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Dreaming of Gardens

One moment I wish for snow, and the next, I think about flowers. Well, if I can't have snow, I'd like to be out playing in the dirt. The gardens got seriously injured last summer during the freak hail storm that obliterated flowers, damaged countless roofs and sidings, totaled vehicles, and weakened so many of the beautiful ponderosa pine trees in and around town that it's too sad to think about the ones that won't make it.

A lush summer garden_MK McClintock

Many of the flowers, the perrenials especially, sustained enough damage that they weren't strong enough to withstand the frigid winter we just had (I didn't think the winter was too bad, but I get looks when I say so aloud.) The roses were troopers and survived beneath the shelter of burlap and frost cloths, daffodils and hyacinths have brought a touch of spring, and my precious heather plants have proven just how resilient they are. Half the lavender plants were surprisingly not as lucky.

I'm not doing anything extensive to existing landscapes this year (mostly annuals while I wait to see what will come back), but even an hour or two of digging, pruning, trimming, and admiring is worth it. While I wait for the rain to subside (terrific writing weather) and all the flowers to get much-needed moisture after a week of scorching heat (can't decide if it's spring or summer here), I'll enjoy pictures of gardens past. I shared some of these images several years back, and have added more.

Yellow rose and purple salvia_©MK McClintock

I'm mad about roses. Always have been. Two of the roses had to be cut way back this spring, but they are thankfully showing signs of new growth.

peaceful white rose in the garden ©MK McClintock

The bed below ran the length of a section of the driveway and featured only purples, whites, and Irish and Scotch mosses.

lavender and moss in the garden ©MK McClintock

Now, what I really want is a garden like this one! This is a photo I took while touring Cawdor Castle in Scotland. Even during the late season (it was September), the gardens were spectacular, with a blend of rustic elegance and natural splendor.

Cawdor Castle gardens_MK McClintock

The gardens at Ballindalloch were also quite stunning, though they lacked the wild abandon of the Cawdor gardens. Can you imagine being the person who has to keep all that grass manicured (seriously, it was pristine)?

Balindalloch Castle garden view_MK McClintock

We recently made our first trip of the year to the greenhouses to get all the annuals for the front porch pots and railing baskets: pansies in purples, whites, and Frizzle Sizzle mixes, white geraniums, blue lobelia, white alyssum, grasses, ivy, and a couple I can't remember right now. The columbine will have to go into the ground in a month or two, but for now they are in pots. In 2-3 weeks, there will be one more excursion for all the plants that weren't quite ready, including cosmos, annual salvia, and rosemary (great to keep nasty bugs from the gardens), and I'm sure I'll find a few other beauties I cannot live without.

The winter battered the blueberry bushes. I'm hoping with some TLC, they'll revive for next year, but their fate is uncertain. Strawberries will be grown in pots this year because wowsers, berries have become expensive.

And because I do not think one can ever tire of flowers, here are more garden images to enjoy.

Gardens make me happy. How about you?

Whether admiring flowers in pots on a porch, in sprawling landscapes, at a nearby park, or growing in the wild, may your spring, summer, and autumn be filled with an abundance of nature's beauty.

~ MK


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