Chatting By the Garden Gate ~ 2

Welcome to the 'Heart of 'our Garden!

Welcome to the ‘Heart’ of our Garden!

Hi Friends!

Today, in the garden,  it happened… serendipity!

I just have to share my fortunate happenstance…

We have had a week of cool, sunny days… just perfect for spending hours in the garden! Everything is growing so quickly, including the weeds! So, today I was tidying up the Herb Garden.

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint

The mints in the ‘Tea’ bed have really spread in the past few weeks. They were intertwined amongst one another and beginning to send runners over the raised bed. After a bit of pruning, I knew just what these vigorous, fast growers needed ~ more small trellises to climb. A trip to the garden center certainly wasn’t in my plans for today. Hmmm…  Perhaps I could find something in the garage to support and control this Chocolate Mint plant.


I found the perfect thing! Why hadn’t I thought of this before? Beneath my potting bench, amongst the clay pots and vintage wooden boxes, was an old basket with a loose handle. Last summer, it held a lovely basket herb garden on the deck. At the end of summer, as I was putting it away, the handle came loose from the basket. So, I tucked both parts of the basket under the potting bench, where they rested, forgotten… until this very moment!


Slowly, I pushed the sturdy basket handle into  the soil. It made a nice arch right over the Chocolate Mint plant. I carefully wrapped the vines of the mint around the basket handle. It worked perfectly to support the new growth. When I stepped back to admire my idea, I thought it looked great! In fact, I liked it even better than the bamboo supports that I’ve used in the past.

Serendipity ~ a pleasant surprise!

Old basket handles make nice supports in the herb garden!

Old basket handles make nice supports in the herb garden!

Now I’ll be hunting for old baskets with loose handles everywhere I go. Wouldn’t it look nice to have each mint plant in my ‘Tea’ bed climbing around an old basket handle?

Herbs and baskets just belong together ~ even in unexpected ways!



Let’s enjoy a tall glass of  lemonade, and take a little walk through the garden to see what’s blooming this week.


Susan Branch shared her favorite recipe for Basil Lemonade. Doesn’t this sound refreshing? I just love the watermelon stars on skewers!



Our garden is a riot of color  in July! Many heavy rainfalls this month have encouraged lush growth. The beds are awash with bright blossoms.


A large clump of ‘Herbstsonne’ shining Coneflower (Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstsonne’), growing up to 7 feet tall, stands by the arbor to welcome visitors.



A sunny mix of orange Daylilies and Stella d’Oro Daylilies paint our Friendship Garden with warm colors.



Daisies, Hydrangeas, Speedwell, and Phlox bloom near the front porch.



These mophead Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) bloom near Coreopsis ‘Rising Mercury’ and Rudbeckia.



Daisies and Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout’) make a colorful combination near the front porch.



Shade-loving Astilbes brighten our woodland garden



Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) mingle with Rudbeckia in a sunny area of the garden.



Daisy-like, with green centers, these Coneflowers ‘Herbstsonne’ tower over the other perennials, dancing in the summer breeze.


Our Summer is really flying by quickly! Can you believe that this is the last weekend in July?  Hope you can enjoy some of your favorite Summer activities. Whether you are working in your garden, gathering with family or friends, sailing, traveling, cooking out, relaxing near a lake, or reading on your balcony, enjoy these magical summertime days!

Scatter joy!


P.S.  What’s at the very top of  your Summer ‘bucket list’ this year?


12 thoughts on “Chatting By the Garden Gate ~ 2

  1. Dawn,
    What a pretty use of a basket handle. I’ve had plenty of these that I’ve tossed. Your garden is lovely and I pray we get some rain to ease the draught out west sometime soon.
    Enjoy your weekend.

    • Hi Karen B,
      It was such a pleasant surprise! I think the basket handle will last for a long time in the ‘Tea’ Garden. I just had to share this discovery! Wish we could share our abundance of rain with friends in Southern California. We are keeping you all in our thoughts. As I read your last few posts I wondered if you might also be a Susan Branch fan. If not, just click on the Basil Lemonade recipe… and check out her blog. I think you will love it! Be sure to read the comments there. So many kindred spirits!! Have a great weekend, Karen! ♡

  2. What an absolutely PERFECT SOLUTION! I love this mini arbor to train that fabulous mint plant! Excellent moment, isn’t it, when you strike it rich with an idea that really works functionally, and aesthetically! Dawn, I love your garden so much; that picket fence enclosure is so perfect, but my French style garden (that I LOVE) wouldn’t look right with one, but it would be my choice of garden décor if my house was styled just a tad different. Now I’m craving some chocolate mint herbal tea!

    We have had so much rain that everything is lush as can be. However, my inpatiens have caught a virus that unfortunately means that I can no longer have inpatiens in those exact areas of my property! They are my favorite potted flower, but I’m going to have to find a replacement for next year…..

    So good to see you this morning! Happy weekend, Anita

    • Hi Anita! You always say the sweetest things! Inspiration struck at the perfect moment. It seems that good ideas often come to me when I’m gardenkeeping. It must be a ‘weeding meditation’time ~ with the birdsong, gentle breezes, and puffy clouds to inspire me. I would love to see your French style garden! Do you grow Lavender in pots? I’m so sorry to hear about your inpatiens. Let’s try to think of a colorful alternative… Have a fun, relaxing weekend,Anita! (July is ending much too quickly. I know you’ll agree!) ♡

  3. Only you would come up with “handles of mint!” I can’t wait to see the next iteration of your idea. Am envious of your free water. We are being severely curtailed here. I reuse every drop from indoors for thirsty plants outdoors.
    Love your photos and commentary. Best blog ever!

    • Hi Anne! We are thinking of our California friends… and wish we could share our rain with all of you. We know you are stretching every drop of water these days.Heartfelt thanks for your kind words, dearest Anne! ♡

  4. Your garden is looking beautiful, Dawn! I love the idea of the basket handle for the chocolate mint — so cute and resourceful. And that basil lemonade sounds so delicious that I might make some today 🙂 Have a wonderful day ❤ I hope the rain holds off long enough here that I can go out for a run this morning!

    • Thanks, Chris! It’s such a pleasant surprise to find an easy solution that looks cute. Have a great run and a lovely Sunday! You are squeezing so much fun into the summer!

  5. I’m late! I’m late! I hope there is some delicious lemonade left ~~~ What a lovely journey today through your garden ~ and yes, July is nearly gone and in a few short days August will be here! How time flies and July has gone quickest of all the months ~ so we *must* be having fun! Love your climbing frames for your mint! Waving from Across the Pond in Warmest {s}Weltering Wales!

    • Hi Debs! You are just in time! So happy you could visit our garden today. July has been a special month for so many reasons ~ one of them is you! Hope this is the start of a nice week for you. Sending cool breezes Across the Pond! Waving back! ♡

  6. Ooops! Should have read this one first! Didn’t realize I had been gone so long as to miss TWO blog posts! What a darling idea for corraling your mint! I LOVE the basket handle idea! Now you have me thinking of where I could use such a thing! 🙂 Inspiration everywhere! xo…Karen

    • Hi Karen P! So happy to see you! The idea just popped into my head, since I was muddy and didn’t want to run to the garden center to buy something. Serendipity! Now I’m thinking of ways to use the rest of the basket. It’s really nice ~ just missing its handle. You never know where it will turn up! Have a great summer afternoon! ♡

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