|Baskets 'n Pots|
We love this house and we love its owners' love for baskets 'n pots. It's a scene in a north Springfield, Missouri neighborhood that we're told is very keen on restoring and preserving its grand old wood frame houses. This house would back at least 100 years.
This is another home in the same preservation-minded neighborhood as the above house, both located in north Springfield, Missouri. We thought this scene extra-inviting with the house, the porch, and the spare but artful landscaping. By the way, the concrete structures in the lower right corner are genuine hitching posts dating to--good gravy--the days when folks didn't have to worry about fossil fuels.
What could be lovelier, or homier, than this scene?
|The Bravest Robin?|
The bravest robin or simply a robin who can't read? This remarkable scene popped up in--believe it or not--a front yard in southwest Springfield, Missouri.
|The Art of Photography, As We Practice It|
We can often count on a human being suddenly appearing between us and our camera target, but here it was a speeding car. Ain't it purty? Our real target is in the next picture, for those what might care.
Okay, okay, it's not Ansel Adams or Annie Liebovitz. We just liked what planting coreopsis, coneflower, and rudbeckia did for this hydrant corner in south Springfield, Missouri. We also liked the tilted speed limit sign, but that's just us.
|Lining 'Em Up|
We love what midwesterners are doing with streetcorners these days. This homeowner, for example, just filled the parkway in front of his picket fence with some of his favorite plants. What do you think? Does it work?
This strikes us as one of the most inviting front yards we've ever seen. Discovered in north Springfield, Missouri, it sets a singular note for its more natural look.
|A Different Angle|
A slightly different perspective creates an entirely different scene.
The same property viewed head-on is no less inviting.
Found in a west Greene County, Missouri, garden in May last year, this Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) shows just how beautiful gardening with our native plants can be. Found in many states, this is the species that in spring brightens our roadsides, prairies, and open woodlands. Note: Other species and hybrids with flower colors from pink to blue to dark purple are available from nurseries, and some even have purple foliage..
|Roses Will Do It|
As you can see, adding a few rosebushes in front beautifully transformed this home.
|A Big Rock Island|
We could call this one "The Big Rock Island Bed" and love it, because this homeowner has put some real muscle into the landscaping. Softening the rock are crepe myrtle, canna lilies, coreopsis, and, on top of the rock, sweet potato vine.
|A 'Jay' Daylily and a Stokes Aster|
This scene of a 'Jay' variety daylily with a Stokes Aster appeared in a colorful English-cottage-garden sort of mix in west Greene County, Missouri. It's more proof that when combining colors, orange and blue are magical.
|A Wonder of a Vine|
At first when we spotted this marvelous plant growing on Main Street in Willard, Missouri, we were certain it was Star Jasmine, but now we're convinced it's White Snow Clematis (Clematis recta), a very vigorous grower that in June and July yields clouds of very fragrant, vanilla-scented blossoms. We think it a wonder, and hope to have it on our own fence one day. How about you?
|The Starry Clematis Up Close|
A closer look at the White Snow Clematis in Willard reveals the starlike flower shape more clearly, as well as the density of the flower clusters. What could be better?
|Hollyhocks & Zinnias|
This cluster of color appeared in a beautiful backyard garden in Billings, Missouri. We don't know the hollyhock varieties here, but we'll bet the zinnias are 'State Fair,' because of their brilliant color and height of about 4 feet.
We can't speak for others, but we were really struck by the beautiful balance between this south central Springfield home and its landscaping.
This Japanese Beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica) turned up in a garden in south Springfield, Missouri, at the very peak of its fall coloration, with yellow foliage and clusters of lovely violet berries. Easy to grow in the Ozarks, it likes full sun to light shade and prefers moist, well drained, acid soil. It can reach 6 feet in height and width and, as you can see, makes a gorgeous specimen plant for any garden or landscape. Note: Butterflies like the flowers and birds love the berries.
It was in a southside Springfield, Missouri, garden that we spied a Nicotiana so pristine that we actually said aloud, "Gee...."
As people seem to be returning increasingly to gardening and working on their homespaces, we're seeing more and more front yards like this one. "The secret," one gardener told us, "is to let everything grow like crazy then tell people it's a meadow garden."
How an ornamental grass or two completely transforms the drabbest corner. The brick house is the same one as in the previous picture.
|Brick 'n Crape Myrtle|
Do any two things go together better than red brick and red crape myrtle. A scene in north Springfield, Missouri.
We're just guessing.this might be Japanese Anemone. Whatever it is, we like it. We like the bumblebee, too. Both make up another serendipitous find in south Springfield, Missouri.
We've said it before and we'll say it again--nothing brings more cheer to shady areas than this wonderful flowering shrub, Kerria Japonica, sometimes called Japanese Kerria, Japanese Rose, or Easter Rose. If memory serves, we found this one in south Springfield, Missouri.
We don't know its official name, but we spotted this old-fashioned spirea on a lot in the country near Springfield, Missouri, and had to take a closer look because we remembered the one our grandmother many years ago.
|A Mind of Its Own|
Left to its own around a telephone pole with a guy wire, here's what honeysuckle will do. A scene in north Springfield, Missouri.
|Prosaic But Good|
|We Love Old Walls|
|A Smattering of Plants|
|A Colorful Circle|
This circular flower bed we found in downtown Republic, Missouri, really caught our fancy.
|The Circle Up Close|
A closer look at the circular bed in Republic turned up a cheery mix of mums, celosia, daylilies, periwinkle, and more. We loved it. When we returned the following year, though, the bed was gone, replaced by lawn or gravel or some such. At least we have the--sniff--photos.
It's silly, but we had to include it--the misspelled Daylily Garden sign. It's since been corrected, but, whatever it says about us, we actually liked this version.
Consider how much warmth these plantings give this house and yard in central Springfield, Missouri. No wonder they call it "curb appeal."
|Another Bright Corner|
Another example of "Brighten the corner where you are..." thoughtfully provided by a homeowner in south Springfield, Missouri.
|Front Yard Gardening|
This front yard in a quiet neighborhood in south central Springfield, Missouri, caught our eye as a great model of how gorgeous a yard can be if just two sides are bordered with flowers.
Nothing fancy here. This is the curbside corner of the front yard above, showing how easy it is to get a beautiful mix with flowers commonly available from the nursery. From left to right, Portulaca (a.k.a. Moss Rose), Marigolds, Red Sage, Petunias, and more Portulaca.