Hampton Garden, continued

By now you know how much I loved my Hampton Garden. I have a couple posts left here to share with you the beauties of that little paradise.

As far as spring bloomers went, there were several stars among the plants. First, Bleeding Hearts.This plant with heart-shaped blooms loves partial to full shade in moist, well-drained soil. I truly loved seeing its glorious display each spring…

bleeding hearts

And then there were Coral Bells.This plant enjoys shade or filtered sun. Thankfully, Ellyn had some extras in her yard and put a few in my border at my Dayton House. They are glorious! (And very popular with hummingbirds).

Coral Bells

The Columbine were always spectacular. I have a grandson named Colin and he likes to think that Columbine were named for him. Hey… who am I to argue that? These bell-shaped flowers are also attractive to hummingbirds. That’s good enough for me to include them in my garden…

columbine

Then there was the Dogwood. This tree, with its vibrant pink spring blooms, could literally stop traffic. Because it is one of the earliest spring-blooming trees it gives everyone cabin fever. But come fall, the leaves turn a fiery red to herald fall. In addition, its fruit is a major food source for robins and cardinals. Maybe that’s why those birds made a permanent home in my yard!

Dogwood

I think there might be one more Hampton Garden Post left. Thanks so much for letting me recall the garden I spent so many years building and enjoying. It truly was a small paradise.

Catching Up on the Hampton Garden

I’m still posting from my Hampton House Garden Journal while I work on some new sketches. They are very fond memories for me. I invested in a custom made copper window box for the one front window that was open to the southern sun during the day. It sat in its wrought iron holder and the flowers just bloomed and bloomed.

copper window box

One thing I loved about my little brick house was the matching brick garage and the brick archway between it and the house. I never minded that the garage was detached. The house was built in 1951 (the same year I was born) and it was part of the charm. I felt like me and that house were in the same time warp and I enjoyed keeping it just the way it was.

Hampton garage

I added some echinacea to the side beds along the drive and it multiplied beautifully. It finally spread so much that I was able to move a patch of it out back. Having perennials and dividing them is a wonderful thing.

echinacea

I also put in a blue hydrangea out back where I could see it from the kitchen window while doing dishes. But it didn’t stay blue. I guess it depends on the soil whether the blooms are pink or blue and I ended up with pink. I know you can amend the soil to get what you want, but I never did. I just love hydrangea blooms.

hydrangea

Then one night I just sat out back and did a sketch of the garden in progress. I only had a blue pen on me so this is the garden in blue… as it was at the time.

garden in blue

I’ll probably do a couple more posts of the Hampton Garden and then wrap it up. Then I’ll have a record of that garden that I loved so much!

Garden Critters

The nice thing about a garden is that various kinds of wildlife find it and make it their home. It’s a great thing to see when you’re smack dab in the city and my Hampton Garden was very much an oasis among acres of green lawns.

For years a family of cardinals lived in the large pine tree out back. They stayed year-round and were beautiful to watch on a snowy day. The male, of course, is the bright red one while the female blends in more with the trees. I’m sure that’s for her protection since she is constantly raising new broods. And I just love that they mate for life and both help raise the young.

This cardinal family was actually very active. On a spring or summer day I would be sitting on the front porch reading and see one or both come flying around the side of the house and land in the neighbor’s tree across the street. They would sing and flit about for a while and then fly back to their home in the big pine in my backyard. Over and over they would repeat this circuit and I enjoyed it immensely. And I’m sure some of the babes stayed on because there were always cardinals in the yard for the over 20 years I lived there.

cardinal 1cardinal 2

Another critter – a much less welcome one – was the racoon. I kept blaming my neighbor’s dog (he was always jumping the fence) for my trash being spilled until I realized something was taking the lids off the cans. My son was back home at the time so he put a flashlight by his bed. One night when he heard the trash cans being disturbed, he jumped up and shone the light out the window.

And there they were… 3 masked bandits looking for something to eat. Racoons. Three of them!

Racoons may have a charming look, however they are anything but. They have excellent night vision and superior dexterity because they have thumbs! They are also very clever and have been known to outsmart and even kill hound dogs trained to track them. Their teeth and claws can be deadly. So my son and I cleaned out a place in the garage to move the trash. No need to attract these guys to the yard at night!

racoons 1racoons 2

But one of my very favorite pages in my Garden Sketch Journal is the following page. I was in the garden sketching one day and I saw a chipmunk. Not the usual squirrels. After a quick chat I learned his name was Charles and he confided some of his secrets. I asked him if he would like to do a guest column in the sketch book. He was hesitant at first but he did think it was important that humans have a better understanding and more respect for his kind. Especially when it comes to cats. And then he really surprised me by sharing a few family photos. So if you are as intrigued as I was, click on this photo and click again to enlarge it. Then you can read what he had to say!

Charles Chipmunk

I’ll probably be staying on this garden journal subject until I get most of that book posted. And then we’ll be off to who knows where. Every day, even in a very ordinary life like mine, is somewhat of a new adventure. If I don’t leave home my mind still wanders to fun places and I enjoy recording it. I hope you enjoy it, too.

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