Mom’s Iris

My Mother has always gardened and she has gardened in the same spot in Indiana soil for over 60 years.  The garden surrounds the home she made with my Father when they moved in as newlyweds down the road from my Grandparents.  Growing flowers was always secondary to farming efforts.  That continues today as my brothers farm the land that has been in our family for over 100 years.  So the garden, flowers, vegetables and such required an extra effort for my Mom....   Continue Reading

Barbara’s Garden

Public gardens are a wonderful place to visit but now and then you have the opportunity to see a beautiful private garden.

Barbara invited me out to see her hollyhocks in full glory.  Beautiful shades of pink and white were indeed glorious and scattered around her acre of Eden in the East Valley.  A transplanted “Alabama Rose” Barbara has transplanted herself and her favorite plants from her childhood home....   Continue Reading

Lilacs in Southern California

The lilacs are blooming in Descanso Gardens in La Canada-Flintridge CA.  Lilacs need a cool season to generate their blooms in the spring. The cultivars in southern California have been adapted to this climate.  The beauty of these delicate blooms  is  compounded by their varieties of color in lilac lavender, deep purple, pink, and white.  The scent of lilacs generates so many responses from visitors.  One woman inhaling deeply, declared, “this is my childhood, I grew up with these all around my house.”  Another remembers a Grandmother’s house and smiles wistfully at the memory....   Continue Reading

Desert Botanical Gardens

February arrived with winds and freezing temperatures.  A low temperature in my garden of 23 degrees! Out of state relatives also arrived fleeing even more severe weather of ice storms and below zero temperatures in Indiana. Even as the weather seemed unseasonably cold to us locals the sunshine and mid day temperatures here found my brother and sister-in-law wanting to be outside. In particular they wanted to visit the DBG to get a chance to see desert plants. As a first time visitor to the garden nearly everything was new, including the idea that palo verde trees had naturally green trunks and that a garden would try to protect tender plants with yards and yards of frost cloth....   Continue Reading

Desert Walk

The sun came out and the temperatures were in the 60’s.  We explored the 5.5 acres of the xeriscape demonstration garden at the corner of McDonald & Hayden road in Scottsdale.  The value of a demonstration garden to create a greater understanding of the sense of place is so important.  Years ago when our neighborhood was new a family relocating from Virginia moved into the neighborhood.  With the new home landscaping had to be planned and established.  Shocked at the desert heat and needles on the cactus the family planted all grass on their property.  Another family moved in from Minnesota and planted three pine trees along side their swimming pool.Adjusting one’s awareness of the geography of a totally different region is a series of discoveries.  Demonstration gardens provide an opportunity to experience a place living in the climate, soil and plant life.

It also provides a lovely healing walk out of doors in a beautiful place.  Bird songs, water splashing, dogs taking their owners for a walk all part of the features of a garden full of life....   Continue Reading