Friday, September 21, 2012

Troy-Bilt Cordless, Battery-Powered Cultivator Giveaway!

Update, 9/28/12:  Thank you so much to everyone who entered.  I loved reading all your comments here and on facebook.  Your comments made me kind of wish I had one of these babies to give away to each of you!  

Congratulations to SuzOh - you're the winner!  Please reply to my email with your shipping information and your brand-new cultivator will be on its way.

Don't you just love blog giveaways?  I sure do, especially when I get to host one!  For one week, starting today and ending next Friday, September 28th, US residents can enter here for a chance to win this Troy-Bilt Lithium-Ion battery-powered cultivator.

New this year, the TBC57 cordless cultivator has a rechargeable 20-volt lithium-ion battery - no smelly, expensive gasoline, and no extension cord needed!  This light-weight cultivator is easy-to-use, and perfect for both beginner and experienced gardeners.

Entry is easy - just leave a comment here, telling me how you would use this cultivator in your garden.

Want an bonus chance to win?  That's easy too - Be a US resident, 'Like' my facebook page if haven't already, leave a comment on this status update saying how you'd use the cultivator, and share the status update on your own facebook page.

 The winner will be selected next Friday, 9/28/12, at 9:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time, via   Once the winner is selected, I'll update this post.  I'll need to be able to reach the winner, so be sure your email address is easy to find, either on your blogger profile, on your blog, or linked through your comment.  The cultivator will be shipped to the winner directly by Troy-Bilt.  

Good luck everyone!

Friday, September 14, 2012

September Bloom Day

Our long, hot, dry summer has given way to September's milder temperatures.  We're still short on rain, but the  cool nights and mild days, especially this week, have been welcome relief.

This overwintered canna has been blooming for a few weeks, making this one of my favorite spots in the garden lately.

Double impatiens and 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia are among my favorite hanging baskets this month.

'Rozanne' is my favorite geranium.  Here, she's seen with my favorite oxalis.

'David's Lavender' is one of my favorite phlox varieties.  Even during this very hot dry summer, this tall phlox kept all its foliage, and suffered no powdery mildew.  It was one of the earliest phlox to start blooming, and one of the last still going.

Seen with Agastache 'Blue Fortune,' this was one of my favorite coneflowers this year.  It had the most blooms of a single coneflower plant, and the goldfinches left its petals alone.

Sky blue aster, new last year, has upstaged the smooth blue as my favorite this month.

'Autumn Bride' is my favorite heuchera this time of year.  Amazingly, the bunnies haven't eaten any of the flower scapes (yet.)  Behind 'Autumn Bride,' 'Autumn Joy' sedum is just starting to color up.  They're my favorite sedums this year, since I remembered to pinch them in June, and they didn't flop,
(unlike the un-pinched 'Matrona' flopping into 'Autumn Bride' on the bottom right.)

Hanging basket fuchsias are the hummingbirds' favorites, now that the cardinal flowers are finished for the season (and maybe finished for good after the swale went completely dry for the first time since I've here.)

Gomphrena 'Fireworks' is my favorite new annual in the garden this year.

The last black-eyed susan still blooming, just behind Japanese anemones, and next to an upright 'Matrona'  I remembered to pinch.

Of all my favorite blooms in the garden this month, this is my very favorite-ist of all, shown at night when it's not only gorgeous, but amazingly fragrant too.  'Sunset' variegated angel's trumpet is in the midst of it's best show all summer, with two dozen blooms and as many buds yet to open.

There are a lot of favorites here during one of my very favorite months of the year.  I can't remember a time when the mild days of September were more welcome.

For everyone who survived one of, if not the hottest summers on record in the Chicago area, the United States, and around the globe, I hope you're enjoying a mild September so far, with plenty of rain, and cool, refreshing evenings.  Happy Bloom Day to all, and Happy Fall  (almost!)

For more Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts, please visit our host, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Wedding in the Family

Last weekend family and friends from three continents gathered at the Chicago area's Morton Arboretum to celebrate the wedding of our middle daughter.  The day dawned rainy and overcast.  And then the sun came out.

The day before the wedding was a busy one, spent playing with succulents and flowers,

making boutonnières,

a corsage,   

and the Bride's bouquet. 

Her bouquet was made with a dozen roses, 17 hand-wired and wrapped succulents, orchids, baby's breath, and statice, all hand-tied, wrapped in ribbon, finished with an ivory bow, and blessed with a mother's love.

Rain and clouds, sun and warm breezes, family and close friends - it was an entirely beautiful day - one we'll remember with great fondness and joy.

It is written, when children find true love, parents find true joy. Here's to your joy and ours from this day forward. -Unknown