A stroll through my backyard (Image heavy)

trudi_dJuly 7, 2007

Here's some picts of what I see when I'm out in the garden...

The wildflower and grasses garden, I made this for Hubs who loves all ornamental grasses more than anything in the garden, well, maybe with the exception of the tomatoes.

The other side of the grass and wildflower garden.

The pathstones are flanked by two planters, at the base of one is a patch of self-sown calendulas.

This is the fence garden, it is dominated by huge spiderworts--they're the size of shrubs.

A bright patch of mixed gaillardias grows in the corner of the rectangle garden. The seeds for these came from a planting at the Jones Beach Nature Center. They have a butterfly garden and I was able to obtain these seeds before it was cut back for the winter season when the center is closed.

The loop--it's a long bed which originally was a hedge planting with tall miscanthus. It was a beast to dig out all the clumps, but it gave me a new planting are where I could put in my seed-grown crepe myrtles. It functions as a divider between the sunny and shady sections of this part of the garden.

A shady section of border. As the sun rises the daylilies will be in sun for the rest of the day, the purple phlox are always in full or part shade.

This is the back corner shrub garden, it has several shrubs which produce nectar, fruit and shelter for birds.

A more central view of the shrub garden.

The other side of the shrub garden.

Hostas remain an addiction, the large blue and gold hosta in the center of the photo is Paradigm.

On our 20th anniversary Hubs and I went to Montauk for the weekend, on the way back we stopped at an east end nursery and bought this lovely lacecap hydrangea. It is thriving in its location because of the mulch there, but even nicer, the neighbor has his compost heap on the other side of the fence and to the left of the hydrangea is my own compost heap.

This is the long border by the back fence...it's sparse right now as it was a total redo this spring. It is planted with more crepe myrtles, a row of echinacea seedlings and is dotted throughout with annuals. Its border has a planting of orange profusion zinnias and geraniums.

Opposite the fence planting are determinate tomatoes, they're interspersed by annuals and holding beds for perennials.

More tomatoes, flowers and planting beds.

Same garden but other side of the beds. There's an A-frame for cukes. You can see some of my huge compost heap which is behind the garage and along the stockade fence.

Backview of the bench garden is always a riot of reseeding color. Every year it looks different as particular annuals or perennials take on dominance among the others.

Front view of the bench garden. Mixed echinaceas dominate the view. The bulk of the plants here will attract butterflies for nectar or act as a host plant to feed their larvae. An Oklahoma Redbud is starting to fill out, it it now four years old. I love the bronze color in the new leaves.

A close-up of some echinaceas--they're petals go up and down like horses on a carousel, the flowers are about five inches across.

Along the large wooden fence is another redone bed...this one has annuals and perennials to attract butterflies. At the rear you can see a planting of aslepius. They are in their third summer and only two of them are blooming, maybe next year they'll all bloom. Monarchs have been resting on them so perhaps they'll lay their eggs too.

This section of border is destined for a redo, it was smothered with almost a foot of clippings and leaves last winter and only the hardiest of the perennials emerged. I may tackle this redo later this year or leave it under another foot of leaves in winter and redo it next spring after the hardiest perennials emerge again.

Ahhh...that was a long walk through the garden, time to take a rest in the shade.

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So much color - so many flowers - love it! I must go back outside and get busy!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 1:28PM
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albertar(z7 LINY)

Very, Very nice Trudi. You've got quite a big yard there.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 1:39PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Great looking yard....I like the variety of plants & colors. Like that hosta bed mucho. You still got a lawn! A very BIG yard compared to mine. lol. :-) Love it.

P.S. Is that a Purple Loosetrife?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 1:52PM
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I feel like I have just been outside in your garden. It is great. It also looks like a lot of time and energy has been expended. However, when you love what your are doing, you don't mind it that much. Thanks for taking the time to put this on the computer and sharing with us.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Thank you all.

VJ, it has a huge variety of flowers. I think that's been the most important aspect for attracting beneficial insects to the garden. It's very rare to see any bug damage here because it's so dispersed. Earlier this year some green aphids were sucking on the new growth of a plum tree, but I patiently waited amd Ma Nature sent LadyBugs to the rescue.

Alberta, thank you kindly. I was inspired by all your borders and put in many more after I visited your lovely garden. My backyard is a bit bigger than most here, but I'm on the inside of a curve making the garden wider in the back than front.

Pit, it's an infertile hybid loosestrife which does not produce seed capsules. It's quite pretty and makes lovely bouquets.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 2:15PM
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Thank you Eden, you wrote your comments as I was writing mine above.

It is a labor of love and sometimes though it does seem like more labor than love. Finally this year, the garden is at the point where I won't be adding any more beds. For now I'm content with the amount of planting areas I have. I've been here ten years, starting with a completely blank canvas. There was nothing here but lawn and a few tall pine trees in one of the corners. I have never hesitated at purchasing a great shrub or tree on sale when there's been the need for them, but otherwise, 90% of the garden has been created through Winter Sowing--including many of the shrubs and trees which are in it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 2:24PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Babe, you have it all. Those spiderworts are MONSTERS. I have always wanted to see your beds. I'm going to go back through these pics a few more times and take notes.

Where's my brats and wine?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 3:22PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Very pretty, Trudi. I loved seeing your gardens.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 4:12PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I long for that look in my back yard. Kudos, it is so lovely and lush!!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 7:17PM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

My favorite is the Shrub Garden...love it, love it, love it.
Next, I like how you put the tomatoes with flowers all around them. That is very cool. And third, I like how the gardens border that canopy/rest area.

Thanks so much for sharing your pictures(I'll never forget that I wouldn't have had any to share here if it weren't for you!).


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 7:19PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Wow! It's so lush and varied.

And I should have read your opening post before asking my question about whether gallardias can be winter-sown.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 8:25PM
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WOWSERS!!! So nice to walk through such beautiful gardens. Just sat down with a fresh cup of coffee and this was a treat!

That Spiderwort is to behold as is the Hydrangea. You are going to have to post pics of that new bed you just redid when it starts to get going. Looks like great things to come.

My favourite spot is the annual/perennial sunny spot where I can imagine a flood of butterflies coming to feast around noon. Seems so peaceful.

Oh, and are those Pelargoniums the ones you rescued just a short while ago? Looks like they are doing just great, eh? Amazing what a little TLC can do for a plant in need. I just picked up two dying ones today too. They'll be going in a whiskey barrel tomorrow.

Thanks for your note on my post. I was writing at the same time you were. :O) I do hope those Blue Poppies do well for you. I have mine in am sunshine with dappled shade the rest of the day and I never let them dry out. You might try that. Let me know how they do!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 8:42PM
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Trudi, thanks for the stroll through your garden. It is absolutely beautiful. You are a blessed woman.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 8:53PM
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Nicole, yes those are the rescue geraniums...actually they all are, lol. There are now many throughout the garden. I guess this is the year of the "crunchy geranium", lol. I rescued crunchy geraniums in white, pink, coral, orangey-red, red and a oddball two-tone reddish-orange. It takes an afternoon to clean up, plant and feed a large tray of them, and another month more before they look "normal" and set buds, but they were worth the TLC. The last set I bought came from Home Despot; they were horrible looking and absoulutely irresistable.

I didn't take any photos of my planters but on my front deck I've got some with red geraniums in the center, flanked by colossus marigolds and purple wave petunias. They're certainly not subtle but I love them ;-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 9:10PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Oh Trudi, what an lovely stroll. Wonderful gardens and the rest area was just a perfect stop to take in the view again.

Love the way you have those tomatoes in with the flowers. I
used to do the same thing, then went to the pots in the back yard for more sun.

Now the big huge oak tree is coming down before it lands on the house, so may put those tomatoes back out front next year with the flowers. Then again, I might just leave them and dig out the area that had a burning bush we took down. That would make a perfect bearded iris bed, edged with ?

Trudi, got any suggestions for the edging?

OK, rested enough, time to take another stroll through your gardens. Think I'll do it in reverse this time.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 10:04PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

LOL, fran! I've gone forwards and backwards a few times already!

Great gardens, Trudi! Would not have expected anything less from you, but it's an absolute pleasure to stroll thru anyway!

Love the shrub garden, love shrubs, period (me with no space and and the affinity for lush, LARGE plants!). That hydrangea is glorious, and I can picture myself relaxing in that hosta garden! Beautiful. If my bones were a few years younger, I could picture myself in the crook of that tree!

Thanks so much for the njoyable stroll - um, strolls!

I have a question - in the upper left of the rectangle garden (5th pic), what is the plant with the rusty-colored flowers? I see them all the time in the gardens around my office - like it, but don't know what it is? I keep eyeing them for seeds ....


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 10:42PM
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Hi Fran,

Bearded Iris spread out with their leaves pointing away from the center of the clump...if you look at a silhouette of the clump it looks like a big vase. In front of bearded iris you need something low and creeping because the iris leaves are going to lean and crush down over whatever they're near and above.

An easy and simple annual edging could be portulaca. It has fleshy, creeping stems which are a visual opposite of the tall sword-like leaves of the iris. Portulaca thrives in full sun and well draining soil just like the bearded iris, and also like bearded iris they'll do well in droughty weather. The plant makes a zillion flowers with no work other than weeding them as needed. And they are good reseeders too. Nowadays portulacas come in single colors or mixes so you will have a lot of choices.

Another good annual choice is nasturtiums. In my garden they rarely reseed and they can sometimes attract aphids, if you don't have aphids then they might work nice in front of the iris.

For perennials, because they're not in bloom all the time, you need to concentrate on their leaves being a focal-point. Look at Mondo Grass, Creeping Sedums and or rock garden plants with grey leaves like Gold Dust Alyssum.

Hope this helps or gives you some ideas...


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 10:56PM
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jackied164(z6 MA)

Thanks, very nice garden and wonderfully grown plants. My favorite thing though (which I envy) is all the different fences you have to work with as a backdrop.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:08PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Thanks Trudi,

I like the portulaca idea. I love them and they are so easy to WS too. Guess I'm going to be making some trips to the local mall this year just for seeds.
They plant tons of portulaca in their containers and I just can't help myself when all those seed pods are calling me.

Last year between my well trained daughter and myself, we collected about 1/8 cup of seeds.

Portulacca it is around the edges of the new iris bed. and maybe some livingston daisies too. I just love those neon electric colors they put out.

Do you think some annuals should go in the bed as well? Something tall like cosmos? I usually don't have any reseeds as I use lots of mulch, except for the burning bush.
That thing reseeded everywhere. After 10 years of trying everything to stop them from reseeding, 8 years after we cut the original plant down, I resorted to roundup for poison ivy and that did the trick. Now have this big naked spot in the side of the front yard for 2 years and it's time to fill it in.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:13PM
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Hi PV,

The hosta ring is my summer office ;-) It's under the 30' canopy of an ancient dogwood.

That plant with the rust blossoms is likely a Dart's Red Spirea Shrub. It's over three feet high and is about five feet wide. The rust colored blooms are the old flowers that are fading away, when the flowers first open they're the color of Cherry Sucrettes, they hold on the shrub for a long time and then fade to rust and then dull grey-brown...at that point I'll shear the plant so it looks nicer.

Probably seven or eight years back I traded for unrooted cuttings of this plant and was sent a fistful of them, but only just a few did manage to root. I planted them all as one clump and had them in two other places before settling into this spot where it has been for about five years.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:18PM
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Fran, cosmos would be quite nice, but at the back of the bed for a backdrop to the iris leaves. Earlier this evening I was pruning cosmos, they're getting quite huge and the tomatoes they surround are needing breathing space. It's my fault for planting them too thickly..I spaced them six inches apart when a foot would have been better.

This year I'm growing "Dancing Petticoats" from Renee's Garden which is a blend of all sorts. They germinated very well and so far the Versailles are the first in the blend to bloom, the other plants are setting buds now and I'm looking forward to seeing what they'll be. The butterflies like their flowers a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dancing Petticoats Cosmos Blend

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:27PM
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Hi Trudi -- Very pretty, but not what I expected at all. You have GRASS! For some reason I thought you wouldn't have any grass...isn't that funny?

I want to see the bed off the deck. I read once where it's the place where the chaff goes when you clean your seeds. :))


    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 4:27AM
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Trudi...you have inspired me to winter sow in 2008. Can tomatoes be winter sowed?
Your garden is simply gorgeous.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:43AM
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Yes you can germinate tomatoes with Winter Sowing. If you're in a short season area you need to choose early toms with low DTM, like early girl, moscow and matina. Any tomato catalogue will list early toms so you have lots of choices. If you're in zones six and warmer you can grow all sorts of tomatoes with success by winter sowing their seeds. Use the link below for info on the procedure. You can click through to a Tomato SASE offer where you get six different packs of seeds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Sowing Tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:57AM
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OMG!! So glad you shared! I love the idea of a shrub garden...very inspiring. Everything is so gorgeous and lush and what great diversity you have:D


    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Trudi, I absolutely love strolling through someone else's garden. The stroll through yours was pure pleasure. Great pictures and so nice of you to share them with us. I'm very impressed that so much was winter sown. That is very encouraging to us ws newbies. I like your seating area too. What a wonderful veiw you have of your gardens from there.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 2:54PM
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Trudi - Thanks for sharing pics of your beautiful garden beds and borders. Strolling though others gardens is so fun!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 6:55PM
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Thanks for sharing Trudi! You've given me hope that I can do this too :)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 8:11PM
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Absolutely beautiful indeed! I just turned on the computer tonight hoping to find some pictures of various gardens to look at. I saw your post and wow just what I was hoping for! It was indeed breathtaking! I agree with Linda because of you I am having such fun gardening. Thanks so much!!! And thanks for sharing. Those pictures were so nice and large and easy to see. I was ready to sit down at your table for a cup of lemonade at the end of that tour!! Wow!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 8:50PM
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Your beds are beautiful and so healthy.

Thanks for sharing your gardens - I especially loved your gaillardias - one of my favorites! Thanks


    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 11:33PM
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icotte(z9 CA)

Very nice Trudi! Thanks for sharing. I couldn't quite make out the seed-grown crepe myrtles. Have they bloomed yet? I have some weeping crepe myrtles I started three years ago but they have not bloomed yet. Do you have any idea when they will?


    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 11:57PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Loved taking the tour! [g] Everything looks great, especially liked your grasses and wildflowers and the hostas are so healthy looking. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 7:29AM
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The crepe myrtles are mostly about a foot tall and very thin little sticks. After transplant many of them dropped their leaves in a heat wave that soon followed, but they've since sprouted new leaves.

Crepes are annoyingly erratic in when they begin to bloom, a rare few have bloomed their first year, but most of them started to bloom in year three of four here.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:31AM
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So pretty and lush! Thanks for putting the pics up! My favorite? The lacecap hydrangea from Montauk...I am a mushy romantic about marriages that still "bloom" after over twenty years!I think it is so fitting, so symbolic that this bush gets "fed" abundantly by the nearby compost piles!

My husband (just a "tomato man" in the garden - the rest is "all your's sweetie")has purchased many special plants and garden items for me for Mothers Day in May and My birthday in July over the years. When I am out there I am reminded that he is a keeper! Nothing says I love you better than a beautiful, living plant.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Trudi, I've often wondered what your garden looks like. You've mentioned that you don't label containers because you like surprises. I'd say the result is quite natural looking. I, too, am starting with nothing. Seeing where I could be in 10 years is strong motivation. Thanks for sharing. It is lovely.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:33PM
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Hi Mama,

I do pay attention to leaf shapes and I try to plant different types of leaves next to each other. I'll do a clump of pointy leaves next to a clump of round leaves, next to a clump of strap leaves, etc etc.

Plants are never in flower all season long, but they have leaves all the time; at dusk all the colors fade to grey tones, so all you see are silhouettes of leaves. The different shapes and sizes become more noticable and the garden is still beautiful after dark.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:31PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

What a lovely place to take a stroll and such an acheivement in just 10 years. Thanks for sharing your beautiful space, I'm sure I'll be back again and again - I keep seeing something new each time. Love that lacecap Hydrangea and the Echinacea's!! WOW!! What an inspriation!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 3:51AM
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neonposey(z7 NC)

Wow. You have a lot of action going on there. Everything looks great and so colorful and welcoming. Your yard is my kinda place to hang out!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:33AM
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WOW, that WAS a long walk and worth every step!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 5:46PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Very pretty, Trudi. I haven't seen pictures of your yard in a long time. It look like you've tripled what you had planted the last time I remember seeing pictures.

My husband bought me a dwarf crepe myrtle ("hopi") for my birthday. It's supposed to be hardy to zone 6. It's still in a pot on my porch waiting for fall planting. I collected some seeds from it. Did you sow your seeds in winter? spring? Since they're basically warm weather plants, when is the best time of year to sow their seeds?


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 6:08PM
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My goodness, it was very interesting to look back and see what's here and what's now gone. Yesterday I dug out the overgrown spiderworts and replaced them with echinaceas. I always have loads of echinaceas reseeding so they're a big fill in when I'm ripping out. The bed with the yuccas is full of some weeds--it must get a major redo this fall. For the most part it all looks the same except things have filled in and gotten bigger.

I probably have two dozen crepe myrtles here, all grown from seed I traded for on the forums. I took seeds from all around the country and mixed them together. The seeds were WS (probably in late January) and they germinated well in mid spring. The seedlings were kept in a holding be their first year--I was surprise to see some lavender blooms. The second year they were transferred to a back fence border where they were another year, after that I started moving them about the garden. I now have two crepe myrtle hedges and some extras still in the back fence border. Crepe Myrtles have a varied hardiness, usually to zone seven but some species can do zone six quite well. If you want to increase your crepe myrtles then trade for seeds from around the country and WS them all together. After a couple of years you will know which of them are hardy for your garden. It's three years time between sowing and seeing a blooming and prunable hedge from your crepe myrtle seeds--for me it was a grand experiment to see if I could succesfully germinate them with WS here in zone seven; I am absolutely delighted with my crepes. They're just about to start blooming too so that's really nice to see.


Here is a link that might be useful: Crepe Myrtle Seeds (nice hardiness data)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 7:20PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Thanks, Trudi. This was such an old thread that I resurrected that I thought you might not see it.

Maybe I'll try some this year. I do love crepe myrtle, but a lot of them aren't hardy here. This hopi dwarf is supposed to be though.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 7:32PM
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Wow - I missed this first time around because I seldom come over to the gallery side - so glad it got bumped back up again. What a lovely trip through your gardens trudi - it really was an inspiration.....


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 6:29PM
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agirlsgirl(6 SW-PA)

Trudi,like Lynne,I rarely come here,but I am so happy I did! Gorgeous yarden you have! That Hydrangea is to die for! Thanks for sharing with us! :)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:55AM
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The garden is beautiful! Wow...!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Loved the stroll through of your gardens! gets me in the mood to look for seeds to sow, I think I will go to the local nurserys and see what they have marked down., and the big box stores..
Thank you for sharing!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 4:16PM
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