“Gardening is akin to writing stories.” – Eudora Welty
I love this quote, no doubt because I am both a writer and a gardener. I’m not quite sure if my gardens tell stories, but perhaps if they did, they would say I love an overabundance of color (I’m not terribly matchy-matchy) and I enjoy trying new plants along with my tried-and-true specimens. My gardens would also likely tell you that I have penchant for hydrangeas, white phlox, zinnias and any flowers with names that randomly connect back to my family.
Case in point: Joe-Pye Weed (for my son, Joe, of course); ‘Duke of Earl’ daylily (for Earl the pug), and ‘T. Rex’ Sedum, planted when my son was obsessive about dinosaurs.
My vegetable gardens (of which I have three), would tell you that the carrots are mostly for Earl the pug, the peppers are really puny this year because they haven’t particularly liked our weather, and the squash are horrified I have so many plants in such a small area.
Such is life in my gardens.
Take a look:
‘Limelight’ hydrangea, dwarf variety – one of my absolute favorites. It’s just beginning to bloom.
‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas along the north wall of our house, bordered by several varieties of hosta and a few other shade-appreciating perennials. Annabelles remind me of my family farm; my mom still has annabelles on the north side of the house.
‘David’ phlox, ‘T. Rex’ sedum, ‘Becky’ daisy and coneflower tell the story of the dog days of summer. I love how the phlox seem to glow a bright white at night. And truth be told, I have this variety of phlox in multiple locations in my gardens – I’m a little obsessed.
One of the best parts of gardening is giving or receiving plants from other gardeners. My mom just shared three ‘Goldsturm’ Rudbeckia plants with me in June and they love the spot I made for them – hours and hours of southern exposure to the sun.
This is ‘Chincherinchee’ or Wonder Flower. I am fairly sure there couldn’t be a more perfect name for this amazing flower. I have five of these planted around the bird house you see in the background, but the best photos of this flower are close up. The detail is incredible.
I love coneflowers for many reasons but I especially appreciate their toughness.
While my gardens are full of perennials, I love to fill in with colorful annuals, like this ‘Cotton Candy’ petunia. It’s low-growing, spreads like crazy and is even brighter and more pink than this photo shows. With color, I am more of a “go big or go home” kind of gardener.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to see one lone bloom on my new bleeding heart plant! Seriously. (#GardenNerd)
My niece, Morgan, came for a visit this weekend and she and I walked around the gardens so she could see and touch some of the plants. The lamb’s ear was just about as soft and cuddly as Morgan – but not quite!
Can you spot Morgan and me in the gazing ball? (And look – more ‘David’ phlox! I told you I was obsessed.)
My winter squash is starting to take shape! True story: last year, I planted a seed packet that had a variety of mystery squash seeds in it just for fun and about 95 percent of what I got was spaghetti squash. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with spaghetti squash, it’s definitely not my favorite – I much prefer winter squash varieties like butternut and acorn – so I made sure I wasn’t getting any surprises this year.
This is the moment Earl the pug has been waiting for all summer: the first harvest of carrots from the garden! He received his special treat after supper tonight and now I know he will go crazy every time I step out the back porch to head to the garden. He can never get enough carrots.
What’s growing in your garden right now?