Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Blue

not in spirit, in color!

I've been painting up a storm since I last posted. I had a quart of robin's egg blue that I bought last year. It's from Ace Hardware and it's called Rossland. It's Exterior Latex, Semi-

I decided that would be my accent color in the main gardens. I gathered up an assortment of items and began painting.

I painted two of these wooden chairs...

A few birdhouses...

Did I hear someone ask what that lovely plum-colored flower is? Well, it's my Lauren's Lilac poppy that did not bloom last year. It has three or four buds this year. So now I have one pink, one white and one purple poppy blooming. I should have two of each, but the other three still have not bloomed. Two years and just a small tuft of green. At least the other three are not yet dead, so there is hope for next year.
I have tucked a few blue watering cans among the flowers. Do you see that red flower by the arbor? It's a trumpet vine and it should grow up to 12 feet and climb the arbor. I am excited about this one!

I still have a few more items to paint. I am sure I will have fun moving these robin egg blue accents around the garden all summer.

I still have no internet access at home, so don't know when I will be back. This is the first time in 15 years that I have gone over a week without internet access. I will be very glad to get it back!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Forced Blog Break

Just popping in to let you know I am having internet problems. I have not been able to get online for two days and it looks like I won't be on for awhile. I may get a new computer and change providers.

I won't be checking emails until next Monday.

I hope you are all enjoying the warm weather!

Hope to visit you all soon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Feel Like I Participated in an Archaeological Dig

I brought a few of my tropical plants out from their winter storage yesterday. I remember seeing this one last year and trying to figure out what those strappy white leaves were.

They are white because they came up in the storage space without any sunlight. I think they are liatris. They will turn green in a few days.

This plastic container has served me well for the past four years. I intended to replant everything last year, but it just did not happen, so this year, I immediately dumped this one to replant. One of my favorite cannas - an orange/yellow splotchy variety lives here. I thought I would divide it to plant in the containers at work.

I am guessing that there will be a huge mass of canna rhizomes in this pot and I can take at least enough rhizomes to work to plant two containers.

I painstakingly removed all of the soil from every corm, rhizome and tuber.
Jackpot on the callas! I don't know what I started with, but I am sure it was not this many.
I will replant these in other containers -- 3 - 5 per container.

The humongous mass of canna rhizomes I expected did not materalize. This was it. A very small amount. I don't think it's any bigger than when I planted it four years ago.

I guess I will have to find something else to use for the containers at work.

I am off work the remainder of the week. I lucked out as the weather forecast if perfect! This morning I was outside early digging more grass from the phlox. So far I have spent close to three hours on that horseshoe shaped area I showed you yesterday. I am almost least for a few weeks when some of it will find its way back in. It's a never-ending chore.

I also went to the library this afternoon
and got a light culinary mystery--Lemon Meringue Pie Murder. I intend to spend a bit of time reading.

For dinner tonight I have this delicious beef vegetable soup heatng up. I made it on Sunday and can't wait to have another bowl.I added a couple packages of ramen noodles to this soup. YUM!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Got a Lot Done in the Garden this Weekend

and my lower back is feeling the strain. I never used to get a sore back from gardening........I've always heard others moan about it, but I never really knew what they were complaining about. I now have much more empathy!

One of my projects today was to dig out some creeping phlox along a small section of one of the arbor gardens so I could plant three of the new 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' Lamb's ear in its place. Here it is finished.
While attempting to dig a hole for the clump of grape hyacinths, I came across a large rock. It took a little creative digging to get it out. I had to remove about six smaller rocks to get a space to put the shovel under to pop it loose.
I get a bit of thrill digging out rocks, especially when they turn out to be a pretty color like this pink one.
I will have to find a place to put it where I can enjoy the color every time it rains.

Even after removing the 3 or 4 feet of creeping phlox, I think you will agree that I am still left with plenty of creeping phlox in this area!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I was Outside Before 8:00 a.m. this Morning

moving primroses. I dug them up because the grass had begun to invade.

The only way to get the grass out is to brutally pull the clump apart and gently tug the grass blades until the entire root system separates. This is not the best time to do this, but I have to get it done, when I have the time to do it, and today was the day.
. From one clump, I ended up with all of these.

I decided to move them from the rockwall garden to the arbor garden.

Here they are all planted in their new home.

I spent about three hours outside today. I also removed some creeping pholox and did a little weeding. I still have TONS to do!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Once Every Two Years I See This Tree Bloom

My cherry (crab apple?) tree is in full bloom. It's a sight to behold, but two years apart is a long wait. It only blooms for about one week.
That's my latest handbag strutting it's stuff in the crook of the tree. Are those colors perfect or what! LOL. I really did not plan the bag to match the tree.

I still have not tried to get the glue off the dining room wall. That task does not seem nearly as appealing to me as making a new handbag, but I will probably have to forget the handbags and start washing the walls this weekend. . . maybe...I also need to get outside and do some garden work...and there are a few cleaning chores that must get done.

I hope you all have plans that are more fun than mine this weekend! I have way too much work and far too little play in mine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Now I See Why the Box is So Large

I got this box of my elephant ear bulbs last Friday, just as I was heading out for the weekend.
Judging by the size of the box, I thought, Wow, these must be some big bulbs!
I stuck it in the garage and left it until tonight.

I was surprised to find these long skinny boxes inside.
Usually the bulbs are packaged in plastic bags.

I was even more surprised when I pulled plants out of each box!

I am not sure how I feel about these. I wanted a huge black elephant ears plant. I expected to be getting a bulb as big as a giant onion. This puny little thing needs to grow like mad to get anywhere near what I had in mind. At the moment, I am thinking that $30 for this puny collection is too much. I've been had.

What do you think?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Great Balls of Fire!

We just returned from a weekend get-a-way. On Saturday night we went to a Tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis concert. Click this video for 38 seconds of pure energy!
Wow! Could you get your leg up there on that piano? LOL. I don't think I could.

Does anyone remember this pioneer of the rock & roll culture? He was a bit before my time, so I did not really know much about him. My husband knew of him and told me that "Great Balls of Fire", was his biggest hit in the late 50's--a time when I was barely out of diapers. I knew most of the songs though.

We met a couple of our Canadian friends there and enjoyed a tasty roast beef dinner, a glass or two of wine, and even danced to an Elvis love song - Can't Help Falling in Love.

The only food pic I took was the dessert--some sort of lemon trifle--very light and good, although I was shocked that they had no garnish on this plate. A squiggle of colored sugar syrup and a sprig of mint would have made all the difference in the presentation. In spite of the naked plate, I still had a great Mother's Day weekend. I hope you did, too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dead Grass------------or Not?

I cannot remember what grass this is.

I had it heeled in next to the house all winter. I've been watching it for the past three weeks to see if there are any signs of life.


So today I decided I would pitch it.

But wait!

As I ran my fingers through it, I spotted a bit of green.

I think it may be alive!

Whoo hoo!

Now if only I knew what it was!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Tulips are not so Wonderful this Year

First off, I want to thank Daizy for her comment on my last post about using water to remove the wallpaper glue. I have to say that does seem much easier than sanding it all off. I have not tried it yet (I have to be home all day before I do a job like that -- maybe next weekend). I would have sent you an email, but your comment was anonymous, so I couldn't. Nonetheless, I appreciate the comment. It just may save me a lot of mess!

On to the tulips:

I have some blooming, but they are not making me giddy with joy as they usually do. They are on the small side this year and many did not come back from the past two years.

Last year I did a post about moving one of my favorite red/white tulips. Here they are right after I moved them:
I felt pretty smug about having them stand tall right after moving them in full bloom.

Here they are today:

The Big-Fat-Tulip-Leave syndrome. One leaf, no bloom. I am not feeling all that smug right now.

I do have one tulip area that I find acceptable. These tulips are about three years old and still giving a decent bloom, so that makes me happy.

Unlike the Rai tulips that I planted last fall. They opened further today and I am not happy with them.

The catalog shows this lovely plum purple and lime green color, not hot pink as mine seem to be!
Perhaps they will change to purple as they age a bit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I've Been Waiting for YEARS to be Rid of This Wallpaper, Rai Tulips & Butterfly Bush, & Oriental Limelight Artemisia

Sunday morning I was reading Pea's blog and she was talking about removing wallpaper. It seems like everyone but me has removed wallpaper.

I finally decided it was about time I got rid of mine. I got right up from my computer and went to the dining room to check it out. I'm like that--totally spur-of-the-moment starting projects. I found a loose corner and began to slowly pull--an inch or two of wall was revealed. I pulled a bit more--more wall revealed and no drywall was coming off. I was so excited that I called my non-handyman husband in to help me.

He was skeptical, but I insisted that he take one side and I would take the other and together we would gently pull and see if it would come right off as it appeared that it would.

Voila! In less than one hour all the vinyl wallpaper was gone.

I kept asking why I waited so many years to attempt removal. It was simple!

Of course, now I am left with all that yellow glue still on the wall. I guess I must have to sand it down. I have a feeling that won't be so simple!

I am happy to report that the deer did not eat my tulips and the Rai tulips are about to open:

My butterfly bush must have liked this strange winter just as much as I did. It's leafing out on old wood.
It almost never does this. I was at my MIL's yesterday and she has three that are doing the same.
We've had a bit of rain this week and the garden liked that very much. The plants are beginning to spring to life. Last year I took this 'Oriental Limelight' Artemisia from it's pot and planted it here.
I don't know what possessed me to do such a crazy thing, after having had it for three years in a plastic pot. Even on the label it said only to use it in containers as it may be too aggressive to put in the ground. I need to get right on this and remove it before it spreads any further! I think I will put it in about three containers and just stick the pots in amongst taller greenery where they will be hidden. I do love the nice contrast this plant gives with its light green/cream foliage.

I hope to get this task done right after work today.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I am Pretty Sick of Digging Grass from my Creeping Phlox

I spent some time doing just that this weekend.

I have decided that I am sick of that task and I am thinking of removing a good portion of my creeping phlox so I don't have to deal with it.

So in the afternoon I took a break from digging grass and went out and bought this:

Yup, I went out and bought some grass!
I think I will leave it in it's pot and put it in one of big deck containers. I cannot imagine having to dig unwanted grass out of my pretty blue fescue. I wonder if it will be perennial in my cold climate. It says it's good for 30 below zero, so it should be.

I also bought some fuzzy wuzzy Lamb's Ear. I have never grown Lamb's ear.

Hmmmm, I did not buy them to plant together, but after looking at this pic, I like the combination of the blue fescue with the lamb's ear in front. Anybody growing that combo?

In the back you see a red peony. It has two buds, so I can't wait to see the flower. If you have been reading this blog for long, you may remember that my white peonies took 15 years before they bloomed! I have no desire to wait that long for the red ones, so I thought the $15 price tag was worth it.

I also picked up a pot of Sunny Border Blue Speedwell (Veronica Spicata). I've tried it once before, but it died out. I love the blue color, so decided to give it one more chance.

I also went looking for the new Croc's, but I did not find them. The store I thought carried them, decided not to this year. Just my luck....

I stopped a second store to see if there was anything else that appealed to me. I found these:
I love them and they were marked way down -- about 1/4 the price of the crocs. To top that off, if you bought one pair of shoes, you got a second pair 1/2 off. I was in a big hurry and just grabbed these cute flip flops. They were marked $3 - closeout from $$19.99. I got them for $1.50!!

I guess it was my lucky day after all!
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