Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Green Morning

I was up and out early this morning watering all my pots as it's going to be a hot hot week. Everything looks so lush and green right now. Above is my new conifer bed, where we tore out a big burning bush and planted that pretty hinoki cypress in the middle, and I am filling in with dwarf conifers and potted succulents. I am calling it my conifer bed although you really can't tell because the plants are so small.  I love the idea of mixed textures and colors.

Salvia argentea

My herb garden looks really good right now, the thyme is taking over and the lavender is starting to bloom.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Floral Tatoos

I'm not a big fan of tattoos but I'm kind of loving these temporary floral tattoos via Etsy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chaos and Calm

It seems like blogging has taken a back seat lately because of so much else going on around here.  We are in the middle of kitchen reno, which we are doing ourselves (stripping wallpaper, painting cabinets) and so my kitchen, and my life it seems, is in disarray.  My computer and camera aren't in their usual spots (as well as everything in my kitchen) and so my routines are disrupted. I am more focused on paint chips and sanding dust right now.  And in the middle of all that,  Julia and Hampton got engaged (yea!) and now we are planning a wedding. And here I am, during the very best time of the year,  not paying attention to what's happening outside in the garden. 

But I made myself go out yesterday and look around and take some pictures.  Tom and Evie are in town and they stopped by to visit and see the garden too.  After several days of July-like weather, yesterday began cool and spring-like, so refreshing. So much is blooming and the garden that I have been neglecting just goes on being beautiful. Herbaceous peonies are blooming, roses are just beginning,  the baptisia is gorgeous, the Kousa dogwood is lush with flowers, perennial geraniums are blooming, and believe it or not, I still have lots of hellebores. The larkspur is budded and should bloom in the next week. That is always quite the show.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tree Peony Blooms!

Early May is definitely my favorite time in the garden, because my tree peonies are in bloom! Even though the blooms are short-lived, they put on quite a show for a few days, dramatic, fragrant, and simply gorgeous.  I love to go out in the morning and stick my head into their big, blowsy faces. To give you an idea of the size, a fully opened bloom is the size of a dinner plate. They are a woody shrub, unlike the herbaceous peonies, and keep their good foliage and structure the rest of the season. I have three, a dark red in the backyard,  this pink one in the front perennial bed,  and a new yellow one, which I planted 2 years ago and has yet to bloom. Tree peonies can last 100 years--this one is young at 25 years old. I bought it at Merrifield Garden Center and I remember thinking it was the most expensive plant I ever bought--it was $15.  People walking by my house always comment on them and want to know what they are. As the tree peonies start to fade, the herbaceous peonies begin to bloom, so at least we get a week or two of peonies.

Monday, May 11, 2015



If ever there were a spring day so perfect, 
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze 

that it made you want to throw 
open all the windows in the house 

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage, 
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb, 

a day when the cool brick paths 
and the garden bursting with peonies 

seemed so etched in sunlight 
that you felt like taking 

a hammer to the glass paperweight 
on the living room end table, 

releasing the inhabitants 
from their snow-covered cottage 

so they could walk out, 
holding hands and squinting 

into this larger dome of blue and white, 
well, today is just that kind of day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Plant Shopping in Lancaster County

Eileen at Homestead

This past weekend was our annual plant shopping weekend in Lancaster County. Every year we go up  to Pennsylvania at the beginning of May and stay at Landis Farm for a few days and hit all our favorite Amish nurseries and greenhouses, and a couple of local garden centers. We find beautiful plants in Pennsylvania, good prices, and lots of ideas.  Some of our favs are Homestead, Newswangers, Spooky Nook, Leacock,  Wengers, and Henry's.  We visit nurseries, load up cars, get milkshakes and ice cream sodas at Udder Choice,  eat chicken barbecue,  and relax at night at Landis Farm. It was great to see our friends Evelyn and Earl (owners of the farm), who welcomed another granddaughter,  born while we were there.

Eileen and Judy with lettuce, at Spooky Nook

Hanging baskets at Homestead


Always cool displays at Henry's

Old trough planting at Henry's

Loved this rusty old mailbox planted with hens and chicks

Landis Farm

Prudy, Judy, Eileen at Landis Farm