Saturday, June 30, 2007

Yarrow Marguerite

I went to a few garage sales this morning. I am happy to report that I only found one thing to buy.

This yarrow plant (yellow one in the birdhouse planter).

I believe it is Golden Marguerite. As you can see it's very floppy so I cut off all of the flowers before I planted it. Of course I did not throw them away.

I went out and picked some Shasta daisies, feverfew. loosestrife, and a few sprigs of Veronica speedwell.

You know exactly what I did with them, don't you?
Yes, they went into the birdhouse vase so I can enjoy them for a few days,

It's been getting dark and thundering which would lead any normal person to think it was going to rain. This has been going on for a few hours, but so far there has been no rain.

We need rain badly. Just look at the dead grass!

I trimmed this hedge earlier today.

I also removed all the poppies from this side garden as well as removed a ton of grass from two other side gardens.

I've had a pretty productive day already. So I may do nothing else the rest of the day!

Forgotten Bananas

Last Saturday I bought 4 small bananas.

I threw them on the counter and promptly forgot about them. Don't they look awful?

You are only looking at the skins. I forgot to take a pic before I removed the banana.
Don't they look better now? Especially with the cream cheese/rum frosting.

I doctored up a yellow cake mix to make a banana/artificial-rum-flavored cake.
I used the Irish Creme instead of milk in the frosting. I must say it all combined for a nice little dessert. I baked them in a larger pan so I would have a higher proportion of frosting to cake. I hate getting a 4-inch high piece of cake with 1/8-inch layer of frosting.
I rarely bake anymore (especially on a work night!). For some reason I was full of cooking/baking energy last night.

It must be the colder weather.

Since I am not cooking much, my potatoes look like this:

So I took a couple outside this morning and planted them just to see what would happen.
This is a bare spot in the rockwall garden where I have been using roundup to kill off the goutweed.

A few weeks ago I decided to pull out my one remaining garden chair. I didn't have any annuals left so I just planted some of my perennials in it.

This week my first calla lily bloomed.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Prime Rodent Real Estate

Double click this video to hear the squirrels feuding over this piece of real estate.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Say it Isn't So!

Frost warning tonight!

Our weather lady just said, "You may want to bring in any tender plants you have outside."

Oh, for goodness sakes, it's almost July! My hanging plants are just starting to look decent and they all have very tender sweet potato vines. Ohhhhhhhhh, I am actually sighing out loud as I type.

What do I do? Should I go out and start hauling them in? I am busy sewing and I DON'T WANT TO!!!

Pea, are you getting frost warnings up there in Canada tonight?

UPDATE: Friday morning
I did not bring in or cover any plants. I decided what will be, will be.

I am happy to report that it did not frost.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What's Blooming Today?

I always enjoy these drumstick allium. In a short while they will turn pink.

My hanging baskets are finally beginning to fill out. In another week they should be looking pretty decent (even if they all do have pink petunias instead of purple). The mallow has started blooming. I removed tons of this last fall because it was becoming quite the pest--reseeding all over the place. It's shorter than usual. I have noticed that most of my plants are on the short side this year.

Here's my driftwood with lychnis coronaria and Sweet William blooming in front of it.

I am still amazed when I look through the woodland arbor and see how nice it looks. This is not even part of the garden. Just the woods where I toss stuff out. Right now it's full of feverfew, lychnis and Sweet William.

At the moment I have quite the pastel palette going on.

Except for this:

As you can see some of the orange lilies have crept in.

Lostroses, does this color scheme look familiar? LOL

In just a few days, the colors will change to mostly orange and red.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This is Why I Gave Up Garage Sales (until I fell off the wagon on Saturday)

I can't resist buying dishes!
I have no room for them, yet I continue to bring them home.
I got a service for 6 of these lovely fruit motif food receptacles.
I am a dish addict--maybe I need to start a self help group--Dish Collector's Anonymous.

Early Sunday morning (before it got too hot to use the oven)I baked some shortcakes to go with more of of local strawberries (so far we have eaten 5 quarts in less than a week!).

I wanted to use up the buttermilk, so I made a double batch and froze three of them for future summer berry delights.

The ones in the back are darker because they have an egg yolk/sugar wash on the top and they probably cooked a bit longer than the egg white-washed cakes in the front. You can see where I made my little taste test to see if they were worthy of baking a second batch.

With the fruity edge, aren't my new dishes especially appropriate to serve a fruit shortcake?

Now I am thinking that I could use up some of my fruit fabric by making a table runner to coordinate....ah, so many ideas, so little time.

I got a number of other "treasures" at the sales.

A set of amber salt/pepper shakers, a Christmas table runner, two boxes of holiday ornaments, some cookbooks and a book about decorating with flea market finds.

I had almost forgotten what fun trudging through the sales is!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Made My First Video

I have spent hours today trying to figure out how to do this! After two hours trying to upload to Blogger's new video upload, I gave up and went to YouTube. Somehow I got myself an account and uploaded it--it took over an hour to upload to YouTube!

Remember when viewing that it IS my FIRST, especially when you are looking at the wall planter sideways at the very end. :)

I would have redone it, but my battery died and it will be hours before it's charged up again. So it is what it is.

Also do take into account that my voice wll blare forth soon after you click on it, so you may not want to view it when you shouldn't be reading blogs (like at work).

Here goes, let's see if it works....

I Had a Very Busy Saturday

It's amazing what you can accomplish on a Saturday if you stay home for the weekend. I had an icredibly busy day. Finding my Asian man below piqued my interest in garage sales, so I left at 8:00 a.m. to hunt for other treasures. I bought a few things which I'll show you another time.

I went grocery shopping with DH.
At noon we went to a memorial luncheon for my ex father-in-law. After that my son and his girlfriend came over for a short time before they headed back to Detroit.

Around 2:00 p.m. I finally was able to get outside and work in the gardens. It was great working weather (75 degrees) and I worked for about 4 hours. Digging out wheelbarrow loads and then refilling with topsoil. The arm muscles got a good workout today.

I made my first Margarita.

I had no idea how to make one, so I brought out the "how-to-make-cocktails" book I bought in December.

I even used freshly squeezed lime juice.

I must say it was quite good even though I do not have a cocktail shaker (I did not make the blended type).

I used my 1970's orange Tupperware bowl. It was all I could find with a tight fitting lid. I just tossed in the tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice and ice and shook it like crazy.

After all my hard work, I showered, put on my green acres gown, and sat in the deck glider sipping my Margarita while DH cooked burgers on the grill.
I am planning to accomplish even more outside work today. It's already light enough to go out (it's 6:10 a.m.). As soon as I finish my second cup of coffee, I'm heading out there. One of these day I must get caught up!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Me and My Asian Man All Alone Early Saturday Morning

Hee Hee. I hope that title doesn't get the pervs in here!

Tango Lily Fuzz

Thanks to a comment by Priscilla that directed me to a forum where they were talking about the "white stuff" on their Tango lilies (thanks, Priscilla), I now believe this is normal. Every one of my new Tangos have it, so I am not worried. The plants seem healthy. . . can't wait to see the flower!

Last night I went behind the rockwall and cut down more Sweet William for my vase.

I toss shovels full of it back there when I am weeding. Sometimes it looks nicer behind the wall than in the actual garden area in front of it! I have certainly received my money's worth from the 4 packets of Sweet William seed I planted about 20 years ago. I have never had to replant since. I made sure to leave some to set seed. Sweet William is a bienniel, but once established it just keeps reseeding, so it always comes back.

Here are a couple of container comparisons one month apart:

Canna container on May 23: I dug up an astilbe and stuck in in front (a few blue forget-me-nots came with it). June 23: The astilbe is in bloom. What has really impressed me is the size of that dahlia in the back. It's almost ready to bloom. I have never had dahlias bloom this early. If I remember correctly, this one did not bloom last year at all. It must have saved it all for this season.

Here is my sad sled planter after the cold spell in early June. I thought perhaps I had lost the Persian Shield in the middle.
It lost nearly every leaf.
But now it's coming back nicely.

Those two 'Century Red' celosia are really bugging me in this photograph. I need a third one. More blooms should be coming soon and then I will like it much better.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It was a Rubber Band Day Today

I got so many magazines (5) that the mail person put a rubber band around to hold them all. Since I am somwhat of a mag addict, I get excited when I get a banded package of all the latest issues.

One thing that does NOT excite me is all of these advertisements that are stuck between the pages of just about every magazine I get. I wonder why advertisers actually pay money for these insert cards?

The very first thing I do with every magazine I get is go through and pull them all out and toss them in the garbage.

What a waste of the advertiser's money!

In Janaury I sent for a subscription to Southern Living magazine. I sent my check to pay for the subscription at the same time I sent the original subscription card. I had forgotten all about it. Two weeks ago I remembered and wondered where my magazines were.

I checked my bank statement to see if the check I sent had been canceled. It had. I called them and they did not have any information about my subscription.

I have always thought it best not to pay for a magazine subscription until they send you an invoice. That way you are sure they have you in their system. The first time I deviated from my own rule, and sure enough, they messed it up! Now I wonder if I sent any other checks with an original subscription card! I get so many mags I can't really keep track of them all.

Southern Living's customer service rep was very nice about it and took me at my word and started my subscription. I received an issue today.

Maybe tomorrow I will look through my checkbook to see if I've paid for any other magazines I am not getting. I usually highlight all the mag payments in yellow so they are easy to find.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Don't Know What's Wrong with Me this Year

but I have been letting my gardens get so out of shape.

Just look at all the grass with its seed heads blowing in the breeze! I never allow this to happen. But this year, I am so far behind in everything. I need to stay home one weekend and get caught up. Maybe this will be the weekend....

When I got home from work today and saw this, I decided I would work on it while the load of laundry I had thrown in the machine finished washing. It would only be half an hour.

While, as often happens, I decided to work longer, until the load finished drying, which was about another hour. So I dug for 1.5 hours and ended up with this:

Much better! I will add more top soil another day. At least those seed heads are gone and I don't have to worry about them falling all over and coming up next year.

Remember that old wheelbarrow I left sitting where I had dumped a load of plant debris a few weeks ago? Well, it's still in the exact same spot. A bunch of feverfew has volunteered in front of it. It looks as if I had planned it that way, don't you think?
I may just leave it here all summer and see what else pops up.

Our local strawberries are ready to eat. DH stopped and bought some today. I've been nibbling on them all evening.

I like them just like this -- hulled and washed off--no sugar, nothing on them at all. I just leave them on the kitchen counter (I like them at room temperature) and every time I walk by I pop one in my mouth. A true summer joy!

Hmmmm.....I Found this Interesting.....

Healthy Habits That Aren't
© George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Following a low-fat diet
Significantly cutting the fat in your diet is supposed to lead to weight loss, cancer prevention and a healthier heart.

Turns out, those promises might just be empty intellectual calories.

In 2006, the Women’s Health Initiative—a several-billion dollar, eight-year study of the effects of low-fat diets—finally came to an end. The results were shocking.

Not only did the women who followed “fat-free diets” show no decrease in cancer or heart disease rates compared to their fat-eating counterparts, but they also weren’t any skinnier. And, the researchers said, the study probably applied to men as well. If you follow the medical literature, however, there’ve been plenty of studies, dating back to the early 1990s, which show low-fat diets aren’t as effective as they’re made out to be. In fact, there’s even some evidence that the behaviors they inspire might be harmful. A 2007 study in the journal Human Reproduction found that women who carefully avoided full-fat dairy products were more likely to experience a certain type of infertility.
(taken verbatium from MSN homepage)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday Treasure

Anybody know what this little treasure is?

I bought him Saturday at a garage sale. He was my only purchase. I paid 50 cents.

What do you think it is?

Monday, June 18, 2007

They may be Slow to Emerge, But Aren't they Beautiful on their Way Up?

This is my first Tropicana Gold emerging from its long winter sleep. Perhaps 'Rip Van Winkle' would be a more appropriate name for this one.

I was beginning to wonder if anything would come up! I think it's been five - six weeks since I planted them.

I have discovered that the cannas I overwinter in their pot of soil, come up weeks ahead of those I dry and store in paper bags.

Next year I will leave them all in soil for the winter.

Boy, peony blooms sure don't last long in a vase, do they? Mine were all shriveled up with petals falling all over the table the next morning.

My peonies also do not have much a smell. Everyone is talking about how good they smell, so after a very careful bug check, (how would you like to take a big sniff and get this guy up your nostril?)
I shoved my nose right inside....couldn't smell much at all. I guess maybe the real old varieties don't have the same fragrance.

I removed the spent blooms and took a walk around to see what else I could cut and add. I found a lot of Sweet William blooming in the woods just beyond my smaller arbor. It's where I toss plant debris. It's become my cutting garden back there. Everything I throw out seems to grow.

I just walk through here along the pine needle path
and snip as I go.

I picked some of this Valerian, too, because it does have a nice scent.


Another different look. I am going to use the vase all year to showcase garden flowers that I can usually only see when I take a garden walk. I like the idea of bringing the flowers up to the deck where I can just sit and enjoy them.

I moved the bouquet to the little bistro set in the woodland area. It's another of DH's powerwasher works of art. (*grin)

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