“Whether you tend a garden or not, you are the gardener of your own being, the seed of your destiny.”
–   The Findhorn Community

 As I look at my garden these days I am amazed at how it has grown this year.  Through a long winter, flood, cold, and then heat and drought.  It surprises me every year when the garden rises again from the earth ready to grow.  Some years the height or flowering of the plant may be less, but they are there.  I can count on them.  They thrive.

milkweed and susans

Thriving means so much more than surviving.  The dictionary definition of thrive is to prosper, be successful; to grow or develop vigorously; flourish.  That describes the flowers, bushes and other plants in my garden.  OK not quite all thrive every year.  I do lose some, but the majority reappear like the Northern Sea Oats at the top of the page-a wonderful native grass.  It has established itself beautifully, and I plan to divide it and move it either this fall or next spring.

I have been closely assessing my garden this year.  One recurring theme that continues to surface is:  under adverse conditions, my natives plants thrive the most.  Yes a few ornamentals are incredible plants that prosper in these adverse conditions especially hostas and daylilies.  But my native plants are still going.  They have bloomed, some of them for months, right along with the daylilies.  Some have resurged and are coming on for a second flush in the garden with the recent rain.  They are fearless, hardy souls.

So as we celebrate another Wildflower Wednesday with Gail at Clay and Limestone this month, I am happy to showoff many of my thriving natives.

Hardy hibiscus never ceases to amaze me every summer.  They put on a show that is not to be missed.  They look dead and lifeless for such a long time.  Then all at once they put forth some growth, and before you know it they are tall and bursting with life.  The more their feet are in water, the taller they seem to grow.

The top and center are smaller flowering varieties.  The left and right bottom are both large, dinner plate size.  Left is Kopper King and right is Luna Pink Swirl.


Rudbeckia is still blooming strong with no show of fading at all.  Some of the different varities of rudbeckia are blooming now.  Above is stately ‘Autumn Sun’.  It gets 5-6 feet high.  Great food for birds and I love to see it in the back of my garden.  Below is the unusual ‘Henry Eilers’ one of my favorite rudbeckias.  I love how the petals look like tubes.  I was fortunate to capture it in all stages of bloom.




Joe Pye is in full bloom.  It thrives in dry areas but it seeds itself profusely in my wet areas.  Joe has found his way into the rain garden all by himself.  I have to move all the volunteers from the blueberry patch to the meadow so he can grow there too.  The butterflies will love you if you plant this beauty.  Given the right conditions Joe will soar over 6 feet.  There is a smaller version but he likes to get 4 feet tall.  This year he barely comes in at 3 feet due to the drought.  Still I love the flowers.



 This is Helenium Biedermeier a yellow and orange variety.  I love everything about this flower from when it just begins to bloom, the open flower and when the flower fades.  This native beauty was introduced to Europe in 1729.  A bit of a turn about since we usually see many European flowers being brought here around that time.  Another fun fact is that they are part of the Aster family.  Also known as Sneezeweed or Swamp Sunflower they do love moisture and loads of sun.  Bees and butterflies will flock to this wonderful native flower.



One of my favorite shrubs is Clethra or Summersweet so named for its sweet fragrance that appears every summer.  This one is ‘Ruby Spice’.  Mine is a gorgeous full shrub over 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide.  It withstands voles, rabbits chewing on it in winter and it comes out blooming for weeks.  The pollinators and hummers adore its fragrance.  I love the pink flowers which do not fade.  This shrub is growing in a part shade moist area.  Perfect conditions for native Clethra.


Obedient Plant is thriving in my yard-too much sometimes.  This is the stand that covers everything in its wake and has to be thinned again.  I moved a lot of it to the meadow where it is finally growing.  I have a few other stands of it in part shade drier conditions.  I love the look of this plant growing in drifts, and the hummers adore it in my yard.  There will be at least 2 hummers flitting from stand to stand.  If you want to capture a picture of a hummer, stand still and every 10 minutes or so they will be by.


 This red beauty is another lobelia growing on the pond edge.  I have several kinds growing in the moist areas of the garden.  Hummers will visit these flowers well into fall if the weather stays warm.  Their color is a welcome contrast to the yellows in the fall garden.


Blanket Flower still going



A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

Liberty Hyde Bailey



Book Update:

For those that have asked, my 2 poems are being published in the book, The Moment I Knew, August 26th in early September.  Publication is delayed due to a minor glitch with publication.  I will keep you postedYou can see the announcement in my blog post.  Information about sale of the book is:

  1. The book will be for sale at as well as other online and independent booksellers (e.g. Amazon, Barnes and Noble).
  2. Preference is for folks to buy directly from Sugati Publications because the charities selected, who will profit from the sale of the book, will get a greater amount of the profits.  If folks buy from other booksellers (e.g., Amazon) then the book seller gets about 40% which significantly cuts into the charities profits as well.


Special Note: All flowers pictured here are from my garden.  Flaunt your flowers at Tootsie Time this Friday where she hosts Fertilizer Friday.  I’ll be flaunting mine.

Monthly (usually around the 10th) I guest blog at Walkabout Chronicles.  Stop by to read my post!

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