Heavy December snowfall clothed the gardens with pristine winter radiance.

Perfect winter lighting makes even the color photos to appear greyscale.

My grandson appears to be playing in the snow with the “angel of light”.

God so clothes...the pines

g Everyone’s wearing a soft snowy winter cap

Snowblower in action

Winter Wonderland through the bay window

View from our bedroom looking south

Village Lights are on in wait for the family to come home Christmas Eve through the snowstorm...they made it!

lower front south side of our yard
Some mid-August beauties. 2009 has been a very good growing season. Just the right amount of sunlight and rain, hot days at a minimum. My shade gardens are happy…and so am I!
Tuberous Begonia

Tuberous Begonia


Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

Minnesota Clematis
Minnesota Clematis

We have a large circular area of wooded lawn bordered by our driveway which we call the island. A rock retaining wall graces the entire length of the exit driveway and it is established with ground covers of moneywort, sedum, white nancy, various hostas and ferns.



Here, the rock garden edge of the island is seen from three different angles, showing the moneywort in bloom, the hydrangea about half way to full bloom, and the various ferns and groundcovers.




One really good feature about all this groundcover is that the weeding does not get to be overbearing.


The center of the island has the main garden, featuring pachysandra, sedum, hostas, ferns, astilbe and the springtime blue squill.

In the background of the shot with the flag in it, our “dead end” sign does double duty

as a trellis for Minnesota Clematis.



Below, a tree ring is decorated with hostas, ferns, coral bells and bloodroot.


Along the front of our house and extending down the slope into the right front yard is the Garden of Peace. There are stepping stones meandering through woodland ferns, hosta, astilbe, bleeding heart, yellow lady slippers, lilies of the valley, tiger lilies, and various other low ground covers. A water feature burbles, and from inside it sounds like a little stream is splashing its way through the yard. A bird bath adds to  the scene of serenity.

This portion can be observed closely  from the living room through the bay window, and is a source of great enjoyment and inspiration.

 fr rt from sidewalk


  fr rt hostas


lower rt hostas 

The garden extends across the front sidewalk and along the front of the house, then angles downhill towards the street on the right (south) side of the lawn.

Annual Impatiens brighten up a quiet corner, and the variegated hues of the Patriot hosta splash light into the shade.

fr rt from sidewalk










 The Garden of Fellowship is our entire back yard which, in the summer, is like an extension of our house–an outdoor room. In this room we entertain our family and friends, and time is spent in solitude sitting on the loveseat reading and writing…the best of fellowship–that with the Lord .


BackTree Ring

The two large oak trees each have a tree ring around them with a birdbath to draw our feathered friends (when the Cooper’s Hawks are not here…) planted with woodland ferns and hostas, sprinkled with a few colorful annuals.





 To the north side is a large storage shed, which serves as one of the walls of our outdoor room. There is a rustic cement block patio where a dog kennel used to be. Pole beans and peas grow on a trellis from pots. (They didn’t bear much, but what we did get was very tasty, and the plants added green fullness to the area).

A lilac bush and a variegated wygelia bush are on the right, bordered by annuals and hostasVariegated Wygelia2.

When the wygelia was blooming, hummingbirds were frequent visitors, as well as butterflies.















A deck filled with hanging baskets and pots lends a lovely peaceful atmosphere for barbecues, picnics and coffee in the shade.

 I  miss my room in the winter. I miss it right now (in August) also, because at present it is taken over by the mosquitoes, Minnesota’s other “state bird”.

The largest of our gardens is The Garden of Beauty in the lower left of our front yard. It is constructed on a slope and has two layers separated by a fieldstone retaining wall, and is surrounded by a red brick border.  There are stepping stones, a concrete bench, and a trellis. Beneath old oak trees, deep shade prevails, and is the host to shade-loving plants such as hostas, bergenia, ligularia, woodland ferns, bloodroot, variegated lamium and money wort. This was the first garden I dug and planted, and its challenge was to fill a shady piece which would not grow grass. The Lord has blessed us with “beauty for ashes”…greenery for bare ground, and lush green park-like lawn.

NorthFront4NorthFront5Lower front from yardlower front

Butterfly bush, hydrangea, and varieties of blooming hostas light up the shade in The Garden of Beauty. It is home to bees, butterfies and hummingbirds.


 Above, the upper portion, below, an overview, looking north towards the street.






Early summer is bringing all kinds of color to the garden. The small plants I set in are growing and blooming now.

Flower boxes along the front of our shed display full color with petunias, ivy geranium, and assorted color salvia. Come, hummingbirds and butterflies!





Variegated Wygelia

 This variegated Wygelia bush is in its third season, and is loaded with blossoms. I hope they attract some hummingbirds!

front yard pots

My front yard pots are filling in. I planted them with ivy geranium, petunia, coral bells (from new babies in my flower bed) and lamium. Looks like they ae going to be really full as they grow. My husband’s grass is his pride and joy, and is the best he has ever had!

Yellow Lady's Slipper

Yellow Lady's Slipper

Lone tulip
Lone tulip
Yellow Lady’s Slipper: Another transplanted native of northern Minnesota, from a lake/woodland area north of Pine River.
Half grown woodland ferns

Half grown woodland ferns

Lilac hedge against Crabapple background

Lilac hedge against Crabapple background

View over the backyard fence

View over the backyard fence

The view looking up from my deck chair
The view looking up from my deck chair
IMG_5133Lower garden, showing the new garden benchmy family gave me for Mothers Day to replace the one that was stolen last winter.
 Below, a closeup of the wild violets in the foreground.
  Wild violets thrive beneath the oaksSome are a darker color


I have two large clumps of Bleeding Hearts which were transplanted from the yard of my daughter.   She, in turn, had gotten them from her mother-in-law from the Mississippi River shore home in which her husband grew up. Both of those women have now moved, and last fall I dug up some of these roots to share back with them.


Turnabout’s fair play…



Bleeding Heart (Dianthus) with Patriot Hosta

Bleeding Heart with Patriot Hosta

IMG_5206A portion of my rock garden border along
the driveway. The groundcover with the silvery green bordered leaves is “White Nancy”.
The ground cover that is blooming with the tiny yellow flowers is unknown–if you know its name, please share it with me. Its feathery leaves resemble a miniature evergreen tree. It was transplanted from Big Turtle Lake north of Bemidji, Minnesota.






Bergenia is another hardy perennial that shows itself early in April. The plant had large glossy green leaves. The rabbits found them irresistable though. Still she managed to put forth her beautiful bloom.









The woodland ferns are uncurling their sleepy little heads and reaching for the sun. We have several varieties, both wild and cultivated.

I will show you some after they have grown a bit.

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