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,

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.


  1. An excellent tribute to Frances and her gardening prowess! Having visited her former garden I agree she--and her gardens--are inspiring.

  2. Frances certainly is on top of things! I think about her whenever I bring home a new plant and put it on the deck steps. I'm sure she would love your garden Carol. Beautiful.

  3. Frances has inspired many of us with her 'can do' attitude. I hope to see her garden in person some day! And, yours as well.

  4. What a wonderful tribute to Frances! I had the good fortune to see her previous garden in person the year of the Asheville Fling. I more or less invited myself along with Beckie and Lisa to stop by:) Frances was such a gracious hostess even though she was in the midst of all the preparations for the Fling. And her garden was even more beautiful than all the photos on her blog could capture. I'm sure her new garden is on its way to being another inspiration for all of us. You're another inspiration, Carol, always encouraging us and helping us not to take ours too seriously. The August Dreams gardens positively glows--wow!!

  5. Amen Sister. Frances is an inspiration in a lot of ways. Beautiful writing Carol.

  6. All your recent 'tribute' blogs have been lovely. So thoughtful of you.

  7. My dear friend Carol, what an honor to have my garden and slightly, er aggressive advice written about so eloquently in this blog post. Thank you for those kind words, and also for getting those new plants into the ground sooner rather than later. The plants thank you, too. Your Autumn Dreams garden sounds perfect and someday I hope to see it in person. It was 2009 when we saw the Lurie in Chicago and it was life changing. Never have I seen such perfect plantings and I do believe those ideas can be used in any garden space, no matter how small. As you may remember, it was your Bloom Day, brilliant idea that one!, that inspired me to start blogging, to share with others who seemed to love gardening as much as I always have. Meeting many new and cherished friends through blogging and meeting them in person at the Flings has enriched my life beyond measure. Thanks to you, Carol!

    ps, thanks to those who have commented, too. That's not tears, my eyes are just sweating.

  8. What a beautiful letter! Thanks for letting us eavesdrop.


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