The great autumn veggie garden renewal

The veggies were amazing this year. However, the retaining wall separating the two tiered raised bed had been eaten away by ants and was rotting away. What to do? Garden club friend Celia was replacing a retaining wall and had stones she did not need! So we rescued them.

Some of the bounty
Here you can see what appear to be good wooden supports.. not so… (rotted ones dividing the upper and lower beds already removed in this photo)
Rotted supports from between the two beds, the sides look like this too
Reclaimed stones from friend’s yard
Yuck.. more ant infiltration
Beginning the first course of stone
Lower bed removed, area raked and seeded – the blocks on the right will be removed, but are currently keeping a beautiful pineapple sage in place because I couldn’t bear to pull it out yet
Ta da!!!! Ready for next year
Oh yes the Brugmansia is still having a field day

October has arrived and here are a few photos from the perennial garden. Its darn pretty out there.

Autumn blooming crocuses
It seems surreal sometimes

The colors will be gone soon and the tedious clean-up will begin, but in the meantime, ahhhhhhhhhhhh

Mid September

Its a beautiful dewy morning.

Morning sun on the smokebush
Succulent on the porch
Bees warming up near the Caryopteris
Dahlias, phlox, asters and labrador
Hosta ‘Marmalade’
Phlox, physotegia, giant coneflower
Newly weeded section: Bergenia, asters, daylilies, astilbe
Rock garden with sedums
Orostachys – green
Orostachys – gray

More to come in the next few weeks…..

End of August

Well that was fast. August disappeared just like it always seems to. We had some really hot days and some lovely days. We dad lots of company so we enjoyed the garden many times. The weeds grew, the flowers bloomed, we harvested the veggies. Such are the lazy hazy days.

Hibiscus after the petals drop
The back fence

You may recall that last fall we “hoicked out” the lilac in front of the fence since it was taking over that area. My thought was to put the dahlias there. I think it was a success.

Dad and Mom’s dahlias

These dahlias are over 60 years old. My Mom and Dad grew them in our garden in Connecticut and my siblings and I have kept the tubers going for eons.

Dahlia close -up

You may also recall that we removed a huge part of the forsythia hedge last fall so that we would have a better view of the meadow from the new porch. I think that was a success too.

The meadow – late August
The view down to the field
Much needed weeding in the front bed – I kind of missed the barrel
A visitor
Gentians in the upper garden
Another visitor
Fairies live here

The garden isn’t done yet – soon there will be mums, asters, foliage turning and fall clean-up.

Late July/early August

Its time for the annual daylily post. The abundant spring rains produced an incredible display this year.

Laughing Giraffe
Mt. Zion
Peggy Jeffcoat
Grandma’s Smile
Precious Beginnings
Techny Spider
Woodside Papa Joe
A melange of color

There’s lots more, but these are a few favorites.

July – Iris Ensata

The daylilies will be the main show in the garden very soon but the last two weeks have featured the Iris Ensata – the Japanese water iris.   I got these iris years ago from a friend who grows them here in town.  We had a lot of rain this spring so they all bloomed for me this year !

IMG_4667Hanakaido Pink

IMG_4682Raspberry Candy

IMG_4681Unknown blue

P1140799Ruffled White Water

P1140808Silent Thunder

P1140822Warai Hotel

P1140811Frilled Enchantment




Mid-June: the Iris show continues….

All the spring rains have really produced an incredible show this year.  The iris are spectacular.  Some cultivars are very old, most are unnamed, many were given to me by friends.  A few that I moved last fall were stubborn and did not bloom this year, but I had other surprises with some blooming that have not done so in years.  So without further ado… behold the iris




















Well that was quite nice wasn’t it?  The Japanese Iris (Ensata) will be along in a few weeks.. lots of buds though.




A June shout out to Jessica and Olga

Greetings gardeners. The lovely tree peony in the last post is still blooming thanks to the cool weather and a parasol.  My garden club friend Olga gave me the peony years ago and last week she gave me a parasol to shade it.  The effect is stunning.  Thank you, Olga. I am posting this photo for you, Jessica. I don’t know Jessica but we “met” through garden blogging.  She lives in Devon, England and is the writer of the Rusty Duck Blog.  She and her husband are renovating an amazing cottage, and I thought this image might just bring her a moment of tranquility.


So this one is for you, Jessica.  I hope it gives you an ahhhhhh moment during the turmoil of  plaster and cob and mud and all the rest.  And I hope many of my readers will read her blog  and follow along as the renovations proceed.  Her garden is pretty special too.

Oh yes, and the iris have begun blooming.









Mid to End of May

Its the last day of May, and I have been so busy gardening I haven’t had time for posting.  The wet cool spring has produced lovely blooms and they have lingered a bit longer than usual.  June is about to bust out, and it looks like from the all the buds on the iris that its going to be a good year for them.


Epimedium “Yokihi”


Epimedium “Domino” and some primroses


Tufa trough


Dianthus in the rock garden


Refurbished front beds


Close-up of the clematis in the front bed


Baptisia and rhododendron


The hosta slope, primroses, and “snow in summer”


Old fashioned bearded iris


Peony “Early Scout” and Geum “Prairie Smoke”


And lastly – a spectacular tree peony gifted to me by garden club friend Olga







Happy Mother’s Day.  I lost my Mom almost six years ago.  She was a great gardener, and I still have some of her plants in my garden.  That’s the thing about gardens, they can keep those that have passed always with you.

April and May have been exceptionally wet here in Massachusetts.  We have Ireland level green though, and all those showers certainly brought May flowers.


One of our few sunny days… the back yard looking to the left…


…and to the right


Tulips, dwarf bearded iris, daffs and narcissus blooming


A new Hellebore “Penny’s Pink”


Epimediums and mini hosta in the hill


Redbud peeking out from behind a spruce


Iris pallida


Dwarf bearded iris


Hosta “Marmalade”


Epimedium “Dark Beauty”


Epimedium “Purple Prince”

The epimediums are stunning this year. I may have to do a separate post if the sun comes out!!!











April showers are here.  We returned home from sunny Florida to rather gray and cool weather here.  Typical spring and we even had a bit of snow.  An assessment of the garden revealed the usual rabbit and deer munching over the winter. Grrrr…..This past weekend was warm, and a few blossoms are peeking out.  There were even a few crocuses that the rabbits missed.  Bluebirds are house shopping and we had a visit from an owl.  I hope the owl stays here and enjoys some rodent dinners!

This view shows the newly cleared area that used to be solid forsythia hedge.  I know there won’t be many yellow blossoms this year, but the wildflowers will love the new area.


Fishing line to keep the deer away, chicken wire cages to keep rabbits away from the tulips


Epimedium starting to poke through


My sister gave me a whole lot of trillium corms for my birthday.  I planted them last fall and some are coming up!


Hyacinths pushing up the ground


An early saxifraga in one of the troughs


A pink corydalis from friend Kim


Someone is watching…..


This is the area where we “hoicked” out the lilac last fall.  Lots of space to move things into after the winter deer fence gets put away.


And lastly, first dinner on the porch.  It must be spring now.