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Garden Photo of the Day

Mother Nature’s Rewards

Mother Nature stealing the show.  We get amazing skies.

Evelyn Drake shows how Mother Nature rewards those who endure cold winters.

"The wonderful photos I so enjoy with this post put my garden to shame.  Nevertheless, it brings me many hours of joy, and spring especially inspires me to keep digging! I live in the Northwest corner of Illinois, just a few miles from the Wisconsin state line.  Winters are cold, summers can be brutal, and it seems the wind is ever present.  Not to mention the wildlife that takes its toll on my garden.  Still many beautiful plants keep hanging in there!"

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Redbud just starting to open.

The tree peony has well over a hundred buds.

The PJM rhododendron is wanting, but this evening the bees are thick on it.  Can you find one?

Gotta love freshly edged!

The bluebells have been lovely.

View Comments


  1. PerenniallyCrazy 04/27/2016

    I think you and I will agree on this Evelyn. Happy Spring!

    1. NCYarden 04/27/2016

      I second that sentiment, Cherry.

  2. VikkiVA 04/27/2016

    Patience is certainly the mantra of gardeners. Your garden is lovely and that rhododendron is to die for. Please share a picture of your tree Peony in bloom. Your paver path and patio area is beautiful. Vikki in VA.

  3. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 04/27/2016

    Good morning, Evelyn. Your tree peony with over 100 buds getting ready to burst open has me commiting the "deadly" sin of Envy but, I figure that is ok since it is balanced out with sincere admiration and appreciation. Yes, I second VikkiB's request to see it in bloom...must be an amazing sight. Your property situation looks very conducive to enjoying views of wide open fields and beautiful skies.

  4. Cheryl A 04/27/2016

    Evelyn, what is the name of the demure yellow companion to the bluebells?

  5. greengenes 04/27/2016

    Oh Evelyn, my heart goes out to all of you over there in the mid west. This year has been hard on so much of our country! Your yard and gardens look lovely. And i need to ask what color your peony is! That is going to be gorgeous! Iam glad you never give up on gardening! It is such a good time to experience and find peace and release! Enjoy your spring! Thanks for sharing!

  6. user-4691082 04/27/2016

    Evelyn, your garden is just bursting with love! I can feel it as I look at the photos. I didn't see a bee on the PJM, but it isn't unusual for me to miss something. I usually read meanders post, and go back and look again! Lol! I can't wait to see more! You have a lovely property with gorgeous vistas.

  7. NCYarden 04/27/2016

    Garden against all odds...it's the only way, right? So glad to see you persevere in your gardening, despite the difficulties at times. Anything to create our own little nirvanas. And so true, Mother Nature sure can deliver. Speaking of which, I can only imagine how amazing that tree peony must look when it finally bursts open....how dare you send such a premature photo...hahahaha. Please do send an updated one with its full grand display - a 100 blooms!..... geesh. Delightful garden. Thanks for sharing.

  8. thevioletfern 04/27/2016

    Beautiful! I feel your resolve and the peaceful world you have carved out against all odds. The sun shines on you!

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/27/2016

    Beautiful and against all odds! I bet you have wind. Having grown up in Iowa, I know that weather. Even so, you are in peony and iris country! You and everyone who posts her shows we can grow great plants no matter where we live! Looks great. Update us on that tree peony and the name, if you know it.

  10. GrannyMay 04/27/2016

    Those beautiful flowers are well worth waiting for. Carpets of spring blue, like your Virginia Bluebells or our most common ones, Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) are breathtaking, as is the PJM Rhododendron, which seems to perform well in the worst climates I too would love to see that tree peony in bloom. How long have you had it?

  11. Sheila_Schultz 04/27/2016

    I can easily imagine the sweet songs of all of the birds as they stop by your yard when the blooms begin to explode. Spring is such a hopeful season, no matter where we live. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around 100 blooms... I really can't even imagine! I'm joining the chorus, photo's of the tree peony blooming please.

  12. GrannyCC 04/27/2016

    Love the PJM. Mine didn't bloom this year but has lots of new growth. I can see a yellow dot in the middle of the PJM. Is that he bee or is it the metal sculpture down in the right hand corner.

  13. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 04/27/2016

    Evelyn, while all gardeners enjoy spring, I do believe that it is the most enjoyable after a harsh winter. Please, please please submit a photo of your tree peony in bloom. I'm so curious about the size and color of the blooms, all 100 of them.Having experienced many windy springs in WI, I can appreciate what you put up with next to those open fields. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Schatzi 04/27/2016

    Mother Nature can take away, but she also provides much beauty. Love your flowers and second or third the request for pix of that tree peony in bloom. It must be spectacular.

  15. Meelianthus 04/27/2016

    No garden will ever be put to shame when an inspired gardener works so hard, often against many odds, to fulfill their love of gardening. Lovely front paver area with beautiful PJM. Thanks for photos of your gardens Evelyn.

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