Yesterday I listened in awe and lunched with the Hydrangea experts.


                                                                                                    Above,  Gene Griffin & Robert Mallet

Robert Mallet OF THE SHAMROCK COLLECTION, (located in Normandy France; the largest collection of Hydrangeas in the world), visited with Elizabeth Dean & Gene Griffin of WILKERSON MILL GARDENS; North America’s premiere hydrangea nursery.


Above, discussing the  furry stems of Hydrangea aspera.


                                A peek at the propagating nursery above.                                                                                                        

How lucky I was to be invited. Listening to the conversations was an education! Thank you Elizabeth & Gene.

Robert will be addressing the American Hydrangea Society tonight.



Every so often one looks with new eyes at a familiar scene. I can’t say how many times I have visited with my friend Lyndy Broder of Clematis fame; but  this visit was different. 


Perhaps because the deciduous magnolias were putting on a show of shows or perhaps the trees she planted have finally reached a size  in scale with the lake. One thing is  certain; this scene will continue to gain in stature.


THIS is Landscape, at its best!


When her home was built on a pasture there was not a tree in sight. The deal she struck with her husband gave her a free hand to plant. This is the result.


This may very well be the first visit where I was not distracted by the profusion of clematis in bloom!


Back to the driveway….

                                                                    my driveWhat mine lacks is definition, or in design terms “line.”

                                                                            driveway from Tara's blog


In the above photo the tire tracks and tree trunks provide  it.

One of my favorite treatments for a drive, is the one below.   

                                                         CobblesAtEntrance 062                                                                    

Beautiful cobbles contain the gravel  and the line provides direction.

What a wonderful welcome! Another item on my ‘Honey Do’ list.

Photo courtesy of  FOR LOVE OF A HOUSE.  Visit this blog for an overdose of inspiration and to see how they installed the cobbles. http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2012/09/so-lest-you-think-weve-been-sitting.html



Have a  garden with presence in the winter.

Use evergreen groundcovers and some large evergreens for height.


Here, Vinca and Helleborus mingle at the feet of deciduous hydrangeas. Can you imagine this space without them?

Yes, I just viewed Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has To Travel. can you tell?



To everyone who reads this blog, my sincerest thanks, I appreciate your support and  your comments.

I Hope you have wonderful Holidays and are able to spend them with those you love . Best wishes for a peaceful and fabulous New Year.


The very best in life and in the garden!


I wish I were a better writer, because I just don’t know how to  adequately describe the Luncheon I attended at the home of Julieta who writes the sensational blog LINDARAXA.

                                                   The beautiful Julieta

EVERYTHING  was perfect!


 from the Bellini cocktails…

luscious, silken pate, (the likes of which I had not tasted since I left Montreal),

Baked Brie topped  with candied figs & toasted slivered almonds…to die for!

The table was beautifully appointed ….

Loved the  natural  decorations…


the Shrimp Newburg heating….

and presented… with puff pastry shells.

The wine…. liquid velvet!


There was also salad and later Cuban Coffee in elegant Demi Tasse and the fabulous Banana Cake and Banana Icing , but at this point I had abandoned the camera to enjoy the delightful company. Julieta’s warm hospitality and the lively conversation made it a memorable afternoon.

Julieta writes another blog MY KITCHEN BY THE LAKE.Her recipes are fabulous as is she!

STATUS SYMBOL (with photos!)


Last week, on her fabulous blog, TARA DILLARD posted this photo and declared the driveway a status symbol.

All the while I wanted mine a bit more refined, more details ,more manicured, more expensive…

Sometimes it is beneficial to look through the eyes of someone you trust and admire to realize what you already have.

Thank you girlfriend!


While in Montreal recently, I visited a small park in a neighborhood of  6 story buildings.

Once in the park one could not see a single building, or hear a vehicle.

An oasis in a city setting.

Carefully planned, berms* were created and artfully arranged in semi circles.

These are planted with both deciduous and  evergreen trees creating several  large spaces and providing privacy in each; both visually and acoustically.

The children’s Water Park  is delightful. I had to resist the temptation to run through it.

I was also super impressed at how clean it is, no trash anywhere…..I have been away too long.

*Berm- A  low rolling artificial hill, a direct descendant of the medieval ‘Mount’. Very effective at blocking sound.

And, used in winter for tobogganing!



I’m reposting the photos that were cut off, just to see if they come up where I put them. Anyone else out there having issues with WordPress?




. And can you believe the weather? The lettuce is going to bolt! This is the year I was able to deter both deer and rabbits…notice the bed surrounded by chicken wire and covered with a tomato cage! It took years to learn this.



Beautiful & fragrant, Narcissus ‘Thalia’ paired with Snowflake (Leucojum) below.


These are rescued daffs.Late blooming, does anyone know if they are Poeticus Narcissus?


Phlox divericata running through Trillium cuneatum…..                                                            Image

 Everyday brings changes…one can never be bored; particularly when summer comes in March!                                                 


Dear Readers,

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for your gift of support throughout the year.

Warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season and may you enjoy a happy healthy new year filled with love, light, joy and great gardening!