April 2018 – back home

We have returned from the sunny south.  I was eager to see the garden and to assess the winter damage.  Moles and voles were busy this winter and something nibbled the hens and chicks.  The deer left hoof prints in the dirt and perhaps they were the nibblers. The storms left some tree damage.  Oh yes and we had snow…….


Luckily it melted fast.   This birch had split and needed to be removed..


And it was added to the burn pile


The turkeys are strutting about doing their thing



We took a walk in the woods this morning and there was hoar frost – beautiful but ….

Version 2


Spring IS just around the corner though … these bluebirds are checking out the nesting box.. sorry for the blurry photo.. I was so excited to see them that I didn’t get a good shot


It is supposed to warm up the next few days.. maybe I’ll find a few buds or blossoms to photograph and share.  Despite the late spring, it is nice to be home.



March 2018

Spring is on the way, right?  My northern friends and neighbors have endured yet another huge snow storm. I know my garden is slumbering beneath feet of snow so there aren’t any little green shoots popping up yet.  (I can’t complain since I am “wintering” in the coolish but sunny south.) I took a walk yesterday and photographed some local Florida plants so my readers could enjoy some color.   Enjoy!











My orchids continue to be happy here in the south too.


I am looking forward to returning home soon and watching the glorious Massachusetts spring unfurl. I’ll bet the deer, moles, voles, rabbits, chipmunks, groundhogs and other garden visitors can’t wait either.  I wonder what they munched on while I was gone????



January 2018

Its been cold, then warm, then cold , then warm again in Massachusetts…… or so I am told.  I have escaped south for a bit so I don’t know what my garden is doing.  I am glad that there was snow cover during the super cold weather though because that helps protect the plants.

I thought perhaps readers would like to see what I am up to in the (chilly and not very sunny) south.  I had some seeds at home that needed using so I brought them along and  planted some up in grocery store salad containers.  They have sprouted..


I also brought along some cuttings from my Brugmansia to give to a friend here in Florida and they have sprouted roots as well.


I have been bringing the orchids with me the last few years.  They spiked and I couldn’t leave them behind.  Now they are starting to bloom.  I think this year they will remain here in Florida at my son’s house when we return north.


Tillandsias are other plants that like to winter over with us however they will return home.


This little patch of succulents grace the front walk and look much better after much needed weeding.


There is so much color here… I found this beautiful specimen while walking the dog this morning.


And just for fun.. here’s one of my favorite mailboxes in the neighborhood


I hope readers enjoyed this little adventure in Florida gardening.



First snow

Its always special.  This one was one of those winter wonderland fairyland Narnia type snows.  Its always fun to look at the way it transforms the garden.  Enjoy….

Bottle tree colors look beautiful against the white


Primrose the Pig is not looking happy


I like these little elf hats on the bee balm




Globes and shepherds hooks in front of the blueberries


Patio barely visible


Esther the labrador loves the snow


We are supposed to get rain on Tuesday so all this will wash away… but for now its absolutely gorgeous.

I want to send a shout out to my friend and reader Barbara S-W….glad you’re feeling better and will be home soon.




Oh deer oh dear

The fall has flown by for various reasons, and I am way behind on the clean-up chores in the garden.  The colors were a bit dull this year, but I did get a few photos of some pretty leaves before they fell.




Then the frost came, and it was time to clean up the garden.  The markers you see are the labels I made for the daylilies.  My collection is growing.


Primrose the Pig presiding over the field and the last mow of the season


Every fall, I put up deer fence to keep the deer from getting into the garden in the winter and eating all the azalea buds.  My Dad used to do this in his garden with tomato stakes and fishing line strung at 3 ft and 6 ft  height on the stakes. The theory is that they won’t jump what they can’t see and when they bump into the line they back away.  It has worked well for years.  So yesterday, we hammered in the stakes around the edge of the garden, and I strung the line.  Here is what it looks like.


However, this morning I woke up to this:



Notice they are inside the fence.  I went out and discovered that the line was broken in one spot.   More line was added this afternoon…..we shall see what develops.

Sunsets come early these days, but they sure are pretty.



October 15

Its one of those mid October days where summer lingers.  It’s warm out, foggy and  damp, and the sun is trying to break through.  We have only had a light frost so there is much that is still blooming in the garden.  Not for long though.

From a distance, the garden looks like this  – getting a bit tired


But up close we have this  – mums and asters and dahlias


A close up of the mums  – these are from my mom – I’ve had them for decades


Smoke bush, sedum and iris foliage


Marigolds, celosia, and wild flowers


Allium – I think this one is “Ozawa”


Toad lilies, salvia, and a black eyed susan


Gorgeous blue monkshood


Some campanula and other offerings from the rock garden


And a rose to round out the tour







Wow .. the month got away from me.  I got a bit of “remodeling” done i.e.  moving stuff around early in the month.   Then we had a warm spell so I quit transplanting for awhile.  Cooler days are ahead so I imagine I will be back outside soon moving stuff around.

This area was quite overgrown so I moved a lot of stuff out and transplanted in some Heucheras from other areas. I like the new look.


The dahlias have bloomed all month.  I put them in a different part of the garden this year.  They did well and I can see them better from inside.



There’s quite a bit of color still (see how the peach dahlias just pop?)


Fall blooming crocuses add a lot of color




This threesome showed up early one morning .. grrrrr


These gross looking caterpillars defoliated the gas plant.. turns out they are giant swallowtail butterfly larvae


The succulents are flowering now too.  I love the funky shapes of these grey Orostachys



The maple leaves are starting to turn.  I hope we don’t get frost yet though.  I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet.