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Sunday, July 10, 2011

me... happy!



There are few things that make me happier than a car full of plants. 
If my house- heart is the interior design, then my house-soul is the landscaping... the design, planting and tending to the yard.  Even after all we had done to the house during the renovation, it wasn't until just last Fall when we started on the landscape design that the farmhouse truly felt like "ours."  I am sooo very grateful and lucky that Dan feels the same way.  I certainly couldn't do this without him (or Big Blue, the tractor!)  He loves working in the yard.  And, when I say "working," I mean blood, sweat, more sweat kind of working in the yard.  Lately I haven't been on my game and a couple of plant holes have had to be moved; meaning dug twice, and he hasn't uttered a complaint or a frustrated sigh-  and one hole was for a 7 foot diameter daisy transplanted from the back porch area.... sweet husband:)  New Hampshire is the granite state, so each small hole dug involves removing 3-4 large rocks (rocks that need a pick ax to budge!)

Unlike in Dallas where every inch of our property was landscaped, the majority of our property here (we are on a little more than four acres) will remain in its natural state.  We have landscaped around the house, softening the hardscape by planting the front bedthe living room bed and the courtyard.  The cutting/herb garden (off the back of the house between the barn terrace and the back porch)  has been designed and is awaiting installment;)  Right now I'm working on the bed for the new stone wall that was added as you start up the driveway. 




yesterday...




today...



The huge daisies plants (there are four plants which each measure 6- 7 feet in diameter ;  fingers crossed they take the transplant- so far, so good:) give the large bed instant age.  I'm then adding old-fashioned plantings that I've observed at antique houses in the area..... Annabelle hydrangeas, ferns, hostas, peonies, hyssop, day lilies, rhododendrons, Shasta daisies, lambs ear and lavender. 

I'm needing some smaller (12-14 inches) pink perennials.... if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.  I would also love to hear the plants that you think of when you think of an "old garden," perhaps your grandmother's garden or an aunts.   I'm far from finished and I would love to have a list of favorites to work from! 
Thank you!! 




This is one of the four nurseries that I went to yesterday and today!   At this location I bought huge bustin'-out-of-their-one-gallon-pots hostas for $10!



The charming pay shed.... notice the sign on the door-




this sign!! 
Open 24 hours and on the honor system!!
Have I mentioned lately how much I love living here?!!



so....... what time shall I expect you to be here to help with the planting?!!!




60 comments:

  1. Lovely hostas - variegated green and cream, and blue. As to the "old" garden plants, how about pinks, carnations, marguerites, heliotrope, sweet peas, and lilies?

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  2. I so wish I was good at gardening! I'm all about interiors, but I do think that outside should be beautiful too. I just need help in that area...

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  3. Hi Joan,
    Thank you for sharing your home and garden - I always look forward to new posts!

    As far as pink perennials, my garden is not too far south of you in the Boston suburbs, and I've had success with astilbe in shady areas. It comes in a variety of heights and colors, with many shades of pink available. For a sunny area, you might consider purple coneflower - I believe there is a variety called "Kim's Knee High" that is shorter than the typical coneflower and might work for you.

    In general there are many classic perennials that work in New England - roses, peonies, iris for early summer; coneflowers, balloon flower, daylilies and rose campion for midsummer; black eyed Susan, butterfly weed, and asters to take you into the fall. Not to mention the many flowering shrubs (you'll love the way your Annabelle hydrangeas change from white to rusty pink as the season moves towards autumn) and fruiting shrubs like viburnums and winterberry to fill out the structure.

    Can't wait to see pictures of all the work you and Dan are doing! And more pictures of Ella please.

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  4. Oh how I love a local garden center and one that's on the honor system is almost unheard of these days...sadly. What a great place to live.
    Enjoy your gardening. The weather here is HOT and HUMID and the weeds are winning. :)
    Babs

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  5. Joan,
    Two old-fashioned plants that I can think of are verbena and hollyhocks. I remember that my grandmother had both of those. I'm not sure how they would grow in your area, though. I'm in zone 8. Have you heard of the Drift roses? They are hardy like the Knock-outs but are much smaller. I planted some this spring and I love them. Looks like you and Dan are going to be very busy planting.

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  6. This looks like a lot of planting! I wish I lived closer so that I could lend a hand, with the planting, not the digging! Your husband is a saint!

    I love the local garden center, and I love the honor system. You do not see that too often in this day and age.

    I cannot wait to see all that you do!

    Have a great week!

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  7. As a Southern California gal I'm not sure if your area can support 'penstemon' Apple Blossom. Its a pink perennial that is lovely. Your garden is looking great.
    Karen

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  8. Perhaps some daylilies in a wonderful soft pink? While they aren't very tall (maybe a bit taller than you're looking for??), they may be too full for what you're looking for. Heather, dwarf irises also come to mind. G'luck with the search...that's all part of the joy of gardening!

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  9. Hi Joan, love your home! When I think of an old garden I think of Holly Hocks, my favorites!

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  10. I know EXACTLY how you feel!!!!!!!!!!!! WE have an acre and a half and some of it is woods but any that isn't is planted! We have over 80 rhodos and 50 azaleas, and so many hostas I can't count them! My hubby keeps splitting them: you can't kill them!!!! Ferns too.I love phlox but can't keep it cause I don't have enough sun. Zinnias!!!! Oriental lillies. I will think of some more and let you know:):) XO, Pinky

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  11. I can't wait to see your finished gardens! Your home is beautiful.

    Susan

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  12. I soooo love your place and the narrative you've shared via this blog. Your love for the place shines through every post.

    You've already mentioned several from my favorites list, especially peonies and hydrangea. I would add lilac, foxgloves, hollyhocks and roses

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  13. Lily of the valley comes in pink now and the pips spread very nicely. You mentioned all of my favs so your garden should be lovely. ;-)

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  14. Funny you should ask that question today, I just finished a blogpost on some of my garden favourites - check it out!

    Lovely plants you chose so far.

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  15. much older sister SusanJuly 10, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    In Portland Oregon, Mamaw had tiny pink and white carnations and nasturtiums in her flower beds around the side and front of the house. Granddaddy had plum trees in the back yard and cherry trees in the front yard. I miss that house so much!

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  16. I love a car full of plants too! We are finally enjoying our yard this year after renovating the inside and neglecting the outside for a few years. When I think of vintage gardens I think of bee balm, lisianthus, holyhocks, black eyed susans, and of course roses. I bought a bunch of climbing roses to put along my fenceline from Connie at Hartwood Roses. She has a ton of heirloom varieties and they smell just like the roses my grandmother had in her yard...heavenly! And she ships!

    So if there is free room and board, I will up to help you plant right away! ;-)

    Kat :)

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  17. How about Bleeding Hearts? I think they would be a perfect addition to your garden.

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  18. I just had enough time to scroll down and know that I am absolutely coming back for a more thorough reading..

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  19. I'b be in heaven with a load of plants like that! :) I feel the same as soon about the importance of landscaping to the total home.

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  20. You know I'll be right there to help! I have some Cranesbill- Hardy Geraniums called Max Frei. They are a nice size, and have a long blooming flower time. Of course there are many other varieties, colors, sizes. I have them planted near my peonies and they made a nice combination together! I have two pictures posted under my "Peonies and Bling" posting. They can take full sun, part sun, to part shade! There are also many varieties of Astilbe, some that are shorter than others. Last year I picked up Plum Royale, Coral Bells..the whole plant is a nice plum color and it flowers a very nice colored flower! I'm the same way about getting plants! Happier than a pig in mud! I keep plastic in my car just for those moments! Enjoy all your new plantings!

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  21. Lovely, lovely gardening plans. I would use some different varieties of dianthus. They are gorgeously old fashioned like mini carnations with a lovely clove scent when you have enough. From above they can look like a persian carpet. It may take some hunting to find them but they are so worth it. I usually have some columbines and some bergenia (elephant's ear) which are pink flowered too. Looking forward to after photos as always, happy gardening.

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  22. People thought I was crazy for buying an SUV when I didn't have children at home any longer.... what in heaven would I need that for. I'm a gardener!! My vehicle frequently looked like yours.
    I think the garden center should sell little signs that say 'plants on board'.
    Have fun playing with your new toys.

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  23. I'll be right over - and when we're done, you can make the 10-hour car trip back and help me, right? LOL!
    Can't wait to see where you put all of your treasure!
    xo,A

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  24. Oh Yum...Let's see old garden. In our old 1800's house in NY I had a bed of peonies and irises that I loved together! Also love hostas and bleeding hearts in the shade. For sun how about echinacea?

    Enjoy. Not so much the digging...but the planting!

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  25. The girls and I will be over tomorrow!

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  26. I'm on my way! Put the kettle on...and I'll bring my tools :)

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  27. There's nothing much more rewarding than stepping back from a freshly-planted plant ... imagining what it will look like as it matures. Moving from working inside your house to improving the outside is a big accomplishment, and one to be proud of.

    I see Kat beat me to suggesting that you add some heirloom roses. (and not just because I also have a rose nursery ... I think EVERYONE who has sunshine should grow roses, no matter when they buy them.) There are varieties that are fragrant and nearly carefree, and they are a fabulous addition to an old house garden.

    Hostas and other shade perennials were my first love, believe it or not.

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  28. We've used a mail-order company called Graceful Gardens for hard-to-find old-fashioned perinnials with very good results. Their site has the variety names listed, so you can browse for inspiration. I don't know the names, off the top of my head, of varieties, but when I think old-fashioned garden I see hollyhocks, delphiniums, phlox and roses. I added some really sweeping penstemon last year to our cutting garden, and it has woven itself all around the other plants-- so charming and beautiful!

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  29. You are so lucky to have a husband who enjoys the same things as you. I think if I was ever lucky enough to find a partner again, he would have to be like that...count your blessings. PS I love gardening too, it gives me such joy.

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  30. New Boston!!!!!!! Old gardens in NH have astilbe and peonies. Maybe something tall like hollyhocks?
    over in Dover (NH)

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  31. I see that my two picks -- foxglove and lupine -- have been mentioned. Whatever you choose will be beautiful, no doubt!

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  32. I'm on my way sweetie! should I bring a jeep full of plants when I come? haha... i do have some white accoma crape myrtles that pop up babies everywhere, shall i pop a few in the mail?

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  33. I wish I could come over to help! Wait..what about all of those plants I still need to get planted here? ack.
    A plant I love is tiarella or foamflower. It comes in pink and is grown as a native woodland plant.

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  34. ..oh joan how i love this...of course i immediately wondered what the farmer's wife had outside her door...surely she loved her flowers too...what about lilacs...that is one plant i so wish we could grow in the south...and the minature carnations would be perfect for you and dan...in any event...it will be beautiful...just to match the house...and the hearts of the new owners...

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  35. Your website is beautiful. I just discovered it and went back and read all your older posts. What a classic beauty this house is. I was wondering if the barn room is finished. I may have missed it but I didn't see any photos of the end result! Love, love, love this site.
    Diane

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  36. I'm making a list....keep the names coming!!
    Thank you!

    I probably should have mentioned that I am in zone 5!

    laney- what I wouldn't give to see what exterior of the house looked like then!

    Diane- welcome! you read the whole thing?!!!
    no, you didn't miss a thing! barn room is completed except for a bit of an issue with the wood floors:( the room is still empty and even once I can get in there to decorate I am months away from it being completed... think slipcovers, zinc tabletop, lamps made.... it's always somethin' around here!! I do plan on doing a finish (albeit empty) room post soon though! again... welcome!

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  37. My grandmother always had daylilies and mint. Brings back some memories!! We were sent to cut mint for the iced tea every afternoon. :) Enjoy playing in the dirt... that is soul food in and of itself.

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  38. I cant wait to see everything planted and your rock garden all finished and pretty! Not sure if you have deer near you- I know my parents do and they are the largest pain in the butt!! Be sure to plan a few things that are "deer friendly" meaning the deer wont eat them.

    The deer at my parents house like to eat all my moms flowers and it drives her nuts. She has now started buying everything that deer wont eat :)

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  39. I would LOVE to come help. We have done the same and concentrated on our inside for the past 7 years! We have a leak in our basement and my husband will be doing a french drain around the front of the house before any landscaping can be done...so I continue to wait.

    I think pink impatiens would be a great pink addition and I do see them a lot around older homes. They are an annual though.

    It is such a joy each time you have a new posting. Such a beautiful house and area!

    Judy :)

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  40. I live in the MN/WI border, and I've have fabulous luck with both pink and white versions of Bleeding Hearts- mine have deep green foliage. I'm told they like partial shade, but mine in full sun have also done well, probably due to the colder climate. I was told that you can pull apart the flowers (if you like) to get pieces that resemble a sword, slippers, shield, and a lady- perfect as props for telling stories in the spring and summer with children. Don't worry, each plant spreads and gives LOTS of flowers so you wouldn't miss the few that get used. :-)

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  41. Hola, hope all of your new plants get well used to your beautiful garden. I understand that you are happy with your car full of plants!!!
    muchos cariños

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  42. Could I borrow your husband? :)
    xoxo Dianne

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  43. LOVE LOVE the shot of the back of your car :) I adore my trips to the garden center too!

    Ok, for smaller pink perennials, I present to you: Vinca, Echinacea (its an herb too!), Phlox, Salvia, Apple Blossom Geraniums, Carnations (they have a TON of different varieties now), Snapdragons and Cosmos (even tho its states Snapdragons and Cosmos are annuals, they come back each year here in Cali - dont know if they will over there!)
    Have fun - I am soo jealous of the dirt that is under your nails :)

    XOX

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  44. Rick and I have been working away this summer on a new garden ourselves but not today to hot out! One of my favorite shrubs, mock orange, for early summer and the light orange scent is heavenly and a profusion of white flowers. An old time favorite would be "sneezeweed" that I absolutely love! Blooms red, fades to orange and russet and blooms from early summer to first frost and is very reliable year after year up here. Sorry I'm not a pink person but these plants are great up here, I hope that helps!

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  45. What a BEAUTIFUL site. That car full of plants. Ironically (I know you've done time here in the PNW so you probably know this), I moved out to the Eastern side of King County (not really Seattle) and just up the road from me is a nursery like the one you describe. Honor system, see lots of folks paying with IOUs and shopping on "credit" (slipping in a $50 crisp one for one plant and then coming back for more later). The prices are TO. DIE. FOR. Especially for the gorgeous sized plants and the unconditional happy factor he throws in. I died and went to heaven the first time I stopped in. Hostas and Hydrangeas are what I usually pick up there (for anywhere from $5 - $12 each).

    I love love LOVE my Autumn Joy Sedum. Great pink blooms though they shoot deep into red as well which might be a great shade in with the rest of the pinks you select. Love it to pieces. And it still roots and blooms out from those pieces.

    I just blogged about my secret garden supplier. Fun times!

    Happy gardening!

    Bernadette
    @ b3hd.blogpsot.com

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  46. I totally agree - few things make me happier than a car full of plants and a husband just as happy to put them in the ground. I'm fortunate that way, too; he loves working hard in the garden, and in the mountains we have tons of rocks. Up in the southern Appalachians at 4000' (zone 6?) I've had tremendous results from a hardy geranium (cranesbill) called "Roseanne." She's lavender purple, but there are other varieties that are pink. She's low and spreading and blooms the entire summer until frost. For an early bloomer, pink evening primrose is quite pretty, but doesn't last too long. You mentioned lambs' ears - they have lovely pink blooms, too. I've also grown dwarf pink bee balm, pink yarrow, and a double echinacea, though even for dwarf size, they all may get a little tall for you. Have fun creating your old-fashioned garden! Love your blog.

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  47. P.S. I nominated you for the Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger award. Hope you win!

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  48. thank you, thank you- I'm loving hearing of all your suggestions!

    Bernadette- I love the Autumn Joy Sedums too, and have them growing wild on the property. Just today I transplanted some from the road to the terraced wall next to the garage that I am also planting. I am trying to use things transplanted from the property.

    Carolyn- one of the nurseries had a special on some hardy geraniums (I think it was Rozanne). I wasn't familiar with this variety; this was my first exposure to them... I just looked it up and think it will be fabulous for the terraced stone wall garden, so thank you for mentioning them...now want to go back and buy some! And, thank you SO much for the nomination! I am honored!

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  49. In the 25 years I have been gardening, I have made the transition from "pretties" to woody plants. My absolute favorites: viburnams. The 'Mohawk' may be the most perfect, but right up there is the 'Winterthur.' Here in Kansas, we too, often have long snow-crusted winters. It's beautiful to see the snow on the trees and shrubs. Viburnams are wonderful in a formal garden setting and they make a great transition plant to wilder areas. I still mourn the loss of my minivan which I called my plant mobile.

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  50. ...ps...dear friend i meant to ask yesterday...what do you do about the deer and bunnies...(i don't want to think what the farmer did)...

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  51. Hi Joan, Dan, and Ella: I like Summer Phlox, in pink (about 10-12 inches tall). Lambs ear and bleeding hearts so remind me of my great aunt. For something low, I love my creeping geraniums; they are more of a purple tone, but great. Astibles are another great plant and come in different shades of pink. Even though these don't have color, I love my hens and chicks that I got from my grandparents summer cottage. Peonies and sweet peas, two other old
    garden plants. Have fun; I know that no matter what you plant, the gardens will be beautiful!

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  52. Your garden will be lovely - esp after you add some lilacs:)

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  53. Now the work really begins! I'm envious of your sweet little garden center, and the gorgeous plants. I can't wait to see what you do with it all!

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  54. For a beautiful "antique" garden look, see if you can get some heirloom peonies. They love the sun, they drift, and come in the most delightful shades of pink, rose white and fushia. Perhaps a good neighbour has some growing, and could separate a few for you. They are much hardier than the newer varieties sold. Foxtail and coneflower are also great shades of pink,are hardy, and spread wonderfully. Last but not least - Carpet Roses. Hardy in your zone, abundant blooms, low growing drifts in a multitude of colors. Hope these sugestions help.

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  55. you are hilarious... my car looks so similar so often!!!! love love love my garden.... alot of work but it is my therapy! xoxo

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  56. We were on the same wavelength today...I was planting hydrangea and phlox this morning in our 90 degree NC weather. I have lilacs and gardenias in my yard and they totally make me think of my grandmother...so beautiful and they smell heavenly. Your garden is going to be amazing!!

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  57. ...what about 4 o clocks...my grandmother always had those and i loved them so (and her)...however i don't know if they will come back for you...you are a little distant from her sleepy little south georgia town... when i was little i always tried...but never could...catch their opening at 4 o clock...after she died we found an envelope with my name on it containing 4 o clock seeds...grandmothers are special like that...rather like old houses...and people who love them...

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  58. If you are looking for some good old fashioned perennial favorites in PINK...check out my post from Nov 29 2011....might give you a few ideas...

    we have put the water on at our lake cottage today...so I am very happy to get the gardening season going...

    Cheers

    Linda :o)

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  59. Lilacs, planted under a window so you can enjoy their fragrance. I especially love white lilacs. Enjoying your blog - I have stayed up the last three nights into the wee hours reading every post!

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