June 14, 2021

A Blooming Great Weekend...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Bleeding Hearts Sentiment
I actually spent more time outdoors this past weekend, than I did in the studio.
I'm sharing a few photographs to show you some of the beauty around our farmhouse.
If you're especially quiet, you might even see a surprise visitor from time to time.
Brynwood Needleworks - Phlox and Iris
 It's nearly impossible for me to kneel to weed the gardens as I should, but Handsome helped
me pull thistles and burdock that will overtake the flowers if they get the chance. I let some of
them grow for the finches, but they're not allowed in my kitchen, terrace or fenceline gardens.

Brynwood Needleworks - Purple Iris and White Crystal Star Columbines
The grass is completely out of control, but I'll have to set my sights on next summer to
clean all of them out of my flower beds. I refuse to use Roundup or other poisons. 
Good old-fashioned hand weeding and mulch will be the only way I'll tackle them.

Brynwood Needleworks - One of Our Daily Visitors

 When I'm outdoors near the feeders, the hummingbirds will fly all around me (or Handsome)
as they drop in for a sip at one of the three feeders we keep clean and filled for them. Of course,
they have lots of sweet and colorful options growing all around our and our neighbors' properties.

Brynwood Needleworks - Fragrant Lavender
The hollyhocks are really encroaching on my daisies (not blooming yet) and lavender right now. I think I'll be moving the daisies and lavender into the terrace gardens when I know rain is in the forecast, so Mother Nature can help water them in for me. 
I'll be giving the hollyhocks a serious culling late summer, too. They need to be tamed. They've already crowded out my chives, and the delphiniums are at risk, too. I had no idea they would fairly take over my kitchen garden, as I've never re-seeded or planted new since the first ones went into the ground. Now "volunteers" are growing on the terrace around the base of the porch, and even in the gravel next to the
sidewalk! I'll definitely be clipping them before the go to seed this year.

Don't get me wrong. I love their huge leaves and colorful blooms, but I love those other plants, too, and these hollyhocks are bullies!

Brynwood Needleworks - Sweet Clover

The story is that our farmhouse was "planted" here in a bed of clover in 1918. When it's dry and we really need the rain, the clover fills into the grass to feed the bees, and remind us of the farm's history. I have clover growing in our terrace garden now, but I won't be removing it. The bees love it, and so do I.

I also don't weed out the plantain, dandelions, and a few other "weeds". I love the old ways when these plants provided medicinal purposes for folks long-gone. They're welcome here, along with any of their friends...well, with the possible exception of stinging nettles. That's the one plant that makes me break out in a rash. I know the nettle tea is supposed to be good for you, but I can't get past those hairy leaves. 
Dear neighbor, Andy came down and pulled them out of the fence garden for me last year when I told Shelly just how allergic I am to them. He's really the best! Sorry, nettles. You're not welcome here.

I'll share more photographs once the hollyhocks and daisies open up. After my morning coffee, I'll be in the studio filling orders. Time to play indoors again.



  1. You have some beautiful flowers.
    My favorite flower is the iris, I one that one in the 2nd pic.
    Mom always had those & Snapdragons.
    The Hummies are out here also, so darn cute!

    1. Hi Marilyn:
      The irises are beautiful, aren't they? It seems no matter how many feeders I put out, the hummers have to fight over them. lol There's plenty for all. My gardens would sure look happier if I could get in and weed them. I'm doing my best, but I think I'll have a lot more work by fall. I'm doing what I can for now. The rest will just have to wait.

  2. Beautiful flowers! I love hollyhocks and have a couple that I planted earlier this year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but it isn’t looking good. I’m nursing my fourth round of poison ivy this year after trying to clean out flower beds. I’m about ready to hire some help!

    1. Dear Andrea:
      That poison ivy can be persistent, and I read trying to burn it out could cause lung issues if inhaled. I hope you find a solution for that. We're having a spell of dry weather (about 8" behind normal rainfall), so my weeds - and established hollyhocks - seem to be the beneficiaries. I hope yours survive and thrive. They're certainly worth having in the garden.

  3. Donna, your gardens are just lovely! Thank you for sharing them with us. I wish I lived closer, I could help you with the weeding.

    1. Dearest Sherri:
      Thank you so much for the offer. I'm starting to feel like the old lady who asks for volunteers to come and cut her grass. lol I can still do that, but getting on my knees is minor torture these days. We'll get it figured out - or I'll have a little more work next year. Mother Nature is my gardener this year. What she gives us, we'll enjoy.
      Big hugs, honey.

  4. Our #2 son has a story about those horrible stinging nettles...their property in BC backs onto a forested area and unfortunately the nettles are trying to take over. It's also on quite an embankment at the back of the property. He was attempting to deal with the nettles and lost his footing and rolled his entire body right through the patch. Of course he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt so you can guess how covered he was! Lesson learned - now he wears rubber boots and coveralls. (loved seeing all your pretty flowers!)

    1. Hi Maggie:
      Poor guy. I really feel for him. I was walking in our woods when we owned a big spread before we moved to Florida. I was wearing shorts, but backed into them without realizing I was backing my butt into the nettles. Later in the day, I was itching something fierce. Because I'd been in the woods, I thought I'd been attacked by mosquitoes. Boy, was I wrong. Funny thing was that I didn't itch where my shorts weren't. I itched where they'd covered me, if you get my drift. I was uncomfortable sitting down for a week! I steer clear of them now, and practically break out in hives every time I see a recipe for making tea from the leaves. (I'll pass!)
      Thanks for sharing your story!


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Blessings, Donna