Butterflies and Hummingbird Moth at Sunny Hill Side Garden Tour

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On the 16th of August, my sister, Lisa Brown, offered her home up as one of the gardens to see as part of Cathy T’s Walk and Talk garden tours – and what has been my biggest surprise about organizing these talks, is that I learned so much from my own sister about her garden experiences, which you think would come up in general conversation because, after all – we are sisters!

But life gets in the way sometimes, you may go to your sibling’s house and are there for some event usually, a holiday, a family gathering, whatever, and you may look at the garden while visiting – but to really “talk it” in detail can be missed because we are socializing otherwise.

During her walk and talk day, we all learned so much about her sunny hill side garden – one nice aspect is – many of her plants are gifts from friends.  One plant she pointed out was from a dear departed friend, and she says every time she walks by the plant – she is reminded of their friendship.

She also has tons of butterflies, birds, and a hawk moth was flying about visiting her butterfly bush.  I took several photos to share from this tour, which will be posted soon, but here is one shot of the hawk moth (also referred to as a hummingbird moth by folks, or sphinx moth), and ironically, I just had two friends tell me they saw one at their house for the first time recently.

One friend told me she gets a hawk moth every year at her house, and it will land on her hand!!  I never heard of this before – so cool.  She told me the moth is very friendly  — go figure, right? I will try that next time – put out my hand.  The moth did not seem to be bothered by me as I snapped photos at Lisa’s garden, and perhaps it is not camera shy.

Sphinx Moth on Butterfly Bush Blooms

Sphinx Moth on Butterfly Bush Blooms

For this morning, this is a quick post today to say THANK YOU so much to our host, Lisa of East Granby, CT — and to the attendees for participating at the last Walk and Talk tour for “this season.”  We enjoyed sharing our experiences with gardening, looking at the amazing view of the mountains from Lisa’s garden too, and capping off the tour season.

We have a 2015 schedule already started by volunteers to see more gardens at homeowner’s properties, which is exciting. The goal is to offer a tour once a month in season from spring til August.  Check in often to note the dates on your 2015 calendars or see the link above for the page on Walk and Talk Events.

For now, I have to run and get busy on a presentation, but I will be back shortly with more photos of the Sunny Hill Side Garden Tour.  There is much more to share with you as a review of our walk and even a very helpful handy list created by Lisa on the “do’s and don’t for a sunny hill side garden” based on her experience growing her garden full of flowering plants enjoyed by insects over several years – all done without the use of any insecticides or pesticides.  The list will be posted here soon.

Enjoy the superb warm and sunny weather predicted this week – it will be beautiful out!!

Cathy T

P.S. To the attendees of the October Hypertufa Class, just a reminder your check is due by September 6th to confirm your registration.  For questions, email containercathy@gmail.com or text 860-977-9473.

Sunny Hill Side Gardening – Our Next Walk n Talk Hour – This Saturday!

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Hi Everyone,

Our next Walk and Talk Garden Event is scheduled for this Saturday, August 16th, at 10:00 am to 11:00 am in East Granby, Connecticut.  It will showcase a sunny hill side garden area facing an amazing view of the mountains beyond, and includes a discussion on what has thrived on a difficult hill facing the afternoon sun and wind during both the summer and winter months.

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There are many plants which this homeowner has grown in these harsh conditions, and her style is very informal and meadow like.  She also has an amazing curly willow on her property you must see.  She collects the branches in the winter for decorations.

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Other interesting activities she deals with are bears!  They roam through her gardens from time to time, and her dog was a watcher of these, but sadly her beloved pet passed two years ago.

A View Tax

The most amazing thing of all is the view from her gardens and home – it is breathtaking, in fact, she has to pay a “view tax” which she debated with the town in the past.  Seems unfair to be taxed on a view – doesn’t it? LOL.

Let’s learn about how she deals with all this during our Walk and Talk on Saturday, August 16th at 10 am.

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After the Tour – Visit Some Local Nurseries

After our one hour Walk and Talk, there are two nurseries close by you may opt to visit.  One is Bosco’s Garden Center in Simsbury, located only a couple miles from our Walk and Talk address.  Bosco’s is open from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays. It is a small nursery with a little area to the side of its main building and a back area but it has great plants.  Their adjoining shop has some adorable garden decor and other various plant products.

If you still want to adventure on after Bosco’s, another choice is O’Brien Nursery in Granby, CT which is located about 3-4 miles from Bosco’s.  This nursery features “Open Garden Days” and lucky for us – this weekend is one of them.  They are offering a ‘Hosta Dividing Demo’ at noon, so if you time this right – you can go see the demo after our Walk and Talk, or just visit their nursery packed with various hosta plants, and other interesting plants.

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Directions

To receive directions to the Walk and Talk location, respond in the “comments” section on this blog post (see RED Box on top right), or email containercathy@gmail.com, or sign up via the Facebook posted event.  Feel free to text if you prefer to 860-977-9473.  Only signed-up attendees receive the home address of the event.  Oh, another way to sign up is to complete the Contact Form below.

The directions to both nearby nurseries will be handed out at our Walk and Talk and we will give you some recommendations of local restaurants as well.  Documentation on heat tolerant and drought tolerant plants will be furnished to attendees.

All Walk and Talks are free to attend.  See ground rules here.

ePub on Designing Hills

To see an article written back in 2010 on Designing Hills, check out Cathy T’s website here.  But, let me just say, the hostess of our Walk and Talk Event doesn’t always follow “design” rules, but follows her gut and individual style.  She has several plants to talk about which have tolerated her tough conditions and she will let us know what she has done to help with the dry and windy situations.

Gardens at this time of year may be stressed from summer heat – but her situation is even more intense due to the hill side and how it faces the landscape – so if you have similar challenges and wish to compare notes – this is a Walk and Talk you don’t want to miss – and it is last one scheduled for the 2014 season.

2015 Walk and Talk Dates

We have several 2015 Walk and Talk Events already scheduled. To receive notifications of them, be sure to “follow” this blog. Also, don’t be shy – if you would like to share your gardening experience in a very informal yet informative way – be sure to let us know – we love meeting new gardeners and walk away every time with something new to try as we learn practiced techniques from homeowners.

Lucky for us – the weather is again predicted to be very nice on Saturday – so don’t miss out – you never know what kind of “goodies” you will walk away with at this event!

Thank you – Cathy Testa
http://www.cathytesta.com
ContainerCrazyCT

Visit Cathy T’s Pinboards on Pinterest

To see many examples of Hill Side Gardens, visit http://www.pinterest.com/cathytesta/slopes-n-hill-n-terraces.  Click the Pinterest icon on the right side bar of this blog to get there quick.

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