Category Archives: Gardening

Garden Update: Early May 2017


It has been a while since I shared progress on my new garden. So much is been accomplished, while there is so much that still needs to be completed.

Today, I want to celebrate the successes.

First off, with the help of friends and my wonderful husband, I was able to dig up my old garden and transfer it to the new yard. Everything except a small flower bed was removed. All the plants ended up in boxes in our front yard waiting to be transplanted. And then they got moved to the backyard to also wait to be transplanted. Last week I emptied the last box! Yay!

A listing of plants transplanted:

  • hundreds of daffodil bulbs
  • (13) hydrangeas, some ever blooming, a few Oakleaf and a few paniculata
  • (12) roses, all but three are thriving and even these look like they will survive.
  • (15+) hostas and sedum
  • three types of irises
  • (8) peonies
  • (20+) echinacea
  • (10) Verbena bonariensis
  • lots of bread seed poppies (Papaver somniferum)
  • lots of Asiatic lilies and other random lilies
  • a honeysuckle and a clematis vine
  • and other onesies and twosies of various flowering plants

I also owe great thanks to my husband, who completed the Herculean feat of getting all the pea gravel transferred during a long weekend in March. Now all the big components of my old garden are moved over, and I have been busy getting everything set up and ready for the growing season.

In early April the holly hedge was pruned back to allow more sun to hit the south facing flower bed I wanted to install. With the generosity of a neighbor this bed received a dense layer of leaf mulch, and now I am in the process of adding another layer of compost. I am planning on turning this bed into my dahlia border. It still needs some more attention before I can plant the dahlia tubers. However in my eyes, even being only halfway there, it looks beautiful!

This area of the garden is going to be my densely planted annuals, like zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, gaillardia, and nicotiana.  This first row is going to be Naomi’s garden, where she chooses what is going to be planted.  And this is how I prepped the bed to help supress any existing weed seeds and give her a good growning foundaion.

Four sheets of clean and blank newsprint/packing paper were placed on the ground…

and then a 2-3 inch layer of compost was placed on top, workind down the bed with my dependable garden wagon with a dumping feature.

And this is how it looked when the row was all covered with compost.

Here are the flats of seedlings I began, a bunch of items have already germinated and I will need to act fast in preparing the other four rows before my seedlings get to leggy.

A view of how the garden looks now.  I will be making more obelisks for the climbing roses I have in the garden, and several other things that need attention.

Here is a view of the lilac that came with the yard and a small bed filled with a bunch of delights.  A very established peony, some irises, day lilies, and two Gallica Roses, I think “La Belle Sultaine”. 

So much to do, and so happy to be in the new garden.


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First Day of Spring

Happy First Day of Spring!!!

I thought I would share some of my favorite springtime images from last year in my old garden.

Early March, when the bulbs were just beginning to peak out.  Those yellow daffodils are some of the earliest bloomers, if the winter is mellow they sometimes bloom the first week of March!

And my back boarder with some “bouquet” tulips.  I loved them in the garden, but they did not ever make it into the studio for a painting.

I have been busy digging up my old garden and enjoying all the time in the sun.  I will be recreating a long row of purple bearded irises in the new garden, I always loved this view.   However I now realize that irises need to be dug up every 4-5 years or they get out of control!  Even though it looks fantastic.

Sweet William, and Centura in the foreground.  The really tall, fun architectural green stems on the left was a rogue bunch of goldenrod.  At first I did not know what it was, but I allowed it to grow because I like how tall and structured the vertical stems looked,  and they looked great in late August, though they are aggressive and choked out my seaholly and echinacea in this bed.

…and my beloved nicotiana.  I love this plant and its beautiful scale, I think this year I am going to plant it with my dahlias.

Wishing you a very happy Spring season!


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My New Garden

“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives.” ( Gertrude Jekyll)


It has been a while since I posted here. I find in times when so much is going on and with the ability to share small snippets via Instagram and Facebook, my tendency to share deeply also goes away. However this month I am choosing to slow down, and to start sharing more, in a slower, more meaningful way.

Garden Plan 1st draft
{first draft of my garden plan}

This morning I am going to share with you what has me so excited, my new garden.

The autumn of 2016 was a whirlwind of effort that culminated with the purchase and move to a new home. November and December were all about packing up and physically moving into our new home. December and January were a whirlwind of boxes, gallon paint cans and all the paraphernalia that goes with a rapid push to get some of the rooms of our new home freshly painted and set up for how we want to live. There is still more to do inside however since February, my attention has been turning outside in focusing on how to move my previous garden to my new outdoor space.

This is what I have to work with, a beautiful, large yard that already had an established vegetable patch in the central open area that receives full sun for at least half of the day. I am so excited about what I’m going to grow here.
9032 Buckner backyard 2

9032 Buckner ext backyard 1

{the existing backyard}

The existing vegetable patch will be host to some vegetables, however mainly annual flowers like zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers will go here. The surrounding flowerbeds that I am creating will host my perennial plants.

Garden Plan final design 20170308

{the plan as of today, it may change, but pretty much this is what I am planning on implementing}

As you can see by my notations, I will have a main central garden, based on  classic English cottage gardens, with pebble paths and gathering areas.  The main one will be for meals and hanging out, and a second play space is for Naomi.  She still has her playhouse and sandbox, and this time the flower beds that surround her area will be filled up with flowers and plants of her choice.  Plus in the middle of the two squares that have (4) “L”s in them will be the peach trees she has been asking for.  She loves peaches and since I told her about how my grandpa had a peach tree in his backyard so he could go out and pick sun-ripened peaches, she has latched onto the idea and has been requesting to grow peaches in our backyard.  So this spring we will pick out two peach trees for her.  The Dahlia bed that will run along the north side of the yard may or may not be implemented this year, it all depends on how much I get done this month with regard to the rest of the garden.

Today the garden is still a construction site with some plants already placed with the vast majority of plants still over at the old garden. As you can see, the layout is established with the black garden fabric that denotes where the gravel paths will be. I used the lasagna method of establishing flowerbeds, this utilizes a layer of cardboard placed on top of the turf with a thick layer of compost and leaf mulch placed on top (5 to 6 inches deep). I then place my plants in each flower bed as I have planned and fertilize everything.  I will then layer another layer of mulch on top of everything once things are settled.
9032 Buckner today 20170308-01

9032 Buckner today 20170308-02

9032 Buckner today 20170308-03

March is going to be a crazy month, full of digging, lugging and relocating my beloved plants. Some plants are especially sentimental as they are from dear friends and now I almost consider them family.

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My Garden: End of May

201605 - my garden 01
May came and went very quickly and I was particularly happy with how lovely the irises were this year.

201605 - my garden 02This summer I hope to have a bunch of dahlias to paint, as I planted several tubers and have already installed their tomato cage supports to help me remember where they were planted.  I also labeled them, which is not a common action of mine because I embrace the whole “wild gardening” attitude and often let volunteers grow where they seed themselves.  This of course leads to a crazy garden in August and September.

Already I have gaillardia and batchelor buttons growing in places I did not expect this year, however I love them, so they remain where they are :)

201605 - my garden 04
Recently Naomi asked to take some photos of the garden.  The photos below were taken by her.  It is so magical seeing what she admires and likes enough to photograph.

201605 - my garden by naomi 01

201605 - my garden by naomi 02

201605 - my garden by naomi 03

201605 - my garden by naomi 04
Naomi loves the clover growing all over our lawn, and has been picking them to make bouquets and flower crowns lately.

201605 - my garden by naomi 05

201605 - my garden by naomi 06

201605 - my garden by naomi 07


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My Garden: End of April

201604 - my garden 01
April has been a fun month in the garden.  The tulips came and went, as well as the daffodils.

201604 - my garden 02
The gravel paths are in and Naomi likes them :)  She has been seen playing outside in her playhouse and sandbox.

201604 - my garden 02a
In addition to all the bulbs, the peonies are also breaking through and beginning to bud.

201604 - my garden 03

201604 - my garden 04
I love blown out tulips.

201604 - my garden 05
A few years ago a friend gave me some English Bluebells, and this is the first time they have bloomed!  I dream of having a big colony of them intermixed with these daffodils.

201604 - my garden 06
Naomi likes the daffodils also.

201604 - my garden 07
A last view of tulips and daffodils.

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