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A Big Change

As promised, I said I’d show you the end result of my deciding to tear out the shrubs that were overgrown in my front yard. This is what it looked like before I began:

As you can see they were growing into the window area . There was something wrong with my Black Elderberry. I first thought it was the carbon monoxide let off from the generator. I soon found out it had bores in the one section of the root. The photos were from last year.

Work started on removing the shrubs last fall. This is what was left in the fall:

It wasn’t so bad until this spring…I removed the stumps and the metal arbor that had been there for about 15 years. Now I needed to deal with the sudden stop of my paver walk and the monster generator.

I started with a pathway of pea gravel and laying out an idea in my head for a dry creek bed. I still had an odd transition between materials. I decided to add a little bridge over the dry creek bed. A few flagstones were added to make a walkway. I eventually discovered that this bridge was too odd to walk over and replaced it with a longer one with less pitch.

Added a small bench. I often have seating around my garden so I can take breaks after hard work. Now to hide that generator. I came up with this idea after seeing a selvage piece. I purchased two flower boxes with trellis…but they didn’t hid the top of the generator. So I reconstructed them and added a bit of decorative detail. Now that monster doesn’t show so much. The panels are removable in case maintenance needs done on the generator.

Planting began on the front area and I added a non-working fountain, which I intended to add plants to. My next idea was to add a fence along the lot line for climbing roses and a trellis.

Fence was completed and I started to layout my plants. I saw this on Pinterest and always loved it.

Finally I rented a Sod Cutter to cut away the grass….what a great investment in time and energy. Although, removing all that cut side was a job. There are 5 David Austin, James Galloway climbing roses. They are continual bloomers along with 18 Salvia, 5 heuchera, and some perennial grass.

Now to add the arbor and 4 climbing roses onto it. Two Eden, and Two Zephirine Drouhin Roses. I also scored some flagstones (large ones…very heavy) on Facebook Marketplace for $2 each.

After getting all that sod removed the garden is planted. All of the three areas the side yard, the west front and east front are all on drip irrigation.

I still need to add the mulch.

It looks great at night….except for that generator’s green light.

There was significance to the items I planted. Roses are for my sister in law Rose, the lilies are for my sister in law Lillian. Both recently pasted away less than a year. I intentionally used a lot of purple blooms. That is for my sister, Christine, and long time friend Brenda who are both suffering with Alzheimer’s. I call this my Dedication Garden.

Here are photos of the other area. Love my new window boxes. Next year (or maybe this fall), it should fill in nicely.

This was also added…a new window, and a garage pergola….but I don’t think anything will be added to it. ..

One last thing, I borrowed:

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Demo Gardens

By Gail K.

Entry Garden in Full Bloom:
I ordered “green tomato” plants from Bob; arranging to meet last Friday. We both heeded Jennie’s advice & toured the Demo Gardens.

entering the main drive- note the change: the once large bed on the left– now three separate areas around each tree. A focal point was created by planting hostas and Heuchera at the base of the front tree.

Friday was so sunny, much color & pizzaz was “washed” out in photos. Back up today but no comparison for what our eyes see. ( south/east end of  door entry).

south side of the building

Getting a quality photo of the
entry garden is difficult given the surroundings so these are “cropped” versions.

Here are some individuals highlights from the entry garden: 



Gas plant…………..the smell emitted by the plants in the entry garden was heavenly & color combos very appealing

two tone peony

Clematis is putting on an outstanding display this year

Iris were in various stages of bloom & fade

Finally the rose within the rose…………

Enjoy these other highlights in the gardens Minnesota Snowflake


Rosa Rugosa

Sweet Shrub

Linden Tree–its blooms will soon fill the gardens with a wonderful aroma


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I’m excited about my garden this year. Although my back yard is suffering….I’ve have some awesome changes to my front yard. Naida, as I said during Milan’s Garden Club tour…those shrubs are going.

Oh dear, after removing the Black Lace Elderberry and all the shrubs…all those stumps to remove….this is what I was left with….

I will soon share all these changes with you, but for now, here are some sneak peaks and some of my blooms this spring.

The Eastern side looked just as bad…What was I thinking…That Generator didn’t show behinds those barberry and elderberry shrubs…of course nothing showed behind those overgrown shrubs. Can’t wait to show you the new garden.

sneak peak…window boxes.
Loving the color of this geranium
sneak peak of the new garden coming 7 climbing roses 18 purple salvia, 6 lime heuchera, 24 Lilly bulbs…this garden is a tribute to my two sister-in-laws that passed less than one year apart. Their names are Rose & Lillian.
I love when Mother nature makes a combo
Itoah peony Copper Kettle
Remember this late snow/frost. This was the result on one of my Tree Peonies. But not to worry
This is that same sad Tree Peony It was loaded with blooms. I counted 23 around the bush.
close up
Another beauty in my back yard
My Favorite…she never lets me down.

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Naida sent this in this morning. Some great ID information

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Does anyone know what these eggs are? A friend on a Facebook page posted this photo. I did some searching and thought maybe a moth or could they be grape pearls? I’d like to know if anyone recognizes what it may be.

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Joan sent an update of the Robin’s nest…

4 babies

In the Meantime, the Robins built a nest on my shed arbor…I wasn’t happy, however, I left it. They have now left the nest and I will be taking this one down. Robins have been known to come back to the same nests and or nesting area each year. I’m sure this is the Robin that used my vertical garden last year.

Something I am happy about… a Cardinal pair have just began building a nest in my climbing rose. I’m very surprised they chose a spot so low. I will be watching for eggs….they are a great site to see all day.

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Microsoft Word – Good Thymes Vendor Registration Form Rev. 4.2020.docx (constantcontact.com)

Music & Art 10th Anniversary Kick-Off with LL7 | Taylor Conservatory

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Photo Friday

Gail K sent us these “dandy” photos:

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Naida sent this notice of good news: 

The Milan Area Historical Society is happy to announce the Hack House Museum WILL BE OPEN this summer.   Our official “Opening” will be on Saturday (May 1) 10:00 – 4:00 and on Sunday (May 2) 1:00 – 4:00.  The Historical Society will be selling beautiful, locally grown, Hanging Flower Baskets and Patio Pots. The Milan Garden Club will also hold their annual Perennial Plant Sale.  Our friend, the Sock Maker will be there with her 1800’s loom making and selling her wool socks.  Any and all of these items will make wonderful Mother’s Day gifts the following weekend.  Please join us and support our first fundraiser since 2019.

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Demo Garden Activities

Received this message and photos from Joan O.

Good morning,  Hope your day is going well 🎆Letting you know about yesterday’s work and learn in case you want to use it in the blog: Michelle B weeded and spread mulch on the south garden, plus transplanted mums. Emoke and Tom weeded, carried limbs, and mulched the red lilies. Gail brought her chainsaw and pruned up the Linden tree, plus weeded under the crabapples. Mrs. Robin found a good spot to make her home 😁

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