Tag Archives: pollinators

My June Garden in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia


June is the Garden of Eden time here, while the plants are still fresh and new and the Japanese beetles haven’t yet arrived. Dewy mornings filled with glowing flowers and bird song are a little piece of heaven. Our rich green valley reminds me of the Shire with the hobbits, especially in June. Loveliness surrounds us. Then as summer advances and the heat, usually drought, and bad bugs settle in gardening is less idyllic. Although, some summers are much kinder than others. This one will be glorious.

(Shirley poppies and larkspur)

Pollinators are all over the garden. After unusually heavy rain for days the sun has finally reappeared. Bees and butterflies love forget-me-nots. These are the Chinese variety below.

“The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature.” ~Jeff Cox

“It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening. You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not.” ~W.C. Sellar & R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish, 1936

The first coneflower in bloom. Echinacea.

“You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” ~Author Unknown

“I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden.” ~John Erskine


The breadseed poppy is beginning to bloom. Papaver somniferum.

“In my garden I spend my days; in my library I spend my nights. My interests are divided between my geraniums and my books. With the flower I am in the present; with the book I am in the past.” ~Alexander Smith, “Books and Gardens,” Dreamthorp: A Book of Essays Written in the Country, 1863

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” ~Cicero



Beautiful rose-red buckwheat blooming in the garden above, covered with pollinators. White coriander is flowering beside the barley.

“Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps;
Perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvest reaps.”
~A. Bronson Alcott, “The Garden,” Tablets, 1868

Children also inhabit my garden. These are three of my creative grandkids and this is some of what becomes of my Amazon boxes. Cardboard weapons and protective gear for wars against Orks and other great dangers. They even made a crossbow.

Imagination blooms in the garden.

I think on the latest book I’m writing while I’m weeding, and develop the plots. Sometimes, I just ‘am’ while I muse with the earth. The garden is a good place to ‘be’.

For more on me, visit my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6

April in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia


(In front of our farm-house)

You are likely to find me out in the garden, because the garden is where life is. Everything is green, growing, flowering, or with the promise of blooms and fruit to come.  The garden is a vibrant place, and yet, deeply peaceful, too, and ever-changing. No two days in the garden are the same.  Each day holds new discoveries. Spring is a giddy time, with so much to do at once.

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there. ~Thomas Fuller 1732 (This is very true)

While much of the country is still buried under winter, those of us fortunate enough to dwell in the Shenandoah Valley, or ‘The Shire’ as I call it,  are blessed with spring loveliness. Not that the weather doesn’t waffle here, because it has and does, dipping back into frigid temps after luring everything into bloom. But most plants are hardy enough to withstand this whimsy. We are well accustomed to the annual dance. I cover my gullible lilies and pray for the blossoming trees.

A new project has opened up in my gardening world with the redoing of our farm pond–digging out years of accumulating silt–and the expansion of the surrounding fence.  This gives us much more room to grow our dreams, safe from munching cows, and a lot of tree planting has ensued. Yesterday, daughter Elise and I planted thirty additional trees and bushes on the pond banks, after a long planting session this past Saturday with the enthusiastic help of my three oldest grandsons. While we labored, we were surrounded by birdsong from meadowlarks, red-winged black birds, the song sparrow, killdeer, cardinals… It’s hard work, but the pond will be glorious. Our aim is to plant for the birds, water fowl, fish, pollinators, and people. I’m envisioning magic.

(One end of our Pond)

(Elise, Me, and my three grandsons after a long tree planting day)

As for my writing, admittedly it has sagged as planting and gardening take priority, but I have a new story idea buzzing around in my head. Outside time gives me the opportunity to ponder my emerging plot. How can I not be inspired while enveloped in all this spring beauty?

(Virginia Bluebells in front of our house)

“Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.” ~W. Earl Hall

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.” ~Hal Borland

“The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.”
~Julian Grenfell

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” ~Mark Twain

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
~Robert Frost

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain

***Images by daughter Elise Trissel