Tuesday, June 9, 2009

TWO OR MORE TUESDAY: A TALE OF TWO GARDENS

A big "Good morning!" from Milo & Me!! It is Two or More Tuesday and you can visit Tam, our sweet hostess for today's event to see her contribution and a list of all the other ladies with two or more of anything!!!! As you can see, Milo is posing on two or more legs to greet you this gloomy, drizzly morning in Chicago!! What a ham. And he has no shame!! He is drawing your attention to my day lily's that will be blooming in about two (or more, LOL) weeks. And my post today is about what is going on in my gardens here in the city and up at the lake. And there isn't much happening because you know that our "Spring" here in the Midwest goes right into June. So this is the start of all my early blooming perennials.

Our cottage in Michigan is two hours away, on the other side of Lake Michigan. The climate is pretty much the same. The big difference is that my home in the city is completely shrouded by oak, maple and walnut trees. I get slivers of sun here and there. I can only grow limited varieties of flowers and plants as a result; hostas, lily's, columbine, astilbe, weeds... And then oh, to my delight, we moved to the lake 18 years ago and I was blessed with the sun!!! Gardening took on a whole new realm. Two summers ago we enlarged our covered patio, changed a big slope down to the water into two flat levels and built my beloved Summerhouse, i.e., detached screened in porch of sorts. I started an English garden in an octagonal shaped area between the Summerhouse, shed and patio. At least my version of an English garden. Clean bones and structure, boxwood's enclosing a variety of perennials, herbs and ground covers, a path, an arbor and a lot of funky little vintage pieces here and there for fun. So I am going to take you on a limited trip through "Blondie's English Garden."



Everything is a little weedy and unkempt right now as the rain has really got me behind on things. To the right is the shed and in the background is the rear view of the Summerhouse. I bought the arbor from Plow & Hearth last summer and I have clematis growing up both sides. You might have to squint. You can see my baby boxwood's and my flagstone path, which I promise I am going to tidy up next weekend. I learned a tip about pathways: If you plant Thyme between the steps, when you walk, the herb crushes and sends up a lovely scent. That is on my To Do List. Between the shed and Summerhouse, you might be able to make out my miniature Weeping Willow. I didn't think this guy was going to make it over the winter, but he did and I love him for it. Ignore Resident Carpenter's saw horse~he is going to clean up once he returns from vacation. He has about 3 more weeks of inside work but he no longer lives with us (YES!!!!). Along the side of the Summerhouse I planted 8 tomato and 8 basil plants last Sunday. You can never have too much of either. Next to the shed is a vintage trellis I found that I am growing Trumpet Vine on. Yes, you will have to squint again.

In front of the foxglove is a funky little trellis thingie I found last summer. I need to find some sort of vine to plant inside. Any suggestions??



Isn't Mrs. Foxglove glorious? This is nature at it's most creative. I planted three so I am wondering if they will come up a bit later or if I killed them as I am prone to do with most plants.



Mother Nature was doing some splatter painting!!




Every once in awhile The Husband does something that makes me scratch my head and think "What else do I not know about this man?". We had some "stray" iris growing around the house and I had good intentions of digging them up (at least 15 years worth of good intentions) and planting them in a nice spot and then one day about 3 years ago, The Husband said he wanted to show me something. Now these have bloomed for the most part, but he planted them down along a little slope that divides our property from our neighbor's. It's actually called "naturalizing" in garden lingo because it looks as if they just grew like this on their own. He didn't know this of course, but I was so impressed, not only that he did such a marvelous job, but because I saw a glimpse of a nurturing side of him that I had never seen before. I mean, other than with his children and his law books... But I love his little iris patch and I love him thismuchmore for it!! :-)




Pretty??







Uh oh, I don't think we are in England anymore!







My little garden angel would not approve of this at all!








Okay, a sign that has seen better days....









There she is. Our new boat. We bought her last summer. With all of the clean up work inside the cottage from the renovations, we have yet to take a boat ride. And our dock is sinking!! We have needed to replace the dock for the last couple of years and we are now getting quotes. The huge amount of snow and rain did not help matters. I won't walk on it. But I do love the new boat. It was with mixed feelings when we sold our other boat for this one. It was a beautiful and young. To me, boats age the opposite of how we figure "dog years". If a boat is 7 years old, it is really only 1. If you take care of your boat you will have it forever. And although there will be updates and new luxuries inside new boats; refrigerators, toilets, wine cellars... they are forever young. Our fabulous 23 foot, Four Winns that we bought when we first moved to the lake was a temperamental young lady. She wouldn't start, she broke down, she smoked, she died. But she looked gorgeous the whole time. There is a saying about boats, a definition, if you will: Boat: A hole in the surface of the water in to which money is thrown. So true. We unloaded the little lady and we have this, which is a deck boat. I forget the name of it. I only took a few rides in it last summer because I was recovering from surgery. We also sold our pontoon. It was wonderful for big groups of friends and I liked that it was covered and I could get out of the sun~but it is HARD taking care of two big boats. We also have a fishing boat, a paddle boat and two wave runners. We don't like the water much...










Where could we be?? The Bahamas? The Keys?? No, we are on the patio steps going in to the house. This funky little sign usually sits by my big palm trees that are currently enjoying the warm winter in my home in Chicago. Back they will go to the lake to spend a balmy summer outdoors on the patio, giving us that fake tropical feel. It works though!!











A little glimpse. Ongoing work.... Resident Carpenter has an infatuation with rocks and stones, fossils and arrowheads. They are in abundance up here. He scoured local fields for these stones and performed the laborious job of making these steps as a surprise for us. Wow!! The stones are smaller versions of the large stones in the wall to the left. On the opposite side, inside the house is the field stone fireplace. These stones were also found in local farmer's fields. Some have plow marks on them.











So, I am back at home this morning. I took a few pictures of my yard here in the drizzle. This is my overgrown herb garden. The basil has taken over so I am going to pull some out and re~pot some for the kitchen and then add some of the annual herbs that don't come back every year. IF the rain stops! I also have chives, parsley and cilantro.














And in the corner of my yard is what I call my Woodland garden. Shaded by two big walnut trees, I have a Red Twig Dogwood, the first thing I EVER planted in my life, just a little sprig of a thing 23 years ago. Hidden in there I have peonies, columbine and the remains of a few precious pet birds. They have a nice little resting place there, don't they? And I will pop in some impatiens and red geraniums for color. When it STOPS RAINING!!! ;-)














Bushes and ivy running rampant. I love ivy. The Husband hates it because he says it attracts spiders. Oh, pooh. This ivy covers the whole back and sides of our house and is working it's way to the front. Maybe he won't notice~he has been known to tear it down. But it is stubborn. Emily once took the screen off her bedroom window and left the storm window open a crack. The ivy started growing in to the room and she loved it so much that by mid~summer, one whole wall was covered!! It was fabulous!!! The Husband would have frowned on this...I loved it. But that's just me.
















I wish everyone a wonderful week from my neck of the woods!
xoxo
Jane
















46 comments:

Dawn said...

It must be wonderful to have two different settings to garden in. You have the best of both worlds! Looking forward to seeing the English garden as it grows.
Dawn

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

How great to have a lake side summer home girl...and every time I use to get an urge to want a boat I would get in the shower with water and tear up dollars...ha ha!! same thing and like My late hubby said whats' better than having a boat is having a friend with one...Can I come for a visit?? ha ha!! Love your property girl...May you have a great day...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

April said...

Now, that was some kind of tour, Suzanne! I enjoyed every second of it, too!

In response to the questions you asked me the other day...I stay very busy throughout the day. Hardly ever a dull moment. Once I get my exercising, cleaning, and BLOGGING out of the way, I spend the rest of my day, usually, shuffling Abby around. We hang out at the pool in the summertime with friends on most days. I do enjoy working in my yard, too, and tending to my flowers.

Hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday!

mbkatc230 said...

Your lawns are so different, but both so beautiful. I love the hint about planting thyme between stepping stones - what a great idea. And the rock steps are just gorgeous! What a fantastic surprise. Hope you have a wonderful week. How do you ever tear yourself away from the lake house? Hugs, Kathy

Ms. Tee said...

Hi Janie!
Everything is so lush and green! How fun to be able to get away to your lake house. It's just gorgeous. :) And I loved the story about your hubby, too - so cute. :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Domestic Designer said...

Both of your gardens are just lovely!

Sonia said...

Oh your foxglove is so very beautiful!!! I love the pink and speckled throats on them. One of my favorites for sure...thanks for visiting me...I'm off to Florida for a few days! Have a great week! Miss Bloomers/Sonia

Kathleen Ellis said...

Hi Jane~
What a great post...love your gardens! Those foxgloves are FABulous! Nude bathing??? in my youth...but not now! oops..did I say that out loud?!
Thanks for th tour...and for stopping by and leaving me such a sweet comment!
;-D

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

These gardens are wonderful! That Foxglove is incredible! Your new boat looks like a beauty. I absolutely adore the ivy growing on the house, and would have loved it growing on a wall inside. The story of your husband transplating the iris is just sooo sweet, and I love the naturalized look of them! laurie

xinex said...

I am so sorry you were sick, Janie. I hope you are well now. I love your lake house. I love the stone path and your garden is fabulous, especially the foxglove. Allen did a great job on the lilies.Thanks for coming by. I am glad you like the armoire but sadly, I am having it picked up b/c I am returning it. Two sloppy men delivered it today and they broke the crown and some shelves and they weren't content with that. They broke my antique angel trio that was sitting by my little fountain in the foyer too. I wasn't home but John called me and was so upset and I got upset when he told me about the angels cause I won't be able to replace it. And I was so annoyed when John said that they did not even apologize and just told him he can glue the crown back with wood glue and then they left. Can you believe that? So careless....sorry to vent, I hope I don't make you sick again. LOL! Take care my friend!...Christine

Barb said...

Great pics.
Beautiful flowers, and love the girl statue.

Blessings and thanks for coming by.

Barbara Jean

Paula said...

I enjoyed seeing both of your gardens. I know that you are looking forward to spending a lot of time at the lake this summer. Love the steps that your carpenter made. If I found either and arrowhead or a fossil, I'd be trilled to death!

Lisa said...

The foxgloves are magnificent. I think that I could stare at those for hours.

Anne Marie said...

thank you for sharing~
what a nice little stroll through your land.....

Beverly said...

You have a beautiful yard--I'd love to see it in full bloom! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I read about your almost empty nest and I can certainly relate. I think one of the reasons teenagers are so nasty is so we won't be so sad to see them go. ;-)

Tomarie said...

Both your gardens are beautiful!! I've always wanted a boat and now I want one even more! :-)
What a fantastic tip about the thyme!
Thanks for stopping by the cabin! I'm following you know too! I love your blog!! (Be warned though, I might just be the slowest blogger in bloggyland! :-)) LOL Laura

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Mrs. Foxglove is indeed glorious! I have never seen one in person. They are ever so lovely.

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Jane, your pictures are all so wonderful....love peeking into your life!

I adore the Foxgloves....they are such special flowers and also love your arbor.

I will have to bring my hubby to the computer to see your boat. He is definitely a boat person...we have two!!!

Great post, Jane. Have a blessed week, you sweet lady!!


Hugs, Barb

abeachcottage said...

wow what a tour, enjoyed them both, everything seems so healthy and colourful, *wish my garden was like that!

Sarah

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a great post. Most of the time we just get to see very close ups of things...and with you we get to get a glimps of the whole scene. I loved it. I loved seeing your weeds! Yes, I did. I felt so much better about the crab grass and the creeping weeds I keep battling and I a losing!
YEP...LOVED IT!
Hugs...and love...and thanks!
Mona

Beth at Aunties said...

what a fun post! I too planted clematis last summer and had to squint at the first of this sprinfg and HOORAY it is taken off and has grown about four feet up the arbor.

I love your floxglove and hope your gorgeous boat will soon be flying pretty and making waves!
I too am looking forward to your English garden...thanks for the thyme tip.

Good day to Milo and I hope you are enjoying your week!

Beth~♥

Ashley ~ said...

I love your yard, and I must say your Foxglove is beautiful. I don't think I have ever seen that before. I also want to thank you for your sweet comment you left me, and for your prayers*!

_Ashley ~

Melissa Marie said...

Hi Jane,

Just stopping by to tell you that I gave you an award on my site! :)

Have a Blessed Day,

Melissa

mythoughtsmyvoice said...

A lake house. It can be called that yes? :-)You really like gardening. And my I can just imagine the flowers blooming and the vines covering that archway. WEll you already have the lillies and those pink flowers with spots inside them. :-)

Now for the ivy. I would have wanted to see those inside the room. She probably felt like living on a treehouse or in the woods. I think it's a nice. Though they can be invasive - you must have done a lot of taming with it.

Li

Paula said...

Thanks for your nice comments about my flowers. I really enjoy growing them.

You can buy liquid fence at Lowe's around here. True Value Hardware also carries it here. It is expensive, but I don't use that much at a time. It is supposed to work for deer and I think rabbits, too.

You do see a screened porch in my pictures. I wish that it was fancied up like many that we see in blogland, but it is pretty boring. I should make that one of my projects for the summer.

Smilingsal said...

Beautiful yards, gardens, and a boat!

Be careful: those trumpet vines are poisonous to dogs.

Tootsie said...

I hope you don't get those floods you mentioned on my comments!!! good luck...can't wait to see more of your garden in Fertilzer Friday!

Florida Sue said...

Oh wow Jane it is all so wonderful. We just sold our house in Canada. I wanted to keep it as a summer home, but it was just too expensive to keep two homes in two countries. The boat went bye bye too. Here in Florida it's too darn hot in the summer for a boat. I love what you are doing with your lake house. I grew Mother of Thyme and woolly thyme between my pavers in Ontario and it did great. I miss the foxgloves and all of the northern flowers. Gee, I am sounding a bit homesick aren't I? Our goal is to have a summer cottage on lake Huron when Hub retires.I am looking after myself very well. Well tomorrow the dog comes and all hell breaks lose, but I have a sweet Husband who waits on me hand and foot, so all will be well. I just love your comments and your blog. You are so thoughtful with a great sense of humor. I am so happy that we are blogging friends.

Gypsy aka Tam said...

What fun I had to stroll with you through your garden. Just lovely!!! Wonderful pictures too. I'm late visiting but I'm so glad I didn't miss this post.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Tam

bj said...

Hi, Blondie girl..I so enjoyed your little tour. Everything looks so great. sorry you are having so much rain...we need it so badly out here in West Texas. When it rains here, everyone walks around with the BIGGEST smile...
Thanks for stopping by...
xo bj

prof en retraite said...

Oh Jane! I love both of your gardens! How much fun to have sun and shade! I am now officially in love with foxglove! Gotta find it! I wonder if it will grow down here in our heat? Must google...Thanks for the tour!! Have a great weekend...Debbie
PS...Let me know if the pierrade on the bonfire is a success!! lol

Gypsy aka Tam said...

Hi Blondie,
thank you for visiting my blog and for your nice comment. To answer your question the groundcovers are various 'stepable' plants I planted between the stepping stones leading to my bird feeder.
The yellow star shaped flowers are Sedum Goldmoss Stonecrop and the one with the small lighjt blue colored flowers is Isotoma Blue Star Creeper. I also have Irish Moss, Creeping Thyme and Wooly Thyme planted between the stones.
Have a great evening,
Tam

Fifi Flowers said...

Looking forward to painting the Tale of 2 Gardens!
You just made me realize that my foxgloves are not coming up... hmmmm... LOVE them... it will be very sad without them!

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Beautiful gardens! I love foxgloves. :-) Milo is a hoot! That boat is calling you! It's saying, take me out for a spin...and bring along a picnic basket. :-)
Susan

mbkatc230 said...

Hi Janie. Yes DH does play in a group, as he calls it a bunch of "old farts" goofing around. They have played some gigs, mostly they play classics from the 60's and 70's. He has been playing since he was 12, but isn't a "trained" musician, can read tab and charts, but not "golf clubs" He personally likes to play anything and everything, now he's starting to work up some jazz stuff with Cait - she has been asked to score a movie for a college friend's project. Kathy

cityfarmer said...

I'm likin' this...show us more garden PLEASE

Cass @ That Old House said...

Hi Jane!

Milo -- gotta love that doggy Vogue pose! It looks as if he doesn't do any harm to the daylilies; they look lush!

Loved the tour of the garden, and Mrs. Foxglove is a stunner! Are they hard to grow?

More garden pics, please!
Cass

Lori E said...

I can't keep up with one garden let alone two. Yipes. Cool that you get to do a sunny garden as well.
I tole paint and love the Bahama sign. I just bought a 10 gallon crock like yours last weekend for $5. I think that is a good deal.

Sue said...

Hi Jane, came over from Janie's. I, too, live in the midwest and it's so true- we can't grow all the good stuff those southern gals do to make their gardens look so nice. But maybe if I was a real gardener I could do more w/what I have. But, alas, I have more of a brown thumb than a green one. Your yard looks nice, Husband did good. re: your ivy growing into the house- I saw some HGTV show once where the homeowner continued to let hers grow until it covered several walls... Nice to meet ya. Sue

Joyce said...

To answer your question I now use Silpat mats for baking cookies. They are pricy but you will have them for years and years. I really have no desire to ever see firemen run into my kitchen with hoses and axes again:)
Joyce

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Hey girl Happy Friday to you my friend...thanks for coming by and I would love to show one of our little towns here...they are all so sweet and cute..I really love Sutter Creek the best out of all of them...Oh girl the cutest little victorian house and shops...I think I will do that...I know peeps would so enjoy seeing where the pony express ran through and the old fashion Ice parlor and the cute Victorian tea room...Thanks so much for the tip on that...I will be sure and check it out...Now I have seen thrifty thingys and need to also check that out...As I do get alot of stuff from Hospice store...I go every week and never come out empty handed ha ha!! Now this Sunday is the Second Sunday swap meet which I go to every month and I will tell you it has over 300 dealers so tell me I don't do my Happy Dance there..it takes an hour and half to get there but I go with my shopping cart and my little cooler with my water and my hip purse on....Just love that place and its rain or shine every month...May you have a great weekend my friend...and thanks again for the information about the meme's...and girl you could't over step your bounds with me if you tried...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Cindy said...

Hi Blondie,
I love your lake cottage, its charming and the flowers and decor are so pretty! How are you? I'm sure you've been busy! Congrats on the daughters graduation, such a bittersweet time. Now is we could just get some decent summer weather in the upper midwest. Today at least was better, Cindy

Couture Le Papier said...

Thank You for Sharing,Happy Pink Saturday!"Health,Wealth and Love.." Denise

Lorrie said...

How neat it is to have two separate gardens-one to enjoy whereever you happen to be. The photos of the flowers are lovely.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

A great tour! Tha dog cracked me up. LOve th enude beach. LOL. The flowers, gorgeous. LOve the stone on the porch!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I wish we had used your boat math when we tried to sell our, um, two-plus year-old boat last year, LOL! (Thankfully, Mike sold it to friends. With the shore house, we just didn't use it anymore.).

I love your garden! LOVE. Maybe Morning Glories for the trellis? Or you could always snip a bit of the ivy and it will have that thing covered in no time. :-) I love your Foxglove, and would love to give that a try. Beautiful!