Isn’t it romantic?

I’m working on an article for Oklahoma Gardener magazine, and while going through my photos, I found these of my garden from last summer and summers past.

All I could think was, “Isn’t it romantic?”

[Click on pictures in the gallery to enlarge them.]

Cottage gardening that is. While cottage gardening is not the easiest gardening maintenance-wise, it sets my heart aflutter. There is something about the play of texture, color, and bloom that sings of summer and sunny English afternoons.

Phlox, coleus and purple heart are an easy combo for the height of an Oklahoma summer.
Heirloom Phlox paniculata, ‘Peter’s Wonder’ coleus and Setcreasea pallida, purple heart, are an easy combo for the height of an Oklahoma summer. Did you know that purple heart also goes by Mary’s tears? It’s because when you pull the bloom away, the nectar is blue. Mary’s color is blue. I always think of this when I see it blooming in late summer here.

I’m afraid English cottage style gardening will always be my first and foremost type of gardening. English gardening with an Oklahoma accent that is.

My potager is my little French section of the garden although, in pictures, it appears Mediterranean style to me. Did you know the term potager which is both English and French comes from the word potage, meaning soup? It literally means soup garden. That always makes me smile because I love soup.

One of my most popular post is best and easiest vegetables to grow in Oklahoma. Sure, I grow vegetables and other types of plants. I write of adding more easy-care shrubs including native ones to replace roses, but I’m also still devoted to roses in spite of their needy ways. After all, irises, peonies and roses light up May Day.  Last Saturday, I worked all day trimming back the roses in my tiered borders north of the back deck. Yes, I was stabbed a few times, but still, I enjoyed it all immensely. The weather was sunny and 64° after all. Today is in the low 30s, and we had ice yesterday and this morning. Then, we had rain that washed much of the ice away. This morning, the trees are all bare again.

As native son, Will Rogers, famously said, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.”

Lilium 'Corsini' lily.
Lilium ‘Corsini’ lily in my summer garden.

I’m not going to think about our winter weather. Instead, I’ll gaze upon the beauty of spring afternoons where blossoms were held aloft as if by garden fairies and dream of a time when there is no freezing weather, no stilted heat, only birdsong and bee laughter if only we could hear it.

These male Cardinals will be fighting like crazy come spring, but for now peace reigns.
These male Cardinals will be fighting like crazy come spring, but for now peace reigns. This picture is from a couple of years ago, but I have even more Cardinals this year.

What helps you get through winter? Thinking of spring and summer and buying seeds certainly helps me.



  1. Sam Smith says:

    There’s really something about gardens. Seeing flowers bloom gives me a sense of hope and happiness.

  2. Dee these are gorgeous and I agree romantic….cardinals are singing here as spring approaches.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I’m loving how all the birds are singing. It makes my heart soar quite honestly. Thank you so much Donna. I love your gardens too.

  3. Your garden looks wonderful. I too have started some seeds this year. Its my first year and I am thinking I may need a heat pad underneath as they are looking kinda scraggly. But we’ll see. Have a good day!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Good morning Rustic Refined! I’ve grown plants from seed for years. If yours have already germinated, you don’t need a heat pad beneath them. That’s mostly for germination. Some seeds, like those of eggplant, often won’t germinate without a little heat beneath them. If your seedlings are looking a bit wan and scraggly, I’m guessing they need more light from above. If you’re trying to do it indoors by a window, that usually isn’t enough light. It took me years to learn that. HTH~~Dee

  4. mona gabriel says:

    You just have the most beautiful gardens. I love seeing pictures of them. I am a cottage garden lover too.
    Love, Mona

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Mona! Thank you so much for your kind words. I love cottage gardening above all else. 🙂 Love you too!

  5. Christine B says:

    I was following along “isn’t cottage gardening romantic” and immediately thought, “yes, but the maintenence!” I laughed to see that you followed it up with a comment about maintenence. I still remember trying to fiddle with about 50 delphiniums I had grown from seed to adorn my northern cottage style garden so many years ago. I couldn’t hack it and gave them away.

    Christine in Alaska, no cottage and buried garden

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Yup Christine, you got that right. Delphiniums and glads are the worst in my honest opinion, followed closely by roses. I don’t grow delphiniums, and I gave up glads.

  6. It is romantic. It seems like every winter I try a different technique to get me through the cold an snow. This year wasn’t super cold for an extended period of time and we didn’t have as much snow, so it wasn’t quite as tough. Indoor plants, crocheting, reading, and garden planning help me. Lovely photo of the cardinals, Dee!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Yes, all those indoor arts really help. I’ve also become a houseplant nerd. I say that because I began with houseplants, gave them up as too needy in summer and spring when I’m outside, but here I am, back again full circle. I’m glad your winter hasn’t been so bad.

  7. Dee, I found your link on the FB Garden Blog Reader – what a great blog you have! I love your gardening style and yes, it is encouraging to see some flower color this time of the year.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you so much! So nice to meet you!

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Seeing these posts of summers past, dreaming about the summer to come and plotting how to cram the flower beds full of lovely blooms… I so enjoyed seeing your beautiful garden.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Lisa!

  9. Growing plants indoors, especially bulbs where you can see almost daily change, helps me get through the winter. And browsing through gorgeous garden photos is helpful, too. On Facebook, I belong to a snowdrop group and a crocus group, and all the members from warmer places are posting pictures of what’s blooming in their gardens right now. Envy-inducing, but it still helps.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I do many of the same things Kathy. Of course, I can’t really grow snowdrops, but I am content because I can grow so many other things. Several special interest groups help me too when I remember to look at them. ~~Dee

  10. Gail says:

    You have created a beautiful garden. xo

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you sweetheart.

  11. Jean says:

    I’m so surprised your ‘Amistad’ doesn’t attract pollinators. Mine attracts all kinds. I love that lily. What do you use to stake yours with? I’m relatively new to lilies and I keep getting surprised by how tall they get!

    1. Jean, I use tomato ladders to support my tall lilies and dahlias. The ladders keep the plants upright without being tied, and the green color tends to disappear.

    2. Dee Nash says:

      Jean, mine didn’t. I don’t know why. It is weird though. Maybe the pollinators just liked all the other plants around it? I don’t know. I’m glad yours does. Ah lilies, they are one of my great loves these days.

  12. Peter says:

    Posts like this that remind us of the beauty of summer help get me through the cold days of winter when it’s too miserable outside to play in the garden. Pictures of cardinals also make my heart flutter as I’ve never seen one in person.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Peter, are you from a state on the other side of the Rocky Mountains? We have so many Cardinals here that I can hardly keep the bird feeders filled. They are so beautiful, but come spring, when they really color up, they begin to fight. Silly birds.

  13. Carol Michel says:

    “where blossoms were held aloft as if by garden fairies”… the garden fairies don’t like “as if”… because we all know they do hold the blossoms aloft! Writing about gardening gets me through winter!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      That made me laugh Carol.

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