Tag Archives: columbine

Hummingbirds and Monarchs

While I’ve planted a lot of flowers and plants that attract pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies at home, my WI garden is much more natural, but equally full of attractive plants.

IMG_6098 (1)

This wild columbine at the woods’ edge is a natural attractant, while other native and cultivated flowering plants can be found in the garden.

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Continue reading

What’s In My Door County Garden?

As a gardener, one of the fun things about our new cabin in Door County WI is seeing what is going to come up in the gardens this spring and summer.  I love taking a walk around the property to see what’s changed since the last time we were there.  I know the previous owner took pride in her gardens, but since we bought the place in the fall much was already passed its prime.  So this spring has been a wonderful surprise to me!


Much to my delight, there are so many interesting and colorful plants all around the house.  Some in gardens, some hiding the rural necessities and some enhancing the “yard”.

Up front, we’re welcomed by a beautiful display of peonies, irises and ferns.


IMG_5692 (1)

IMG_6396 (1)

Iris reticulata “Springtime”

And all around the front step are these gorgeous, unusually colored columbine.  A favorite of the hummingbirds and bees.

Purple Columbine

There’s hostas nearby as well, but the deer are finding them to be pretty tasty.

deer damage to hostas

Luckily they don’t seem to like the Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop (Spurium Dragon’s Blood) or rug junipers.  These are great ground covers and seem to be flourishing with minimal care.

Dragon's Blood Stonecrop

In a bit of a low area, there’s a rock garden that provides a brilliant splash of purple and green.


It’s a relatively natural property, so I’m taking delight in the daisies in the grass.  Since the grass is rather sparse, I glad something pretty is in its place.

IMG_5697 (1)

It’s going to be a little tough to mow around, but we’ll figure something out.

Based on the plant records she left me, I know there’s going to be lots more in bloom next time we’re there!

A View of the June Garden-Backyard

I took a tour of my yard today to see how everything was looking. Other than a little late, most things were looking quite healthy. It seems I’m often focussed on the “little picture”, so it was nice to just step back and look at the “big picture”.

Starting in the back…

Hostas, sedum, peonies, windflowers, astilbe, heuchera, hydrangea, spurge and a River Birch fill this part shade bed that borders the patio. 

Stephi Gardens

Stephi Gardens

Off the back of the patio is the Purple Ash that looks quite healthy this year after it’s treatment for Emerald Ash Borer last year  (Attack of the Emerald Ash Borer: Part 1 and Part 2).   I recently split and transplanted some hostas,  ferns and sedum underneath it to make it look more like a garden rather than a dirt pile   I also added 3 Purple Beautyberry Bushes in the corner to join some raggedy looking Red Twig Dogwoods.  This also where my 2 new raised vegetable beds are located.   

Stephi Gardens

Finally, my Siberian Irises are blooming.  Only 2 blooms, but better than nothing!

Siberian Iris

The back of the house is planted with Miss Kim lilacs, a Blackhaw viburnum, a Redbud, densi yews, an assortment of creeping sedums, creeping thyme, Russian sage, a few other perennial specimens,  hostas, daylilies and petunias.  

Stephi Gardens

Johnson Blue Geranium

Johnson Blue Geranium

Tangerine Avens–my best guess is that it is Geum “Totally Tangerine”.


The side yard is undergoing some transition as the house next door is undergoing construction.  What used to be sun/part shade, is now full sun.  Along here are  ferns, hostas, phlox, bee balm, wisteria, knock-out roses, daylilies, weigeila and honeysuckle.  There is also a 15 yr old multi-stemmed Freeman’s Maple just outside the shot, but I’ll leave that for another day.  But here’s a hint, it’s June and it’s casting almost no shadow…

Stephi Gardens

Wisteria is starting to bloom.


 All around the yard are these Columbines.  They just pop up unexpectedly and provide some pretty spring colors.  They’re a spreading plant that I don’t mind having out of place.  These all came from a gift of one plant soon after we moved in.  


Tomorrow… Continuing around to the front yard…