It’s been a long time since I’ve given a garden tour, so I thought today was a good day to do just that. It’ll be short. I need to get more photos of how everything looks now. These photos were mostly taken in early May, there may be a late April photo in the bunch. This time of year, everything seems to change daily.

To start off, we’re down in Studio Gardens. This is the area that is front of my art studio. It’s really the backyard, but the outside entrance to my art studio is there so Studio Gardens sounds a lot better to me.

This year, I changed my stone pathway to go under the wrought iron arched trellis. It used to curve to the left and go up my rustic stone steps I created years ago. But can you see that boxwood in the bottom left corner? It’s taken over the path! I even trimmed it last year, but I guess not enough. I figured a straight path would be good for getting the wheelbarrow through anyway.

The vine growing up the trellis is Major Wheeler honeysuckle. The hummingbirds love it. They were visiting our house early this year and luckily, this honeysuckle was blooming for them.

The green muck on the lake is actually duckweed. We’ve had a terrible case of it for two years now. I’m really hoping we can get rid of it this year. I miss being able to see the water, it spreads like wildfire.

Wrought iron arch trellis with Major Wheeler honeysuckle growing up it.

You may know, if you follow my blog, that the mink ate most of all my fish the winter of 2021-2022. I did have 13 large koi fish for years, now I’m down to 2. Happily, I did find that at least 2 of the koi fish made it out of the grasp of the mink apparently. Every once in a while, I see them swimming in the lake. Unfortunately, I can’t enjoy them like the ones in my pond.

Just today, I ordered 10 new fish from Toledo Goldfish and they’re supposed to be delivered by Friday. 2-3″ fish, a mix of regular finned koi and butterfly koi and that was just over $100. I really love the butterfly koi. I had 2 huge beauties before the mink found the pond. I’m hoping I can keep the mink from getting any more. My son and I actually saw the mink again about a month ago running through the front yard. They’re pretty fast.

After ordering new fish, I saw just how much the mink took from me. The large fish I had were at least as big as the largest fish they sell at Toledo Goldfish (16-18″) and they sell them for $385-$400 per fish for standard fins! That about makes me sick. The mink killed 9. That’s about $3,600. I wonder if my homeowners would’ve paid for that?? hah. Doubtful.

Two koi fish eating floating food.

So along the edge of the koi pond, this yellow Baptisia (false indigo) is getting huge. I think this one is called Lemon Chiffon. It’s hard to judge the size from photos, but this is bush sized now.

Yellow Baptisia with metal bird garden art.

I have two of the wrought iron arch trellises and this one is directly across the koi pond from the other. It’s got a very happy Mr. President clematis growing up it. Big and luscious purple petals now liter the ground. I think I have three blooms left on it. Some perennials just don’t last long enough. Well most, if you ask me.

Purple clematis growing up a wrought iron arched trellis.

This would be the photo that I took in late April (below). More Major Wheeler honeysuckle along with clematis growing up the deck post. Hummingbird heaven. At first the honeysuckle was blooming like crazy and I thought it might choke out the clematis. But the honeysuckle was no match for the clematis, it poked its pretty little head out from every nook and cranny and gave a beautiful show. I’ve still got quite a few of those blooms right now, Mid May.

Honeysuckle and clematis growing up a deck post.

Here’s my treasure from my one and only trip to my favorite nursery, Hasting’s Plants. I really tried to pare down this year as I always buy too many annuals. I usually allow myself to buy a few perennials each year but honestly I have too much and if I want to add more, I’ll have to make new gardens. Seriously, I don’t have time for more between painting, the art podcast and life. This 53 year old body doesn’t move as quick as it used to and keeping up is harder than ever.

But just look at that new and showy dahlia! (the dark pink with yellow center large flowers in the bottom right)


I think it’s called Cancun. I’m just smitten. Unfortunately, it’s an annual. I’m hoping to dig it up in the fall and try to grow it again next year. I put her in a pot on my deck over the koi pond.

2023 Purchased flowers from the nursery.

I bought 13 four pack of annuals like snap dragons, marigolds, celosia and others. On top of that, I bought lots of the small 4″ round pots with annuals and larger pots, too. I just can’t help myself when I’m at the nursery! But that was just way too many. I really want to not have so many small pots to keep up with and just have my favorites in large pots that don’t dry out so fast and are harder for the raccoon to knock over.

Have I complained lately about the damn raccoons??!

OMG. I thought I was going to go outta my mind trying to keep the trash pandas from digging up my newly planted flowers.

I tried putting chicken wire on some but that was a huge and painful ordeal. Just this spring, I ran across an article that said they don’t like ammonia. So I thought what have I got to lose? I filled up a squirt bottle full of straight ammonia. I’ve been spraying the pots and around them each night and to my surprise, it works!

I’ve skipped a night or two here and there if there’s no rain. I can tell it works because I’ve forgotten to spray a pot and the little bastard gets in that one pot and rips the plant out and leaves it there to die. Diligently, each morning I check everything to make sure nothing has been pulled or dug up.

That wraps up my tour for now. I’ll get more photos of the flowers and share them soon. It’s a crime not to, they’re absolutely beautiful. In the meantime, here’s JuJu sitting inside my art studio looking at me as I stand in my greenhouse. She’s my needy cat. She also bites.

A black cat looking out a door.

←Two new tulip landscape paintingsNew baby koi fish for Studio Gardens ⟶

paintings by Jaime Haney

A few paintings I’ve created

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.

If you would like to keep up with what I’m doing, I have a newsletter called Visual Stories that’s e-mailed two to three times a month that gives you special status. Subscribers often get first dibs at new paintings, invitations to events, birthday greetings and more. I’d love for you to add your email to my Friends and Collectors list!

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