Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Breck's Order for Spring 2012 Has Arrived

For some people it's scary to mail order flowers. I thought there may be a few people who would like to see exactly what you get when your order arrives.  Both of my Breck's orders arrived this week. I am happy with what I received as it all looks healthy.  I got everything planted after work yesterday.   I thought it would take about 30 minutes, but it took three times that long. 

Here is what I got:

I ordered 12 Lionheart bulbs. They come in packages of 3.

I think the brown spots are supposed to be there.

I was surprised to see the toad lily "bulbs"

It looks like a root to me.
I don't really care, I just hope they grow! I planted 11 of them all along one of my garden paths. I forgot to soak them in water as it says, but I think they will be fine as it rained last night.

I planted 12 Crocosmia 'Fire King' bulbs in two containers.
I can move these containers anyplace I want them in the garden. I hope they bloom this year!

  The last time I tried Croscosmia it died after the first year.  I am hoping I can bury these containers in the soil against the house to help them survive next winter.

It's been quite the week for receiving mail orders. I also received these three tanks tops--all the same, except for the color.
I wouldn't be caught dead wearing these alone, but I think the bright colors will be fun to wear under summer shirts. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gigantic Pot People in a Gorgeous Garden

It is still cold and windy, so I was happy to find the current issue of Midwest Living in my mailbox when I got home from work. 

I love this Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin  garden  with huge 12-ft tall pot people! The article says they are appropriately named Terra and  Cotta.....gotta love that!

Here is a close up:
I think the skirt is an upside down flower pot, but I am not sure.  This garden belongs to Dale and Joan Jeanquart.  Their garden is on two lots--just like mine--except their second lot is much more manicured with nice trees---I don't see any ugly pine trees.  I think they have done a great job working together to create this wonderland, don't you agree?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Freezing Chives 2012

I freeze chives every year. 

After work today I had planned to pot up a few containers of perennials.  I even had everything ready and waiting...
But I ended up working 9.5 hours and when I got home it was barely 50 degrees and windy, so I decided to wait another day or two. 

I did notice that the chives on the deck were getting pretty big. The new spring chive growth is always the best, so I decided to cut these off and freeze them for the winter of 2012/2013.

I get a lot of people on my blog looking for "how to freeze chives", so I thought I would show you how simple it is. 

Step 1 - just cut down a handful of chives.
Step 2 - wash and dry completely
Step 3 - cut a long strip of plastic wrap and roll the chives in it.
Step 4 - Cut a long strip of foil and roll the plastic-wrapped chives in the foil. This is to double protect the chives from freezer burn.
 Step 5 - put the double-wrapped chives in a tin container to TRIPLE protect from freezer burn. After all, they are going to be in the freezer for 6 months to a year. It would be a shame to use them next December and find they taste freezer burned.

This container is large enough to hold many more herb rolls.  I will add a couple more chive rolls and a few other herbs that I grow this summer.

To use them, you just unwrap an inch of two and cut with scissors. 
These are some I froze last year. After I took this picture, I threw them in the garbage since I now have tons of fresh chives to use.

The first chives of the season are such a delicacy, that you must eat at least a few before freezing.
I put some on cottage cheese, then freshly-ground some pepper on top-YUM!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

(Denim) Pockets Full of Posies

 This is what I did with the blue jean pockets I showed you yesterday.  I  made a denim pocket garland and filled it with daffodils from my garden and my mom's crocheted doilies.

 I cut the back pockets off a small pair of jeans and kept them together for the center of the garland (in other words I used the butt of the jeans):

 This table sits under the flower wall shelf I showed you yesterday.
I made this in a hurry. If I had more time, I would have brought some of the hot pink down to the table by wrapping the candles in hot pink fabric. 

When I got home from work today, I added the pink to the lower level:
Much my humble opinion.   Did any of you notice the table runner is the one I made after cutting up that much too heavy denim quilt that I finished in 2005?  I like that I found a use for at least a tiny portion of it....after all it took a long time to hand quilt that monster!

I can see a lot of different tables with this unit as summer will probably be really sick of seeing flower tables...............imagine tulips or bright orange poppies replacing the daffodils.....the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Flower Wall Holder

I turned my Easter egg wall unit into a spring flower holder for the few flowers I have blooming right now.  They are nothing scattered around the gardens, so I cut them down and bring them inside where they  make a much better show and I can enjoy them close up.

These little gems are on the side of my home that I never see. What a shame it would have been if I missed enjoying them.

I did something with this bag of blue jean pockets that I will show you in a few days. 
It ties in with the wall flower unit, but I don't have much time right now for a long post.  Stay tuned.... :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Potting Bench is Still Empty

Because it's been so cold (20's at night), I have not been able to get out and do any garden work.  My poor potting bench that I set up during the warm March weather, still sits empty.
I did go out this afternoon just to take a walk around the Ponderosa to see if everything survived the winter.  I was happy to see buds on the cherry trees.

 I was surprised to see creeping phlox that survived the multiple doses of Roundup I gave it last summer/fall.  I am actually kind of happy to see this as I really hated to lose all of it.

I see this blue oat grass survived in the rockwall garden.   As you can see I have not even raked this area yet.

I noticed tulip buds in the wagon wheel garden out by the road.  I hope I can get out this week to rake and cut down the dead sedum heads before the tulips bloom.

Up on the deck I was ecstatic to see the Hot Papaya coneflower survived in one of my barrels.  I sure hope it's more impressive than it was last year when it died shortly after planting and never really rebloomed as I expected it to.

I really did not do anything very impressive this weekend. Even the  banana chocolate chip bundt cake I baked did not turn out as I had hoped. It looked pretty promising as it went into the oven.

Unfortunately I did not let is cool before I turned it out.
 and just like the directions warned, the warm cake stuck to the pan.

It did not look as nice as I would have liked, but it tasted good.  If you want to try it, I found the recipe on One Crazy Cookie blog.  Just make sure you let it sit and cool before you turn it out!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Too Cold to Garden

Since it was too cold to work very long outside over the weekend, I did some work on my string quilt.  So far I have finished 9 full blocks (36 4.5-inch sections)  which is 27-inches by 27-inches.
I am liking this pattern, but I don't know if I like it enough to sew another 11  pieces this size ( that would be 396  4.5-inch sections!) plus a border or two.  That is what it would take to make a king-size quilt to fit my bed.  Once all that was done, I would still have to hand quilt it all.

I tossed this atop the quilt on my bed so you could get a better idea of what I am talking about.

As you can see, I need a lot more.   I know I would be totally bored having to make the same thing over and over and over.   So I am going to play around with it a bit longer to see if I can come up with a totally different pattern to go around this center.  . . kind of like the "Roses are Red, Borders are Blue" quilt that is already on the bed.  It has a number of different borders.

  Yes, we quilters do name our quilts.

 After all we work longer on making a hand-quilted bed covering than it takes to give birth to a child! So this spring when it's too cold to be in the garden, I will be trying to turn this little section of pieced fabric scraps into a new quilt for my bed. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Easter Basket

Not your typical Easter basket, is it? LOL. I loved it and I won $29. Did you notice DH used my sled coffee table for the basket? Very clever of him.

He also came home yesterday with two new half whiskey barrels for me.
I have been asking him to pick up two more. I want to leave them empty and just fill them with the plastic containers I overwinter. I think I can fit at least five of them in each barrel. In the fall, I will just lift them back out and put them in their winter home. I am going for a less cluttered look on the deck this year.

We have an 11:00 a.m. Easter potluck brunch to go to. I am making the blueberry french toast casserole that I made last year. Patti from Osage Bluff sent me the recipe--thanks again, Patti!

There is even a third cup of pure maple syrup in it. The fake stuff just does not compare.

It is very delish with cream cheese and blueberries throughout. It sit overnight in the refrigerator so the bread can absorb all the eggs.  Once I bake it, it gets topped with a thickened layer of blueberries.

You can find the recipe all over the net. Just search for "blueberry french toast" recipe.

I hope everyone has a great Easter today!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Checked Off One Spring Garden Chore Today

The ditch lilies are now gone from this area.  DH was kind enough to do the heavy digging to release them from the soil, then I loaded them in the big wheelbarrow.

The root system is large on these lilies and I could not shake off much soil.  The wheelbarrow  was so heavy that I could not even push it!  These lilies are hard to get rid of.  I am sure I will be digging up shoots for the next few  years.

I know it's impossible for you to know where these are in my garden, so I found a couple of pics from the past to give you a better idea of what was removed.
 Here is the same area viewed from the opposite side of the garden:

This is prime garden area--lots of sun, no rocks and right next to one of my arbors, so I think I can do better with something more interesting.  It's not that I don't like these orange lilies, because I really do.  It's just that I have a GAZILLION of them  in the wooded area where nothing else will grow. 

What's a GAZILLION, you may be wondering......................well, here is  picture from last July:

I don't think I will miss that little patch, do you?  LOL.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oddities of Spring 2012 & a Clothing Order

These pine tree limbs broke during the big snow storm a few weeks back. It is unusual for us to have such large branches break during the winter. 
DH hauled them away just a few minutes ago.  He has been going out after work this week for a short time to do yard chores.  Once I get home from work, I have no desire to go outside and do yard work.  I used to run right out and spend hours raking, etc., but as I get closer to the "golden" years, I don't really enjoy working all day and spending more hours working outside.  It will have to wait for a weekend when I stay home.

I did take a little walk around and  was thrilled to find that my potted Ligularia survived another winter.  Those tiny green shoots just above the soil make me very happy.

I find it amazing that this pot of Ligularia will look like this mid-summer:

the tall yellow flower is Ligularia.  I just leave it right in the container and sink it into the ground.

Speaking of surviving, this butterfly bush did quite well. They say that butterfly bushes bloom only on new wood, but I swear that one mild winter, mine  bloomed on the old wood.

Now I know I was not dreaming.  Look at all the new growth.
I won't be cutting this down to the ground as I usually do.  I should have some very tall butterfly bushes this year.

Rather than do outside work, I have been checking my favorite online clothing retailer for close out pricing.  This week I found a few items at a price I could not resist.
I already own a couple of the camis in different colors, so I know they work great under summer jackets...can't wait to try the chartreuse cami with navy blue! I think I will also get a lot of wear from the black beaded tee.

 I also bought this top in three bright summer colors:
I am thinking the chartreuse cami will work under the purple or the blue.  From what the reviews say this one needs a cami as it's very sheer.

I put all my summer camis away last fall. I just hope I did not order another one in the same color I already own!
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