Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Garden Agreements

Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis ) now in bloom

Shortly before heading to Chicago, the garden and I had an important conversation. Stachys monnieri 'Hummelo' blooming in the GOBN

C&L had been just a wee bit concerned another garden would come between us!
Practically Perfect Pink Phlox (Phlox pilosa) still in bloom

The garden spoke of how seductive full sun and loamy, deep soil could be. Poppies in deep soil on a sunny hillside at the Chicago Botanical Garden

That the glamor of a big city garden might catch my eye and win my heart!
The Bayless Kitchen Garden in the big city



That I would forget our long time together and run off to another garden...

Barbara's (Mr Macgregor's Garden) lovely wildflower garden

Maybe even another wildflower garden!

After a little reassurance...I was able to convince Clay and Limestone that I would keep my agreements to honor my roots; not fall prey to comparisons and the dissatisfaction they breed; not for a minute think a gorgeous face was enough to base a gardening relationship upon and never, never disparage the garden to another gardener.

I did a pretty good job....but,
Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)

I did have to order Prairie Smoke to try in the garden!


Gail

57 comments:

  1. Not that I even have a fully formed garden yet, but after that trip the vegetable garden is looking particularly fetching right now. It is the only garden in which I have some sense of control and order.

    I just have to tell myself the CBG and the Lurie were not grown in a single season.

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  2. Oh Gail, I did not honor those agreements. I am sad to say that I fell prey to comparisons and covetous behavior. But I have tossed all that aside and am back paying homage to my garden and all the joy (and weeds) that it brings me ;-)

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  3. Hi Gail,
    I love prairie smoke too! It's such a unique flower!

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  4. Christopher, Do you remember the cabbage in the ground cover of parsley? I loved it! Beautiful, simple and all edible!

    gail

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  5. Diana, It was a temptation filled weekend! I am not at all sure that I completely kept the agreements~~once or twice I coveted a pond! I know your garden was thrilled to have you back! gail

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  6. Rambleonrose...It is a gorgeous flower...I hope I can grow it! gail

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  7. Gail:
    I am glad that I am not the only gardener who suffers from coveting other gardens. My most recent posts were on a wonderful shade garden I fell in love with almost ten years ago, and had the chance to photograph..... I could sense the 'kids' were worried that I would be lost in the Shaded Sanctuary and forget about them, but alas, they are mine and I wouldn't part with any of them ever!

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  8. I thought my garden and I had an agreement that it wouldn't let the weeds grow in it while I was gone. Well, when the gardener's away... let's just say my garden let the weeds have their way in a big way while I was gone!

    I need/want/must have some Prairie Smoke in my garden, too!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  9. Your garden need not be envious of mine. You'll have to come back in July or August, when the rains have stopped and the large cracks develop in the beds. I wish I had known you wanted some Prairie Smoke. I'm going to divide mine in the fall. I guess I'll send some to Carol. It does put on quite a show in May.

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  10. Well, I was tempted to try to get away from Nebraska to Chicago, but I don't drive on the highway, and for a plane ticket, I could buy lots of plants. Maybe another time, though.

    I loved your post! You are an awesome writer and photographer!

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  11. Clay and Limestone must be very relieved you returned Gail. There was much to turn our heads at Spring Fling, but there's no place like home, and it's even more special after being away for a while.

    I hope Prairie Smoke enjoys a long and beautiful relationship with with the tried-and-true old timers there.

    Somehow a couple of little Prairie Smoke plants found their way into our garden this spring from a native plant sale. It might have had something to do with seeing them at the Lurie earlier this spring when they were budding. possibly.

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  12. I happen to love visiting the Colorado State University Trial Gardens.
    I myself have bad clay soil and it takes me a fair amount of work to grow a lot of plants well.
    However at least the Cosmos thrive so well...

    www.lifeseedco.blogspot.com

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  13. I didn't go to Chicago, Gail, and sometimes I can't walk around the block without fighting covetous feelings about OPGs (Other People's Gardens). Plus, my garden must be in cahoots with Carol's about the weed thing. So I guess it balances out.

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  14. Gail, I am sure your garden is thrilled at having you back and will reward you by growing prairie smoke very well. I too fell for that one in a big way. It has a sparkle to it that I couldn't quite capture with the camera, but my mind's eye remembers it well.

    Tennessee coneflower is looking lovely as it PPPP. And by the way, I think Prairie Smoke will compliment them very well.

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  15. I don't know when I've ever seen 'Prairie Smoke' in real life before Spring Fling, except in my own garden! I'd seen them two years ago in High Country Gardens' catalog and had to have them. Last year, they struggled here, but this year, they are glorious, just as they were in Chicago.

    I'm SO glad I got to meet you, Gail! I regret that we didn't get to spend more time together though. :-( I would have liked that. It was such a busy schedule and so much to see, it was hard to spend any extended time with anyone. We'll just have to remedy that in Buffalo! (Unless you want to make a trip to Ohio! You're always welcome here at Our Little Acre!)

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  16. The last time I was here (Monday I think?)I noticed that Geum on your sidebar wish list Gail. I'm glad it's no longer a wish, but a reality! I hope it does well for you. It looks really interesting. tee hee on your conversation with C&L. I can't imagine you ever straying. It's so easy to admire other peoples lovely gardens but there's nothing like your own to come home to. I think you have a pretty incredible garden going. It hasn't failed to inspire me yet!

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  17. Ah, the PPPP! I envy you for those blooms and of course the picture-perfect coneflowers!

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  18. I see that you were seduced into smoking while away. So was I. I must get the Praire Smoke established here. Like Carol, my garden seemed to get sick sick while I was away, throwing up weeds all over the place. UGH..

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  19. Dear Gail, of course you are true blue to your beloved garden, but that doesn't mean it cannot be improved upon after getting some great ideas from visiting others. Unlike people, we don't have to settle for loving our gardens *just the way you are*! Improvements are always in the works, aren't they? Your new bench will be a great addition also. We shall study the needs of these Prairie Smokes to try and get it right the first time in placement. I am so glad you ordered them, figuring they might have a run at High Country after so many saw them at Chicago and sell out. Not many sources online and I had already checked Mouse Creek without success.
    Frances

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  20. Prairie smoke is certainly worthy of adding to your own garden!It is always nice to get ideas when visiting other gardens..I like visiting yours.Happiness in your garden this weekend!

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  21. I think gardens, like cats, are very understanding in you admiring others of their kind, without any jealously, but only pride. ;-) I also love the Geum trifolium. A friend grows it and for some reason it doesn't get quite as poofy in our climate--it probably will in your warmer temps, though!

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  22. Monica, The poof is it! I adored iPrarie Smoke and think the wind helps, too...The prairie has that marvelous wind, our southern gardens are almost windless in the summers.

    My cat is very possessive and jealous, not sure if the garden is...!


    Gail

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  23. Lisa, LOL! Yes, I took up smoking! It was everywhere I went, taunting me, teasing me until I broke down and had to get a few! gail

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  24. Gail,
    Tell C&L it doesn't matter where you get your appetite as long as you eat at home. ;-)--Randy

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  25. Gail,

    Oh, I understand the temptations of attractive gardens as I covet shade and plants that deer love to eat.

    If all of our gardens looked the same, blogland would be boring! :-) Cheers to the uniqueness and individuality across all the gardens!

    Cameron

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  26. It's always tempting to come back from a garden excursion like this past weekend and start making comparisons. I know I usually feel a little dissatisfied when I look at my humble garden. But besides taking years to achieve the effect, most of the gardens had a staff of many people to maintain them. That makes a huge difference!

    I have been coveting a Prairie Smoke, though, too, Gail. Can't wait to see how it does in your garden!

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  27. Thanks for bringing all of us back to what really matters: our roots! Both in our gardens, and in life! It's often such a temptation to believe that the 'grass is greener' on the other side - when what we are blessed with at home is priceless!

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  28. The prairie smoke is something I need to do some research on. Very pretty. I've seen photos of it but they apparently didn't do it justice. Your photo is wonderful.

    Trust me, you don't want to give up a garden in Tennessee for anything in Illinois. The climate is just too extreme up here.
    Marnie

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  29. Love this post today Gail! I try not to compare my gardens to any gardens I view. I can only do so much in a day and some people have flocks of people to help or more time to spare in the Garden. So my garden will continue to be a hobby and fun for me and not a place of comparison! I don’t compare myself to others so why would I my garden :-)

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  30. A little reminder of Chicago gardens in your own garden seems like a fair deal for you both. I hope the prairie smoke grows beautifully for you.

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  31. Of course you had to order Prairie Smoke!!

    C & L never had anything to worry about. :)

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  32. Okay. The poppies are pretty and who wouldn't envy a koi pond in the kitchen garden, (!!!) but my garden still envies Clay and Limestone! My garden will never be completed, that's part of the allure to the hobby. The prairie smoke is gorgeous and I love that purple stachys. It reminds me of a miniature butterfly bush! I think Clay and Limestone will understand those other gardens will only bring new plants and purchases into yours!

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  33. How lovely Gail, what a great parade of flowers and plant. I must say I love that city garden, very exciting and the poopy field is almost unreal.
    Have a great weekend in your lovely garden/ Tyra

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  34. Great agreement indeed! I bet C & L will forgive you for ordering Prairie Smoke and it will fit right in with all the other plants there. Your garden is looking grand.

    I need to email you about the garden tour tomorrow. I'll be in Nashville anyhow so I'd like to go on it. Do you have the details? I'll check via email. Have a great day. I can't believe how wonderful the weather. And why am I not OUT there??

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  35. Dear Gail.....Each garden holds its own beauty....and indeed, I truly believe beauty is the eye of the beholder. I have been in the smallest garden and fell in love with it....why....because it showed the soul of the person who loved the space and gardened there.

    You say you may one day come to England. I give very few invitations to my home, I am a very private person, but if ever you feel the urge to fly the pond, please look me up, you would be most welcome......

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  36. Dear Gailie,

    What could I think after reading this post but...

    "make new friends, but keep the old..one is silver and the other gold"

    C&L had nothing to worry about old friend! :)

    --Lynn

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  37. I am glad at least someone knows the meaning of honor.

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  38. Gail dear, your beautiful gardens would hold their own by comparison to any other. Your property is wonderful and I would continue to reassure your gardens that they have nothing to fear. :)

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  39. We may covet other gardens but there is no place like home, Gail, as your loved garden shows ... it's your soul speaking to unique earth answering your prayers. Happy gardening weekend!

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  40. I too like the Prairie Smoke very much. I like to look at other gardens for the beauty but I like mine. I just try to add 1 or 2 occasionally. Mainly trying to put things that will need less care. Also that will survive the occasional cold of winter.
    I hope it survives in your lovely garden.

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  41. Hi Gail~
    I admire your love and commitment to your garden. I, too, start to feel a little funny about my garden (myself) after spending time in botanical gardens.
    The photo of the field of poppies is breathtaking. The prairie smoke looks like it will be a nice addition to your garden. I bet it looks like magic when it's blowing in the wind.

    ~Karrita

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  42. I'm sure C & L has nothing to worry about Gail. It is definitely a garden worthy of comparision and well loved. :)

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  43. I am very smitten with Prairie Smoke--I want some too! As fun as it is to visit other gardens, it is always good to get home and be in your own.

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  44. I can't imagine comparing my garden to any of the magnificent public spaces. But I don't feel that covetous of the Bayless garden.

    That being said, I look at my jungle and I do wish I had organized things a but better. It was wonderful to see you in Chicago Gail and I hope to spend more time with you next year.

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  45. Hello there Gail ... I am also a fan of that geum and I am trying to find it here eventually too !
    Looks like everyone had a wonderful time there with all the different posts : )

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  46. Hello Gail! What a creative and beautiful post. I love your gorgeous photographs and your writing style! So glad you had a wonderful time at the Spring Fling and gathered the love and inspiration from other gardens and gardeners to bring home to your own special garden. Isn't it always so nice to come "home"?! (That Pairie Smoke is awesome...I might have to try and find some myself!) :)

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  47. Ahhhh, but it was a refreshing short trip on your blog to see another pretty garden. Thanks fr sharing the beauty. I hope the Prairie Smoke does well.

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  48. It's fun to get another view of the Spring Fling in Chicago (I saw Monica's, too). You packed a lot of gardens in! And let's don't forget, when properly transformed into enthusiasm, envy can lead us to better things...

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  49. The poppies, the arbor...it's all so beautiful. Very cool garden fling. I could use a tour about now... humm...

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  50. Oh, I had to enlarge and stare longingly at that photo with the garden pond...
    Brenda

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  51. I know your garden will forgive you for that one little lapse and it'll continue to reward your efforts. The garden might even welcome your geum with open arms. At least I'm sure that's what you're hoping. :-)

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  52. Okay, now that's you and Frances both...I might have to look at Prarie Smoke a little closer. :)

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  53. Isn't it the most fun to get great new ideas and incorporate them into our gardens after visiting another... even when they aren't in the same zone. C & L is surely happy for you venturing away and bringing home additions so pretty. I hope it does well for you in your already lovely gardens!
    Meems

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  54. Hi Gail, I cannot (repeat: cannot) imagine you anywhere else but in your own setting! :-) I do understand enjoying the beauty of other gardens, however. Guess what, my Aunt MEA has promised me a piece of her Geum triflorum (she calls it Long-Plume Avens). (Yea!)

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  55. Oh, you found it! I want some too. Cute post. I came back still loved my own garden best. It has so many memories.~~Dee

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