January 2023

Greetings from the garden and Happy New Year. January has been a topsy turvy weather month in the Northeast. Rain, cold, warm, snow, rain again, snow again. It is either very pretty outside or darn ugly. Let’s go with the pretty pictures shall we?

Sunrise on an early January snow
Sun shining through the trees in the back woods
Yesterday’s storm
The meadow after the snow
A night time view of the garden – uplighting is so effective
Bluebird house
Bluebirds are flocking to the feeders
This guy posed for a close-up
Gorgeous sunset the other night

The garden continues to rest of course. However, the gardener is heading south for a couple of months and will be back in April to begin a new gardening year. I hope these photos provide a pleasant diversion for my many friends who are battling illness this winter.

The Winter Solstice

The days are getting longer! Well that’s what we all say but what it really means is that the amount of daylight will now begin to increase, albeit quite slowly. I like the light and don’t care for a sunset at 4:30 in the evening. I am always happy when the upswing happens. Its all upward from here. The garden is resting of course. The bluebirds and other birds visit constantly. The squirrels keep us entertained, the deer appear from time to time, and we have had a beautiful fox visit as well. We had a bit of snow but that melted, and now we are getting a big rainstorm instead of a snowstorm this week. Then it will get very very cold but dry, so it doesn’t look like we will have a white Christmas this year.

I thought perhaps I would share a bit of decor since there’s nothing in the garden to look at.

This is the front porch

Front Door

Porch arrangement

Grapevine tree, tools and a sled


Twig sparkle tree – This goes up before the real tree and provides lots of light this time of year

Table decor with an antique decoy and natural materials.

We had garden visitors of course. We always battle the squirrels, and this one is quite clever.

These ladies were watching my every move

Gorgeous sunrise

I made this grapevine tree on the porch table years ago. The photo was taken a couple weeks ago when we had a little snow. It looks very Christmasy to me. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I count my many blessings and am grateful for my gardens and my gardening friends. May the New Year bring you joy.


Time flies. Sorry I didn’t get a post done earlier in the month. November was typical – warm one day, cold and frosty the next. There’s always so much work to be done in the garden this time of year. Its not all that enjoyable putting the garden to bed. The plus side is that after its done, I get to rest for awhile.

I cut back the dahlias after a frost, dug them and dried them before putting them to bed for the winter in the basement.

The meadow got its annual haircut.

The never ending battle with the squirrels continues, but they are entertaining and very resourceful.

The Brugmansia put out a late flush of bloom. We dragged it into the garage so it wouldn’t freeze. I need to cut it way back before I can get it into the basement for winter dormancy, but it was so pretty I couldn’t bear to trim it yet. This photo is from a couple weeks ago but a few buds still popped this morning.

This Bradford Pear has been severely leaning since it was hit by a broken maple branch during a windstorm a few years ago. We were afraid it would eventually pull right out of the ground in the winter wind storms and crush everything in its path. We decided to lop the top off and see if we could salvage some of it.

It looks pretty bad right now, but hopefully it will fill out in the spring and still provide a bit of shade for the plants that are growing beneath it.

Frosty mornings are always pretty

Lambs ears with a coating of hoarfrost

And finally, my garden nymph watches over the garden until spring. We have plans for next year of course. I hope to create a crevice garden in the front bed by the driveway using stones from a kind neighbor. Some plants need to be moved to different areas of the garden where they can expand. I plan to expand the dahlia section. Stay tuned


The garden is winding down but the foliage is ablaze. Everyone thought it would be a dull year due to the drought – but it is spectacular! I have started cutting back the iris and the daylilies. Of course, I am moving things around as well – transplanting , thinning, moving plants to new locations. We finally got some rain and the plants are responding to the moisture and perking up before they are gone for the season.

Gaura with Sedum Autumn Joy in the background
Wine bottle tree matches the blue birdbath
Still so much color
The field at the side of the house and the willow circle filled in with Iris Ensata and a young Cypress tree
Across the street – view from the screen porch
The big Brugmansia put out a fall flush
This one grew from a cutting I took last fall – yikes
Ageratum, Viburnum and a mum – red, white and blue

The photo below is from August and shows the view from the screen porch. We decided that the fence section on the left was blocking our view into the rest of the garden so we took it out last week.

Before fence panel removal
After fence panel removal

Of course now there is a new garden area to plant and maintain, but the view will be great next year

Mama bluebird visited
Dad posing for a picture
The bunnies are back
The last dahlias of the season

We have had a few light frosts but not enough to kill the annuals and tender plants. We did cover up the Brugmansia and succulents to extend the season a bit, but otherwise we are letting nature take its course. For now we will revel in the beauty of the season and begin the preparations for putting the garden to bed for the winter. always a bittersweet time.


It has been quite a month. We started with drought but finally got a few good rain storms and things are getting green again. The high temperatures are gone and the weather is good for gardening again. Nights are cool, leaves are starting to change and autumn is here.

Sedum “Autumn Joy”
The bluebirds returned
The hummingbirds tanked up and left for the season
A bit of color still
The Brugmansia finally bloomed
Allium, sedum, iris foliage, verbena and gaura add to the color palette
Three visitors
Maples changing color along the Nashua River Oxbows
Autumn blooming crocus “Waterlily”
Another variety of Autumn blooming crocus

The colors will change markedly over the next month. The gardening season is winding down. There is much to do to prepare for winter. But there is time to get it done. I have friends and family in Florida facing destruction of their gardens from Hurricane Ian. I have other friends facing life altering medical challenges. My gardens sustain me. As always, it is important to stop and savor the beauty around us as long as we can since it can be gone in a flash. Be well, dear gardeners


There isn’t much to write about this month because of the drought. It was hot, it was humid and it was dry. The thunderstorms mostly missed us. We hauled hoses and watered as much as we could. No lawn watering is allowed but we can hand water gardens. So that’s what we’re doing and hopefully we won’t lose any plants.

Foliage for color and a hibiscus
A mushroom on the maple tree
Brugmansia blossom

Here’s hoping September will bring us some rain


July is the season of daylilies in my garden. They provide lots of color, require minimal maintenance and do well in drought. Which we have. July has been very hot and very dry. I spend most of my time hauling hoses around.

This is the “big picture” taken from the second floor of the house
An unknown name but very vigorous bloomer
“Techny Spider”
“Peggy Jeffcoat”
A wall of color
Magenta and pink astilbe which I just dug up and gave away much of it
Cimicifuga (white) and Thalictrum (pink)
Dad’s dahlias
Orchid cactus
A bunny lounging on the stone bench
Two spotted fawns following their mom into the woods

Hopefully the drought pattern will change in August. Between the drought, heat and varmints (voles, chipmunks, rabbits, deer and a groundhog) gardening has been a challenge this year.

Ensata Iris

I have been collecting Japanese Iris (Ensata) for many years now. As you may recall, last year I dug up some of them that had outgrown their spaces and transplanted them into a wet area where an old willow had been taken down due to rot. I had hoped that they would all blend together in June. They came up this spring and buds formed. Finally, they began to bloom. I left some of them in the main garden in case my experiment didn’t work. But it did! So I will transplant some more into the space in the fall.

The first to bloom in the main garden “Hanakaido Pink
Another view of “Hanakaido Pink”
Variegated Ensata
“Frilled Enchantment”
Unknown blue in the new garden
Another photo of Unknown blue
“Raspberry Candy”
“Ruffled Whitewater” in the center just beginning to bloom. “Raspberry Candy” on the right has gone by.
There are two more to go – “Silent Thunder” and “Warai Hotel” are budded. I hope they bloom before the others go by

I am happy with my experiment so far. I hope next year the circle will be full of Ensatas all blooming at about the same time.


What a lovely month to garden. There was so much blooming it was hard to choose what I wanted to highlight. I decided to focus on some macro shots and a few critters.

Do you see the little bunny hiding behind the variegated iris
Rose “Grandma’s Blessing”
Peonies, Penstemon “Husker Red”
Sorrel blossom
Clematis seed heads
Mama turkey and her babies
Dad’s pink dahlias blooming the end of June

More to come…..

End of May

The lupines in the meadow are blooming. The bluebirds and cardinals have fledged. The veggie garden and containers are planted. Now its weed, water, and enjoy.

Gas plant
Clematis and ferns
Bumblebee and Columbine
Indian Pink
More lupine
Hosta, Heuchera, Epimedium foliage, Amsonia
Iris, azalea, daylily “Elizabeth” a very early variety, gas plant, sorrel, and so much more
Azaleas, Siberian iris, rhododendrons, clematis, succulents

Happy Memorial Day