Good golly, it’s already mid summer and I’ve yet to share any goings on at the createaerie.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time in my yard with garden tools, not much with my camera  Anyway, I thought I’d share a few fabulous plants that the deer seem to ignore.

See that hot pink action going on?  That’s Lychnis coronaria and it’s tough as nails!  Though listed as a sun lover, it performs just as nicely in light shade.


Next, is Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’.  Give it full sun, skimp on the water and this plant will bloom steadily for at least a month.  Nothing seems to bother this beauty.

Need some blue in your garden?  Give Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ a try.  It tolerates a range of soil conditions, and post bloom, makes a nice leafy filler in the garden.  It appreciates some afternoon shade.

Of course, there’s good old Nepeta, a perennial workhorse in the garden, paired here with Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’.  Hydrangeas are candy to deer, but it’s worth mentioning that this species is the most forgiving of all the hydrangeas, perfect for the beginner gardener.  Cut it back to about knee high every spring, then just let it do its thing.  Oh, and give it lots of water.

So, if you live in deer country and need to add some plants to your garden, give the above mentioned a try.


I watched the sun set this evening while having dinner with a friend, who took this photo and later emailed it to me.  The first thought that came to my mind upon opening the email, was gratitude.  While current day to day living poses uncharted challenges for all of us, there is always room for gratitude.  A simple meal, lighthearted conversation, a friendship and a sunset….. That, I am grateful for.



I visited three public gardens during my trip to California, all in Pasadena.  The Huntington Library Botanical Garden is in a league all its own; you’ll need at least one full day to cover the grounds.  The other two, pint-sized in comparison, are perfect for an impromptu stroll.

Now, let’s head over to the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.  There I am, trekking 282 feet below sea level on a ginormous sheet of salt deposits!

Before leaving Death Valley, we meandered about the Mesquite Flat Dunes.  What a very zen experience.  The winds “erase” the footprints, creating a clean canvas for all visitors.

And, that mysterious textured surface…..

….. is cracked clay from an ancient lakebed, strewn about in between the dunes!

It will be quite some time before traveling can be put on the agenda again.  In the mean time, I will delight in the beautiful nature within my own back yard.


The Huntington Library Botanical Garden is a must-see if you’re ever in Pasadena, California.  I went there this past March, and it was amazing.  There’s just so much to take in and experience.  And, as with any botanical garden, what’s on view changes with each season.  A few areas within the garden were closed to the public on account of renovations, which means…… I must plan to visit again.

Pictured is the entrance, just heavenly, whether you’re a plant geek like me, or not.

Among some of the highlights, is the Japanese bonsai display.  I can certainly appreciate the passion, pruning and patience it takes to grow these majestic, living works of art.

Resident lizards, like this little one basking on the table, were also enjoying the gorgeous day.  So cute.

A few more captures of the Japanese garden area…..

Look at this amazing mosaic stonework.  I’d love to have a patio like that.

The desert garden was my favorite, perhaps because the various cacti pictured do not naturally exist in the northeast.  I admit, I have cactus envy.

If the board game “Cactus Candy Land” ever existed, this is what the path would look like.

And, if you stroll the path “down under”, you’ll stumble upon these Australian bottle trees, which remind me of pudgy elephant legs.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this sampling of the Huntington Library Botanical Garden.  Perhaps you’ll put it on your “bucket” list.  I think you should.

The next post will conclude my trip to California, and in which I’ll reveal what the “mystery” photo is.

Stay tuned…….

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