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Monday, August 25, 2014

In a Vase on Monday

Marcelene Cox

This summer, I haven't had many flower arrangements. The garden has been such a delight I spend most of my time in it. But, I thought I'd join in today. 

As you can see, I'm a lot country. I love old things and simplicity. 

When I wandered through the garden to pick flowers, I realized how fast the flowers are fading! The selection is decreasing weekly.

The pollinators are decreasing too. I saw the hummingbird this morning. I hadn't seen her for at least a week. She had slim pickins! And when I cut the Hydrangea, I could hear the buzzing of bees......They found lots of pollen!



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Coreopsis is perfect.

Pink-eyed Phlox is one of my favorites.

Gaillardia is dropping seed and blooming....

The little Coleus plants I bought at the beginning of the season are gigantic and beautiful. I'm hoping to over winter them but our space is so limited.

Salidago is blooming....a sure sign that the summer is making an exit.

Kiss Me.....kiss it good-bye. It's a major thug!

Perfection! I am not sure what this beauty is.....

Today I am grateful that flowers are not only beautiful but they smell wonderful! 

Happy Gardening, Flower Freak

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Some Old, Some New

In summer, the song sings itself.
William Carlos Williams
Although my trips to Lowe's have slowed down, getting new plants hasn't. Andy and I took a trip to Nikki and Cody's and dug from their gigantic front garden. Carolin, who is a fairly new friend, works for Walmart. Her job is to oversee 4 garden centers so she knows when plants are getting marked down.......It's great to have an "in"!

I love this Coreopsis.......it was a Walmart markdown and, unlike Lowe's, Walmart's markdowns are living!


This is Salvia  Purple Knockout that came from Lowe's. The leaves are so beautiful that I had my eye on it. It was the only one like it marked down! I've had it for a while and it's perking up.

I'm not sure about this but it's a first year bloom......I was thinking wild Pearly Everlasting......naw......In any case, it's pretty!

Another plant from Lowe's. It's hard to see that it's very large......The brass pot came from the Salvation Army many years ago......
This Phlox with a white eye really caught my eye! It came from Nikki's front yard.

This also came from Nikki's. It's really pretty......just wish I could put a name to it.......


Sea Thrift is also new to the garden this year.......
Obedient Plant.....First year bloom. Last year, I purchased two on markdown and they are both blooming. I love that they bloom late in the season.

Scabiosa is in it's 2nd flush.....
Chinese Lanterns being held prisoner in a galvanized planter........

I don't know what kind of onions these are. I thought they were ornamental when I bought the seed but am not sure anymore.

Sweet William blooming a second time.

Ox-eye daisies are blooming again as well.

The weather has been beautiful! Very cool at night (50's F) and in the 80's during the day. Lots of sun, nice breezes....it just doesn't get any better!
The whole West end of the big garden is really sad looking. It faces the road and the soil has always been an issue......even the Black-eyed Susan's are stunted! With a little research, I'm hoping to find some plants that can thrive in that environment. The Sea Thrift may be a candidate.
We're also considering making the front lawn a perennial bed......the lawn is pathetic. I'd like to have the money back that's been put into trying to revive it! What a perennial bed that would be......
The woodland garden is still a work in progress. All of the flowering shrubs Fran has given me are doing wonderfully. It does get several hours of sun toward evening and some of the plants are burned......Foam flowers really don't like the sun! When the shrubs and Hosta are bigger they will provide some protection for the more sun sensitive plants.
High humidity is the Arch Enemy of my gardens and me. So many plants are wilting or have mildew......some have rust. Today, I'm grateful for low humidity....it's wonderful!
Wishing you all happy gardening, Flower Freak

Friday, August 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good heavens, of what uncostly material is our earthly happiness composed... if we only knew it. What incomes have we not had from a flower, and how unfailing are the dividends of the seasons. 

James Russell Lowell


Lobelia is amazing this year! Flashes of blue all over the garden.

Here come the Hydrangeas.....my babies! There are wonderful childhood memories attached to them.

Coreopsis is like sunshine!

This is the last Daylily on this plant.

Joe Pye Weed is a 2nd year plant. We have two plants in the big garden. Andy stepped on one and it came up with 4 stems.....I love how hearty it is!

The Phlox is still blooming. It's much more purple than the picture.

We had a full day of heavy rain a few days ago. It was a blessing......this Bee Balm was ready to call it a season and now it is full of life.

These Daylilies aren't as striking as the same ones that bloomed two weeks ago.
Golden Rod and Campion. A lovely combination.

The energizer bunnies of the garden!

August is definitely here in SE Massachusetts! The evenings are cooler, the shadows are longer and the flowerbeds are starting to wind down.

For a good while, we were in desperate need of rain. Whenever the weatherman predicted rain for MA it would be in the north and west of the state. Finally, we got a drenching rain on Wednesday. The humidity is gone,  the high's are in the 70's(F) 
and everything looks a little brighter!

Andy, also known as The Saver, and I are going to dig more perennials in Nikki's front yard......she and her hubby are wanting the huge garden in the front of the house gone so they can put down a lawn.....I can hardly wait to see what's blooming!

I'm grateful for Andy's willingness to help me with this!

Happy GBBD! Flower Freak

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jenn's Garden

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  From a headstone in Ireland

On October 21, 2005, the unthinkable happened to our good friends, Jeanne and Tom. 
They lost their 33 year old daughter, Jenn to an eating disorder.  Every parents' fear  became a reality. Tom is a fixer....a repairer of broken things, an encourager but this couldn't  be fixed......While working through his grief, he created a memorial garden for Jenn. It's been a work in progress......every year something new is added. Over the years, friends and family have given stepping stones and other garden ornaments. Each one with it's own special meaning.

Butterflies have a special meaning to the family. They believe they are a sign of Jenn's presence. Tom has worked hard to create a garden that will draw butterflies.



Much to their grandchildrens' delight, they have purchased butterfly pupa and chrysalis. The kids got to watch them go from caterpillars, to pupa and then beautiful butterflies. When they matured, the family released them and they stayed around to enjoy the garden!


There's a contemplation bench in the center of the garden to sit and take in the beauty.


There weren't suppose to be flowers in this part of the garden but the soil and seeds had another idea.The black-eyed Susan's took up residence. Tom decided to leave them. I think it was a great idea. Aren't they beautiful there?



After many years of a grueling commute into Boston, Jeanne and Tom retired last year. They live in a town not far from ours on a beautiful pond. The serenity and picturesque beauty is to die for! In the morning, they often take their coffee out to the deck that overlooks the garden to soak in the serenity and beauty.
Tom and Jeanne have allowed so much good to come from Jenn's passing. They're involved with a group called Compassionate Friends, which has chapters all over the country.  It's a group for people who have lost children. It was instrumental in helping them in their grief and now they help others.
Jeanne started creating fridge magnets with pictures of the deceased and other meaningful things for those grieving. She made wonderful ones for us when we experienced loss. Out of the desire to create something meaningful for those grieving, she and Tom have started a home business. 3 B's Button 

Company. Please stop by the site and see what they have created. I would have left a link but it was dead.....as you know, no computer skills here!

Today, I'm grateful to God for Tom and Jeanne. They are wonderful individuals and a powerhouse couple. I admire and respect them for the way they have dealt with a horrendous tragedy and love them for who they are to us......great friends!

Happy Gardening, Flower Freak

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The First Week of August

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. 
Khalil Gibran

The Trumpet Vine has bloomed very sparsely but the blossoms are wonderful. 

A close-up.

It's climbing our Yew tree. I like how it looks with the chair and our old, weather-worn shed.

Here, it's hanging from the tree.

Every picture I take gives me a new perspective on the garden.
I spent this morning cutting back a lot of spent flowers. Many of them were laying on the ground.....I was afraid they wouldn't get a chance to self-seed but, the way they were dropping seed my worries are over!

The old, rusty hand plow on the left is nearly buried by flowers.

Liatris and Daylilies...I love the combination.

This was growing wild in my yard. I thought it was a native from my childhood but, it's too "ruffly" . The other one is plain......I have no idea where it came from but I like it!

Goldfinches love the Echinachea and bees love the Liatris.

When I first saw Cleome I thought it was ugly.  Now, I'm growing it from seed. What was I thinkin'?? It really is pretty.

The Daylilies are still blooming and, of course, Black-eyed Susans.

Can you believe we still have Pansies? They're in a very sunny spot......first time ever this has happened.

The garden has been so much fun this season! It's 4 years old now. Although, some of it is younger.......It has a level of maturity and fullness that wasn't there before. The Saver and I have spent lots of time admiring it and watching the birds. The amount of activity is amazing! There are Robins, Wild Turkeys, Starlings, Goldfinches, Baltimore Orioles, and THE Hummingbird to name the ones I recognize.

Today, I'm grateful for my niece, Renee. She's more than a niece....she's a friend!
Happy Gardening, Flower Freak