Monday, September 23, 2013

A Time for Stillness...

Death is a part of life, a transition that inevitably affects every living thing. Nature takes it in stride as if it were a change of season. But then, isn't it? What affects us most when a loved one passes is not so much the change of season or their death but the ultimate loss. Not being able to see them, talk to them, embrace them seems like a harsh ending of sorts, almost a punishment. On this earth, we live so much in the physical realm, in the senses. These senses make us feel alive and connected. When we are unable to use those senses to connect to another, it feels like some kind of abandonment. Memories are all that is left. Sometimes, in my dreams, I take hold of a visiting angel's wing and travel to that place far away in the misty ether where loved ones go in their change of season. Being in their presence, seeing their smiles, is enough to calm my stirring heart, if only for a night.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mourning a Loss...

© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

Monday, July 15, 2013

Quest for Beauty - GBBD, July 2013

Gladiolus - Lucifer

It seems the garden is on a quest for beauty each summer. The blooms grow bigger, taller, more colorful on that journey to unfold and splash into splendor. With all of the rain we have been having, most of the blooms are thriving and the quest has been supported by plenty of moisture.

Gladioli stretch out and up, reaching for the blue of the sky. Tall and lanky, they burst forth with petals galore.

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - July 2013

The mild spring that blessed us with cool temperatures has eased into the first days of summer. Although we have had some hot days, many of the days are cooler than normal.  At this time of year, I am usually watering often and running out of water in the rain barrels. In June we had a lot of rain. I don't see any major fungal issues yet on the plants. They seem to thrive in this weather. Still, I wonder what summer will bring. With the spring bestowing a blessing of tolerable weather, it will be interesting indeed to see what kind of summer we have.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Composting Part II: Advantages and Disadvantages of Compost Bins and Piles

Image Courtesy of

Various types of compost bins are now available for purchase. Some are completely enclosed, some are open at the top. Some are made of wood, some are made of plastic. Some are tall, some are wide. All of these are viable compost makers. Compost will happen with or without a fancy contraption. Compost will happen in a pile on the ground.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spring into Summer

S   P   R   I   N   G

Spring arrived this year like a lamb--emerging slowly with grace and beauty.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - June 2013

Spring has continued on its slow emerging path throughout May with long bloom periods and a consecutive flow of color and beauty. I have enjoyed this spring more than many because it has been cooler, and with that cool weather I have been able to savor so many elements of the garden as the gradual evolution unfolds. When I am outside working in the garden, there is a calm and consistent steadiness to the garden that never makes me feel rushed or as if I am behind. It has been a joy this spring to be a part of that slow and steady flow.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Composting - Part I, All About Compost

Compost Bin

For many gardeners, composting is just another part of gardening--a way to continue the cycle of life in the garden. I have been composting for over 25 years, and I enjoy having a way to reuse the waste from the garden and the kitchen. It has become a part of my gardening and cooking rituals. Whatever can decompose naturally in the compost pile goes in the compost pile. And within a few months, I have a natural and nutrient-rich soil amendment for my plants. I love composting so much that when the opportunity arose for me to teach composting in my community, I easily accepted the volunteer position. Most people are excited and anxious to begin composting once they learn how easy it is to do. Rarely do I encounter someone who finds the entire process a waste of time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring Secrets for an Easy Care Garden - May GBBD

Through the years, I have discovered a few secrets that add beauty and interest to my spring garden. With so much in the garden, I do not always have time to give each plant individualized care, so I tend toward plants that are low maintenance. To gain beauty and easy care makes gardening a dream. These are some of the stars in my spring garden.

Plant shrubs that splash with bold and beautiful color in spring.


These azaleas require little care and always please the eye come spring. I side-dress them with a little compost at the beginning of spring, and then supplement with coffee grounds later in the year. I may prune them a bit after flowering, but other than that I leave them alone. I do not know the variety of these azaleas. They were planted with the house when we moved in.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - May 2013

Spring has beautifully emerged with a slow creep that has allowed each bloom, each leaf, to step out into the season with tender care and ultimate beauty. Vivid colors of blooms are lasting and fulfilling more than promised. The forest canopy has filled in the emptiness with an artist's hand, delicately painting in all the color and texture over time.

There have been moments when my impatience has gotten the best of me as I could not wait for a bud to splash into petals, but savoring all this beauty far outweighs any peeves I may have. The gradual dawning of each delicate petal, bud, leaf is a sight to behold, to luxuriate in the elegance of each stage as it ponders its next step. It is a lesson to slow down, to treasure, to relish this season of utter beauty and welcome surprises. After the resigned birth of this spring with its paused display of grace and artistry, I do not think I will ever experience spring the same way again.

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - April 2013

March has been a month of extremes. We have had several snowfalls and a few days of temperatures in the 50's or 60's. Spring is definitely moving in like a lamb. Although I am yearning for more of the warmth and color of spring, I do relish the snow. I yearn for it so desperately in the winter that when it comes, whenever it comes, it is hard for me to complain.

A childlike sense of wonder seems to come over me, and I table my yearning and savor every snowflake, every frost covered branch, every sweep of alabaster across the landscape. It is almost as if I think I will never see it again. Perhaps it is a way to honor its presence before it retreats for the season--for I will not see it again for many months.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blending Beauty - Garden Book Review

Many times I buy a book because I yearn to learn more about a specific subject. Other times I buy a book because I am familiar with the author and trust I will be happy with the contents. And there are those times I buy a book for both of those reasons. The book, Fine Foliage, falls into the latter category. I was familiar with Karen Chapman's blog, Le Jardinet Designs, and was always happy to read her posts. She is a very enthusiastic horticulturist who has a passion for container gardening. On her blog, she discusses so many interesting ways to combine plants in containers and in the garden.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Lessons of Winter

Winter has been one of the seasons with which I have had the most struggle. Because I have always found the outdoors a place where I spend so much time, almost as another room in my home, having a season where I was disconnected from that place, from that room, has always been difficult. Of course, the weather has never been so cold that I could not spend time outdoors, but the weather is cold enough that one cannot spend time outdoors for very long. And there is not much to do in the garden with all of the garden dwellers taking their winter nap--resting for that graceful emergence in spring. Things always appear so dull and lifeless. And the only time I could see the beauty of the winter landscape was when the snow covered everything in its sparkling and magical coat. In my neck of the woods, the snow does not appear often nor remain for very long. So, I would spend much of my winter indoors separated from the room which I love so dearly and long for so much.

Beth of Plant Postings hosts Lessons Learned for all the seasons, and so I offer some lessons learned about winter.

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - March 2013

A Preview of What's to Come in Spring - Pink Rose from Bouquet

This winter has been more of a true winter with cold temperatures that fit with a normal winter for our region compared to last winter when the daffodils were blooming in January because of the warm temperatures. I love the snow of winter and  yearn for it when it does not come frequently enough, but with daffodils beginning to bloom and signs of growth here and there, I am anxiously awaiting spring.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Winter Garden

Sometimes it can be hard to appreciate the garden in winter. Leaves have dulled to brown and fallen to the ground. Perennials have wilted and faded leaving behind dry stalks. Shrubs sit dormant in winter snow and wind. The vibrant colors and lush textures are gone for the season.

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - February 2013

Helleborus 'Aubergine Dream'

The weather has been unpredictable this winter. Although we have had some winter temperatures, we have had some days where the temperatures climbed into the 60's. And we had one week of straight rain. Our area has been way below the needed rainfall for the season, so the rain did help. And we finally got some snow, a little under an inch. It was a nice covering for all of the winter browns and grays.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Celebration of Blogging and a Birthday

Today marks the second birthday of The Sage Butterfly blog.

And I want to celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!!!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year, New Garden Wishes

The garden changes each day, each year. Shrubs grow larger, flowers fade, new growth begins. The seasons come and go bringing warmth for growth or cold for dormancy. Colors dance in bold pastels or huddle in earthy browns.

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