Tag Archive | flowers

Gardening – for a “Less Stress Life”

No secret around my family …. I am most happy when I am digging in the dirt! So I am very excited to undertake a new project this summer.

In keeping with our old homestead, I hope to make a beautiful garden using our old windmill as the “center piece”. When we moved to the property in 2004, I was totally enamored with this windmill. Didn't matter if it had any water pumping from it or not. For me, it was just what I wanted to look out onto from the bedroom as I arose in the morning. It seems to just stand there, year after year, watching over the old farm.

I have spent hours snapping pictures of the windmill – in the early morning or as the sun sets in the evening. Through winter months and summer. We have some lovely yellow rose bushes planted nearby that were supposedly hand-carried here by the original Scott family. Their blossoms, with the windmill in the background, are amazing,


In December, the windmill doubled as our Christmas tree.


Now that the holiday season is over, we have spotlights that come on at dusk just to say “hello” in the cool, dark air.


So, why not make a garden around something I enjoy so much?

There were numerous old pieces of farm equipment left on the place when we bought it. I guess many people find relics of some sort on a lot of old abandoned farms. One was a Minneapolis-Moline tractor. Kevin figured he could fix it up one day, so this one was spared a trip to the steel recycler. It still has the old “crank” on the front of it!


We also kept the old “planter” from the 1920s era.


My first order of business was talking Kevin into dragging this heavy old tractor, with the flat front tires, through the field to rest happily by my windmill. His first response was, “Well, I am going to fix that up someday” – to which I promptly replied, “you can have it back when you get ready to do that.” (I lied – I think I am keeping it).

It looked so cute in it's new parking spot, that Kevin suggested moving the planter over next to the tractor.

Next came a birdhouse that had been 'specially made to look like our old barn. I liked that! I will need more birdhouses and lots of flowers. A friend suggested pampas grass, sunflowers, and a couple of pumpkin plants. I have all those plants started and will plant them as the weather warms.



I have oodles of flowers started in little peat pots to brighten a wood bark walkway to the windmill from the house….or perhaps maybe a “dry river bed” look with stones leading you down the path. At any rate, lots of flowers and lots of cheery birdhouses. These two birdhouses were a special Christmas present from Aspen and Blake, my two grandchildren. They are going in the garden for sure!


I probably won't know for sure what it will look like until I actually start digging, but, with the help of a little computer software, this is the look I will be searching for.

Bright, cheerful, inviting. Something to sit on the deck and admire….raise a glass of wine. Cheers!!


Echinacea – The Beautiful Flower with Herbal Properties

Every gardener loves a beautiful flower garden! We pour over the spring offerings of flower and vegetable catalogs that seem to appear in the mailbox on an almost-daily basis.

Echinacea, which might be better known to some as a “coneflower”, will give you season after season of striking blooms. It is a popular North American native and it's rosy-pink blooms resemble a daisy.

These plants are easy to grow here in Colorado. They are heat and drought tolerant, they can handle our full sun, and they will tolerate low fertility. They are hardy from zones 3-9, but they do ask that you provide well-drained soil. They do not like to keep their feet wet! They produce one solitary bloom on an erect stem which is excellent in a cut or dried flower arrangement.

Not only will this beautiful, hardy flower brighten your yard, but some species (E. angustifolia, E. purpurea, and E. pallida) are also prized commercially for their reported medical properties. Echinacea has been used as an immune stimulant, an anti-inflammatory, and as an aid in healing wounds.

While harvesting of the echinacea root is typically done in a commercial setting, there are classes available for the “average Joe” to learn how to harvest and process the plant at home. I took an Herbal class a year or so ago – and was amazed to learn how many wonderful properties plants (even weeds!) possess! Katie at the (check it out) Garden Fairy Apothecary in Elizabeth, Colorado teaches a wonderful class for those who want to get rid of the aspirin bottle for a more natural approach. No longer do we reach for a commercially prepared concoction with chemicals and additives if we can grow it and tincture a better alternative right at home!

You may want to consider adding echinacea to your landscape. It will return, bright and beautiful, year after year. And you just may take advantage if it's herbal properties one day!