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.


Posted in Nature, Photo Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , | 36 Comments

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:


Posted in Photo Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge | 14 Comments

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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Weekly Photo Challenge: DENSE

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

The dense brilliant white blossoms of Arenaria montana bring a magic moment to my spring garden.

Arenaria montana


Posted in Gardening, Photo Challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged | 10 Comments

In a Vase on Monday: Happy!

Having a few tulips blossom out in the garden makes me happy! It only seems right to share some of them In a Vase on Monday.

‘Angelique’ tulips have come back in their second year and are blooming abundantly. We added the new blossoms of Ajuga reptans ‘Mahogany’ for contrast.

Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden this week to see her beautiful vase and those of others who are participating in this weekly event.

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A Garden Mini-Tragedy

Among the first plants I put in our new garden in the spring of 2006 were native climbing vines Carolina jessamin (Gelsemium sempervirens). In no time the two vines were up and covering an arbor as one of the main focal points of the new garden. This photo, taken in 2010, will demonstrate what a lovely role Carolina jessamin can play in the early spring garden.


Over the years it has required frequent and sometimes heavy pruning to keep it in form…and allow me to walk under it. It has, however, never failed to grow and bloom vigorously.

As winter was drawing to a close and we were experiencing unusually warm weather, I noticed my neighbor’s jessamin greening up. I saw it beginning to open its yellow blossoms all over town and wild in the woods.


Why not mine?

A quick look told a sad story. The bark on all the branches had completely pulled away, leaving lifeless, bare stems…from both vines.

I consulted several experts, and they offered the explanation that the early warm weather followed by a snap deep cold was the culprit. But…why wasn’t my neighbor’s jessamin affected in the same way? His is covered with green and yellow, and its only 50-60 feet away.

Perhaps it has something to do with my vines being directly in morning sun and experiencing an abrupt temperature change from warm to freezing or the reverse. I have cut them both back to the base to what appears to be green wood in hopes that they will return. I try to talk to them every day.

Has anyone else experienced such as this? I would welcome thoughts and opinions.


Posted in Gardening | Tagged , | 17 Comments