noun...1. seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.

Grace Gardens is...

This blog's purpose is for me to keep a garden journal of sorts. To detail some of the things that I accomplish in the garden and a little of what I do in my home as well. It will also be a place where I will post the photos that I love to take so much. Maybe a place to post my overflowing of pictures that I particularly like or find artistic. Some posts will be wordy...and some may have no conversation at all. Just a post to bring back to mind a lovely day or a meaningful memory. I have disabled the comments on this blog, but feel free to e-mail me for any questions about what you see here. My e-mail address can be found in my profile.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Great-grandma Katie's lilacs...

Today I went into the garden to cut lilacs.
I chose the ones from two of the bushes that we retrieved from my great-grandparent's home
that is just down the road from where I live now.

These are the very lilacs that I remember hanging over the walk when my grandparents
lived in the house and we would visit. My father told me were planted
by my great-grandmother Katie Dix and he remembered them as a boy.

When my parents first moved to this small town in 1970, they moved us into my great-grandparent's
home. This was the house that my grandparent's also lived in when my father was born.

I remember Dale's and my first kiss under these bushes the night he walked me to
the door after our first date.

The house was sold many years ago.
When the family living there now decided to remove the lilacs they asked if I would
want to try to save them.
Dale and I plunked them into the ground and of course have had to move them
two more times before they would find a permanent place here in the garden.

They are hardy old plants.
We cut them all the way down to the ground to give them a
new start and get all of the old wood out.

Last year was the first year that they bloomed well enough for me to cut an armload to
take to place on my father's grave.
He loved them, but couldn't have them around him in the house because they
would make his allergy symptoms unbearable.

Thankfully they don't have that effect on me.

To think that these lilacs are well over 140 years old. I'm sure my great-grandmother
got the cuttings from a friend, or maybe even from her own parent's yard.
They are special.
Special because I think of my father every time I walk near them.
Special because I think of my grandmother Ethel walking under them whenever she left the house.
Special because my great-grandmother Katie, who I never knew, planted them.
For me
(I would like to think)


My granddaughter was helping me in the garden this week and I was able to share the history
of these lilacs with her.
She loved the fact that they were the very lilacs that her gram and gramps had their
first kiss under.

Now for more of the beautiful lilacs blooming in the garden now.

President Lincoln


Beauty of Moscow (foreground) Avalanche (background)

The beautiful Beauty of Moscow

The Brandywine crab apple started blooming this week.

 We have two of these in the garden.

These don't have the scent that the other crab apples have,
but the bloom is huge!


 Both of these trees are very young.
I can't wait for them to mature a little more.
They will be beautiful.

So I think you can tell I love this tree by all the pictures I took of it.

They never bloom long enough to suit me.

(but then nothing does, come to think of it)

The picture below gives you an idea of how large the blooms are.

 I can't believe that I was able to get two months work in the garden done in about ten days!

I am pooped!

I need to pretend I am having surgery every Summer.
I get so much more done when I have a deadline!

Now I am just going to sit back and enjoy walking through it
with pruners in hand.
It will probably be the only Summer that the deadheading gets done like
it should.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


The lilacs are blooming!!!

Now Spring is finally here in Idaho!
(here in my area anyway)

As I sit here typing this I can see many of my lilacs from this window.
I took a few pictures of the row we have behind our house near the little pasture we
have in the rear of the property.

The shed you see in the background is my husband's tack shed.
Above the door I put a sign 'The Cowboy'
Dale shoes horses as a part time job and this is where you will find
him a lot of the Summer.

This lilac is 'President Lincoln'
I ADORE the color of this bloom.
It may not be as showy as some of the doubles I have,
but the color makes up for any deficiency in it's petal size.

It's fragrance is amazing!

It is the first lilac I planted here.
I was working in a plant nursery at the time I planted this garden and in the Spring
as I was walking amid the hundreds of lilacs we had there, this one is the one I fell in love with.
It's color is so unique.

This is a double bloom I love too.
For the life of me I can't remember it's name and haven't been able to find the plant tag.
I save all of the tree and shrub plant tags, but this one is not among them.

The best thing this lilac has going for it is it's fragrance. It is unforgettable.
The entire garden smells like Heaven right now.

This lilac is "Sensation'
Very little fragrance with this variety, but I love the white rimmed petals.
I is a very beautiful bloom.

This lilac is 'Primrose'

This sits along the top of our long driveway.
This lilac was a sorry looking plant when I bought it and remained that way for a couple of years.
 The third Winter after I had planted it, Dale ran over it with the snowplow.
I thought it was a goner, but from that point on it flourished and now
is larger than any of the lilacs on the place.

I love the hint of yellow in the bloom.

Last year this bush didn't bloom well, but is making up for it this Spring.

I got a little carried away with taking pictures of the Centurion crab apples.

A lot of photos here.

I am crazy over the bloom on this crab apple!!!

You cannot believe the smell that this spreads throughout the entire property.

A very homely shaped tree though.

But I will definitely forgive it  for it's ugliness when it puts on this show in the Spring
and feeds so many birds during Winter.

Yep...I went a little crazy!

But they are gone too soon.

This way I can keep coming back to this post and remember why I love this
'ugly duckling' so much.

I have so many more lilacs blooming and will be back to share more of the reasons I garden!!!