Flowers in the garden

Mid-Michigan is still experiencing chilly days even though our Spring flowers are blooming.  Today it is only in the 40’s, and we are expecting rain.  My garden is producing a spectacular display of flowers this year, perhaps because it is aging.

We moved to this home ten years ago this coming Fall.  Just saying that sentence is difficult for me to believe, as the time has passed so quickly.  However, when I walk about my yard and garden, it is easy to understand.  So many of the very small plants that I planted in 2008, 2009, and 2010 are growing into loving blooming shrubs, colorful ground covers, classic plantings and interesting additions to my surroundings.

Each one has a story, came from a certain plant nursery, plant sale or a new Michigan friend. I even have a tree from a friend from West Virginia who visited me and brought me a sapling the first Winter.  I remember being hesitant to even put it into the ground, but it is growing into a lovely Japanese Maple today. I received seeds from other WV friends and those flowers have grown into beautiful plants as well.  Some of my plants I have lost along the way, but somehow others have crept in to cover up the open spots.

I often say that I have a Spring garden because I like my garden the best this time of year. I have many plants, shrubs and bulbs that bloom and flower throughout the Summer and Fall, but it is the Spring season that makes me the happiest.  Coming through a cold Winter and realizing that the perennials with a story will be back to greet me just makes gardening all worthwhile.

One of my favorite ground covers has to be Lily of the Valley.  I took a clump from my mother’s garden in 2009 and placed it in a featured spot near my front entrance, that is now filled with my bridal bouquet flower every Spring. The entire bed is almost completed covered in Lily of the Valley.  It has woven around the Virginia bluebells, the varying sized hosta, the lirope, and the English ivy. My blue periwinkle is a sea of blue around the front perimeter of my property. I planted a few small clumps here and there and somehow it became a lovely border.

My herbs are growing and my fenced garden has been cleaned and cleared from the winter leaf cover.  Now to make my planting list for the summer patch of edibles.

Here are some photos of my flowering trees and shrubs, along with other Spring plants in bloom. I did not plant my garden to be a showcase, so don’t look for anything spectacular. This is just a garden where I have learned to understand the beauty of the seasons. And I appreciate the smallest and the most delicate plants, hoping to see them again every Spring.

Lenten Rose

Well worth the wait is the Lenten Rose or Helleborus.  It has taken around three years for my plants to really take hold and offer up beautiful flowers.  I love my three plants, and this Spring they have produced a lovely effect in my shade border.

Michigan is a great location for these plantings, as sometimes warm, wet or humid conditions that are present in other States, would lead to disease.

I especially love their speckled flowers and the shape of the leaves.  The colors are muted in each of these cultivars, although I believe that adds to their charm.  Somehow this plant reminds me of days gone by, and old friend, or gardens of the past.

I wish my whole border was filled with Lenten Rose, as I have come to really love their beautiful blossoms when Spring is just emerging in Michigan.


spring garden clean up and pruning

I have been working in my yard cleaning up the garden beds and removing leaves, debris and cold damaged tips from my boxwood and other evergreens.  Today, I looked at my tree rose, and removed some of the cross branches.  This rose probably could be pruned back, however; I simply cannot ever do this task in the spring.  I know this rose blooms from old wood, and i especially love the pink fragrant blooms every year. I hate to even lose just one of them.


So, my pruning seems to concentrate on just a few stray branches and for the rest, I tend to use plant ties to hold the branches in the best position for the plant.

I recently was asked to try out these multi-binder re-usable plant ties, and have found them to be very flexible to use.  I like that the ties are made from rubber and will hold up to a wide range of temperature fluctuation.  The are expected to work in temperatures from -20 to 150+ degrees.  I know my garden has experienced the -20 this past winter, but I hope I will not have to test out the 150+ degrees during the upcoming summer months.


The ties can be ordered in a variety of sizes.  I used one small rubber tie to attach one of the rose-tree branches to the rose trellis.  The branch was secure and could be easily adjusted, if I decide the weight of the branch needs extra assistance to support. I like the space that the tie allows for movement, wind, and growth.

The rubber structure is an improvement over my other plastic clamps, which broke this winter under the temperature stress.

I look forward to doing more testing of this product in the coming weeks.  For more information, please follow this link: