All photos except second from top ©Alan & Linda Detrick, Ellen Spector Platt design.
I saw pansy flats for sale at my corner store last week. Tulip bulbs peek up through the snow in my tree pits. Hellebores in my roof garden display full bud. The Philadelphia Flower show is in glorious bloom, an easy Amtrak ride from New York City through Sunday 3/8/09.
Since 1829, now the larg-
est indoor flower show on
the planet, over 250,000
people walk their feet off
through the 33 acres of
concrete flooring admir-
ing all manner of gar-
plant competitions and
There is some immutable
law that every visitor
must go home with a
plant, pack of seeds,
book, vase, tool or shed.
Nothing seems as popular
as pussy willow. Visitors
to the show create pedestrian hazards as they manipulate long bunches through the crowded aisles of the Market Place.
I’ve often been poked by someone
else's pussy willow, and may have
done some inadvertent poking of
my own, until one year I rooted
the fresh stems and grew three
of my own shrubs, then had
enough to cut and sell at my
booth in the Market Place along
with my dried flowers and herbs.
Here are some other things you
can do with the pussy willow you
buy fresh at NYC greenmarkets.
When stems are very fresh
coil each one and lay it inside
a glass pitcher, building up
the construction. Three or four
stems will probably fill the
container and the willow will
dry in place. Buds of yellow
mimosa just starting open
will also dry as they lay.
Find a group of similar bottles in different sizes and put one stem of either regular or contorted pussy willow in each bottle without water. (below) The display will last until you get bored by it.
Make a pussy willow wreath on a metal wreath frame, cutting larger stems into pieces about eight inches in length. Use the finished wreath as part of a table centerpiece with sprigs of mimosa which will dry in place and various size eggs, both dyed and natural.