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A Stroll Through The Gardens (Early Summer)

Welcome to my gardens. This post is where I pretend as though I have a grand country estate but, in reality, I live on a small city lot in an inner ring suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Which is just as well, since these gardens are really almost more than I can handle.

Anyway, let's get started, shall we?

This garden was created by transplants from my grandmother's perennial gardens. When we moved into this house there were no plants other than grass (and a large, old tree). I don't know if the previous owners removed their flowers before putting the house on the market, but I think they just didn't like to take care of plants and didn't have any.

So I took what I could get to fill in the weed-filled beds. My grandmother's flower gardens were mostly yellow and white so mine are as well. And, really, if she hadn't chosen the color scheme for me I might well still be mired in indecision. What started as a few daisies and what she called "Spikes", (she also called the daisies and feverfew "weed-like" and I can see why), but they filled the beds nicely and I add more plants when I have the money and energy (there's a clump of yet-to-bloom tiger lilies mixed in here).

The daisies look nice at this time of the year, but sometimes... they turn black. The stems and the flowers. And I have to cut them all back. I don't remember this happening to my grandmother's garden. If you have any remedies or recommendations, please do share.

Yarrow, one of my very favorite plants. I've moved with it, transplanted it twenty times and it still comes back strong and big, year after year.


On to the raised vegetable beds. Here we see the lovely peas poking through the surface. The beans are not fairing as well, it appears the rabbits may be selective eaters. (See that lettuce in the background? It came up all by it little ol' self!)


Radishes! May have to give some of these away as I'm the only one in the house who really likes them. (They are particularly delicious on tacos and tostadas and the like.) Carrots are coming up here, too, but because they mature after the radishes are harvested, they share a space.

The old guard zucchini plant in its third or fourth year. A faithful and generous provider.

Marigolds, a good friend to vegetables.

Pumpkin plants in their infancy. Quite possibly my favorite plant to grow. But after chasing them around the yard for years, I came up with an ingenious spot for a pumpkin patch in my tiny yard.

The spot between our garage and our neighbor's garage next to the alley. It has perfect southern exposure right between the two buildings. They can sprawl out and I don't have to worry about getting in there to do much weeding because after the plants get big they shade out most weeds. It's a bit of a pain to water, though it only needs it when the plants are small.


Strawberries in pots. I dug them out of the raised bed for being space hogs.



The full-sun bed on the side of the house. It's a bit sparse and I'm constantly adding plants to fill it out. I'm going with pinks, purples and blues here. My goal is for it to look like the beautiful, old flower garden borders that line old homes in Chicago's city neighborhoods.



A few flowers from the front part shade / part sun beds and pots. Here, cool blues, purples and pinks are the palette.


Ah, peonies, I never tire of thee. Oh, you don't either? Well, to finish out the tour, here are a few more: