Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Extra, Extra, Read All About It"

A quick tour through early October,
then scroll down to the BIG announcement...

Your October 'Corliss Clips' awaits your perusal... 4 pages of autumnal meanderings, tips and (yes) chores. So, pour a mug of hot chocolate, settle back and enjoy the latest copy of our little garden newsletter. This is a monthly, joint effort of Corliss Bros. Garden Center & Nursery and GardenAuthor... Enjoy!

Missed any back issues? Check the archives, over at 'Corliss Clips' ~ they go back to January of '08. Happy reading!

©Deb Lambert 2008
Mum Photos: ©Deb Lambert 2008
Pumpkin Photos: ©CBI 2007

Friday, September 26, 2008


"Warm September Rain"
By Deb Lambert

In tones of burnished silver
Swirling in pewter chiffon
Mother Nature begins to drain her vessels
The tender gray of her early morning sky
Belies the fury of her impending storm...

With upturned face, rejoice as the liquid silk of a warm
September rain caresses your skin
Capture the raindrops
As they tremble along the knife edge of an overhang
Clinging, quivering for merely an instant
Plummeting downward to slake the garden's thirst...

Capture the silver streaks that hang in mid-air like melted icicles
Before cascading to a roof below in mesmerizing cadence
Gaze at the familiar through the curtain of rain
As the earliest tinges of autumnal garb
Are rendered pale and wan

The sunflowers weep, but their tears go unheeded
In the afternoon rain
Unable to hold up their seed-laden heads
Despondent over summer's demise
Destined to serve out their days at the songbird's whim

And the birdbath seems to boil 'neath torrential rains

Capture this day and tuck it away
Bring it forth during the dry crackling heat of summer
Or in the midst of bitter, blustery winter
Whenever you may desire the swirl of pewter chiffon
As Mother Nature drains vessels overflowing with
Warm September rain

ALL PHOTOS AND POETRY: ©Deb Lambert 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"The Further Adventures of Lucy-Maude"

BUSY GIRL... BUSY DAY! Still, Lucy found time at the end of the day to post a new entry on her DOG'S EYE VIEW blog... enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"It's a tough job, but...

...somebody's got to do it!" So goes the old expression ~ but, seriously... on a gorgeous fall day, is there any better place to work than in a garden center? What better venue to keep track of the changing seasons, passing holidays and the challenges that each new season presents?

Fall is a time of renewal... we gardeners catch our breath and embrace the crisp autumn weather, as we commence the best time of the year for planting. Freshly-dug nursery stock and a bedding department filled to overflowing with fall color, all await your approval... not to mention a shop where fertilizers, compost bins, tools, wild bird supplies and bulbs vie with fall decor and ornamental elements for our attention ~ appealing equally to our practical side, as well as to our "crafty" nature.

And, thusly, began our glorious autumn Saturday...

"Is Lucy ready for work?
Are you going for a ride in the little red Honda?
To Corliss?"
(All psyched up ~ dogs are so easy ~ just a few key words and off you go!)

So, we leave our awesome red pepper to ripen...

'Grandpa Ott' (morning glory) to await the mailman...

Close our sumptuously-decorated door (she said, modestly)...

And sing "Nothing but Blue Skies" all the way to work.
(It's OK - it was chilly, the windows were up and no one could hear us!
Good thing, 'cause that Lucy can really belt out a tune.)

After a quick check of the wild, pale lavender
New England asters, it's time for some exterior
shots of the Bedding dept. and garden center.

Bales of hay and gigantic garden mums
immediately put one in a festive fall mood.

Early morning shadows still lay thickly
across the comely pumpkins.

And the first rays of sun coax bushel-basket mums
from the inky depths of night.

As with life, often times it's the
clean and simple that draws us in...
like the fresh-as-a-daisy simplicity
of this clear yellow mum.

Mums, mums everywhere!
On the ground, like shrubs - up on rustic tables -
swinging in the morning breeze - decisions, decisions!

Just one section of a well-stocked garden center...
fall is indeed for planting!

Come on... into the garden shop,
where the practical and necessary mingle in perfect
harmony with the ornamental and decadent.

(Yes, the most important time of year to feed a lawn is fall -
Optimal feeding: once now and once more in November,
or at least once more between mid-October and late November.)

Dutch bulbs ~ this is where those spectacular spring
gardens (like the incredible displays in glossy garden magazines)
get their start. With a bit of planning and helpful
consultation with the Corliss staff, you're well on your
way to photo-worthy displays, yourself!
And don't forget a few extra bulbs for indoor forcing.

Paperwhite Narcissi and Hyacinths, as well as
all the attendant accroutrements, for creating
an indoor flower show that can last all winter,
with a little planning. And, how neat are those giant
glazed globes, for garden or sunroom ornamentation?

Here we go ~ the colors,
the very ambiance of autumn, brought indoors!

Even the not-so-crafty among us,
will surely find a few decorating ideas!

And there's nothing like a pair of miniature
"guard pigs" ~ is there?
Betcha can't buy just one!

"Here Comes the Sun," sing the Beatles on my ancient LP.
But, here immortalized in all his glory, he casts his rays
across the great pretenders... amazing silk replicas of every
type of fall flora you can imagine!

But the reclining hare seems to cast a
disapproving glance at the harvest basket...

...a harvest basket filled with fresh New England
citrus. (?) Sometimes a lemon is just a lemon.
But sometimes, things are not as they seem!

And sometimes you reach for a juicy, ripe pear
at your own peril ~
A real fat-cat type, secure in his own felinity,
seems to taunt, "I dare you!"

Unique ornamentation that reminds one
of distant, exotic lands.

Stunning vases for autumn arrangements...

...in every color imaginable!

"Mail's in!" And with what style! It's enough to
brighten your letter carrier's day!

"Put a lid on it!" ~ your head, that is!
Lids, or hats, for gardeners of every stripe.
(This is only a tiny sampling.)

This is a place where glass birdbaths may
well be mistaken for fancy fruit bowls.

And where hummingbirds dine from artisan glass!

Housing market woes?
Hard to be depressed about bird housing...
especially when it looks like a fishing hat,
lumberjack's cap, ladies' straw chapeau or a
a wise, old garden elder.

Sensible, practical housing for all our backyard
creatures ~ from bluebirds, bats and butterflies,
to woodpeckers, wrens and wood ducks.
It's evident that new construction continues
in the always-strong bird housing market!

And ever-popular townhouses, are adding to
housing market stability. Your songbirds will
take shelter from rain, snow and wind
in high style, with this beauty.

"Located in horse country and priced to move!"
proclaim the local listings, and...
"Open House Sundays 9-4:00,
Mondays-Fridays 8:30-5:00
and Saturdays 8:00-5:00...
Must be seen to be believed!"

But it's a place where one wonders how soon
this docile retriever pup will give chase to the
haughty hare, we met earlier, or this squirrel...

...Squirrel Nutkin, who rubs his hands together
in great glee, at the prospect of the biggest
acorn he's ever found...

... a gigantic acorn filled with birdseed!
And just when he thought it couldn't get any better!

Like I said at the start, "It's a tough job,
but somebody's got to do it"...

I'm just glad that somebody is me!

Note: Somewhere between arriving at the garden center and assisting my first customer, I conducted a garden workshop on planting Dutch bulbs, for fellow gardeners. This was the 6th in our Saturday lecture series, which began back in July. There are seven more workshops scheduled, right through November 8th. I still have room for additional students ~ check the sidebar announcement for registration details! ... Deb

Location: First 5 photos at GardenAuthor's place ~ all other exterior and interior shots taken at Corliss Bros. Garden center & Nursery... 31 Essex Road... Ipswich, MA (978-356-5422)

ALL PHOTOS & TEXT: ©Deb Lambert 2008