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Developing Favorite Perennial Combinations

June 28th, 2017

One thing I’m always watching throughout the seasons is which plants are blooming, their texture, color, height, and preferred conditions. As I watch, I try to develop combinations that will work well together in my garden. Over the last two weeks I’ve been noticing this beautiful peony. As it was blooming beautifully, the ladies mantle also looked beautiful. The brightness of ladies mantle with purple and pink is one of my favorite color combinations in the garden. I’ll definitely be moving some ladies mantle in front of the peony.



It also needs something with a little more height behind it, at the moment, I’m thinking a tall grass might be nice. There’s a big blue hosta in the nursery are that could be moved, I think it will be nice planted next to the peony. If I didn’t have ladies mantle for the front, I may consider adding a variegated comfrey behind the peony. I also have a nice golden hakone grass that would be lovely in front of this peony as well. There’s not enough space behind it, but if there were I’d consider adding a ninebark ‘Diabolo’, the dark foliage would be lovely with the pink blossoms.


Another one of my favorite combinations is chives and lambs ears. In my Ohio garden they were stunning together and looked great for quite a while. It’s a combinations I’ll be adding to the gardens here  for sure.

If you don’t think you have the inspiration to make your own perennial combinations, consider getting the book ‘Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start’. This book contains all kinds of combinations for a wide variety of soil/light types. You’re bound to find one that you will love, notice how many I’ve bookmarked. This book is fantastic because it shows you exactly which plant is which and where it’s planted. It has combinations for dry shade, wet shade, rich soil, and just about any type of space you might have in the garden.


My garden is finally reaching that point where I’m starting to be able to plant the borders with their final plantings. That means I can start combining things I think will look great. The good thing about gardening is that most plants can be moved fairly easily. I find myself constantly moving things here and there to find just the right spot.

What’s one of your favorite perennial combinations?

Tiny Bouquets

June 27th, 2017

Lately I’ve been making tiny bouquets. They’re sprinkled throughout the house where I see frequently: the kitchen windowsill, the bathroom windowsill, my desk, the front entry.


It’s a great way to use up flowers with shorter stems and much easier to deal with wilted flowers than trying to pick them out of a larger arrangements. At the moment, these tiny bouquets are making me happy.

What flowers are blooming in your garden this week? Which ones are you bringing indoors?

A Yearly Favorite

June 26th, 2017

Mr Chiots is a happy camper, it’s strawberry season. We grow ‘Sparkle’, along with a few everbearing plants. This variety is our favorite, we’ve grown others in the past, but this on reigns supreme for flavor.


We’ve been making crepes, strawberry shortcake, and just eating them out of hand. It’s a short, sweet season, one that we look forward to every year. Of all the soft fruits, strawberries are probably my favorite. I would definitely choose it over all the others if I had to make a choice.

What’s your favorite seasonal fruit?

Blooming Its Heart Out

June 23rd, 2017

When I got these tiny clematises at a discount store this spring, I wasn’t expecting much of anything by the way of blooms for several years.

I was super amazed when one of the tiny vines started putting off one bud, then two, then three… Of course I have no idea what variety this is, it was simply labeled “red clematis”. We’re lucky to have a clematis farm here in Maine, hopefully I can get up there soon and they may be able to help me identify it.

I’m hoping to get the new garden area ready soon so a few of these can get planted into the ground. I dislike maintaining plants in containers for very long.

When I saw it was a red clematis on the box, I wasn’t super keen. But you can’t really complain when they’re so inexpensive. I’m happy with the darkness of this bloom, it’s more burgundy than red. It should pair beautifully with ladies mantle or a bright green hosta at its base. None of the other vines have blooms yet, I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

What’s surprised you in the garden this week?

Flowers for all Occasions

June 22nd, 2017

This time of year I always take a vintage mason jar full of flowers for the garden when invited to someone’s house. The vintage jar is a gift, as are the flowers. People are always excited about a jar full of flowers and I’m happy to share the loveliness from my garden. Yesterday we celebrated a friend’s birthday.

Flowers make such a nice addition to the table too. For our celebration I made a tiny bouquet for the cheese platter and put tiny black violets in the jar around the tea light.

Vegetable also make nice gifts, I find myself often harvesting a nice head of lettuce or packaging up some eggs to take as gifts. I’m a huge fan of gifting items that can be enjoyed and then they are gone.

What’s your favorite thing to take as a hostess gift?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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