If you, like me,watched every episode of A GARDENER’S DIARY on HGTV  (taped and TiVo them for future viewing) and  lament the fact that  it is no longer; you will be pleased to know that the blog GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY is written by Martha Tate, the creator /producer of the series.


Martha features an incredible photo of a  plant or garden with a delightful narrative.

The above photos are from her blog, so tune in, you will not be disappointed.




Nothing signals the end of summer like Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) and  hydrangeas cut for drying.



The hydrangeas are cut with some ‘old wood’ I find they hold their shape better that way. Later, when I arrange them, I will cut the stem to whatever length required.


Sometimes, when cut on the tender green stems, the flowers tend to curl up. These looks really luscious…


 I hope they stay that way.

 The fragrance of  Sweet Autumn Clematis is one of my favorites; perhaps, because for me,  it  elicits  nostalgia.  When I went to cut a few sprigs, I caught the aroma of burnt sugar… Creme Caramel? I sniffed my way to the Katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum). Typically, when the leaves start to colour to a buttery yellow in fall, it emits a scent some have likened to cinnamon  or cotton candy.


Mine, is definitely Creme Brulee!

With the temps consistently in the 90’s since May, I cannot say I am sorry to see this summer wind down. And…


 the camellias are already showing their buds. I welcome another gardening season.

I posted about this clematis here, please read it if you plan on planting one.


Earlier this summer, as I  sat in the Circle of Friends, I realized that after the first major flush of bloom my ‘interesting hydrangeas’ really had no impact at all. What was needed was more of the strong blue mopheads.



So cuttings it was, since that particular hydrangea is an unknown variety and I have no idea how to locate more.


Good plan? Yes, untill I saw them today; this is what they look like now.  



Yet, on the other side …


the less spectacular blue mopheads dry beautifully.



What a terrific problem to have!


“At each end of this lovely little wall were two brick pillars. They stood there, perfectly poised, exactly the right height, exactly the right width. But in spite of their architectural rightness they were wrong, or rather, they were incomplete. They had obviously been built to hold something – carved pineapples, or stone balls, or…or…or Urns.

It was when the word Urns came into my head that the garden was born” – Beverly Nichols

Lacking a lovely wall or even just the brick pillars…. I have finials, two sets. One, a basket of flowers….

        The other of fruit.                                                                              


 “Surely – in all matters appertaining to elegance – the most important thing to do first is the last thing?” – Beverly Nichols

We think alike.


Some areas of my garden are incomplete. The bones are all there, but the planting is far from ‘done’. For example, the lilies I have recently featured …


are a perfect companion to Hydrangea paniculata


however, they are planted on either side of the bench in my cutting garden and not together.


 So here is this gardener’s dilemma…do I dig up the lilies and plant them with the hydrangea or transplant the hydrangea? That’s a young gardener’s thought process.

 At my age I am thinking the easiest way to achieve what I would like, would be to strike cuttings of the hydrangea and plant them with the lilies. MUCH EASIER, the caveat being  TIME. It will take a few years to get the effect I am looking for.

Why isn’t life simpler? The young have both the time and energy…. need I say more?


Next week is my mother’s 90th birthday and I am looking for a gift. Due to my recent shoulder surgery and inability to travel, our celebration will be a few weeks late.  Still, I would  like it to be a very special day. If we lived closer, I would bring her huge bouquet from my garden, but that is not possible. I’m in Georgia, she is in Canada. So I visited my favorite site for gift inspiration…


Wow!! Having a hard time choosing. She loves chocolate so, handcrafted chocolates from Lily O’Brians  is one possibility…


then again personalized biscuits sound like fun.


Flowers of course, are a given. She prefers the hot sunset colours so I think this may be the bouquet for her.


Deciding on a gift for mom has always been difficult, and although it is not getting any easier, I hope I am faced with this challenge for many more years.



Glorious in the garden….


better in a vase to be enjoyed whenever I pass.


 With the temps here in the 90’s the lilies will last longer indoors and I can spend more time marveling at their loveliness.


When they are this perfect… one can only ask for MORE!!!



“But whatever the people may see, they cannot help seeing the lilies. They are all over the house, like groups of dancers, poised and waiting; those that stand near mirrors seem to take on a silver sheen,and those that catch the glow of the candles are lit with gold; in the full light they sparkle like sunlit snow, in the shadows they are luminous…and always, upstairs, downstairs, in every nook and cranny, there is fragrance.” – Beverly Nichols


Above, Rosemary examines the bouquet. This lily is the last to bloom and marks the season’s end.


Oh the luxury of working with so many stems! MORE is definitely MORE!!

Lilium formosanum all grown from seed. By me.


I have mentioned often, how I find the large mophead hydrangeas very effective in the landscape, but when they start to look like this…



They have my heart!


In my mind’s eye I can see my grandmother’s garden, and smell the rich fragrance of old roses.

The last lily  of the season is starting to bloom. More on her later…




I have been short on posts lately but hope to be back posting more regularly soon.  If you are curious, here is my kitchen … 


 I have to ‘DO’ something with all if this!!  Where does gardening end?????

Hopefully my friend Julieta of LINDARAXA can help.  Her recipes are divine!! 

Happy gardening!!




Amish Green Tomato Relish

2 quarts green tomatoes chopped

3 green peppers diced

5 large onions chopped fine

3 TBS salt

Sprinkle  salt over chopped veg. and let sit 4-6 hr. Drain well.

Combine, in a large pot the following..

2 1/2 cups cider vinegar

3 cups sugar

1 tbsp. celery seed

1 tbsp. allspice

2 tbsp. mustard seed

2 tea. dry mustard

1 tea. turmeric

1 tea. ground ginger

Simmer 10- 15 min. Add vegetables and simmer 10 min. more, then bring to the boil.

Pack boiling hot in to hot jars leaving 1/4 ” head space  & process 10 min.