Tag Archives: Flowers


This is a hollyhock that I have grown from seed. I started six of them indoors last spring. This is the lone survivor. When they reached a few inches in height, I transplanted them to my flowerbeds. This one in the rose bed will bloom soon.

Hollyhocks are biennials. They don’t bloom until their second year. So I am eagerly waiting to find out what color it is since I planted a packet of mixed colors. I check every day now for any hint of color.

I started several more hollyhocks from seed this year. Although they do reseed themselves, you have to plant them for two successive years to have blooms every year. I am keeping this year’s seedlings in pots until they are bigger in the hope of having a higher survival rate.

The anticipation is real!

Benefits of the Sit-Stay

Zekie holding a stay in front of the irises

Zekie staying by the wygelia

We walked around the yard this afternoon checking out various plants. As Zekie walked by some of them, I thought what a beautiful photo that would make. So, I told Zekie to sit, and then to stay.

He is familiar with this process now. I can saw his name to get him to look at the camera and he continues to hold his stay. He waits for a release command which could be in the form of:

  • Ok-meaning you’re released to move about
  • Come-means come to me
  • Ok, let’s go-which means come to me and we will proceed to walk

These are just commands as I use them. Unless you are competing, it really doesn’t matter the words you use as long as you are consistent and can communicate with your dog to get the results you want.

With most dogs, keeping commands short, one or two words is best. This is what I do for all our dogs. Zekie is very communicative and seems to be able to comprehend sentences at other times though. Such as, “be quiet or you’re going in your crate”. (“Be quiet” when used by itself is less effective.) “Where is daddy?” “Go get your bone.” “I’ll be right back.” He responds appropriately to all of these sentences.

An intelligent mind can be both a blessing and a curse in a dog. They spend lots of time thinking. It is up to us to channel those thoughts in a direction that we find appropriate. Otherwise, the dog will channel them as he deems appropriate, and we may not agree!

Still Mulching

I spent several hours today weeding and mulching my peony and iris bed. Hubby tried to weedeat it for me, but the plants are just too close together. It caused too much destruction. So I am weeding by hand.

I will finish tomorrow. I was driven inside mid-afternoon by the large amount of fly bites I was getting, along with the biting gnats and bees, it was too much for me. Even though I had to take an antihistamine to deal with the various bug bites, I must say the flowerbed is looking good.

The bed also contains false indigo, hardy amaryllis, and a young red maple. I don’t know how I ever had time to work. Retirement is exhausting!

The peonies in this bed should bloom soon and I will post pictures when they do. I want to start posting more pictures on my Sanctuary Acres Facebook page, so you may want to follow that as well. I promise there will be no political posts on that page. Maybe an occasional spay/neuter comment. Mostly it will be photos of our flowers, gardens and animals.

Lilacs and Memories

Old fashioned lilacs with lily of the valley
Royal lilacs
Miss Kim lilacs

We have three types of lilacs. All have that wonderful lilac scent. The benefit of having multiple types is that they bloom at different times, so lilac season lasts about a month for us. This is indeed a wonderful thing.

Certain scents can make your mind retrieve memories from long ago. When I smell lilacs, it reminds me of a perfume my mother had that she purchased from a local drug store many years ago. It smelled like lilacs, not like some perfumey replica. I remember picking it up from my mother’s vanity.

The scent of lilacs can make me feel like a carefree little girl. Some scents can unlock the magic.

Scents of Spring

Walking around the yard yesterday evening just before it was time to come inside for the day, I encountered several flowers that smelled divine. The lily-of-the-valley is lovely. It reminds me of a perfume stick I had as a young girl, Muguet.

I also came across honeysuckle. Our bush has never had as many flowers as it does this year.

And this is our first iris to bloom for the year. It has that faint scent of grapes. The first of our three types of lilacs is in bloom as well. I just had to bring some of inside to enjoy.

Spring Planting

Super bells

This was a busy day. This morning I baked bread since we were nearly out. Then I made an oatmeal cake with chocolate frosting.

The afternoon was devoted to planting many of the flowers we purchased yesterday on our trip out into public for the first time in over two months. I planted the usual six hanging baskets for our porch.

Black Cherry Petunias

From there I planted some urns and pots for the patio garden.


Dahlias and mounding vinca

Dahlia and Petunia


I bought a new dianthus to add to one of the flowerbeds. We already have some, but they have been coming back for many years and I thought we could use some new stock. This one is a nice, bright pink.

Bleeding hearts, Dicentra

I didn’t plant these bleeding hearts. They are a perennial that was here long before I bought this property. The blooms are peaking right now, so I wanted to share them with you.

Gardening season has begun in earnest. We will plant the rest of the vegetable garden this week. Our radishes and turnips are up already in less than a week!

Flowers and Social Distance

We bought flowers for the gardens today. It is the first time we have been inside a store of any kind in over two months. We, of course, wore masks.

Most folks were wearing masks and polite, keeping their social distance. Some were not wearing masks, but kept their social distance. I saw a few wearing masks beneath their noses, but covering their mouths. I guess even if they weren’t protecting themselves, at least they were protecting others and making an effort.

And then, there were those few who wore no mask and did not keep their distance. One lady was shopping while yapping on her phone. She seemed intent on following us up and down the aisles and looking at flowers where we were standing. We did not seem to be able to get away from her. We finally went to another area of the garden section.

During checkout, there were not enough markers 6 feet apart for the amount of customers. A man without a mask apparently did not have a concept of 6 feet. He kept inching closer and closer.

I am not an “in your face” person, but I was just shy of telling these shoppers to back off. This is not a game to us. Our family has high risk concerns. Please consider how your behavior affects others. If you are not going to wear a mask, at the least, give others space.

Once we returned home, it was time for planting! We got just a handful of flowers tucked in before it started to rain. So, we know what tomorrow holds. More planting! The beautiful blooms made me feel like I had trays of jewels awaiting me. I guess I do.

A Satisfying Weekend

It was nice enough to sit on the patio this weekend. It was enjoyable to sit and appreciate all the hostas and other plants that we moved into last year’s new raised beds. In fact, after a long winter and disappointing spring, we are enjoying many plants.

New growth is everywhere at this time of year. On a walk through our little township park, we saw many May apples. They remind me of little parasols.

The last of the viburnum blossoms overlapped with the first lilacs of spring.

And the large scarlet azalea is once again a showstopper.

Property Walk


I did a walk around our flowerbeds this afternoon to see what was in bloom. The viburnum beside the house is still in full bloom. The flowers are holding on a long time this year because of the unseasonably cool weather. The drift of scent every time we go near it is delightful.

Bleeding heart (Dicentra)

The bleeding hearts are just starting to bloom. Soon there will be a huge mound of them flowering. Their ferny foliage is an added bonus.

Dogwood bloom

The dogwood in front of our house is nearing the end of its flowering phase for this year although it is still beautiful.

The trillium is at its peak right now. I would love to split it and have more, but they are so particular that I don’t dare.

We have a few of these bushes. I believe they are wild honeysuckle, but I’m not sure.

Myrtle bed
Dogwood in full bloom
Corner of yard

The above three areas are from the yard in front of our house.

Side yard

This side of the yard has plum bushes, river birches, and a redbud tree. The green bushes in the background are royal lilacs that will bloom in a few weeks.


The narcissus are still in fully bloom. They are staying around a long time because of the cool temperatures.

Flowering almost tree
Flowering almond

And last, but not least of our flowering plants is this flowering almond tree. It is tiny, but oh so beautiful!

Spring Plantings

The weather was sunny and relatively warm, so we got back to gardening and working outside today.

I transplanted blue flag irises, Solomon’s seal, a fern, and a columbine into our new raised beds. I also dig up narcissus bulbs that had multiplied so much that they didn’t bloom anymore from being so crowded, and planted them in various locations.

Then I sat on the patio and read, followed by a walk around the yard. The photos above are of my plum tree in bloom. We have yet to eat any plums from it. Despite being covered in blooms, it only yields two or three plums and the birds beat us to those.

The row of serviceberries is blooming too.

The redbuds are nearly ready to burst forth with their glorious pinky-purple blooms.

The hostas are well on their way for the season.

Even the oriental lilies are off to a good start.

I like to get lots of gardening done early in the season. It really seems to pay off. The weeds are still small and the garden is damp and soft so they come loose with an easy tug. And any plants that are moved when small, grow to be enjoyed later in the summer. Plus, it is not hot yet!