Artichoke Inspiration

As I have mentioned before, I have been busy in the garden, as usually is the case this time of year but, I happened into the new Wholefoods store in Westford the other day and saw some beautiful artichokes.  I was inspired and decided to try one in a floral centerpiece.  I'm always looking for new ways to arrange flowers.

Finding Blue in the Garden

It has been busy again at my house.  We have made our way through the long holiday weekend. We spent the time sharing it with family.  Of course, holidays are always fun but, now it's time to get my garden going.  The pressure is on! I started weeks ago by planting many, many pansy plants around the yard.  I planted some in the window boxes at the barn.  As I was choosing my plants I couldn't resists the blue and purple colors, and even the burgundy ones, of these pansies.  I seem to continually gravitate to blue (purple-blue) in the garden, especially in the spring!  I guess this year will be no exception.  So, the hunt was on for old and new "blue" flowers to bring into the garden.

Evidently, I was not the only one who likes blue in the garden.  A robin decided to make her nest in the wreath on my barn door.  I was planning on decorating this wreath I purchased from Michael's with a pretty colorful bow but, I guess that will have to wait until later :).

More pansies at the barn...

Pansies in the flower pots...

 Pansies, Pansies Everywhere!  I know I am going to be upset with myself at the end of June for planting so many pansies when all of them start to shrivel in the heat of the late June sun and lay flat on the ground.  The result will be that I will need to replace all of the pansies.  However, they look so pretty right now.  Really, why not just enjoy them?

In my continuing quest for blue in the garden, I found one of my favorite shade perennials at the garden center... Jacob's Ladder.  I had purchased three of these "perennials" last year but only two emerged from the soil this spring and weakly at that!  The plant from the garden center has produced all sorts of blossoms and they are a pure blue color which is what I am striving for. Jacob's Ladder is also perfect for my shade garden.  All-in-all a great purchase!

Every year I can count on these purple/blue bearded irises.  They never seem to disappoint.  They are especially beautiful this year.  It must have been that mild winter that has helped them to thrive.
Since we have just passed Memorial Day, I should mention that adding blue in the garden is always easy when you add the American Flag.  (This is a photo from my garden last year at the Fourth of July.)  How majestic!


Another easy way to add blue in the garden is to purchase a hanging basket with blue already in it.  Easy, muss, no fuss and so, so pretty and colorful.

Next, I must include, like I do most years, my Siberian Iris garden.  This year these irises are absolutely gorgeous!  I don't believe the camera was able to capture just how beautiful this garden really is!  There is blue, (purple-blue) everywhere!

 Blue lobelia added to my container herb garden brings blue in an unexpected place, as well.

And then there is False Blue Baptista.  This plant was in the garden when I purchased my house years ago and it still is going strong.  I love it and it even has "blue" in its name.

Stoke's Aster is also another plant that produces a pure blue colored blossom.  The trick is saving them from the mouths of the deer and woodchucks! 

 And, just to keep you up-to-date...the baby robins hatched and are getting almost too big for the nest.  Mommy bird gets very, very upset when I go to the barn to water my pansies.  By the time Mother Nature has finished the baby cycle, it will probably be time to change out the wreath anyway. No new bow needed.  For now, the baby birdies can enjoy the view of my blue pansies from their perch above the window boxes!  I hope they enjoy it as much as I do.

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