Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
After getting laundry and housecleaning done, I started in the yard -- fresh water in the birdbaths and fresh nectar in the hummer feeders. As I was doing this, I noticed some more flower activity in the backyard. The rose on the potting shed is beginning to bloom.
The clematis is blooming there along with some iris.
The yellow iris finally popped open, but it's not as large as it used to be. I separated and replanted all the iris in the Back Forty last year because they weren't blooming at all. At least it bloomed for a change.
I decided that it was time to get the porch ready for porch-sitting. I brought out a yellow and green snake plant and put it out as I had it last year, but it's now too big for its pot. I'm going to have to repot it today. I brought out a couple more plants. I think the nights might still be too cool. I sure hope that I don't kill them. Then I got the water fountain. I put in the green glass seashells this time to be different. I got them all arranged, poured in the water, plugged it in, and the water shot up into the air. Note to self: don't put your hand over the spout to slow it down. That just puts the water under pressure and will spray you in the face and all over the place! After much fumbling, I managed to get it turned off. I had to take out all the rocks, dump the water, and flip the switch from high to low. It had accidentally gotten changed. I finally got it going. I'm glad that it was a warm day. I was a little damp and the porch was wet!
I did a little weeding in the Japanese walk and piddled here and there, but the day flew by before I knew it. Have a great day!
Mission for Today: Enjoy the warm weather, be renewed, and be grateful.
I believe that my right hand will be permanently stained. I have scrubbed and scrubbed, but my forefinger and thumb look horrible.
The hail didn't do any damage that I've seen yet except it beat down a pretty oxalis that was giving me more pink excitement under the roses in the Quarter Round.
I lost two of the dwarf nandinas like the one on the right in this picture. I'm trying to root some more, but if it doesn't work, I'll try something else here.
I brought in two stalks of iris that were lying down, not from the hail, but because the blooms are tremendous and full of buds. Their perfume is almost too heavy to bear. The place smells like a bawdy house.
I hope everyone gets a chance to play in the yard today.
Mission for Today: I have no idea, but I'm sure it will involve pulling out something!
The roses have exploded. What a joy it was to work when I had its beauty to enjoy.
Mission for today: Finish what I started -- weather or not.
Son came early yesterday and surprised us. He came to cut the grass. I knew that part, but he never comes that early in the morning. While I had his big strong back, I asked him to dig me some holes in the defunct Biddy Barn area. He started digging and of course, the first thing that he hits are rocks and hard clay. He struggled and struggled with that hole. Then I pointed to another spot. That section was rich and black! Easy to dig. He didn't tarry after that. I went about planting the redbud trees. I made sure that the water hose to the chicken pen would reach each one so I wouldn't have to tote water all summer. A huge hawk flew into a tree right beside me. Magnificent. The chickens didn't even get excited. I assume they knew I was there to protect them. I got the trees planted -- I believe that it was five of them. Then I decided to move the little dogwood into that rich area. Maybe something will survive.
The primrose is bursting into bloom now. That iris in the foreground is a gorgeous bronze. I can't wait for it to open. You might be able to see the holes in the ground behind the Back Forty ready for tree planting. (Please excuse the junk. That's part of the Biddy Barn that Hubby has never removed from the area.)
I love the color of this iris. It is blooming under the double-flowered althea. I took some cuttings of it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all the cuttings will root!
The iris everywhere in the gardens are so huge this year that they won't stand up. I cut some and brought them in. They smell luscious!
My garden sage is blooming like crazy. Hummingbirds usually are attracted to it, but so far I haven't actually seen them sipping.
It stayed cloudy all day and sometimes the skies would be almost black, but we got nary a drop of rain. I refused to come in. It's supposed to be a cool and cloudy day again, so I may not play in the yard. I hope everyone else has a chance to enjoy your yards today.
Mission for today: I will renew my strength.
We had another wonderful family get-together for my mother's birthday. I never got a chance to get any plants that I had planned to dig up because it was raining when we got there, but one of my cousins did bring me some redbud tree starts. I'm not sure if it is the Eastern redbud, cercis siliguastrum, or a Judas tree cercis canadensis, but either one suits me fine. They look about the same and are both pretty. Maybe I'll get to plant today. I plan on putting them in the now defunct Biddy Barn. I already have a dogwood planted out there. I'm trying to root forsythia to put out there as well. We did manage to get three-tenths of an inch of rain so maybe I can dig a hole. The Biddy Barn was behind the Back Forty, behind that pink azalea if you can see that far back in this picture.
Mission for today: Plant my tree starts and be of good cheer.
What a day! I planted the TopsyTurvy and the Earth Box with 2 tomatoes and one pepper. Son came and put stakes on either side. I have no idea what will happen with these two devices. He said to go ahead and plant the others tomatoes that I had, and he'd stake them for me, too, so then I planted 3 more tomatoes in the Back Forty and 3 or 4 peppers in the Front Flower Bed. If they all survive, I'll have plenty of tomatoes!
He also brought back the pineapple plant and poinsettia that he wintered over at his place. I'll have to find last years picture so that I can compare. The petunias that had volunteered must have grown like crazy. I think I'll clip those some today.
The poinsettia is getting pretty old, but at least it turned red. Let's see if I can keep it alive for another year.
I took some cuttings of a dwarf nandina. Something had dug up two of mine in the Quarter Round, and I don't think they are going to make it. After digging and liming and watering and piddling, I was pooped. I was taking a break when a pal drove up. She had gone to get us some herbs and the nursery where she always gets hers had nothing! At least my pineapple sage is coming back that I had propagated from hers last spring. This year hers didn't come back, so I'll root off of mine. No lemon verbena. Boohoo!
She did bring me two heirloom tomatoes that she had grown from seed. One was called a Rainbow tomato and the other an Oxheart. Oh, lawsy. It was back to digging and liming and watering, but no more piddling!
Finally, I had a chance to sit and watch the new bird feeder that I got to replace the blue one. I had a little more activity with this one.
It was a busy and productive day!
Mission for today: Piddle around, plant some seeds, and pray for rain.
The first thing I saw yesterday when I walked out the back door were some iris! They have popped open. There are many more to come.
I didn't have any big plans, so I just weeded around the stepping stones in the backyard. Then I made the mistake of going to the Patio Garden. Full of yellow-flowered clover! Yikes! I pulled and pulled. Tedious work trying to get the roots when I can barely fit my fingers in the cracks.
I noticed that my cilantro has put on more flowers. I won't have many at all this year.
I pulled clover until I just couldn't bend over any longer, but it's funny how suddenly your bend-overer seems fine when you decide to rescue some columbines from the lawn. I put two in the Potting Shed bed because the ones in there are looking great, so they must like that spot. I put the rest beside the Outhouse Bed. There was one there that had volunteered and it's blooming beautifully now. I want to see if I can get a little bed of them going there as well. The day flew by. I sure can lose all sense of time when I'm playing in the yard.
Mission for today: Enjoy the blooms and think about what I'll be doing next.
(Not so) Happy theIRS Day!
While we were in town, I picked up some tomato plants and then grabbed some bell pepper plants, too. I thought I'd give it a try again. I haven't had much luck with them for the last few years. I'm keeping the plants inside until the nights are a bit warmer.
It was really cool and cloudy all day yesterday. Not conducive to my yardplaying at all. I did do a walkabout. I'm so tickled with the columbines. The ones in the hot Poison Garden are really looking good. (I sure thought that columbines liked it shady.) It gets harsh sun all day long.
Here's the ones beside the Outhouse Bed. There's shade here.
My iris are popping out almost everywhere, too. I can barely wait. These are in the New Daffodil Bed.
Also in the New Daffodil Bed, there are a few narcissus blooming.
Here is the big pot on the mimosa stump in the Patio Garden. Sid the Squirrel hasn't bothered it . . . yet.
I hope everyone accomplishes whatever they set out to do today. Make it a great day!
Mission for today: Still need to water . . . maybe today.
Hubby and I were taking a break on the back patio when a swarm of termites came out of the woods. Oh, no. It's that time of year again. I sure hope that we're still protected. Believe it or not, the exterminator drove up! How about that! It was time for our inspection.
I cut some forsythia for rooting and planted a sprig or two of zoysia in a blank spot in the backyard. I'm hoping that both will take.
The columbines are blooming, even the ones in the hot Poison Garden. Go figure.
A bluebird checked out that new birdhouse in the back and then sat on the shepherd's crook which holds the blue bird feeder. There was all kinds of bird activity, but so far, no takers to the feeder even though the red ribbon should be attracting them. A goldfinch was drinking water, two purple finches were making whoopee, and the Carolina wrens were hunting bugs along with the bluebirds. Maybe if Mr. Bluebird leaves enough poop on top of the blue feeder, the other birds will notice.
I've been wondering if I have just one male hummingbird, but yesterday, the question was answered. One came in to drink, and another male came zipping in and ran him off. So now I know. I have two males and one female that I am sure of.
Today will be a lot cooler, but no predicted rain for days. I hope that everyone has a wonderful day.
Mission for today: Do a bit of watering and observe all the gifts that are freely given for me to enjoy.
Since my new straw was here and waiting, I decided that I had better put it out. The Back Forty, the Potting Shed Bed, the Old Gourd Garden, the Front Flower Bed, and the Quarter Round got the straw. I only have one bale left. Sid the Squirrel was at it again. When I started with the Quarter Round, I noticed that one of the dwarf nandinas was leaning. Sure enough, it was half dug out of the ground! Those nandinas have been there for about three years! Why in the world would he want to dig it up? Is nothing safe? Hubby hung a birdhouse that I had found in the outhouse when I was looking for the TopsyTurvey. He had built it years ago. It looks right cute out behind the Cement Garden with the new flag. This area has a whole new look since we took out that old rosemary.
I noticed that I have fewer cilantro plants this year than in the past. I guess it has something to do with the loss of that mimosa tree in the front. I did notice some tiny leaves starting to put out on all the mimosa trees. They are the last to show signs of green. The hummers lingered longer at the feeders yesterday -- as long as half a minute. They aren't sipping and zipping like they had been. I also saw the first female. I hope that they have found a place to nest in the woods.
I decided to redo my strawberry jars. They were looking awful. Hubby measured and cut lengths of PCV pipe. He drilled holes for me so that I could put the pipe in the middle for watering. What a pain that was. It took me forever to get it replanted, and the pipe isn't perfectly centered. Pooh! Then when I watered it, the water just poured out. I'm hoping that it is just because the soil isn't settled in yet. (And, yes, I plugged the end at the bottom.)
I hate to go to all that trouble with the rest of the jars if it isn't going to work, but my hens and chicks need to be refreshed. The pipe sticking up offends me. I might plant something taller to hide it, but I don't know what yet. There's not a lot of room to plant much on the top. Remind me again why I have so many strawberry jars!
Mission for today: Never give up -- not even on strawberry jars.
I piddled around yesterday, doing nothing of import. I filled a few pots with potting soil so that I would have them ready for rooting when I decide to do some cuttings. We have this pretty glass pineapple thistle feeder that didn't work from day one, but it was so pretty that I left it hanging. It was filthy, so I washed it. I never did get the inside perfectly clean, but it looks much better and sparkles in the sunlight. (I dumped the water around the fig tree. That's my new rule.) I repotted the anthurium. It was potbound. It hasn't bloomed a new flower since I got it, so maybe that will help. Here's what it looked like when Hubby gave it to me.
Here's what it looks like now. Twice as big.
I also had a little cutting that has been on my window sill with roots for ages. It finally got it put in a pot. I think it's a pepperomia, but I'm not sure. Maybe someone can tell from this picture.
The hummers were really active yesterday. If you went out to the back, you'd get to see one zooming around, landing, and sipping. If you went to the front, you'd see one there also. I don't know if it's the same one or different ones, but it doesn't matter as long as I see them!
The other birds weren't so active except for the bluebirds in and out of the box. Some goldfinches and purple finches were flitting around eating and drinking. The little chickadee finally had the nerve to go into the birdhouse while we were porch-sitting. I'm still having no bird activity in the back with the new bird feeder. I fear it might be the color. It is blue. I thought that it was pretty, not thinking that birds might not be able to see it. The only red that I had was some red yarn, so I crocheted a long strand and used it to tie into a bow on the feeder to see if that would attract the finches to the backyard as they used to be.
What more could the birds want? They have water, trees for shelter, as well as both sunflower and thistle seed! What's wrong with these birds? A boycott? I'll be singing "Red Ribbons for a Blue Feeder" all day!
Mission for today: Look for all the miracles of life and sing!
It turned out to be a beautiful day yesterday. After we went to the dump, we drove on over to the little country hardware store that has everything in the world there. I thought I might luck up on some small garden gloves. Alas, there were none, but they did have my old-timey coleus that I couldn't find last year. I got two -- one the regular red and green and the other a yellow and red. I cut the yellow and red to root. I purposefully got the larger ones so that I could make more. I put them in a hanging basket and hung it on the carporch. I hope that it will do there. They also had tomatoes, but Hubby said, "It's too early." I don't think that those words have ever come out of his mouth before. He's usually WAY too early when he's doing his garden. I guess he doesn't really care since it's not his doings this year. I also found a gorgeous garden flag. The only one like it amongst all the flags that they had. A chicken embroidered appliqué -- not just printed. It's tail and wing feathers extend beyond the edge of the fabric. So cute! Unbelievable luck there. I put the flag out behind the Cement Garden where I already had a flag stand that I have tried to use as a vine support, but can never get a vine to grow in that spot, so it was time to use it was intended!
You can see one of the poliomenthas there at the back edge of the Cement Garden and a few lilies coming up.
Here's a closer view of the flag.
I cleaned the birdbaths. Then I washed and refreshed the hummer feeders. Next, I put out slug bait because I've been seeing trails on the patio. I don't want them to get my hostas! I limed the fig tree. I sure hope that some figs will make this year. I'm going to be diligent about watering it well and keep my fingers crossed. It was an utterly wonderful day outside. I had made supper and washed clothes first thing that morning so that I could stay out and play all I wanted to!
Mission for today: Enjoy another gorgeous day in God's gardens.
We got 3/10ths inches of rain Thursday night and 2/10ths Friday morning, so we've had a half inch of rain for April. The sun came out but it was still cool. We noticed a redbud tree down the road leading to our house, so I took a walk down there with my camera. Rascalmama told me that the leaves were heart-shaped so that I could recognize one when it wasn't in flower. I learned that they make seed pods just like a mimosa. I'm going to keep my eye on this one. The problem is that the tree is down in a ravine and I don't think that either one of us can get to it.
It really started warming up nicely, not a cloud in the sky. I did a walkabout and discovered that Sid the Squirrel completely dug out the hole where the rosemary was in the Cement Garden. Not a tiny typical squirrel hole, the whole hole! I found a sweet annie growing in the lawn, dug it up and put it in the Cement Garden in hopes that it will provide a little shade for the parsley that was behind that old rosemary. Then I spied a daffodil in the lawn, too. It has bluish-gray leaves. I don't know what it is, but I planted it also. The iris are putting on buds, the crepe myrtles are leafing out, the dwarf Japanese maple has beautiful red leaves, columbines are almost open, and my little oxalis are putting out their pink flowers!
The lorapetalum in the Second Natural Bed is breath-taking in the sun!
The creeping phlox in the Poison Garden is still looking good, even with the St. John's wort and mint peeking through.
The Poison Garden
Even the fig tree has popped out figs! I wonder if any of them will stay on the tree until they are ripe this year? It is unbelievable what real rainwater can do!
Mission for today: Play in the yard and look for more surprises!
I did find out the name of the fling weed -- Cardamine oligosperma (kar-DAM-in-ee ol-i-go-SPER-ma). Common names: Shotweed, Spitweed, Pop-in-the-eye Weed, Wild cress, Western Bittercress, and Little Bittercress. I went out after we finished our project and did some more pulling. I sure hope that I won't have an infestation next year like I did this spring. We got 3/10ths of an inch last night, so more weeds will probably be popping up.
The air is so full of the scent of jasmine that it makes you giddy-headed; it is wonderful. The calycanthus is putting on more flowers. It's a shame they don't have the sweet perfume as Grandmama's plant had that I remember from childhood, but I still love the chocolate blossoms. This is in the Potting Shed Bed.
The Solomon's Seal is already blooming and they have barely unfurled themselves. This picture doesn't do them justice. This is the Back Flower Bed.
I just love this wave of ajuga in the Rock Garden -- a sea of blue.
The wonder of it all amazes me!
Mission for today: Be grateful and enjoy every minute.
Mission for today: Be patient.
The Butterfly Garden was the last bed that needed to be de-leafed. I got started on it, and then it occurred to me that I'd better put on OFF! I sure don't want any chiggers. I went up on the porch and sprayed myself down. When I looked up, there was a hummer on the feeder. Two sightings! One in the back and now one in the front. I put out all of the pine straw that I had left, but we'll be getting some more Thursday. It was enough to make it look better. Hubby decided that he wanted to mow the front yard. This is the first time that he has done that in a long time. He was so proud of himself. The bluebirds thanked him by swooping down and getting their treats. They were having a ball. The lorapetalum is absolutely gorgeous this year!
I did some more weeding in the Hibiscus Garden.
You can't see it in this picture of the Hibiscus Garden, but even though the pink flowering almond is small, at least it bloomed this year!
The pollen is awful. I cleaned off the porch twice. It didn't take long for it to accumulate, but we enjoyed being outside, and it didn't seem to bother either of us. At the end of the day, we were sitting on the back patio discussing our next project when I heard the tanager! Finally, he's back. We couldn't see him, though, because he's high in the oak trees, but his song let us know that he's here. Now all the flower beds have been de-leafed, and it won't be long before we can start playing with summer flowers. I don't have to do the Garden Garden or the Gourd Garden, so I guess I'm done!
Mission for today: Play in the yard, not work!
Mission for today: Keep an eye out for hummers while I clean out the Butterfly Garden.
Let's see if I can list how my day went yesterday. I made a cream cheese pie with homemade blueberry filling for a topping. Made the macaroni salad to go with the Cornish hens for supper. It was cloudy most of the day. Cleaned out the St. John's Wort Bed. The golden creeping jenny was doing well underneath the leaves and I found a parsley that I had stuck there that I'd forgotten about. I brought out the pitiful plants that I was trying to winter-over in the house: plectranthus, echevaria, the pots with the caladium, etc. I planted the little spider plant there just for the heck of it to see what it would do. The gardenia that I had rooted was doing well all winter. Now it looks dead as a doornail. Finally, got the bed cleaned. Sat down and started thinking and observing. Moved the table at the end of the Daffodil Bed to the St. John's Wort Bed, but I'm not sure I like it there. Put the big strawberry jar on the ground and put the small one beside it. Planted some baby hens and chicks on the outside of the Rock Garden. Saw the first dragonfly of the season. The trees are greening up and the dogwood is popping. I discovered a redbud tree out in the woods that we'd never seen. Clipped rosemary to go with the Cornish hens. The Carolina jasmine is about ready to explode. It's about the end of the daffodils, but the snowflakes are blooming.
Happy Easter everyone!
Mission for today: It's a day of rest and time to reflect on what's really important.
Mission for today: Continue cleaning out flower beds and be ready for surprises — both good and bad.
I thought I'd outsmart my body and pull "fling weeds" early in the morning before my back got tired. I went out while it was still quite cool. I put on a sweater, but it didn't take long before I was a-sweatin'. Would you believe that you can't outsmart your body? I was just as pooped pulling in the morning as in the evening. I had had enough of that "fun" and started in on the Back Forty. How daunting it looked, but as Aesop said, "Little by little gets the job done." I finally got it de-leafed and would you believe that I found toady-frog holes everywhere? Son came somewhere in the middle of all this and helped do a few things. Would you believe that he got out the dead rosemary with one plunge of the shovel? It's gone. I went back to working on the Back Forty. It looks one hundred percent better, but there's still work to do on it like jooging toady-frog holes and putting out straw. I had a drop of energy left, so I decided to de-leaf the area between the Potting Shed Bed and The Beach. It wasn't very large, so that was going to be the last thing. Would you believe, I swooped up another snake? Evidently, he was too cold to move, so this one didn't get away. Hubby took care of him. Would you believe that I quit yard work for the day, sat on the back patio, and duct-taped the hole in my gardening glove?
Mission for today: Continue working in the yard with determination and without fear.
Happy April the Onest! The Poison Garden is now de-leafed and weeded as best as I can do. It took about all day. While I was scrunched down between the Carolina jasmine and the nandinas, trying not to stomp down on the shastas and Easter lilies that are coming up, what do you think I glommed onto with a handful of leaves? I'll bet you can guess that it was a baby snake. It was the same kind that was in the car porch the other day. I threw it down, and it squiggled away under the straw and the leaves. I just kept on working. This is getting to be a habit! I've lost count now on how many more beds I need to do. (I'm trying to forget about doing the Back Forty, but I guess that will be next!) The day was almost over, but I didn't want to come inside. I decided to grab a bucket and try getting up as many "fling weeds" as I could. It won't be long before the seeds will be ripe and flinging those seeds into my flower beds! I got two bucket loads and there are a gazillion more. While I was working, I noticed that the rosemary in the Second Natural Bed was dead as a doornail. I guess I'll be getting that up today and tackling the Back Forty.
Note: The Poison Garden is so named because there once was a huge oak tree in that terraced bed. I tried planting all kinds of things, but nothing would grow and if a plant lived, it was usually quite pitiful. I didn't know way back then that the oak tree was "poisoning" the grounds with its tannins. The oak tree started dying and we had it professionally removed. After that, the garden sprang to life! We just kept the name.
Mission for today: Work and enjoy the warmth! I will NOT say, "I'm hot!"
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