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Monday, August 31, 2015

Dear Jo Ellen, Do you remember?

Dear Jo Ellen,

I was thinking back this evening to when I attended my first Garden Writers Association symposium back in "the aughts", as in '09, and remembered that is the year I met you in person.

Two years before my first GWA meeting, I met Mary Ann from Boise, Idaho at the first Garden Bloggers' Fling in Austin, Texas. She suggested I join GWA and go to one of the symposiums.  Wait, I think she insisted, not suggested. Anyway, I was resistant, though resistance was futile and short-lived. You know how Mary Ann is. If she decides something is going to happen, by golly, it is going to happen.

So I registered to go to the symposium in Raleigh.  Then Mary Ann insisted I should meet you in person before going. After all, you are "it" when it comes to writing and speaking about gardening around here.

Long story longer, we met and I've now been to GWA symposiums in Raleigh, Dallas, Indianapolis -what fun it was to help you on the local organizing committee - Tucson, Quebec City, Pittsburgh, and soon I'll be heading to my seventh symposium in Pasadena in just a few weeks.

And all through these seven plus years you have been the best supporter a fledgling garden writer and speaker could ever have.

Most of my opportunities to speak to groups have started as an email that began with "Jo Ellen suggested..."  How can I even begin to thank you for all your support?

And it isn't just me. I could name many others in Indianapolis and elsewhere whom you've helped along the way, suggesting us to others for speaking and writing opportunities, introducing us to people who could help us, and in some cases pushing us out of our comfort zones.

Don't get me started about my comfort zone. I am very fond of it.

And when I said I thought I needed the help of a garden designer. Boom! You knew the perfect person and she did a fabulous job with my garden.

Jo Ellen, your well is deep and you draw from it often to help others.  You are always ready to help answer a question, source a picture, find a plant, provide encouragement, offer advice, visit a garden... I couldn't even begin to thank you in a letter for everything you've done for me, but thought I would give it a try.

Oh, I meant to mention, too, how much your column in the local paper and published in a sometimes longer form on your blog, The Hoosier Gardener, is a part of my weekend and I know it is part of required weekend reading for many, many gardeners across central Indiana.  I am in awe when we attend different garden shows and the local spring garden clinic how many people know you, admire you, and have you to thank for the information you've provided and the connections you've helped them make in the gardening community and beyond.

Thank you for all you've done for me to extend my reach in this world of gardening.

With a shared love of gardening,
Carol

P. S.  I've enclosed above a picture of Lablab purpureus 'Ruby Moon'. It has a nice purplish cast to it, the color of royalty, because you are gardening royalty around here.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Enjoy each flower as it blooms

Crocus speciosus
I like to think if you blinded folded me and lead me gently to the center of my garden on any given day of the year, and then took off the blindfold, I could look around and tell you about what time of year it was, give or take a week or two.

Today, I'd be off by a few weeks because this autumn crocus is blooming and I think it's early.

I usually look for the autumn crocus, Crocus speciosus, around mid-September.

Why is it early?

It could be because after record amounts of rainfall in July, it is now quite dry in the garden and so this flower thought it had better bloom now before it dries up.

It could be blooming now because we are going to have an early frost and a wicked cold winter, and this bloom wanted to flower, or this flower wanted to bloom, take your pick, before any frost showed up.

It could be a trick being played on me by the garden fairies. They do stuff like that to me. All the time. In fact, now that I think about it, the toad lilies, which are usually quite late to bloom, started blooming several weeks ago.

What do the toad lilies know?

I'm on high alert now to watch and note when the rest of the fall bloomers, including Colchicum, Solidago, and Symphyotrichum, show up.  Will they be early? Will they be on time? What is "on time", anyway?  Does their bloom time tell us anything about the upcoming winter?

Time will tell, as they say.

In the meantime, enjoy each flower as it blooms, that's my new motto. And I'm enjoying autumn crocus in my garden.

*****
Autumn crocus, Crocus speciosus, is as easy to grow as spring-blooming crocus. Purchase and plant corms in the fall. Leaves will sprout in the spring and then die off. Flowers will come out and bloom in early fall.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Garden Revival: A One Act Play

A Garden Revival
A One Act Play
By
Carol M.
Gardenangelist

Cast of Characters

Gardenangelist…………………………......An evangelist of gardening
Garden Fairies………………………………Assorted Garden Fairies
Granny Gus McGarden..................................The garden fairy who tends the compost bins

TIME: Late Summer
SETTING: A garden

ACT ONE
SCENE 1

(We see some garden fairies looking at a sign in the garden)

GARDEN FAIRY 1(Jumping up and down)

Hey, what's that sign say. Who can read around here? What's that sign say?

GARDEN FAIRY 2 (Standing beside GARDEN FAIRY 1)

It says "Garden Revival Tonight. All garden fairies should attend." I guess we'd better go.

GARDEN FAIRY 1

Oh goodie, I've always wanted to go to a gardening revival!

(Light fades and the scene switches to semi circle of garden fairies looking at a podium)

SCENE 2

(Garden fairies are whispering and talking to each other as the Gardenangelist steps to the podium.)

GARDENANGELIST

My dear garden fairies! Thank you for coming this evening to the great garden revival. Now I know some of you garden fairies are weary, tired of opening new flowers, wondering where you'll get the strength for the mad rush to open fall flowers, not to mention paint all the leaves. I'm here to tell you that you will find the energy. Look around! Be grateful! Oh sure, it's a little dry but the gardens have never looked better. She weeded! She is starting to lay down more mulch. Surely, you all can hang on for a few more months? Let's make this the best fall ever in the garden!

(The garden fairies began talking excitedly amongst themselves and you hear many of them saying "Yes, yes we can" as the light fades.)

SCENE 3

(The lights come up and we see the gardenangelist is still at the podium.)

GARDENANGELIST

And great things are planned for the garden. I can't tell you all the plans, but some of them involve the compost bin.

(At the mention of the compost bin, the Garden Fairy Granny Gus McGarden leaps to her feet and scurries forward to the podium as the light fades)

SCENE 4

(The lights come back up and we see Granny Gus McGarden at the podium with the Gardenangelist standing nearby.)

GRANNY

You heard the gardenangelist. We can hang on. We are garden fairies, after all. We've come so far this season, we can make it through fall. Who's with me? Let's go!

(The garden fairies all jump and applaud Granny as they rush up to the podium to congratulate her and the gardenangelist on the inspiring message.)

THE END

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gardenangelist Defined

gardenangelist (gär dn ān′jəl ist) n 1. A person who loves gardening and tries to convince others to love it, too.  2. A spokesperson for the love of gardening.  3. Someone who donates lavishly to a garden, a benefactor.  4. An evangelist for gardening.

v gardenangelize 1. To speak about one's love of gardening. 2. To attempt to convince others to garden. -zed, -zing

n gardenangelism 1. The spreading of the love of gardening through speaking and one on one conversations.

The other night, I googled "gardenangelist" and Google knew nothing about such a word.  So I tried Bing. I got millions of hits for "garden angels", but nothing for gardenangelist. Ditto other search engines.

I believe it is a perfectly good word, so I've defined it and hope the search engine gods find it someday, buried here on my blog.

 I am a gardenangelist, based on the first definition.  When I speak to a group about gardening, I become the second  and fourth noun definitions and do the verb definitions. Maybe someday I'll become the third noun definition?

I think I need new business cards.

Carol M.
Gardenangelist
An evangelist for gardening


What do you think?


Monday, August 24, 2015

Dear Cindy, How hot is it today?

Dear Cindy,

Greetings from the Hoosier State where we've been enjoying some rather mild weather these last few weeks.  And by mild I mean I don't think we got to 80F today.

Even for us, that's unusual in August.  How hot is it where you are, on your Corner of Katy down in Texas?  You mentioned in your last bloom day post you were desperate for rain and then I saw you posted after that about getting some rain.

Good for you! Good for your garden!

I thought of you the other day when I was taking pictures of flowers in my vegetable garden, including these red hot zinnias.  That's one flower we have in common, isn't it?  Or I assume you can grow zinnias because I saw some growing in Tucson a few years back.

What other flowers do we have in common?  Rain lilies? Yes, but I have to grow mine in a container and put them in the garage every fall.  I guess you grow yours in the ground year round.

Year round.  That's how you seem to garden, with nary a break for the winter.

Sometimes I don't know how you do it, gardening all year round. And in the heat. And with all the humidity. I've been in your part of Texas just once, on a layover at the airport. I stepped off that plane and thought it was the most humid place on earth. And hot, too. A sauna. And it isn't all that dry here. I was glad to leave before I melted into a puddle.

Enough of that memory. What was I writing about? Oh yes, year round gardening. I'll admit I enjoy my rest from actual gardening, usually from early December until late February.  Of course, I'm still outside some, I'm just shoveling snow whereas you are planting or pruning or doing whatever it is your garden needs in the wintertime.

I admire your tenacity, too.  I've read about your droughts and the heat.  After living through a couple of extremely dry summers, I don't envy your conditions at all.  Wait. Check that. I do envy some of them a little bit because you can grow camellias, can't you?  Well, I'm trying to grow a couple of the hardiest camellias I could find.  They are just whips right now, but they seem to have some good buds on them.  We'll see how they like the winter time in Indiana.

Anyway, I am inspired by how much you work in your garden and the joy you get from it. I can tell from the pictures on your blog how much you love your garden and enjoy not only the plants but the art you've scattered through out.  I'm sure sometimes, especially when it is hot and dry, you are ready to move to a cooler climate, but then it rains, and you remember it's home for you.

We share that in common, don't we? A love for our home and garden, especially since we both have stayed more or less in the area we grew up in.  You probably wouldn't last through a complete winter here, and I'd pine for snow if I lived there. But as I like to end my letters, we are bonded over our love for gardening, aren't we?

With a shared love of gardening,
Carol

P.S.  If you have some extra rain lily bulbs, I'd love to try growing them, but I couldn't do anything with them until spring.  What would you like from my garden?



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fading flowers

Fading sunflowers remind me of Grandma's old summer dresses hanging out to dry on a clothesline, faded by the sun.   They have seen a better day.

On these late summer days, I walk through the garden deciding which flowers to deadhead and which to let fade to a lovely aged patina, befitting a fall garden.

How do I decide what to cut and what to leave alone?

At this point, I'm deadheading mostly to keep rampant self-sowers from making a mess for me to weed next spring.  Other flowers I allow to slowly fade out, like those old-time sundresses.

My sunflowers?  I'll leave them. Even faded summer dresses, I mean flowers, have their purpose. The birds will come by and find the sunflower seeds in the fall and eat up as they make their journey south.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dear Layanee, It's been too long...

Dear Layanee,

I was looking at your blog, Ledge and Gardens, this evening thinking about how it has been too long since you wrote a new post.

Poke, poke.

Well, actually, it hasn't been that long, but before the last post it was several months! I know, I know. You've been busy traveling to England to see gardens with good friends and family.  I'm envious of you, because I know it wasn't your first trip to England and I don't think for a minute it will be your last trip.

Maybe some year I can join the same garden tour? After all, the stunning pictures you've posted on your blog of your past trips are enough to lure anyone to England.  Me, included, someday, so wouldn't it be nice if I could go on the tour you go on?

Plus, I know how fun you are to be around, having attended more than one garden bloggers fling with you.  Do you remember when we first met in person, in Chicago? Several of us were riding the train out to the 'burbs to visit another gardener, just chatting about gardening and life, as though we'd known each other for years.

I guess in some ways, through our blogs, we had already met, just not in person.  I suspected from your blog that you were hospitable, fun-loving, and caring, all rolled into one person, and I was right.

Oh, I'm getting all gushy, which isn't my style at all.

Back to your blog, I think your garden looks great, too, from all the pictures. You've got a gift for photography and gardening (and for being kind and generous).  Often a peek at your blog makes me add a few new plants to my shopping list.  I know it gives you joy to enable me, and no doubt other gardeners, that way.

When I see your pictures, I always hope someday my garden grows up to be as nice as yours is.

And I  hope we meet again in person someday soon, perhaps at the next garden bloggers' fling. In the meantime, I hope all is well with you and yours, including your sweet granddaughter, and that the end of summer finds you knee deep in vegetables and happy with all the blooms in your garden.

With a shared love of gardening,
Carol

P.S.  In the past, you've chided me for only showing close up pictures of my garden on my blog.  Well, just for you, I've attached a picture showing more of a view of the garden.

I was sitting on the patio reading a book one evening when I glanced up and thought how nice the garden looked as the light was fading, so I put the book down and took a picture looking across the table. I think it's looking pretty good, thanks to the "good bones" my garden designer helped me install. I hope you agree!



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - August 2015

Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for August 2015.

Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden in central Indiana, the signs and blooms point toward the beginning of the end of summer.

How can that be?  Wasn't it just spring yesterday?

Such is how the season goes and no matter if we keep up or not, time marches on, and so do the flowers.

In my garden, the surprise lilies (Lycoris squamigera) have been blooming for several weeks now. I deadheaded several of them this evening but there are still some nice clumps of them throughout the garden.  I know some gardeners call them resurrection lilies, others refer to them be the common name of naked ladies, or nekkid ladies, which I think several of us bloggers came up with as a more genteel name which might be less likely to attract people who visit our blogs looking for something else.

Anyway, moving on to the vegetable garden.  There is a long narrow bed, about 18 inches wide that runs along the edge of the vegetable garden by a privacy fence. In years past, I've run out of time and ambition to plant much in that strip, which I've always envisioned as a great place for flowers.

This spring, however, I managed to sow seeds for sunflowers, marigolds, and zinnias along this border, and planted some hollyhocks, borage, and hyacinth beans along there, too, because I bought them on impulse and they had to go somewhere.

I'm glad I did.

Sunflowers are amazing, and fun to grow, no matter how old the gardener is. It was all I could do not to get out a ladder, climb up a few steps, and stick a pair of goggly eyes on that big bloom.

Marigolds will always remind me of gardening as a kid. It's one of the flowers we regularly grew from seed.  I guess for that reason, I like the smell of marigolds.

The zinnias were quite tall this year.

And the hyacinth bean is finally blooming. This one is Lablab purpureus 'Ruby Moon'.

Of course, by design, the star of my garden in August is the flower border I call August Dreams Garden. It's planted with late bloomers like Black-eyed Susans, (Rudbeckia sp.), Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium dubium 'Little Joe), Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama 'Snowbank'), asters, goldenrod and more.

Some gardeners might not like Black-eyed Susans because they don't like the "school bus" yellow of the blooms, but I think they make an outstanding display.

You can barely make out the tiny white blooms of Boltonia in this picture.

Since most of the blooms in August Dreams Garden are yellow, purple, or white, this red cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, really stands out.

Across the way in Plopper's Field, where plants are plopped in wherever it looks like there is a bare spot, there are still quite a few flowers in bloom including tall phlox and this lovely calamint, Calamintha nepeta var. nepeta.

Nearby, I've got a wonderful patch of sedum which has had terrific dark dusty red foliage all season and is now covered in blooms.
It is Sedum 'Dazzleberry', which I got as a tiny sprig from Great Garden Plants at a Garden Writers  Association symposium a few years ago. I gave it a little shove in the ground that fall and now a couple of years later, it has spread to almost two feet across. A keeper in my book.

And one more new bloom for me for August is the hardy begonia, Begonia grandis.


I bought this from Hidden Hill Nursery last August. In addition to the nursery, they have a wonderful, eclectic sculpture garden which is a "must see" if you are ever down in their neck of the woods, near Utica, Indiana.

And that's a peek at August in my garden. What's blooming in your garden? Join us for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and tell us all about it.  It's easy to participate. Just post on your blog about what's blooming in your garden and then come back here and put a link to your post on the Mr. Linky widget and leave a comment to entice us to stop by for a virtual visit.

And always remember, "We can have flowers nearly every month of the year." ~ Elizabeth Lawrence





Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dear Robin, I love that you are blogging again

Dear Robin,

Welcome back!  I love that you are blogging again on your Bumblebee blog.   The new design is quite nice, too. Well done, but not over done, which is how I imagine most of your projects turn out.  You are to be admired for that!

How are the little dogs, Sarah & Sophie?  I noticed from your recent post that one of them, not sure which one, was sick through the night and kept you up or rather woke you up several times through the night.  You do know both of your little dogs are spoiled, don't you? Sure you do.

And your chickens.  I know you had chickens long before it became fashionable to have them.  Good for you, leading the way, not following!

Speaking of leading the way, I want to follow your lead on preserving food.  I have had so many green beans in my garden that I ended up blanching and freezing many bags of them for winter eating. I thought of you when I did so, because I know you do a fair amount of preserving of food.  I really do need to get your book, Wisdom for Home Preservers: 500 Tips for Pickling, Canning, Curing, Smoking & More.

I don't know if I'll do much pickling, canning, curing or smoking to preserve my food but I'm pretty good with freezing.  Your book would surely inspire me to maybe try some other methods of preserving food, especially cucumbers. It's on my Amazon wish list and would make a great gift for Christmas. (That's a hint to my family, though I'm not sure any of them read my blog much these days.)

Though, this season my cucumber plants were downright awful. I picked maybe six cucumbers before the vines succumbed to the very wet weather we had in July (record breaking amount, actually,   the old record was set in 1875).

Do you know how else you inspire me?  You wrote your book while also working full-time.  I admire you for that and daily try to figure out if I have enough time, or could clear out a few hours a day or a week, to do likewise.  Someday, maybe.

In the meantime, back to the start of my letter.  I'm so happy you have started to post on your newly designed blog and look forward to reading more about your gardens, doggies, and chickens.

With a shared love of gardening,
Carol

P.S.  I thought it appropriate to enclose a picture of a bee on my Joe-Pye weed.  I was going to pick some to bring inside to enjoy but I kid-you-not, every flower had a bee on it, so I decided not to disturb them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Paradox of Weeding

Boltonia getting ready to bloom - Not weeds!
There is a paradox of weeding, a statement that seems to be contradictory but is oh-so-true.

The more you weed, the less you have to weed.

Let that soak in of a minute, or go pull a couple of weeds and think about it.

I seem not to understand this paradox, and don't weed as often as I should so when I do weed, I have a lot of weeds to pull out, and they are big ones.

But if I were to weed more often, I would have fewer weeds to pull when I weed.  And it would take less time.

Instead, every summer it seems like I get busy or its hot, or I don't have the right kinds of clothes on, or there are mosquitoes, or what other excuses do I have?

So I don't weed for a few maybe four or five weeks and the weeds know this and they get bigger and braver and sassier and then weeding becomes a big job.

That means the opposite paradox is true as well.  The less you weed, the more you have to weed.

All this came to me while I was weeding, of course. Because when I weed, I think.  I think about weeds and gardens and gardeners and gardening plans.  I wonder what it would be like to have less to weed.

I guess the only way to find out what that would be like to have fewer weeds would be to weed more.   Because the more you weed, the less you have to weed.

Truly, a paradox of weeding.

Go do some weeding and think about it.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Dear Leslie, So nice to see you again

Dear Leslie,

It was so nice to see a new post on your blog, Growing a Garden in Davis, this weekend. It really has been too long between posts, but I see now why you were so busy.

I admire you for setting off on a new path, in your garden and in your life.  May both turn out beautifully for you!

I thought of you the other day when I saw an online video about how different generations play.  The answers from our parents' generation and from those of our generation were about playing and doing things outdoors with other kids, like picking blueberries, fishing, and just rounding up enough kids to play kickball in a nearby field.

The kids today answered with activities like "playing video games", "texting", "watching TV".

Of course, they did change the music to be a bit more ominous when the kids of today answered, but it really is sad and sometimes frightening how kids today don't interact with nature like we did as kids, and like so many generations before us did.

I thought of you because I imagine with your lovely gardens, the children who had the good fortune to attend your day care never spent all day indoors watching television or playing with other electronics. I'm guessing you had them go outside whenever the weather permitted. What lucky kids they were to have your garden as their playground.

I'm certainly glad I spent a lot of time outdoors as a kid, with my own siblings and neighborhood kids. And I'm glad my dad had the patience to let us help him in the garden.  I can't imagine what my life would be like if I had sat and played video games all day as a kid.  

I know you feel the same.

How is your fairy garden coming along? I'm sure that is a special corner of your garden, one your own grandkids enjoy when they visit. I'll bet you have some ideas on how to add to it, and now that you've retired from your day care, you'll maybe have more time to work on it.

Remember when we were in Buffalo at the Garden Bloggers' Fling? Was that the last time I saw you in person?  I think maybe it was! Wow, that was a long time ago.  I truly appreciate being able to talk with you in person at that fling and the one before in Chicago.  Maybe there is a fling in our future when both of us will be there at the same time, and we can get caught up in person, again? I certainly hope so.

In the meantime, I'll watch your blog for more updates. I'm curious to see where that new path leads, in your garden, and in your life.

As always,

With a shared love of gardening,

Carol

P.S.  There's nothing special about the flowers, just wanted to send a picture along with this letter.

P.S.S.  I've been reading about the drought in California and assume it impacts you as well. I think gardeners suffer more than others in a drought, don't you? Especially when there are watering restrictions. Having to choose which plants to water and which ones to let go has to be tough. I know the summers we had that were dry, 2011 and 2012 especially, were trying times for gardeners.  Others seemed to barely notice.  I won't tell you how much rain we've had this summer (record breaking amounts). I pray it rains for you soon.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Why there are weeds in the garden

I know why there are weeds in the garden...

To remind me...

...To be thankful I can kneel in the garden and then stand back up without pain.

...To be thankful I can grip with my hands,

....To be grateful I have the eyesight to see the weeds,

...To be grateful I have the knowledge to know the difference between weeds and flowers,

...To be thankful I can hear the bees buzzing in the garden while I weed,

...To be thankful I can reach for the furthest weeds without pain in my shoulders,

To remind me I have my own garden to weed in.

I am reminded, too, as sweat begins to drip down my face and into my eyes while I am weeding, that I have fresh water to drink and a cool, air conditioned house to retreat to.

And as I weed,  I am reminded of all my family members and friends who have done the same in their gardens for countless generations and even now.

That's why there are weeds in my garden.

Thank you, Lord, for the weeds in my garden!

Friday, August 07, 2015

In the right light...

In the right light...

I just like how this picture came out.

So I'm sharing it...

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Dear Frances, How you inspire me

Dear Frances,

I've wanted to write you for the longest time to tell you how impressed I was when I learned how much of your garden, Fairegarden,  you transplanted to a new location last fall.

Wow, is all I can say.  You dug up and transplanted so many plants to your new garden and planted them all in the ground, while moving mundane stuff like clothes and furniture, too.  I know you had help from your entire family, but I suspect you were the one who made it all happen, and so quickly, too.

Now whenever I buy new plants, I think of you and how quickly you would plant them in the ground and then I try to do the same.  I call it "channeling my inner Frances".  It really does keep me from procrastinating on planting.

I imagine you stopping by, seeing all the plants not planted, going "tsk, tsk" and then finding a trowel to start planting. Yikes, I wouldn't want that to happen, to be caught with all my plants still in pots and not in the ground.

After all, those plants aren't going to grow well if left in those nursery pots, are they? No they are not!  The sooner we plant, the quicker they grow, and the faster they fill in and become a garden we can be proud of.

In my garden, if you were to visit, I think you would especially like the August Dreams Garden border.  It's full of flowers that bloom in late summer and early fall planted amidst Little Bluestem grass.

It somewhat, just a tiny bit, reminds me of the Piet Oudolf designed gardens you are so fond of, though it is a mere speck of a garden compared to the gardens he designs world-wide, like the Lurie Garden in Chicago.

Remember when several of us saw the Lurie Garden that time when we were in Chicago for the second garden bloggers' fling? Was that in 2009? I can't keep all the years straight. I did enjoy being there in the Lurie Garden with you admiring it in the spring-time, whatever year that was. I could tell it really inspired you then, and I know it continues to inspire you today.

I also remember the very first garden bloggers' fling in Austin, Texas.  I was excited to meet you and remember you gave us all some of your hellebore seedlings. I'm not sure my seedling survived in my garden. Hmm... I might have broken your cardinal rule of planting right away and it might have perished before I got around to planting it. Nonetheless, I am reminded of your generosity when I see my hellebores blooming each spring.

I know you aren't posting as much on your blog these days as you did in days gone by, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot going on in your garden. I know there is. I suspect it is already the showcase of the neighborhood, one that stands out with your style of gardening.

The other day I tweeted out, " Measure the success of your garden by the joy it gives to you, not by how others see it".

By that measure, I think you have a very successful garden.

And I appreciate you sharing it with us.

With a shared love of gardening,
Carol

P.S.  Will you indulge me by allowing me to share a few more pictures of August Dreams Garden?

Joe-Pye weed is always one of the first flowers to bloom in this border and attracts many pollinators.

This big stand of green foliage is going to turn to gold when the Goldenrod blooms.

Black-eyed Susans may be common but they look great in the garden, in my humble opinion.

I sat on the patio the other morning before heading out to the vegetable garden and enjoyed just looking at this border.

The flowers are interesting up, close, too.

With that, I'll close by saying, Thank your for sharing your garden with us, Frances, and for inspiring us in so many ways.


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Garden fairies explain where here is in a letter

Dear Readers,

Garden fairies here! And over there. And across the way there. And everywhere!  We are garden fairies and we've decided to write us a letter, too, just like the letters Carol has been writing on this blog.

Well, our letter won't be just like Carol's letters. After all, we are garden fairies and we have our own style. We don't copy anyone.  We are our own selves.

For our letter, we have decided, at the risk of being discovered, to explain where "here" is in a garden which is where garden fairies are when they are there. Where? Here. And there.

Follow us so far?

We garden fairies spend our time when we are not busy, which is most of the time, hiding under plants. Did we say hiding? We meant sitting and contemplating the great mysteries of gardens and gardeners.

We observe. We watch. We wonder at what gardeners do. We could write a book about what we see gardeners doing.

One of our favorite places to sit and contemplate with our eyes closed and making sounds like we are snoring but we are not sleeping, is under the big hostas. Lovely shade there. Plus, the mulch is soft. That is if there is mulch.  Carol prefers pine bark mulch and we are garden fairies, we noticed about a dozen bags of pine bark mulch on her patio.

And it has been there for weeks. Weeks, people. We wonder when she is going to spread it around, though we do want to give her credit for spreading it around the camellias in the Garden of Southern Follies and Delights.

We garden fairies are already calling dibs on who gets to sit under the camellias when they get bigger. A whole lot bigger. If they do get bigger.  Time will tell. They look alright now, but they are still kind of small. We hope they survive the winter.  If they do, and they grow, then Sweetpea Morningdew says she's moving under one of them.

We'll see.  In the meantime, some other places where garden fairies are here in this garden include these places.

Well not this place. This is beneath the asters. They have ugly stems down at the bottom.
But their flowers are pretty, so we forgive them.

We sometimes hide under these coralberries.
We'd tell you the botanical name but someone, namely Carol, is too lazy to look it up.

We stay year round under the spruce tree.
Though, we have to watch out in the wintertime. Birds and all sit above us and they have not been potty trained if you know what we mean.

Some of the garden fairies like to hang around the Naked Lady flower stalks and look up at the blooms.
Carol insists on calling these Surprise Lilies. She can be that way.

Finally, we like to hide under most of the shrubs, like this Carolina Allspice.

We garden fairies would like to just state right now that just because we have revealed some of the places you might find us doesn't mean you should go looking for us.  We are good at hiding and if you did kneel down to look for us, we'd just sneak up behind you and give you a not so gentle shove so you fall over.

Then we would laugh. And laugh. And laugh some more.

For the love of all things in a garden,
Violet Greenpea Maydreams, Chief Letter Writer for the Garden Fairies at May Dreams Gardens

P.S. We hope you liked our letter.