Guest Post: Winterize Your Home And Save Money Along The Way

Here is good advice for the coming cold!

Design With the Future In Mind

This guest post is written by Paisley Hansen:

The fall months are reaching an end and the cold days of winter will soon be making their presence felt. It is time to winterize your home, starting with checking your barn door hardware, making sure the doors roll on the track smoothly, closing tight, and not producing any air leaks. Placing a reflective exterior cover over the large glass surface, to prevent heat loss through the glass is among the many things on your winter preparation list for your home. Here are a few other things you can do to prepare for the cold days ahead.

Constructing Your Own Draft Snake

If you notice that your doorways let cold air in or hot air out of your home, you can construct your own draft snake to place at the bottom of entrances to prevent the flow of air. Sewing a…

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The Haunted Garden

This captures some of the ways we connect and reconnect with our past, present, and future selves and family and friends.


“The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.”

The garden can be one of the loneliest places, but sometimes…that’s just the way I like it.

The peace and tranquillity, coupled with all the sounds, smells, colours, plus all the wildlife makes it a very calming place to be. In one of my earlier posts (‘It’s a Kind of Magic’), I talked about the garden in your head, the one that holds all those wonderful memories that you can go back to; especially in times of stress. But do those memories of your past sometimes join you in the garden? Or, do the memories from that garden itself join you as well as your own?

“People do not die for us immediately, but…

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Silent World

Silent World.

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Wordless Wednesday: Fog on the Backs

Wordless Wednesday: Fog on the Backs.

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It was long ago that the Baptisia ssp. joined the Fairegarden, around 1992. (All of my gardens are named Fairegarden.) It was two moves ago, in our first Tennessee home in the far northeast corner of the state. Gardening had begun in earnest when our youngest child started first grade. Books and magazines were scoured for ideas to use on our one acre sloping property. The idea of an all white garden was very appealing after reading about Sissinghurst. Little did I dream that one day I would actually visit the white garden created by Vita Sackville-West. Click here-part one and here-part two to read that story.

Back to the topic after a little stroll through the memory vault. Seed and plant catalogs were scanned for anything white or with silvery foliage. I really knew very little about gardening, what would grow where and such. One of the first perennials…

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2013 Larger Hostas


Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Hosta 'Stirptease'Although miniature hostas are versatile, cute, and fun, it is the larger hostas that provide the bold statement and beautiful colors in shade gardens.  Here clockwise from top: ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Flavocircinalis’, ‘Gold Bullion’, and ‘Striptease’.


I have explained in previous posts how my hosta addiction has progressed and focused on little hostas.  However, that doesn’t mean that I neglect the larger hostas.  I have my definite favorites there too. …

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Just White


Persicaria polymorpha with Stipa tenusissima and Salix alba var. sericea at

The weather is still rather erratic here, bouncing from days in the 50s to a spell in the 90s in one week. It looks like the nights are staying at least above freezing from now on, though, so I can finally get busy planting out the annuals and tender things. I follow pretty much the same routine each year: first the best reds, oranges, and yellows for the main front path; purples and the rest of the reds, oranges, and yellows for the middle front path; the rest of the purples and yellow and some pinks in the far front path; pinks and blues starting around the side; and finally, whatever whites I’ve ended up with. From its rank in my planting priorities, you might guess that white isn’t a color I’m particularly drawn to, and you’d be right.

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Did You Ever Notice…


Did you ever notice, as you go out into the garden to try to capture an image of something that looks really pretty to the human eye….

June 1, 2013 old 005 (3)
….That the camera sees so much more?

June 1, 2013 old 002 (3)
When the pixels are loaded onto the laptop, it is a much more detailed and fascinating universe out there.

June 1, 2013 old 003 (3)
For example, the difference in not only the petal reflex and petal color, but the fuzzy pollen appearing from once smooth and silky stamens on Lilium martagon x ‘Mrs. R. O. Backhouse’ as the blooms age escaped me. I never noticed that before, but this is only the second year for her growing here. The promise is made right here and now to be more observant. And/or to take more photos.

June 1, 2013 old 007 (2)
Last year there was a lily experiment of sorts, click here to read the story about it. A mixture of the scented asiatics was planted in…

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The Return Of The King

One of the most popular search terms for my blog is bonsai. Here is from a master!

Peter Tea Bonsai

The Return Of The King

The beast“Zuiou” 1996 Kokufu prize winner, Japanese Black Pine

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to work on this large Japanese Black Pine.  The work wasn’t major and involved thinning and pulling needles; standard stuff for Black Pines in the Winter.  Just getting a chance to work on this tree was an amazing feeling for me because it tied my past bonsai career to my ending apprenticeship.  What surprised me when I learned the history of this tree is how it has been around so many people who has influenced my bonsai work in the past and present.  So close to me but unknown by me.  In This post, I’m going to share with you the history of this Japanese Black Pine and some close up photos of the tree that makes it world-class.

The Beginning

Bonsai started for me in 2004 when I…

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September 2012 Bloom Day at Hayefield

Well, things still look pretty good around here, but they haven’t changed quite as much as I’d hoped over the last few weeks. To keep things from getting boring for those of you who check in regularly, I’ve made an extra effort to pick out some new plants and pairings for this Bloom Day, and to try some new angles and lighting conditions on some familiar areas.

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