GBBD: The Garden Welcomes Me Back

Thank you, May Dreams Garden, for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.  It’s nice to feel welcomed back into my own gardens.  And it’s nice to hop on over to the GBBD website to get inspired.  There are gorgeous gardens to wander through at the click of a mouse.


Though the echinacea are not particularly attractive, the rudbekia are. The catmint got a haircut a few weeks ago, but a few new blooms are starting to appear. I like the contrast between the blues and yellows.
Our weird spring that brought blistering May days followed by near freezing May days may have alarmed the echinacea. This is the best of the lot. But Fragrant Angel is pretty bedraggled.






The Rose of Sharon is doing its gorgeous thing, and, of course, creating lots of seed pods that ensure a place on next summer’s weeding ritual. The zinnias are low maintenance and bring an explosion of color that lasts until frost. I love State Fair zinnias because they are tall and bouquet-ready.
This and Strutters’ Ball (below) are the last of the daylilies. I wish I knew this one’s name. My guess is that it was planted last summer and that I bought it online. But surgery, chemo, and radiation have turned my brain into a mush of vague memories.
Such a vibrant pink.




My neighbor’s mother-in-law gave me divisions from her shasta daisies and they are very healthy.  In Norse mythology, the daisy is Freya’s flower.  Freya is the goddess of love, beauty and fertility.

Tardive and Limelight are both bountiful havens for pollinators. I was once told that bees are most attracted to white flowers. I have made some beautiful bouquets from these two large bushes. Notice that Tardiva is in tree form. It forms an effective shade canopy so I’m going to once again divide a large Elegans hosta and plant a division under Tardiva. I fear that Elegans is plotting to take over the universe. Again.
Limelight got a heavy prune last year, and that doesn’t seem to have done it any harm.
This and the gold and maroon daylily are the last to still have blooms. It’s called Strutters’ Ball. I’m always sad to see the daylilies fade away.

GBBD July 15, 2018 The Love/Hate Confessions

It’s easy for me to get distracted and I often postpone tasks that should have been done.  Like blogging about the garden on days other than Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.  I took some pictures a couple weeks ago and have been trying to think of ways to write about the garden other than to document what is blooming each month.  But here I am on GBBD and pushing against the clock and prepping for a class tomorrow.  Plus I have to walk the dog and ignore the clean sheets that are piled on a chair in the living room and get my annuity stuff together.  I’m retiring.  Things have to happen.

So, first, the love.

This is what is blooming in my garden today.

This is what I see when I come down the street after walking the dog. The old magnolia tree provides a perfect canopy for hostas. So, ok, there isn’t much blooming, yet, but if you look really hard you’ll see some impatiens. Go ahead. Squint.
And this is my view from my back door, which is technically my side door. The old cherry tree also provides wonderful shade for hostas. But nothing is blooming. Don’t even try to squint.










Let’s get to the good stuff. The day lilies are blooming. You’ll see my affinity for pink day lillies.
This gorgeous lilie is called Strutter’s Ball.


This is Sea Urchin’s best year. It’s petals always seemed to get scarred during the unfurling process, but not this year.
I couldn’t help myself when I saw this First Knight. I don’t usually get drawn to yellow day lilies, but egads, this one is gorgeous.
This is perhaps my most dramatic daylily.  Meet Red Pinnacle.


I love the brilliant red of crocosmia. And it provides a nice companion for the day lilies and the Garden Lady.
















The sunny bed next to the garage has some new tenants–shasta daisies curtesy of my neighbor’s mother, and a division of the crocosmia that is thriving near the Garden Lady.










Last summer I hardly set foot in the garden.  My trusty gardener did all the work.  Richard has been working in my garden for several years and I love what he does.  And the garden loves him back.  But last summer the garden belonged more to Richard than me.  Yeah, I was dealing with surgery and chemo and radiation.  And, I taught two classes, but much of that work took place online.  It took me weeks and weeks to recover from surgery.  And, about six weeks after surgery I started chemo which knocked me flat.  So, no gardening for me.

This year I get into the garden almost every day and do a little weeding, yank out the ever aggressive dutchman’s pipe, deadhead the day lilies.  The garden is mine, though, Richard still does his magic.  I don’t know what I would do without dear Richard.  He rearranges the hostas, curses at the dutchman’s pipe, and keeps a keen eye out for other forms of garden trouble, like the chipmunk that has made a home under some bricks in the Secret Garden.

So, what is this love/hate thing?

Day Lilies

I love them.  I dream 11 months out of the year about my day lilies. I’m quite fond of the pink ones, especially the dark pink lilies.  I know.  I said that already.

But the minute they begin to bloom, they begin to fade. The leaves closest to the ground dry out and turn brown.  And the flowers bloom for just one day. Everyday I pluck the previous day’s withered flowers and drop them on the bark that keeps moisture in the soil.  I’ve tried to plant lilies that are early bloomers, and others that bloom later, but the hate murmurs softly that each day will bring a little bit of death.  I know, day lilies don’t die when they give up their spent blooms, but it’s sad to see the scapes that have no more buds on them.

I love hostas, too, and I don’t feel sad at all when their flowers fade. Perhaps I’m being a titch too dramatic.

It’s Bloom Day!!

See that dark green plant under the cherry tree? That is ONE Seboldiana Elegans. It has been divided and divided and divided. I have given divisions to friends in the hopes that it would control its growth. Wrong. It’s crowding out a Dreamweaver. The purple in the foreground is Walker’s Low Catmint. I love it and so do my 3 cats who go a little bit crazy when I bring them leaves and flowers.

Bloom Day always seems to come too quickly.  But that’s a good thing because I have to pause and pay attention to what is, well, blooming.  It’s June which means there is lots of blooming yet to come.  I still haven’t gotten some annuals planted.

It’s nice to see the white dawn climbing rose with so many blooms.
I love the tall allium and truly wish they would bloom a little longer. But the seed heads provide an interesting “architectural” element.
This is the entrance to the Secret Garden, and, again, there isn’t a lot of blooming going on, but there will be. The lavender in the foreground hasn’t quite opened up.
In the Secret Garden the current theme is green. That Japanese Maple must have loved our strange spring because I have never seen it that lush. I love this view of the Secret Garden, even if nothing at the moment is blooming.
The entrance garden features Walker’s Low catmint and that takes the eye in a narrow bed that draws my eye to the two large catmint plantings in the Lower Garden and to the entrance of the Secret Garden.

Hello, Garden

My hair is beginning to grow back and I think it is going to be curly. Cool.

I spent a year away from my garden and my blog, focusing instead on endometrial cancer.  That explains my bald head. I can’t say that i sailed through chemo and radiation, but I made the best of things. I was through with treatment and eager to get back into  a life that didn’t involve toxic drugs, radiation, and endless doctors’ appointments  But I needed one more procedure.  In March I lost my gallbladder because there was a slim chance there was a cancerous polyp hiding in there.  But, there was no cancer.  And now I’m suffering from the lack of a gallbladder.


Such a lovely little hellebore.

Nothing is going to keep me from enjoying my garden this summer.

There isn’t much blooming yet, but the garden is full of green anticipation.  At the moment everything that blooms is pink.

What I love about the hellebore here is that it gets darker and “moodier” as it ages.  A friend gave me this little beauty and it sits right outside my back door.

And, I cannot resist falling in love with my pink bleeding hearts.  This one outside my back door is always ahead of the one planted in a lush corner of the Secret Garden.

My garden friend saw a redbud at a garden center so he borrowed a truck, and I now  have a lovely redbud that will give my hydrangeas some desperately needed shade. Someday.

These lovely chains of flowers are so lovely. Each spring they greet me.
Hello, Redbud. Welcome to my garden.
Several years ago I went to a gardener’s conference in Toronto. That is where I fell in love with allium.

Bloom Day, May 15, 2017: In the Pink

Ok.  It’s a cheesy title.  But, everything that is blooming right now is pink.  The most prominent of today’s blooms are the globe allium.  The two year olds are the most dramatic, and I’m hoping the allium that I planted last fall will be as tall next year.  Or, I’ll know I bought the wrong variety.  Always thankful for May Dreams Gardens for this meme.

These allium are in their second year. I love the way they stand above the boxwood.
These are like pink ballerinas. This clump greets me at my back door.
Columbine at the back door.
This new allium lives in the lower garden. I love that deep pink.
One of the new allium that was planted last fall. It’s a work in progress.

August 15: GBBD

Many thanks go to MayDreamsGardens for the opportunity to share what is blooming in our gardens each month.  Here is what is blooming in my gardens today.

The limelight hydrangea in the background is HUGE!! It got a hard prune last fall and that, plus our cool wet spring has urged it on.
H. Halcyon always stays tidy and keeps its blue.
I'm always grateful for annuals.  Marigolds brighten up the little nook garden outside the sunroom.
I’m always grateful for annuals. Marigolds brighten up the little nook garden outside the sunroom.
There’s always a love/hate relationship between the rose of sharon and me. It’s lovely when it blooms and it’s a pain when it so vigorously self-seeds.
Perennial hibiscus in the Secret Garden.
Love the wild abandon of echinaceas. The white are Fragrant Angel. That’s white phlox in the middle right.
Tardiva is a wonderful draw for native pollinators.
More marigolds.
The very last daylily of the season–Kathy Perkins.
H. June in the Secret Garden.
Pink anemone, a gift from a friend years ago.
That’s Limelight in the background. It got a hard prune last fall and it’s now taller and fuller than ever.
Blackberry Lily in the entrance garden.
More of the entrance garden. The Walker’s Low catmint got a big trim and it’s starting to send out new blooms. The rudbeckia gets to shine white the catmint catches its second wind.

July 15: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

What a frustrating day!  I should be in Minneapolis enjoying the camaraderie of fellow bloggers and some amazing gardens.  But, I’m stuck in Chicago because of travel problems.  I can’t blame the airlines, though.  I missed my flight, and tried to get to Minneapolis on standby via Chicago.  As it turns out, I just can’t get a break on flights out of Chicago.  So, I’m staying in my niece’s apartment in the loop and hoping my luggage gets to me.  Unlike me, my luggage is in Minneapolis.

I planted a number of gazania in the Secret Garden and I’m enjoying the grey foliage and lovely pink and white blooms.

But the garden is in full bloom even though I’m a little bit wilted

This is Red Pinnacle and isn't she gorgeous.  This is another daylily I planted late last summer.
This is Red Pinnacle and isn’t she gorgeous. This is another daylily I planted late last summer.
Purple Coneflowers in the Secret Garden.  The white in the distance is Fragrant Angel.  I do not recall what the purple ones are.  That is Grosso Lavende behind the purple coneflowers.
Purple Coneflowers in the Secret Garden. The white in the distance is Fragrant Angel. I do not recall what the purple ones are. That is Grosso Lavende behind the purple coneflowers.
I’m not sure what variety the purple coneflowers in the foreground are, but the white ones behind it are Fragrant Angel. That is Grosso lavender next to the purple.
And, then there is Bridget, here looking proud amongst the daylilies in the ecret Garden.  That is Crystal Pinot near her nose and Barbara Mitchell to the left.  Behind her is a purple coneflower that I thought did not survive.  But, there it is.
Bridget, my Standard Poodle, looking proud amongst the daylilies in the Secret Garden. That is Crystal Pinot near her nose and Barbara Mitchell to the left. Behind her is a purple coneflower that I thought did not survive. But, there it is.
The crocosmia is starting to bloom.  I seriously thinned this patch late last summer to give the day lilies breathing room.
The crocosmia is starting to bloom. I seriously thinned this patch late last summer to give the day lilies breathing room.
In the little nook outside the dining room and sun porch this finicky variated lace cap hydrangea is enjoying a bumper crop of blooms. This is evidence that hydrangeas love cool, wet springs.
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The carpet rose is flourishing in the rosebed.
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Love this riot of daylily blooms. Zagreb and Moonbeam coreopsis are in the bottom right, followed by Rosey Returns daylily. That is supposed to be Crystal Pinot in the lower left, but it either reverted to a parent or self seeded into something else. Next to it is Sea Urchin. The yellow is First Knight. The peachy flower mid-right is Siloam, one of last summer’s additions.
I’m loving this Euphorbia Perkinensis in the Secret Garden.
Despite my liberal and multiple applications of acid, my Endless Summer hydrangea in the lower garden is only partially and lukewarm-edly blue.
Another one of last summer's purchases, drumstick allium. I can't wait for these to multiply and fill a space in the Secret Garden.
Another one of last summer’s purchases, drumstick allium. I can’t wait for these to multiply and fill a space in the Secret Garden.
Meet Strutters' Ball, a daylily I planted late last summer.
Meet Strutters’ Ball, a daylily I planted late last summer.