The Gardens Are In At Bernadine’s Stillman Inn

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The Gardens Are In at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn!

I should say – almost done, but what garden is ever “done”?:)

AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT DAVE HAS DONE…. Think I’ll save this for the end suprise…


clematis 2


Clematis – I’ve never had success with clematis – go figure – it’s supposed to be easy to grow like hosta.  I think I keep putting them in the wrong location.  However, this beauty is magnificent.  Every year it does better and better.  You must come and see it.  It blooms a very long time.




FLOWERGIRLS – the beauty of creating your own blog is you can put anything in there that you want.  I just have to share this picture with you.  Our two granddaughters were flowergirls at my nieces wedding recently.  Aren’t thye just prettier than any flower you’ve ever seen?  What a blast these two are!  Now – back to the gardens!


blue eyed grass 2


BLUE EYED GRASS – I planted this little jewel a few years back.  I’d never seen it before and I haven’t seen it since at the local greenhouse but it is precious.  Long blades of grass tipped with this beautiful little flower.  It has a mounding habit so does not spread.  Wish I had more.  The blooms last a few weeks.  We have it alongside the pond.




Delphinium – These perennials were planted last year.  I obviously found just the right spot for them because they are doing better than any other ones I’ve planted.  Here’s the trick.  Plant it anyway.  If it doesn’t work, plant it somewhere else the following year.  It’s not rocket science…it’s a lot of fun.  I suppose you could cut your losses by reading the plant labels.  That would help!


false sunflowers


FALSE SUNFLOWER – I have three of these bushlike perennials and they never fail me.  They will be covered in what looks like palmsize sunflowers.  They droop a little in full sun but then bounce back when the sun leaves them.  This is a no spreading, moundlike plant that reaches 12-15″.  You would just love it.  Come see for yourself!


garden loom


GARDEN LOOM – I saw this, or something similar in a gardening magazine.  I was so excited to get this going thinking guests would pick up found objects on their walk and “weave” them into my loom.  Well, it hasn’t worked and I think this year I will go ahead and weave something fun with wool roving.  If you come to stay with us and fill this loom I will personally give you a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant.  It really needs attention!




LILIS FOR MY LILI – This area of the garden is dedicated to Lilis because of my granddaghter “Lili”.  She doesn’t get it yet but she will.  The tall ones in the back will be taller than her for a few years yet.  They will be exploding with color in the next 2-3 weeks.  Lilis are great and easy to grow.  Get some today!



MARIGOLDS – Okay they aren’t so great now but these are the 15″ marigolds that our guests just love.  You have to have an oldie but goodie in every garden.  Not many people plant marigolds but we just think tey are the best growing plant we have.  They bloom for a very long time.  This is one of the things we still need to finish – the fountain!  I think it’s on the list for today or tomorrow!  I bought this fountain near Crystal Lake, IL.  I stopped into this Great Greenhouse – wish I could remember the name, it’s huge.  It was on a trip back hometo see my Mom. They had a “Spin your Deal” going on so I took a chance and spun the thing.  I landed on 60% off my entire purchase!  I had eyeballed this fountain during my shopping and quickly let it go as it was well over $1000, I think $1,500.  You could imagine the surprise on the cashiers face when I chose this fountain to add to my two flats of flowers at the register.  What a deal…and they came and installed it too for free!


potting table


POTTING TABLE – This is where it all happens.  This handy little Walmart potting table.  It is constantly a mess but I just love it.  You can see my tool box I painted probably 18 years ago.  It is great because it has about 5 of everything, cutters, declumpers, pokers, diggers, scissors, etc.!  It’s great!  I’ll give you a closer look here since I am so very proud of it!tool box


Oh My Gosh – I have to paint something!


tomatoes and basil


COMPANION PLANTING – This intrigues me so I do it.  This year I am trying some basil with my large tomato plant.  Let’s see how it works.  In the other box I have tomatoes with cabbage.  Hope they don’t choke each other out but there always seems to be plenty of room at the foot of the tomato plants.

statue and urns


FRONT COURTYARD PLANTERS – Here’s our little statue I named “Karen”. She moves around the Garden throughout the summer.  You can see I’ve planted the white urns (3 of them) and blue planters (3 of them) alongside the benches with Red Geraniums and The Wave Petunias.  They always turn out nicely and by the end of the year our guests will be photographing themselves amongst these bushy flowers!


blue watering can


CONTAINER PLANTS – We have several container plans throughout the gardens.  I purchased this one this year at Gassers.  They’ve been selling them for a few years and I usually splurge on one item.  This was it this year.  Don’t you just love the brightness of the watering can?  It keeps moving around as well as the statue mentioned above.  Love it!

square foot garden


Square Foot Garden – For those of you who have been here before and were fascinated over my square foot garden I decided to add this pic.  I just planted Bok Choy, Cucumbers and some extra tomato plants I had.  You can see the chives are thriving and come back every year.  I used to have this garden separated into two square foot gardens.  They didn’t do too well.  I think they weren’t tall enough for the heat of the brick patio I placed them on.  This year I put one on top of the other and we will see how it goes.  I think these should actually be on grass, not brick! It’s been fun learning what not to do!


gazebo basket


BASKETS – This is one of only 2 baskets I have this year at the Inn.  Seems if I go away for a couple of days they don’t get watered and are dead by the time I get back so I am trying to do without.  This one is a beauty though.  I will have to remember to call my friend Rosie to come water my baskets while I am away!  It’s okay Dave – I still love you! Hey, maybe you’ll go away with me this year!


painted evergreen 2


PAINTED EVERGREENS ? – Here’s the surprise at the “end of the blog”!  Winter has killed a lot of evergreen bushes around town.  Ours were all brown until Dave came up with the bright idea of “spray painting” them!  My sweet husband lives outside of the box!  Well, I have to say it is better in contrast to the brown ones until we can get them pulled out and replanted.  I do believe, as I explained to Dave, that now that the dead needles are covered in paint they may actually fall off sooner rather than later.  I could not believe it when I pulled up to the Inn and saw him spray painting these.  He is tooooo funny for me!  I guarantee you, you will not see this anywhere else so come check it out before it’s too LATE!


new plant


NEW PLANTINGS – Let’s end this on an up note!  This is one of our new plantings this year.  I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it.  Any ideas?


Watch for my next blog about an exciting new Nature Area coming to Galena, IL

Horseshoe Mound Park – We were there last weekend for a “sneak preview”.  It is located on a mound coming into town.  It has breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys for miles and miles.  The Conservation Foundation, I hope that is the name of it, purchased this land to protect the view so we locals and our guests can enjoy it.  They had live music and activities for the kids.  I cannot wait for this project to be done.  They are set to be open to the public September 28th, 2014!  I plan on blogging about this location as well as the many other Nature Areas Galena has to offer!  


You are going to love it!


Have a great week!



815 777-0557

Bernadine’s Stillman Inn










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