Monday, June 30, 2008
Look What One Day in the Sun Did to this Hosta
Here's some prettier things to look at. I've been checking out the Breck's site to see what's new this year.
Look at this double-fringed tulip from Breck's. It looks like a begonia.
It's interesting. I love the color.
It's about $2 per bulb.
I like this tulip, too. The fact is I've rarely met a tulip I didn't like! This one is called Hotpants. It's a more reasonable $9.99 for 8 bulbs. It opens white with a little purple stripe that grows wider as it matures.
I have a few tulip varieties that change as they mature. That's always interesting to watch.
What about this Hair Allium?
Not exactly pretty, but I find it piques my interest, too.
One of the most interesting tulips I spotted was this one:
Touted as Flashy as a flamenco dancer, this Blumex tulip is way over the top. Have you ever seen such a crazy and wild tulip? I like this one even though it does not look like a tulip. It would be worth having just for its artistic expression.
I am planning to order all of these. In fact, they are all sitting in my Breck's basket awaiting the mouse click to finalize the order. If you spend $75, you get free shipping, but that's not really good enough for me. The shipping is only about $13 dollars. I want the spend $25, get $25 off coupons like they had last year!
Has anyone seen those coupons this year?
Saturday, June 28, 2008
My First Fresh Raspberries of the Year
Today he found fresh raspberries on sale. I decided to make a baby spinach, raspberry, and pecan salad for dinner. I shook together raspberry vinegar, oil, and 2 tablespoons of mixed berry ice cream topping to make a slightly sweet tangy dressing.
What a pretty salad and it was good, too. The only thing it was missing was a few thin rings of red onion.
We got a little thunderstorm about 5:30 p.m. today. I stuck my camera out of the window in my computer room to show you.
It's hard to get a good picture of rain. Have you ever noticed that?
Earlier this morning, I was out digging up more of the sedum 'coral carpet'.
I removed three wheelbarrow loads from this area. Tomorrow I will do the other side. I already did it last year, but somehow tons of it came back.
This is one area that I hit with Roundup yesterday. I was very happy to see it all dying down like this!
I went around and gave everything a second dose, which still will not kill it all. Those fleshy leaves are so tough to get rid of. If anyone ever wants to give you this stuff, RUN in the other direction. It is even worse than the creeping bellflower I battled a couple of years ago.
July 4th Tablescape
I posted it on my tablescaping blog. If you are interested, you can read about it here.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Finally a Poppy Blooms Where I Want it To!
Well, here's a closeup.
It's not much, but it's progress.
I went to Walmart today and they had annual plants 50% off. I bought a trunk load.
I bought some King coleus and other annuals to make three more planters. I have planted them all already, but I'll wait until they grow before I let them make their blog debut.
Every year I see hydrangeas and every year I say, "I need to plant some of those." I always forget until it's too late. Today they had these marked down to $9 each. I bought three of them. They are repeat bloomers.
I took the day off work today, and spent all morning working outside. I am at war with sedum 'coral carpet'. I know that stuff is going to outlive me, even though I have been pouring the Roundup to it for the past two years. Today I hit these areas:
This area is our second driveway. Somehow the sedum got in there and has spread all through it. All of that red is the sedum. I think it turns red when it gets a lot of sun. In other areas it's green. I am planning to kill it all and plant grass as we never use this driveway.
This area is in front of the house. I thought I dug out most of the sedum last year, but it's already loaded with it again! It's almost ready to bloom. It does have nice white flowers, but the pretty little flowers are not worth the headaches this invasive plant causes.
I finally decided that digging was not going to work and I decided to spray the whole area with Roundup. I will loose a lot of creeping phlox and ajuga along with the sedum.
I just hope I don't lose the Alberta Spruce.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Snippets of My Day
Brushed teeth while coffee brewed. Savored a nice rich cup of the brew while visiting a few blogs.
5:45am --showered, did hair and just a touch of makeup. Looked for something to wear.
6:10am Decided I needed to iron this white eyelet jacket. It took forever--- about 20 minutes.
6:30 a.m. -- all dressed for work in a wrinkle-free jacket. Grabbed a bagel and headed out the door.
Construction all the way...O.K. I don't drive that far, but it's annoying nonetheless.
This is where I pull into the driveway at work. I am lucky that I didn't get hit by that big yellow thing.
Once I was safely at my desk, the day flew by with activities like these:
I did contracts for a few group room bookings and a cancellation, I met with a bride/groom to get their final wedding set up and menu details, I spent over 30 minutes on the phone with one client that I've spent three weeks explaining why food prices had to increase and why it was still a bargain (today he finally agreed and faxed over a signed contract for the remainder of the year). I always spend a lot of time on the telephone at work, (which is why I hate to talk on the phone when I get home). I did the daily deposit and the daily labor, I input a couple of new employees into the payroll system and terminated a few, and I made a report for the Big K to show how much the increase in the minimum wage would affect us for the remainder of '08 and for 2009.
It seemed like I barely looked up and it was 3:30 p.m. I like days like today. Busy with no major problems.
Dinner was grilled chicken breasts with a skewer of red peppers and Vidalia onions.
It has not rained for over 24 hours, so I had to water the deck plants while the chicken grilled.
Vidalia onion season is nearly over. We hate to see them go, so I decided to chop up a few and freeze them.
I filled a Folger's coffee can. They will taste great in November on a grilled steak.
And here it is 7:00 p.m. and I am winding down with this post while watching a parody of Bill Gates last day at Microsoft.
It's been a good day.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I Wanna Be Just Like You
is saying to this big beautiful guy.
It's the same pot, same canna. This picture is from August 4, '06.
I am a bit skeptical that this year's version will be as nice.
I decided to add another layer this year.
I put a nice size yellowish hosta in last night. I think this will soften the edge and be a good contrast to the big striped leaves and the yellow dahlias. It's pretty warm outside today so maybe the cannas will have a positive response to the warmer temps and start getting big like they should!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Raindrops Keep Falling
It makes for a lot of green,which I love. The Cerastium tomentosum (commonly called snow-in-summer) is the white you see around the tree. It's always nice when it blooms after we've had a lot of rain to give that green/white contrast all across the rockwall garden.
I don't know what happened to this big poppy bud just as it was getting ready to open.
It suddenly turned this dark brown color. Reminds me of a vole's body with those stiff hairs all over it.
The Tropicannas are struggling. The 50-degree temperatures are just a bit too cold for all my tropicals.
These canna leaves are way smaller than they should be. My callas are barely breaking through the soil.
The Rembrandt dahlias in the two new containers flanking the back deck steps are doing well. This one has particularly large leaves and I can't wait to see what color the "striped and dotted" blooms will be. I purchased a mix of colors.
I was planning to throw this plastic pedestal container in the garbage. It's old and brittle. The top lip broke right off, but everything else seemed sturdy enough for another season. I decided to keep it and have some fun by painting it bright orange. I dry brushed a little gold over the orange so it would sparkle in the sunlight and tone down the orange a bit. Inside I have the Picasso canna, which is that big orange and yellow splotched one, with a dainty yellow daisy-like dahlia planted beside it. I think I also have some callas in there.
The phlox is already getting powderly mildew in the deck garden. It won't hurt the plant, but it's unsightly.
So with the rains come a few challenges. I would much rather put up with a little mildew than have everything dry up from lack of rain.
Friday, June 20, 2008
It's Probably NOT a Good Idea to Transplant an Iris in Full Bloom
All of my yellow iris seem to have disappeared, so when I saw this one last weekend, I decided to dig it up and move it to a more prominent spot. This is what it looked like the next morning. Oops! Not a good idea.
Truth be told, I move things in full bloom all time. Usually they are just fine and I expect this one will be fine next year,too. I will just cut it off and bring it inside if there are still any blooms to open.
I always like to take pictures of bees on my flowers, so here is my first bee-on-flower pic for '08: I just love bumblebees. They are so soft and cuddly looking.
Wouldn't you just love to run your finger over that soft yellow hair?
TGIF! I don't know what I will do this weekend. DH says he is not painting this weekend. We still have three bedrooms to do. I may just paint the windows and doors since I am doing them in the same white semi-gloss as the living room and hallway. I like everything to be the same. It's much easier when you need to do a touch up.
I am pretty surprised to see by my poll, that 25% of us only paint every 16+ years. I thought I would be the only one with paint that old!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
As I walked along my arbor garden path, I looked down and saw this.
Oh, no! My luck has run out.
The deer are back.
This one has eaten the tops off all the phlox. If it ever stops raining, I will have to start spraying with a deer repellent.
Does anyone know how long it takes for basil seed to come up? I planted this with some seed about two weeks ago.
If I get down there and look through the bifocals, I can see this little sprout.
Do you think it's basil?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
How Many Ways Can You Define Boring Planters?
After two trips to 5 different flower places, I could not find anything that piqued my interest enough to plant in the 4 containers at the hotel.
I was about to settle for one big hibiscus plant in each planter when The Big Kahuna stated that he liked these pots that were already all planted. Well, when the Big K speaks, I'm all ears!
My heart wasn't into those hibiscus plants anyway, so I agreed that these would be fine. They only had one planter made up, so we ordered more of them and Saturday he went and picked up the four geranium planters with a spike in the middle and asparagus fern as the spiller.
They are way too small for these big containers.
The Chief Engineer told me that after they planted them, he said, "Zo's not going to like these." He knows me so well. What he doesn't really realize is that Zo does not really care this year and what she likes best is not having to do any of the planting or maintaing work! It only matters that the Big K likes them.
We also have a full-time outdoor landscape maintenance man. He will take over the watering/fertilizing duties. I am sure that in a month or so, they will look much better, although I suspect they will never get as big as they need to be to balance out those tall planters.
The other day Priscilla asked this question:
How do you edge your beds? with a flat-edged spade? a power edger? what? I need to do it.
Priscilla, I have nothing exciting that I use to edge. I used a plain old shovel like this:
Sometimes I use a flat edge shovel, which makes a much nicer edge, but this one was already within grabbing distance, so it's what I used this time.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Quit Your Grumbling and Get to Painting!
I just give him a tilted head, brow furrowed incredulous stare.
After I am sure he has taken note of my facial expression, I--ever so slowly--ask,"Darling, who, in their right mind, would think that painting a room EVERY 16 YEARS is "always changing?" (I may raise my voice an octave or two on the 16 year part.)
It's not like I am not working just as hard as he is. (Frankly I am working much harder since I am also making all the window coverings, rearranging the cabinets, cleaning and dusting everything, etc. etc. He's painting with a roller and helping to move only the heavy items. But for the sake of household peace, I will pretend it's an equal effort.)
We have a professional painter doing some work at the hotel. He told me that next time I should just call him. I think that's exactly what I will do. Then I will hand the bill to DH and see if he likes that better than helping with the work!
I have decided to do a little poll to see if perhaps I am wrong and 16 years is too frequent to change paint color. So I would be very grateful to you, if you could take just a moment to take the "How Often do You Repaint" poll on the top right of my blog.
If I am wrong, I shall be woman enough to give DH my most humble apology for making him work so much harder than other married men.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
A Productive Weekend
The color isn't showing true. The flowers are pink and yellow and there is some green for the stems/leaves. After about two hours of sewing and gluing on the big pastel-colored buttons, this is what I ended up with.
We also got the pictures hung. I dry brushed white on top of the black frames to lighten them up a bit.
I went outside to cut a few allium and heuchra blooms for this little bouquet as I needed to balance the flowers in the head vase.
Last year I bought these two blue plant holders. I found them stored under the house and decided to use them on top of the china cabinet. They are the kind that sit at a slant and it looks like the flowers are spilling out of them.
I think I will put fresh flower bouquets in these and change them out all summer, depending on what is in bloom. I should have shasta daisies in bloom soon and I think they might look nice in these.I made an extra valance section to use on the end of the china cabinet.
Except for the time I spent cleaning paint brushes, I only worked about 30 minutes outside today. I spent the time edging the front of this bed.
DH cooked a great Father's Day burger. I am not big on hamburgers, but I really enjoyed this one. I think the caramelized Vidalias make all the difference.
I hope you all enjoyed the weekend and had a nice Father's Day .
I feel good about accomplishing so much, but I am tired and can't wait to go to bed!