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There is something about watering cans both new and vintage that prompts a sense of nostalgia. Maybe a longing for a simpler time. Back before there were hoses? Just joking...but really...these little spouty water buckets get me. I love them anywhere they are, in the garden, on a bookshelf or even tabletop- filled with hydrangeas in the summer.
I have a small collection of pretty watering cans that I just love. They are both utilitarian in the garden and attractive as decorations both indoors and out. I have a few tips on choosing pretty watering cans and also a few resources so that you can find a few gems of your own.
MY TIPS FOR CHOOSING PRETTY WATERING CANS
If you are looking for pretty watering cans,
be on the lookout for these four qualities:
There is nothing less charming than a big plastic watering can. It may be utilitarian but the plastic watering cans are better left in the garage.
MIX AND MATCH
Go for a look that has been collected over time. A mix of metals, finishes, and colors will create the feeling of a collection curated over time.
EMBRACE THE PATINA
Look for pretty watering cans with a little age at local antique stores. The time-worn finish will add depth and charm to your collection.
Go for a couple that are purely decorative to round out your set.
There are things here at Boscobel Farm that just can't be watered with a hose. Our lettuce bed for example, is very delicate, a hose would create a swampy mess. I have had this Smith and Hawken watering can for several years now and it's my favorite to use for just this purpose.
It holds a generous amount of water and the spout releases water slowly enough not to overwhelm the plants. This one is obviously well loved.
The small brass watering can is really useful for watering plants where it is prohibitive to get the leaves wet. Miniature roses and African violets for example.
This white watering can is new to my collection this year. It has a beautiful glossy finish, and generously sized spout for maximum coverage. There is nothing more annoying than a million trips to the sink.
Do you love watering cans? Garden style? Do you collect anything? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!
I recently took y'all on a little tour around the early Spring garden and among our favorites was this Forsythia hedge. It surrounds the North side of the cemetery. It's probably old-ish. Maybe 20 years or so. It's beautiful but in rough shape. It has been allowed to grow willy-nilly for a long, long time. Sadly, Japanese honeysuckle, which happens to be incredibly invasive, has been allowed to grow unencumbered for years upon years. It's awful. It needs a good rejuvenation pruning. The trouble with that though, is that it would expose the cemetery to the house. So we have some thinking to do.
It is still mostly beautiful, but not brilliant. It could be brilliant. Nonetheless, this beautiful hedge produces enough flowering branches to outfit the house with forsythia arrangements from late March into April.
Start by making sure you cut your branches longer than you think you need with bypass pruners. Its still cold outside and you don't want to have to go all the way back to the cemetery when you find out you cut your branches too short. Not saying that happened to anyone or anything.
Once you get back to your work space, take a look at your vase and decide how long your branches will be. I like a wild natural look, so I let mine stay fairly long, spilling out the top in all directions.
You only want flowers and branches sticking out of the top of the vase, and only branches in the water. Strip the lateral branches from anything that might touch water inside your vase. Recut the bottom of the branch at a 45° angle.
Cut branches in general drink ALOT of water. Since they aren't soaking up water through the bark, you need to provide as much surface area as possible for water to be absorbed. In addition to cutting the 45° angle, take your bypass pruners and cut upwards from the bottom of the branch. This allows for more and easier water uptake, and ultimatley a longer lasting arrangement.
Once you have properly prepared the branches, simply pop them into your vase. As a side note, I prefer forsythia in a white vase. It tones down the yellow, which can contrast too much with a lot of colors. My vase is antique English ironstone so I don't have links, but I have provided links below to some pretty vases. I also provided a link to a faux Forsythia branch in case you love the look but don't have a bush available to take cuttings. I will probably buy faux-sythia once I do the rejuvenation pruning, since I wont have flowers for one to two years.
how to arrange Spring forsythia branches
1. Cut your branches longer than you think you need with a bypass pruner
2. Strip lateral branches that might touch water
3. Cut the bottom of the branch at a 45° angle
4. Cut upwards about an inch or so at the bottom of the branch
5. Arrange the branches to flow freely from the top of the vase at a height of 1.5 times the size of the vessel.
Shop flower arranging supplies
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It's a good thing it is Spring around here, we have been cooped up way too long. I remember last Fall, we were so looking forward to shorter days, less yard work, and more cozy fires. Those things were really nice for about a month.
Ever since, the relentless rain, cold, and lack of outdoor opportunities has seen us all with a fever...of the cabin kind.
So, in honor of Spring, I created a funny little Spring quote to share. It is sized for Instagram 1080px x 1080px. Simply right click and save. If you want to use it on Instagram, Facebook, or your website, go ahead! I would love it if you gave us credit (tag, link, etc.) but it isn't required, just something fun.
Note: this is not an appropriate resolution for print.
Spring has sprung here at Boscobel Farm. We get so excited to see our favorites reaching their way to the surface after a long winter.
Last year, I came across some information related to the old gardens here at Boscobel Farm. The ones that existed prior to and at the time Charles Hurkamp owned this property. The article was written in the early 1900's and detailed the formal gardens around the property. For a gardener like me, that was the best discovery of the last two years of research.
I will share that information soon, but what I want to say about it now is that it has become somewhat of a treasure hunt for me. Everything becomes a little more special wondering if it was planted so long ago.
This property and house site was settled in the early 1700's and whether anything exists here from that time (landscaping wise), is a toss up. I can take some educated guesses though, during my hunt, since the focus of my life for the last 20 years has been my obsession with gardening and horticulture.
Among the mysteries are grape hyacinth bulbs planted at the base of two head stones in the cemetery, and fall-blooming crocus bulbs on two others. There are daffodils growing in the strangest places, including at least a hundred in the woods, at the edge of the property.
Daffodil (under foundation of house)
There is a lone boxwood growing in a grouping of trees where I believe the Potager started (based on a drawing of the time) and a mystery bulb in a grouping of trees near the orchard.
The Forsythia around the cemetery provides a beautiful view from the front door in March and April, and plentiful cuttings for the house.
Early Spring is my favorite time of the year. The only downside is the temporary nature of the spring bulbs and flowers around the house. They are beautiful but gone way too quickly. This is why I tend toward ever-blooming variety plantings and haven't planted any bulbs myself.
Later this month we will have Weeping Cherry, Eastern Redbud, Spirea and Lilacs in the front, also very transient but beautiful nonetheless.
Spring is bursting forth in the Orchard too. This is the third year for our little orchard and I am really looking forward to seeing what we get. We are expanding our little grove by three to four trees this year.
What do you love most about early Spring? Let me know in the comments below!
SHOP FLOWERS AND BULBS