We can dream. When I saw this photo, I knew it was the one I was looking for. When I conceived the garden a few years ago, it’s exactly what I was thinking. Romance, enclosure and above all, mystery. It’s all there, in the garden. The gate is not as incredibly high as one might like, BUT, the plants are growing strong. And, was that a hummingbird that passed through this morning? Heaven.


See the Japanese Willow in center. This is actually a “post pruning” photo. It was WAY overgrown by late spring. I bided my time and waited till now. You must be judicious on how much you cut at one time. It was hard but think I did well. We’ll see how it works. The Italian genes demand pruning volume. It’s a constant battle against those genes.

Process (Getting to wonderful), requires additional steps along the way. Today, I started “after bloom” garden maintenance. Deadheading azaleas, lilies and rhododendrons. In Litchfield, Connecticut, the steps to wonderful include pruning, spraying and maybe even starting new plants. It’s July and now’s the time. In addition to spraying past bloomers (lupine) and soon-to-bloom sunflowers with Safer bug spray, it’s also time to capture clippings from bushes that need pruning so you can root them and spread them around.

My Hakuro Dappled Japanese Willow is all growing over its neighbors. All will benefit by cutting it back. I read up on it and I’m sure that it and others like it can be propagated. Yea! Have you tried it? You need need to hold yourself to a 1/3 subtraction of the existing plant. You can always take off more next year. Another lesson in patience.

Pruning Bushes

I removed the really long branches on the Japanese Willow and thinned a little out- trimming some new growth to help shape the plant. More on pruning here.


A plant I don’t prune. Ever seen such a fat lily? These lilies live far from the formal garden by the road. Hardy dears. They may be moving soon, come fall. I love the fat buds as much as the red color- unusually healthy plants. Agree?

Rooting Clippings

I also searched out how to root clippings as I really want to start additional bushes elsewhere. AND, give friends who like the bush, some clippings of their own. I found this link and will most surely use it to start my own. You’ll need a basin with holes, sand and maybe a root starter compound. Looks good to me.


          What do you think??? The scarf is called Dancing Tulips

I spent time on marketing scarves today. But my Manfrotto tripod fell apart. Ugh! I’m working on creating photos for the website. I decided I need to have a sort of mannequin. It’s a bit of work but I can use different hair colors and styles.

Opera, for me, is a mysterious, soul searching medium. What’s not to love??? Some think that as I speak Italian, my passion for opera comes from understanding the language. Nope. I just crave the sound of the human voice in all its trained operatic splendor. Renee Fleming- “O Mio Bambino Caro” by Puccini. Do you love her? “O Mio Bambino Caro” is sung near the beginning,  after relatives of the wealthy Buoso Donati gather around his bed to mourn his passing. In truth, they are only there to figure out to whom he left his great fortune of money.It’s incredibly beautiful, not necessarily more meaningful. Enjoy a truly “soul touching” medium, that is opera. Trust your instincts. The words are no less meaningful then any other language. In translation:

“Oh, my dear father,
I like him, he is very handsome.
I want to go to Porta Rossa
to buy the ring!
Yes, yes, I want to go there!
And if my love were in vain,
I would go to Ponte Vecchio+
and throw myself in the Arno!
I am pining and I am tormented,
Oh God! I would want to die!
Daddy, have mercy, have mercy!
Daddy, have mercy, have mercy!”

+ The Ponte Vecchio  is the “Jewelry Bridge” where all the Florentine shoppers hang.  I know, I visited weekly when we lived there. I can think of no better place to die.

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