September 3, 2011

garden love


I have a picket fence garden.

I love my picket fence garden. It's quaint. It's cute. It screams cottage, and I love pretty much anything that screams cottage.

It also happens to be home to my Princess Diana clematis entwined birdhouse, and I love my Princess Diana clematis entwined birdhouse more than a person should love anything that's made out of a chunk of wood.


I also have a greenhouse garden.


I love my greenhouse garden. It's my newest garden, and this year it really came into its own.

Right next to my greenhouse garden you can see part of my vegetable garden. I actually don't love my vegetable garden at the moment because a good portion of the plants are smack in the middle of a strike. Apparently they are protesting a hostile work environment, ( a massive grass invasion and fertilizer neglect), and while we've attempted several sit down negotiations, so far neither of us is willing to budge and do what is required of us to get our relationship back on the road to productivity.

And by neither of us, I mean me.

But enough about my sad squash and pumpkins. I really want to talk to you about my very favorite garden of all.

The raised bed herb garden.


I love my raised bed herb garden beyond all reason.


Raised bed gardens are easy to take care of. They are easy to irrigate. They are also extremely easy to weed, not that I have any recent, first hand experience on that front. Things have gone a bit downhill since the wedding a month ago.


Very far down a very big hill.

It all still looks pretty good from a distance....but up close it would definitely not pass the garden club smell test.


The herb garden has a few herbs....rosemary, parsley, several mints, thyme, dill and sage, as well as some onions and jalapenos, but the vast majority of the plants are annuals, and the vast majority of the annuals are zinnias.


Did I ever tell you the final zinnia count? Out of the eleven hundred and ten zinnia seeds I planted, eight hundred and sixty eight made it into the garden.

Yes, I counted.

Several times.


Not all of them germinated in the greenhouse, and then quite a few more just shriveled up and died for no apparent reason before they made it in the ground, which actually didn't hurt my feelings even a little bit because it was all I could do to find eight hundred and sixty eight spots to plant my zinnias let alone eleven hundred and ten.

Oh, and then there are a few of these poor little fellas out there, too.


I still count them among the living, but I'm beginning to think a mercy killing just might be in order.


Our low tonight is supposed to be thirty five, so I'm all of a sudden feeling a bit sentimental about my zinnias and all their garden friends. It won't be long before I wake up one morning to find they've gone to the great zinnia farm in the sky and that will just be sad.


Most of the perennials I've planted in the raised beds have not been able to survive our harsh winters above ground, but a few have not only survived...they've gone completely over the edge of sanity.

The Monarda. Is. Out. Of. Control.


I originally planted four different colors, but the only survivors were the fuchsia/magenta-ish fellas you see here. Over the years, they've gone from a four inch pot to reach out and grab you size, and every year they expand by leaps and bounds. They truly need to be dealt with sometime soon, as they have blocked off all the paths that surround them, but I have a hard time messing with a plant that has that much vim and vigor.

You can see them off to the right in the photo below. They now take up almost all of their 4x8 foot beds.


All this to say, raised gardens are the cat's meow, and if you have ever tossed around the idea of a raised garden bed or two, or ten, I say take the plunge. You won't be sorry.


So, speaking of gardens, Country Living just announced the finalists in its Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards, and it just so happens that a blog y'all might be familiar with is a finalist in the garden category. Rumor has it that the author of this particular blog is pretty darn excited and honored and humbled at this turn of events, and has been seen walking around in a bit of a daze since this information came into her possession. Country Living just happens to be the one and only magazine she subscribes to, and she currently has the most recent three issues sitting on her coffee table. There's also a slight possibility that during the short period of time that she let her subscription lapse several years ago, she may or may not have stolen borrowed two issues from the waiting area of her local Department of Motor Vehicles.


A panel of judges will be picking the winner in each category, but in the meantime, Country Living is holding a Reader's Choice contest on their website. The Reader's Choice voting is already underway, and will continue until September 15th. Readers can vote once a day.

The problem is, the author of the aforementioned blog is a bit uncomfortable asking her readers to pay a visit to the Country Living page to vote for her blog. She's not totally sure just exactly what her problem is, but for whatever reason, it is just a bit awkward for her. After talking it over with her BFF, who very sweetly (or not) said, "Oh, get over yourself. This is cool!", she decided to post the link to the voting page in case any of her readers feel like popping on over and placing a vote.



She has also decided to refer to herself in the third person for this portion of her blog post, because she feels that it somehow eases the awkwardness she is feeling just a teensy little bit, but she hopes that by doing so, she does not cause any form of confusion for her readers. She herself is very easily confused, so she is always a bit sensitive to others who occasionally find themselves in that same boat.

In addition, she has visited the voting page several times during the writing of this post, just to make sure that her blog is indeed one of the finalists. She is a bit worried that she might discover that she dreamed the finalist part and that would take the awkward thing to a whole new level once she hit the publish button on her blogger dashboard.


She would also like to thank the readers who nominated her blog for the Blue Ribbon Awards. She knows of two readers who did so, and thinks that it's just about the nicest thing ever.


Have a truly delightful Labor Day weekend!

85 comments:

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. You deserve this award--all that work. Beautiful, just beautiful! Gladly will I vote!

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  2. I voted! Your blog makes my happy.
    Also, now I'm getting very concerned about the five (yes, five) monarda plants I put in my garden... yikes!

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  3. Ooo you are gonna win win win! I voted too... I adore your blog, and cottage style is not even my thing!

    I like it because you are funny.

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  4. Your garden looks so pretty! I will definitely head over and vote for you, that's so exciting!

    Donna

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  5. Your gardens are stunning!!... and that's an understatement!! My favorite is the greenhouse garden. Just beautiful.

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  6. Of course it's not weird to tell your adoring fans that you're up for a blog award to give us a chance to vote for you! Also, how do you feel about adopting me so that I can come be surrounded by your gorgeous garden?

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  7. Yous hould definately win ! your gardens are amazing ! More pictures please !!!!! I voted !
    Priscillas2000.blogspot.com

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  8. You are the winner in my book . . . I so enjoyed seeing your zinnias, the herb garden, raised beds, all, all, all.

    Simply
    fabulously
    BEAUTIFUL

    Congrat's are in order TODAY!

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  9. OK, I voted for you. Because I like you and you live in Montana. I didn't think flowers could grow in Montana when I first started going there 10 years ago. Now I know they grow better then in Florida! You inspire me. I just put in my first raised garden here in Florida. I filled it with Sunflowers and then went to Montana for 1 month and missed the big bloom.
    Enjoy your weekend~Sue

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  10. I voted because your cottage and garden makes my heart happy. :) Good luck!

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  11. What a totally dreamy garden, I laughed when you wrote about the mercy killing for the plant! That greenhouse is TO DIE FOR! Sooooo gorgeous....enjoy it all, can't believe its going to be 35 there! Wow....just beautiful, thank you for sharing the beauty!

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  12. I will pop on over and vote for the aforementioned blog! Please send said blogger my congratulations! PS - I have one zinnia plant this year. I may have to step it up next year.

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  13. Of course I'll vote for you. I've been drooling over your gardens for a very long time! If they have any other awards to give for great photography, wonderful style, cool house great sense of humor and all around loveliness - I'll be voting for you again!!!

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  14. Teresa you had my vote all along!
    Enjoy the holiday weekend!
    xo Cathy

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  15. Your gardens are one of my favorite cyber places to visit! Gorgeous. I am heading over to vote (how exciting!) for the best garden blog out there.

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  16. Gorgeous photos! I love that sun.

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  17. You have my vote Teresa :) YAY for the gardens at Meadowbrook Farm!!!!!

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  18. Heading over there to vote right now!! Your gardens are absolutely amazing and I am green with envy!!!

    Nancy

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  19. First, your gardens are the most beautiful. I may have to try the raised beds after all. Second, I went to the CL site to vote for another blog in another category and saw you were there and voted for you immediately!! Hope you win..you should!!
    Annette

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  20. Oh, I hope you get to enjoy your gardens a while longer before the first freeze!

    I voted for you at CL!

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  21. I CAN VOTE EVERY DAY?????? Sorry, gotta run.... And I'm sending you an e-mail. {hugs} ~Sally

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  22. Done - and I'm happy to have voted for you.

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  23. Wishing my vote included you to come to my house and help me fix my "garden" - which is nothing more of a patch of dry soil and weeds. I can't imagine what someone with your talent could do for a space like mine. Sigh. LOL

    Happy to vote for you!!

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  24. I am honored to vote for you! Your gardens are fantastic. Mine are suffering here. We have not had a rain in almost a month. I drag my hose around but the plants are giving up all hope. They have no will to live left. Best of luck!!

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  25. Wow! This is fabulous but sooooo deserving! Your flowers are beyond spectacular! I will be voting each day and I don't think I have ever voted the max on anything...well, except the MLB All Stars! ;)

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  26. First of all... I just love the phrase "vim and vigor".... and your gardens are amazing! As a fellow garderer and planter of home grown zinnias, I appreciate the shot of the holey, moth eaten zinnia since I now don't feel all alone in letting zinnias like this "grow" :)

    I'd love to have raised beds but alas, no flower or veggie beds can go in at Red Gate Farm unless there is a curb or something to mow around (Mr Red Gate Farm's rules)... I see that you have your's in gravel but with the new beastly lawn mower and 3 dogs gravel is not welcomed by some (ahem) here at Red Gate Farm.

    Not to rub it in, but thankfully we should still have a few weeks of "non 30 something" degree weather... for which my pumpkins will be ever grateful.

    And of course, I've already voted... need I say more?

    ~Chris

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  27. How EXCITING, Teresa! Of course I will be voting for you! Anyone that grows from a tiny seed, then sets out and nurtures 868 zinnia plants deserves a purple ribbon, not a blue ribbon. Your garden is such an inspiration to me. That bee balm is amazing. Must like your cool (Holy Cow, 35 degrees?) nights. I sure hope your frost holds off for a few more weeks of zinnia heaven! Those zinnias must look so awesome in bouquets in all your colorful McCoy. Thanks for sharing and know that you are a winner to your readers.

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  28. Well, I voted for you BEFORE you asked us to vote for you! I saw another blog asking readers to vote (in a different category) so I hopped on over to look and there you were! Your vote was the only one I cast by the way! And I think you could easily be nominated for a photography blog award, hmm...a home decorating blog award (which I love your home so much but you've only given us little tastes of it! Please, please, please do more posts with photos of the inside of your beautiful home! I LOVE how you decorate!

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  29. i drool when looking at your photos...such garden envy i have! will be voting daily for you..and btw your peanut butter pie recipe is my new bff.

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  30. Gee - it doesn't seem that anybody loves you sweetie! Sad, sad day - LOL... (TOLDja so!) =) I liked Missy's comment about coming to her place to help her out w/ her gardens. LOVE that idea. How clever. So, when can you be in Ohio?????? Oh how I wish. {hugs} Just voted on hubby's computer since mine won't let me vote for a second day. *sniff* I will find a way.

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  31. Oh, I'm so excited, and of course, I'll vote for you. Your flowers and gardens have inspired me. Would you mind if I asked my readers to vote for you?

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  32. So excited for you!!!
    I'm going to head over and vote!!!
    Your gardens (AND photos) are such a joy!!!

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  33. Teresa, I voted for you, and am visiting from Jane's blog. I am your newest follower. Your photos are wonderful and so is your writing. xo,

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  34. Your photos, as always, are stellar! I'm headed over to vote. I am moving to my little blue house next month. I'm aiming to have gardens that look just a wee bit similar to yours!
    Brenda

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  35. Teresa, please let "her" know I'm voting for "her" every chance I get. ;)

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  36. Ok, it’s a darn good thing you told us because you SO DESERVE THIS!! You are my dream home, garden and photographer. I Love Meadowbrook Farm and tell everyone about it. Yes, I’ve told them about the zip lining bride, the greenhouse from heaven and the fact that I am stalking your website for the “for sale “ post :) LOL Your gardens are to die for and I am thrilled and honored to vote for you!! Every. Single. Day. :)
    Hugs, Amy from Verde Farm xoxoxo

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  37. Congrats to the wonderful author of this here blog ;) Definitely, without a doubt, one of my favorites for beautiful eye candy. Her gardens are beyond compare, and I shall happily vote for her and cheer on the sidelines! :D -Tammy

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  38. Congratulations Teresa!! I voted the second I saw you on their list. Your home and gardens are my absolute favorite:)!

    ~Julia

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  39. That is amazing and well deserved! Your gardens are gorgeous and make me feel shameful about the lack of loveliness in my beds right now. I think a visit to Indiana to help your flower challenged friend should be in your future. Also that birdhouse with the clematis? Almost the most delicious thing ever. Who could blame you for being all swoony over it?

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  40. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous. I will be back again. Meanwhile, I voted!

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  41. love love love...your blog should win any award...the images are incredible and you have a way of being very real and although I do not know you I am sure we would be friends in "real" life! I am voting and I wish there was a way to see every inch of your property and garden....perhaps you can indulge us in more pics??? Thank you

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  42. Very happy to be able to vote for your beautiful gardens. Your hard work deserves to be honored. Enjoy all of your colorful pics.

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  43. Oh my gawsh...

    Even before I got to the third person part of your post... I was feeling the love. I said to myself...this whole blog (yes, yours Theresa!)
    is like "my" eye candy. Especially, this post. Your flowers are gorgeous. OF COURSE - I'm going back to vote for you.

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  44. We voted for you too! Gorgeous blog!!!
    PS Can we come and live with you (or in your garden?.....)It looks so beautiful! We'd be no trouble!!!!

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  45. Well, wow!!! That's an incredible honor, and one you totally and absolutely deserve. So tell that person, whoever it was you were writing about in your post today, that I'm going right this minute, this very second, to go vote for her, whoever she is. So there.

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  46. I'm heading off to vote right now.

    Can I just say zinnias are my favorite and your pictures of yours made me smile and I needed a reason to smile. I'd like to come and hide out in your zinnia patch for a day or week or three.

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  47. Teeeeeeeeeeee! Oh, I'm woefully behind. I just went to the CL site to see who the heck beat me out of the lifestyle blog award (ha) and saw YOU on the list! Congracheelashuns! I'm off to vote a hundred times or so. SO deserving!!!

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  48. Love your blog. Voting done! :0)

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  49. Best of luck! Your home, gardens, everything...so gorgeous. My husband and I have agreed we could live in your greenhouse and be happy forever.

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  50. So they say it's not healthy or good to covet someone else's things, BUT I so COVET your garden! Absolutely gorgeous! My garden looked terrible this year but that was my fault, TOO much going on so it got some what neglected. Wish you the best, hope you win, you deserve it for all that hard work.
    MCB

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  51. I just sorta stumbled on your blog and what a delight it is...congrats on your nomination. Read your story and kudos to you and your husband for starting over again. Lovely blog!!

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  52. Well I love CL and I love your blog so of course I voted. :)

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  53. I've voted for you as I never liked zinnias until I saw them planted in your wondrous garden! You are an inspiration. Guess what I'll plant next year? lol Zinnias (from Girl Scouts) of course!

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  54. Please tell her she is not dreaming. Give her a little pinch if you must. :-)

    Your blog has always been award-winning to me. Congrats!

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  55. Congratulations!
    ooops, am I too early??
    You are already the winner Teresa! I've never even heard of your competitors : )
    I've been gone and missed out on some voting days, darn! But already voted today and will keep voting for you each day from here on.

    From the first time I saw your blog I've been head over heels in *love* with your greenhouse... and then I saw the chairs in front of your greenhouse...
    beckoning...
    teasing...

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  56. yipee skipppeee!!! sooo very happy for you - i'll gladly vote - and often :D

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  57. I voted for you!! Good Luck!! You deserve it girl!

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  58. You have my vote Teresa, and now Country Living does!. Your garden is truly beautiful. I love the shades of pinks and purples. The last pic should be a poster in an art gallery. Good luck and congrats on getting in the finals!

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  59. LIke others have said, you would win for "cottage style", for photography, humor, and of course your unbelievable gardens. I LOVE your blog. I voted yesterday, but can't get past the survey monkey today to vote again.

    Do you know a trick to avoid having to take surveys to get to the voting page?

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  60. oh I love love love your garden! of course I'll go vote for you! congratulations on a very well deserved honor!

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  61. My ballot's cast. Anybody who counts hundreds of zinnia and then worries about them when frost comes has my vote! Good luck!

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  62. I just stumbled upon your blog through a Pinterest page ... and now I'm voting for you! Aaaaah ... how I wish national elections could be this easy.

    Good Luck!
    Mary

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  63. YAHOOO! As Nathan and I say!!!

    You got my vote...

    :)

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  64. I've cast my vote for you! Love your blog. The photography is awesome!

    Good Luck!
    Paige

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  65. Please tell her congratulations for me!
    That's SO cool!
    Off to vote.....

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  66. I just found your blog from over at flowerpatch farmgirl...and I love it:) what a beautiful life you and your family have on your farm! I'm jealous...I'm still in the 40 yr. old split-level stage of life with my first baby on the way...but maybe someday my hubby and I will move out to the country like you all did...thanks for the inspiration=)

    I'm definitely going to add your blog to my daily reading!!

    -Adriane @ fruitfulhomejournal.blogspot.com

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  67. just voted for her, i mean your blog ;) your gardens are without a doubt amazing...and you also need an award for your hilarious posts that always make me smile :)

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  68. Wow. That's about all I can say. Wow!

    XO,
    Val

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  69. HOw can you NOT win?!?! I sit amazed every time I see your photos that you are not a nursery. Your gardens are simply gorgeous! Off to vote...

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  70. This was so hilarious! Someone here doesn't even know what the other nominees have to offer but she is voting for you just because she loves your very beautiful garden and this post. And she's speaking in the 3rd person to maybe ease the awkwardness of having only just read this post today though you wrote it almost a week ago! :)

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  71. You get my vote on your Greenhouse alone! even though your entire garden is absolutely stunning! not only is your garden completely gorgeous - you never fail to make me laugh when I read your posts...so you definately get my vote all the way from Australia! xK

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  72. I do love the looks you give us into your home and gardens. Our zinnias are all but gone as well. Signs of summers end.

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  73. Found you over at White Spray Paint and I am in love with your blog! How inspiring your garden is . . . can't wait to continue following you.
    Thanks,
    Amanda @ The Ivy Cottage Blog
    www.theivycottageblog.blogspot.com

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  74. Love, love, love these flower shots. Flowers are one of my absolute favorites to photograph! And congrats, fellow Reader's Choice winner! Are you freaking out like I am?? :)

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  75. Love the garden, pictures look amazing.

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  76. On the close-up of the magenta Zinnia what is that yellow umbel flower just behind it? I love the combination! I have looked all over the internet and I can't figure out what it is.

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  77. Absolutely love your blog - your photos, flowers, farm, everything. Thank you for providing a space to visit and enjoy all the beauty. Spring cannot come soon enough.

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  78. OMG I am in LOVE with your beautiful greenhouse and gardens!!!

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  79. I have come back to your blog after some time away from cyberspace and want you to know just how much inspiration, beauty and joy I find here. I'm so sorry for your recent journey but pray you will be fully healed and keep on gardening for many, many moons to come! Bless you so much, you are a joy bringer and so funny and engaging!! Big smiles from Australia x

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  80. WOW - beautiful here too!!! (and yes, the holey zinnias is how all of mine look!) I would love to find out tho - did you plant and start those gorgeous hanging baskets? That is what I get my two pink wave petunias for, but would love to have more, would you share with me your secret? And you have drip irrigation, is that the kind that is under the ground? I have tried using soaker hoses, but usually just end up using a back and forth sprinkler! You have lovely, lovely gardens!!! It seems like some of my plants get smaller and smaller each year (like my monarda) don't know what I am doing wrong with those either. I will have to buy a new one this year. And I also love your fences! Do you have to repaint them often? Did you make them yourselves? The backdrop for my gardens are blue spruces that we have planted along our property line, sometimes I wonder if that is my garden's problem!? Anyway, loved looking at yours!!!

    Diane, from Michigan

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  81. p.s. shoot - forgot to press the notify me button again!!! Sorry!

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