Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Some Things that Make me Smile!

It has been such a refreshing spring. .
in comparison to ANY spring. .
But for sure in comparison to the last TWO springs. .
Where the temperatures were well over 100 degrees in May. .
And consistently over 100 degrees by this time in June.
We've enjoyed nearly SIX inches of moisture over the last few months. .
As well as temperatures in the 80's and 90's. .
Aside from a few days last week that were over 105!
And that has been good for the farmers. .
The gardens. .
AND the gardenERS!!
Come along for a quick flower show!
I have a little jungle area of hollyhocks in the front of my house. .
I think they look a little messy. .
And each year I think I am going to pull most of them out. .
But. .
I just CAN'T bring myself to do that!
The colors are so deep and cheery. .
And so far, even the big leaves still look nice and healthy. .
Not yet riddled with insect damage!
I LOVE tropical plants. .
I just CAN'T ever seem to keep them watered well enough and protected from the blazing heat and wind.
Well. .
The self watering container idea and the addition of that new patio has made the difference!
When I thought there might be a possibility of making a tropical vine work. .
I couldn't leave this hot pink mandevilla at Lowes!
It is starting to vine well. .
And is loaded with these gorgeous pink flowers!!
I'm also super excited about a tropical hibiscus plant that I bought at Walmart a month ago. .
It was unmarked as to color. .
And it was HALF price!!
I don't know why, and I didn't really care. .
In my cart it went. .
And am I ever glad it did!!
It opened up one of the most beautiful pinkish red colored blooms earlier this week!!
With lots more buds. .
promising future color!
I was totally THRILLED!!
Both of these girls are situated on our new patio near the pitcher pump feature.
They are slightly protected from the wind, and get a little bit of afternoon shade.
The self watering planters from Walmart are doing their part to keep them moist. .
Wish I had thought to load a before picture of the honeysuckle vine that we planted near this antique slipper slide several years ago. Jeremy re-staked the slide into the ground. .
 as the weight of the vine was pulling it southward!
I enjoy it's fragrance most. .
early in the morning while I am walking. I think it is always funny to come around the corner from the highway on my walk, and wonder where I will smell it. .
The wind does amazing things with the fragrance. .
And some mornings, I would notice the scent down by my mailbox. .
100 yards from the plant!!
I had to rescue one from the construction zone. .
And recently decided to plant it on the other side of the house, near the bedroom windows!
It didn't mind the move. .
and proceeded to do it's blooming IN the big pot it rested in until I knew where it would go.
This echinacea paradoxica. .
Or plain ole yellow coneflower. .
Came from a packet of seeds that I started a last winter. .
There were a couple blossoms on the plants last summer. .
But it is really doing well this year! I planted them in 3 different locations. .
to maximize the effect of them. .
and to make sure they had at least one location that they would thrive in.
One spot just had too much competition with water and other plants. .
And they stayed tiny all summer.
I was sure they would die out. .
but even THEY are blooming this summer.
This variety is a tolerant winner for sure!
Some day I want to learn how to put my lavender plant to good use. .
I really like it's tiny little blossom stems. .
And always think I will gather some and make a little sachet. .
Hasn't happened yet!
This variety is Hidcote. .
And the plant has gotten huge!!
That whole mass of flowers comes from ONE central root in the ground in the dead center!!
A few years ago, I took a cutting of the plant in fall. .
And it rooted in nicely by the next spring in my greenhouse.
I think I might do that again this fall. .
Let me know if you might want a start of it!
Here's the larkspur patch in the front beds along the driveway.
The purple aster plant in the left front of photo is growing. It won't shine for another month or more, but it appears there will be a lot of shine happenin' when it does it's thing!
My orange butterfly milkweed is blooming now too.
It may be one of my favorite summer blooms!!
My seed list for next winter includes another packet of these for sure!!
They have been easy to start in the past. .
But unfortunately, I only have this clump that has really taken off!
The black eyed susans are looking lovely this year. .
With the nice cool weather and moisture we have been having. .
They remind me of the photos of the luscious susans my gardening friend Sue shows from her cool Michigan patch! They look much better with this weather. .
than with drought and 100 degree temps!
 And it seems lots of flying creatures love them as much as I do!
Here is a tiger eye sumac bush. .
given to me by some friends to plant in memory of my dad!
Now, he was a farmer. .
And since Sumacs can be a little invasive. .
I'm not sure how he felt about them. .
But I have always wanted to have a patch of them for the wildlife that they support. .
Jeremy always nixed that idea. .
Until I was gifted one :-)
It has such beautiful foliage. .
And is starting one characteristic bloom head, that I presume will soon become bird food!!
It's planted on the outside of my memory garden. .
With room to spread out a little!
A non descripted lily variety I planted a couple years ago. .
I'm not even sure it came up last year. .
And I surely thought it was toast!
But, it seems to be happy this spring. .
And the big reddish orange blooms are nice!
The little stella de'oro daylilies are in full swing. .
And right in front of the dwindling blue flax. .
makes a nice color combo!
I am super excited about my patch of purple coneflowers! I started all of these in my greenhouse. .
And, now in their third summer. .
They are tall. .
And spreading a little bit. .
And loaded with potential!!
The birds and winged insects LOVE these!
I'm not good with my butterfly species yet. .
But we have been seeing many different kinds. .
As well as tons of moths, including uncountable sphinx moths.
It just all makes me stop. .
And thank God. .
for the incredible DIVERSITY. .
In His magnificent creations!!
And personally?
I don't think we've seen ANYTHING yet!!
I can't WAIT. .
to see the garden that He is fixing up at my mansion in heaven!!
Take a minute today. .
And appreciate some of God's handiwork. .
And talk to Him about YOUR eternal home!!

Matthew 6:28-29
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.


  1. Melanie-I'm so happy you've been getting much needed rain.....and cooler (90's is cooler????) temps.
    Your blooms are amazing. Guess they're making up for the past couple of years.

  2. So many beautiful blooms at your place. The honeysuckle is amazing! I'll bet it does smell wonderful. The nicer weather has certainly made gardening fun again. Only my clematis has me wondering right now. Just two days of hair dryer weather and it went blah. Even the rains haven't perked it up much. Maybe another issue there. Lavender is so amazing. You really have a lot. I've taken cuttings, tied them in bundles and hung them upside down. I just stuck them in knee high hose and tied them in the closet. Not fancy but they smell good. Enjoy all those flowers!

  3. Once again I an envious of your beautiful gardens!! I keep telling myself that one day I will have some good growth around here...but who am I kidding, I have no green thumb! I am going to have to make time for that garden tour I still haven't gotten to take!!