks she's been back. We've been snowshoeing, to the theater, and to AMAZING gardening classes at Edwards Greenhouse. The bonus is they're free!

The education series has been on Saturday mornings inside the actual greenhouse. It's warm, bright, moist and always blows my mind. A perfect place to spend cold, and sometimes dreary, weekend mornings. So far we've been to a class on Pruning Shrubs and Flower Arranging. I know, Pruning and Arranging is mind blowing? I thought they would be a tad boring too, but the folks teaching the classes are funny, knowledgeable and creative. 

What I took away from the classes so far has been very insightful and I used what I learned pruning my front yard this week. I think what I gained philosophically is even better though. When pruning shrubs I learned that you don't have to prune them, but if you do, they should be graceful. Which automatically made me think of a shrub ballet. Incidentally, I have a visual reference from a Momix dance performance that Anna and I went to recently, which also blew my mind. It looks like this:

From the flower arranging class I learned about building arrangements. More importantly, I  came away with the idea that flowers should be kept looking like natural flowers. This is an aesthetic that I can get behind. Since I'm pruning this month, I can use what I'm cutting from my trees and shrubs and use them as structural pieces in arrangements, and how to use bulb flowers in bouquets. 

Matt Johnson, the florist teaching, spoke of flowers and arranging them in the most lovely way, with the best and most appropriate adjectives ever. We also had some good giggles, because when Matt added just the right flower to an arrangement the entire class would gasp in unison. Watching already beautiful flowers turn into grand arrangements was a little like watching how a magic trick is performed. It's been a truly enlightening experience and I look forward to next weeks class on raised beds. Oh man, I love to garden.

The roses are being held in place by the branches, which are tethered together and to the  pussy willow.

Floating flowers.

Using bulb flowers.

After going to the class I went downtown to pick up lunch and happened upon this lovely topiary outside of Tully's. I saw it and immediately thought that it so closely mirrored what I had just learned. Low and behold, it was from Edwards Greenhouse. 
Some random cute pictures from one of our walks this week. Since it's winter and all the shrubs and trees have no leaves we've been observing how they were pruned. I now have a greater appreciation for what graceful pruning looks like, and vow to never mindlessly hack away at a tree or shrub again. Visually, a poorly pruned tree/shrub makes me a little sad. Porter is also learning to appreciate the beauty in nature from a perspective closer to the ground.

Soon enough I'll have his cart filled with gardening supplies and putting this boy to work in the yard.

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