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Garden Photo of the Day

The Joy of Spring

Michaele has spring fever, and her enthusiam is happily contageous!

"Hi, all, Michaele Anderson (aka meander1) here sharing some spring sights from my east TN garden. We hit it lucky with no ill timed freeze ruining the dogwood and overlapping wisteria and cherry tree blooms. It fills my heart with such joy when things come alive and every view is a delight."

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It's such a treat when our pergolas are covered with the wisterias in full and glorious bloom.

I always let a branch twine low on one of the posts so I can see the blooms up close.

This is the first of several different peony varieties to bloom. It is a tree peony but I don't know the name.

I was down on my hands and knees doing some weeding and suddenly heard a buzz. It was my first bee sighting of the spring.

A pink dogwood surrounded by 2 white ones.

No spring flowers but the bark of the paperbark maple is always so pretty.

Always pleased when the creeping phlox is totally covered in its delicate flowers.

For those of you who wonder what the pink muhly grass looks like through the winter.

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Comments

  1. user-7007498 04/22/2016

    Hi Michaele: your garden is so beautiful. My jaw dropped over the size of the wisteria on the arbor. Do you have any structural issues holding it up? I have seen some wooden arbors crushed by the weight of mature wisterias.

    Don't you love the bark of many trees. I also have a paperbark maple and just love it. Almost all the trees I have on my property have unique bark. Great way to enhance the garden, especially in the winter. I love how the sun creates such a lovely warm glow to the paperbark maple.

    I love your pond, and am jealous about the muhly grass. I have now killed it 3 times in our winters. I did get it to overwinter once, but then it died the next winter. My warmer microclimates are in areas that I would not be able to appreciate the muhly grass, if I planted it there.

    Spring is finally here. Time to edit the garden. My car is now out of the garage as I use the garage to stage annuals that I have purchased until we get to our frost free date. Hope you are enjoying your garden.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Hi, Kevin, thanks so much for your compliments. You are wise to question the sturdiness of the wood structure for the wisteria. We were forewarned and my husband, who built the pergola, made sure to use muscular dimensions of posts and beams. It's pressure treated wood and we have just let it age naturally. We are very aggressive about pruning right after bloom and it looks almost "bare nekkid" after its first haircut of the season.

      Fun to read about all the plants in your garage just waiting to be nestled in their new homes. Must mean we'll have some great pictures from you to enjoy!

  2. jeffgoodearth 04/22/2016

    absolutely beautiful! what is your secret to get the wisteria to flower so well? it's always hit or miss with me even with good weather. We have been lucky here in east Tennessee this spring and it has been a glorious one . Are your herbaceous peonies flowering yet or just the tree peonies? That Paperbark,,, one of my favorite trees in all seasons

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thanks for the thumbs up, Jeff. Maybe it's the brutal pruning we give the wisterias right after blooming that invigorates them. We do another round in mid summer and then I become a protective mother lion growling at Darwin to stay away from it with the pole pruner from then on.
      I have one herbaceous peony in bloom right now. It's name is 'Paula Fay' and I'm a big fan of it because of its early flowering and its sturdy stems.

  3. user-3565112 04/22/2016

    Your gardens are outstanding. The swings under the wisteria look so peaceful & relaxing. I can't add anything to what Jeff & Kevin have said but I am wondering if those boulders originated on your property & how you were able to place them around the pond
    I hope to see more of your gardens as the season progresses. Good luck, Joe

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Hi, Joe, thanks for the kind words. I will give credit and thanks to my good natured handy husband who built the benches as well as the pergola structure. My little town of Friendsville TN is known for its rocky ground but, ironically, we had almost no natural big stones to harvest when it came to our landscaping projects. Yes, gulp, on the cost of buying them...our checkbook was feeble and exhausted after the pond project!

  4. NCYarden 04/22/2016

    Good morning, Michaele. Such treat to see Spring erupting in your garden. That griseum - love it love it - peel away! I'm jealous of that wisteria arbor/pergola...always wanted something like that. The scent must be intoxicating. When I tried growing wisteria I think I was growing more roots underground than an attractive plant above. Those containers are fun...I'm partial to that turtle with the sedum shell. Thank you for sharing.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Happy spring back at you, David. Yes, you are right about the fragrance wafting about for the two weeks the wisteria is in bloom. The even more noticeable thing to me is the almost deafening buzzing from the bees. It's kind of hypnotic to swing slowly and be lulled into a trance by the buzzing.
      Thanks for noticing the turtle...it's one of my secret pleasures with the sedum "shell". I have two others along the paver pathway and they always make me smile.

      1. user-6536305 04/22/2016

        Where did you get the turtle planter please?

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

          My planter turtles are downright ancient for being made of clay. They are probably 18 years old and I got them at a store that tended to sell a mishmash of things. They have some parts that have been gorilla glued to hold them together and I also gave them several coats of a clear sealer just last spring on the parts that showed. The sedum trailing over covers most of their flaws. I hate giving up on a favorite garden froo froo item.

  5. frankgreenhalgh 04/22/2016

    Lovely garden and photography Michaele. Does the white railed fence mean that you or your neighbour have horses?

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thank you, Frank. About the white fencing...we did have horses for a number of years and were their devoted slaves. Then one year, it suddenly seemed like more work than pleasure. We found good homes for them and never looked back. Ha, then we supercharged our gardening activities!

      1. frankgreenhalgh 04/22/2016

        I'll stick with Michaele - thanks for your comment. Looks like you therefore have more room to expand your outstanding garden. Why not? - you obviously have the vision, skills and interest. It is just a matter of the energy!

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

          Sigh, Frank, my husband is knocking on the door of 74 and I'm half way through 68 so it's the energy and muscle thing that keeps our gardening expansion under control. Ahh, to be young again!

          1. frankgreenhalgh 04/22/2016

            Hell your only a 'spring chicken' (a kind expression in Oz). A project will keep you young. You could get somebody in to undertaken the landscaping infrastructure according to your design etc. Think of the challenge, personal reward and pleasure such project will bring - and appreciation of your property value. Pity not to utilise your amazing skills! Go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

            Ha, you are a real mischief maker, Frank. I do agree with you, though...projects are good for the mind, soul and body. There is something so energizing about undertaking a challenge...even a small one.

          3. frankgreenhalgh 04/22/2016

            OK Michaele you win. It's 12.30 am here on 23 April - time for bed. You have a great day!

  6. Jay_Sifford 04/22/2016

    Very lovely. I love the wisteria arbor also, and the tree peony is extremely awesome. I know you're enjoying your spring. Happy gardening!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thanks, Jay. It's been a very gratifying spring ...when all the effort, sweat equity and compulsive plant buying has been well rewarded.

  7. Quiltingmamma 04/22/2016

    Michaele, what a lovely garden and what luck to have wisteria, dogwood and cherry all blooming at the same time. Thanks for the visual pick me up.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thank you, quiltingmama. Some years an ill timed late freeze will zap one the flowering superstars in the bud formation stage. It seems like the wisteria is most vulnerable so I rejoice when Mother Nature has smiled kindly and gives us the full show.

  8. Dvngardener 04/22/2016

    How lovely… Thank you for sharing. I have a tree Peony that is a similar color. But my favorite was the wisteria!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thank you, Lily...without a doubt, when the wisteria is in bloom, it rules! Nothing can compete.

  9. Chris N 04/22/2016

    Oh, my! Your garden is always a delight to see.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thank you so much, Chris. This is a favorite time of year. It's so gratifying when the plants come back to life and we gardeners can stay as busy as time (and joints) will allow.

  10. caroldt 04/22/2016

    Gorgeous specimens, gorgeous views! Love your planting bed with the long view of the white fencing. Takes my breath away! Beautiful pond, waterfall, rocks, steps, and muly grass. Do you have to cut the muly grass back soon for the new growth coming along? I have a beautiful weeping carex evergold in a container and need to do some research on how to tidy it up. Gulp...total haircut or just tease out the unsightly older growth. Thanks for sharing your lovely lovely gardens, Michaele.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Hi, Carol. Thanks for your positive words. Yes, about a week ago, I cut the muhly grass back. It's the last of the ornamental grasses that I give a spring haircut to. Something that I have learned from trial and error is that it's ok to give it another trim in June or July if you want to keep its frame a little lower. It might delay the "bloom" by a little but sometimes it's interesting to experiment with manipulation.
      And, ooh, I totally understand your concern about doing the right thing with your carex. I have several of a variety called 'Everillo' and I'm in a quandary about how thoroughly to tidy it up. I think I will go minimal...just a light snip of seed heads and see what happens.

      1. Sheila_Schultz 04/22/2016

        Mike... let me know what you find out about trimming the Everillo, I never quite know what to do with mine either, and the research I've done hasn't given me any definitive answers.

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

          I did some google searching on the subject a few weeks ago and under the category of pruning, the answer seemed to be "Not necessary". This is my trial and error year so I'll see how doing nothing ends up looking. If you find out differently, please let me know.

  11. maryannbastin 04/22/2016

    how refreshing to see your beautiful garden.....just 2 weeks ago I was singing the blues here in southern Ontario. Our snow has finally melted and the first bulbs are blooming. We often visit your way in the fall but will try to fit in a spring visit in the future. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gardens and photos....it is encouraging to know that spring is finally here!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Nice to know that spring has made its debut up your way also, MaryAnn. I get a case of bulb envy when ours are over and done with and those further north are just starting to put on their show. Without a doubt, fall is a beautiful season pretty much anywhere but spring ices. lovely in the southeast with all the flowering trees and bushes.

  12. MNGardenGirl 04/22/2016

    "It fills my heart with such joy when things come alive and every view is a delight."
    Ditto!!! Your pictures make me want to take a stroll through your gardens and sit a spell. Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      It's so wonderful for all of gardeners to get that turbo charge of energy that spring provides. But, as you mentioned, Joanna, I need to remind myself to slow down to a stroll and even sit a little!

  13. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 04/22/2016

    Hi Michaele, you have such a beautiful tranquil looking property. I'm very envious of that wisteria. Ours has yet to bloom and We;re crossing fingers that it holds off until we get back home from Montreal, where spring is just starting to happen. Your tree peony is a great color and that Paperbark is always an attention getter. I hope you have mildly warm days to keep this show going for you for awhile. Enjoy!!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Hi, Linda, I was recently gone for a bit visiting family and I know that feeling of hoping one's garden doesn't use up some of its most special prettiness while one is not around to enjoy it in person. Each flower and fragile new leaf is like a beloved child that fills you with joy as it matures.

  14. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/22/2016

    Michaele, it does fill my heart with joy to see these pictures of your treasures. I wish I were there to stroll through and hear the buzz and smell the sweet scents wafting around. Gorgeous as usual. Love the shot of the cherry blossom backed by the Japanese maple foliage. The brown muhly grass sparklers are definitely worthy of hanging around. My little seedlings don't look like much right now, but maybe they'll survive and bulk up for a display some garden year....always something to look forward to in the garden!
    Like David, I was charmed by the 'Angelina' turtle shell. Loving the honey bee on the Euphorbia, too. Thanks for treat today!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      'morning, Tim. I'd love to take a walk about with you... I know you could help me with some identifications and pronunciations.
      Sigh, things change so quickly...those beautifully intricate cherry blossoms are now a layer of pink "snow" on the driveway that will need sweeping. I let it be for a bit because it is so picturesque. Ha, and then, if I wait too long, it turns into brown slime...not so charming!
      I hope you are well rewarded with your fledgling muhly and you get some wisps of pink this fall. I'm rooting for it.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/22/2016

        I bet those cherry blossom petals are magical! I do miss the snowfall of the petals from our giant cherry tree that had to be cut down. It was so beautiful and fortunately the didn't make a big mess as they browned. The big mess came when masses of black cherries fell and fermented mid-summer. Although we were always delighted by the robins that learned to smash the cherries on the ground to remove the pit before eating, the swarms of drunken house flies clouding about over the boozy cherries was much less pleasant......
        Happy spring!

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

          Oh, wow, yours was a bona fide fruit producing tree. We originally had a lot of apple trees on our property and the wasps really loved to practically live in and on the fallen apples. We learned to be very careful when picking the mushy apples up.

  15. tree_ee 04/22/2016

    Just . . . lovely. Did you and Darwin make that pond yourselves (or have it made)? Those boulders are really impressive.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thanks for the compliments. Darwin and I can take credit for the overall pond design but a professional landscaper and his crew did the installation. The gentleman had a great source for large boulders and those very substantial rock steps and we are forever delighted with how solid and safe things feel when walking about this garden area. The older we get, the more grateful we are for safe feeling footing.

  16. NWAgardener 04/22/2016

    Michaele - wonderful plant selection, beautifully designed and meticulously maintained landscape - a delightful collaboration with nature! I, too, have a paperbark maple that I planted four years ago. It barely grew the first three years and then put on lots of new growth last year. What is the mature size of yours? Also, do you have an area where you can sit and enjoy your spectacular pond?

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thanks for your kind words. Our paperbark was also a leisurely grower during its first couple of years. I would say that it has been in the ground for us going on 16 years and, coincidently, is 16 -20 feet tall...but it definitely didn't grow a foot a year from the beginning.
      I do have a favorite sitting spot that's shaded by a red maple tree where I cool my jets during the summer and sit, relax, and get a little hypnotized by looking at a waterfall part of our pond.

  17. GrannyMay 04/22/2016

    Oh, the joy of spring! Michaele, thanks for sharing your gorgeous garden with its special treats to look forward to at this time of year. I too love my wisteria. The fragrance and the sheer volume of blossoms, swaying in every little breeze, more than compensate for its messiness and need of care. Your pond with its pockets of Muhly grass is stunning! Thank you so much for the seeds you sent. I was thrilled to have many of them germinate and now have to be very patient, as their growth seems to be glacially slow.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      So glad you hare having some seed germination success and the little plantlets are staying alive. Fingers crossed they will become real clumps in the years to come and then you will do some seed sharing. Wouldn't it be amazing if the wisteria stayed in bloom longer? But, I guess if it did, it wouldn't be so special. Ha, who am I kidding, it would even be more special.

      1. GrannyMay 04/22/2016

        I'm so afraid of the grass seedlings damping off at this stage, as they look so fragile and vulnerable. I'm trying to make sure I don't over-water and that there is good air-flow. I hope Catherine can get some germinating as well, it would take the pressure off my little gang!

        Is your wisteria blooming at its normal time? We have had a warm winter and spring, with several recent record hot spells (up to 80 Farenheit) so mine is very early this year, 2 - 3 weeks ahead of schedule. The bloom period normally lasts about 2 - 3 weeks, but the heat will probably affect that too. Enjoy them while we can!

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

          Yes, we also have had an early spring which is why I kept waiting for that unwelcome cold snap to put the kibosh on everything. Fortunately, Mother Nature stayed in a good mood.
          With as willing as the muhly is to self seed, I would like to think those slim strands of green would be tougher than they look.

  18. Schatzi 04/22/2016

    Good morning Michaele - your pictures are all lovely but I am drooling over the pond and waterfalls. Gorgeous! I would love one large enough to swim in. And I sympathize re the energy and joints. I will be 78 in a month and just don't have the strength and energy that I used to. Frustrating! So much gardening to be done, so little energy! But I always feel better when I'm doing something outside. Like the rest of this group, I prefer to be outdoors. Enjoy your lovely spring and thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Yep, we do what we can... and then push ourselves to do a little more because the spirit inspires us. That bottom pond, which is what the picture shows, gets a little over chest high at the deep end. We have our largest fish residing in it so they have a chance of going beyond the reach of raccoons and herons. When I go in the water to do some plant grooming, the fish are very friendly and I feel a little like the pied piper as they follow along.

      1. Schatzi 04/22/2016

        That is so cool! Reminds me of wading in the shallows of Great South Bay 60+ years ago and having the baby blowfish nibble at our heels. It tickled!

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

          I giggled just reading that...has to be fun to have that as your own experience to remember.

  19. VikkiVA 04/22/2016

    Michaele, your garden is so beautiful. You have all the plants I love. I especially like how you have placed pots about for added interest. I do the same. The paper bark maple is amazing. All your hard work has certainly paid off. Thanks for sharing the beauty. Vikki in VA.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thank you, VikkiB. It's always nice to share our gardens with each other and be on the receiving end of generous positive reinforcement. Here's a cute aside...just recently, I was away for a bit and my daughter was in charge of container watering.When I returned, she admitted that after having to give each of my numerous pots a drink, she was less charmed by them. Oh, well, I admit that they are my babies so I tend to their needs.

  20. user-6536305 04/22/2016

    I am always wondering Michaele, what does your garden look like because you write so beautifully? I imagined that your garden will be equally as beautiful. This is something beyond my wildest imagination. It is absolutely stunning! How big is your garden? It looks so grand and even the lawn is so well managed and has no weed.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Hi, Lilian Ho, I will definitely pass along to my husband that the lawn earned some compliments since that is his area of responsibility. You probably would barely recognize it come Aug. because, in spite of conscientious application of weed
      pre-emergent in the spring, those summer weeds show up in quantity. Our property is 54 acres with hay fields and some woods and we claim to about 5 as "the yard" to do landscape gardening. It definitely keeps us busy!

    2. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/22/2016

      Hi Lillian. If you scroll up to the very top of this page and type "Michaele" into the box next to the bright green 'search' button and hit 'search', it will pull up quite a few more posts of Michaele's garden. Worth the effort.
      There are also some great photos here:
      http://www.gardenygoodness.com/dailydose/2015/10/14/michaeles-wonderful-garden-attractions-in-tennessee

      1. Schatzi 04/24/2016

        WOW!! I just checked this site out (thank you, Tim) - you are not only a fantastic gardener, you are very creative in designing Gnomeville, etc. What a treat. You and Darwin are very talented people. So many good ideas...

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/25/2016

          Hi, Shirley, it was a fun walk down memory lane for me to click on that link. It reminded me that I better get the residents of Gnomeville out of their winter vacation spot in a box in the garage and back in the village. Ha, those gnomes have clean up work to do to get things spiffy for the cute fairy girls. Thanks for checking those pictures and mentioning it...I needed the nudge.

      2. User avater
        meander1 (Michaele ) 04/25/2016

        Hey, Tim, remember how you had an attack of container envy over the big brown "bowls"...in the waterfall and on the succulent display table. Well, envy no more...that deep brown coloration has peeled off to reveal the cheap clay material that they really are. I guess I did get what I paid for! I am thinking about experimenting with one...giving it a coat of primer and then a coat or two of my copper patina paint. (Note to self...must remember where I tucked it away after Santa gave it to me for Christmas). Have you done anything additional this year using your rust colored paint?

      3. user-6536305 04/27/2016

        I did and I did more. I also searched Tim Vojt and your garden is also breath takingly beautiful. Thanks for the tip. I almost die of shame to post my garden at this site. I have not read all the comments yet but I will - to hard to operate a keyboard in this beautiful spring day. I own it to garden magazines and posts because I learn 80% of my English this way.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/27/2016

          That's kind of you, Lilian. Thank you. Your written English is wonderful and what better way to learn a language than from a passion for gardening! Cheers to spring.

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

          Hi, again, Lillian...just wanted to add my 2 cents to Tim's observation that your written english is very impressive ... as is your passion for gardening. Please don't ever feel that your pictures of your personal gardening efforts would not be well appreciated in this GPOD forum. We're all pretty much gung ho about gardens of any size and maturity...it's all about the love of the doing!

  21. GrannyCC 04/22/2016

    Gorgeous Michaele! It is so nice to have Spring arrive for everyone to give us a boost. Your wisteria is amazing. I have a large one on my pergola but it looks better from my second story window than down below. I love the turtle and the pond such a beautiful garden. May gave me some Muhly grass seed so I must plant it. I am just back fro a holiday.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Hi, Catherine, thanks so much for your kind words. Glad spring is in swing for you also. I can't believe how fast it is zipping along. Today, i just noticed some siberian and tall bearded iris blooming. Yikes, in a blink of an eye, it will be daylily time!
      You are lucky to have a second story window so you can look down on your pergola covered wisteria...whew, that must be a beautiful sight!

  22. Sheila_Schultz 04/22/2016

    Dearest Mike, I don't know what I love more... your thoughtful and beautiful words or your beautiful and thoughtful gardens. It may be a toss up! This was a perfect post for a sunny spring day, you are indeed surrounded by wonderful gardens created with a loving touch. Have a fun weekend everyone!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Ahh, sweet Sheila, you are the perfect ray of sunshine and positivity that everyone needs in their life! Thanks for shining in mine and brightening my day... and gifting me with a basket of muchly appreciated compliments.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/22/2016

        Muchly appreciated? I read 'mulchly' appreciated. I guess my mind is in the garden......

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

          Ha, spellcheck would never have let me get away with that...it didn't even like "muchly" and made me insist on it.

  23. Meelianthus 04/22/2016

    Wow! talk about a breath of fresh air! Everything so beautiful Michaele and your Wisteria is fantastic. I would spend hours sitting on the swing just taking it all in - I always love seeing your place (:

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thanks so much, Linda. I always tease that anyone is welcome and the bonus is that Jeff is a couple hour's drive away so we are practically a twofer!

      1. Meelianthus 04/22/2016

        Thanks Michaele, I would love to meet you some day and see your wonderland.

  24. nenitafranck 04/22/2016

    What a huge awesome garden and property! Looks like you were the original owners and I can feel how you consider all the plantings as your plant children too. Looks almost like planned parenthood as I can see how everything was so well thought out, designed, and professionally carried out. I've had my Wisteria for a few years now and is growing so slowly. I've even relocated it to a sunnier spot and still no blooms. It is not a planned planting as no supports in place like yours. It'll just have to be friends with my non-clumping Bamboos. Also have had a Tree Peony a few years without flowering.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Hi, Nenita, I guess gardeners exercise patience as well as their digging and weeding muscles. We are actually the second owners of this property and have been here for 21 years. The first folks weren't the same kind of gardener as I am but they did like to let things grow. The pictured wisteria once upon a time grew up through a decrepit oak tree. It was that way for some of our first years living here and then a storm came through that took the oak down. Hmm, what to do about the remaining "carcass" of the wisteria. We gave it a year to show us how much vim and vigor it had and, wow, it spread and sprawled like a wild banshee. We knew we had to give it a structure to let it go upward. That's when my husband put his tool belt on and created the lovely pergola. Tree peonies take time...that's why really mature and flowering ones can cost so much in nurseries.

  25. lindanewber 04/22/2016

    Hi Michaele...love all the pics....especially the bark on the paperbark tree. Thanks for sharing 😊

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      Thanks, Linda. A paperbark maple is such a special tree because it gives 4 seasons of delight with that bark.

  26. user-4691082 04/22/2016

    Oh Michaele,
    I just sat down to look at my emails and was so excited to see your gardens. Everything is so beautiful! I'm just so grateful to be back outside. It looks like you are about 3 weeks ahead of us in SE Pa. I am so envious of that wisteria!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      That's such a pretty part of PA., Rhonda. I have family that lives in the Phila. area and I never fail to be enchanted when I visit in April or May. One time my husband and daughter probably would have liked to tape my mouth shut because I kept exclaiming over the size and flower covered canopies of the Kousa dogwoods.

  27. user-7008035 04/22/2016

    Oh my goodness Meander1 your garden is stunning!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      So, Jeannie, do these pictures earn me my official certification as a fellow "floramaniac"? See...I have adopted your word already!

      1. user-7008035 04/23/2016

        Hahaha...total sisterhood!

  28. eddireid 04/22/2016

    Well, you are probably eating dinner now as it is so much later in the day that I have managed to log on! But, the wait has been worth it for this trip to your beautiful gardens. What a magical place you have created! I have been browsing through photos and enjoying all the comments. I love all of it and am madly jealous of the pergola and wisteria, and most of every thing else,too.
    You do the right thing with your hard pruning, Michaele - the horticultural experts advise pruning back to the third bud from the main "stem" to produce flowers. Wisteria has to be kept in check most of the year after flowering, but February is the optimum time to do the hard prune. And using the pergola makes pruning much more easy as you have the structure as a guide. I have seen many houses in England absolutely smothered in wisteria and many owners showing signs of desperation that their dream of a wisteria covered cottage turned into a nightmare! I tried it here in Ohio - the vine clambered around drainpipes and sent its little tendrils under shingles! We had to remove it from the house but it lives elsewhere. Gardening is an adventure, for sure.
    Thank you for your garden.


    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/22/2016

      So glad you were sweet enough to join in the conversation in spite of it being after the hustle bustle of the work day. Glad to read affirmation of our hard pruning of the wisteria. Even though it's a ways from the house, at the rate it seems to grow, I almost think it could make a beeline to our bedroom some night and wrap a tendril around our necks...gulp, death by wisteria...no thanks! Glad you changed the location of yours before it did serious damage. Yes, you are so right...gardening is an endless adventure!

      1. GrannyMay 04/23/2016

        We have joked about being careful sitting near the wisteria - it seems to send out fast-growing tendrils that could wrap themselves around you and truss you up like a chicken ready for the BBQ before you realize what is happening.

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/23/2016

          So funny, May, and verging on true. You have to tend one to fully appreciate how vigorous they are.

      2. eddireid 04/23/2016

        That's a great book title!. The plot - handsome gardener turns out to be evil, kills off darling older lady with her beloved Vine when she discovers dangerous plants in the greenhouse.

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 04/23/2016

          Ha, I'll bet that book title, Death By Wisteria, is still available.

  29. PerenniallyCrazy 04/23/2016

    I'm so glad you shared the joy of your spring garden Michaele! Fingers crossed I can grow Pink Muhly Grass like you do. Curious what you and Darwin are up to and looking forward to seeing your projects.

    I also love your containers in the second to the last photo. Please tell us where you got them and how you designed the pretty vignette they're in.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 04/23/2016

      Hi, Cherry, I'm rooting for your success with the muhly seeds...ha, that's almost a pun...right? Hmm, about the containers. I've had those for almost forever and I can't believe they are still holding up ...we filled some cracks with Gorilla Glue last year and I hope that extends their life even more. I'm hoping that with the combo of evergreens and sedums, they'll stay trouble free for a few years. The center pot has a cryptomeria 'Black Dragon" as it's tall plant and I'm pruning it to accentuate its funky look. I might regret doing that but time will tell.

  30. JaneEliz 04/25/2016

    ALL TOTALLY GLORIOUS!!!!!!

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