My hydrangeas have really exploded with colorful blooms this year. It’s no thanks to me, really. I suspect the recent rains helped. Take a look!






Historic Garden Week In Virginia



I’ve been reading about Thomas Jefferson’s gardens at Monticello lately, and I’ll be writing about them for President’s Day for The Home Depot Garden Club. Now I’m itching to visit Monticello’s winding flower walks and 3-football-fields long kitchen garden. Jefferson was a passionate gardener and botanist who grew seeds and plants from around the world, and if you remember your high school history, explorers Lewis and Clark also sent him “exotic” plants from their travels during their Corps of Discovery Expedition in the early 1800s.

If you’re planning a spring trip, check out Historic Garden Week in Virginia. From April 20 – 27, 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens will be open to the public for tours. Ticket prices vary, depending on which activities and tours you select, so see the website for more info. The only problem will be choosing which ones you want to see!

Butterfly Amaryllis: Planting Bulbs And Watching Them Grow


A papileo amaryllis bulb-- commonly called the butterfly amaryllis.


I’d almost forgotten my order, placed weeks ago, for a single amaryllis bulb. I limited myself to only one, because the variety I wanted was pretty pricey–$18, plus shipping costs.

But I came home yesterday and found the cardboard box holding my new treasure sitting on my doorstep. That’s the bulb, pictured above. Doesn’t look like much, does it? Even to me, it hardly seems worth the same amount of money that would buy a nice dinner at a local restaurant.

Then I looked back at the website I’d ordered from, to remind myself what the bulb would look like when it flowered, and it made me catch my breath again. The directions that came with the bulb tell me to pot it up in a good quality potting soil; water it thoroughly just once, until growth begins: and to keep it in a warm, brightly lit room. In 2 or 3 months, I should see this:


By Jerry Richardson from Warsaw, Indiana, USA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) via WikiCommons


Oooo….aaahh…are you taken by its beauty, too? You can buy amaryllis pre-potted, from nurseries and all sorts of garden centers, but the variety I’m growing is a rare type called Papileo, and it’s commonly known as the butterfly amaryllis. Its nickname comes from the way the flowers open, much like the wings of a butterfly in flight. I’ll post more pictures when it blooms, so you can see the details.

For now, I’m tucking my bulb into the soil and coaxing it back to life with sunshine and a warm spot in the room, and a big drink of fresh water. I can’t wait to watch it grow. Gardening really is all about faith, isn’t it? You commit something you value to the ground–or God, if you’re a person of faith–and do your best. But your biggest task is to simply stand back and wait, and let something bigger than you do its good work (mother nature, in this case).

I’m so eager to see it develop, just as I’m eager to develop my writing career and my blog. Please visit me again, and we’ll see what we can grow together.



How to Make a Fairy Chair for Your Garden

Fairy chairs brighten a garden spot

Last summer, I made my first fairy chair, but the annual plants I used didn’t survive the winter temperatures. Not to worry–it’s warm again now, and I’ve just re-planted the chair with English daises, pansies, marigolds, yellow snapdragons, and even a pinch of ivy and pineapple mint.

I’ll have to replace the plants that prefer cool spring temperatures, like the pansies, but that’s no problem. I’ll enjoy them while they last, and add something like salvia or petunias in a couple of weeks.

Want to make your own fairy chair? It’s not hard. If you don’t have an old chair you can sacrifice to the elements, pick one up at a yard sale or flea market (you might even find one abandoned on someone’s curb, for the trash man!). Sand it, prime, and paint with the outdoor paint of your choice. Then cut a hole in the seat to insert either a pre-made wire basket, or staple in a large piece of chicken wire that you’ve formed to have a “pocket” for planting.

Add some spaghnum moss if you’re using the chicken wire. Many pre-made wire baskets already come with fiber liners. Then fill with a good quality potting mix and plant away.

Remember to use sun-loving plants if your chair is going in a sunny garden spot, or stick to shade-lovers if it’s going under the trees. Water often, as these planting baskets tend to dry out fast.

Hope your fairies enjoy it!


A Devotional Booklet for Your Bible Study, Retreat, or Quiet Time

A big, big thanks to Kay Marks and the ladies of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arvada, Colorado, who created a lovely devotional booklet I can share with you! Here’s the cover:



Kay contacted me awhile ago, to ask if it was okay to reprint some of my gardening tips and devotional thoughts from a calendar we created to go with my first book, Gardening with Heirloom Seeds. I was happy to say yes! I love these kinds of booklets, and Kay is kindly allowing me to share the finished product with anyone who would like to use it for personal use (that is, group or individual use is okay, but it must be not-for-profit).

You can’t really appreciate the colors and artwork in the booklet from this picture, because my scanner let the colors bleed through (boo, crummy old scanner). But if you’d like a copy, please leave me a comment or email me lynn(at)lynncoulter.com. Then you can reproduce as many copies as you’d like. I’d recommend using a slightly heavier paper than ordinary office stuff, so the colors don’t show through. (Or use a good scanner/copier, LOL.)

The complete booklet is about 12 pages. We’re happy to share this with you, especially at Thanskgiving!

Lynn and Miss Paws


Finding an old road

Author Julia Cameron has a quote in her best-selling book, The Artist’s Date Book, that I like very much:  “Through morning pages, we see what obstacles impede us, what roads are open to us.”

The “morning pages” she refers to are three handwritten pages that she says you should write every morning, before you do anything else. It doesn’t matter what you write, according to Julia, who teaches creativity classes for all kinds of artists. The only thing that matters is to write.  The idea is to get past that critical internal editor that most of us have, the ones that whispers, you can’t do this. You’re no good. No one will ever care about what you write, draw, paint, think, do or say……

That voice is powerful. But there is another Voice you can learn to hear, too, one that says, I am for you. You are enough, and you are loved.

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~ Jer. 6:16, NIV

(with thanks to Lucy Mercer, www.acookandherbooks.blogspot.com, for a lovely walk in her woods, which are pictured in this image)

Snow bunnies – Atlanta gets snow

As you can see, snow bunnies arrived in Atlanta today, along with a snowfall of about 4 inches of the fluffy white stuff.  We Southerners were so excited–we never get snow, and by noon, it was already melting.

Because I knew the snow would soon drip away into puddles, I immediately put some lettuce leaves out on our deck, hoping to coax out a rare and seldom-seen garden snow bunny.  Success!  He arrived almost at once.

I watched patiently for a long time.  I discovered that snow bunnies move very slowly. (In fact, I’m not sure they move at all.)
Then–amazingly–another snow bunny arrived!  It’s obviously the lettuce…they can’t resist.  Must grow more in my garden this spring.
In an ill-fated attempt to make the snow bunny feel at home, I …well, I tried to dress him up a little.  Brighten his fur against all that white snow, and that sort of thing.  Alas, a bottle of blue food coloring does not make great polka dots.  And snow bunnies do not dye well.
Do not try this at home.
In spite of everything, at the end of the day, all was well.  The snow bunnies seemed to go on a diet (at least, I suppose that’s what happened.  As the sun grew higher in the sky, they were definitely beginning to look a little slimmer. They never touched my lettuce.)
I suspect they will hop away to their hidden homes sometime during the night, and I’ll have to wait for another seldom-seen Georgia snowfall before they return.  For now, it’s all blue skies above my garden.  And a little blue snow-bunny is out there, somewhere….