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Tales From My Garden

As usually happens in May . . . my garden is exploding. I'm scrambling to keep up with everything happening out there, which is both thrilling and overwhelming. Spring, when it finally happens, is Really Quite Something.

And I have the fingernails to prove it!


Here are a few tales from my garden this week.


First, I'm celebrating my sad little azalea. This little guy . . . really struggles. It is one of the few remaining plants in my garden that was original to the house when we bought it, so it's been around for a very long time. I've tried everything I can think of to get it to be a happy plant, but it just . . . isn't. Every year, I think about digging it up and letting it go. But it keeps budding, and . . . well . . . hope springs eternal in this gardener's heart.

The last 3 years have been particularly challenging for this sad little azalea. In each of the past 3 years, just as the buds emerged, we've had a hard frost and that was the end of the story. This year, though? Blooms! And lots of them. My sad little azalea was lovely this year, and I'm so happy about that.


This photo of an emerging hosta plant in my garden was taken a couple of weeks ago. My garden is full of hostas (I think I have 45-50 all told), and I think it's truly magical to watch them emerge and unfurl every year. In the early spring, my garden looks absolutely barren . . . but it's suddenly lush and green when the hostas return! Magic!

I've mentioned before that our Jenny dog LOVED hanging out in the hostas. It started when she was a puppy and continued right on through her (very long) dog life. Tom and I decided to spread her ashes among the emerging hostas in the garden so she could continue hanging out in her very favorite spots . . . and we did that last weekend. We ran out of her ashes well before we got to all the hostas, but she will continue to have a presence in our garden.


I have most of my containers planted for the season already. This one is my favorite (so far).  I picked up the very cool planter at an end-of-season sale last year (an absolute steal for $20!!!), so this is its "patio debut." The planter is made of cement, cast to look like wicker. (There is a "matching" big round one on the ground next to it.) This particular planter is about two feet tall, and quite narrow. I love the shape and size of it, and was excited to bring it out this year and show it off. 

There are lots of other "tales" waiting to be told . . . out there in my garden.
Stay tuned!

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul."
                                            ---Alfred Austin



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Your azalea may be struggling but seeing that pop of color must be thrilling! Seeing the hostas unfurl is so exciting. I have one with large leaves and it really is amazing to see each one slowly reaching for its potential! This year my new front garden has matured enough I can see better what needs to be added. It's a tiny space but it is inspired by your garden of greenery! My nails look just like yours!


Love your new container for the patio - very pretty. And hostas are so great, aren't they? We have a GIANT one that is down by our Crepe Myrtle...thankfully the deer have left that particular one alone. Love the shade of your azelea...pretty in pink!


I love the explosion of any garden in spring but yours is one of my favorites. What's the spiller in your container plant? I don't recognize that one.


Spring is so beautiful in your garden!

My husband was the azalea keeper at our old house. We had huge banks of them across the front yard.

Every six to eight years, when they got leggy, he would cut them back to about four to six inches above the ground. The first time we did it friends and neighbors thought we were taking them out. However, they come back BEAUTIFULLY! The first year it's just foliage but in succeeding years they were lush, full bushes with tons of blooms. One of my favorite sights as I drove up the street.

I, too, am interested in the spiller plant!


My MiL also had a struggling azalea for quite a few years, but it always came through with enough colorful blossoms to keep her hoping. Yours is a lovely color! It's nice to see your new planter when it's newly planted; I'm sure those colues will be branching out and getting huge over the summer. I love emerging hostas (sadly, so do the neighborhood deer) and it's wonderful that you spread Jenny's ashes among them - just perfect.


I'm so glad that Jenny will still be able to enjoy the garden. xo


I love that Jenny is permanently resting in your garden -- that's such a perfect place! I'm glad to hear things are finally blooming up there. Seeing the color is a such a boost!


It sounds like your garden is blooming into life. This time of year is wonderful for that isn't it. My fingernails are just like yours at the moment!


Your container garden is so cute! You definitely have an eye for style.

I put in a few more hostas this spring. I love them.


Your planter is indeed beautiful. I'm glad Jenny will be with you in the hosta bed. They are such amazing plants.


In our old house we also struggled with long-lived azaleas. They kept on coming back but never with the same vibrancy as in their youth. Sort of like us humans. They were my heros because they gave us a garden without the work that I had no real interest in. Along with a border of previously-planted hostas. Our backyard was once described as “idyllic” but only because of the planting wisdom of the original owners. Certainly no thanks to me! At least we chose to honor it by installing a lovely large deck from which to admire these plantings.


I love how this post has joy (although some of it very bittersweet). I will now think of Jenny resting in this Hostas... keeping watch. What a beautiful image. XO

(and I really love your new "basket" pot!)

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