Amazing Angelonia

August 26, 2015, posted by Gina – I can’t believe I am dedicating one whole post to one flower, but trust me it is worth it. We have been working on landscape plans for three summers now and our yard is really turning out very pretty despite the fact that we have some very tough areas. In the photo below you see the front of our house which faces west. I can’t begin to tell you how hot and sunny it is. While I love the sunshine, this is a combat zone for any potential flowers even with a sprinkler system.

Angelonia - Front DoorIn our plans, we have four beds in the front of our house that are for seasonal color. It is very difficult finding something that can withstand the heat of the summer so our landscape architect suggested Angelonia which I had never planted. So, back in May I made my way to a wonderful nursery not far from my home and found Angelonia. I purchased enough flats to cover all four beds and went on my way.

When these plants first went into the ground they were about 5 inches tall. Over the summer, as you can see, they have grown tremendously. These plants are simply amazing. They have bloomed the entire summer and needed no special attention other than water. I can’t say enough about these. If you have a sunny spot, these babies will be true workhorses for you. In addition to the deep purple you see at my home, they come in a lighter almost violet colored purple and white.

I have nicknamed them my angels in my garden and I will be sad to see them go. I am working on a plan for fall plantings that I will initiate in the next few weeks as our weather cools down just a bit.

Happy Planting!

Do you have plants and flowers that are able to withstand summer heat and full exposure to the sun? Do you like to fill in with seasonal color also? What are some of your favorites? We’d love to hear from you, so please click on the title of this post to expand the comment form and send us your thoughts.

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A French Garden in Late August 2 comments

August 24, 2015, posted by Michelle – I went on a walk in the big park by my apartment here in Lyon and wanted to share some photos of the beautiful late summer flowers and plants. The weather is slowly changing here and I am starting to feel Fall approaching as the nights and early mornings have become cool enough to wear light sweaters. We’re getting excited by the change of seasons and you’ll soon see Fall colors and new arrangements reflected on the site. (Clicking on a photo in the gallery will enlarge it.)

Are you looking forward to Fall? What’s your favorite season? Do you bring different colors into your home (i.e. new  door arrangements, flower arrangements, accessories, etc.) with the changing seasons? Let us hear from you! Click on the title of this blog post to expand the comment form at the bottom of the post.

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Dining Among the Sunflowers


August 7, 2015, posted by Gina – Last weekend my husband and I had the most wonderful six course dinner with wine pairings. This special dinner was on a large private property in a lovely barn behind the host’s home. The dinner was excellent and afterwards we picked sunflowers and zinnias. The hosts sent us home with fresh tomatoes, note cards made from photos of their sunflowers and a small  painting which was a Walter Anderson print hand painted by the host.

Sunflower print

“Sunflower”, Walter Anderson


Here’s what we ate:

Appetizer – Crostini topped with ricotta cheese, prosciutto, grilled peaches and honey

Salad – Caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden we were sitting next to.

Soup – Watermelon gazpacho

Grilled Japanese eggplant served alongside chicken thighs that had an amazing seasoning and were grilled.

Ceviche with shrimp, scallops, white fish, avocado……so delicious

Main Course – Beef tenderloin with lady peas and baby okra grown in the garden

Dessert – Pound cake ice cream and blueberry ice cream

Among the wines were:

Barton & Guestier Côtes De Provence 2014, France

Martin Codax Albarino 2013 from Rias Baixas, Spain

Domus Vitae Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008, Tuscany, Italy

Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec, NV, Champagne, France



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Photo Gallery: Beautiful Parc de la Tête d’Or, Lyon, France 1 comment

May 9, 2015, posted by Michelle – The Parc de la Tête d’Or is a 290 acre oasis in the center of Lyon. There’s a lake, several rose gardens, a small zoo, a large greenhouse, a dog park, a multitude of thematic gardens, many different tree species and large expanses of green space. The park is just a 10 minute walk from my apartment and I go there a least once a week to run. At the moment the roses are all starting to bloom and the smell is just amazing. Hope you enjoy this photo mosaic of the park. (Click on any photo to enlarge it)

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French Gardens

Le Nôtre garden in Castres
May 8, 2015, posted by Michelle – I have done a little traveling around France recently and wanted to share some photos of a few gardens I came across. They are all very different but each has its particular beauty and make me wish I had even a little tiny space for a garden. The shot above is of a formal Le Nôtre garden on a rainy April day in Castres, France.

Seaside Garden in Bandol
Some lucky homeowner in Bandol, France gets to enjoy this lush garden overlooking the Mediterranean.

Rochegud castle olive tree
A beautiful olive tree and glazed pots on mossy stone steps at the Château de Rochegude, Rochegude, France.

Have you been inspired to recreate elements of gardens you’ve come across in your travels? Where do you get inspiration from – magazines, garden centers, websites and blogs, friends’ gardens, all of the above? Leave us a comment by clicking on the title of this post and the comment form will expand at the end of the post.


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Garden Club Year End Meeting

May 8, 2015, posted by Gina – I am a member of a wonderful garden club that meets once a month August through May. Throughout the year we have knowledgeable and interesting speakers who educate us about everything from gardening to flower arranging.  Our year end meeting is always at the home of a member who has a spectacular garden and the garden this year was beyond amazing.  Sadly, I was so busy talking that I only took two photos but I did have a good time!

New Dawn RosesThe New Dawn Roses you see above were picture perfect. They are repeat bloomers and have a slight fragrance. The soft pink petals cascading over the fence make a very beautiful display. I am about to have a trellis built in my yard and had not selected the roses for it but after seeing these, I am sold.

Iris Garden PathThe garden path is lined with irises and a small basket of flowers hangs cheerily on the gate. I have never thought using irises along a pathway but after seeing this I am going to implement it somewhere in my  own garden. Everything in this garden was so welcoming and creative.  I promise next year I will arrive early and take photos before I start talking with everyone.  Happy Gardening!

Are you a gardener? Do you belong to a garden club? Are you always planting, weeding, landscaping, building, etc. in your yard? We’d like to hear about your garden or your love of them. Please share any comments you may have, just click on the title of this post to expand the comment form at the bottom of the post.

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