Category Archives: garden

What’s Blooming!

Friday Fun Day!  Lot s of blooms today.

I try to carefully plan to make sure that I have at least some sort of blooms all of the time. One way I do this is to go to Bluestone Perennials website – or pretty much any online flower seller – and narrow the selection down to plants that fit in my zone. Then I choose the bloom time I want to fill and choose plants I like that fit the conditions I have. Sometimes that is tough, particularly in dry shade.

That works pretty well most of the time, although plants don’t always cooperate with what they are supposed to do. Even though I’m in Zone 5, it is on the colder end, so things tend to bloom a bit later than they might lower in the same zone.  Of course, you can always fill in with annuals, which bloom all summer long.

Here is my agastache, which I’m likely to start treating as an annual.

I haven’t ever seen hummingbirds in my front yard, only the back, but the bees like this one, too.

Supreme Cantaloupe is getting its ruffed center:

My balloon flowers are cooking along:

These bloom for a long time. The white ones still aren’t open yet. Slowpokes.

There is one Black-eyed Susan sitting behind these balloon flowers:

This one doesn’t seem to self seed as much as ones I have had in the past, which is actually good. Different variety, different results.

I am so loving the Cheyenne Spirit coneflowers:

This is a cluster of 3 plants. They just seem so happy and cheerful. Makes me smile when I go out the front door.

Fair Bianca is just about done with its first flush of blooms:

It’s like Cerberus only nicer. 🙂

This will send out a few more smaller flushes of blooms through fall. I love the reblooming roses.

In the back the gooseneck loosestrife are going gangbusters. They can be kind of invasive and spread pretty rapidly, which I agree with since I moved about 5 plants over here last year:

There are more on each side, too. Don’t you love how their heads all point in the same direction? Like little soldiers.

I might move some of these over to my shade bed and see what happens. It’s good ground cover at any rate.

And lastly, the drumstick Allium fully bloomed:

They are all drooped over because of some heavy rain overnight. They’ll perk up. These are maybe about 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall and sway in the wind like little pompoms. Very cute. I’m going to divide this clump in the fall and plant them all around.

Hope you enjoyed!

What’s Blooming!

Welcome Friday! This was a weird week. It was like we had two Mondays (I worked Monday) and now I don’t even know what day it feels like today. 😀

Lots of stuff going on in the gardens right now. This is Liatris.

Also called Gayfeather. It comes in white and purple. This purple one is named Kobold, which always reminds me of my old Dungeons & Dragons days many eons ago. Not that I want to show my age or anything…

Balloon flowers:

It does look like a hot air balloon festival, doesn’t it? I have one white and two blues. The white one isn’t even close to blooming yet and it’s right next to these two. Go figure.


Open – same flower the next morning:

They are just so much fun!

This is Supreme Cantaloupe coneflower:

It’s not quite as robust as last year. I moved it last fall and I’m not sure it was really happy about that. Hopefully it adapts better.

The Cheyenne Spirit coneflowers are going gangbusters:

I love all the different colors from the same plant. These are putting out a ton of baby plants, too. I’m going to let some grow and see if they look like the parent plant or not. Many times seedlings don’t look like the parent, so it could be interesting.

Speaking of seedlings, I had a Jacob’s ladder plant last year and it didn’t survive the winter. However, I notice that I have probably 6 baby plants!

I’m hoping that since these self-seeded they will have a better chance at making it through the winter.

I picked up some more Astilbe to fill in the shade bed:

Here are some that I planted a couple years ago:

For some reason, they aren’t very bushy. They grow very low to the ground and send up a couple of flower spikes.

Another view of my shade  bed:

This is a fun surprise plant:

In the summer of 2015, I bought some lily bulbs from a big box store. They were supposed to bloom that summer. Well, nothing came up at all, so I planted around them with other stuff. In fact, I kind of forgot where they were. Well, 2 years later and now they came up and bloomed. Right by my Baptisia and irises. 😀

Here are the tall old-fashioned daylilies:

Just to the left where the red flowers are is my neighbor’s yard. Our garden borders define the property since the fence came down.

For the pollinators, Butterfly weed:

Here is Audrey all grown up:

Doesn’t quite look so monstrous now. Interesting shape, too. That’s a Shasta daisy.

Closeup of a normal bloom:

This drumstick Allium isn’t quite blooming, but I thought it looked really cool like this:

Garden is in full swing here at Radiance Manor!

Here’s hoping for a good cupcake ride this weekend. The weather should cooperate, hopefully!

What’s Blooming!

Happy What’s Blooming Day everyone!  I have some before and after shots I’ll post at the end, but first the new stuff.

Petunias in the tippy pots:

I really love the color of these. I took this picture near dusk, which really accentuates the color of them.

Snapdragons a poppin’:

Again, those are all babies from what I planted in 2015. I’m actually going to have to thin some.  Maybe I will try transplanting them. I don’t know how well they take to transplanting. I guess I have enough to give it a try 😀

My agastache are blooming:

These were ones I bought in the spring. I don’t know why I have such bad luck with these. They are supposed to be perennials through zone 5, so they should live, but I’ve tried twice now and they won’t over winter. I’m just going to have to treat them as annuals. I do love them.

Another allium:

I can’t remember the name of this one and I’m too lazy to look in my garden folder to see what it is. It’s about 6 inches tall. I planted about 10 of these, but only 2 bloomed. They were itty bitty bulbs, too.

The Star of Persia allium:

The dried heads look like 4th of July sparklers, don’t they?

My shade bed is plunking along slowly. I bought some $2 clearance astilbe last year and they look pretty good now:


I have some other astilbe as well. I don’t seem to have the luck with them that I had at our old house, where they put on quite a show. I’ll give all of them more time. Patience is hard…

My spilled bucket plants:

I hope these fill in more. Last year I did impatiens, but I wanted to try something different. These won’t flower. They are just foliage annuals, which again I can’t remember the name of. What kind of gardener am I?

I’m pleased that my baby Joe pye weed is coming on strong:

It woke really late and I actually thought it might have died, but it is pretty happy now. It’s almost 4 feet tall and it shouldn’t get much taller like the wild Joe pye does.

Remember Audrey from last week? She has bigger teeth:

I’m just so amused by this bud. Doesn’t take much, really.

Now for some before and afters of the front beds. This was taken in the summer of 2014 when we got the house:

Can you say overgrown? I can and remember digging all that out (John, too).  We kept nothing from that bed. This is that section now:

Just a little different. I would say in 2 years this will be nice and mature.

This is the other side:

We didn’t do anything with this until last year, so it is pretty bare now, but certainly a lot cleaner looking!

We kept one rhododendron out of all of that. Then put in the path. This side will take another 3 or 4 years to really be mature, but it’s coming along very well.

The house went from abandoned to loved — and loved very much!

What’s Blooming!

Yay Friday. It’s been a tiring week. Shortly after posting this, we will be walking downtown for our Friday night beer, which is most needed.

With all the rain that has been coming, green abounds. This is more of the Fair Bianca:

I caught those blooms a little late. There are plenty more buds, though.

New hardscape:

The house across the street from my parents put two of these planters out at their curb. I asked my folks to fetch them and they would be my birthday present 😀  Turns out these are dang heavy! I think they have to weigh about 50# each. One had some pieces crack off during transfer, but I used epoxy to put them back. I’m not quite sure where these are going to go, but hey – free!

My multicolored snapdragons:

The colors are different every year. This is my favorite one so far:

The front bed is a sweet spot for the snaps. I’ve never had so many babies!

I’m still enjoying the allium:

That was the purple sensation. Allium are such great plants. They come in a huge variety. Here is another allium, the little blue flower:

They are tall with small flowers at the top. This picture has a lot going on it, too. There are coneflowers, a butterfly bush (mini) and some self-seeding cosmos. I’m not sure if I will keep the cosmos there or not. I might move them somewhere else.

Then there is the star of Persia allium:

It’s definitely my favorite and the flowers are huge! They grow about 2 feet tall. I have these in several spots in the front and the back.

When I was working on a project for making some light posts, I had extra cement and pulled out an old stepping stone mold I have for the extra mix. It came out really nice:

It’s a big stone. I have another mold and I might make some more stones at some point. I forgot how pretty they were. Tack that onto the never ending project list, I guess.

This is a weed:

I just took a picture because the flowers are pretty. 😀

In the back, I’ve got several potted plants. This one is million bells:

This is an annual and will bloom all summer long.

This picture I took because it looked so funny to me:

Little Shop of Horrors anyone? Grrrrr…… LOL  This is my shasta daisy. It looks prettier when the buds are all the way open 😀

My oldest plant, which I refer to as my old friend:

Somewhere around 15 years old. It has this one tall stalk on it and the rest of the flower buds are lower down. Razzmatazz coneflower.

White swan coneflower:

More white in my shade bed with astilbe:

And lastly a foliage shot. Heuchera Spellbound:

Such great foliage plants. They do bloom, although this one may not be old enough to bloom yet. We’ll see.

Now it’s off for a beer! Have a great weekend!

What’s Blooming!

Welcome to the lush green that is the Northeast right now with all the wet weather! Lots of plants are very happy with all the rain.

Some plants got a little battered, like my peonies:

You can see the cage peeking through the plant. The whole thing would have flopped to the ground if I didn’t have the cage in there.

Foxgloves. Candy Mountain

The snapdragons are proliferating like crazy. I’ve said in the past that I buy snapdragons once and then I have them forever because I deadhead them right into the garden. I will toss some seed heads all around, too.

These are all from the plants I bought back in 2015.

I may actually have to thin some out. They are one of my favorite flowers.

This is the Calycanthus bush, Aphrodite:

When you get a baby plant, the saying is the first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap. Here was 2015 when this was just a baby plant:

Look how dark all that mulch is, too.  The Caly will grow all summer and I will be pruning it more than I did last year to keep it under control.  The blooms are fragrant and kind of smell like apples.

The roses are all starting to show off now.  I have 2 David Austin roses. One is Othello, which I bought last year. The blooms are very short lived. Here is a bloom open:

Two days later:

They still look pretty, though.

Also Fair Bianca, my white beauty:

I *love* this rose. It has 2 dozen buds on it right now, so you will see a lot more of it.

This is my climbing rose, Zephirine drouhin:

There is another one on the other side and they really aren’t climbing all that much. Maybe this year they will grow more? They are supposed to tolerate some shade, but this spot might have a bit too much maybe.

The Othello lives in the bed we created last year, which is starting to fill in pretty well.

In the back is the other section that has been tough to grow stuff. It’s dry shade with morning sun. I have a baby hydrangea back there and 2 Diervilla, which are native plants that are supposed to tolerate that condition. I just put those in this spring and they haven’t died yet LOL!

The tall white flower is Campanula alba. It has a low mounding habit, but sends up tall flower spikes.

This is one that I brought from our old house and for 2 years it did nothing but sit there and this year went crazy.

In the back bed is the rose that makes me break out in song – Enchanted Evening:

The color is just fabulous on this one.

Here is a long shot of the back bed, which was an overgrown nightmare when we moved in. I’ll have to find pictures of that.

It’s actually beginning to fill in quite nicely. Now it gets even more sun since the fence was taken down. I wish this were closer to the house, but it gives me an excuse to walk out back every day.


It keeps getting more blooms – yay!

I do have some potted plants on the patio and this year I got something different. This is heliotrope:

It’s gorgeous and smells like vanilla.

One last survivor. Remember how I thought my 100-pound rose was dead? Check it out!

It didn’t even send a sprout up until a couple weeks ago. You can see all that woody dead cane at the bottom. I had plans to dig it up and then I hurt my shoulder. That weekend I asked John to dig it up for me. He put the shovel in the ground and started lifting when I noticed a baby sprout on it! So, we pushed it back into the ground and now here it is. Better late than never!



What’s Blooming!

Welcome to June! This is the month of roses and mine will be blooming soon. Yay!

This is the third year for some of the garden beds and this will be the year of real growth in those sections. Our Calycanthus shrub has blooms:

This shrub was a bit wild and wooly last year, so I’ll be pruning it harder during  the season to keep it in line. 😀

I have some short perennials in the front of the main bed. These are a variety of Penstemon:

Just starting to bloom. These are attractive to hummingbirds and as you know, I’m trying to establish a pollinator garden.

Kneeling by the Penstemon and looking up into the irises:

I think I’m going to have to divide these. This all started from one clump in the summer of 2014. That was split into 4 clumps in 2015 and I probably will do it again this year. If anyone wants a rhizome, let me know.

Candy Mountain foxglove:

This made a ton of babies, too. I’m letting them grow for a while before I thin them out and move them around. I loves me some free plants!

Around to the back. You can see how the back corner garden is starting to mature.

In the shade garden, Lady’s Mantle.

These will have a foamy looking yellow flower later, but I just love the way rain looks on the leaves.

My sad columbines.

Something eats the leaves off of these, but nothing else. I am not going to put more back here. Maybe somewhere else.

In the corner bed I’m getting some action on my baptisia:

This is year 3 for this plant and it was just green until this year and now I have flowers!

It’s just starting and will be much showier soon. It’s a fairly large plant and once you plant it, it does not like to be moved. So – this will be its forever home.

My last iris is now showing off. This is Brindled Beauty:


So pretty. It’s shorter than the boysenberry. I’d say maybe 2-1/2 feet tall. I’m going to buy a couple more irises (irides?) I’m kind of hooked on them now.

Have a great weekend!



What’s Blooming!

Happy Friday!  Update on my shoulder:  It’s about 95% better. The pain is pretty much gone and I can use my arm. It’s a little weak, though. Guess that’s the sign of a tear since the weakness isn’t from pain.  It’s so amazing how being pain free makes your mood change for the better. Chronic pain is so stressful.

I’m back to full strength riding again. I was able to get out for a nice 18 mile ride yesterday morning before the rain came (which is still going on). i saw lots of wildlife when I was out, including this deer. She was in the path and then hopped off to the side as I approached.

We watched each other for several minutes before she crossed back out into the path and went to the other side.


The irises are really coming out now. I have to say that I’m disappointed that 2 of them are not going to bloom this year, the Night Ruler (black) and the Tour de France (yellow and white). Hopefully next year when they put out some new rhizomes they’ll bloom. However, the others are doing great.

Boysenberry buttercup:

This one has to be about 3-1/2 feet tall. It’s a big one.

The batik with smaller irises:

These small ones are really prolific. I don’t know what kind they are, though.


Last year I chopped down my rhododendron by about 2/3. I wasn’t sure it was even going to live, but it did!

It has some good new green growth on it and it even is blooming.

The bumblebees go crazy for this one. Hopefully it will start shaping itself better. I’m so happy that I didn’t kill it LOL!

The rain is supposed to be gone by tomorrow and that means my first official cupcake ride of the season. John is one ahead of me 😀

Have a great holiday weekend!


What’s Blooming!

The tulips are pretty much finished. Last night’s heavy rain took out the majority of the last lingerers. There was a beautiful rainbow after the storms:

You can just see the double, too.

I did get some pictures of the Queen of the Night a couple days ago:

Front bed:

I recently discovered Alliums. I planted some last year and then decided I loved them so much I would get other kinds. Alliums have a lot of different bloom times and so many sizes and flower types – and prices.   I get my Alliums from John Scheepers. They have over 30 different kinds.  That’s not a paid plug, either – although I would be happy to do that 😀

Alliums are a fall planted bulb and the best part is that they are rodent resistant, so the squirrels and rabbits don’t bother them like they do with tulips.

Currently in bloom is Purple Sensation:

These are quite tall, about 2-1/2 to 3 feet.  The flower itself is maybe 3-4 inches across?

Here is that one with the funny little satellite flower:

They make a nice statement and are pretty inexpensive for bulbs. The only downside is the lower foliage yellows really quickly, so you don’t want them in the front, but behind other growing plants to help hide that.

Tippy pots back in action. These are filled with wave petunias this year. Not very inspired, but they will be pretty.

I am going to get more Allium for next year. They make a nice bridge between the tulips and irises.

Speaking of irises, I’m going to have a banner crop this year! Kicking it off is the batik, which I really think is my favorite.

This is year 2 for batik. It’s not much taller than it was last year, but more blooms. It’s just so gorgeous!

How pretty is that??

There has been a little cool down in the weather, but hopefully a long ride will still happen on Saturday. I managed to hurt my shoulder and if it’s not improved by tomorrow, the first stop will be the ortho acute care clinic to get it checked before riding. I can ride with it, but I want to make sure I’m not going to hurt anything. Fingers crossed!

What’s Blooming!

Another Friday and more blooms. I did a little plant shopping:

Some $2.99 perennials, including Hollyhock, shasta daisy and agastache. Plus some annuals. In the back are some biennials that I grew from seed. I actually had really good luck and have about 14 plants that I’m hardening off now. They are wall flowers. Hopefully they will be blooming this year LOL! The one big container on the right is one of those ready-to-go pots that you just plop into a container.  Here it is in said container:

This plant stand (with pot) was sitting out at the curb by the trash in front of someone’s house. It was too nice to throw away, so it came home with me.  It fills the space in this garden bed while my hydrangea grows from puny to regular size.

The tulips are still going strong:

The Catherine tulips really are gorgeous. If you want a pure white tulip, that’s the one to get.

The aliums are just starting to open up and this one sent out some strange stalk out of it. I don’t know what this will look like opened up 😀



My shade garden is still struggling. I don’t know why I have a tough time with shady areas.

To be fair, the plants are still really small since it has been so cold. My Solomon Seal has come up:

These are very cool. I don’t know how well they multiply, but I will get more if they don’t. Those little flower buds are very neat.

The magnolia tree has lost all its spring blossoms.

I was standing under the tree and it was snowing petals.

We have lots and lots of lawn violets.

I have half a mind to just do the whole front hell strip in violets. I wonder if that would work?

The last of the Cilesta tulips.

These will be gone by the end of next week, I’m sure.

While I was out in the back, a cat bird was making a lot of noise. I don’t think it was making them at me even though it was pretty close.

They are just noisy birds.

Probably little to no biking this weekend as rain is going to come in. I do hope to get the rest of those plants in the ground in between raindrops. 😀  Have a great weekend!

What’s Blooming! Tulip Time

Hooray Friday!  Good thing I didn’t wait until today to take pictures since it has been raining all day long.

I go out at least once a day into all the garden beds and sometimes twice a day. I’m checking for any pest damage, particularly an uprooted plant so that I can replant it asap, along with new growth and a bit of weeding. Doing a little bit of weeding every day really keeps it manageable. Even with mulch I still get weeds. Of course, I’m out there just enjoying it and it’s like Christmas each time I see something new 😀

The front bed:

The Design Impression (pink ones) are on their last legs, but you can see how much bigger they are than these other ones.

The white tulips are Catherine and the dark purple ones are Queen of the Night.

More red tulips:

This is a Triumph tulip called Escape. It’s so pretty and almost looks like a tea rose.

A few of the Carnival de Nice came back this year:

I think I will get more of these, although they don’t seem to be too long lasting.

Monte Carlo:

It’s such an unusual looking tulip. This one has a nice fragrance, too.

I also noticed that I have a huge crop of foxglove seedlings:

A platoon of them! These are the Candy Mountain. The parent plants didn’t come back, but they left all their babies 😀  I don’t know if these will bloom this year or not.

Moving around the house to the back, Lily of the Valley:

It’s amazing to me how such a tiny flower can have such a strong fragrance.

We have some sort of flowering cherry tree out back. I don’t really know what kind it is, but it sure is pretty in the spring:

This is a generic lily tulip:

I got a bag of mixed tulips a couple years ago just to get some and they weren’t labeled. So it’s generic purple lily tulip 😀

Here is the Cilesta in all its glory:

So pretty! And none of the buds got eaten this year. I don’t know if the Molemax has gotten rid of the moles, but it did deter the rabbits. Yay!


These are in the lawn, which I am very okay with.

Debby– this one is for you!

My flowering almond. It’s about 2-1/2 feet tall. I need to stake it because it seems to be leaning and I want to force the main stem more upright. It’s so pretty! I wish it was a little closer to the house to see it.

I’m also happy to report that both my butterfly bushes survived. I wasn’t sure about one of them. And the Baby Joe Pye Weed, which was really late to begin to poke out of the ground. So, I’ve only lost a few plants. Just the bleeding hearts and one rose bush.