Make a Living Easter Basket
“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
– Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant
When I was a child, my family would go to my grandmother Pearl’s house every Easter. She lived a few hours away in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I would anxiously wait in anticipation of the first glimpse of her house. She always had an Easter Tree. It would be a small deciduous tree hung with brightly colored Easter eggs. In the living room she had yet another tree. She spray painted white twigs, bunched them together in a vase and hung them with hollowed out eggs so delicately painted and adorned with flowers. The dinner always had fresh dandelion salad and eggs that were dyed in beets or onion skins. For dessert she made coconut dark chocolates. After dinner we would walk around her yard and look at her vegetable garden and the spring bulbs coming up. All of her plants she knew by name, a skill I always admired. I have adopted many of grandma Pearl’s traditions. My children now wait in gleeful anticipation of making our own Easter tree and dying Easter eggs. Join me this month as I share a favorite tradition of making Easter baskets.
How to Make a “Living Green” Easter Basket
“A tisket, A tasket, A green and yellow basket”
1. Select a basket you love. I have used some with or without handles in all shapes and sizes, natural colors and painted.
2. Line your basket with moss. Green sheet moss or sphagnum works well for this.
3. Fill two-thirds with potting soil that has been pre dampened. This helps to keep the plants from sinking in after it has been watered.
4. Select plant material. Think lush, low, and green. In the basket shown I have used Selaginella kraussiana ‘aurea krauss’ ( Gold Spikemoss), Ophiopogon japonica ( Mondo Grass), and Sempervivums (hen & chicks). Other ideas include Sagina subulata ‘aurea’(Golden scotch moss), lysimachia nummularia ‘aurea’ (Yellow Creeping Jenny), and Dwarf Mondo Grass. One of my favorite ideas is to seed the basket with Rye grass seed. It takes about 3 weeks for the seed to germinate and to mature to a height of about 2”.
5. Whatever your choice, plant the material so that the top of the plants crown is about 1” from the top of the basket. This allows room for water.
6. Use more of the moss as mulch and tuck it in around the plants.
7. Water in well.
8. Add Easter decorations such as eggs, ducks, rabbits, candy and flowers.
9. Enjoy your basket inside or out. If using indoors, a plastic liner may be used instead of the moss, but be careful not to over water. They also make great gifts for children and adults alike.
PEST OF THE MONTH
“Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the bunny trail”
I love rabbits. They are adorable furry little animals, but I get frustrated when they eat my plants. I have had some success with Liquid Fence when repeatedly sprayed. There are some other remedies that I have heard of but not yet tried. One idea is to use diluted fish emulsion as a spray. Ground limestone, wood ashes, talcum powder or powered aloe sprinkled around plants is said to deter these voracious eaters. If anyone has had luck with any of these products or knows of others, please let me know.
The Garden Club of Savannah
and North of Gaston Street Tour
April 17 and 18, 2009
EARTH DAY IS APRIL 22, 2009
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 as a commitment to save our environment. I am really excited about this Earth Day. It is being cited as the beginning of The Green Generation and I am proud to be a part of this movement. Let’s make an intention together to change one thing in our lives that would help our environment. There are several great web sites that have lots of ideas and information about protecting the environment at home, at work, at school and in the garden.
Can Easter Lilies be planted outside?
Most definitely! Easter Lilies make great dependable plants. After you have enjoyed your lily’s bloom, plant outside in an area that receives full to part sun. Cover the bulb with about 3” of soil. Allow the foliage to turn completely brown before cutting it off. This is food for the bulb. Your lily will bloom and multiply each year bringing you more and more flowers.