I had my wonderful week at the spa with my girls, crowned my pal of a half century (Jesus, Jo, how did we get this old???) Queen of the Drunken Spa Girls Tournament. Driving south toward home, I saw redbuds blooming, trees greening. At last.
I’m getting myself a brand new grandboy this fall. And our Kat looks wonderful. To celebrate the It’s a Boy part (just learned at the spa) I found a set of Marvel Super Hero onesies. About as cute as it gets!
Derby’s coming right up–first Saturday in May. More fun times, and since Kat and Jason are coming with us this year, I get to see that sweet baby bump again.
AND……I finally, finally, finally, got my hand in the dirt. There they stayed, all day.
BW and I hit the garden center first thing Saturday morning. Oh, all that color, the scents, the shapes, the textures. It’s such a happy place. We, as usual, filled the bed of the truck.
Ready, set, go! Photo by Nora
Back home with all that potential to the setting out, stepping back, studying, shifting. I had scores of Black-Eyed Susans to dig up and transplant. It may be our state flower, may be cheerful, easy to grow, and great for cutting, but it misbehaves. It likes to volunteer–great–and plant itself in the front of the beds–not so great. So I spent some time giving lots of volunteers new spots.
We had a perfect day–sunny, then cloudy, then sunny–not too hot, not too cool–to spend outdoors with flowers. And we spent every minute of it.
Now the beds look happy–and those nasturtium seeds Laura gave me and I got in before the spa are just starting to poke through. 
I changed a few things this year, moved my herb bed a bit. Those Susie’s had started to take over there. Rather than move all of them, I decided to let them have that space, moved the herbs to an open spot. My French lavender didn’t come back this year, so okay, let’s try something else. Fun, fun to see what works, how it looks, to see the progress of reliable perennials planted in previous years, and what might compliment them best.

Herbs in their new home. Photo by Nora,

Cleaned, cleared and planted. Photo by Nora

Got some pots done, too. It’s always fun to sit, figure what should go with what in a mixed pot.


Pots! Photo by Nora

Coleus of all colors. Photo by Nora
After a full day, we had a handful of mixed annuals left–and several pots yet to fill. So I’ll make another trip–such a hardship!–hit the nursery after Derby and get enough to finish up. Or if I get everything on my plate done today, I might see if I can squeeze it in.
Nearly done. Photo by Nora
Pretty full plate, though, as I didn’t spend a single minute on the inside of the house, or the four tubs of books waiting to be signed, or organizing outfits for Derby time.
So, we’ll see. Either way, after workout, tidying up, organizing, I’m going to wander around and admire all our hard work.
Peaceful sitting area. Photo by Nora

It’s spring. At last.

43 thoughts on “YAY!”

  1. I love looking at your flowers and plants. No green thumb here so I enjoy others’.

  2. Your gardens are always fantastic. However, your eye for potted plants is out of this world fabulous. Every year, I love seeing them.

    With 19 month old twins, my potted plants are just herbs this year. One day, I hope to have flowers again.

  3. Yesterday was magnificent day. I did pretty much as you. Have not gotten to all the pretty colors yet. But the entire day cleaning and making it pretty again . Next weekend for the color. Enjoy your day

  4. Having 10 brown thumbs and a sever case of avoiding “Dr. Dirt” I’m glad to look at you beautiful flowers! Have fun playing and wearing the hat at the Derby.

  5. Wow! That truck bed was loaded down. All the pictures are beautiful and the gardens will be even more beautiful in the weeks to come. Can’t wait to see more pictures of them.
    Kat looks good with the baby bump. I know she and Jason are excited. Heck, I’m excited for them and for you too. There’s nothing better than a new baby to add to the family and to love and spoil.
    I loved Kat’s Derby hat. That is one talented girl you got there.
    Have a great Sunday!

  6. I envy you getting in the garden early. We can’t plant anything before Memorial Day.

  7. I’m really looking forward to seeing the garden and pots in bloom. I kill anything except weeds so I garden vicariously thru people like you.

    I have to look for those onesies for my latest great nephew, Hunter. My son hasn’t met the right person yet, so no grands of my own yet. Have a great week and enjoy the Derby. I hope you treat us to a picture of the hat I’m sure you are going to get.

  8. Seeing all your lovely flowers makes me think my next re-read will be In The Garden series. My husband is the gardener in our home. I just enjoy all the colors of his hard labor. Sunflowers have taken root in our yard this spring and are growing huge…one stalk had 7 or 8 blooms!

  9. What is the name of that purplish tree? Will it grow ok in Florida? I love it.


    1. Although the flowers are purple, it is a red bud, probably an Eastern red bud, one of my favorites in spring. I don’t know that it would thrive in your tropical climate. You could ask at your local garden shop if it would work in your zone.

        1. Ha! Love dogwoods and red buds. However, I think the name red bud is sort of a misnomer since the flowers are more purple than red. For the person who inquired about suitability for Florida, I live in south central Kentucky in zone 6. I am not sure what zone is Florida, but I would think deciduous trees are better suited to areas with 4 distinct seasons. Lately ours has just been rainy!

    2. Pretty sure it’s a type of redbud. Not sure about your area, but you could easily check.

  10. The flowers are beautiful. Your garden always makes me smile. And congrats on the new grand baby!!

  11. I a day mire all the hard work and the results. The pollen here in VA just keeps coming.

  12. There are some days when I wish I lived a little further south and could be out in my garden now like Nora, but then I think of the heat of summer and am glad I’m north of Toronto. I cleared a dusting of snow off my car this morning, but am keeping my eye on the rumour of summer temperatures in a couple of days. Itching to get out in the garden, but making do with the assorted tomato seeds that I have started inside. First year trying them and excited to see the first few leaves that have appeared. A couple more weeks and I’ll be making a trip to the garden centre as well!

  13. Congratulations on all the planting. Bet it will look so pretty when everything pops up and out.
    I have a black thumb instead of a green one. I did great with plants in Germany 1976-1980 and since then I seem to only kill them.
    I do have some bamboo that I bought on impulse in 2013 and it seems to be surviving. Maybe because it needs nothing but a little water every so often.
    This has been a crazy weather year let’s hope spring truly has sprung for 2018.

  14. So jealous…we have 35 degrees and it is spitting snow! This winter is just not leaving western NY!!!

    There is a lavender that is purportedly “bunny proof”, and that might be worth exploring, Could almost smell the freshly dug earth when looking at your pictures! Sigh!!!

    Cannot wait to see the Derby hat for this year!!!

  15. What a great weekend! Congratulations on the grandson that’s coming later this year. I have a 10yr old granddaughter that is the love of my life (my only child/daughter waited until 42 to get married, but at least made a “honeymoon baby”; born 9 months exactly from the wedding day). My granddaughter takes dancing (5 different kind), swimming, and karate lessons. My daughter and I are teaching her to cook, she’s in 4-H, and a couple of after school clubs. Basically, she’s like her mother, very active, very friendly, very caring and considerate of others feelings!
    I envy you your garden. The main downside of living in a NYC apartment, is that my co-ops garden is landscaped, without room for a herb garden. This year I’m doing something different though, I am making a windowbox for herbs, outside my kitchen window, that overlooks the backyard. Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Oregano and Basil. They’re the herbs I use most frequently. With Spring starting so late, I don’t know how it will turn out, but it’s worth a try.
    Cannot wait to see your Derby outfits and Kat’s growing bun. My daughter is a “Kat” also, actually Kathleen. She too is creative, loving and funny!

  16. My lilac are starting to bloom, which had me holding my breath, since that heralded a heavy spring snow the last couple of years. So far, so good! Putting anything out before Mother’s Day, and really Memorial Day, is asking for trouble here, but my perennial bed didn’t get the memo. My menarda is coming back gangbusters, and the clematis and grape hyacinth are doing a great job greening up that corner. Inside, I’ve got Indian corn, okra, lemon balm and basil started. I’m also experimenting with borage, which has a pretty flower and is supposed to repel tomato worm. It’s also warned to be “prolific” – according to more than one article, so we’ll see if it can outgrow the native sunflowers here. Pretty flower, which is always a plus. The neighborhood tomcat is looking at ‘his’ pot, which I always put in cat grass, mint and catnip, and then looking at me as if to say, hey – where’s mine? We’re looking at a hot summer, I think. Thanks for the great pictures.

  17. It is still way too cold here for any planting though it will be into the 70s later this week for a day for two. All the planting I do are in pots on my deck because my soil is 70+% clay so it doesn’t drain well and plants don’t much care for it.
    Last year I planted 2 Japanese Maples in pots and though the did pretty well and grew well, one may not have survived the winter while the other one is fine because I brought it in for the winter and it budded and started last month. I tested the other tree and the limbs are still alive but thus far , no budding so I’m concerned but have lost all hope yet.

    Last year I tried a # of different flowers and many did great from seedlings but one that never thrived was Lavender. I am in agreement and will find something else for those pots. We aren’t going to get a spring however at least I don’t live up where my sister lives. They got 114.5 inches of snow this winter and they still had flurries this morning. . . . I know how to count my blessings in that I only got 31.5 inches of snow in central Ohio.

  18. Congratulations on the new grandchild.

    I really love all the colours in your pots and gardens.
    I have a mini pot garden in my little flat in Hampshire, UK and I love pottering around in the sun and replanting my pots.

  19. Nora: Watch out for those African Daisies to make very long roots that will go down to the bottom of those pots or very far down into the dirt. I have planted them and found out the hard way. It’s ok if you have strong arms to pull them up but I didn’t as I am disabled.

  20. I love reading about your gardening adventures. That baby boy is so lucky to have picked such a marvelous Nana! And I can’t wait to see the derby wardrobe! Enjoy Spring Nora! Beltane Blessings!

  21. Congrats on the coming grandboy. My two kids are done, we are celebrating the next generation, great grandbabies. My daughter devora just became a grandma this morning. Her son had a girl, & i became a great grandma. Nothing like it. I have 10 green thumbs, lov gardening. But my dogwoos & indoor plants will have to suffice this year. But i so enjoy looking at the potential glory of your garden.

  22. Love using old discarded items like your sprinkling can for a planter, shabby chic and lovely. Seeing so many coleus variations I will remember to look for  all those. My grands who love to help me plant, like the idea  that they can pinch off a leaf and replant it elsewhere to make a new plant. They are thrilled to do it over and over again. We here north of you in PGH have to wait for a few weeks before we can plant, can’t wait. Thanks for the preview.

  23. What a wonderful way to begin Spring. Flowers, planting, gardening, redesigning, etc. your herb garden looks lovely. All your garden looks lovely and will be full of color before you know it! Book signing, Derby wardrobe planning, grandmother planning – your plate is full. Please post pictures of the super hero onesies- they sound adorable.

  24. Nora, that’s great news about the new grandbaby! Another boy in your family! I’ve been watching spring come back to my garden for a few weeks and sneaking in some early flowering perinnals to the flower beds. No deer here in NYC but the squirrels have chewed on the tips of many of the Hostas. I had an invasive Rose of Sharon which was removed last year and I had to tear out some leftover seedlings this year. The garden is a work in progress every year! Thanks for sharing your garden with us!

  25. I did the same this weekend. It is so good to plan and antecipate all that our gardens give back. Your will be crazily gorgeous in a month 🙂
    My garden in a 10th of yours and I’m beat, so kuddos to you, Nora 😉 Must be all that Yoga and Happiness ?
    Have fun at the Derby. Enjoy the bump before the bundle of joy takeover your lives ?

  26. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful pictures with us. I missed out on the green thumb gene, so I enjoy seeing what you have done. Congratulations on the new grandchild. What a joy that will be!

  27. I envy your gardens. You do such an amazing job with colors.
    Living in the desert means basically nothing but pots and in summer when temps are anywhere from 110 to 120, even my pots struggle.
    Congrats on the new grandbaby on the way .

  28. Ahhh, what I wouldn’t give to have soil like that. My southern Delaware soil is full of clay and hard as the dickens to dig. Only one area of my yard is easy to plant and that area is where a stream flowed long ago or so the soil scientist told me. Enjoy all of your posies. Most of mine will definitely be in pots!

    1. The soil here grows rocks. It took me years to work enough good dirt into our rocky soil to make good planting areas. And that’s why most of my beds are raised. I used to need a pick to dig a hole big enough for a daffodil bulb.

  29. Your pots inspire me. Thinking about mixing herbs & some annuals that require both full sun and lower light. My in-the-ground herb garden is cleaned up and waking up already. DH surprised me yesterday with lunch on Lake Michigan. After, we drove to a favorite lighthouse and saluted the beach. What a great way to spend a sunny cool day in west Michigan! Thanks for sharing your gardens.

  30. We had a hard freeze Friday night and got close Saturday night, so not doing any planting yet. But the redbuds are beautiful & the hard freeze waited until the magnolias were almost done blooming, so got to enjoy them this year. So many years, they’re lured out by the short-term warmth, then get socked by the following cold front. Part of the joys of SW Ohio, where the average last freeze is mid-May. But the hostas are up & unfurling; the redbuds are blooming (love the color of yours, Nora, i almost didn’t look at the pot for looking at the tree!), daffodils are starting to finish & the tulips are blooming. And I had laundry on the line yesterday! It’s Spring out there!

  31. Misbehaves? Volunteers? Sounds like alyssum to me. Happy Spring!

    And may you enjoy getting ready to hit the Derby. (Just read a book with detailed references to that first Saturday in May; what an interesting tradition.)

    Have fun and safe travels.

  32. Such a fun weekend of playing in the soil. Planters are wonderful . . . no weeding. You’re going to have a beautiful yard full of colors. Enjoy

  33. I am totally in awe of all your hard (Ha) work. It must be so hard having fun…!
    I only have a small patio. I miss having a yard, but I do have the patio so I have a few plants out. I live with my sons and my oldest just told me that come September he is ready to have his own space.
    I respect that so I will be looking for something that has a small yard or at least a place to plant my lovelies.
    CONGRATULATIONS on the baby boy coming your way. Grand babies are the best. My little granddaughter that lives in Reno Nevada just got a package I sent to her that her mom videoed her opening. It was a delight to see her excitement and she called me Grandma Nanna. I thought that was so funny. Her other grandmother was there the week before and she calls her Grandma and me Nanna. I think that she was confused so she just said Grandma Nanna to cover all the bases lol. She is 3.
    I cannot wait for Kat and Jason to experience parenthood. Kat will be a natural as she is at everything.
    Have tons of fun at the derby. I love this time of year. I know that you will have a blast…
    Until next time, have a wonderful time with all your hard work, and I do know that it was happy work but still a bit tiring and hard. A true labor of love…
    Hugs, Beth

  34. The potential is awesome. Clearly you love your garden. However, I’m fixated on two of your pots. One has a face, the other looks to be concrete, sort of short with a floral design on the rim. Are those new?

  35. Very excited: Just found out that my very good friend’s stallion – although himself not running in the Derby this Saturday – is a brother to four of the 3-year-olds who ARE running: Justify, Mendelsshohn, Flame Away and Combatant. All four – five, if you include my friend’s guy – are offspring of the late great Scat Daddy. So it’ll be interesting to see how this group shakes out, especially since Justify is the favorite to win at 3 to 1 odds.

    Will be thinking of you this weekend, ma’am, while drinking our juleps and watching the best of Scat Daddy (we hope) do their thang. And, thinking of my friend as well, as he watches his horse’s brothers run for the roses.

  36. Congratulations on the grandson you are getting blessed with! And I love your green thumb. 🙂 Mine are all brown and plant killers. lol

  37. Lavender like full sun all the time, and they do not like to be sitting in soggy soil . It is my FAVORITE plant and I dry some in the fall to bring in and smell all winter long.

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