First Glimpses

As soon as we’ve pulled into the driveway, I’m out of the car to get a first glimpse of what is new in the yard.  

This time of year is still springlike in Maine, so first blooms are just visible.

Rarely are any of my tulips still in bloom, but thanks to a late spring arrival, they are still showing off.

The climbing hydrangea appears to be ready for a banner season

 and rhododendrons are just beginning to bloom.  A day or two of sunshine and they will be a mass of color.

peony budPeonies are still just tight little buds, but it won’t be long until they are in full bloom.  That i can never get enough of!

I can never remember the name of this bold beauty that stands tall and lifts its head to the sky.  When they are done, I dry a few to use in fall bouquets.

The discovery that always brings a smile is this one that stays hidden

jack in the pulpit 2keeping the jack in the pulpit that lives inside a secret.

At the same time I see beauty and the promise of what is to come, I notice all the work that needs to be done in the yard.  That’s always the case, but there is plenty of time to get it done.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Dahlia Heaven

dahliasI love dahlias, their texture, their incredible colors.  They are definitely what one daughter would call brave and outspoken.

DahliasSo, what took me so long to go to Endless Summer Flower Farm in Camden, Maine, which I have heard about for several years but never visited.

dahliasWhen I tell you this place takes your breath away, I’m not exaggerating.  Spread among two planting areas are more dahlias than you could believe possible.  And to think, I have trouble getting any to grow in my overly shaded garden.

dahliasThis is Phil, who with his wife, is responsible for this incredible place which has more than 4,000 plants representing 208 species of dahlia.  Who knew there were that many different  ones?  Asked how he got into growing these beauties, he said it started 17 years ago with his daughter’s wedding.  She wanted dahlias, and he thought why not grow them for her.

dahliasLooking at them, you notice they are not just different colors.

dahliasThey have different bloom shapes and sizes

dahliasand many have their own distinctive petal.

dahliasPhil tells me this beauty, Cafe au Lait, is the most popular color, especially for weddings.

dahliasHow do you tell one variety from another?  Look closely and you’ll see that every plant is identified.  I’m beginning to think this dahlia farm is a lot of work.  That is not a wrong assumption.  After the first frost, all the tubers, keep in mind 4,000 plus plants, are dug up and stored until spring planting season when the whole process begins again. During the winter,  the tubers are separated and started in a dirt filled styrofoam cup to give the plant a healthy start.

dahliasIf you are in an area suitable for growing dahlias, you can order tubers from Endless Summer Flower Farm online or, if you are like me and don’t do so well growing your own, you can just stop by the cart and pick your own bouquet.  Hopefully, there will be some left!

dahliasRemember, as the sign says, dahlias are addictive!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind 


Seasonal Sundays

What To Do Weekends

Make The Scene Monday

Tuesdays With A Twist

It’s a Knockout II

As the name suggests, the Antique Rose Emporium specializes in roses which have such descriptions as vigorous climbers, mannerly climbers, creepers, small and large bush.  There is a rose for everybody, and folks leave with them by the wagonload.

Though I have a few knockout roses in my yard, I mostly like roses in other people’s garden so my favorite place to browse was the herb and vegetable area.

I bought lots of gorizia rosemary as it is supposed to be good for your memory.

Stevia,according to the tag, is a sugar substitute for tea and coffee.  The leaf sure tastes sweet, but could somebody tell me whether it’s supposed to be used as is or dried?

Sage and parsley will come in handy for Thanksgiving cooking, and I’m hoping some of the five different lettuces I bought will be ready for a little harvesting.

Though we haven’t touched on all there is in the way of plants, let’s move on to the gift shops where there’re many tempting garden accessories.  As I browsed, I couldn’t help but think of so many of you who would have found something to like.

I collect birdhouses, so there’s no way I could pass by this display.

The birdhouses are made by this gentleman who is a retired Methodist minister with a very generous heart.    In recent years, he has given over $100,000 to various causes, and all the money has come from the sale of his birdhouses.  Knowing that, how could I not buy one!

As you might expect, wandering and wondering builds an appetite, and this day visitors were treated to cuisine from  Chef Tai’s Mobile Bistro, America’s favorite food truck according to  the Food Network.

Food preparation is done right here

Gourmet Rice Bowl prepared Korean style

and what comes out of that very small space is delicious.

I hope you have enjoyed this visit to the Antique Rose Emporium.  If you are ever in the area of Independence, Texas, be sure and stop, but if you can’t make it and love roses, you can order online.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Masterpiece Monday

Wow Us Wednesday

Show and Tell Wednesday

Weekend Flowers

It’s a Knockout!

Hey, what’re you doing?

Not much.

Wanna go on an adventure?


So it was that an ordinary day turned into something special thanks to a friend wanting to go to the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, Texas.

What a place!  As the crowd of men and women indicated, it is an outing for anyone who enjoys and appreciates growing things.

The Antique Rose Emporium is more than a nursery, it’s an experience.  Everywhere  is beauty whether growing

or an enchanting example of creativity.

What great uses for what I thought were ordinary flower pots!

Throughout the grounds are delightful scenarios

and clever displays.

The gardens are very well organized and have plentiful varieties no matter what you’re looking for,

and if you want a little something extra, feel free.

Needless to say, butterflies are free in this environment,

and I couldn’t get enough of the monarchs fluttering among the blossoms.

By this time I’m in sensory overload, but there’s still more.  I think I’ll save it for tomorrow….won’t you please come back?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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A Favorite Thing

Seasonal Sundays

Sunny Simple Sunday

Grow it Here

Rats, somehow I blew away my photos showing how to build the raised garden here, so you will have to be satisfied with a simple how to.  There is an easy tutorial here if you need the visual.

My garden is 4’x8′ made from 12″x8′ lumber.  Three boards are required, with one being cut in half.   The pieces are screwed together and the corners reinforced with 4″ square pieces cut to the same length as the depth of the garden and screwed in place.

The site where the box is to be put should be cleared and leveled so the container sits securely in place. Once the box is in place, fill it with organic soil and plant with your veggies of choice.

So, what do you do if you don’t have enough yard for a garden?  There are a number of alternatives that will allow you to grow lettuce, herbs and maybe even tomatoes.  Tomato plants, though, do have a tendency to get BIG and likely do better in a garden setting.

Take a look at some of these creative ideas.

My daughter used wine crates as containers for her herbs and vegetables.

Who would think about using trash cans!  This is an idea I’m trying for sure.

Could it get any simpler than this?

Nothing complicated about this and think what an attractive display for patio or porch.

Well, you get the idea that you can do a little gardening most anywhere. To get the skinny on growing in containers, look here.  It’s a great place to start.   A couple of things I have learned is to water newly planted vegetables and herbs often to help them get started and harvest often to encourage reproduction.  Have fun with your garden and let me know what you learn.

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Anything Goes, er Grows

Put it in the ground and chances are it will grow in Maine, at least in the summer.  Oh, what a joy that is!

Just take a look at my garden. Today it’s sprawled all over the place

when just a few short weeks ago it looked like this, all nice and tidy.

Tomato vines are so heavy they can no longer be contained, and I’m wondering how we will ever use all the tomatoes if they ripen at once.

Oh look, nestled among all the green is one little guy showing its color.

Who knew lettuce could grow so tall and keep producing faster than we can eat it.

Green peas are fat in their shell,

and green peppers are bigger each day.  Anybody know the right time to bring them in?

The radish supply has been exhausted, beets and cucumbers are still to come.

In the summers I’ve been growing in my small garden, some things have done better than others so there’s still a learning curve.  Without lots of sun, some veggies take forever to mature while others do fine with a few hours each day.  The best thing is that anyone can have a garden in a contained space.  Come back tomorrow and I’ll share with you how this one was constructed.  

Checking to see what others are doing on a Seasonal Sunday 

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Sunday Adventure, Part II

Where do we go now?  To the garden where so many good things to eat are growing

or to the reading room with lots of books about Maine and gardens and flowers and fairys

or maybe we could catch a lobster

Oh look, a Gnome House

and  flowers everywhere….

so much to see and do.

“Can we come back again?  Please, Lulu.”

Be sure to visit Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and today, for a wonderful giveaway, the always wonderfully creative inspired room site.

i love your comments, so jump right in and share your thoughts.