Once upon a time there was a huge and maple in our front yard with a lovely deep green blanket of pachysandra beneath it. Along cams freaky spring snowfall and our beloved maple split in two!

Now the maple’s logs have long been burned as firewood and the pachysandra??? Well… it hasn’t been happy getting bleached by the sun.

So it’s bye-bye pachysandra!

Even though I always wear gardening gloves I always manage to get my fingernails filthy. But wait… they’re clean! …not very pretty, but clean!

I have a secret weapon from my fabric dyeing days… skin barrier cream. I’d rub a teaspoon or two into my hands before dyeing and when finished any remaining color would wash off with soap and water.

Hmmmmm… would this work with garden dirt as well?

Eureka! It does!!!

Both Blue Magic’s Invisible Glove and Marvelous Marianne’s SkinSafer Barrier Cream work wonders. Just make sure to get cream under the nails so it can do its job.

Now we have a flowering crab standing where the maple used to be and soon we’ll have more sun-friendly plants in place too.

And with a layer of barrier cream my hands will clean up nicely!

Malus ‘Prairifire’… glorious rose-red blossoms followed by tiny fruit the birds adore!  Highly recommended!

Photo Friday – 14 August, 2015

Not much blooming here as we roll into mid-August. I guess we’re all spent from the summer heat. All of us except for this long-legged beauty.  Echinops ritro also known as Globe Thistle. You gotta’ love auto-correct. It wanted to make it “Chinos writer”… I know plenty of writers who wear chinos but they’re not in my garden!


The progression from bud to bloom.


EchinopsRitro3The bees LOVE the fading blooms. You wouldn’t believe how long I spent with my camera trained on this globe to get one that wasn’t a blur!

EchinopsRitro4And plenty of other flying things like them too… photobombed by this little green and yellow buzzing creature; a fly I presume, but then again, I’m no entomologist.


It has reseeded itself all over my back nursery bed. Obviously, it likes it here.

Photo Friday – 7 August, 2015

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivanti ‘Goldsturm’, most commonly known as Black-eyed Susan. Even though I pulled up two-thirds of them this spring, they’re still threatening to take over the bed between the house and the drive!

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' 1 Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' 2


Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' 3

I always have a bittersweet feeling when I see them blooming since they’re really the last big hurrah in the garden… a sea of golden blooms.

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' 4

Photo Friday – 31 July, 2015

Tradescantia virginiana.  Isn’t that a mouthful!


They just hang out in the back border just doing they’re thing for months… only a few are still putting out blossoms, each bloom lasting only a day.

Their common name is Spiderwort.  I never thought it was a lovely name but I guess it’s apropos……


Who’s there?

Tradescantia-4Immature Crab Spider.

Photo Friday – 17 July, 2015

We’re in that betwixt and between season… only the daylilies are blooming here.


Catherine-Woodbury-CloseHemerocallis ‘Catherine Woodbury’.

Hall's-Pink-CloseHemerocallis ‘Hall’s Pink’


Originally I planned to use only peach and pink daylilies but as the years pass I see other colors sneaking in.  If you look closely at the upper right you can see a yellow bloom… hmmmm… who are you?

Photo… Saturday – 11 July 2015

It’s time for Photo Friday… ooops! I mean Saturday!  Here’s part of what’s blooming in my garden today.

HappyReturnsDaylilyThis is Hemerocallis Rosy Returns… a lovey reblooming daylily that lives just outside my front stoop.  Fragrant too!daylily2I am a victim of poor record-keeping, self-inflicted of course… I think this is Hemerocallis Heidi Eidelweiss.  She’s a tall girl and looks fabulous against my dark brown house!
ParsleyI should have pulled this volunteer parsley plant when it first appeared but I have a weakness for their Queen Anne’s Lace-like blooms… shown here arching over the Hakonechloa.

So… I’m sorry I’m late but I was out and about yesterday, sketching and painting with two delightful artists… now friends… I met through Sketchbook Skool!  More on that later!

Have a great weekend!


Photo Friday – 03 July, 2015

It’s the first Friday of JULY!  Oh my… the weeks are going so fast!

Here’s my Endless Summer Hydrangea with blooms in various stages of development. I’m taking this as a sign that this’ll be a good year.  Some years it turns out to be more of an “Endless Bummer” as my friend says… she’s had horrible luck with hers.EndlessSummerHydrangea1 EndlessSummerHydrangea2 EndlessSummerHydrangea3


It bloomed better once I learned to prune back the dead stems only after the new growth had started… looks ugly ’till then but it pays off in the end.

The Astilbe are just starting to bloom too.  I have them in a range of colors but the pinks are always the first!

PinkAstilbe1 PinkAstilbe2 PinkAstilbe3

Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Photo Friday – 26 June, 2015

Color in the garden doesn’t always come from blossoms. Take this ab-so-lutely fabulous shrub… it’s a cypress.  Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Sungold’.


I couldn’t leave without showing my pink spirea. You can see it on the far left in the first image. Spiraea japonica ‘Dakota Goldcharm’. I can’t tell you how many photos I took trying to catch one of the bees on a blossom. I took a video showing the multitude of bees buzzing about… and if I can figure out how to save and upload I’ll be sure to share!

Dakota Goldcharm Spirea