Friday, March 28, 2014

Northern Inspiration

My family and I have become quite obsessed with northern Minnesota, especially along the coast of Lake Superior. We have been camping up there a half dozen times or more in the last 2 years. I noticed a few things last summer that I thought were garden blog worthy. I find the landscape up there naturally deeply inspiring and would love to emulate it in my own garden. 

Everything come so much later up there. We were there in late June and early July and the lilacs were blooming. It's fascinating to see what a shorter bloom season looks like.
Wildflowers everywhere.
Its almost like a rainforest, there's moss everywhere.

The beauty is unreal.

I was so excited to see Luna moths on the light poles outside of the bathroom, and on the check in station walls at Judge Magney State Park.

The rocks on the shore are incredible.

The driftwood is everywhere.

This wildflower was growing right on the beach in Grand Marais. The most beautiful blue you could imagine.

One time, our campsite was right in the woods.
The lupine are everywhere!

So many people have collected their own huge amethyst rocks. My son Ben loves it!

More rocks...

God's the best landscaper.

We found so many fresh berries on the mountainside at the end of the one of the trails, we felt like bears.

The smaller lakes are beautiful too.

More wildflowers...
One of my favorite parts of the trips we make- the old pines!

At the Fort near the Canadian border I was inspired by the natural materials/structures.

One of our favorite stops is the fur shop- where the antler shed is just how I'd love my garden shed to look.

More wildflowers and beautiful sky.

Grand Marais is just inspiring.

But so is every woodland path we found...

Frogs from the creek.

Crawfish watching.
And mushroom and fungi galore.


And asters... perfect.
I loved the little accents in this container garden outside of the shops in Grand Marais.
Every time I leave one of our trips I tear up. I don't want it to end. But I do bring so much inspiration back with me.
Happy gardening!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Date @ The Arboretum

As I plan out my spring garden I also make sure to go through past pictures from visits to public gardens, where the professionals have applied their magic touch. Last summer we visited the Minnesota Landscape Aboretum a few times, but the visit I'm sharing here was a real treat. My husband and I had a real, legit date night when the kids were at a sleepover. We live very far from any relatives, so this is a very rare treat! So thankful for our good friends for this night!
Last summer, our only date night fell on a pretty darn warm summer evening, so naturally I made my husband eat Lebanese food until we almost puked from being full, take the dessert to go, and the walk ALL the back trails at the arboretum I could find. Haha!
We explored the creek and I fell in love with the mossy rocks.
I honestly don't know what these are, but I thought they were beautiful!

Perfect blue sky!


The collection of hydrangeas was in full bloom. Such a treat. It made me excited to watch all of mine at home mature.

Right in the area near the shrub gardens we found a flock of turkeys. We spent a long time just watching them eat all the grass seed someone had put down.

I fell in love with the color of these grapes.

And, of course, took time to appreciate the beautiful tree bark & the trunk of one that had been recently cut down.

There are whole areas of natural native plants. Lots of butterflies.

I decided I need a tamarack in my life.

I stopped to watch the reflection in this creek, way on the other side of the place, for a long bit.

And I begged my husband to make me one of these at home for growing gourds/pumpkins/squash.

Whenever I get to spend time by a Gingko tree I enjoy it.

I also had never had the time to really appreciate all the details in the Japanese garden... I'm usually chasing kids.

This shot below is a water fountain, but the light was so bright in the water it looked like a mirror. So beautiful.

And of course, enjoying hosta leaves.

My perfect mate.

Enjoying all the display gardens.

Thanks for the great date night, Theo!!

Happy gardening!