Summer Flowers 2017

I usually share my gardening adventures each summer. Here’s a peek at this year’s flowers.

Since we went on vacation at the beginning of summer, I held off on planting until mid-June. It was hard to wait, but important. Because I waited, I didn’t get any pansies this year. I mostly found petunias when it was time to shop. They are always a nice pop of color, though.

Things are a little behind where they’d normally be, but they will be beautiful by the end of summer. I’ll enjoy them along the way.

I started my flowerbed almost ten years ago with some plants shared from friends and family. Now there isn’t much room for anything new. It’s fun to see how it’s matured. Now onto the maintenance (aka weeding)…

My Takeaway: Sometimes waiting is the best approach. You can give things the attention they deserve.

Pretending to be a Photographer 3.0

We recently took a cruise around Norway, and, of course, the scenary was incredibly inspiring.

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Outside the Ascot Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. Lots of bikes around the city!

Alesund, Norway

We loved all the old ships at the Sunmore Museum in Alesund, Norway.

Amazing Fjords around Geringer, Norway, with the Seven Sisters Waterfalls.

Rocks weighing down the strings on a loom at the Sunmore Museum in Alesund, Norway.

Water front property in Norway.

My designer takeaway: Traveling makes it easy to see things in a new perspective. Take advantage of that.

Pretending to be a Photographer 2.0

Over the holidays, we stopped at the beautiful Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. With warmth, butterflies and flowers in the middle of winter, this place is very inviting and inspiring!

Here are a few of my favorite shots from our visit:




My designer takeaway: Practice makes us better, and sometimes it’s even fun to practice!

Summer Flowers 2015

I usually share my gardening adventures each summer. Here’s a peek at this year’s flowers.

We had a weird, cold entire month of May, and it left me not in the mood for gardening. I went really simple this year, mostly sticking with pansies and petunias. They are sure pretty now, though.

I also tore out a big weedy/grassy chunk in the middle of my flowerbed. The ground was so wet from our cold rainy May that it was easy. I decided to leave it bare for this summer and keep pulling the weeds from that area. Hopefully next summer it will be ready for something new.

My designer takeaway: This summer’s lessons were (1) to just keep going (when I really didn’t feel like planting because the effort was worth it in time), and (2) it’s okay to rip it all out and start over!

Before we’re all bloomed out …

As Fall is rapidly approaching, I realized that I haven’t shared any of my gardening from the summer. We had a few hail storms that set things back and irritated me, which is probably why I haven’t shared.


This year, in my big pot, I went back to the good old spike for the middle focal point. I stayed with the trailing verbena for that lovely cascading over the side effect (this year’s has two-tone flowers – I love it!). I kept those lovely petunias that provide so much color and stuck in a few vertical verbena for some variation.

For the layout, I put the spike off center and grouped the middle flowers, the vertical verbena and the petunias. I really like this year’s layout. I may repeat again next year.


In my flowerbed, the medium to tall perennials are thriving and mixing more than I’d prefer. I vow to watch them closely next spring and remove some of those taking over. If I messed with them at this point, it would just leave a big hole.


I’ve added a few more groundcover plants in the front. I think these should all fill in nicely over the next few years. My favorites for our area are the sedum. The hen and chicks especially thrive here and put out spectacular, alien-like flowers.

My designer takeaway: This year, stick with what works!

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