Tag Archives: hydrangeas

9 ways my garden made me happy this week (GBBD June ’10)

I have been a neglectful gardener. I have been extremely neglectful garden blogger. My excuse is the Great Chefs Event, a huge fundraiser that benefits Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the research that will hopefully end childhood cancer someday. Huge success – 1000 people, 30+ famous chefs cooking and chatting, hundreds of thousands of dollars raised. My tiny little piece of that puzzle seemed to take over my life for the last few weeks, and my garden suffered. Probably my family suffered too, but fortunately, that is not the subject of this post. But that was last night. I’ve got the blisters on my toes to prove it (Somehow, I just couldn’t justify garden clogs with that great dress. Darned high heeled sandals!)

Today, I got to work in my garden. Ahhhhhhhh. And as I was puttering and watering and weeding, I realized that in the midst of my craziness, the garden has given me things to smile about. It continues to work, even when I can’t. So here are the ways my garden made me happy this week.


1. The monarda attracted the year’s first hummingbird. He joined us at dinner tonight. Bee balm? Maybe. Hummingbird balm? Definitely.

2. The lavender and the evening primrose bloomed simultaneously. Direct opposites on the color wheel, these complimentary beauties are textbook.

3. The salad I made to take to a friend’s this weekend called for fresh basil. I walked out the back door with a pair of scissors and had fresh basil.

4. A pair of goldfinches decided to make my feeder their home. They’ve been to visit daily.  Haven’t seen these guys since they were gray and gloomy in February.

5. I weeded the whole garden today in the time in took to roast a chicken. I know my yard’s not big, but 90 minutes is definitely a record for a whole garden weed. Hot weather? Lack of rain? Excessive mulching? I don’t know what’s keeping them down, but I’m smiling about it.

7. My sticks are blooming!!! Remember the bare root roses that I put in the ground while trying to muster the faith to believe that something would actually come of them? They’re showing off now boy.

8. The jackmanii clematis that I planted last month shriveled up and died.  Here’s to nurseries with guarantees! The new one is bigger and better. Whereas before I had one shoot that had made it 2 feet up the arbor, now I have three.

9. Hydrangeas. They ask so little, they give so much. (Mine are all real, by the way)

Clearly, my garden can live without me for a few weeks. True, it is the hours I spent last month, last year, three years ago that have set it up to produce without me, but I’m loving the return on my investment.

To see what’s blooming in other bloggers gardens this month, check out May Dreams Garden.

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Bloom Day Blues at Longwood Gardens

Longwood Hybrid Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida)

“There is no such thing as a blue flower.” That’s what my mom said as we were discussing my nosegay for the Town & Country cotillion Holly Ball when I was in sixth grade. (Remember nosegays? The little hand-held bouquets with the plastic handles?)   That’s what I remember anyway.  Although now that I think about it, I remember having this conversation while she weeded the garden. Could she possibly have been weeding in December, the traditional time for Holly Balls? Whether or not memory is a reliable witness is a conversation for another day. Let’s just agree for the sake of argument that she said it. I certainly believed her. She could make anything grow and my 12-year-old mind hadn’t registered the possibility that parents could be wrong.

Canterbury Bells (campanula medium)

To this day I’m amazed and overjoyed when I find blue flowers. I paid a visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania today in the hopes that their conservatory might lift my spirits. (Still multiple feet of snow on the ground here with more forecast for tonight. Bleh. Check out my posts 48″ of Snow and The Thrill of Victory for pretty snow pics and a more embracing attitude).  I went ostensibly to enjoy the “orchid extravaganza,” but it was the blue flowers that caught my attention. Not only is there such thing as a blue flower, there are loads of them.  I suppose you might argue that some of these lean a bit towards purple, but all in the family, right? Some of the colors were so vibrant that a fellow observer, upon seeing the hydrangea pictured below,  recalled the old  science-fair trick with carnations: “Do you think they used food coloring?”

Hydrangea macrophylla "Mathilda Gutges"

I checked. These were no cuttings that had sucked up blue colored water. They were the real deal.

I liked the spiky crown on this ground-ivy sage:

salvia glechomifolia

and don’t you just love the yellow tips on this ceanothus? Like tiny little rings, or maybe handbags. (Work with me, I’m thinking accessories here):

ceanothus "Ray Hartman"

My mom should certainly have known about these grape hyacinths. They are exactly the same color as her eyes which are very decidedly blue.  (Any wonder my dad fell for her?):

So, that’s what’s blooming today in my garden, hmm, I mean at Longwood’s garden. Hey, at least they’re blooming somewhere nearby in the midst of a very white winter!

Visit May Dreams Garden to see what’s blooming in gardens around the world.

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