Subscribe via Email

If you're not receiving email notifications of new posts, subscribe by entering your email...

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day July 15, 2019

Hellstrip with plants

Hellstrip, Tree belt
Coneflowers, daylilies, centaurea, yarrow


The climate is much on my mind as I celebrate Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day here in western Massachusetts. Last summer was very wet, and the wet continued this spring. I lost many plants and I am in the process of re-designing (and I use the term loosely) and replanting. The last three weeks have been very hot (high 80’s and 90) and very dry.  Is this a promise that we will have hotter drier summers? I have had to water the hellstrip which was beginning to get crispy.  Even so, I think it looks lush and wonderful, with lots of flowers yet to bloom.

Daylily border

Daylily border section on the south bed

The daylilies are doing well. I love daylilies because they tolerate wet sites, and they are doing well this hot summer.

Elsa's Mystery Daylily

Elsa’s Mystery Daylily

Last summer I went up to the  Stone Meadow Gardens in Ashfield daylily farm determined to add some interesting colors to my collection. I was successful. In addition, the owners Phil Pless and Linda Taylor gave me a piece of this  tall yellow small daylily named Elsa’s Mystery. They knew I was a good friend of Elsa Bakalar, as they were. They said Elsa named this daylily because she had lost its real name. I am delighted their collection gave me the richness of color that I was looking for, and a memento of a dear friend.

rich color daylily

A cheerful daylily from Stone Meadow Gardens

Blue Paradise Phlox

Blue Paradise phlox

This phlox is slowly taking hold. I think it might need a little more sun.

Kordes Polar Express

Kordes Polar Express

The roses are taking a little rest. There are few blooms, but I am hoping that with some deadheading there will be a second flush.

button bush


It is hard to remember that those spiky balls are buttonbush flowers. The buttonbush has thrived with all the rain, but you can see that the flowers are getting brown in their centers. I think they will not last long.

The North Planting Bed

The is the most northerly of the three raised planting beds. This section of the bed suffered from the flooding of  the garden. No more perennials or pagoda dogwood. The Aesclpias and not-yet-blooming cardinal flowers and that amazing golden mat of sedum are all that was left of this area. New plants include a quince bush, obedient plants, yarrow and helenium.



I don’t know if it is cheating, but these delphiniums were knocked down in  the wind  yesterday. I had to let you see them. The color is extraordinary!

View from the office

I’m adding this View from the Office so you can get some idea of most of the garden, including the Center and North Beds.  I’m thinking maybe I will make that area of the Center Bed a cutting garden next year.

I thank Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for making it possible to share our gardens and see what is blooming all across our great land. Go on over to see it all!

More pix – just for fun

Daylily on the hellstrip

Lavender daylilies on south hellstrip


Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – June 15, 2019


Rose viewing from the dining room table, Purple Rain, Thomas Affleck, Folksinger

After long wet and cold months we may finally celebrate the arrival of official spring on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day here in Greenfield, Massachusetts. All of a sudden the budded roses burst into bloom, and before the weekend is over I think even more roses will be blooming.

Paprika landscape rose

Oso Easy Paprika landscape rose

Paprika is  one of the two low growing landscape roses in the garden. Peach Drift is the other. Both were eager to welcome the spring.

siberian iris

White siberian iris

Siberian irises are blooming here and there in the garden. They are among the water tolerant plants that we count on. Now for a walk through the garden.

Mountain laurel

Mountain Laurel beginning to bloom. May Apples and barren strawberry are no longer in  bloom

Japanese primroses

Japanese primroses are a little hard to see under the Norway spruce and behind ferns, but they love that swamp.


Goatsbeard at the back of the hugel reaches for sun, and hides a runaway Japanese primrose.


One of two honeysuckles are blooming and climbing.

I love Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for inventing this wonderful way of seeing what is in bloom across our great nation.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – May 15, 2019



I am celebrating Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day with special pleasure because the blooms have been reluctant to open because of rain, floods and the cold.  Above is Dicentra eximia or fringed leaf bleeding heart. This grows against the house foundation right by the side door and is one of the first to bloom. I am  sure this is because the foundation on the south side of the house creates a heat sink.  It is very cheering this cold wet spring.

Grape hyacinths

Grape hyacinths in front of European ginger and Goldheart Bleeding Heart

The grape hyacinths had me all confused when the lush greenery arrived through the snow. The grape hyacinths were a wonderful surprise. I bought the Goldheart Bleeding Heart behind them at last year’s Bridge of Flowers Plant Sale and I hope to find a white bleeding heart at the BOF sale this Saturday, May 18, up in Shelburne Falls. My husband is coming with me and he will be stationed at a white bleeding heart, if there should be one, when the bell opening the sale rings.

Solomon's Seal

Solomon’s seal

I bought Solomon’s seal at the Bridge of Flowers sale too, but I had to move it early this spring and it is not looking as  fine as it did – but it will.


Doronicum or Leopard’s Bane

This Doronicum or Leopard’s Bane was left over when the BOF sale closed a couple of years ago and it continues, but it might need more sun.  Not the little forget-me-nots near-by. Also from the sale. It  could use more sun too. I always have Bloom Day in mind at Plant Sale time.


Some of the Daffodils in front of the house are still blooming


The epimediums still have some flowers, but the rains have hidden them under the leaves.

Barren Strawberry

But the blooms on the barren strawberry, Waldsteinia, were blasted by the cold.


The Fothergilla is the only shrub blooming right now,

Korean Spice bush

however, the Korean Spice bush blossoms will open and perfume the air if we get a little sun.

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder survived last summer’s and this spring’s flood,. I did relocate it to a better spot.


This geum also suffered the floods, but endured.

Foam Flower

Tiarella here and there

wood poppies

Wood poppies are happy on the Hugel. They don’t mind some shade. They are ‘strong spreaders.’

These tiny irises were a gift. Any ideas what kind?

I remember planting this ground cover last summer, but the flowers this spring surprised me. Andy ideas what it is?

That is a very full Bloom Day report. I thank Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for creating this event and letting us see what is blooming all over our great land.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – April 15, 2019

purple crocus

Purples crocus on Bloom Day

Bloom Day! The purple, and gold crocus I planted last year have bloomed!  The gold crocus is just about done, and the purple crocus no longer seem to be attracting the honey bees. I think the bees drank them both dry. This photo has a second purpose – besides showing off the blooms – I wanted a record of where they were coming up so I could plant more this fall.



I love scillas – in large swaths. I am finding it hard to think why I planted three little clumps where they are easily stepped on.  I think I will dig them up and replant them when they are done blooming.

I have nothing else to celebrate this Bloom Day – except buds on the hydrangeas (newly pruned), on the lilac, viburnams, willow, Korean spice bush, and raspberries. Oh, yes, and startling green shoots of daylilies, asters, waldsteinia, and foam flower. Spring is coming. Slowly here in Massachusetts. The thermometer went up to 70 degrees this gray  day, and heavy rains are scheduled for tomorrow. Once again my garden will be flooded, but not where these bulbs are blooming.

Thank you Carol, over at May Dreams Gardens for inviting us all to show our gardens on Bloom Day! This is the third spring for our new gardens in the valley.

Scheduled Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – October 2018



On this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day here in western Massachusetts I am ready to celebrate annuals – and others – who have survived the rains of this summer. Look at this sunny nasturtium – a volunteer from last year who swam happily this year through the summer.


Zinnias and



are always stalwart and shining.  The bees love them and are grateful for their long season. There are a couple of other other potted (nameless) annuals that also keep us cheerful.



This cheerful annual in front of the yellow twig dogwood found out it knew how to swim.



This geum, blooming next to the scaveola must have been inspired – enough to put out a couple of new blossoms.

Joe Pye Weed

Variegated Joe Pye Weed

This variegated Joe Pye weed is in full bloom – finally.

"The Fairy" rose

“The Fairy” Rose

The Fairy” rose will stand in for the other roses still putting out occasional blooms. “The Fairy” is just tough and remarkable.



The three hydrangeas are in full glorious bloom, but they are bowed low by all  the heavy rains.

Red Winterberry

Red Winterberry

Though not strictly in bloom, the red (and gold) winterberries have really enjoyed all the rain. We are swamp plants, you know, they remind us.

I thank Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the wonderful Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Visit Carol and see what else is in bloom over this great land.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day Early – or Late?


“Alma Potchke” asters on a early Bloom Day – or late – depending on  your view

I missed Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in September because we were out of town for a few days. So now I am posting an early view of my garden – or perhaps I am just later. Either way, there was and is, still  color as long as my ‘Alma Potchke’ aster is in bloom. No frost yet.

Boltonia and asters

Boltonia and asters

Boltonia is a wonderful perennial blooming lushly and late in the season. Usually it doesn’t need propping, but with all the heavy rain this one is laid a little low. The boltonia next to a rose bush in the South Border can relax a little on the rose.

variegated joe pye weed

Variegated Joe Pye Weed

This variegated Joe Pye weed is still in bloom, but the more common version which grows in a shadier spot in my garden is well finished for the season.

chelone or turtlehead

Chelone or turtlehead

My stand of chelone is substantial, at least 6 feet tall, and mostly upright, but again the heavy rains have given some stalks a bit of languid relaxation.

Red winterberry

Red winterberry

gold winterberry

Gold winterberry

The four winterberries in the garden are doing magnificently – Two red, one gold and one male. Please note that the winter berries, like the joe pye weed, amd chelone are all plants that often grow in the swamp. They are water lovers! Knowing that our garden was wet, we have chosen other plants (not blooming at this season) that are also water lovers – the dappled willow, elderberries, yellow twig dogwood, clethra and river birches. However, while the water lovers have thrived this year, other plants have struggled.

Potted annual

On the  other hand, there has been so much rain that this potted annual continues to bloom even though no one has been around to water it.

Nameless annual

And this nameless annual has grown happily all summer under the yellow twig dogwood, perfectly happy in the swamp.  As I have always said, there are many mysteries in the garden.

Water Gardens on Bloom Day – August 2018

bloom day

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day waterworks

On this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day the big event is water and more water. Just to give you the full force you  can see  how deep the water is right in front of the garden shed at the back of the garden. This is the worst spot, and it is the beginning of the lake the garden has become.

Black eyed susans

Black eyed susans in the bed nearest the back door

One of my hose guard wine bottles in ready to float away.


Thalictrum aka meadow rue

Meadow rue has such tiny delicate flowers it doesn’t photograph very well, at least not for me, but I love it and don’t want to leave it off the Bloom Day list.

Cardinal Flower, daylilies 'altissima' and joe pye weed

Cardinal Flower, daylilies ‘altissima’ and joe pye weed

Beyond the joe pye weed is  the dappled willow – thriving in the flood – but it confuses the photo.

Joe pye weed

A different joe pye weed

This joe pye weed grows on the other side of the garden, next to a lavender Monarda fistulosa that is too weary and laid down to be photographed.

Honeysuckle and morning glories

Honeysuckle and morning glories

Set against the south fence the honeysuckle and Grandpa Ott morning glories don’t suffer very much.

Hydrangeas, phlox, roses

Hydrangeas, phlox, roses

These hydrangeas, phlox and roses are growing in the South Border, the driest part of the garden. the closer you get to the back garden, the wetter it gets.

Flowery hellstrip (tree strip) in front of the house

Flowery hellstrip (tree strip) in front of the house

I can give a nice Bloom Day hooray when we get to the hellsrip – echinacea, yarrow, still a couple of daylilies, Centaurea montana, and bee balms.  The rain has given rise to many many weeds.

Bloom day

A final Bloom Day view

On  this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day I give thanks for plants like the blacked susans and to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens who hosts a day when we can all share the delights and challenges of our gardens.

Daylilies on Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – July 15, 2018

Bloom Day on the hellstrip

Bloom Day on the hellstrip

The hellstrip has been ready for Bloom Day for a while. Astilbe is ready to finish, but the Achillea, yarrow, coneflowers and daylilies have just begun their bloom days. Daylilies are the major stars right now.

double daylily

Double daylily

The week of days in the high 90s have not  bothered the daylilies one bit. Daylilies are used to heat, and dryness. I do have a list of my daylilies but I never seem to get the name and the flower attached to each other. Here are a few of my daylilies.

Lavender daylily

Lavender daylily

pale yellow day lily

Pale yellow daylily


Bee Balm

Bee Balm

In addition to all the daylilies, bee balm, a wonderful pollinator plant is in full bloom.

Button Bush

Button Bush

You wouldn’t think bees and other pollinators  would find the button bush of interest, but this is one of their favorite eating places.

To see what else is in bloom all across our great land visit Carol over at May Dreams Gardens.  Thank you, Carol!

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – June 15-2018 – Roses !

Thomas Affleck rose

Bloom Day and the Thomas Affleck Rose is in  full flower

I nearly forgot Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, so I raced out in the dawn to take photos (not very good ones) of what is blooming in the drizzle.  Thomas Affleck is a rose we grew for many years in Heath, and one of the first we planted in Greenfield. It is doing very well indeed.  No real fragrance though.

Polar Express rose

Kordes Polar Express

At least I think this is Polar Express. I’ll have to wait till  the other roses are blooming to make sure.

Kordes Purple rain rose

Kordes Purple Rain rose

This is a low growing rose and very sturdy. I have no idea why  they named it Purple Rain.

Mountain laurel

Mountain Laurel blooming beautifully on the hugel


Honeysuckle blooming vigorously


Lounging delphinium after rain. Stakes needed

Elderberry blossoms

Elderberry blossoms

The elderberries are for the bees and other pollinators. I never even noticed they were budded, much less beginning to bloom. My eyes have been on the weeds on the ground as I prepare for garden club guests next week. Yikes!

Lilac tree blossoms

Lilac Tree Blossoms

The most unusual flowering plant in my new garden is this lilac tree (a true  syringa) that blooms at  this time of the year.  The blooms last a long time and are strongly fragrant, perfuming half the neighborhood.  The tree is good size, a little taller than my neighbor’s house and it is full of blossoms.  They do not smell like lilacs, but they are wonderfully sweet.

I thank Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts Bloom Day and gives us all the chance to see what is blooming all over this great land.

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – May 15, 2018


Primroses on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

The Texas sun seemed to be shining on these glowing golden primroses on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. The garden had hardly any blooms when we left for Texas on May  but our return on May 8 was astounding. I am going to  give a thorough pictorial record of our May 15 blooms.

creamy primroses

Creamy primroses

I’m behind on my spring clean up and weeding so you’ll likely see plenty of weeds. These primroses are increasing nicely. The tall Japanese primroses will be along soon.

Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata

These are the first irises to bloom in the garden.

Dicentra bleeding heart

Dicentra, bleeding heart

This white bleeding heart  was recently given to me in full bloom. Fortunately it adjusted to its new site comfortably.

Grape hyacinths

Grape hyacinths

I don’t remember planting these grape hyacinths last fall. I’m glad  I waited for a while before pulling up the first shoots.



This geum is a wonderful plant. I love the color of the blooms and it is in bloom for a very long season. It also increases at a slow rate and occasionally sends a baby plant off to the side.

Fairy bells, Disporum flavens

Fairy Bells, Disporum flavens

These Fairy Bells throw out shoots at  the same time as Solomon’s Seal, followed by the yellow bells. The bells will last for a couple of weeks, and the foliage will look handsome all season. These are native  to Korea, but they like damp woodlands – which describes their position in the garden.

Wood poppy Stylophorum diphyllum

Wood poppy Stylophorum diphyllum

Also called Celandine poppy. It looks very like, only larger, a weed that grows next to my house. More research needed.

Zizia? Golden Alexanders?

These plants are growing riotously next to the wood poppies. I thought I was planting Golden Alexanders, but one knowledgeable friend said  this was not accurate.  Does anyone have any ideas?

Waldsteinia or barren strawberry

Waldsteinia or barren strawberry

I planted barren strawberry plants along the top of the stone wall, and in front of the rhododendrons. They have done just what I hope for – covering the ground with a dense mat that does a great job of keeping down the weeds. It will only bloom for a while and the very low foliage looks great all season.

Jacob's ladder

Jacob’s ladder


I just moved two clumps of Jacob’s ladder out from under the yellow twig dogwood which has achieved an amazing spread. They have adjusted nicely to their place in  the sun. Well, a little more sun  than they had.

Fringed bleeding heart

Fringed bleeding heart

Bleeding heart

Gold Heart Dicentra

Now I have three different Dicentras: white, fringed and Gold Heart. I love them all.

Summer snowflake

Leucojum aestivum or Summer snowflake

Hard to know why these are called Summer Snowflakes when then bloom so early in the spring – but they are later than the snowdrops.



The Fothergilla looks great – just like  the one on the Bridge of Flowers.

Korean Spice Bush

Korean Spice Bush, Viburnum carlesii

Korean Spice bush is famous for its fragrance.

I thank Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Go on over and see what is in bloom over our great land.