Merry Christmas

 I'm a happy woman.
It's just the right size...
 redder than it appears in these photos...
and sitting close to the recliner where I've been hanging out lately.
Merry Christmas.

Always Exaggerate...

"Generosity"  in one of our 2014 flowerbeds....
“Cram, cram, cram, every chink and cranny … I like generosity wherever I find it, whether in gardens or elsewhere … Always exaggerate rather than stint. Masses are more effective than mingies.”  (Vita Sackville-West, garden writer and creator of Sissinghurst, UK)

After watching our third episode of Love Your Garden (thanks to the tip from FlowerLady), I told my husband I was a little worried about the density of planting employed by A.T. and his cohorts.  Though I personally love the look of "generosity", I worried about root-rivalry and eventual plant atrophy.

However, my anxieties have been lifted, and I look forward to creating exaggeration and masses in our flowerbeds - old and new - next spring!

By the way, I got that Sackville-West quote from Jack's book review.  I've added Sissinghurst to my winter reading list!  Maybe you'll want to, too, after reading about it!


Thankful I had nowhere I needed to go early this morning...
I could just sit inside and admire the beauty from my recliner.
Most of the autumn lawn and flower bed cleanup and maintenance are done.
It's a good feeling.
November 17, 2014.

Things Change

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”
― Chad Sugg


 This year's walnut crop has kept my husband busy!  
I THINK last evening was the third pickup.
Very few remain on the tree.
Last night's haul was nine wheelbarrows full.
Please don't ask me what he's doing with them all!

just the way they are

I exited the doors after my physical therapy session this morning 
and found the groundsman hard at work.
The back of his pick up truck was loaded with hydrangea cuttings...
 and he was still at work in one of the flower beds.
Timidly I inquired if the hydrangeas were already spoken for.
He seemed a little puzzled by my question 
and not unhappy that I helped myself to an armful!
Upon arriving home, I unloaded them onto a rusted chair.
I'm not sure WHAT I'll do with them.
They look quite nice just the way they are.

Venturing No Further Than...

our back porch to try to capture the colors
that are so beautiful to the eye...
Later this morning, we'll travel a few miles to visit my parents.
Along the way--fields of corn and beans in various stages of harvest...
pumpkin stands, and trees.
Gloriously colored trees, taking my breath away with their beauty.

Radically Altered

 My activity outside has been radically altered by knee replacement surgery last Tuesday.
I have tried for a little sun-therapy along with my physical therapy each day...
our little back porch providing an easily-accessible spot.
 I still rely on the printed copies of exercises here at home
and take advantage of a couple of railings for stability when outside.
Yesterday, the wind wafted the pages from the seat of my walker.
My husband was temporarily off the property,
so rather than foolishly attempting to retrieve them myself,
I threw a few weights on top of them to hold them safely until he returned.
(One gets very creative when faced with such challenges!)
What a beautiful season!  
How disappointed I am not to be able to do simple tasks like:
  • picking up the walnuts falling rapidly from the tree
  • snipping off the sucker shoots growing from some young trees and bushes
  • emptying water accumulating in the birdbath
  • pulling weeds
  • dead-heading the white roses that stubbornly refuse to quit blooming

What ARE They?

He called me away from my pleasurable read (My Garden, the City and Me:  Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London, by Helen Babbs) to tell me,"You ought to go look at those plants you brought from Dave's" (my brother who lives in North Carolina).
After marking my place carefully, I did!
 They've been slow to take hold in the northeast Indiana spot
in which I casually plunked them a few years ago.
This IS the best I've seen them!
And how I love the variegated leaves and demure lavender flowers!
(Actually, I think I've divided them a couple of times.
Maybe I interfered with their intentions, 
but now that I've established a bit of a border, 
I think I'll leave them alone to do their thing.)
Can anyone tell me what they are;
...and have I asked that before?????

Another Garden Walk

 West Central Neighborhood
 Fort Wayne, IN

As wonderful as most of the interiors were....
it is the gardens that I enjoyed most!

 Beautiful views -- beautiful day.


 There's really no getting around THIS part of maintaining one's flower beds...
and he's been hard at it this week!

Another bed....Another day
 The results have been gratifying.

As some have said:
Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons.  ~Dave Barry

I always think of my sins when I weed.  They grow apace in the same way 
and are harder still to get rid of.  ~Helena Rutherfurd Ely, A Woman's Hardy Garden, 1903

But make no mistake:  the weeds will win; nature bats last.  ~Robert M. Pyle

Weeds are nature's graffiti. ~Janice Maeditere

They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I've concluded weeds must have brains.  ~Dianne Benson, Dirt, 1994

Good and Plenty

~Autumn Joy Sedum~
They're in every flower bed here at Gatescroft!
Currently in the pink and
growing randomly or in order.

Surpassing all expectations of size,
 they unselfishly share the space
with garden art - rust and wood.
 Silently they speak.
"Abundance," they say.  "Good and plenty OF it!"

Free for the Viewing

 After Sunday dinner,
a stroll through the County Extension Gardens.
 Thanks to all the Master Gardeners who work to keep this garden interesting
in addition to their own.
Several Monarch butterflies and many, many bees
were obviously thankful, too.
 It really was a visual treat
 which we shared with a couple of friends.
I always enjoy studying the combination of plants
both potted and in the beds.
 Whether viewed en masse
 or appreciated one by one,
 the flowers here are impressive.
 And the admission price is right, too!
 Annual and perennial beauty --
 free for the viewing!
My friend suggested I take & label the last photo
"Beauty and the Beast".
Beauty and the Beast
So I did.