Monthly Archives: April 2016

in which the house becomes the garden

in april it gets a little tough to be a member of my household. Space, always at a premium here, becomes in demand by the resident gardener in a way that tends to annoy the family . With no greenhouse to start seeds and such, the need for growing space  requires  me trying to form a tricky balance between available sunlight and a place to eat your breakfast.

I start my many of my dahlia tubers in April so I will have at least a few blooming in June , and although at this time these very big and thirsty plants only need a small pots to get going in,  the pots need sun and that means they get a place in front of my sliding door where they will get lots of it, and as a bonus make coming and going difficult as well creating the added challenge of getting anything out if the baking cabinet . DSC_0008

Our big window in the living room is another great source of all day sun, so several trays of seeds will circulate in and out of there, and the plants that are overwintered there , like the very large and thorny bougainvillea , will get moved closer to the chairs so TV watchers can enjoy the occasional poke .the bouganvillea threatensDSC_0004 DSC_0005

In years I am starting many new seeds ( which ,if we are honest, that is every)  trays and pots  take up every window sill, and some take a prominent position on the hearth  under grow lights .DSC_0001

As if things were not bad enough , I need to clean and organize the trug that holds my day to day tools ( soil knife, by-pass pruners, gloves, etc) so that is sitting on the kitchen table patiently waiting for me to find timeDSC_0010

new plants that need hardening off cycle in and out of the kitchen DSC_0007

the plants that summer outside are chomping at the bit to get out into the sunshinethis calladium wants out

many of them need cuttings taken  , and some already are overdue for potting .DSC_0009

eventually all the mayhem gets to a point that it even bothers me, luckily by then it is usually time for everything to head outside

as soon as we near the end of our “3 kids in college at the same time”  years, I am starting my campaign for a greenhouse.DSC_0002

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Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

DSC_0010It s garden bloggers bloom day,  but there will be no diary of flowers here ……today was the first day I got to spend from sun up to beer o’clock in the garden and work was the name of the game.

Now, instead of feeling super-dee-dooper behind, I feel just regular behind.

The dogs garden got a spring clean and a few perennials divided and moved.

I painted my benchDSC_0002 (2)

A few of the garden ornaments got brought out, but most did not make to their place yet DSC_0003 (2)

and I cut up a dwarf alberta spruce ( the playhouse will be sadly leaving soon)DSC_0001 (3)

Still left to do is the rock garden, which is silly beyond measure as all of the earliest bloomers live there , and about 50% of the back 40.

geum trifolium trying to look fabulous despite the mess around it

geum trifolium trying to look fabulous despite the mess around it

What prevented me from starting where I should have is the fact that we are still working on the pool re-do and the fence is going in this week. These projects make a terrible mess.

when the posts were being dug I got a reminder of what we call “soil” in these parts

sandy sand

sandy sand

I asked the nice fence guy in my sweetest voice if he could pretty please be as careful as he could amidst the emerging plants. He looks like Super Mario or maybe Luigi and  has the kind of smile that makes his eyes sparkle , so it was hard to get mad at him when he said in his Super Mario voice “Well, you gotta do what you gotta do”.

Here is the tiniest of sneak previews of  one of the sidesDSC_0012


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about me

I was gently reminded the other day that maybe my ” About Me ” page here on the blog needed updating so this morning I set to the task. It was quick really, a few minor changes, but it got me thinking about the whole idea of the page itself as well as the biography I am so often asked for. I find these things difficult to write. Impossible , really. I don’t know what to tell, what to keep to myself.

I refuse to re-write the bio today, it is just to hard. But I will add some fun facts  here just because I can. So what do you want to know?  It doesn’t matter..instead, here is what I am going to tell you ;)


I have cold feet. Always. Don’t know why, and despite this fact I am most always barefoot ( indoors and out) , hate socks and wear shoes only because it is the social norm. I take them off the second I can. My feet are cold with or without them.

I am allergic to the sting of certain bees and wasps, as in deathly so. I don’t know which ones until I get stung which makes my chosen work and hobby a challenge.

I have an irrational fear of snakes, compounding the challenge of life in the garden. Seriously, some days this fear keeps me inside. I have been forcing myself to look at pictures of them all winter. I actually let a few National Geographic photographers grace my Instgram feed ( WHY do they like snakes so much?)  so every day I have to look at a few and not scream . I know they are photos and not the real thing, but trust me, it is a start toward acceptance .Overcoming this , if it ever happens , will take many baby steps over a long period of time. Never ever try to help me by bringing me one to touch, hold or be within 10 feet of, I am not there yet and  you will set me back in my quest for peaceable co-existence with these vicious despicable creatures. Then we can’t be friends anymore.


A corgi dog will always be near me. When we loose a pet the pain can be unbearable. I used to say I would never ever put myself through that again, but truthfully , when they cross the rainbow bridge to doggie heaven they leave a huge dog -shaped hole in your heart that can only be filled by another of their kind. They drive me absolutely bonkers some days ( corgis are followers and need to be where you are at ALL times) and they can be expensive, but I can not be without one …or two….I haven’t tried three at a time yet , but it could happen.DSC_0021

I have very definitive garden likes and dislikes. You can mostly tell my likes by the blog and what I write about, what I speak about, and photograph.

There are certain plants I do not “get”, like Japanese Maples, tropical looking foliage plants ( like rogersia, gunnera, , palms ,etc) and 98% of  the alpine plants meant for the rock garden. Others seem to enjoy them , and that is fine. I always appreciate a well done garden  and do not object to them in those spaces, but  you will never see them here.

Another garden design feature that will never grace The Burrow is an artificial  pond. If Mother Nature floods the place, I will deal with it, but  until then, no pond.

As much as I like  the idea behind Piet Oudolf’s natural prairie style , it is not for me. I like bigger flowers, fewer grasses, and a more defined garden area with nicely shaped shrubbery and a few  formal elements to spruce the  place up. Like Vita Sackville-West and  her famous garden Sissinghurst …blowsy yet contained. If my yard ever looks like a prairie, worry about me. I have gone missing or hurt and no one is keeping up with the weeding.

favorite flowers: Clematis, roses , dahlias, mums, lily of the valley,lilacs  and peonies

favorite woody plants: viburnums, hydrangea, honeysuckles , and willows of all kindsDSC_0001

favorite tree: any birch

favorite garden writer : It is a toss up between Henry Mitchell and Christopher Lloyd

New plant obsession: Mosses , liverworts ,and lichens…..really …really obsessed.

Also, someone asked me the other day if I recycled pictures, in other words did I post things here or on any of my social media from the garden past. The simple answer is no, or rarely. If you see a photo here on FaceBook or Instagram they almost always were taken that very day and unless I say otherwise they were taken here. I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished on my little acre and love to share it, and I have an ego the size of Montana . What you see is my work and current .





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