Saturday, July 30, 2011

We sat out on the new porch early Friday evening (after the HOT sun went down).

Within minutes some neighbors walked by with their dog (named Zoe, though a male) and then came up to the porch to check it out and chat.  We learned there has been a mangy-looking fox hanging out right across the road for the  past three nights. We had no idea, but we will be on the lookout now.

We live on a dead end road, yet four cars went by and waved.  It felt like what I imagine the 1950's to be when most socializing was done on front porches. I have read that front porches are making a big comeback and I can see why. I wish we had made a bigger porch so I could have a large table with a crisp white cloth and some homemade lemonade to offer neighbors who stop by on their nightly walks. I would even have a small basket of doggie treats for Zoe.

The neighbors left and came back minutes later with cucumbers from their garden. I have been craving a garden cuke and these did not disappoint.  The same neighbor promised to come back with tomatoes as soon as they ripen.  DH said that porch is already paying off--LOL!

People never walk down the driveway to visit when we are sitting on the deck, which goes partway across the back and side of the house (plenty of room for the whole neighborhood).  They can see us sitting there from the road, but it's just not the same as a front porch. Although this morning, as we were moving stuff around on the deck, one of DH's co-workers drove by and yelled out, "Looking good Jimmy!" as DH moved a turquoisey-blue accent door to a new area.

By the way the pic of DH sitting on the porch was really taken to show you another new dahlia about to bloom.  It's supposed to start out black and slowly turn to red.  Should be interesting. The bud does look pretty black.  I will show it to you as it happens.

DH and I spent all morning washing the windows -- every window in the house and garage.  My job was to use bleach water and a toothbrush to clean all the tracks on the older windows in the family room and kitchen.
Looking pretty clean, don't you think?  After that was done, I began to rearrange the deck furniture and plants.  I also did some painting because I needed a second picture frame painted green.  Since I had all the painting stuff out, I found a few more items to paint.

I will show what I used them for in another post.

By the time I finished it was early afternoon and getting hot. I was red-faced when I finally came in to shower.  After a cool shower,  I went and sat on the glider on the deck and read a few magazines trying to cool down.

This afternoon I also freezer-bagged 5 lbs. of blueberries for making yummies this winter.  Before doing so I  decided they would make a great photo OP for my latest quilt block.
It's been weeks since I have done any sewing. This is an easy 12-inch block that I made yesterday after work. I plan to make a couple more for a table runner.  The blueberries just seem to go with this block.

As I was out there taking pics, Messy Neighbor From Previous Post, was hooking up his trailer to his truck. I said, "Good morning, Messy Neighbor (I used his real name!)" and we chatted for quite some time.  He asked what I was doing and I said taking pics of blueberries. Then he asked what I do with all the pics I take and I said I put them on the Internet.  He is such a nice guy. I felt bad mentioning his tendency to store junk (actually expensive toys, except for the rusty burn barrel) right next to my deck. I hope he never finds my blog!

So that's been my Saturday so far.  I expect to have dinner in a few hours and then read a bit before calling it a day.  I have chicken in some new marinade DH bought and all the salad fixin's cute up ready to go.

So far it's been a good weekend.

update: 8:49 pm
dinner was delicious--just a salad and chicken thighs.

DH found a new beverage. It was good, too.
We even ate outside- - something we rarely do--and not a single bug bothered us.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Side Deck Garden

I don't think I have shown many pictures of the side deck garden this  year. I do nothing to this area except clean it up in the spring.  It used to be my best area. Unfortunately it faces my nice but messy neighbors.  I see no reason to spend time making it lovely when they give me nothing decent to look at in return.  So now I just let it do its own thing.

It is the only area where I still have some bee balm.

Looking at the same bee balm in the opposite direction, you can see my liatris (blazing star) blooming in the top deck planter.

Walk a few yards back and some purple phlox is just beginning to bloom.

Up on the deck I spotted this shaggy dahlia just about to burst open. It must be one of the new ones I planted as I don't recognize it. I think it is going to be a very interesting dahlia!  I love flowers that are slightly different from the norm.  It looks like it will be huge.
I will show what it looks like when it's completely opened this weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ligularia -- The Rocket 2011

A few readers have asked me for more of the ligularia plant, so here a few shots from last night:
 Ligularia is a water hog---and I mean HOG. It must be watered daily or it sulks like crazy.  I have mine planted in a pot and inserted about half way into the ground. 

The next picture shows how big the canna leaves in containers behind the ligularia got during the two weeks of hot weather.

The leaves in front are "Wyoming'; the striped leaves behind are 'Tropicanna'.

I have no time to write more as I must get to work. But I did a post on Lugularia last year which you can read by clicking here.

I am linking to cottage floral Thursday. Have fun exploring the other gardens!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Try to Support Local Retailers, BUT they Never Have What I Want & Park Princess Dahlias

I know the Internet is killing small-town retailers. I hate to see that happen, but...

I tried to buy some new Crocs locally. The shoe store salesman said they stopped carrying them when the Croc company was having financial problems three years ago. As far as I could tell, there was not a pair to be had in this entire town.  So I was forced to go online where I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of different styles at prices nearly half of what I paid locally four years ago.   HALF THE PRICE AND NO SHIPPING! Less than 24 hours after I placed the order, the shoes were shipped. Who could possibly fault me for buying online?

I ordered three pairs--two different colors (some may call them blah colors--I call them neutral) of the original style that I now own.

and one of the bottom style which has black fur across the top--whoo hoo winter Crocs!

I don't wear Crocs in public, just in the garden--but I may wear the bottom pair for casual activities.

I just came in from taking some garden photos. Last year I separated a large pot of pink Park Princess dahlias and I am thrilled that they are blooming so nicely this  year.

I combined the pink with smaller red/purple Rembrandt dahlias. You can see one of those beginning to bloom in the container near the milk can.  I think they will be a striking combination and can't wait to show you these containers in full bloom.

It's been over a week since I worked in these gardens. They are a mess! This is the time of year when most of us wonder why we do all the work. . . the Shastas are dying, all the asiatic lilies are finished, the Lamb's Ear is flopping over, the daylilies have dozens of hanging ugly, squishy, dead flowers...YUCK!  Even the hostas look messy with the whimpy purple flowers (I will be cutting these off soon as I am not a fan of most hosta flowers).
I have had about four weeks of a nice-looking garden.  All that work for 4 weeks? It hardly seems worth it.

Oh, look the delivery van is here with my new little upright freezer for the basement -- Geeez, they took half the tree branches off backing in!
I guess I should get off the 'puter and go see what it looks like.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carpet Samples and Canna Buds

I decided to go on the hunt for new carpet again. I HATE carpet shopping, but I hate more having to remove everything from every room to have it installed. So I keep procrastinating.

How am I supposed to decide on a major purchase like a houseful of floor covering with a tiny little sample like this?
Too overwhelming. I think I will put off until next spring.

I did find a new little upright freezer for the basement. Tomorrow the 20+ year old chest-type will be forever removed from my life. Good riddance to that. No more bending down 3 feet to get something off the bottom!

I am noticing a few canna buds on the deck plants. I love canna buds.
This one is  so artistic as it  emerges atop the huge black leaves.

This bud is striped just like its leaves. The flower will be a bright splotchy orange and yellow.

I don't see any buds yet on the cannas in the big planters out front.
I will tell you more about these planters later when I complain (yet again) about a Breck's purchase.

In the arbor gardens the red dayliles are beginning.
You can also see the tall yellow Ligularia spikes in the background. The Ligularia is just beginning, which is at least two weeks later than last year.

Our heat wave has finally passed. As I prepare this post, it's only 63 degrees (5:00 a.m.). That is so much better than the 80 at 5am last week!

I hope it's getting better for all of you -- especially Deb in Texas where it's been especially brutal.

Please join me as I head  over to Jean's Blooming Tuesday to see what everyone else has in their garden.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Miscellaneous Garden Photos from the Past Week

Loosestrife 'Alexader' is a nice variegated yellow loosestrife. I don't find it to be an invasive thug at all.

The area where I removed all of the pink Manhattan Lilies:
Same area slightly different angle to show the Shastas:

Their new home in relation to the old home: Tango Lily:

I am loving the color of the 'Cherries Jubilee' nasturtiums from Dianne:

Hope you all have a geat weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is This the Epitome of Multi-Tasking?

 I got home from work at 3:20 p.m.  I changed into comfy clothes for hot humid weather (the kind of clothing that I would never ever be seen wearing in public), then watered the deck plants. I think it took about 20 minutes.  Then I checked out a few of the blogs I follow and left a few comments.

As I was doing so, I happened to look down at my chipped toenails and immediately decided I needed to do a quick color change.  I thought dark purple would go with an outfit I want to wear this weekend when I attend an Elvis impersonator show.

 As soon as I was done, I realized that there is no way I can just sit for two hours until the new color dries. I tried to think of what project I could do with wet toenails. I decided to Swiffer the floors.

I just scrubbed them on my hands/knees on Sunday. I thought I would do a quick Swiffer before they got too dirty.  Because, let's be honest here, Swiffer is not really for dirty floors. It works great for the first layer of dirt, but that's about it.

When I wash floors, I use a towel to wipe them down as I go.  It was a bit difficult to move the towel with wet toenails, but I went slowly...left, right, left right, an inch at a time........
and it worked nicely!

If you are thinking there is no dirt that could accumulate in 3 days, think again.........
Granted I did 3 rooms with one wet swiffer thingie, but, as you can see, there was dirt to be removed!

Some people air their dirty laundry, I air my dirty floors!

I am now off to heat up some spaghetti with melted cheddar cheese for dinner (Sissie, I began to crave it after reading your blog!).

Have a great evening,

Vintage Crocheted Hangers & Pink Mallow Volunteer

I love these crocheted hangers. About 15 years ago, I went to the estate auction of  the 90+-year old aunt of my cousin's wife and I bought a big  box of crocheted hangers.
These are wooden hangers and probably from the 1950's?  I am just guessing, as I really am no expert on hangers. 

There were also  all wire hangers in the box. Again I am guessing that these are from the late 1960's/early 70's since the harvest gold color is so prevalent.
The wooden hangers were probably hard to find in that era, so this lady turned to the cheaper, easy-to-get wire hangers.

I can imagine her sitting in front of TV watching Lawerence Welk while crocheting these hangers. 

I never knew this lady, but I feel connected to her.  I know she enjoyed cooking and gardening because I also bought boxes of her gardening/cooking  books.

She died before the Internet took off. I wonder what she would think of her hangers still being used by someone and pictures of them in cyberspace for the world to see. I think she would feel good about that.

While touring the garden after work, I shrieked as I spotted one pink mallow bloom in front of the daisies.
 I have spent the past two years trying to get rid of this plant in my gardens. Once established it's a bugger to get rid of. It has a long tap root and if a tiny piece remains in the ground, it continues to grow.  I am happy to say that just by pulling gently on this tiny plant, I got the whole tap root. Look how long it was already!
Success is sweet.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Few New Blooms brave the High Temperatures

We had a record breaking temperature day Sunday - 97 degrees. Have I mentioned how much I hate hot weather?  It's been awful for the past week. Bring back the 70-degree temps! 

Even with the sweltering temps I got a little bit of garden work done early Sat and Sun. morning.  I finished the little path extension, but I don't have pics of it as it's not planted yet.

Yesterday morning I moved the rest of the Manhattan lilies to the path we put in a few weeks ago.
Now I have them on both ends of the path.

The lavender began to bloom.

I think the purple goes so nicely with the chartreuse hosta leaves.

Olina tango lily opened. In the background you see the Manhattan lily. They work nicely together.

Lots of calla lilies on the deck
Though only one calla lily bloomed in this blue pot. I planted three, so that's a bummer.
It threw off my whole scheme. The canna leaves also have not grown large. The big striped leaves in the picture above this one should be growing up through this container. They should be way taller than the  white-splotched calla leaves you see on top. So far they are hardly visible unless you paw through the foliage. Another bummer! There is still hope for the canna. I fertilized yesterday so maybe that will kick it in gear.

Dianne, Here is the 1st nicotiana bud from the seeds you sent--so exciting!

It's Blooming Tuesday, so head on over to see the other gardens

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Out with the Mildewy Phlox--In with the Manhattan Lilies & another Path in Progress

I was outside at 7am today. I had no idea I would be out there digging, hauling away and replanting until noon. In fact I had no project planned at all. I was just going to move the plants away from the house on the deck so DH could do his yearly house washing.

Moving the deck items took just a few minutes and I decided to take a morning stroll through all the paths. As I entered the new path, I had the spontaneous desire to dig out this mildewed phlox and throw it away.  
So I did. I can't have this awful stuff right on the path's edge! Before the path, I was not able to get to get to this area unless I wanted to walk through chest-high foliage without knowing what may be slithering underfoot. Trust me--I rarely felt like doing that!  I don't remember mildew like this, but maybe I just could not see it.

I have two different colors of phlox here. I don't know if the mildew-coated one was white or purple. I will see when the other one blooms.

A few feet from the phlox is this arbor with some of the Manhattan lilies that grew twice as tall as I expected. They are too close to the path, so I dug them all out.
 I replanted them a few feet back where the phlox was.
Geez, now I don't like the orange ditch lilies with the pink. I don't want to dig the ditch lilies out because I have nothing to replace them with. I decided to just cut off all the blooming stalks below the foliage.  It was so much fun, that I continued on to this front area and cut them all off here, too.

Back to the once moldy phlox area:
I left a couple of Manhattans in the front of the arbor to lead the eye to the back area where I just planted those I removed from the pathway.   I put 4 small hostas along the path. They won't brush against my hips as I waddle through the arbor.   I am much happier with this new planting.

Once I got that done, I removed more lilies from this garden on the opposite side and I began to dig out a small area for another tiny path. I have four pavers left from the other path project and I knew right away where they would go. I need a way to get out to the wooded area without walking through the planted areas, so I decided to add another exit to this path.

It is not done yet because it got too hot to work outside (almost 90 degrees).  We will either go out later this evening or tomorrow morning to finish it.

I had planned to go to an arts/crafts show, but I never made it there.  Maybe tomorrow as it's a two-day affair.
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