Monday, June 22, 2015


Dear Mom,
We've had plenty of rain, and heat and humidity, too, and my flower garden is blooming!
Dame's Rocket


Bee Balm

Tickseed, Delphinium, Hollyhock

Morning sun on Marigolds

Oak tree sprouting from an acorn! I found the freshly sprouting acorn when prepping the
soil for the new flower garden. I am sure a squirrel planted it under the hot tub.

Isn't the Hollyhock beautiful?

The zinnia's are beginning to bloom also. I have a snapdragon, pincushion flower and a zinnia in the milk glass bud vase on my kitchen window sill.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How Does My Garden Grow?

Dear Mom,
Can you believe a month has gone by since we planted the cottage flower garden? So far, everything seems to be thriving. I've just lost one english daisy and the delphinium I transplanted has disappeared. I'll make a trip tour favorite local nursery to replace them. I've added some Dame's Rocket transplants from a friend's garden and some sort of sedum ground cover between stepping stones from the same friend's garden.  I need to thin out the marigold seedlings, which will require some hard hearted-ness on my part. I am not sure I can actually do it. I think every single marigold seed germinated! I should probably sprinkle more zinnia seeds throughout some of the bare spots as fillers until the perennials can.
The temporary Olive barrier fence is still in place. I've tripped over it enough times that I am ready to take it down and keep my fingers crossed that she will not trample everything. However, the fence  is now working hard at keeping the peonies from falling into and smothering the cranesbill so it will remain until I invest in a plant support for the peony.

I planted both perennial and biennial varieties of foxglove. It is the biennial foxglove that is blooming now.
This is ice plant- something I'd never heard of before. I fell in love with the charming little daisy-like flowers. The foliage looks like it is a succulent of some sort. The flowers open and close with the sunshine.

English daisy

Daisy and columbine in bloom along the fence border, under the pussy willow. I've planted stock, asters and pinks along the edge.

The fruit on the serviceberry trees is ripening. We planted one just outside the screened porch to filter the sun as it sets. I have a somewhat hidden spot to watch the birds eat the fruit. They are quite determined and acrobatic, and extremely entertaining. 

I've tried three times to get this next photo to load vertically, not horizontally. I give up. Just tilt your head onto your right shoulder and pretend. 
I am slowly but surely lining the borders in the back yard with rocks. A new cul-de-sac is being developed as part of our neighborhood, in what has been part of a horse farm for as long as I can remember. I wish some things could stay the same. Anyway, that abused and savaged piece of farm field is ripe for rock hunting, and My Hero and I armed ourselves with a shovel and the wagon and went hunting. I was able to fill in one section and have 3 more areas I'd like to cover. Don't worry, I won't line the entire back yard! 

As I am writing this and uploading photos, I realize that our backyard is a reflection on the new chapter in our lives. We've taken the swing set down.  17 and 21 year olds don't climb into tree forts, slide down curvy slides and see how high they can swing. Our goal was to raise adults, not children and letting the swing set go is expected. However,  I can't help but wonder if Maybe the world would be happier if we never stopped swinging.  

As I contemplated the demise of the swing set, I began to plot a use for some of the lumber. Up 'til now, my clothesline has been a retractable line that extended from the house to the swing set. Might we build a real clothesline with some of the salvaged swing set? 

 I now have 4 lines for pegging up my wash. I think I will actually be able to dry all the sheets and pillowcases and maybe even a blanket at the same time. 

And lastly, because we are talking flowers and marigolds- here is the shawl I knitted using the handspun, marigold dyed yarn. Elle decided to tiptoe through the tulips squat in the marigolds for this photo shoot. I used Orlane's Textured Shawl Recipe, and knit up every single centimeter of the yarn. (I had to go to the tiny bit that was left on a bobbin to finish binding off the last 20 stitches.)

 This came off the needles last night and blocked and dried while I slept. There is something very soothing about knitting and wearing shawls. This one is knit from the top down, so I cast on using the skein with the least amount of yardage and worked my way up in yardage as I worked my way down the shawl. It will be nice wearing this one with its ties to summer marigold flowers.

Enjoy the sunshine and blue sky. My sheets are going to smell heavenly!