Mean Beauty

This is a thistle species, not sure which Cirsium it is.

They are usually purple here in North Carolina.

I had to get a closer look at this  crimson beauty, but don’t touch!

I doubt anything can eat these leaves.

By looking at the seeds flying off the top, there will be more in this field for years to come.


Mean, but beautiful.


Floral Floor Cloth

I made this floor cloth over two decades ago when my children were small.


How did I manage it? Why did I attempt such a thing?

I puzzle about things like this now that I am afraid of a pencil.

What made me believe I could make a floor cloth and paint my favorite flowers on it?

I think I get this from my dad. I get an idea and become possessed with it.

I found it folded and smashed under a pile in the workshop last week.

I laid it out on the gravel to examine it.

There were those flowers from gardens past.

The dahlia that disappeared and the Texas Star from my grandmother.


The prolific Kwanzan daylily  that I should have declined and a Clematis I loved and lost.


A white gladiola, a yellow Asiatic lily and a blackberry lily.


A Japanese iris, bracken fern  and some bearded iris.


Bearded iris, Cecil Brunner rose that got giant,  Bill Troutman poppy and a Sensitive fern.


And my beloved pink foxglove.


Maybe I’ll get possessed again and repaint it,

but first I need to get over my fear of colored pencils.





Smother Lessons from a Vine

I am a helicopter mother for my plants also.

So I overprotect the rare ones whether they need it or not.

I have had this ‘Blue Crown’ hybrid Passion vine for four years.


When I finally got multiple starts by cuttings, I decided to risk leaving one outside.

Surprise! It stayed green all winter. The ones inside went dormant.

The ousted vine has climbed all over the fence.


The two potted clones have finally started to grow.


The one left out is covered in blooms. The protected ones are just now getting leaves.


Will I be bringing one in next winter?

Yes. Just in case it gets super cold.  I will keep one stock plant inside.

Sometimes growing things need to be left alone. That includes children.



Waiting for the Lights to Come On

I end my days with the bunnies, waiting for their lights to come on.

I quietly sit in the black chair with my feet up on the bench.


I listen to their munching as the light in the sky dims.


The two solar globe lights blink on first.  IMG_1712

Moments later, the garden glows with a warm yellow light from the of Market bulbs.


That’s my signal that the bunnies are safe and my day in the garden has ended.


I pause just a bit, in the glow, in the quiet.

It’s a peaceful way to end a day.



A Sign with Legs

I was headed back inside with my camera without a proper post picture when

I was greeted at the threshold by a familiar voice from seasons past.

I had to follow the sound, which was coming from behind a sign on the porch.


Mortimer has returned and has taken up his old residence with a friend.


What a lovely surprise. I had been hoping he would return.


He may not have a chance to jump on our guests this year due to the pandemic.


I still expect some antics from the little friend who seems to feel right at home.


Wildlife is always welcome here.

Oh, happy day!



Worm? Snake? Worm Snake?

I am always careful when I use a shovel.

I have friends in low places.

I dug up this little critter while planting my amaryllis bulbs out in the garden.


Too big for a worm .   Tiny eyes, gray back, pink belly and a sharp tail.


It is a worm snake, Carphophis amoenus.

Its name does not come from looking like a worm.

It comes from the fact that it eats worms.

It did not like the sunshine and kept hiding its head in my fingers.


It finally calmed down and posed for some photos.

I was amazed when it swung its head around and looked me in the eye.

Careful with those shovels. You never know who you will meet underground.



First Double Bloomer

Single blooming peonies have been in bloom for weeks. The doubles lag behind.

This is the first time Karl Rosenfield has bloomed here.


I am pleased with its huge, full blooms.


This one has a deep rich color and lush green foliage.

Stay tuned for my favorite which always blooms last.

Peonies are easy perennials but do not like to be disturbed.