How does your garden grow?

It’s been a while since I posted anything on the gardening section of Safari of the Mind.  I just know I have to remedy that right away.  Believe me when I tell you though, it’s not as though I haven’t been posting all my hard work on social media 🙂 This year especially, I’ve been extra diligent, wanting to stay a few steps ahead of the game.  It took quite a lot of work to get both the front and back gardens cleaned up from the ravages of winter.  This past winter was pretty brutal on the East Coast and as a result, the garden needed extra sprucing in the spring time.  This post will probably be a pictorial one, sit back, relax and enjoy all the colors and vibrancy that flowers create around this time of year.

In the spring, the azaleas were bursting at the seams with an abundance of blossoms; it seems like some years they do and other times they don’t.  Hot pinks, reds and pale pinks strutted their stuff.  I’ve tried to establish an English cottage garden look with a jumble of flowers, shrubs and herbs, varying heights of perennials and annuals.  You can plant a “cottage” look in an urban setting as well as in the suburbs.  My passion and hard work and an ability to work every single day has given me that desired look – a kaleidoscope of hue and texture.

Isn’t it always exciting to see winter transitioning to spring, and then spring to summer?  Tomorrow is the first day of summer and I do believe the garden is all set.  My favorite spring time of the year is shopping for annuals in the nurseries around, and it seems like each and every year, I treat myself to at least one new perennial for the back garden.  Since we’ve downsized, we don’t seem to have a lot of room, so I try to contain myself, its hard, as I want everything I see.  When I first laid eyes on this house, I saw potential, I fell in love with the orderly arrangement of flower beds in the front and the back with a private courtyard, and not a blade of grass.  At our tender ages, we don’t need the added chores of cutting the grass every weekend.

I purchased a new clematis last Fall and was anxious to see whether or not it would surface after the harsh winter. Well, 12 blooms gleamed out at the world, isn’t she a beauty?  I have a pink one too at the other end of the garden, but it isn’t quite so detailed as this purple wonder!  I was also thrilled that my scented dianthus was just teeming with buds bursting out in every direction.  They are placed strategically before the stairs leading to the front door, so you can imagine the beautiful scents as one entered the front door or sat in the porch area.

The entrance to the porch and front door.

Daylilies and Asiatic lilies.  I try to use a granular fertilizer like Miracle Gro every few weeks so the blooms look bright and cheery.  Adding mulch to a bed definitely keeps the weeds at bay and minimizes watering.

Since gardening space is at a premium, I now tend to grow more in pots.  They do serve a purpose I must say – you can move them around, you can pair them with different plants and provide different colors each year.  My faves have to be verbena, petunias, geraniums, coleus and a few others.

By planting white flowers in groups, it can lighten up a dark area and gives the garden a sense of peace and tranquility.  My white azaleas above are late bloomers for some reason, perhaps it does not get much sunlight at all?  Still, it is not in competition with the other pinks and red azaleas that show off in the spring.

The last grouping of pictures is in the back courtyard.  Small groupings of tables and chairs in 2 separate areas gives a warm welcome to guests visiting.  Last weekend we held a barbecue for 15 friends in this urban oasis.  We’ve always loved to entertain, obviously we cannot have as many people as we’ve had in other homes, but I’ve been pretty satisfied with how I’ve transformed the area.  I love birds visiting, little critters darting back and forth, squirrels, rabbits etc.  Now all I need is the sound of some trickling water by way of a fountain, and I’ll be in heaven 🙂 I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into my urban garden.



21 thoughts on “How does your garden grow?

  1. Wow ! This is amazing and is so nice waking up in the morning to see these beautiful flowers in every shade of a color palette. Nevertheless I could feel the amount of time, efforts, etc. spent by you to transform your garden into a beautiful paradise. Kudos for all your efforts ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Megala for your positive comments. It is a lot of work even though the garden is not as big as our old one. But the rewards are so gratifying. There’s nothing like sitting back and admiring your paradise from an armchair on the patio 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful Loretta. What a lovely tranquil area to sit back and relax with friends or a book. I have a heck of a time resisting all of the beautiful flowers in the spring and it seems I’m never done. We replaced some trees several years ago so now I have to shady spaces that used to be all sun. Hmmm time to go shopping!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Julie – I’m sure your garden is just lovely too. Would love to see some pictures or a post on your garden. Isn’t it tempting when one goes by a nursery or garden center? Somehow I always hear someone calling my name to “enter”. 🙂


  3. Wow!! Loretta dear I couldn’t resist taking a peep into the lush green garden at the entrance. The flowers are brilliantly vibrant. You truly have life in your hand. Charisma shines from a pure heart that longs to nurture life. It’s truly mesmerising. You are an inspiration to many. Indeed I would love to spare my time the way you focus on beautifying the surroundings. Your efforts makes one fall in love❤👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww you’re so sweet with your generous words Cynthia. Do you have a garden that you tend to? I do love nature and nothing satisfies me quite as much as working outside and hearing the birds chirp and the bees buzz around you. The hot, humid weather is about to start here, that’s when you WON’T find me out in the garden except to water and feed. That too, I need to wake up at 6am before the harsh sun beats on the land. 🙂 God Bless you.


    1. Thanks Mimi. My husband takes pride in tending to the bushes out front. He’s so precise with the shears and does a good job. Too bad about the late freezes, I do think we had it too, but for some reason, we’re all caught up. I’m enjoying the last few days of nice weather before the humid, mosquito weather marches in.


  4. Loretta, what gorgeous flowers you have! The colors and textures are amazing…it seems that you have created a heavenly space! I can tell you love gardening as much as i do and wow, you are so good at it! Happy summer and have fun gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks so much – I guess it’s a passion that I enjoy. Don’t you find it so therapeutic too? The harsh and humid weather has arrived in the mid-Atlantic States, so I guess my time outdoors will be limited now. Still, I guess I could wake up at 5 with the birds and enjoy a bit of gardening at that time?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a good idea, Loretta! Yes, we in NH are supposed to get 90 degree weather for the next few days. It’s a good thing we had rainfall all day to saturate the ground. Stay cool!


  5. Lovely gardens Loretta – you’ve captured every color in a rainbow and then some! Wish I had more gardening space like you have, just enough but not too much! That’s great your hubby helps you with gardening chores – Gene loved to mow our lawn with his “John Deere” but that was about it. Enjoy your summer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you Judi, we too downsized and when I just saw flowerbeds with no grass in sight, I cheered 🙂 Like your Gene, there is one thing I do miss though, and that is my tractor, I felt on top of the world especially as the old house was on a hill. I do love being outdoors, but unfortunately that will come to an abrupt end soon. The start of 5 days in the 90’s begins today with yucky humidity. Enjoy your weekend 🙂


  6. Loretta, I wanted to take the time to read this post. and I am so glad I did. with your brilliant writing and your photos it truly was a treat to visit your urban oasis! You my friend have a gift of nurturing and beautifying gardens and friendships alike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a sweet sentiment Sandhya, truly appreciate it, thank you 🙂 Love to help others too, I’ve been asked to help a friend design her garden and talk about some types of shrubs and perennials. I hope I’m able to stand up to the task 🙂 Also taught an Indian cooking lesson here the other day which will be featured in my next post 🙂 So I guess, some people are looking and learning from the blog ha ha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are indeed an inspiration to so many dear! No surprise there! Look forward to your post on your Indian cooking class.


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