Photo Friday

Toledo Botanica Gardens Part C

photos & story by Gail K.

While touring TBG, members took photos and jotted down the names of plants they were attracted to.  As promised, with but a brief window in time, a few which caught my eye.

Please; take a moment to relax. Have a seat, here in the shade and enjoy the following photos.

The lily looking down at its feet while the delphinium reach up to the sky– contrasting with the blue of the sky.

Such a showy seed head; how magnificent the flower must have been.

Love this shade of pink??

Seed heads which appear to be a strange insect vs remains of a flower

Are you an individual or just a part of the group??

Isn’t it intriguing–the various shapes within the flower community   —just like humans—

The path less traveled****

Despite the dark shadows, you can find hidden highlights in the shade—–


A big giant scrunch ball………

 intrigued this dogwood in such full bloom at this time

Leaving the cool respite of the shade, to find warmth in the sun

even the water lily reaches out of the cool water to catch some warm rays of sunshine; while the garlic sways in the daylight.

The Holy Ghost (Angelica Archangelica)– I want one!!! —-below, the pink of this double hollyhock cannot be
subdued even by sunlight.

Attracted much interest… but what is it?? salvia?? 

I’m not even a bee but attracted to the brilliance of this bee balm

Hope you enjoyed looking back at the highlights–  no good byes, just— til we meet again @ TBG!!!

We would enjoy seeing your photos…Please send,
for the blog………….g

As we exited the Inclusive Garden, Jonathon was waiting to lead us thruthe main garden areas of TBG. The first area, the Rose Garden:

So fortunate for the beautiful weather as this portion will involve
extensive walking over vast terrain to reach the various garden areas

Moving along—over the river and thru the woods-heading for what I am calling the meadows—–passing the cabin gardens & the areas where later dahlias and daylilies will be in bloom. 

Off in the distance we catch a glimpse of what awaits us. Hidden garden features????

What is that??  On the hillside.

Did you see the Monarch Butterfly???   On the hillside. How about now??  (Never have made it to the top of that hill)

The gardens boast flat lands, hills, water and architectural features
along with the various plantings. We did our best to take it all in as Jonathan
narrated the history & purpose of the gardens, along with answering any
questions.  (this area below is where Stella works/volunteers her magic)

Just a few pictures of plantings and architectural features. Specific photos will be shared in a later post.

The groupings boast colors which work well with each other

Tucked away–exploring will bring pleasant surprises

Your experience will vary; depending on the time of day &whether cloudy or sunny.

The wall below a favorite of photographers; gardening here
 challenging for caretakers & those plants which dare to
obstruct the intrusive footsteps taken for “that special pic”

Following the brick path we head back to the entry area.

Rounding the bend; up pops a grand display of Giant Reed Grass.

Tom-did you say you were 6 foot??? 

We again pass by the cabin gardens—

this time we take the path leading us to the Hosta Garden–

A tree house is tucked into a playground– designed to introduce children to fun in a garden; club member Michele ,volunteers in the Hosta Gardens behind the exhibit.

I Hear the sound of water

Such Beauty

Exiting the Hosta Garden, Enroute to the Herb Garden

Passing a secluded pond that boldly captures the magic of the gardens: color, sounds and the glistening sunlight playing on the water—  real or just a reflection???

We arrive at our last stop before lunch: the Herb Garden.

There were plenty of oohs & ahhs as the group mingled around touching & smelling the various plants.  Club member Sandy volunteers in this garden.

Despite the majority having been to TBG before-it was special to see the completion of Scott’s Inclusive/Sensory Garden.

A huge thank you to Stella and Jonathan for an outstanding tour!!!!Can’t wait to see where we head off to for our next tour.  Hint: ask Barb, she knows…….

Photos and story by Gail K.

With Covid restrictions lifted- the newly formed Monroe County Horticulture Club
eagerly welcomed & celebrated the onset of their 2021 “Tour season” with a visit
to the Toledo Botanical gardens,

Not a new tour site for our group; but this time we were on a mission to see the completed “sensory” garden.

A perfect weather day in June & all accounted for; let’s begin Part A of our tour!!!!Stella, is one of our hort club members who volunteers @ TBG.She had Steve present his vision for an inclusive sensory garden at a previous meeting. Today, everyone is excited to see how this has finally come to fruition..

We were greeted by TBG staff member Jonathan,who will lead us on a tour

of other gardens following the presentation of the inclusive garden.

At the entryway & with coffee in hand- Steve begin with a history & purpose of the garden.

Approaching the entry-Visitors are greeted by a wave of multi-colored flowers, planted in an arc.

Steve explained how each and every aspect of this garden has a purpose and how it’s focused around any variety of disabilities a person could have.

The design incorporated many special effects;  including unique rocks

specially designed walkways.

Steve explained how & why the garden was designed to encourage visitors to interact with the garden.

Even those without disability-experience more enjoyment when fully engaging their senses in this compact but well designed and impactful garden.

Just had to —didn’t ya Joan????
The displays really draw you in to the experience.

Even the plantings were chosen for the effect they would make on a person’s senses.

When you visit this particular garden–You need to pause-SHHH—QUIET—-sit & calmly let your zen open the soul to your senses. Take it all in, absorbing it deep into the very fiber of your being.

what can you hear?   water??   Bees??  Birds??

Close your eyes and breathe in, Filling your lungs with thevery essence of the odors that swirl around you on the breeze. Is it sweet, pungent or fruity??Soft, heavy, damp or dry????

 There were visual effects all around the display-

Most of the displays impacted multiple senses; such as the vibrant multi colored geranium which gave way to a heavy aroma if you pressed its leaves.

These plants made a strong visual impact but imagine— if you could not see-

Reach out and touch—-
Bumpy      Rough       Soft       Fluffy       Squishy

Everyone enjoyed our experience & as master gardeners, could fully appreciate the time and effort required for this project to become available for public enjoyment.

THANK YOU STEVE!!!  The gardens are a better place because of your hard work, dedication & willingness to share and bring to fruition your vision for this special garden.

 wishing all a peaceful-post Covid gardening season 2021.

Part B of TBG tour to follow     gk


Stella K. Sends these along with a message:

The lilies are prime now if anyone wants to return for a walk.

I’ve added a few shots of what’s happening in my garden.

Soul Sister Rose
Final touch to my new garden….but is it ever done?
Cone Flowers are doing very well.
Been busy and haven’t cleaned pond… yet it’s still rewarding me.
Koko Loco Rose
Hydrangeas are blooming

What’s happening in your garden? Email me your photos for our next Photo Friday.

Online Master Gardener training classes began in 2020 due to Covid, but we had very little notice. This year there will be online training again, and here is one of the closest options for Monroe area residents:  Event Summary for Extension Master Gardener Program Training Course – Wayne/Genesee County | ANR Events Management System (msu.edu)

If you know someone who has been wishing to have the training, please share this opportunity.

Sick & Dying Birds

Jennie sent us this information:

The latest BYGL newsletter reports on something going on with birds and I had been wondering, having seen at least 4 dead blackbirds around my yard in recent days. 

Here is a link or you can read below: What is Going on with the Birds?? | BYGL (osu.edu)

What can you do?

Report sick or dying birds.

1) As the cause is still unknown, specimen submission is critical at this stage. Please contact your nearest wildlife rehabilitator if you find a sick bird.  To track the spread of the disease, the ODNR-Division of Wildlife is accepting reports of dead birds through their online reporting system a: https://apps.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife/speciessighting/.  Choose ‘Bird – Diseased/Dead’ in the ‘Species’ drop-down menu.

2) Avoid touching sick or dead birds by wearing disposable gloves and taking other precautions. USGS recommends disposing of dead birds in a sealable plastic bag with household trash.

Take down your bird feeders and empty your bird baths for 7—10 days.

1) The National Wildlife Health Center recommends temporarily removing bird feeders and bird baths “during a disease outbreak observed at bird feeders or when sick and dead birds are consistently turning up at a feeder to prevent congregation of infected and non-infected birds at the feeding site.”

Clean and disinfect bird feeders and bird baths.

1) Clean bird feeders and bird baths with a 10% household bleach solution (9 parts water:1 part bleach) and remove any spilled and potentially contaminated feed from under the feeder.

2) Clean the feeders, bird baths, and any items contaminated with bird droppings in an outdoor space or in another area of your home that is not used for food preparation or bathing. Some avian pathogens, such as Salmonella, can cause sickness in people and cleaning bird feeders and baths with you and your families health in mind is very important.

3) Remember, even when there isn’t an outbreak, it’s still important to regularly clean your bird feeders and baths to reduce the spread of other diseases that may spread among songbirds

Tour Questions

Part of the fun of our tours is learning new plants or rediscovering old ones.  Near the parking area at TBG where we gathered for our tour and ended it, there were two adjacent trees, each surrounded by a very low, dense carpet of small dark green groundcover plants in beds at least 6 feet across. Of course we wondered what they were and looked for clues. (here are links to images if Gail doesn’t send her photos) https://www.plantarium.ru/dat/plants/2/271/591271_0829db43.jpg  https://th.bing.com/th/id/OIP.m_QuSrcpYLHpY7CkyCXRIwHaE8?pid=ImgDet&rs=1

I got the genus name correct on one of them but the common name wrong, calling it creeping buttercup due to the single yellow flower seen at the time. The accepted common name is barren strawberry. Here’s a good description of the native plant.

Waldsteinia fragarioides – Plant Finder (missouribotanicalgarden.org)

On the other, which also resembled wild strawberry plants I got the common name correct, “Indian strawberry” but couldn’t recall a genus name nor whether the little red fruits presented above the leaves were edible. It is Duchesnia indica, which also has yellow flowers.  Its leaves and fruit are edible but tasteless, and in some areas it is considered an invasive weed in lawns and natural areas; https://extension.umn.edu/identify-invasive-species/mock-strawberry

Jennie S .

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:

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



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.