Monthly Archives: April 2011

  Been checking out lots of garden blogs in this very un-spring like weather and found Gardening Gone Wild. I was  enjoying all the writing and thenspent time looking through the archives of the photo contests they have run.People amaze me with the images they are able to  capture. 

Here is my entry into the latest Gardening Gone Wild Picture This Photo  Contest on using the right light in relation to your subject. This  picture was taken last summer and is a sunflower backlit and glowing like a it’s namesake Predictable , maybe a bit boring, but still makes me smile :)

 If you get a second , head over and check out not only the latest photo entries but the photography of Rob Cardillo (taken in Chanticleer). Not a bad way to spend a very cold rainy evening.

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Starving college boy

Being so near the end of the semester (and actually college days in general,WOW) for my oldest boy CJ, has meant frequent weekends home in search of sustenence and $$. He works at a grocery store near school and they have cut his hours to nothing ,having already replaced him in anticipation of the great exodus from campus in less than two weeks. Now not only do I get to enjoy his company, but he is a workhorse around here when he is trying to earn food and beer money.

Extra hands means a lighter workload for me, and a lighter wallet for Bill, but more time for both of us to sit and enjoy our family and friends.Yesterday the weather was actually nice (today mother nature is exacting payment for it in the form of miserably cold rain) and we spent most of it outside. We  caught a few moments to sit on the porch and relax , where we spied these in a basket that hangs  out there.Everything I have read says to clean out all your birdhouses and nesting places in the very early spring , which kind of makes sense to me as I am a tad on the neat freak side. But this basket along with many other nesting sites never gets tended to and the birds nest there every year. This spring I cleaned out only a few of the houses, and after these eggs piqued my interest I took a look around at who was nesting where. Turns out all the “clean” birdhouses are empty, and all the houses I left the nests in are full of families. Hmm. One more area of my life where I have been delegated to “unneeded ” and “superfluous”.

Oh well ,that frees up time to take pictures….. here are a few of the early flowers. I love how after a few years the hyacinths go revert to a more natural state , far less fussy , and more fitting for my garden that’s for sure! Getting down on the ground to snap photos also brings me very close to their wonderful scent.

CJ was up early this morning and while we had coffee he was reading over my shoulder. He is now arguing for a royalty payment from me for writing about him in the blog. I wholeheartedly agree, so I will give him any percent he wants of the $0.oo I make in my gardening endeavors. Easiest decision of the day :) Happy Easter and Happy Earth Day!

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To do list

I am the QUEEN of the list! The list is a must-have for me . The list makes it possible to accomplish the myriad of chores that define my day and ensure the family is appropriately housed, clothed , fed, educated, entertained, and presented to the world with bright shiny white teeth and on time vacinations. This time of year though the list gets a little muddled. My priorities get a little out of whack and I tend to loose my focus.  A typical day’s list could start out looking like

Coffee

laundry

Call oil company to set up oil burner cleaning,  call insurance company, call to check on my mother who has poison ivy

Accomplish a little housework

Faith to dentist at 11

Visit  my Grandmother and drop off candy for her

Go to library to pick up books

 Drive Faith to art class

Make supper

haunt Erin to pick up wet towels and luandry from her room and do her homework

Work on presentations

 but end up like this:

Coffee

Re-pot seedlings that look desperate on window sill

look at laundry, but grab fertilzer from shelf instead and feed newly planted sweet peas

consider calling oil  and insurance company but head outside for a quick second to put rabbit caging around newly emerging vines I spied yesterday

10:30.. realize if I do not shower now we will miss dentist appt

grab more coffee to go

take Faith to dentist ( that is the responsible thing to do )

think about Grandmother, but it is going to rain later, so I will fit in visit then

Head back outside check on recently transplanted shrubbery, and end up poking around moving a few perennials and re-edging a bed

Too late to hit library now, drive Faith to art class

Pull back in driveway and decide to spend a minute fixing a few holes the fence company left late last fall

Good lord if I don’t leave now I will be late to pick her up from art class

Walk back in the house and realize what a crazy mess it is, reconsider for the 50th time hiring a maid during gardening season, is that so selfish? Is hiring a cook going overboard?

Cook supper ( not feeding the children is neglect, I must remember that)

It is still so nice outside that I know I could fit in a little more garden clean-up out back

realize sun is rapidly setting and I have not been managing homework/room cleaning child who is probably watching netflix in basement realize also I never called my mother, but she is probably resting and I will call first thing in the morning

have a pang of guilt,  after it subsides, finish cutting back tickseed

Head back inside, move bulk of contents from today’s To-do list to tommorow

bed

gotta love gardening season!

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March was a busy month

Even though the weather was unco-operative at times ,and downright nasty at others, I managed to get more done in March than I had hoped to.

-seedlings of sweet peas lathyrus odoratus , love-in-a-puff cardiospermum halicacabum, and hollyhocks were started

-cuttings of pelagoriums , lavendar cotton santolina ,  and honeysuckle were taken and are hopefully rooting as I type

-any day I could get outside , I forced myself to attend to the dragish-ly boring chores of lawn raking, perennial bed clean up and pruning out winter damage

-a new plan was devised for the very large and very daunting area now enclosed by the dog fence and not easyliy mow-able

 You know when you decide to repaint a room, and all of a sudden the rug looks old and crappy , so you get a new one , then the curtains don’t match, so you buy curtains, then th hallway next to the room looks shabby so you go get more paint and on and on..? Well the garden is no different. We put in a fence for the dogs and suddenly pathways had to be extended, plants moved and grass taken out. It encompasses a very large area  and lets face it, I am not the energenic sod remover I once was. My friend Christina started a new landscape business called Upscapes (no web link yet!) and so I promptly hired her to come over and help me design and plant…here is what we have accomplished in the two days we worked before 6 more inches of snow got in our way

We moved a ridiculously heavy hemlock that in the end was successful due only to the fact that our two egos( a force you should fear lol) would not let us accept that a 400 lb rootball could not be lifted out of a 3 foot deep hole by two girls.(well ok , Bill helped for 5 very critical minutes)

We moved a recently installed weeping birch, two snowberry bushes symphoricarpos albus, two red knockout rose bushes, many dainthus and armeria plants that line the new edges and path we outlined ,and multiple daylilys and other perennials that were in the way of the new design.

 The area we were working in is all new garden put in after our house addition and I do not know it well enough yet to be sure of what is planted where. I am sure I will have to relocate many more plants when spring finally gets here and they poke up in unfortunate locations.

I ordered a new bench with an arbor over it (of course for more clematis) and many new plants that will be arriving soon to fill in all the holes .( Including two new viburnums , three new wiegelas , a few new perennials (photos below) The worst part of it so far has been the sod removal , and there is still ALOT of that left to do.

Meanwhile the siberian  squill scilla is starting to bllom, the daffodisl are getting tall, the garden furniture is getting painted and the ornaments getting polyed. Soon we will be outside enjoying it all and that certainly brings a smile to my tired face.

weigelia My Monet

viburnum carlesii

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