In a Vase on Monday: Memorial

For this week’s vase I decided to share one that my Arranger put together as a memorial to celebrate the life of a dear friend at her funeral. Karen loved flowers, and this arrangement comes from our garden and our hearts…with kisses.


It features azalea ‘Sunglow’ and Deutzia gracilis ‘Chardonnay Pearls.’





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A Friday Walk in the Garden

I took a walk in my garden today; it was a gorgeous, hot, sunny day. I would like to share with you three photographs of special spots that captured my eye…and my heart.

The first is Itoh peony ‘Bartzella.’


Itoh peonies are crosses between herbaceous peonies and tree peonies. They have huge blossoms (this one is over 7 inches across), they stand up in wind and rain, and they last longer than their herbaceous sisters. Nothing in my garden elicits more raves than ‘Bartzella.’ They are still expensive but worth every penny. You may want to visit to see examples of Itoh peonies that are available.

Next is my very favorite heuchera, ‘Caramel.’

Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’

Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’ is arguably the most popular heuchera in garden centers in our area. This one has been in the ground for over six years. In late winter I remove last years foliage, and the new growth is fresh and beautiful. It will put up stalks of tiny flowers later in the year, but I don’t care; I just love the foliage.

Last, but no means least, is Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother.’

Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother’

I have four clumps of ‘Caesar’s Brother’ in my garden, and when they are in bloom, it is hard to look anywhere else. The four large clumps have all come from divisions over the years from a “parent” clump in my Chapel Hill garden several decades ago. My Arranger helps me deadhead them, and then I cut them back in fall. And that’s it; I don’t have to do anything else but smile and watch them grow.

Plants like these three are what makes gardening such a joy and blessing.


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In a Vase on Monday: Iris

I missed In a Vase on Monday last week (I do hope that Cathy at Rambling in the Garden will forgive me); busyness gets the best of me sometime. However, I will try to make up this week by sharing two vases, both of which feature irises in bloom now in the garden.

The irises are Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother’ and bearded iris ‘Clarence.’ The supporting cast include Salvia nemerosa ‘May Night’ and Virburnum plicata var tomentosa ‘Summer Snowflake.’

The second simple vase includes an encore with ‘Clarence’ and ‘Summer Snowflake.’

Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she is sharing this week. There are many beautiful vases out there, and we are grateful to Cathy for thinking of this grand idea.



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A Milestone Walk in the Garden

Today was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. As I took my usual morning walk through the garden, it occurred to me that I might share what I am seeing. The crape myrtles have leafed out, the dogwoods are in bloom, clematis are opening on my clematis poles, and the bluebells have sprung up everywhere. Encore azaleas in red, pink, white and pale varieties are overflowing with color.

This post is something of a milestone in that it is the 500th of my short blogging career. Making friends across the blogosphere all around the world is a blessing indeed. I am grateful to those of you who follow this humble effort and to those of you who have given me words of encouragement. Thank you.

On to the walk:

I hope these photos will give you a sense of what is going on in my garden here in mid April. I will be looking forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.

Here’s to the next 500!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: SURPRISE

The theme of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is  SURPRISE.

I had just completed fifteen minutes of pruning a tall Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’ holly that was about nine feet tall. As I climbed down the ladder, I came face to face with an unexpected visitor. My was that ever a surprise!

I am certainly glad that I hadn’t pruned its tail.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: SECURITY

The theme of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is SECURITY.

Trusty and alert, Dottie maintains perfect security for her family’s gifts:

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In a Vase on Monday: Recent Arrivals

I am happy to share some of the first spring blossoms from our Encore azaleas and the sweet bluebells, both of which have opened in the past week.

My Arranger selected the silver cup given to her at her baptism to hold this Monday’s flowers and placed it next to a Japanese obento and an incense container. A bit of candytuft was added for contrast.

Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what she is sharing this week.

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