We had several bleeding heart plants in Virginia but my camera could not do them justice as evidenced below.
Early in the farmer’s market season last June, I purchased this wee plant from a landscaper who rips out plants as requested by homeowners, takes the unwanted ones home and rehabilitates them. I was happy to pick out my very own small bleeding heart plant and hopeful for its new opportunity. Here is proof that it is blooming and that I now have a camera to do justice to such beauty.
I look forward to taking more pictures as the blooms mature.
Carolyn over at Deep Thoughts of a Common Household Mom is hosting a garden tour today. Pop on over to her blog to see a list of all who are participating.
My confession: I am not a gardener. I keep the Christmas Cactus plants very happy indoors, but it is my husband who puts 90% of the work into our yard. I like to tell him what I think will look good and sometimes he listens to my ideas. My theory is that when I was young, all of us kids were forced into
slave labor weeding and I was scarred by the slugs and bird droppings. I like the idea of gardening but not the sweaty, tedious work that goes into it. Weeding the garden is a lot like cleaning the bathroom or the kitchen — an hour later, it hardly looks like I did anything to clean it up. Also, if I’m down on the ground too long I have trouble getting back up again.
But never mind all that…
My friend ~A~ has been very generous with us and given us bulbs and plants from her own yard, since we moved into this house 3 years ago to discover we had almost no flowers in the garden. All of my iris bulbs, the columbine, lilies, daisies, and more came from her garden. She even bought a purple-flowered butterfly bush as a gift for us, so in a way our garden is half hers. I remind her of this when we are overwhelmed with squash and zucchini.
The above pictures taken over the past few months (or even the past few springs… I hope you’re not picky). Parts of our garden are much prettier in springtime than in the heat of mid-summer.
Right now we are in vegetable garden season: peas, beans, zucchini, squash, tomatoes (as of yet, still in bud or green orbs) and sunflowers. We have 2 raised beds in the backyard, stretches of garden area along the fence and house in back, and another garden patch between the driveway and alley on the side of the house.
The most current event happening in our garden is a new fence. The old fence was about to fall over in places, so piece by piece and section by section, SuperDad is building a new (taller! prettier!) fence for us. Right now there are 3 new sections in various stages of being ready to join the standing section pictured below. Our temps are reaching for 100°F here this weekend so it is hot, slow work.
A few raspberry brambles have made their way under and through the old fence from the neighbors’ yard. These meager branches have provided us with a handful of berries. And then, a few days ago, we noticed that the house across the street had a profusion of raspberries in the back garden, so we called up the owner and asked if she needed help picking (and eating) them. SCORE! We’ve picked and enjoyed nearly a gallon of red deliciousness since then.
I posted a few days ago about my lavender, which has grown quite nicely from the small mound I lovingly planted in front of my kitchen window. (Surprise! I actually do a little bit of gardening.) Some of that lavender might just go into the making of gifts, such as lavender sugar or lavender sugar scrubs or perhaps even a sachet or two. We’ll have to wait and see how crafty I am feeling this fall.
In another month we’ll be in high season for squash and zucchini. We might go a little overboard with those each year (if you’ve never read that zucchini post, you really ought to click on that link) but they are so good! I should go thaw the rest of the shredded zucchini from last year and bake up a few batches of bread before we become inundated once more.
Queen Elizabeth entertained a visitor on Wednesday, although she might have thought him to be a bit rude.
These ladies-in-waiting were not amused:
The New England Asters were hosting a party of their own.
Plenty of PINK was seen, but only these plants could be considered to be on their best behavior:
We have had beautiful fall weather here this past week (honestly, for the past two months!) and it was time to make one more trek up to our favorite city park before the autumn rains finally arrive. I never get tired of visiting the gardens!
Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, our family spent 4 years in Northern Virginia — land of icy winters, hot & humid summers, pleasant springtime and beautiful autumns. Since I am fond of winter, that made for a “3 out of 4 ain’t bad” situation.
(We won’t discuss my husband’s long commute to and from work.)
It was there in Virginia that I met my friend Cyndie, grower and purveyor of close to fifty varieties of lavender. She has other plants in her garden, too, but lavender is her hallmark.
Blooming Hill is the lovely home and business of Cyndie Rinek. These photos that I took last spring don’t show the additional garden beds that she & her family have been working on this year, but they do give a taste of the beautiful place available for you to see if you happen to drive out to the scenic western end of Loudoun County.
My official visit to the gardens was on a sun-kissed May morning in 2011. A late spring breeze blew the lavender stems beguilingly to and fro, making it difficult for me to capture their beauty with my camera.
Western Loudoun County feels like a world away from Washington, D.C., although it takes less than 2 hours to drive from the cherry blossom-strewn Tidal Basin and tourist-packed National Mall to the rural peacefulness of Blooming Hill.
Let’s go inside, shall we?
Not only are the garden beds lovely to tour, but the gift shop is chock-full of beautiful items I would be proud to call my own — Peter’s wreaths and paintings, and Cyndie’s lavender gifts among them.
Cyndie’s husband Peter is a landscape architect who built this adorable gift shop. He also helps to fill it! He is the one who creates the wreaths of eucalyptus and pussy-willow; he also is the artist of the folk art prints & paintings of local villages.
Cyndie has been busy sewing lavender sachets this past winter. My favorite (as seen on her own blog) is one with the British saying, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Very little can calm me as sweetly and easily as a lavender sachet.
Check the Blooming Hill blog for special events throughout the season — perhaps you could pair a visit with a winery tour or the Loudoun County Farm Tour this spring. A special treat would be to make reservations for one of the high teas available to the general public (see Cyndie’s blog for details). Opening day this year is Friday, April 13, 2012.
Blooming Hill is open Fridays and Saturdays, 10am until 5pm, mid-April through mid-December and other days by appointment or request. Contact information is available on their website. You can also look for the owners at various fairs and shows throughout the growing season.
Please let me know if you go!