Archive for the 'Garden' Category


Garden Redux

This blog has always had a “Garden” page, but it was just that: one long page that allowed one set of comments.  That was not the best solution for the poster, reader, and especially commenter.  Version 2 is here!  When you click on the Garden page (top menu link), you’ll be taken to a completely separate blog.  You may not even realize you are on a separate blog, and that was by design.  This new format will allow Angela to more easily update everyone with all of the great work she does in the garden, and will allow commenters to write back on individual posts.


(On a technical note, if you subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed, you’ll need to go to the Garden blog and subscribe to that one too.  They’re different feeds.)


Purple Cone Flowers

Well, it’s mid June and the temperature is now averaging mid 80s (F, around 29C). The flower border at the right corner of the backyard is starting to bloom. The purple cone flowers are native to Illinois and tend to self seed so I have more than I expected this year. They are easy to manage, reliable bloomers and need little care. So here are two pictures to share with all of you.


Landscaping our backyard

Well after 2 years of being in New Zealand and being surrounded by homes with beautiful gardens, I knew I was going to redesign our backyard when I got home. Most American homes have open backyards which I was not used to even after living in the US for almost 10 years. So the criteria for the landscape were a fence, a border flower bed, a compost bin, and a vegetable patch. I had a landscape drawing all ready to go prior to leaving NZ.

Within the first month of returning home, I had the contractor selected and they went to work. It took about two weeks after the material was delivered. The men came and put up the posts, then the runners, and then the fence boards and it was done.

Fence Post Finished Fence

This Spring, we started digging the sod out for the flower border. That was backbreaking work. It took months since it was just Jim and I working on it over the weekends.

Below is a picture of my vegetable patch. The landscaping around it is not complete yet but we have harvested many rounds of butter-head lettuce, mesclun and Chinese vegetables.

I have to take some pictures of the flower bed when the flowers start blooming. I bought a couple pots of hydrangeas last week and got couple of hybrid tea roses from my neighbor. I’m also waiting on my mail order of Peruvian Lilies (alstroemeria) to complete the bare flower bed. A couple of weeks ago, I spotted New Zealand Flax. They reminded me of the ones in front of Tessa’s house. When I look closer to the tag, it shows that the plant is an annual and will die off in the Midwest winter. I am still on the lookout for hardy flax. I wanted it to be the plant that reminds me of NZ.

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