Central Illinois, IL, US

I moved to my present home in August 2003. We own almost 2 acres with several majestic oak trees and ever increasing flower beds. I love daylilies, hostas and hydrangeas.

I used to work in the solid waste field hence the name "Trashywoman62" if you were wondering about my choice of user names.

I play around with concrete and hypertufa a little. Even got a little cement mixer for my anniversary a couple of years ago but haven't been able to use it much.

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Magical Smoke Tree Colors

I love checking up on the status of the purple smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple') on the east side of my house. Every season it offers up beautiful colors but my favorite...

Winter in the Midwest

The Witchhazel blooming in the snow is such a pleasure. It is so unusual to have a flower and a yellow one to boot, in the wintertime in the Central Midwest. I also caught the snow crystals on...

Yellow Witchhazel

A picture of my yellow witchhazel.

Witchhazel bloom

The amazing blooms of the Witchhazel. They are so beautiful.

First Snow Angel of the Season!!!

My granddaughter just couldn't wait to go outside and make a Snow Angel. It turned out to be more of a Green Grass Angel instead.

Recent comments

Re: More from Donna's garden in Washington

Hey, Michelle,

How many other beautiful, undiscovered gardens are lost in your inbox? Sounds like you need one just for GPOD!!

Just think of all those gardens that didn't get posted and their gardeners are now no longer even gardening because they weren't showcased here. They think they aren't worthy and now become spiteful, crotchety old gardeners who pick apart other gardens.

Oh and I love the expansivness of your garden Donna! Established shrubs are a wonderful backdrop to changing perennials. A treasure find today!!

Re: Jeff needs some cheering up....

Jon, I had to look up capon and it says a castrated rooster... I don't get it? :(

Jeff, I've just been preoccupied with Life and don't need extra drama, you know what I mean ;) I have definitely missed your quirky sense of humor and others here on GPOD.

Now off to get these new MG students revved up! We need more worker bees here in our small group!

Re: Jeff needs some cheering up....

Oh and I get to spend the day with our 1st class of Master Gardeners today! How exciting!

Re: Jeff needs some cheering up....

Boohoo says this Illinois gardener!!

I say think Spring!!

Re: Winter decor contest

Does anyone ever read these comments?
Guess we won't get any answers to our questions! They should turn off the comments section if the Blog host doesn't bother with replying!

Re: Sabrina & Freeland's new garden temple in California

Ah ha! I thought that sculpture looked like tramp art on the wall and wondered why it was in the garden shed if it really was. Your creativity with wood astones me, Freelaand! And you made the gate that I have yearned for for years! I have a photo of it in my inspiration folder!

And yes, tntreeman, I am still visit every now and then ;)

Re: Sabrina & Freeland's new garden temple in California

Sabrina and Freeland,

What a fabulous piece of architecture you have created for your garden! The reclaimed material give it such personality and warmth! It puts my square, utilitarian shed to shame! And the clay pot flowers adorning the pots of artichokes are adorable! I want a better view of the "sprinkler" flowers, so cute! Now I'm off to see Freeland's website.

Re: Winter decor contest

What is the deadline for submitting and when will the winner be announced?

Re: WIN a copy of Victoria: The Seductress from Longwood Gardens!

Normally, we gardeners go into nurseries, gardens and greenhouses looking for a particular plant or just one that WOWs us and never give a second thought to how that plant got there. I am sure there are many plants with amazing histories and this sounds like a fascinating one! I would love to read about it and now I will have to find more stories about bringing other plants to the public. Thanks for the eye- opener.

Re: Which Would You Choose? Kitchen Compost Collectors

I have a plastic ice cream bucket w/tight lid sitting next to the sink and one of those plastic kitty litter containers outside the kitchen door. When inside one gets full, it goes out to bigger container. Seems to work well for me although sometimes in summer it starts to get funky pretty fast but both containers seal well and haven't experienced any smells or fruit flies. I just keep meaning to paint over the kitty litter logo coz its not so pretty on the patio.

Re: The evolution of Regina's roadside garden in Illinois

DeLancy, you don't have to buy, just dig some of the ones that are there, this year one fan, next year 3 fans and if they are the ditch lily you may have 10 next year then add in others as your budget allows. I got my first one in 1997 as a lonely half dead unnamed one at WallyWorld and it turned out to be a lovely double peachy colored one. If you were close by I could set you up!

Thanks for the clematis idea, Aarchman07030. Funny how you can look at a garden problem and scratch your head then someone else looks at it and finds the perfect solution!!! OH!!, plant shopping, goodie!! I have a smaller butterfly bush there and gosh, it is staying small, too small so will try clematis.

Sorry for the long posts...cant you see I love to talk about my garden as much as digging in it :)

Re: The evolution of Regina's roadside garden in Illinois

bee1nine- Thank you. I always try to encourage people to grab any camera and snap a few photos before a project is started, then during and after because you forget what you had when you started. I know when I was sick and couldn't be out in the yard enjoying it up close and personal I would spend hours on my computer looking at all the photos I had taken and it helped pass the time a little easier.

hortiphila- Thanks for the compliment! It means a lot coming from a gardening guru like you!

cwheat000- Thank you for your kind words. The daylilies may not give me flowers and texture year round but they fill in quickly (anyone close by that need some starts) and anchor the fence and yard. I stay around the orange and yellow with a few dark ones like black cat. and I do have most of the varieties labels although there are always NOIDS lurking among the civilized ones. And my hubby was beaming this morning reading this post. He didn't know I included him in my submittal. Funny how Michelle put both pictures of him here...there were many others that were prettier, LOl!!

Re: The evolution of Regina's roadside garden in Illinois

Happy Memorial Day everyone!
Thanks for all the wonderful kudos, everyone! It makes me all warm and fuzzy on this wet weekend. Now to answer questions...
tntreeman- It is Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle', an older variety that does well here in Illinois because it blooms on new wood so it can be pruned to the ground in late winter. It seems this hard pruning produces larger flowers. It sometimes flops with hard rains so I have put a peony ring around it.
wGarden- My neighbors think I am insane, Lol! They have actually said I put them to shame and make them feel lazy but I just tell them not to worry, they are lucky they don't have this sickness!
meander1- I plan on adding in some other daylilies into the mix along the fence now that I can gauge their average bloom time and see I need some later ones. In the beginning it was just buy the beautiful, now I visit the daylily farms at the time I want to see blooms in my yard so I know which ones really bloom at that time. And no the voles have not been completely eradicated, neither have the moles! They can take a hosta that has a crown of 8" and eat away all those little eyes and then I end up with only about 6 tiny leaves sprouting. Grrrrr!

Re: Nina's garden in Massachusetts, revisited

Nina, thank you for replying to all our inquiring comments. I for one enjoy the Gardener's interaction to the bombardment of questions and usually learn about something I didn't realize I needed to know.

Re: Gayle & Larry's garden in Illinois

Wow! Larry, Gayle, you have a wonderful garden that must be as beautiful in the winter covered with snow as it is now. I love the significance each plant has on its own as well as part of the whole. Love the red of the maple showing through in the green pines.

But for all it's formality I also found small items that tickle my funny bone like the rusty, metal "scarecrow" in your veggie garden and the bluish, gray twisted metal shooting out from the blue hostas in 4th photo, right side.

Jay, I too, have Larch envy! And this specimen is amazing! I saw my first fall colored photo of a Larch in a magazine ad for a landscaping school in the northeast and called the school to see what plant it was! Evidently, I wasn't the only one because the receptionist who answered the phone knew exactly what ad and plant I was referencing! I just wish I could find one small enough to fit in my pocketbook! I hate losing $100 or more if its not happy where I put it and don't realize it till its too late!

Re: Nina's garden in Massachusetts, revisited

Nina, I was looking at the previous photos and noticed you did not respond to our comments/questions in the name of the daylily that you had a close up shot. Do you recall it's name coz I, like Meander1, love that one!

Re: Nina's garden in Massachusetts, revisited

Yummy is right, Michelle! The beautiful colors of the azaleas with the many shades of green in the hostas is wonderful! What wonderful composition, Nina! And I would venture to say you are a fellow Hostaholic as well as a Daylily fanatic!

Can you identify the hostas in the first photo? I think I have that blue green one with the yellow center stripe at the front of the bed by the heucheras but wanted to make sure coz it is beautiful!

And the Lilac between the spireas is a great combo too!

Re: Gail's garden in Oklahoma

I know I am way late but had to chime in on Gail's beautiful garden! And I loved your blog, wonderful photos! And your variety of colors in the tulip photo is so dreamy! What a wonderful setting for a garden party.

I am so glad you missed the storms on Monday! I just drove back from visiting my daughter in Junction City, KS on Monday evening, watching my back all the way home and listening to the news about the tornado. You guys are in our thoughts!

Can't wait to see more and welcome to our delightful, little group!

Re: Miyako's shady front-yard garden in Connecticut

Wow, it's nice to know that they really do grow and multiply in the garden. I had resigned myself to thinking they were produced as a hard to ignore Impulse item. I would love to see those in my shade garden but not much winter protection and clay soil...well maybe I will give one another try next year.

Re: Miyako's shady front-yard garden in Connecticut

Miyako, the delicate nature of the woodland blooms is beautiful. I envy your collection. I love the bluebells.
Do the primroses withstand your winters or were you a victim of the vibrant blooms at the garden center this spring? I have not had much luck keeping them thru the winter so resisted them this year. The yellow is wonderful for brightening up your shade.
You mentioned height was a challenge. I have a lot of shade also and have good luck with Clethra ainifolia 'Ruby Spice' or Summersweet shrub in practically full shade and I still get the sweetly scented pink blooms and great yellow fall color.

Re: Lovay's garden in North Carolina

Lovay, I love all the tropicals you have planted. Here in Illinois we have to dig the elephant ears every year if we want to save them. It looks lush and cool.

What is the shrub in the right hand corner of the screened porch photo with the purple spikey blooms?

Do you have trouble keeping the 4 legged "kids" out of the flowers? Bet those 2 puppies could do some damage while wrestling with each other, Lol!!

Thanks for sharing.

Re: Spring at Chanticleer, Day 2: Containers & Combos

Oooo, those pots are wonderful!! Wish I had a collection to display like that! The color of the pots blend so well with the stonework of the patio, too.

cwheat000, I am with you on the coral, peachy plantings! It just pops against the stonework. I just planted a coral bark maple with Georgia Peach Heuchera under it last week, guess I need to search for some of those tulips and Diascia Flying Colors Coral to add that extra pop of color.

Thanks for taking these photos, Michelle! I love when Fine Gardening photos give us ideas that will work in our own gardens!

Re: Spring at Chanticleer, Day 1: Bulbs, Stone, and the Bulb Meadow

Tractor1, can you email Michelle some pictures of your gardens with the bulbs you planted that way so we can visualize just what it looks like when it's done? I realize that these gardens were done professionally but would love to see a REAL planting of them by a amateur gardener doing a large space. After 10 years of planting bulbs it should be beautiful. We would all love to see your garden photographs here on GPOD.

Re: Spring at Chanticleer, Day 1: Bulbs, Stone, and the Bulb Meadow

Thanks for the visit, Michelle. I would love to "tiptoe through the tulips" at that garden! I have often thought about doing the naturalizing effect in my yard but then realized how many little slits it would take. And now after seeing these photos, I am afraid I wasn't even planting enough. Now I just pretend the dandelions are tulips!

The stone arbor is gorgeous! I want that across the entrance to my driveway!! If you zoom in on the stone pathway they transitioned to the larger flagstone area by putting smaller pieces of flagstones vertically in the ground.

Meander1, I too forget to take time out for public gardens because of working in my own but every now and then I will reward myself by working half a day at home and then half a day doing something fun, like plant shopping or visiting other gardens. We also planned a weekend where on Saturday we checked out gardens along the way to Chicago for me and then on Sunday we visited the Field Museum for my hubby and Monday did the Shedd Aquarium for both of us.

Re: Spring unfolds in Pauline's California garden

If I am not at my home computer, I just go to and put my cursor over the menu item that says BLOGS and click on "Garden Photo of the Day". You don't need the email link unless your memory fails you and you forget that that is the first thing you do in the morning while drinking that first cup of java :)

And tractor1 maybe the photos were shot while in low light to create the effect that they do to some of us. That doesn't mean it is WRONG, just creative and outside the box thinking. Not everything has to be done the way you think it should be, we are all individuals with our own drum. You with your green fields and Irving with his BEAUTIFUL deep shadows!

Re: Spring unfolds in Pauline's California garden

Irving, do the hellebores grow in your neck of the woods (zones 5-8)? I could picture a few of them in the undergrowth of your Japanese maples like the one I have as my avatar. Clumps of the white ones would just glow in your setting and I always look forward to them in March.

Re: Spring unfolds in Pauline's California garden

Irving, again you amaze us with beauty.

Meander1, you would have to move over on the bench with a view of the blue fountain pot because that is where I want to be too!

Irving, the depth of your garden is enhanced with the dark contrast of the deep shadows. I, for one, love the darker photos. I feel that is how your garden looks and feels when you are in it, all shadowy and cool like a cocoon, not bright and sunny like 15 acres of field with a tree planted here and there.

Thank you for sharing again. I look forward to the next visit.

Re: Spring at Winterthur, Day 1

Woohoo, I was right on the windflowers...Wow, I am usually wrong because I don't look at all the characteristics, my ADD kicking in.

Got my GPOD, Michelle. It said it came at 7:58am. I liked it better when it came in the wee hours of the morning. So who fixed the unbroken email in the first place, Lol! My hubby says if it ain't broken, don't fix it. But we can find you without an email link so keep posting those pictures.

Re: Spring at Winterthur, Day 1

Hey Michelle, I didn't get my GPOD email today. Did get the FG e-newsletter though.

Re: Spring at Winterthur, Day 1

meander1, I too love that blue carpet. You expressed my feelings much better than I could. I wondered what the blue was so got out my iPad which allows me to zoom in on the photos and it looks like the daisy like plant may be Anemone blanda, windflower, which comes in blue, pink and white.

I also saw some Virginia Bluebells? in some of the other photos but in one they were partially pink so don't know if that's what it is. I have a couple that I have relocated to my wooded area and they are so blue.

Do you know what the shrub that has the red blooms on it is?

Re: Beth's garden in Iowa, Day 1

Wow, Beth, those are some amazing hostas! Puts my hosta ghetto to shame! I betcha you could get 75 babies easily out of one of those in the front!
You have done a wonderful job of gardening in the shade. It appears so tranquil and relaxing but I don't see anyplace to sit and enjoy all your hard work! Can't wait to see more!

Re: Spring in Jeff's garden in Tennessee

Jeff, I take offense about my fence post weeping cherry, see avatar!! But you are so right about the base, it is straight as a fence post and does not have the beautiful flow that yours does. Some of the branches want to go upright too. I did wrap lights on about 5 branches one Christmas and it looked like a palm tree!

Spring just hasn't quite come here in Illinois yet but my Polygonatum odoratum var. variegatum is actually about the size of yours but that is about all. The clumps of daffs are such a wonderful anticipation experience for me. I, like others have commented, walk around the yard each day to see what has decided to wake up. It is such a treat when you see that first little green bud.

Your eclectic collection of plants makes the rest of us safe gardeners envious!

Re: Kim's garden in Washington

What a wonderful garden you have created. I understand the healing effect a garden can have too. I hope all the crappy cancer is gone, it's ugliness surely can't compete with the beauty outside!

I assume the shade sails are for the benefit of the koi in your pond as well as the umbrellas? It looks huge! I love the posts with the hanging baskets around it. From the photo they look like petunia trees!

I have visited your state several times and always gasp at the beautiful, lush gardens! My last visit in 2009 I was not too far from you traversing the mountains in Feb from Tacoma to Spokane. That was a beautiful sight. We stopped on the way back at Snoqualmie Falls! Speechless!

Thank you for sharing and I, like the others, would love to see more photos, maybe with some snow.

Re: Another design by John in Virginia

Oh my gosh, you went to the Galapagos Islands! What an amazing place to see!

Re: Another design by John in Virginia

Thank you

Re: Another design by John in Virginia

John, can you tell me the type of fern?

Re: Another design by John in Virginia

John, although you don't live at this garden, I can see that you design with the passion of a gardener! Both of the gardens appear as though they were done by the homeowner, none of that out-of-the-box look. You must spend a lot of time with your homeowners understanding what they like and want from a garden. The gardens appear so natural and timeless. And I love the variety of flowering and non flowering plants you have chosen.

What have you done to direct the flow of heavy rainfall down the slope? Is that why you have the gravel flowing from one side of the walk to the other?

What variety of fern do you have planted on the right side of the top photo, right side? It is below the daylily and oakleaf hydrangea? The fronds appear extremely sturdy almost palm-like.

Thanks for sharing.

Re: Our 2nd visit of the season to Pauline's garden in California


I must say the color of the Loropetalum is just overwhelming after seeing so much white here the last few days! Your garden continues to astound me! I feel as though it must speak to you every day when you walk outside..."Hey over here, look who's blooming today" and I get goosebumps remembering that feeling when you watch for those first buds and then behind your back they pop open and say "Surprise!"

Oh, sorry, I got a little carried away with my fanciful thinking! I so envy the green you have right now!

Thank you so much another great glimpse through the garden gate.

Re: Katie's garden in Ohio

Oh you can't read it unless you click on my name so I will tell you it says 14.5 inches!

Re: Katie's garden in Ohio

Beautiful Garden, Katie! As I write this it continues to snow here in Central Illinois. See the measurement on my profile picture? Oh how I dream of a garden like yours! I love the cottage gardens but have never lived in a house where it would work.

Re: More from Tricia's garden in Minnesota!

What a wonderful treat! Thank you Michelle for a 3rd day.

As before, the rainbow of color is just wonderful but I have a couple of technical questions, Tricia.

I see you have used an edging material in some areas. Do you have trouble with it heaving up? Or do you use a secret technique you would share with those of us with the freeze/thaw problem?

Do you find that the beds in the upper areas dry out faster after rain because of the slope? Do you have an irrigation system or do you hand water or just let nature take it's course, Survival of the Fittest? It was just a thought about the challenges of gardening on a slope.

Thanks for the visit. We look forward to more pictures later in the year.


Re: Winter & spring mingle in Kathie's garden in Virginia

Spring? Where? It is cold and windy here in IL today but no snow at least! So Katie where do those stone steps go? I also would like to be invited to see more of your garden! Can we come by tomorrow via GPOD!

I had some crocuses...once. The squirrels decided they needed to supplement their acorn diet and now I have 1 or 2 that pop up in odd places. Yours are beautiful! Especially that yellow, like sunshine!

Michelle, I grow arum, in a pot. It does ok inside during winter, just a little leggy reaching for sun. Loves me when I put it back out in summer.

Re: Even more from Tricia's garden in Minnesota

Tricia, the table with flowered chairs is gorgeous. I love the fabric. Waiting for the ladies to sit and have tea! It just jumps off the page with the green backdrop.

The Swallowtail on it's matching yellow flower is excellent. I struggle with those butterfly pictures; I am just not fast enough with the shutter button.

The pink lilies in the foreground of the top right photo are great and then your eyes are pulled further into the landscape with the splashes of pink in the background. What a great example of what we read about. But I feel so lonely with the solitary chair :( Maybe it's because I am wishing I was sitting in it. On Friday, the red chair was also a nice pop of color.

Thank you for sharing.

Re: Tricia's garden in Minnesota, revisited

Tricia, just looked at the photos again and I am encouraged that spring is coming. The link you posted in 2011 still works so I got to see more photos! Ha, maybe now anticipation over waiting for Monday's photos won't be so bad! I will share the link so you guys don't have to hunt for it. The site says there were over 8,000 views of the garden!

Re: Tricia's garden in Minnesota, revisited

Tricia, I looked back at the ONE photo you sent in 2011. Boy were you holding out! What a challenging site you have and what an amazing garden you have created! I love your grass pathways on the slopes.

And I love the way your house appears like a regular craftsman style at the front and then opens up in the back. The natural wood siding and the crisp white trim is such a wonderful contrast to the kaleidoscope of colors in your garden. And did I see a screened porch under the deck?

What wonderful views you must enjoy from your windows. Thanks for sharing the rest of your "yard". I look forward to Monday...why do you do this kind of thing to us, Michelle! I hate Fridays!

And now I am going to bed! Don't ya'll wake me with all your oooohing and ahhing when you get up and look at these pictures!


Re: Visitors in Linda's garden in Texas

Oh my gosh, the cedar waxwings look fake they are so perfect! Their feathers are so smooth and I love the eyeliner! Looks so sexy, oh sorry forgot this was a family blog! I have seen these but not so up close and personal. Those are some great photos, Linda! Thanks for sharing.

Re: Dorothy's garden in Maryland

Dorothy, the lushness of your beds hides the fact you have dry shade. I too garden under 3 old (40+yrs) firs and native oak trees (100+yrs). You did a wonderful job on the winding brick pathway to the...ahhh...screen porch. Now there is a garden delight if ever I saw one! It must be fabulous sitting out there after gardening all day and looking at your hard work as dusk creeps in without getting eatin up by mosquitos! So relaxing just seeing that photo!

Is the tree in the bed by your arbor a dogwood? The leaf color threw me off but it's branching looks like a young one. I would love to see more pics of the woodland edge plantings, I can zoom in and see you have lots of hostas planted there. I too am a hosta and daylily lover. They are workhorses in difficult places.

Good luck in the new garden!

Re: Sheila's garden in Newfoundland & Labrador, Day 1

Sheila, I didn't even notice your last name was Boone! When I was younger, boondocks meant way out in the country and when I saw the aerial view of NL, Canada it reminded me of the word. I, like you, am amazed this wonderful thing called the Internet can make us all garden neighbors. And we can even have a cup of coffee or tea together while we enjoy each other's garden. And thank you and Bee1nine for identifying the bean. The last one like that I grew ornamentally had light pink flowers.

Shineday, I was looking back thru posts for who TW62 was when you wrote that. Ha, then I realized it was Me! Do your homework before planting clematis, sometimes they can be finicky about how they are planted. Won't go into it here, just read about planting them online.

My avatar is Kniphofia, unknown variety, also called Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily. I just love them and have a several different ones, some are brighter colors than others. Their clump grows larger each year and if you cut off older stalks, you get more stalks, just shorter. Hummers like them too.

Re: Sheila's garden in Newfoundland & Labrador, Day 1

Sheila, after seeing your wonderful PHOTOS I had to have a geography lesson on google maps. I've been to Quebec a couple of times. It's so beautiful there. You are really out in the boondocks! But lots of neighbors enjoying those boondocks, too! Exactly 2,480 miles from me...guess I won't be visiting your wonderful garden today, Lol! Your views are fabulous, rainbow and all.

The first photo with the red lilies and blue delphiniums contrasting together is beautiful as are the combination of the 3 clematis. It looks like you will have a lovely place to enjoy in your golden years.

Speaking of golden, what is the shrub?, bean? plant in the 2nd photo on the right column? It is really nice.

Thank you for the visit.

Re: The gardens at Cedarholm Garden Bay Inn in Maine

Usually I run off at the mouth; today...WOW, just WOW!!!

Re: Tatyana's visit to the Mediterranean garden at Butchart Gardens

Beautiful photos! I would like to know are the daisy like flowers in the bottom photo an annual? They make a stunning edger planted in mass as they have done. As Vojt wrote, I too missed Butchart Gardens on my visits to Washington, last time was in February 2009 and it was in the mid 40s but windy, not garden visiting weather!We went up Mt. Rainer instead! I will definitely have to visit soon in summer and see this garden.

Re: Bright Blue and Beautiful

Pam, I see why you are in love with these blooms! The leaves in the background look like primrose and I just received an email from a large garden center with some awesome primrose pictures tho none of them were quite like this. He described them as "‘Blue Zebra’ Primrose, a top pick from Hort Couture’s new Spring Bling Collection sold exclusively at Independent Garden Centers." So you may search for Hort Couture primroses or go to his website but they don't have a bunch of pictures so call them up and see if you can email the photo to them, they may have it or have seen it. The site is

4605 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 454-6868
email me and I will send you the photo, I saved it to my computer rbunning AT consolidated DOT net

Re: Fabulous Garden Structures

Antonio,That is quite a collection of structures. They are beautiful. And would love to see more of the gardens that these structures are in!!

In photo 1 is that a weeping hemlock, Tsuga canadensis 'Pendula', used to make the arch over the walk? And do you know what the whispy grass is along the pathway in photo 7?

Thanks, Regina

Re: Scenes from a Maine garden tour

XuanXanh, some programs will let you "right click" the photo and in the drop down menu there is an option to "resize photo". It will then make a copy of the photo as a smaller image. But it all depends on your computer.

Harriet, thanks for the perennial's name. I thought it was related to the one I have, Heliopsis ‘Loraine Sunshine’. Loraine doesn't get that large but has the deep yellow blooms.

Re: Scenes from a Maine garden tour

Harriet, you did a wonderful job gathering gardens for your tour. That is sometimes the hardest part of organizing a garden walk...convincing the homeowner they have a place that others want to visit. And to those of you who feel this way, remember that we gardeners love all gardens, no matter the style or size. It is a wonderful thing to be invited into a gardener's sanctuary. As you can tell, I'm on our committee to recruit gardens/gardeners for our 2013 Garden Walk. I commend you, Harriet.

Anyway, the question I have is what is the tall, bushy plant to the right of the blue spruce? Is it one of the false sunflowers? Looks like some yellow blooms on it.

Thanks for sharing,

Re: Bill's tropical garden in Ohio

Holy Cow, Bill! I can only imagine what people must FEEL like when they step into your garden! And in Ohio, says the gardener from Illinois!

Ok, deep breath,... I love the copper pipe used to hang plants; the unique detail on the cedar arbor along with the attached pots on the chunks of wood next to it; those Huge banana trees...breath, breath...they are to die for, how tall are they?; the abundance of cannas really give the garden a tropical air; I see some tiki torches scattered throughout, I bet the glow is beautiful at night. I am just amazed!

And what a wonderful memorial to your donor. Your Torii is lovely. What is the fan-shaped object on top?

Ok, I'll stop now. Thanks so much for sharing on this cold, January morning!

Re: Judy's garden in Oklahoma

Tractor1, the birdbath is actually on a stand, look below crepe myrtle can see base. I had to look twice too.

Judy, upon closer inspection, I see your archeological finds ;) (the misc. water pots) along the dry creek bed in the back of the 'desert' area photo!


Re: Judy's garden in Oklahoma

Wow, Judy! I think everything grows bigger in Oklahoma! The size of you clump of red hot pokers is impressive, as well as your morning glories! Just beautiful! And I love the creative tree of trumpet vine!

Thanks for sharing.

Re: Carol's voodoo lily in Georgia

I missed this post yesterday but wanted to share this story with those of you interested in the unusual voodoo lilies. A couple of years ago a variety bloomed at the greenhouse at the University of Illinois. They had a webcam on it, which you can see if you click on the greenhouse link in the article. I cannot image the smell of this one, notice size of lily behind woman in picture! I had one in a pot that was about 12" tall and it was bad!


Re: The Pleasance

What a small world we live in. You touch our lives everyday, Michelle, by bringing us a look into our neighbor's garden and as neighbors we feel the pain of the families there in Newtown. Please know our heart goes out to you.

Re: Kathy's garden in Missouri, Day 1

Kathy, I love all your vignettes, especially the planted Faux Bois log! Did you make that? I also dabble in hypertufa and cement stuff but have not tried it. It seems a little intimating to me. Your hosta leaf looks very life-like.

The Vitex is just beautiful! Does it die to the ground every year in your zone or is it in a protected area there by the house?

Your garden has such personality and is so inviting. I can see that you love to garden and spend time enjoying it. Thank you for sharing it with us. I too look forward to Monday.


Re: Sue's container gardens in Nevada

Sue I commend your spirit...leaving the beautiful state of WA for a desert in NV! Were you on the coastal side of the mountains? As a gardener, I am sure the new challenges are very exciting for you. Your bright and unique container plantings give us a glimpse into your future garden. I am looking forward to seeing pictures next summer! Don't disappoint us!

Re: Ann's garden in Kansas

Ann, thanks for the nursery locations, I just put them on my list of nurseries to visit. I got an Ipad for Christmas last year and keep a list of places I have seen that I want to visit on it so it never gets lost and i have it for those imprompu trips. I love my Ipad!
Like you and Meander1, I look forward to that first bloom and then watch as the last bloomer heralds the end of summer. This past summer we were about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule so my October bloomers were done in September--very disappointing but then when we got much needed rain, I got re-blooms on many that had went dormant. Don't know if that will affect their next year's bloom or not, any ideas on that?
Again, thanks for sharing your garden. Send Michelle more photos for us to see!

Re: Ann's garden in Kansas

Ann, what a beautiful garden in such a challenging area, my daughter lives right down the road in Junction City. The curving beds really show off the vibrant colors of your daylilies. Daylilies are the workhorses in my garden, holding their own in all kinds of weather. I like the photo with the verbena poking through the daylilies and that is a huge planting of Shasta daisies!

Would love to know where you do your shopping in that area. I didn't have much luck finding nurseries around Junction City.


Re: Bob & Linda's garden in Pennsylvania

Tractor1, your comments such as this one "Nowadays people hunt as an excuse to get out of the house for a few days with the guys and most drink themselves stupid, every year there are awful hunting accidents around here." make REAL hunters look bad. Here in IL there are many people who take hunting very seriously! Coming from a family who have hunted for many years, we would never mix alcohol and guns! Our friends don't either. Just because a few idiots you know of have not acted responsibly they don't represent the many safe responsible hunters who enjoy the sport and the venison. If a time ever comes when the "stupidmarkets"(your word, not mind) run out of food, we will still be able to feed our families.
OK I will get down off my soapbox now.

Bob & Linda, your gardening passion is evident in your photos! It looks like a very relaxing place to take an evening stroll and the stop on the patio and admire your work. Thanks for sharing.


Re: Karen's dry stream bed in Illinois (Day 1 of 2 in Karen's garden)

Hey Karen, another great set of photos on GPOD! Great selection to show the changing seasons and colors here in Illinois! Congratulations!


Re: David's front-yard rock garden in Colorado (Day 1 of 2 in David's garden)

You should be very proud of all your homework and hard work, David. Your front yard is unique. I like the wide gravel edging along the driveway. It makes alot of sense for displaying your wife's beautiful pots and allows visitors additional room when getting in and out of their cars and the contrasting color and texture is nice.
The last photo with the huge upright boulder and the upright rock edging is stunning! My husband hates to spend money "buying a rock" but I got 3 last summer for my birthday, the largest was 1 ton! You are soooo lucky to have them right out your back door!
Keep up the good work.

Re: Irvin & Pauline's garden in fall, focus on grasses

Sorry to post again but realized on Oct 16th, Annek of Kielian DeWitt's garden responded to my comment and then asked about the hardiness of my weeping bald cypress. Couldn't find a place to email back to her otherthan comment on that post and didn't think it would let her know I replied to her.
I am in Zone 5 (new USDA zone says 6a)and the cypress has had no issues. It is unprotected in the northeast corner of my yard going on 7 yrs. now. It looks like a "Cousin It" on steroids.

Re: Irvin & Pauline's garden in fall, focus on grasses

Beautiful compositions! Something I try to do throughout the year in my own ongoing project! Pauline's eye for contrasting color and texture is wonderful! I especially love the blue oat grass under the Japanese maple!!

I use lots of grasses here in Central Illinois too and they are equally as wonderful in the winter covered with snow.

Thanks for adding the links back to the previous posts, Michelle. I always love going back and seeing the gardens at other times.


Re: Kielian's garden in Montana, in Autumn

Kielian, your garden is fabulous!! I love the abundance of color and texture, especially against the stones on the house. The morning glory on the wall is so nice. I see some other annuals like zinnias; do you sow the seeds in the ground in the spring or start them inside to get a head start? I am not familiar with your growing season.

I have some plant identity questions.

4th photo down on left, what is the purple flower? How about the pinkish red one just behind it?

6th photo down on left, what are the orange flowers? And the varigated dome behind them with what appears to be yellow flowers? And last but not least, is that a lilac bush in the background? It looks like there are some blue blooms in the shadows on the left. Possibly morning glories growing on it? It's a good idea if that is what is going on. I have started a couple purple clematis growing throughout my weeping bald cypress.

Thanks for sharing!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Kristina & Bob's garden in Illinois

Kris, What a plethora of exploding color and texture! As a fellow IL gardener, I am in awe of your garden in spite of our drought conditions this summer. Our gardens have certainly been put to the test and yours has passed with flying colors, literally and figuratively! Lol!

What plant/tree is shown in the 2nd photo, to the right, growing in the bed by the greenhouse? Silver leaves, woody stems? Is it a eucalyptus? It looks beautiful w/ the coleus growing beneath.

One more question, do you fertilize? If so what do you use? Your annuals are soooo hugh!

Thanks for sharing,

Re: The beginning of the end of summer

Wonderful groupings, now if only my borders would one day grow to be as beautiful!

I looked thru the other photos with the plants' identity shown but is the above photo not available with the plant name also? I like the green fuzzy things just above the sedum, to the right. And the burgandy spike to the left of the sedum and also again further to the top of the photo. I can't tell if the plant to the right is also the same.

And Yes, Michelle, get well soon! We Miss You....and your photos!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Laura's garden in Washington state

What a wonderful garden you have created, Laura! From the luscious Hakonechloa grasses to the amazing purple beech, (is it a weeping or fountain beech?) I just feel like I want to stay forever! The salmon colored maple is a wonderful specimen plant? Is that a Larch peeking into the photo of the cannas? Would love to see your fall photos. Sorry I am gushing...just a fabulous photo array.


Re: READER PHOTOS! Sara's garden in California, revisited

Hey Michelle, is there anyway you can get your web techs to make it so you can scroll thru the pictures instead of opening and closing each one? Sure would be handy when you want to go back and look through them again for a second or third time, like today. Or is it just my iPad? Don't recall if my desktop PC does the same thing or not. Just a thought...

Re: READER PHOTOS! Sara's garden in California, revisited

WOW, Sara!

As a wannabe conifer connoisseur, I am drooling over your plantings! I love looking through pictures of unique Iseli nursery in Oregon. Your collection is amazing! As you say, the mixing of textures and colors provides interest without requiring a bloom to enjoyed.

I am so envious of your climate. Here in Central IL the heat sometimes prevents a conifer from thriving no matter what care you give it. I am going to have to put one down this weekend if it cools off enough to dig him up, Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea'. So far the only casualty due to the drought this year...except my pocketbook from the water bill!


Re: READER PHOTOS! John's garden in Ontario

Whew, I am exhausted trying to see plethora of plants in each photo!! John you have such an eye like putting the white candelabra with the chair and table!! And I see the table is made from an old treadle sewing machine!!

I can FEEL your restraint in the front yard!! It must be a challenge to keep it in within the "normal" guidelines!! Your brug is fabulous!! What zone are you? Do you did up the whole plant in the winter or just take cuttings? I have a couple and would like to have one do that for me but I am zone 5...ooops now they say we are zone 6.

Can you tell us the name of the airy blue ground cover in photo 2?

Thanks for the photos.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Karen's garden in Illinois

Congratulations, Karen! We all knew your combinations were magazine worthy! I hear the readers calling for one of my favorites, the dark rudbeckia seedheads In the fall and the snow covered plants in winter!

Re: Califonia dreamin'

Guess there are no Japanese Beetles in California! The lushness of that rose is amazing!

Re: Hillside nightmare - HELP

Just my 2 cents on how to keep the plants in the ground after you decide what to plant!! I saw, maybe in my Fine Gardening magazine, an article that suggested covering the area with burlap and pinning it down with those landscape staples and then cutting small holes with scissors in an "X" to plant in. The burlap holds the soil and plant in heavy rains, allows the rain and air to flow through and is brown so no ugly black landscape fabric flagging through mulch.

Re: Around the base of a large red maple

Hello Maryland,

My aunt (a former paid gardener, don't we all wish we were) lives outside Annapolis and she suggested that my mom plant Harbour Dwarf nandina around her maple tree. I think it is a zone 6 plant so should do well for you. Other plants you could use--Ivy, Big Blue liriope or Mondo grass.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Tim's garden in Ohio, Day 3: This and that

Beautiful groupings, Tim! And I love the yellow peony, Garden Treasure!
What is the reddish pink spikes flower that is planted with the heucheras under the dogwood tree? It looks about the size of Red hot Pokers but not the color that I have.

So when can we all come for a visit? Does your city have a garden walk? Are you on it? I am ready to travel!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Eamonn's garden in Oregon

Some awesome fall colors. The red japanese maple (?) near the water is huge!!


I think the scarlet red stems behind the bird are Salix alba britzensis, a willow which is kept as a bush and very nondescript during the summer but the branches turn a brillant red in the fall if you cut them back severely every 2 years. If you look closely at the larger photo you will see a stump from which all the new branches grow. They stay red all winter and look wonderful in winter arrangements outside. Easy to propagate for additional plants too! Just stick in wet soil and wait for roots. I put mine in a pot of sand in my pond to keep them wet until they root.

Re: An autumn day at home

I fell in love with Pennisetum 'Moudry' 4 years ago and planted 3 small clumps of it along the outside border of a partial shade perennial bed. It was beautiful and prolific!! The 2nd year I had a full 6 by 4 feet area of Moudry!! OUT it came about mid summer before the seed heads could find new homes!!

Now 2 yrs after removing the plants, I am still removing babies, even in my lawn nearby!! The dark plumes are beautiful but they DO have a dark side!

I am in Central Illinois with hard freezes and lots of snow, which did not seem to bother the reproduction of this grass.

Re: A Gardener's Guide to Swearing

I recently visited a garden that had lots of plantings around their walnut trees and she told me about this website called Plant friends of the black walnut. Here is the link which may be helpful to those that have these trees. His list is from the American Horticultural Society of Mt. Vernon, VA.

Re: Winter in the Midwest

Thank you, JeanBHall. It is so hard to photograph good clear pictures when it is cold outside.

Re: Gazing balls have a place in gardens...

Forget the artificial gazing balls... what are the shrubs because the round seed pods or bloom stems are awesome?? Does anyone know what kind of plants these are?