Recently in Gardening Category

Gardening Season 2011 Officially Begins

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Yesterday and today I have done some gardening work outside, cleaning up the front landscaping of leaves and sticks etc, and trimming back rose bushes, lavender, and fall mums.  I was happy to find tulips, daffodils, irises and lilies all up about 3 or 4 inches.  In bloom are crocuses, and ready to bloom is the pussy willow tree and forsythia bush.  Buds are on the big trees, grass is greening up, goldfinches are showing some yellow feathers and I saw a red-winged blackbird the other day - all signs of spring!!  Today for a treat, I bought some beautiful pansies and put them in several planters outside.  It is so exciting, these first few chores of the new season!!

The good, the bad and the ugly

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Worked outside in the back yard today ~

The good:  Ligularia in bloom, windflowers reblooming, zinneas bursting with colors, a cardinal nesting (3 eggs!) in the climbing roses

The bad:  Japanese beetles chomping away at the climbing hydrangea, aphids on the butterfly weed, mildew on the honeysuckle

The ugly:  My inner arm with a skin gash, torn open and bleeding that I got when I was yanking at a dead branch on a thankless rhododendron bush, that suddenly broke and stabbed me  and the six yellow jacket stings all red and puffy that I got while I was yanking on the dead rhodo branch (stepped on their ground nest!)    Don't know which hurts more, the stings or the gouged out skin gash!!

Update:  I was wondering why the gash was hurting so much (it is in the exact spot where they'd put a needle to draw blood) and I now see that there is also a huge sting spot right beside it!  No wonder I can hardly straighten my arm!  It matches the stings in the soft area behind my knee - it also hurts to bend that!!

The beautiful word.....Summer

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I am pretty certain that the credit goes to Henry James for this quote - "Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."  I have nothing to add but my total agreement! 

We got home from Minnesota on Wednesday after enjoying Alicia Ruth and Matt's lovely wedding, theirs being a match truly made in heaven.  Also very nice was the day we spent with Steve's folks before driving back here.  We are quite blessed with so many wonderful relatives to spend time with.

Since coming home I have been busy with putting things back in order inside and then of course working with all of my plants and flowers outside.  I have to say that I love messing around in the earth, tending everything and just plain soaking in the sights!!  The trees are lush and colorful right now, all shades of greens, reds, and even blue hues.  Flowers, shrubs, vegetables and the like are spectacular.  The birds are singing as sweetly as can be and it's so much fun right now to watch the house wrens who have a nest in the little pottery house that Jan Renfro gave me years ago.  The hummingbirds are drinking nectar as fast as I can fill their feeder and the goldfinches can't be any more brilliantly yellow than they are right now. 

I am so thankful for these simple pleasures which serve to remind me of summers past when I was a little girl ~ I don't think there has been a time when I didn't enjoy the wonders of summer! 

 

One potato, two potato, three potato, four

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Happy to report that the "old potatoes with eyes" that Delaney and I planted several weeks ago are now sprouted up above the earth - it should be alot of fun to watch the about ground growth and then in the late summer, dig the plant up and see what we find!! My Grandpa Cherrington grew the best potatoes every summer, and then he'd harvest a huge crop to keep in the root cellar all winter long.   Can't wait to see what happens to our little crop!

Four hours

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I have just come inside from working with the flower beds, planters, shrubs, vines, etc etc etc!!  I spent about four hours today, and add that onto the uncounted hours from the previous days of the same tasks and it will be no surprise that I must say "Oh, my achin' back"!!  No complaints though, I love being outside digging around in the earth, finding lots of wonderful worms and listening to the beautiful songs of the birds going about their daily duties.  Now I am taking a break before I start my indoor chores - not nearly as enjoyable though just as tiring I guess!

The red fox that was visiting our yard on Sunday and Monday hasn't been around the past couple of days - I was thinking about what I would do if he and I came face to face while I was on my knees planting a marigold!  I suppose I would yelp, stand up and run towards the house....and he would run in the other direction!

Lilacs

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Mr. Riffle's lilac tree is in glorious full bloom right now.  He has been so generous to share lots of bouquets with me - I love to look out the kitchen window and see a fresh bunch of lilacs in the watering can that he has picked and delivered right to my door!!

Next up, Lily of the Valley will be in bloom in a couple of weeks.  Heaven can have no fragrance better than lilacs and Lily of the Valley!

Sunday afternoon

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It was a hot August day, one of those when I am thankful for air conditioning!  I was outside quite a bit, watering flowers and later on sitting on the porch swing reading (a great biography of Daniel Boone) but I was happy to go inside and cool off every so often.  Down in the zinnea garden I was able to photograph a beautiful black swallowtail butterfly who was sampling quite a few of the blossoms.  Several days ago I was lucky enough to capture some good shots of a female hummingbird sipping nectar from the honeysuckle vine flowers.   While I am content with my point and shoot Canon, every so often I think about how much better my pictures would be with an SLR camera.  But nothing can match the enjoyment of bird and butterfly watching with my own eyes! 

Just like a farmer

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While the weather is good, a farmer will be out in the fields getting crops put in.  I am no different!  This past week has been perfect to work outside and nearly everything that needs planting is in the ground.  All that's left are some annuals to fill in when the "daisy phase" of my back flower bed is over.  I was also able to plant my flower seed garden yesterday - zinneas and cosmos.  And also like a farmer, now that I have most everything planted, a few gentle rain showers would be quite welcome!

Leaving Spring for Winter

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Well, it had to happen but I still was taken aback today when I saw Mr. Riffle mowing his lawn for the first time this season.  The grass can't grow fast enough to suit him. He will mow probably five times to our one.  While there are plenty of wonderful signs of spring in our yard, one of them isn't grass long enought to even think about mowing!

On Saturday I plan to leave the springtime weather in Indiana and drive north to Minnesota where it is still winter.  I will enjoy visiting my folks, but I can't say the same about the change in season!

Fat Albert

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Our new spruce tree has been planted.  Fat Albert, as he has been named, is blue green in color, has soft needles and very compact branches - now all he needs is a sign for the birds saying "Open for Business".  The tree will provide wonderful refuge for all the resident birds around these parts, and is even not too tall to string lights on for the Christmas season.

I can't stop gazing out the window at it - what a welcome addition to our back yard!

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