I can’t believe it’s already autumn. Time flies, as they say. So here’s what is happening in my garden.P1230952

While my Northern garden buddies are cutting back perennials and putting their gardens to sleep… I am enjoying an embarrassment of riches in the way of Camellia sasanqua blooms.


Some so profuse they look like cascading roses from a distance.


Last fall I finally found the Camellia sasanqua ‘Cotton Candy’ a favorite of my dear late friend Margaret Moseley. It was one she had recommended to me many years ago when I first started my garden, but I was never able to locate it. When it starts to bloom I will post a photo. I know Margaret would be pleased. Still on the lookout for  Camellia ‘Martha’s Dream’ yet another of her early blooming favorites.

P1230956Camellia ‘Daydream’ which I rescued from a compost heap at a nursery. I followed the fragrance and found it. I have never seen it in the trade before or since. Of course the first time I saw it was in Margaret’s garden.

Mine is a garden of memories.


Not complaining, but these downpours really put a damper on going out to see what’s blooming in the garden, so….

P1230627on these rainy days I brought some of the garden indoors.



sink above, is a new addition in utility room/downstairs potty/ mud/ laundry room.  Mirror will be painted & antiqued  with Annie Sloan paints and the room will be painted. Still contemplating colours.


Pictures taken between the raindrops, here is what’s  in the garden …

P1230583                                   Styrax obassia  delightful, fragrant, small tree that shades the entrance to the Potager

P1230587                                   Chinese Snowball Viburnum ( Viburnum macrocephalum)

P1230586                       Azaleas (Rhododendron indica ) and  Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum opulus ) always good companions. LOVE the lime green phase of this shrub.

P1230581                            Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink is what the label said. (Viburnum picatum ‘Kern’s Pink’) My plant has never seen even a blush. Beautiful none the less.


A few Clematis too.




Every spring I have posted about the Wordsworth meadow, however, what follows the daffodils is just as exciting. It took a lot less work too.

Two native plants allowed to seed themselves over a period of time Trillium cuneatum and Phlox divaricata.


This is the reward for allowing the seeds to form & ripen before the meadow is cut. Need I mention this has taken 17 years?

I have been away from the blog a long time. Life happens, things change, gardens and blogs sometimes must be put aside while other issues of life are addressed.

The garden, while it has suffered some neglect, is very grateful for the attention it is getting now. Major changes about to happen! Stay tuned.


Where do I start? Here we are at the end of April and I’m still accessing the damage from the past winter.

Today they cut down the second Fig Tree…dead . I waited to be sure but there was no hope. The branches snapped off in my hand. Same with all the Gardenia, they look like toast, brown & crunchy!  There is one in the cutting garden I hope recovers; the small leafed one Margaret Moseley calls ‘First Love’. Keeping my fingers crossed.

The Hydrangea macrophylla are pushing new growth from the roots. All the top growth is dead. There will be no flowers this season.


I am hoping the Penny Mac’s, will produce. They bloomed on new wood (i.e. current seasons growth) in my friend Penny’s garden for  whom it was named.

Penny McHenry                             Penny McHenry

(I wonder if it was because she grew them  in full sun. They always looked wilted during the day but at 6 pm her garden was transformed into the Hydrangea Heaven it was.)

To add  insult to injury a huge old Oak in the Wordsworth Meadow was uprooted last week in the wind storm.


That is my 6′ 4″ husband in front of the rootball.(below)


Now that the second shoe has fallen I’m left wondering what else could possibly go wrong. I’m holding my breath!

Forgot to mention the entire countryside was without power for the day since it brought down the power line.

Still there were many nice surprises. Who knew Stachyurus praecox was so hardy?  I was sure she would succumb to the low temperatures. ( This is yet another shrub commonly known as “Yellow Bells’)


Stachyurus praecox

The meadow is marvelous with the native Phlox (Phlox divaricata) & Trilliums (Trillium cuneatum)  that follow the spent daffodils …



and  the Viburnums are doing beautifully. This however, is another post.

How are your gardens doing after this very harsh winter?



I am suffering  from Daffodil envy.

This morning I opened the computer and found the following photos on one of my favorite blogs THE GALLOPING GARDENER.


And here I was feeling so proud of the Wordsworth Meadow! 


Nevertheless, scenes like this were my inspiration.  

The photos were taken  at The Valley Garden in Surrey England by Charlotte Weychan. Charlotte travels and visits fabulous gardens.  Check her blog for a wonderful armchair visit to some of the best gardens.

I better get busy sourcing and planting. I think I need several lifetimes to achieve something like this!

Thank you Charlotte for use of your photos.



Spring is announced in the ‘Wordsworth Meadow’


It does fill my heart with joy!

Every year the display increases. Presently scouting old abandoned homeplaces to rescue more Narcissus to add to the meadow.

If you have been reading this blog then you know these are ‘old timey’ bulbs that have survived for years unattended. The modern cultivars  I originally planted  disappeared after a season or two.


The sweep of Narcissus on the left in the above photo is a younger planting than the one on the right, equal number of bulbs. Time is a huge element in garden design.



Prunus ‘Okame’ and Spiraea, wish you could hear the bees  a -buzz at the ‘all you can eat buffet’


     Helleborus orientalis Narcissus and the ghost of last summer’s Hydrangeas.    


Of all the garden areas, it is the ‘Wordsworth Meadow’ that holds my heart.    It is still unfinished….


The Polar Vortex that crippled the south last week wreaked some havoc  in my garden.

I could tell from the window that the Michelia foliage was damaged and the Camellia blossoms were brown and mushy. Today I ventured out (74 degrees) to access the damage.


Although there is some browning of foliage, it is not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

The Michelia (now reclassified as a Magnolia) looks awful, but the buds seem to be viable in their protected furry coats.


The camellias, on the other hand did not fare as well. The good news is  the plants survived, however, many tight buds came off in my hand when I touched them.


The  few that are okay are on the underside of the foliage so I guess that was their protection . ( Like all gardeners, I wish plants could talk!)

Now for the bad news… I doubt there will be  Hydrangeas this year, most of the buds are frozen & dead. While the stems appear fine right now, only time will tell.

Bay Laurel

Above, my Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)… bit the proverbial dust.


Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) (above)  may be short in the stem but they are coming along.


 Above, Winter Daphne ( Daphne odora aureomarginata)  unscathed & looking cheerful. Waiting for another few sunny days to unfurl and envelope the garden in its wonderful perfume.

And, as always, there is something cheerful waiting to brighten my day…


Early species crocus.

What damage if any, did your garden experience?