Congratulations, Graduates!

A few pictures from the bed and breakfast as we celebrate Kansas State University graduations this weekend with our guests …





Wishing the best to all of the new graduates out there!

(For the buttercream recipe, see my Wild Blueberry Cupcakes post.)

Happy Accidents or What to do With Fragrant Phlox

When working in the garden the other day, I noticed that my Fragrant Phlox (phlox paniculata) was blooming in some unexpected places. While quite lovely, once it is done blooming, I’ll yank it up so that it does not become established where it is not supposed to be.

Here it is growing up through the edge of one of my Beauty Berry bushes (callicarpa americana) …… and here it is growing too close to one of my rose bushes (variety unknown).
Fragrant phlox likes to move around in a garden, though it is certainly not the worst offender in that regard. I find that rigorous dead-heading keeps it mostly under control. And when it does appear somewhere unwanted, it is easy enough to eliminate. I tend to let it bloom once anywhere that I like the look of it – and then yank! Afterall, I don’t want it taking over my other plantings. But in the meantime, occasionally it is nice to enjoy some of nature’s accidental pairings.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

Manhattan is home to Kansas State University. Since the school colors are royal purple and white, there is no shortage of purple around town. (For more photos see my post Putting on the Purple.) Thank you to Varney’s Bookstore for letting me take the bottom two photos inside the shop.

Crape Myrtles After the Rain

Along with almost everything else in the garden this year, our Crape Myrtles have now started blooming about a month early. After the mild winter that we had in Kansas, the die-back on the Crape Myrtles was almost non-existent. Some years the die-back is quite severe and we have to cut the trees/bushes to the ground. We received 1.27″ of rain last night. This as made everyone happy, especially the farmers, as prior to that we had received only .01″ of precipitation this month. With the garden all wet this morning, I tried to get a couple of pictures. These are of are buds and blooms on Crape Myrtle “Royalty” – one of my favorite plantings.

Putting on the Purple: Life in a College Town

Manhattan, Kansas is a college town of about 50,000 residents. If anything can be said of Manhattanites it is that they believe in the adage “be true to your school.” Around The Little Apple this is demonstrated by wearing and displaying the colors of Kansas State University: royal purple and white. With a house full of graduation-goers this weekend, I’ve been finding ways to play on the purple and white theme. To all the graduates out there, we at The Morning Star congratulate you and wish you happiness and success!

Stop and Smell the Lilacs

One of my favorite lilacs is Charles Jolie. The one that we have is currently blooming and smells so delightful from the front porch. It has quite a history too. I originally planted it at our old house in 1997. Then when we moved here in 2000, I dug it up and brought it with us. About five years later, it developed lilac borers and we cut it down to the ground leaving only sucker shoots. It took a few years, but the shrub rejuvenated and has been replete with blossoms the last few Aprils. Oh, yes, and you really should smell it.