Falling in Bloom! May-June Garden Update


What a difference a month makes! This time last month my tulips were finally starting to bud and I was filled with the expectation that finally this Northern garden would start blooming. Right after that the temperatures soared to the high 70s and everything kicked into high gear. If you are new to my blog, my garden is not big and it is temporary, as we are building a house in the next year and a half. That however has not stopped me from going a little plant crazy 😊 So, what has been blooming in my garden for the past month?

tulip fever

Let’s just say it has been a tulip fever here! I tried a few new varieties of tulips this year and they were spectacular! From the drama of tulips ‘Rococo’ and ‘Queen of the Night’ to the delicate French beauty of tulip ‘Menton’ with it’s gorgeous pinks and salmon tones. I am in love with this one. In the fall I also planted a darling variety of allium, “Drumstick’, and it is started to pop out now. Soon it will be blooming too.

delicate roses and dahlias

The David Austin roses experiment was fifty percent successful. Last year when I bought my roses, I had this gut feeling that I should plant them in containers so I could move them inside in case of extreme winter weather, even though they are supposed to be hardy for this zone. Ummm… then we got hit with the -35F temperatures with a -61F wind chill in January, and I was SO GLAD I put these babies in containers! Well out garage is not actually heated but for a little portable heater that makes it about 10 degrees warmer, but still it was enough to keep them alive. My problem was watering. I made some mistakes and long story short only Scepter’d Isle made it but it made it back in epic style! The blooms are double the size than last year and the scent is amazing! A second one, which I ordered this year, Claire Austin, is doing great too.

My dahlias are doing fantastic for this time of year. Last week we had a few days in the 80Fs and really promoted their growth. They all have broken ground, and I am expectantly waiting for the queen of my summer/early fall garden. This year I am growing a few news one to include ‘Jack Frost’, ‘Kasagan’, ‘El Sol’, ‘Dad’s Favorite’, and ‘Sheer Heaven’. Coming back from last year are “Kogana Fubuki’, ‘Chilson’s Pride’, ‘Penhill Watermelon’ and ‘Breakout’. I cannot wait!

pollinator friendly garden

This year, I also planted more of the pollinator friendly flowers and plants to include Bee’s Friend, Sunflowers, Cosmo, Borage and Nasturniums, Columbine and Delphiniums in addition to other flowering trees to help attract pollinators. Bee’s Friend has just taken off while the others are now starting to germinate or have not yet. There will be thinning going on this weekend as I have slacked on this garden task… Oops!

peonies season

Peonies are definitely here! We are lucky that the peonies have been here since before my husband bought the house. How stunning are they? Now this Chinese peony is growing by the fence dividing my house and our neighbor’s so we both lay claim to it. :)

We also have a woodland garden bed in the northside of the house that is overgrown, especially the bleeding heart, and we will be taking care of this baby this weekend.

And this is the state of my little garden— finally blooming and ready to continue. What is blooming in your garden?


The Beauty of Simplicity


There is something to be said for simplicity.  I do not know if it is that with age, I have gained wisdom about the calmness that comes with ‘simple’, uncomplicated, uncluttered. I find beauty in simplicity in everything around me—the pure sound of birds waking to the day, the natural wrinkles of linen, white porcelain, a good cup of coffee, blue and white stripes, a cleared desk, espadrilles, a clean uncluttered kitchen, a gentle summer breeze coming through the open window, a glass of cold crystal clear water. To me simplicity is not just about efficiency but about beauty because there is beauty in simplicity. And nowhere is that more visible to me than in nature, especially flowers. 

I grow cut flowers because they look beautiful in the garden but also because I love the beauty in the simple yet beautiful look of the same flowers gathered in bunch. Nothing makes my heart happier than a clear vase and a bunch of roses.  And this year the roses have taken a life of their own and I am thankful for it.  Every time I look at them, I think “I helped them grow and thrive”. I helped create beauty.

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Gertrude Jekyll once said “A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” I whole heartedly agree with this, which is why, to see the final product—that perfect bloom with the ruffled petals, makes me joyous.  That simple vase of roses reminds me that simplicity is the ultimate result of efforts-- it takes times, intentionality and persistent. Simplicity doesn’t just happen; we have to help it along the way. It is one of the many lessons that gardening has taught me.