Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Wishes and Gardening endeavors

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!!  Hope your day was filled with happy picnics, family reunions, parades, decorating graves of those dear to us, and remembering those who have fallen in service to our precious and beloved country.  May their sacrifices never be in vain and may we always remember that our freedoms were all bought with a price and precious blood has been shed to keep us free in this country.

Our day was a quiet one, we received some very much needed rain!  Several good hours of it and got at least 3 maybe 4 inches !!  The ponds in this area are all but dry and we so need this wonderful rain to replenish them and the earth.  Makes us so thankful for every drop that falls from the heavens for sure.

We have really been working in our yard and flower beds for the last few weeks.  Darling husband, especially, has put in some long hours filling low spots up by the house and redressing with bark mulch.  It all just takes time and effort, but it is so worth it at the end of the day.  We so enjoy sitting on our porch and enjoying the fruits of our labors.   We call our little 3-acre tract "The Promised Land".  It is the property that we have always dreamed of owning with lots of trees and the Lord led us to it at just the right time in our lives. 

Yesterday we picked out some knockout roses for the new bed he has been working on.  This particular spot has been hard to grow grass in for the past two summers and finally we just decided to give up on grass and make it into a landscaped bed!  We found enough limestone rocks on our property to line the area, so it looks pretty natural I think.

We plan to put in some knockout roses and also bought some crape myrtles to put in here.  the pots that are sitting there are a shrub call "Abelia" .  I loved the colors in the foliage and hope they will do well.  We have never grown these before.  This is right by our driveway going out to the street.

This is the view looking back at the house from the drive.  We will soon have the carpet roses under the pear tree blooming.  They are the red ones with the yellow centers.  So pretty.

A closer view of the front porch, we enjoy sitting out here in the mornings and evenings to watch the sunsets.  I got my baskets of vining geraniums planted in the hanging pots but it will take a while for them to grow out.  Overlook the ugly gutter pipes, we, "someday" hope to get them buried under the sidewalk.  Wish we had thought of that before the sidewalk was put in ;).  Darling husband made tabletops for the two sewing machine frames flanking the door.  Then he cut out holes in them for the pots with the Kimberly Queen ferns to sit right inside the circle.  They will grow huge by summer's end.

The view from the porch.  See the birdcage stand used to hold a hanging pot?  Hopefully, my million bell petunias will do well there.

This is at the end of the house.  This bed had to be all filled in with dirt because it had settled so much during the past two dry summers.  It is looking pretty good.  The peony plants are just starting to bloom.  We have a new arbor ready to put together and replace this one.  It is starting to just fall apart.  I may have to sacrifice the rose bushes though to get it in,   and wouldn't you know this is the best they have ever looked!! The new arbor is made of vinyl and should do much better.  It is very similar in shape to this one.

Another view of the side flower bed.

This is a back bed along the side of our yard.  It is a little wild and I have been trying to gt it under control.  Hope to get all the weeds out and then put down Preen and new brown mulch.  This is the place I often get a case of Poison Ivy!!! Ugh.

This is an old treadle sewing machine carcass that I decided to plant in...It will fill in and look beautiful.  When the planter part falls apart, I will still have the stand to use in a different way.

I also have a "flower" bed planted now with a few green onions, but I plan to plant zinnias in it this week.  And the planted wheelbarrow is new this year.  Just something different.  Notice the hanging bar of soap to deter the deer.  They are a real menace for sure!

This pic is across the back of our property, really the side, but our house is place catawhompus to the road.  We added this berm a few years back when we had to have a lot of earth removed from the walk-out end of our house to get it to drain properly.  So, this is how we used all the dirt.  We have forsythia, lilacs, viburnums, salvia, and cone flowers along here.  It has all been trial and error along the way.

Looking past the walk-out end of our home.  We put in drainage tubes out to the road and filled it all in with rock and plantings to look like a dry creek bed.....Oh So Much Work!!   but turned out lovely and has done the trick with the drainage problems.

Thanks for wading through all these pictures.  I just love this time of year and am sooooo hoping that we have a different kind of summer this year with regular rains and not those long weeks of 100+ temps.  It is so nice to finally see things starting to bloom.  Seems like Spring has taken so long to get here this year, but it IS here now!!   

Now that the weather is getting better, I have lots of refinishing things to work on in the garage.  Have also been working on new cushion covers for the wicker furniture on the screened in porch.  I will show you when I get it all done!!  

Singing His Praises,


Monday, May 6, 2013

Its Beginning to look a lot like ??????

Ahhhhhhhhhh, the lilacs of Spring..............such a beautiful sight.  Aren't they just lovely?  I don't think we have had a prettier crop at this location ever.  They come from an old bush that we transplanted from my husband's parents home.  They had gotten their start from the farm of my MIL's parents, so these lilacs have a long history.  My husband says he can still remember driving down the long lane to his grandparents house and smelling the lilac bushes lining the drive.  What a precious memory.  This is the third year or so since we moved the bush and thus far it had not bloomed, so we were a bit discouraged.  

So, we have lilacs and gorgeous ones!!  They smell heavenly.  The old pitcher was also from my MIL's home, so it seemed a fitting vessel for the bouquet.

There is only one little problem.  I cut these, all of them, before the last snow storm which was a week ago!!   My husband had mowed the grass the night before the expected snow and we agreed that maybe it would be better to pick the bush clean and at least enjoy them in the house then to loose them all in the frigid temps.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO  frustrating is this SPRING!!  When will it ever arrive???

I also bought flowers the day before to plant in the pots on the porch and deck.  They are patiently waiting in the garage to be put into the soil.  Maybe today it MIGHT be safe to plant them......I am leery, but I think they may not hold that much longer, so I may start today timidly.  They said the sun would be shining today, but so far I don't see it.  Now this is a big deal for me as I am one of those people who runs on..................

I'm starting to feel desperate people!

So, if you can't have Spring and warm sunny weather, what do you do?............

You start preparing for......................... CHRISTMAS!!!...........yes, that's right, it will be here before we know it!!

You put on your Nat King Cole album  and sing along, slightly changing the words in honor of Cinco de Mayo and belt out " Nachos roasting on an Open Fire".............

At the very least, I thought I would do something constructive since I can't plant flowers or paint anything in the garage.........

I bleached out some bottle brush trees  to decorate for the Christmas season.  I hope to offer some in cloche -type containers for sale in the fall.  Most of them turned out pretty well, a few stubbornly stayed the weird green color, so I guess they will get dyed green again, although I think I can come up with a much prettier shade of green.

So, that is what I have been up to.  I hope wherever you are, the sun is shining and it is Spring.  I know Spring eventually will get here, but it sure seems to be stubborn this year.  If it means, however, that we might have a more bearable summer with cooler temps and more rain, than it will be worth it in every way!!  We are getting some very much needed moisture and that is a VERY GOOD THING, so I am thankful!!  However, my theory is that if the sun is not shining..............

Singing His Praises in the snow and the rain and evermore,