Three Year Anniversary

It has been three years since I began this blog on the first day of Spring.  I am surprised in some ways that I have kept it going and also surprised by how much I enjoy it.  Sometimes it’s a challenge trying to come up with a new post.  But you know gardens… like life they keep changing and throwing stuff at us.  Too much sun, too much rain, not enough of this.. too much of that.  Always too many critters to deal with!

For this gardener, the first day of Spring is like New Year’s   – its resolution time!  This year I hope to:


  1. put on a new deck off the back steps
  2. buy a hand truck so I can move the Brugmansia around better ( its getting big and heavy)
  3. remove the groundhog (one way or another)
  4. move the rose bushes
  5. put soaker hoses in the veggie garden
  6. find a new critter fence to put around the veggie garden
  7. figure out what to do in the spaces where the big trees used to be
  8. etc etc etc..

It would be hard to add “spend more time in the garden”  to the list because I am out there a lot already, and I definitely “live in the moment” as far as enjoying it.  My garden gives me exercise, food, beautiful flowers and the occasional fright (snake!).  Its a place to celebrate new grandbabies, birthdays, fun with friends and family events.  Its also a place to go when life is not so kind, and I can lose myself in the wonders of nature.

So welcome to my new readers, I’m glad you have come along for the ride… I’m sure it will be a doozy… Happy  3rd blog anniversary to me and Happy Spring!

P.S. I photographed these shamrocks in Ireland last June, but I thought I would pop the photo in here for now.



A garden adjustment….

There were high winds in the area a few weeks ago and unfortunately we had some damage.  A huge fir cracked off at the base and came crashing down.


It fell away from the house… a good thing… and crashed onto the lupine meadow.. a bad thing.


We will have the tree removed in April  and take down some others as well.  The house looks pretty naked now.  We will have a lot more light on the east side…and the porch will get more sunlight.  Can I still drink my morning coffee on the porch in my bathrobe and not scandalize the neighbors?  I hope so!  The wrens have lost their nesting tree so I will need to find a new location for the wren houses.   I will also need to dig up all the shade plants that will no longer be in shade.  There were lots of May apples under that tree.  I think I my have some plants to share.



Gardening challenges never end.  And a blizzard is forecast for tomorrow…



It snowed…. and then it snowed some more… and I think its going to snow again.   Actually, this is really good for the garden.  We had terrible drought last summer so the snow should help the water table.  It is also a good insulation for all the plants.  The garden is resting.

Here’s my house after the last storm.


So while the garden rests, I think a walk in a warm place is in order.




Tulips and other plants – Florida version

I am not sure what my garden is doing at the moment because I am lucky to be away visiting in Florida.   Friends report that there has been ice, snow, rain, melt, freeze, more ice, so I hope my plants are safely snoozing.  Here are some lovely local plants I saw on a walk yesterday.

The bougainvillea are stunning.



Red Hibiscus


Orange Hibiscus


Bird of Paradise




I don’t know the name of this but I like the two different colored blossoms


And those tulips I mentioned?  There are lots of pretty shells here. The smaller ones are called banded tulips and the larger are the true tulips – one with a tillandsia tucked inside.






Happy New Year.  The seed catalogues will be here before we know it.  The garden is snoozing beneath a layer of new snow (and ice).   I have left it alone to sleep away the winter and have gone south to St. Petersburg, FL.  Houseplants have been organized and repotted to make it easier for the house sitter to take care of them.    Deer fence was put up before I left to dissuade the beasties from nibbling the azaleas this winter.  Some lucky orchids and tillandsias made the trip south with me.

We had a small ice/snow event the end of December and the garden looked quite lovely.



Next morning was fairyland.





I have lots of plans for the 2017 garden, and I even wrote some of them down so I will remember them.  In the meantime, Primrose and I hope the snows this winter are enough to blanket the plants and the cold is not too severe.





Its cold this year!!  Last year was we had a very balmy December but this year is more seasonal.  I grumble about it but in reality I like it because it gets me in the Christmas spirit.  I gathered a lot of natural materials while walking in the woods and have had a great time using them in decor inside and out.

Winterberry, holly, grasses, balsam, juniper, milkweed pods in a wooden box on the porch


Wild grasses, Winterberry,  Japonica, Juniper and a mushroom covered birch log in a natural pine container make a pretty indoor arrangement


A crabapple branch with lights and glass ornaments becomes a Sparkle Tree


I found these amazing ice crystals on the grasses this morning


And a snowy look at what will be a familiar view if you read this blog often…  more white stuff on the way tomorrow



Natural materials for decor

The growing season is most definitely over here in Massachusetts but there are still many materials in the garden and meadows that can be harvested to augment seasonal decor.

My garden club decorated the local Historical Society for a benefit house tour last week.  Epimedium, sage, leucothoe, fruit, rhododendron, grasses and a few mum blossoms tucked in made for a beautiful mantel display.


I used cattails, grasses, smokebush, rhododendron, leucothoe and milkweed pods in maple sap buckets to brighten our doorway for Thanksgiving.


I gathered some of these materials on a walk one misty morning


I left these lichens and mosses right where they were but couldn’t resist photographing them.


The beavers seem to be doing a bit of remodeling.


I’ll be out and about collecting greens, winterberry, grasses, wild rose hips, fallen birch branches, pine cones  and other treasures as I plan my Christmas decor.  Stay tuned….