Summertime Stroll

Last year, I went a little crazy and out of control with all the seeds I grew and (eventually) planted.

greenhouse, plants

Good Lord, what was I thinking

This winter, as I was surrounded by seed and plant catalogs, I gave myself a talking to and vowed not to repeat this behavior again.

Then, we bought the 70’s lake house and spent almost every weekend painting and updating.

upstairs kitchen wallpaper

upstairs kitchen wallpaper

That helped my plant addiction tremendously because I was too stinkin’ tired to even think about gardening.

So, last night, I took Magnum P.I. (the cat) for a garden tour.

My hydrangea are beautiful this year (I think I say that every year)


Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’

I have a several salmon colored impatiens in front of the hydrangea but so far they are just sitting there and not filling in like I told them to do.

The shrubs/small trees behind the hydrangea are spicebush (Lindera benzoin).  I was excited to see the leaves doing this…

spicebush spicebush

because underneath is this!

spicebush caterpillar

Spicebush caterpillar

This little caterpillar will become a Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly and I love seeing these guys flitting about the garden.

The Spigelia (indian pinks) are looking good as well.  This was planted last year from seeds I collected the year before on a trip to New Mexico.

Spigelia marilandica indian pink indian pink Spigelia marilandica

One of my back flower beds has become a home for unwanted hostas.  All of these hostas were rescued from a trash can I raided at the local golf course several years ago.  Can you imagine?  Hostas in trash can!  Who throws away good hostas??   So I planted them in front of a spicebush and since then have intermingled impatiens (salmon colored this year) white begonias and creeping jenny (Lysmachia nummularia)

hosta impatiens spice bush

hosta impatiens begonia creeping jenny impatiens begonia creeping jenny

Magnum got bored and decided to rest amongst the Aristolochia tomentosa (upper right)  and prairie lead plant (Amorpha canescens) (lower left).

aristolochia tomentosa  heart leaf magnum

Neither one of these plants have bloomed for me and I have had them for years.  The Aristolochia (Dutchman’s pipe) is a native plant and a host plant for the pipe vine swallowtail butterfly.  The flower looks like a small pipe although it looks as if I will only get to see this in pictures.

The prairie lead plant is also a native plant.  The flowers are long spires of purple and look very similar to Liatris flowers.  It is a host plant to the Dogface Sulfur butterfly and the flowers also attractive to bees as well.  I’m trying butterflies!

Thankfully, Magnum’s personality blooms every day and provides me with endless entertainment.magnum magnum

Magnum's always a hit with the ladies

Magnum’s always a hit with the ladies

Magnum P.I. undercover of okra leaf

Magnum P.I. undercover of okra leaf

Here’s to slowing down and enjoying the garden!







About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in Arkansas, Butterflies, cats, Flowers, Garden, summer flowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Summertime Stroll

  1. LOL, well there’s an update! It looks great Brenda! I guess I just needed to wait an hour. I hope those butterfly plants bloom for you. Maybe different light? Sooo, now we need a lake house update?


    • Thanks! I have moved those butterfly plants a couple of times over the years to different light/location but nothing so far. At least the foliage is nice. We have just finished cleaning up the lake house for vacation. Not even close to being done, but we decided we had to stop and enjoy the summer. (Hubby is a BIG TIME fisherman) We cleaned on it this weekend and it looks pretty good. Will try and post pics soon.


  2. Kevin says:

    Hi. The Indian Pinks are beautiful — and as for your impatiens, I hate it when plants don’t do as they’re told. 🙂 Thanks for the tour!


    • and I was very stern, too 🙂 The Indian Pinks are also a native and the highway dept. plants them as part of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful program. You should see the interstate median in full bloom. It’s amazing!


  3. Dawn says:

    Hi Brenda,
    Your garden looks so lush and colorful. I just love Hydrangea ‘Annabelle,’ too! Ours just bloomed this weekend in our Midwest garden. I’ll be cutting the flowers to fill crocks, pitchers, and Mason jars. Can’t wait! You are so fortunate to have a greenhouse! Wishing you happy Summer days i your garden! ♡Dawn


    • Thanks, Dawn! Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ was grown at my grandmother’s house and it reminds me of her when I see it. Love my greenhouse, too especially in the winter. It’s my ‘Garden Cave’


      • Dawn says:

        Love your ‘Garden Cave!’ ♡ I need one of those! It’s so wonderful to have perennials that remind us of the special people in our lives. Come visit my “Friendship Garden!’


  4. Brenda what delights especially the spicebush caterpillar!!


  5. Well I’m jealous of the Indian Pinks. Had them in Mississippi, but they do not grow well in the rocks we have now. 😦 You and I garden SO alike. Annabelles, spicebushes (also Carolina Allspice) and we’ve even battled stark white “dancing fruit” wallpaper! I so could sympathize with you! But not enough to come and help.

    My big excitement is a volunteer mullein, right in the middle of my transition from iris to lavender, a neighbor to the southernwood.

    Wish I could visit someday.

    Oh, and although we cannot find a hive this year, we’ve had the bees! They seem far more plentiful than in the past. Is it possible? 🙂


  6. P.S. — One can hardly be too rich, or too thin, or have too many flowers… I think that’s a famous saying. Or should be one. ❤ K


  7. Everything looks great but isn’t the spice bush/tree too close to the house? Had to laugh at you giving yourself a talking to about planting seeds. And where is Magnum P.I.’s mustache?


    • Magnum is trying to disguise himself from the paparazzi. As far as the spicebush, it looks bigger than it is. The trunk is probably only a couple inches around. They’ve been there for years so I guess they are ok.


  8. bittster says:

    Those spicebush caterpillars are the coolest things! I hope they do well for you, and I’d love to see a picture when they get a little bigger.
    Enjoy the lake 🙂 I tried to cut back on seeds this year but wasn’t too successful, there’s still a bunch of stuff waiting in pots…. ‘oh well’ is what I say, but that twinge of guilt is getting to me. Maybe one of these days they’ll find a home.


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