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Beautiful Natives

July 31st, 2018

I’ve had echinacea blooming in my gardens for as long as I can remember. A few years ago, I purchased a pack of seeds with the intention of starting a mass planting on the hillside behind the garage. Last year, I sowed a row of seeds in the vegetable garden in early spring. They germinated well, grew well, and I transplanted them this spring.


They’re blooming beautifully this year and the bees and butterflies are really enjoying them. I plan on saving seed from these beauties to start more and more plants. Eventually, I’ll have a HUGE swatch of them growing on the hillside behind the garage (across from the main entrance to the vegetable garden). Not only will they be much better than the weeds that are growing there now, they will provide much food for pollinators. Echinacea is probably my favorite native wildflower, I love that it’s so delicate in beauty, but tough as nails as a plant.

Do you grow any native wildflowers in your garden? Which is your favorite?

A Favorite

July 18th, 2017

Every time a flower blooms I’m reminded why I have it in my garden. My favorite flower is whatever is blooming at the time. At the moment, the peony poppies are exquisite.

I have these blooming in all sorts of colors, lavender, dark pink, light pink, white. There are single ones and double ones. Next year I’m thinking of getting a few seeds for some dark ones, I’d love to see some almost black ones in with this pink color.

What’s your favorite thing blooming in the garden right now?

Must Get More Peonies

July 1st, 2015

I love peonies, simply love them. In my Ohio garden I have 15-20 different varieties of peonies and they produced quite a show in the early summer. Last year I purchased two new peonies for my garden here, but I’m definitely in need of a few more.
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I brought a couple of these beauties with me and I still need to get a start of my grandma’s heirloom peony from my mom. I’m slowly adding peonies to my garden once again, I can’t wait to have them dotting the flowerbeds. ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is definitely one of my favorites, I got one for this garden last year.

Do you have any peonies in your garden?

Hello Hollyhocks

July 15th, 2014

Last year I started seeds for a few different types of hollyhocks.  Since they are a biennial, they didn’t bloom last year.  These kinds of plants definitely take patience.  It’s well worth the wait, they are stunning.
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When I was little, my favorite flowers were hollyhocks. There was a garden on a road we traveled frequently and they always planted hollyhocks against their simple cinderblock garage. They were stunning every year. I loved their height and simplicity, such a classic cottage garden flower.  When I first started to garden they were one of the first seeds I sowed.  I’ve been growing them for about 15 years now.
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In my Ohio garden I had double hollyhocks, I haven’t planted any of those yet. The flowers on the double hollyhocks are definitely more pronounced since they are so ruffled.  The flowers on the single hollyhocks seem to by shy and like to hide beneath the big heard shaped leaves.  I love both the single and the double flowers, though if I had to choose just one I’d probably choose the singles.
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One of the lovely things about the double hollyhocks is the buds they produce. They are simple amazing to watch as they slowly open up revealing the ruffles of color beneath the green buds.
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I planted three different kinds in shades of black, pink and purple.  The funny thing that I started these in a flat and the chickens overturned it.  As a result, I have hollyhocks blooming in what was the edging in front of the rock wall that holds back the foundation garden by the front door.  Who said all the tall flowers have to be in the back of the border?  They actually look quite nice here.  As you can see I have surrounded them with cardboard and mulch because they area they are in will become a perennial border.  I think they will fit right in with a few other plants at their feet.  Behind them I’m thinking of planting a climbing rose to scramble up the porch wall and an ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea to add big blooms of white.
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‘The Watchman’ is one of my favorite colors when it comes to hollyhocks, it’s a deep purple that looks black. This year they are really dark black, the ones I had back in Ohio were more purple.  I’ve grown them for many year and yet each summer I’m stunned by their velvety black blossoms.  You really can’t walk by the plant without stopping to admire it’s blooms.
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Growing hollyhocks from seed is so easy, here’s my post on the easy way to start them. It does require patient since you have to wait two years before being rewarded with beautiful flowers.  Unfortunately not many people seem to grow them any more, perhaps it’s because leaf miners and Japanese beetles love their leaves.  Even in their tattered eaten state they are just as beautiful.  I highly recommend adding a few to your garden, you definitely won’t regret it.

Do you have any flowers you remember noticing when you were a kid? Do you grow them in your garden? 

Spring Blooms

June 10th, 2014

I didn’t bring very many of my flowering plants to Maine with me.  There was the boxwood hedge that made it in and a few of my hydrangeas.  I did manage to get a few of my ‘Walker’s Low’ Catmint, which is one of my favorite perennials.
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The rest of these lovelies were all here when I arrived. With the exception of the rock geranium and bleeding heart, they are all new flowers for me. I had a purple columbine in my garden in Ohio but it was not like the one blooming here. I thought it would be nice to give you a glimpse of the color I’m seeing in my garden right now.
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I’m not sure if I have a favorite yet, I’m still watching these plants to see what they are like throughout the seasons.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

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About

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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