Tuesday, June 6, 2017

a beautiful start to june

Happy June! We are having the most glorious weather here in northern Illinois. After a very rainy May, we've had nothing but sunshine and pleasant temps (OK, except for 90 degrees this past weekend) for well over a week. And this week looks to be the same up until the weekend, when again, temps are expected to be in the low 90's. Too soon for that kind of heat. Anyway, I've been spending a lot of time outdoors: Planting more flowers, weeding, trimming bushes, and finally enjoying the patio.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Susan Branch - artist and author in the field of Home Arts. I have her small calendar hanging on my bulletin board and love turning the page to a new month just to see the pretty artwork.


Columbine thrives in the low humidity and gentle warmth. It's the first thing to bloom in my butterfly garden. Once the heat kicks up, this beautiful plant fades away.

We have a surprise amongst the lilies in the front ditch: Daisy Fleabane. I didn't know what it was until I happened to see it on Claudia's blog. It's a wildflower - most likely seeded by birds. Isn't it pretty?

A few weeks ago when we planted this poppy plant (front), we forgot to take into consideration that the Joe Pye Weed (foreground) grows like crazy and spreads. This is just the start to its growth - it gets over three feet tall. I'm going to have to dig some of this up and replant it elsewhere before it overtakes the poppy plant!

A recent visit to one of my favorite garden centers...

I came home with a candy corn vine and more flowers for one last large planter. I was really excited about the candy corn vine, as I was looking for a vine that would grow in partial sun for a trellis we have in front of the house. Plus, you can bring it indoors and over-winter it. I planted it in a pot in front of the trellis, so I can do just that once the cold weather arrives again.

I cleaned off the patio yesterday, washed the table and got it set up with the seating. It'll be so nice to have meals al fresco once again.


My sister gave me a huge jade plant. I looked all over for a large indoor plant pot that didn't weigh a ton and was halfway attractive. I finally found this pot at Walmart. It's resin, so lightweight. I have the plant in front of a south-facing window in the spare bedroom, so I hope it does well.

Lastly, I thought I'd share a couple of pictures of my fur babies. Monkey (top) and Clementine look so peaceful sleeping in their cat tree, don't they? Monkey is such a big kitty (not fat - just tall and long) that he barely fits in his bed. He always has a leg or two hanging out. Clementine - my sweet little girl - is Monkey's mama. :-)

And speaking of sleeping kitties, where did I find Zippo the other night? Sleeping on the kitchen counter! He's never done that before, so I don't know why he chose that spot, all of a sudden. Oh well, at his age - 18 - I suppose it's easy to fall asleep just about anywhere.

Hope you have a beautiful week, filled with sunshine, flowers and just possibly, a cat nap or two. 


  1. Well, I love reading about sunshine, since all we have is rain. May and now June have been downright cold and full of showers. I am hoping it breaks soon and we get some of your glorious weather!! :)

  2. Enjoy the weather, and have a good week.

  3. Oh, a cat nap would be wonderful right now. Summer is already kicking my butt. It's very hot here already, sadly. I loved seeing your flowers. Columbine is beautiful and very unusual-looking, isn't it? I always enjoy seeing it when I'm in Colorado, where it grows really prolifically. I don't think we have much here in NM, even at higher altitudes, it's just too hot. I think your little self-seeded flowers might be asters. I have them too, and someone said they were a kind of aster. I never pull them, even though they're tecnhically a weed. They're just too pretty and I love the way they can grow right out of rocks or pavement. I have them in the strips between paving stones on my front walk. I hope you're having a good week so far!

    1. Well, you're pretty close with your guess on the self-seeded flower, Jennifer! It's definitely Daisy Fleabane - which is in the aster family. And it's an Illinois wildflower, often dismissed as a weed.

  4. Oh that is funny that Zippo fell asleep on the counter. Love your kitties. Annie is snoozing somewhere right now, she likes a dark closet during the day especially if I'm working around the house. Do not disturb is her motto! I've got more things to purge but the rainy weather has me slowing down a bit. Still I should enjoy it and hope we don't have a drought later this summer. Your yard is looking lovely. Hugs!

  5. What a delightful post, Melanie.
    As someone who has never owned a kitty cat I am marveling at that cat tree. How cute and cozy looking. I would never guess that your Zippo is 18. He looks great for his age.
    Your columbine is really pretty and so healthy looking too.
    Love your patio space. It looks so private and inviting.
    I'm amazed at your temperatures. We have been cooler than normal so far this year, but I'm not complaining.
    I so appreciate the kind comments you have left on my blog. In case you didn't see, I provided the link to the chocolate mint cookies in my comments.

  6. Melanie you have the cutest kitties.ever!!! Your garden looks great....where do you hide the weeds? Ha ha ha ha

  7. Your Zippo looks like my male rescue kitty who lived to be 21. I love all your photos, but especially the kitties! Enjoy summer!

  8. The sun is finally popping out here, too. I am hoping the bad spring storms are over for the season, but I sure don't like the humidity that follows. Have a blessed day.

  9. Love your columbine. Mine were blooming when I left home eleven days ago. They'll be finished by the time I get home.

  10. Bless him! Cats are so funny. Surely, in your comfy house, there are much cozier places to snooze than the hard kitchen counter. :) We are no longer sitting outside around here. Even at 8 o'clock at night, it's 100 degrees. Ugh! All my plants are so hot and dusty. Enjoy your garden time.

  11. LOL HOW IS IT that the birds drop some lovely flower there and I get bindweed, wild grapevines, and about 3-4 other horrible weeds to deal with over the last few years...it isn't fair! : )

  12. YOur cats are so beautiful, love that they sleep in that cat tree. Hooray for beautiful flowers, enjoy!

  13. I adore your gardens, to me they are what a garden should be. As long as I have lived in Texas I will never be totally content with my gardens. The heat just zaps them and me too!
    Your kitties are just precious!

  14. Looks like the weeds in Illinois are a lot prettier than ours here in the northeast!

    I picked up two columbine last year and they seem to be doing well. They're such a pretty, delicate flower.

    How funny that your fur baby slept on the counter! I had a cat that lived to be 17 and I thought that was pretty good. At 18 Zippo is still going strong and that's amazing!


  15. I love that garden centre with those adorable red wagons - very smart business move, I think! I can sense how much you love spending time outdoors, Melanie, and now that your patio is all prettied up it is perfect for al fresco dining, and chilling, indeed. I bought 4 Daisy Fleabane this spring. They bloomed for about two weeks and then I needed to deadhead them. I've been waiting for them to bloom a second time, since they look like they're growing new buds. Any idea how to properly deadhead them? Zippo is quite the cutie!

    Have a great week,

  16. I do like your fleabane, I just don't know how well they do as an actual garden plant. I can relate to not giving your plants enough room, I'm famous for that!

  17. I knew Zippo was old, 18 years is amazing.
    All your plants are just beautiful ♥️


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