Saturday, February 26, 2011

Encore---Madison In Bloom

Original post date, May 8, 2010.....Enjoy!

Madison Indiana is a wonderful small town on the Ohio River.  It is known for it’s beautiful historic homes and lovely gardens.  This has become a favorite area to visit, but every spring it has a special reason to visit…. the annual garden tour….. “Madison In Bloom.”
A few of these pictures are of the tour, and several are from gardens around town we saw as we walked…. so much to see…. I could have stayed for a couple days!






This is just a few of the beautiful pictures I took today…. look for more posts to come.  And if you are near Madison, it goes on again tomorrow and both days next weekend.
Happy Gardening….Brooke

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Encore --- Dear Garden, Late July

This is a repost.... I wanted to share some green today.  Been busy cleaning up beds this week.  The winds are about to blow me off the hill.  But all is good in the garden, cannot believe how many things are coming up. 

Enjoy and God Bless..... Brooke

Post from July of this past year.


Dear Garden,
First I must apologize for my absence as of late.  I know you had gotten quite accustom to having me visit for long hours earlier this summer and now it seems I just pass you by.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy your beauty, but that time has gotten away from me and filled up by other things I must do.  I am greatly sorry that I have let the weeds come into your lovely home.  I promise to do better next month.  It seems when the much need rain came, so did all of the weeds.  I am also sorry for taking so many of your friends away last evening.  I know you will miss the big hostas, but they, like me, were getting a bit too much sun.  I also must apologize for separating the  lovely family of irises…. but all 22 members were planted in a row at the end of the driveway.  I am sure they will be holding hands and grown together in no time.
I hope you can forgive me and give me at least a few weeks more of blooms.
Your Gardener
Yesterday evening was spent in the garden until dark.  The humidity was down a bit and there was a breeze, but I was really just itching to do something.  I have told myself I was going to leave things alone until the fall plant trade, but I just couldn’t do it.  The big hostas just had to come out.  I had pinched off nasty leaves until I was scalping them.  They were just getting too much sun.  And I am simply out of shade.  Plum full, no vacancy…. period. 
Oh I am planning on having a bunch more shade.  We plant trees left and right, but it will take years for them to reach out to my front border.  So a bit of editing is in order.  I have 4 different kinds of hostas I am keeping and all the rest will be dug out this fall.  This is quite a big deal because all the front of my porch is lined by hostas as a border.  There are at least 25 more that will be removed, and I pulled out 15 in early June.  The sad thing is you can hardly tell they are missing, so many thing were growing under them and near them that needed the room. 
These are some of the hostas that I am keeping.  There are four of them around my fountain and they are beautiful.  I will divide them this fall, but they show no signs of stress and look good.  I know it is hard to tell, but does anyone know what kind this is?  It blooms purple and late.  I cut the blooms off already.
But this entire row is now gone…. and it looks better without them.  You can actually see what is blooming now.  Before things had to be really tall to be seen over the hostas.  There are now red and green sedums, lilyturf, hearty geraniums, blue eyed oat grass and seed verbena in the missing places.  Plus it gives the hydrangeas room to fill out more.
The sad thing is that I could not find my allium bulbs when I dug them up.  I do not know if they are still there, or if I gave them away with the hostas.  They were so beautiful this past spring, I will definitely plant more, but they might not be spaced quite right this coming May!  Oh well….
Picture 009   
This is the red sedum I am using everywhere I can start it.  I just love it.  It blooms a tiny pink star like flower, but looks good all year and stays under 4 inches high.  It is a good contrast to the rocks.
Picture 073
Here it is like I am using it now, mixed under lilyturf and the hostas I am keeping.
This is the iris clump I divided and got 22 starts from!  It doesn’t look like a problem here, but it covered one of my favorite daylilys up this year and got so big it flopped over.  I had heard that when some irises get too big the center flattens and that was what was happening to mine.  I am amazed at how many babies were in that clump.  I made a whole row up the driveway.
Picture 352
This is what it looks like when the ditch lilys are in bloom, but I am adding the irises for purple in April and May…. Orange in June from the daylilys…. and I am moving my black eyed susans there after they bloom for July and August…   It could be a bunch better than it is…. I have big plans for taming it.  Plus having the lilys there for 5 years helped my soil out a bunch, it was easy to dig… love that.
Well I need to get off here, but I am wondering if you all are like me…. Absolutely hate to be hot and sweaty if it is something like a ballgame or birthday party at the park with 100 kids… I feel like it is killing me…. but I worked outside for 4 hours last night, sweating till my clothes were wet and just loved every minute of it….lol.
If I could just love exercise like that….
Happy Gardening…Brooke

Friday, February 4, 2011

Everything but the kitchen sink….



The “Kitchen Sink” is a breakfast menu item in a little joint downtown.  My hubby ordered it for breakfast this morning and I thought it was a good idea for an article. 

In short, My Garden is a Kitchen Sink…. Really, it is. 

Today I have been thinking about the butterfly garden. Specifically the pink evening primrose growing in the front corner of this bed.


I love this plant, don’t get me wrong…. but it is completely taking over.  Which is good, it is happy.  But when I planned this area I envisioned drifts of multiple colors.  Planned specifically in odd numbered splashes of color…. floating down the hill. 


And as you can see, this has been successful the last two gardening years.  But as I surveyed the hill with all the foliage gone, one this was for sure. It is decision time.


Do you fight the fight and reign in plants to “where they belong” or do you let mother nature place them where they may.


You see the first few years is relatively easy to keep things in the correct spaces, but my chosen plants then to gravitate and spread.  A bunch.


Which is great, I get divisions and more plants…. but after a while… Do you just give in?  Or do you fight the fight?


Here is my thoughts on gardens…. all of the plants in here were chosen because I enjoyed them.  They are there for a reason.  And each one plays a part in the all season “show”.  I love to see beautiful manicured displays at garden shows and magazines…. all with 6 inches of mulch and lighting systems… but that is not my garden.

IMG_6338My garden is me bringing home a plant every time I leave the house. Never saying no to a start…. seed… or clipping.  Me making bad decisions and using invasive-like plants, because I think they are pretty.  And enjoying them. 


And being surprised by the changes every year brings.  And honestly, having more things blooming and going on than the planned beds where nothing touches.  My garden is full, bursting at the seams, about the jump the fence at all times.  I have no idea what all is growing in it, but it looks good to me.  I really don’t think I could have a manicured garden if I tried… it’s not like me…. I’m a kitchen sink kinda girl!

I am going to enjoy the butterfly garden this year.  Things will be bigger and fuller and attract more things for me to enjoy.  I will sit on the bench, stare at the lake and enjoy the wild mess I created.  Because after all it is my mess and I will enjoy living in it.

Many blessings & Happy Gardening….Brooke

(All pictures of my garden Spring of 2010)

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