Thursday, November 7

Sprouts East Coast Garden in October 2019

Come visit Caroline's yard and garden in colorful, blustery October and be on the lookout for some wildlife spotted this month.

Monday, October 28

An Autumn Country Cottage Garden

Come walk through Mom and Dad's country cottage garden all decked out for harvest and Halloween. We hope you enjoy the tour!

Monday, October 7

Caroline's Garden in August and September

These are a little late getting posted, but better late than never! Come visit my garden and woodland at Summer's end, and see some creatures that make their home in my little corner of the world.



Sunday, September 1

Formal Gardens at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Set at the foot of Mount Tom, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park overlooks picturesque Woodstock, Vermont. I've visited this park many times. I've toured the grounds and mansion, visited the Billings farm across the street and hiked to the top of Mount Tom. This past July, I visited the formal gardens and grounds surrounding the mansion. Come see the gardens in late July when the perennials were blooming abundantly.

Learn more about this park at the National Park Service website here.

Saturday, August 31

The Gardens at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, New Hampshire

The Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, New Hampshire is not only a memorial to the great American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, not only his historic home, not only a collection of his masterpieces but also has lovely formal gardens, a hedge maze, a cutting garden and a landscape as beautiful as the artwork itself.

We visited on a sweltering July day and captured the beauty on video. Come take a virtual tour of the beautiful gardens of Augustus Saint-Gaudens summer home in Cornish, New Hampshire. If ever you get a chance to visit in person it is well worth the trip.

Friday, August 16

Growing Sedum in Containers

Recently I watched this video from Jeri Landers the Storybook Gardener in which she pots up succulents and sedums in various containers. I thought, "What a fantastic idea! I should try that."

Wouldn't you know, the next time I was at a garden center, it just so happened a variety of sedums and succulents were on sale for $1.10 each. So I decided I'd follow Jeri's example.

                                          I decided to plant them in an empty window box for now.
I have a rock garden which is overgrown with mint and lemon balm right now. I may give it a makeover and transplant these into the rock garden eventually if they are winter hardy in Maine. I need to do a little research.
I have Hens N Chicks, Blue Spruce Stonecrop (Sedum reflexum) and three Sunsparkler varieties. I think I have Sunsparkler Plum Dazzled and Sunsparkler Lidakense, but they weren't marked.

Her gardens are charming!

Sunday, August 11

August in Caroline's Flower Garden

My garden is in full bloom in mid-August. All these blossoms have been attracting plenty of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The milkweed is being devoured by monarch butterfly caterpillars which is so encouraging after a few years of no monarch caterpillars in my garden. Hopefully, I will be able to photograph some for Sprouts readers as well as a chrysalis and mature butterflies over the next few weeks. For now, this is what is blooming in my Maine flower garden.

Morning Glory
A lily I forgot I planted! It's a beauty!
                                                                      Red Day Lilies
                                                            Double Orange Daylilies

Saturday, July 27

Portland, OR Summer Garden Video

A Maine Cottage Garden

I've shared many pictures of Mom and Dad's garden over the years on Sprouts Gardening Blog. Here are a few throwbacks to years gone by in their garden. Read about:

Mom and Dad's Gigantic Geranium here

Their mailbox planter makeover here

Mom's container flowers here

Dad's Do-It-Yourself Amarylis Support here

Dad's Vegetable Garden here

This year I've made a video tour for Sprouts viewers to get a virtual visit of their cottage-style water, container and flower gardens. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 16

Rainy July Day in My Garden

Visit my garden on a rainy July day. This time of year I have daylilies, bee balm, foxglove, astilbe impatiens, pink fairies roses, hostas, and yellow loosestrife in bloom. I also give you a peek into our woodland as the rain lets up.

Wednesday, July 10

The Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts July 2019

I recently visited Boston one rainy afternoon and made a point to stop by the public garden located on Boston Common. Boston's public garden is the oldest public garden in America. Watch my video below to see the flower beds blooming in July, as well as statues and the famous swan boats.

Monday, July 8

Clipper City Rail Trail Gardens in Newburyport Massachusetts

In June, I was surprised to discover a gem on a visit to Newburyport Massachusetts. The Clipper City Rail Trail is a public walk along the path that was used for trains long ago. The trail is dotted with sculptures and pocket gardens. I took some video of my favorite garden spots along the walk for Sprouts YouTube channel. 

Come join me on a relaxing walk along the Clipper City Rail Trail.

Sunday, June 23

What June flowering perennials to grow in Portland, OR

A pretty yellow Lilly in a wine crate

There is  nothing better than the display and burst of color that the early summer perennials provide.
The down side is that once most bloom, they do not repeat their displays. Such is the case with these early lilies whose blooms are beginning too fade. It is a Asiatic Lily variety that I planted in a wine crate 3 years ago. It would be good idea if I dig up the plant in the fall and try to propagate more from removing the tiny baby bulbs that are attached to its parent bulb. In our mild winter weather here in Portland, OR I  would just replant them. If you live in a cold area you  may want to replant in the spring. Here is a video. Press the play button in the middle of the two photos.

Daises in a another old wine crate

 In general perennials like these Shasta Daises need to be divided after 2-3 years. Reasons to do this include over crowding and wanting to propagate more plants. In some cases it can rejuvenate plants that are not in good condition. My Shasta Daises are 3 year old and are in a old wine crate. I would like to divide them and plant the extras in the garden. Here is a video on dividing perennials.

Sweet potato vine from a indoor sprouted potato
I experimented this year with a sprouted sweet potato. First I sprouted it in water and planted it outside when the weather is warm, It makes a wonderful tropical looking plant and I might even be rewarded with sweet potato's in the fall. It is a perennial in zones 9-11. Here is a great video that shows you how to start them indoors.

Another mystery that I grew from seed. I think it is a Holly hock not actually a true perennial 
I love Holly hocks because they remind me of the English Cottage styled gardens in London where I lived as a child.  They can grow up to 9 feet and add dramatic vertical height to the garden. They are known as easy growing flowers, but that has never been the case when I have grown them. For some reason they always die out from seed. This season I have discovered that the mystery plant that has not flowered for 2 years is a  Holly hock. It is possible that I planted them about 2 years ago. I can't wait until it flowers. I included them on this post, but you should know that they are short lived perennials and typically live 2-3 years. One bonus is that they do re-seed themselves easily.  

Can anyone identify the white flower? It is from the carrot family and is false Queen Anne's Lace
 I did some research and I think this white flower is called  Ammi Majus. I remember scattering the seed a few years ago. I suspect that I have been pulling it up wrongly identifying it as a weed for a year or so. It produces carrot like leaves. Now that one survived my ignorance I see it is a lovely plant.  I love it for bouquets. Here is a link to where I bought those seeds. Remember to not get the sap on your skin, but I have had no issues with  it so far. From furthur research I have found that this is a perennial in warmer winter climates. It possibly could survive our Portland, Oregon winter in a sheltered place.

Friday, June 21

A Note To Michele: Deer Eat Jerusalem Artichoke Leaves


I like the colors you have chosen this year. The bright colors really pop! Your garden is expanding and you have come so far with it since beginning a garden at this location. I'm impressed. I've enjoyed watching all your video walkthroughs as things progress. It looks fantastic!

I haven't added many new things in my garden this year. Like you, I need to divide large clumps of perennials. I'm concentrating on expanding the garden so I have more garden, less grass (and less mowing!) Here's a video of part of my garden. You'll see hostas, lady's mantle, scented geraniums, and bleeding heart. For some reason, I lost a lot of my lupine plants over the winter so I had no blooms this year. I suspect it was the temperature varying up and down. I also lost my allium- so disappointing!

The iris you sent me are blooming, however, only two survived of the whole batch. But those two will spread in time so I'm excited that at least those survived. Again I think it was our strange weather. The lilies you sent are doing fine. I expect they will bloom in July.

This year, the deer have been more common than in the past. My kids saw one last night as the sun was setting. Today when I went out in the garden, my Jerusalem artichokes had been defoliated! Only bare stalks remain. Sigh.

I've been working for a few years now to get a nice patch going and I was looking forward to seeing the pretty yellow flowers. I'm not sure what to do now. Do I cut them back? Will they grow again this year? If they do, will they be a snack for the deer again?  I don't know.

I feel honored the deer feel safe here. Not so honored they ate my Jerusalem Artichokes. But given a choice, I'll take the deer. Seeing one so close to the house is a magical experience. Here's one I caught on camera one winter.

It's about time for my little birds to return to nest in my garden. I think they are flycatchers, but not positive. Every year they raise their babies here. Here's a video from last summer of their babies leaving the nest.

That's all for now. I can't wait to see more of your garden as the summer continues.


Sunday, June 16

A note to Caroline: More color this year in my urban Portland, OR garden

A view of the Woodland "Gulch" back garden

Expect the unexpected when your gardening in Portland, Oregon. It was hot this week , near 90's and I hear it it is dropping to the 70's in a few days. It has resulted in me harvesting peas with cherry tomatoes on my patio and at the community garden. That is a first for me. The photo above was taken in the "Gulch Garden". The one that I created from fighting blackberry bushes at the back of the property. I have started to only plant perennials because planting the area with annuals was a chore because I had to recreate the garden each year from the blackberries.

A view of the patio. I always create two rooms
Here is a view of the patio I am still working on. I have the space to create two outdoor rooms. One with wicker seating and the other with a patio table that I use as a potting area and place to dine. This year I decided to do a brighter color palette to create more of a tropical look. The bright orange lily and shanta daisies are now in bloom.  The gladiolas and calla lily look like they are next.

Lambs Ear gone crazy

So many perennial now need a new home. Like the lambs ear that has doubled since last year. Where to put it is a good question. It has been growing in full sun. Part of the "Gulch Garden" is very sunny and part is very shady. At the edge of the bed are succulents that also need some pruning as they are covering each other in hopes of gaining more territory. 

A bright splash of color is provided by nasturtiums

I loved growing these nasturtiums for my hanging baskets. They are very easy to grow and more economical for me than buying a pre-made basket at a garden center. They seem like a very versatile plant.

Here is a short video tour of the garden. Do you use a specific color scheme and if so what is it? 

Saturday, June 15

Roses-Portland , Oregon

 If Love was a Rose bush, the thorns are the basis on which selection is made of those who really deserve the affection which we all eagerly seek.

Saturday, June 1

June is National Rose Month

In honor of National Rose month, here is a photo of my red blaze climbing roses. These have survived almost 30 years of cold Maine winters.

Friday, May 31

June garden walk through in late May-Portland, OR

Our roses started blooming a few weeks ago

Hostas look great this year

My Lambswool plant doubled in size.

Small, ground cover of Lemon Tyme

Candytuff one of the earliest perennials to flower

More Hosta

Succulent ground cover

Wednesday, May 29

Spring Blossoms in Maine

Flowers are finally blooming in Maine!

Lilacs perfume the air...
We have daffodils...
 Annuals in containers everywhere...
 My purple tulips...
and yellow tulips...
and wild blossoms are seen on a mountain hike. 

Monday, May 6

Introducing Pansy the Cat

Some of my fondest gardening memories are of my cats following me through the garden, watching me weed, chasing grasshoppers, dashing up tree trunks, and especially clowning around as I rake leaves. I've shared countless cat pictures over the years on Sprouts.

This is my newest cat appropriately named "Pansy" I hope she will spend many happy years in my garden, as all my cats have. Here she is pictured when we first brought her home from the shelter at 10 weeks old:

Now she's bigger. She loves "Cat TV"

and watching squirrels on the other side of the window...

She's nearly full grown now and ready to accompany me and my other cat, Chloe, into the garden this summer. 

Wednesday, May 1

Happy May Day!

We saw this Maypole at the NH Renaissance Faire in 2016. A maypole is a 600 year old tradition originating in European folk festivals. Ribbons are attached to the top and a dance is performed. By the end of the dance, a lovely woven pattern covers the pole (if all goes well!) The festival can occur on May Day, Pentecost or Mid-summer. 

Wednesday, April 17

April Botanical Gifts

I was blessed yesterday with a surprise visit from my mother and father, and they came bearing spring gifts! I thought you'd like to see some of the pretty things they brought. The arrangements were made by my multi-talented mother.

It's spring in Maine but we still don't have any bright colors of which to speak. Other than the blue sky and sea, our world right now is a pallet of muddy shades of brown and grey. So all these cheerful gifts brighten up our house and our spirits while we wait for nature to burst into color.

An arrangement of pansies, violas and pussy-willow branches.

The first pansy of 2019
An arrangement of silk flowers and pussy-willow branches

A large grape-vine wreath adorned with silk flowers, pussy-willows and a robin's egg blue bow

A bouquet of pussy-willows cut from Mom and Dad's pussy-willow tree.

What to do when it is just too Darn hot to Garden?

It has been a very hot summer everywhere. From what I have been told it is normal to get 100 plus days from the months here from  May to Oct...