Monday, June 29, 2009

Moving plants again

I spent about four hours Saturday morning working on last year's new path area. This is the front of the path, which is filling in nicely. Last year I planted the yellow Allium Molly bulbs in a number of spots along the front of the path.

That bright spot of fuchsia in the front is spiderwort.

I decided that I needed to work on the back area of this path, right after you make the turn to the right behind the wheel. I dug up some Allium Molly from the rockwall garden and moved three clumps here. I also removed a lot of daylilies and put some hosta here because it's in a wooded area with little sunlight.

I went to the rockwall garden again and dug out clumps of yellow sedum which I scattered all along this path. By the time I got to this path, it was high noon and not the best picture taking time (please try to overlook the glare).

I know these paths are confusing. This is the one we just made last weekend. As you go around to the left of that driftwood, you are back in the wooded area again where few things will grow.
I spent a lot of time playing around with milk cans and small boulders in this spot. I am trying to make little garden vignettes that you can barely see until you stumble upon them as you walk the path. If you look behind the driftwood above, you can hardly even see the milk cans. As soon as you turn the corner, they are in full view.
I threw some grapevine around one can and dug up a few hens/chicks to toss among the vines. I like that...very simple, easy and it will take no care.

Another spiderwort (this time with blue flowers) appears to spill out of this can.
I am not totally happy with this area, but I think I am on the right track. I need a large plant behind the spiderwort can to hide some of the metal.

I also made a peony bouquet using my recent garage sale vase purchase.

So I am very happy with the amount of work I completed this weekend considering that shortly after noon on Saturday we left for another overnight trip. I got a new special order book on Friday from the Michigan Electronic library. The return date is June 30 -- Tuesday. What's with that? Less than a week and the book has over 400 pages! I asked if they thought I was a speed reader.

The six hours of being in a car provided a lot of good reading time. When I got home Sunday afternoon, I spent the remainder of the afternoon and early evening reading and I finished it...Whew!
I have not spent that much time reading in quite some time.

All in all it was a great weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Night in the Garden

I forgot that I planted one pot of annuals. Weeks ago I bought this Gerbera daisy. I liked it's edges which look like someone took a pair of shears and made them all raggedy.

I bought one dracaena spike in a brown color to coordinate with it. I chose this container that a friend gave me. It used to be part of a small water feature. Dear Husband drilled a few holes in the bottom and now it's a unique flower pot.

My big spirea bush is blooming at its peak right now. It's so pretty, but only for a few days.
Here is the opposite side of the above arbor looking toward the road. As you can see there is a lot of green, but not many blooms. That will change in the next week or so when these white lilies in the front and many others will burst into bloom.
Looking through this arbor from the other side you can see a large patch of Oriental poppies in the back.
Here is a close up of the poppies. It's a big plant and part of it fell over last week during a rain storm. I really need to remember to put a wire cage around it next year.
This morning before I left for work I cut a few of these poppies and some peonies and combined them in my first garden bouquet.
By the time I got home this afternoon, the poppies had already wilted. They don't last long in a vase or in the ground. I think that is why I never tire of them. I only get to enjoy them for about two weeks each year.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Here it is the last week of June and my Deck is Still Nearly Bare

It's been sitting like this for over two weeks. Last weekend I did bring out my orange wicker table. I have never liked the dull orange color, but I do like that new curly grass I found last week at Home Depot.
I think it will come in handy to use in other floral arrangements.

Back to that orange table. doo................

Two cans of .96 cent black paint and it's transformed. I am thinking that this black and white combo is looking pretty chic. I think I will paint that birdhouse holding the curly grass black tonight.

Once I get the paint out, I tend to paint everything in sight. I actually began by painting this green sponge-painted chicken.
Sponge painting is so 80's, don't you think? LOL. Everything I have looked its best in the 1980's--including me!
I wish a fresh coat of paint would transform me like this. :)
I also grabbed these things which I like, but am not thrilled with the wood look finish. So now they, too, are black.
A wiser woman would have put gloves on both hands, not just the right one because when above object tips over one's instinct is to grab it.....not a good idea with bare hands.

I am having great fun with the black paint. I plan to look for more objects tonight.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Queen Alexander -- She's as Lovely as I had Imagined!

My second new poppy bloomed today.

Here it is at 6:30 a.m. this morning when I went out to work in the gardens.

This one is called Queen Alexander. A few days ago I was visiting Kerri's blog, Colors of the Garden, and she had a pic of her beautiful salmon pink poppies. I commented that I hoped mine would be that same color. I think they are. I just wish I had more than one bud! Maybe next year.
It is so exciting seeing new poppy colors. Today I found two more plants in the rockwall garden that I think are new poppies (I studied my pictures from last year to try to find out where I planted the new orange and red poppies I bought last fall). There are two buds and I hope one of them turns out to be red.

It does not look like either of the purple Lauren's Lilac poppies I planted last fall will bloom, but at least they are alive, so I have next year to look forward to the new color.

I made a banana strawberry cake for dessert for DH's Father's Day meal of grilled steak, spinach salad and macaroni salad. It looks good, but we haven't tasted it yet.

Update: The cake was delicious!
I went out to the deck and picked a bit of pineapple mint for garnish.

while DH cooked the steaks,

which were also wonderful.
I hope you are all having a great Father's Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In Spite of the Rain, I Got a Lot Done Today

The Big Kahuna is on vacation so I had to go into work early this morning for just a short time to do the deposit and a few other things. It was pouring rain when I went in. I got home shortly after 8:00 a.m. and the rain had stopped. So I went out and worked in the gardens. It sprinkled a bit throughout the day, but I worked right through it.

Earlier in the week I had bought two containers of red petunias. I took one of them and split it into 3 plants. The second container was left as I purchased it, but I arranged it so that it looked like it was spilling out of a rusty old milk can. I put it all in the new path area.

The pink bloom in front is a heuchra that I moved from the rockwall garden.

Here is a closeup of the rusty milk can. See the frog I put in next to the astilbe I moved from another garden? I have fun with him, putting him in a different place every year.
We also hauled out the bird bath.

I like this picture of a drumstick allium that is growing in the middle of a Sedum Autumn Joy that I moved from a deck container last year. I couldn't resist a picture of the artistic curve of the allium. It will bloom as a small pink ball.

I also hand pruned the yew hedge that leads up to the deck entrance. It was encroaching on the sidewalk path. I took a good six inches off and now we can walk along the sidewalk with no problem.

Yesterday we went to pick up DH's new grill. It's his Father's Day present. Right now he is heating it up to grill some chicken breasts.

I have prepared six chicken breasts for him to grill. I plan to use the extras for chicken pot pie which I intend to make tomorrow.

All in all it's been a good day. I did not get any of the much-needed housework done, but I plan to do it tomorrow--unless something more exciting comes up. Life is too short to turn down a more exciting activity. I can always clean next week. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Positively Prolific Parade of Purple

Right now everything in my garden is purple with just a splash of orange. These are chives growing in a barrel on my deck. As your eye wanders beyond the deck, you see the purple spring phlox with the orange poppies out in the wooded area.
Here is a view from near the road of purple iris. There are some orange poppy buds not yet opened and a few purple allium. Way off in the distance you see the wooded area of the same purple spring phlox in the first picture.
This is looking in the opposite direction (toward the road). I will remove that orange poppy tomorrow because it's one of the yucky poppies that I want to remove from my gardens.
In this photo you see the new path we put in last weekend. Again it is looking toward the wooded area.
The purple iris seem to be blooming better than usual this year. I do love them with the orange Oriental poppies.

Tomorrow I plan to spend a lot of time removing grass and just a general tidying up of the gardens.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My First Non-Orange Poppy

Oh, what a beauty Royal Wedding is!

OK, I admit it does not look like much in this picture. There is only one bloom.

But just look at it a little closer.
Look at the beautiful black markings against the white.

I love it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Big Project Finished

On Saturday morning I was outside at 6:30 A.M. digging out all of the plants in the way of a new walking path.

I put all the pavers in the approximate area where I wanted them. About 8:00 a.m. DH came out to help.

Many of you have asked me if he helps in the garden and I have given a ha ha reply, stating that he does not know a weed from a flower. That is true. But when I am in need of muscle, he is always there to help.

This area is extremely difficult to dig in because there is about 3 inches of top soil and a bed of rock underneath. I am amazed that anything at all grows here.

Anyway he managed to dig deep enough to lay the 16 pavers.

I think it only took him about 1.5 hours.

I moved some plants into the area, but still need a lot more. The path is settling in and we will add more soil after a day or two.

The pavers are still covered with dirt in this pic, but you get the idea of where it goes.

We decided to branch off in two directions, forming a "Y" (DH had to run to the store to buy six more pavers).

I moved the big piece of driftwood from the woodland garden to use as a focal point. I am not sure if it will stay here.

Right now the pine trees are throwing their yellow pollen all over everything.
Just look at the deck:

It's a miserable time of the year to be on the deck. Right now it's raining and I hope it rains hard enough to knock all the pollen out of the trees. Once it all falls, we can hose off the deck and began to use it.

I ran to the fabric store this afternoon to get in on the half-off-the-already-marked- down some $12/yard fabric for $3/yd. I am always in need of solid colors. Right now I am really liking black solid fabric as a background for quilt blocks. I bought 3 yards of a nice heavy shirting black cotton.
I plan to use that black print as a table runner.

I had a great productive weekend. I hope you did, too!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Today I moved some Allium

This afternoon after work I moved these three allium behind the blooming chives. I like the repeat of the purple circles. There are some purple iris right next to the allium that will bloom in the next day or so. Behind the iris there is a huge clump or orange poppies, which will bloom soon. I do love vivid orange against purple.

This area in the woods behind my smaller arbor is really looking good. This is an area where I just throw shovel fulls of junk I remove from the main gardens.
It looks better than my actual gardens do! I don't even see any tall grass growing back here. I see grass all over my real gardens. If you look right in the center, you will see dandelion seed heads which I think look good. Here is a close up of the dandelion seed heads.
My real gardens don't look this good. It makes me wonder why I bother with all the work in the real garden areas. Maybe I should get rid of those gardens and just throw it all in the woods!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moving Tulips in Full Bloom


I tend to buck the experts and move plants whenever the urge strikes.

The urge struck today.

My red and white parrot tulips bloom way in the back of my rockwall garden where they cannot be appreciated to their full potential.

When I got home from work today, I decided to move them. I think the Big Kahuna forcing me to do those planters yesterday has given me back some of my garden mojo....thanks Big K! It was also in the high 60's when I got home today, so that helped.

I dug the tulips out of the ground. Here are the first three.

Look, this one has 3 babies attached.

I pulled them apart to replant.

I dug a hole about six inches deep and popped the blooming tulips in, carefully filling in soil around each side of the bulb so it would not break off.

Look, they are even standing tall after I replanted them!

I planted the bulbettes in a different spot and only dug about a 4-inch deep hole. I should water them in, but so far I have not done so. The soil is still a bit moist from the recent rainfall and I doubt that I will go back after I cook dinner and clean up. But, really, YOU should not do as I am doing. YOU should give them a good drink of water. It's the old "Do as I say, not as I do". LOL.

I have been noticing a lot of allium blooming in areas that I don't remember planting. I swear that 10 minutes after I plant something I forget that I did it!
Here is one of the areas:

I would not normally put purple allium with purple tulips. It all blends together.

Usually I would put orange tulips with the purple.

These tulips were already planted and I must have just stuck a few allium in this garden last year.

For the past week DH and I have been enjoying California strawberries.
Most years the berries we get from CA are not very good.

They are big and hollow with no flavor.

This year is a pleasant surprise. The berries are delish!

For the past five nights we have had a spinach salad with strawberries,red onions and poppyseed dressing.

Tonight we finally finished the last of the two quarts of berries we bought last Sunday.

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