Challenges

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?

xoxo

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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May update! My shade garden. 

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New stepping stones leading to the bench.

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

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~ My garden angel ~

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Merry Christmas!

xoxo

 

 

December 31, 2016

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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.

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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