Waiting for a Garden

Spring brings warm breezes, longer days and time spent outdoors. And for this I am grateful as I have been waiting for a garden.

Last summer after removing nondescript shrubs and a multitude of Liriope from the garden beds, I purchased plants at an end-of-summer sale. I referred to the tags while placing them leaving enough room for growth.

IMG_1233

New plants placed in the shade garden.

I dug holes and added compost to each one before adding the plant. I want to improve the soil in my yard as it is mostly clay and sand. Adding compost, which is made of decayed organic material, will enrich the soil and fertilize the plants.

IMG_6545

May update! My shade garden. 

IMG_7568

New stepping stones leading to the bench.

IMG_7562

I’m amazed at how much the plants have grown. It must be the compost!

IMG_7556

~ My garden angel ~

One of my favorites: Cranesbill Geranium ‘Biokova’. Covered with dainty white to pink flowers, it blooms spring into summer.

 

IMG_7437

I love the beauty of the delicate pink stamens and morning dew drops.

For more information on Cranesbill Geranium ‘Biokovo’ click here.

Another favorite: Alchemical Mollis ‘Lady’s Mantle’ The chartreuse flowers grow in clusters and are great as a cut flower.

The leaves hold dew drops that shimmer like diamonds.

You can learn more about Alchemilla Mollis here.

There is no place I’d rather be than in the garden.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring in the Winter Garden

Yes, March is here! Snow, rain, high winds and nighttime temperatures in the 20’s. This  is my first March living in the mountains of North Carolina, so I didn’t know what to expect, but, no surprises. It’s the same March weather I experienced in Connecticut. Spring did tease us with a few warm days but she didn’t stay long.

In the following photos you will see a plant called Hellebore. Their common name is Lenten Rose. In late winter the buds swell and open, the flowers bloom and even in summer, when their colors begin to fade they are still lovely because of the foliage, which adds structure to the garden well into Fall.

When most of the garden is asleep, I enjoy the anticipation of the first buds appearing on my hellebores, soon opening to reveal a flower with delicate petals and detailed centers. Hellebores start blooming in late winter and continue through May.

I’m including photos taken in my garden, while I lived in Connecticut, as well as photos from my current garden in North Carolina.

IMG_6970

This hellebore was planted in August. In March, my hellebores are getting bigger. I love the dainty, nodding flowers, buds and variegation on the bottom leaf.

There are many different kinds and colors of hellebores.

IMG_4570

Hellebores are small when you first plant them, but if you compare this photo with the top photo, you can see how they look full grown. This photo was taken in my Connecticut garden. Hellebores have lovely, muted toned flowers in May.

Hellebores are evergreen and add beauty and structure to the November garden in Connecticut.

If you want more information on hellebores, click here

Home

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time

~ T.S. Eliot

If you’ve followed my blog in the past you know my husband and I lived in a small town in Connecticut for several years.

When my husband and I retired I wanted change. I wanted to live a big city, in a warmer climate,  gardening in a longer growing season. We moved to South Carolina and I  was excited about gardening in a different gardening zone, I read books learning about plants I had never grown before.

We moved into our house the end of summer; we felt like we were on vacation, warm temperatures and summer clothes. Seasons changed but not the landscape. I can remember trying hard to notice Fall; but with very few changes and the same warm, humid temperatures, it wasn’t the same Fall I knew in Connecticut.

In December I was happy purchasing evergreen roping and wreaths knowing I would continue our tradition of decorating our porch for Christmas like we had in Connecticut. Everything was brown in 2 weeks. Remembering what we had before made me miss it more.

I thought I’d adjust to the area if I started gardening but found out garden centers didn’t stock perennials and shrubs until April, so much for a long gardening season. When I was able to purchase plants, we created new garden beds; I enjoyed the creative part of planning the beds, but my heart wasn’t in it. Digging into the sandy soil made me feel like I was at the beach.

I tried to like our new city, but it wasn’t happening. Everything felt wrong. I realized all the things I thought I was tired of were still a part of me, held in a special place in my heart, and I didn’t want to give them up.

I remember the first time my husband and I walked the property of our Connecticut home. I wrote about that time in my first blog post: I Always Pulled the Weeds. Please click here to read.

You are probably thinking, who would move to an area they didn’t know anything about.  But, I did know. I read retirement blogs and articles referencing the best places to retire. I read city forums with questions and answers of pros and cons of areas. We visited the area 4 times and I felt sure I was making an informed choice of where to spend the rest of my life. But, I was wrong.

And so I chose this T.S. Eliot quote again, because it best describes how I felt the first time my husband and I walked around the property of the house we now call home. 

It is winter now, with remnants of our first beautiful snowfall still on the ground. Evergreen roping and a wreath decorate our front porch. And dried Annabelle hydrangeas are bent with snow-capped flowers.

IMG_6798

Merry Christmas!

xoxo

 

 

December 31, 2016

img_6074

South Carolina Sunrise

Another gift: waking up to a beautiful sunrise on the last day of the year. Was it a sign of good things to come?

One year ends, another begins.

Out with the old, in with the new.

A new year symbolizes hope. It gives us the chance to start over and set goals. We look forward to new beginnings and new dreams.

May the New Year bestow you with hope in your heart for a year of well-being, love, and peace.

img_6072

Happy New Year! May 2017 be filled with dreams that come true for you.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Gratitude

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.

~ A.A. Milne

A.A. Milne’s book: Winnie The Pooh is chock full of quotes I love. I chose this one in celebration of Thanksgiving Day.

My heart holds a rather large amount of Gratitude for my husband who makes me laugh every day and surrounds me with his love.

My heart holds a rather large amount of Gratitude for my two wonderful daughters who are a source of joy.

My heart holds a rather large amount of Gratitude for my family, who are bonded by the same enduring love.

My heart holds a rather large amount of Gratitude for my friends, who are always with me, no matter how far.

My heart holds a rather large amount of Gratitude for each new day, for birdsong and insects, for gardens, and for the warmth of sun on my face; filling me with joy and wonder.

And…

My heart holds a rather large amount of Gratitude for each of you, my dear readers.

Thank you!

xoxo

Take Joy

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy. Take joy.

~ Fra Giovanni

This quote from one of my favorite books: The Private World of Tasha Tudor came to mind while on my walk this morning. For a very long time our world has been hurting. Each new day brings tragic events that cause us to pause and take notice. Our hearts are broken. We feel helpless. Is the world we live in today the new world of tomorrow?

We turn off the news but it doesn’t turn off the chaos. We go through the day hoping, dreaming and praying that when another day dawns, all will be calm and lives and hearts will heal.

On my morning walk, moss covered oak trees guided me on winding pathways. Stillness in the air was sprinkled with birdsong. A hawk circled against azure skies. I traveled over a wooden bridge, past brown, velvety cattails that stood guard over the pond. A gentle stream carried ducklings in line with their mother. In the distance palm trees stood amid tall grasses. I greeted other walkers as we passed. Each of us surrounded by the beauty of nature. I cannot change the world. I can only take joy in it.

May the following photos bring you joy.

xoxo

IMG_5453

day lily

IMG_5487

hydrangea

IMG_5594

Rosa ‘JACclam’

IMG_5656

Ixora Maui Orange

IMG_5534

Purple Angel’s Trumpet