Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving & End of November Views

Havenwood house has some new exterior colors this month. We are giving them a try; what do you think?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

End of the Month View: One More Path...

Pergola Garden with our new pea gravel walk this week.
Our new Pergola Garden (so called for the invisible pergola... see it on the plan) was in need of some major changes with the walks in order to accommodate my new gardens. In July, I posted photos of this garden with just the hedges in place. We had a friend volunteer to come over and show my husband how to manually remove the sidewalks by using sledge hammers and wood jacks, which worked like a charm. Amazingly, he removed the long curve from the large yew bushes in a week... see below to compare.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mow Those Leaves!

My husband mulching leaves our in the woodland.
For all of those gardeners who have wondered, "What can I do with all of my leaves besides send them to the landfill or municipality?"

It should be obvious that it is the leaf litter in the forest that helps to supports growth of shade plants. But less known is that there is also a lot of new research that shows how leaves also benefit you lawn. For more explanation of this method, see my old post on mowing your leaves in fall.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Havenwood ~ GBBD October 2014

Native asters, Doellingeria umbellata, flowering away at our new garden this autumn.

Welcome to my new garden in Pennsylvania, zone 5 for the autumn!

I have been hard at work this year to put in many new garden area according to my garden master plan (see it here). Before getting to bulb planting yesterday, I took a walk around to capture some of the little fall flowers that are already blooming away here at Havenwood...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Projects Around Havenwood

Filling in the lily pond for the year...

Autumn is in full swing in Pennsylvania... the last of my children's soccer games are on this Saturday, the leaves are all looking a bit less green and more yellow, there is an urgent need to get some garden pots washed and stacked before snow is here, and we have had our first light frost so the counter is stacked high with green tomatoes and tiny watermelon that might be worth a bite or two.

Bulbs are going in at a terrific rate around here, with 100 per day as my goal. We had 2,500 on our order this year, as I am excited to get many different varieties naturalizing around Havenwood. Only the tulips will remain to be planted after today, which need to wait until the ground temperatures become lower (after a hard frost) to discourage early growth before spring. I did chose many of the varieties that I posted on my How to Chose a Tulip Combination post.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Choose a Tulip Combination

Tulip 'Princess Irene' and Tulip 'Cum Laude' at Gilmore Gardens in May 2012

I have put much thought this week into what bulbs we should start at Havenwood for our first official spring season next year. There are crocuses, snowdrops, rock irises, daffodils, fritillaries, grape hyacinths, anemones, summer snowflakes, camassias, allium and - not least - tulips to think about. That is a lot to hold in ones head!

When it comes to choosing tulips in particular, I have found a trick that really helps me have a good idea about what the finished planting is going to look like: just Google it. (Isn't that the answer to many of life questions in our modern world!) Any browser (Bing. etc) with an image search capability will do.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gilmore Gardens in September 2014 ~ Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

The Hill Garden is still full of color this month: Allium tuberosum & Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.
Welcome to Gilmore Gardens in Pennsylvania, zone 5!

There are still quite a few blooms over at Gilmore, even though we have not been living near it or caring make for it at all. About once a month to month-and-a-half, I do a big cleanup of weeds and deadheading the flowers.... That is it! That is all it takes to keep this garden going right now. It really has confirmed to me, though many people just do not believe it, that a garden on this scale can be plannned to pretty much take care of itself by having well designed planting schemes.

(Note to newcomers: This is our previous garden, which is a small town lot about a half mile from our new garden at Havenwood. Read my 'about my gardens' for more info!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Progress in the Knot Garden

My daughter stepping up our newly cemented steps at Havenwood.
Greetings garden lovers! We are certainly not done with the gardens yet this year, but I thought you might like a look at where we are right now with things.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tricyrtis formosana "Gilt Edge"

Woodland at Havenwood
The end of summer is upon us here at Havenwood!
I tucked this toad lily near the stone wall garden in the woodland just last week and it is blooming pretty with the woodland asters that we inherited with the property. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Helleborine orchid at Havenwood

Epipactis helleborine
While I was out moving some bark mulch this week on to our new yew hedges, I noticed something under one of our mature yew by the front walk...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lotus Garden in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Native American lotus, Nelumbo lutea, growing naturally in Virginian freshwater.
Hello all!
Summer is flying by here at Havenwood, with garden plans progressing on most days. We did take a break, however, and enjoy some beach time in Virginia this month. We were able to see some beautiful nature lotus gardens along the way and I knew that you all would enjoy them too!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gardening in Pennsylvania ~ July 2014 GBBD

A bee sampling the nectar in the last foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, of the season in the Shade Path garden.
Welcome to Gilmore Gardens in July!

Work is in full swing still over at our new garden, Havenwood, as I try to prepare new beds to hold our flowers at Gilmore in the fall. There are a lot blooming over there, so here are just a few glimpses this month!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

360 "Before Flowers Tour" at Havenwood

Laying out the Pergola Garden this week.
I am working between rain showers this week to layout the Pergola Garden, which I posted original before photos of last week. I realized that a certain window upstairs would give me a really nice view to look at the developing proportions of my design, and I thought you might like seeing it too! So out came my camera. Then I realized that I could get good views of most of the garden by walking out on one roof and looking out other windows...

So, ta da! Here is your (almost) 360 degree, aerial tour around Havenwood Gardens this week.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Clematis Up a Tree

Clematis 'Perle d' Azure' growing near the Shade Path garden at Gilmore Gardens.
This Clematis is the star in one of my most popular posts of all time: How to grow a Clematis on a tree trunk. If you like this look, that post is a great place to start looking at getting one going in your own garden!

It is also popular in our own family, each of us waiting to see how high it is going to bloom this year. It is still doing well! Even though we no longer see it out our windows during the day, we still drive by Gilmore Gardens to check on how things are going. Often, the children ooh and ahh louder than the adults, as they instinctively feel that this garden is still a part of them as well. We look forward to bringing some of our flowers over to Havenwood this fall!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Beginning the Pergola Garden

Hedging surrounding the new Pergola Garden at Havenwood.
Hello all! It has been a full month!

A few weeks ago, we were down in West Virginia to work on a garden I designed for a family there... more on that soon. :) Then we were back down south to Charlotte, NC for the inspiring Inkwell family conference. It was sponsored by all the wonderfully creative people at the Story Warren, including my husband, the gifted author of The Big Old Garden, behind the Big Old House series... humm.... wonder where he got those ideas ;)

Then we ran home (actually, a 10 hour drive) so that I could take three RHS exams to complete their Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development. I think that they went well! Now I just need to wait patiently until September to find out for sure. :)

In the mean time, we have been planting up a storm of yew bushes around here to working away at our final plan for the new gardens at Havenwood. We have 50 in the ground as I post these photos today...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gilmore Gardens ~ GBBD June 2014

Catmint, Nepeta 'Walker's Low', and Geranium 'Orion' beside the road in the Curb strip this month.
Welcome to my little garden in Pennsylvania!

June is here, and we are enjoying it both at our new garden, Havenwood, and at our old garden, Gilmore Gardens. Here are some pretty shots from Gilmore just after the rain last evening...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Knot or Parterre?

So I am still trying to decide what design to go with for our Knot Garden... see my progress here.

I am planning on using green boxwood and variegated box for the central design, and then lavender or catmint around the edge. It is a longer, rectangular space, so many of the traditional knot designs will not work, as they are square. And I do not like the typical overlapping squares in a long row.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Trillium grandiflorum

Native Trillium grandiflorum in our Woodland at Havenwood this week.
 I shared a few of these beauties for our first GBBD at our new garden. Here are some views of the larger patch that are in full glory this week... and also a mystery plant!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beginning the Knot Garden

The first month of the Knot Garden at Havenwood
Now that we have finally reached spring, work has definitely picked up on the garden as we race to get as many plants in the ground as possible before summer brings its hotter, drier weather. The Knot Garden began as an empty slate in April....

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gardening at Havenwood ~ GBBD May 2014

Wood anemone, Anemone quinquefolia
After lamenting the lack of flowers around the woodland at Havenwood just a few weeks ago, we have been over run by woodland treasures in the past two weeks. These beauties are a testament that some plants were just made to endure, even in the midst of decades of neglect.

So... Welcome to a surprise Garden Blogger's Bloom Day at Havenwood Gardens!  May it be the first of many.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tulips at Gilmore Gardens

Cherry Corner is full of Tulipa 'Apricot Impression' this May.

Welcome to Garden Blogger's Bloom Day in Pennsylvania!
We are finally in full swing for spring around here and we are absolutely loving it!

While we have been working like crazy on our new gardens at Havenwood, our old garden is blooming away effortlessly this spring. It is amazing to stand back and watch it go... rather like seeing your beloved child run and win a race all by themselves. We did have two spring clean up times this spring, cutting back out sticks, etc. And another nice layer of mulch. But really, it was very little for such a beautiful show...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Beginning the Potager

Layout the new vegetable garden at Havenwood.

We have been doing lots of digging here at Havenwood!

As we begin laying out the final design, some of the pieces will just not make sense without remembering the plan. For instance, there is going to be some regrading in this area when we cut in a new driveway, so we are making these beds by cutting them into the soil for now. Later on, they will be proper raised beds with gravel paths. For now though, they were placed so that we could get the exact location of our new arbor vitae hedge (see below) and plant our dwarf fruit trees for our little orchard (also below!).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Helleborus for the Spring Shade Garden

A pink Lenten Rose, Helleborus orientalis, at Gilmore Gardens this beautiful May week.
We stopped by Gilmore Gardens the other day to take a look around to see these shade garden beauties...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Before: Havenwood's Woodland

It is very stark this month in the Woodland at our new home.
Woodland beauty, here we come!

That is the mantra I am repeating to myself to shake away the the nagging doubts... "How are going to create a woodland wonder out of this stark seen?!?" Just work the plan.... work the plan.

One of the first areas to be addressed is the lack of any shrub plantings throughout this garden, particularly around the border of the property. I would like a bit more privacy to go with my digging!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Have You Seen the New Butterfly Snapdragons?...

A "Butterfly" or "Open-faced" Snapdragon: Antirrhinum majus 'Trumpet Tangerine'
I first noticed these pretty new snapdragon varieties when they were popular on Pinterest: white snapdragon, 'Le Bella'.  What a beauty! So when were attended the annual Spring Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory again this year, I ran to get a closer look at this new snapdragon.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

Magnolia stellata in the outdoor garden at Phipps Conservatory this week.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, 
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 
~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Havenwood Final Garden Plan

I promised to share the Havenwood Final Garden Plan, so here it is... at least for this spring, before I start changing it again! :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gardening in Pennsylvania ~ GBBD April 2014

Crocus vernus 'King of the Striped' in a curb garden.
Welcome back to Gilmore Gardens for April GBBD!

Nice weather has finally arrived here in western Pennsylvania, and everyone I see around town has emerged from winter hibernation with a huge grin on their face. After such a long, cold winter, I think we all need some time to soak it all in. My family was able to spend a few hours at our old garden last weekend cleaning up the beds from excess leaves, putting out a bit of compost as mulch, and cutting back perennials and sticks.

I stopped over another evening, just after a rain. I was able to take these photos just as the evening golden hour began...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Snowdrops at Havenwood!

Galanthus elwesii is the very first flowers in our new garden.
While the flowers have been popping up everywhere at Gilmore Gardens this April, we have been a bit disappointed not to see the new bulbs that we planted at Havenwood yet. It has been my experience that many newly planted bulbs take a bit long to pop up in the spring than the older naturalized ones, and we will keep hoping that is the case.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to Make Pillows using Wax Paper Transfer

Chairs with French themed pillows in our library room
One more house project, and this one is my favorite: new pillows for my pretty chairs in the library.

I started with this lovely vintage french bird and wreath from The Graphics Fairy. I personalized it by adding some pretty text underneath that says, "Havenwood 1925," which is the year that our house was built. I needed to use my computers preview program to make a reverse image so that the text would not be backwards. (Some computers will do this reverse image in the printing set-up options.) 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April showers bring March flowers...

Crocus tommasinianus at Gilmore Gardens April 1st
... at least that is how the song goes for us this year.

We are just now enjoying our crocuses and snowdrops during a few days of warm sun. I hope that those of you in more northern places in North America will feel encouraged to know that your flowers are coming soon as well!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Gardener's Laundry Room & other Vignettes...

Shelf in my basement laundry room.
I have always wanted a pretty laundry room, mostly to help me actually enjoy being down in the basement folding, folding away. After a bit of tear out and painting, the basement in Havenwood works really well for doing just that... adding a bit of green and bling.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to: Wooden Stool with French Typography

On our new landing at Havenwood
Welcome back inside!  We are having some nice days this week, but I am still excited to share some of my new inside projects for our new home.

I found this lovely stool in an antique shop in our area that actually has reasonable prices. So, I snapped it up and knew just what to do as I have been admiring so many projects on a wonderful site called The Graphics Fairy. I chose the above graphic from their beautiful list of french words, made an inverse copy of it in my computer's basic paint program, and got ready for some fun. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Art Inside Our Havenwood

Welcome to our new home! :)
Here we are in April, and we are finally having our first week of nice weather this spring! We have all been itching to enjoying the outdoors... and this gardener has been going a bit crazy for it, honestly.

But one nice thing about all of our bad weather in March was that it gave me more time to be inside our new walls, wondering what to do with them. (... Seems like winter unleashes some of my craft craziness... like last years' coffee filter flower wreaths...)  I was finally brave enough a few days ago to take a try at at stairway photo arrangement and was able to use some of my favorite new craft-making techniques too! Would you like to take a walk around with me?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Crocuses are up!

Crocus 'Goldilocks' at Gilmore Gardens
And under snow! ....but still they are up. Now I am waiting for a sunny day to enjoy them. :)

Spring is coming... if slowly this year. I am expecting to have snow flurries all the way into May this year, so I am starting plants indoor a bit later also. Perhaps we will make up for it with a beautiful fall? We can hope. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Designing a Large Garden Class ~ My Garden School

Survey of our new garden
Besides being incredibly impatient for spring to begin, I have also been working diligently this month on a new garden design for our new home, Havenwood. I enrolled in an online class at My Garden School with John Brookes, Design your own Large Garden.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Garden visit: Phipps Conservatory's Winter Orchid Show 2014

Large baskets spill over with a variety of orchids in the Sunken Garden at Phipps Conservatory this winter.
If you are in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area this weekend, be sure to stop by for the last few days of Phipps Conservatory's Orchid Show. It was a warm and colorful break from the doldrums of our cold, unrelenting winter! Here are a few of my favorite photos from the Sunken Garden room in the last wing of the conservatory.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The First Robins of Spring...

An American robin in our crabapple tree this morning.
This morning when I got up, the temperature was -9 degrees F (-22 C). I was starting to feel a bit of winter discouragement, especially with another snow storm forecast for Sunday. But then a bit of hope dawn here at Havenwood...

"There are robins! Robins!!!" she shouted.

We all ran to look out the window to see six little fluffed out robins hoping around our tree.

"That means spring!"  Oh yes, it does.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Pileated Woodpecker Visit

Look up for the bright patch of red...
We are very happy to have a large section of woodland on our new property, and we have already had some exciting visitors. Twice we have spotted a male pileated woodpecker in our trees looking for a snack. Of course the first sign is never by sight, but a loud thumping sound...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beginning Our New Garden...

Havenwood covered in snow this February.
All good things start at the very beginning, and that is where we are right now with our new garden and home, though its history started long before us. Professor Myers and his family first purchased this Lot 120 in 1916 for the sum of $1084.00. The large brick house was built by in 1925, after nine years of waiting and saving. They lived here for 19 years and then came six more sets of owners to occupy it. We are the eighth family to live under its slate roof, now nearly 90 years old.

Since we are now the guardians of this property, we have dubbed it Havenwood, a name which encapsulates what we hope to create here on this nicely wooded lot. From the start, it has loads of charm and many needed repairs; but above all the potential to be a peaceful and beautiful place for people to gather.

Welcome to your first walk around the Havenwood Garden! This overhead view from Google really helps to get you oriented...

Monday, February 17, 2014

February Flowers ~ GBBD 2014

Welcome to Pennsylvania in February!
It was -1 degrees F (-18 C) this morning, we have eight inches of snow outside and are expect to get six more inches tonight. So, we are inside for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day today. Thankfully, we have more orchids and some roses... :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dreaming of Spring...

Tulipa 'Persian Pearl' from Gilmore Gardens in April 2013
Greetings to all of my winter weary friends!

I have been pretty busy in the past two month since we moved into our new home... lots of remodeling and decorating, unpacking things here and there, and working hard to get back in the swing with our homeschooling this January. We have four inches of snow outside still after having weathered two "polar vortexes" with temperatures down to -13 F (-25 C) and praying that some (any!) of my plants in pots will survive to see another season. Fortunately, I did not have time to pot up as many plants in the fall as I had thought I should for the move!

I am dreaming of spring after this long, cold winter... and starting to think about our new garden design.  Because of the latter, I have decided that now is the time to try out an online class that I have had my eye on for a couple of years. World famous garden designer John Brookes teaches a class about designing large gardens on the MyGardenSchool website that looks like a wonderful opportunity to spend more time being stretched about my design plans and testing out new ideas. I hope to share a bit my class experience here on WMG, as well as my resulting garden plan, which is our final class assignment.

Stay warm on this first day of February!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ~ January 2014

Paperwhite narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus) from a lovely friend.
Welcome to chilly Pennsylvania for GBBD!

It has definitely been too cold for outside flowers this winter. Last week it was -8 F (-22 C) in our area, with a windchill of -30 F (-34 C).  Last January, we already had snowdrops up. But each year has its own things to enjoy.

We are blessed to have a few white flowers inside this year to hold us over. And a new home to work on before spring plant begins! Here are a few views from around our new house...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...