It hasn’t been easy. But, that’s a good thing. Gardening isn’t supposed to be easy. Challenges, setbacks, not knowing, wondering what went wrong, what I did wrong, searching for answers on the internet, in my garden books.

Looking out windows, hoping for positive changes. Walking through garden beds, kneeling, feeling leaves, willing plants to good health.

I’ve been gardening for years and every day I learn more. The consistent May rains saturated the gardens. Some plants like the constant moisture, others not so much. Yellowing leaves and soggy roots proved too much for some; I cut plants back but lost phlox, Asiatic day lilies, Russian sage and poppies. I dug up Achillea Millefolium, Agastache, roses, and Weigela, removed clay soil replacing it with garden soil and compost. I dug holes and replanted.

Most of my life I gardened in Connecticut, now creating gardens in soil consisting of clay and sand is new to me. And the sun. As the sun changes direction, the light in the garden beds changes which can impact a plant’s growth. The afternoon North Carolina sun is intense. On my garden walks I take mental notes which plants will need to be moved in Fall.

Even though it’s been challenging there is no place I’d rather be than in my gardens. They ask a lot of me but give back so much.

Despite the challenges I’ve been able to take photos that show the beauty of the gardens.

Click on the first photo to scroll through a slideshow.

What are your gardening challenges?






  15 comments for “Challenges

  1. janette andrews
    June 30, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Ellen, way to hang in there.  Sounds like you are going to school again, relearning NC’s soil and the sun’s path.  Love your photographs and garden paths and statues.  Love, Janette


  2. June 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Beautiful pictures, love the garden path. Garden paths are so relaxing and bring one to nature in a heart warming way. It looks to me like you are keeping up with the challenges quite well and will soon be a NC garden pro!!! Enjoy your beautiful garden, thanks for sharing the pictures and have an awesome day!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 2, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you! I too love garden paths. One never knows what will be ahead or around the bend. 🙂


  3. Shirley Kiely
    June 30, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    It must give you great pleasure to look out at your gardens. No matter where you look you have done such a fabulous job of making everything beautiful.



    • July 2, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you! I enjoy walking around the yard, observing the plants and seeing what’s about to bloom. Today, I discovered 4 new buds on my David Austin rose. 🙂


  4. July 1, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Gardening challenges here in NH too, your gardens look lovely as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie
    July 1, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    So beautiful, Toby. You did so much in a short time. My challenges are moles, voles, deer. And rabbits. 😏🐰


    • July 2, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Oh yes, all the critters that can make havoc in the garden. So far, I only have rabbits.
      But, I better not speak too soon. One never knows. 🙂


  6. ❤️ Bunty/Jeff
    July 2, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Looks very beautiful can’t wait to see it all soon .


    • July 2, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Yes, and then you can help me in the garden. 🙂
      Just kidding!
      Can’t wait to see you!


  7. July 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Your efforts have been richly rewarded. Without the challenges and learning, half the pride you have for your garden would be lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. July 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Ellen, your new garden looks wonderful! Gardening in a new space is always a challenge, amplified by a different climate. Enjoy the challenges that bring new discoveries and new insights – the journey is the joy of gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

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