Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy (Soggy) Easter!

I'm writing this at 4:30, Saturday afternoon. It's been raining fairly steadily all afternoon but the barn has gotten decorated, the quilts hung, and things are proceeding more or less as usual -- but wetter.

The usual crew has been at work (and play)-- spirits undampened.

Josie was enjoying all the people hanging out at her house. There are cousins and some more kids.

And a few visiting dogs.

 The rain is supposed to end, for the most part, Saturday night and Easter is supposed to be only cloudy. We'll see.

 We'll have a good time, no matter what. And I hope all of you, whatever you're celebrating, do the same.

A few more pictures from the pre-party . . .

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Mighty Rain

The rain began around midnight on Thursday and continued till Friday afternoon. Something over 3 inches -- and the branches were roaring.

Roaring and, in places, overflowing into our road. Some culverts got clogged and Justin and John worked to get the water back where it should be.

I saw reports of flooding all around the county -- parts of Marshall, roads washed out here and there, bridges underwater . . . we are fine, if soggy. 

Here's hoping things dry out a bit before Sunday and the Easter Party. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Thank You, Martha!

Months go by without Martha Stewart crossing my mind. Now and then I might recognize that I'm having a Martha Stewart moment -- when I iron the linen hand towels, for example, or when I spend half a day carefully swabbing the dust and scale residue from a ficus tree -- leaf by tedious leaf. (One of those trees has been with  me for over forty years, the other almost thirty so I do tend to baby them.)

Nope, now that I no longer subscribe to her magazine, Ms. Stewart lives her life and I live mine. BUT, when the tree peony at our entryway bursts into glorious bloom as it did on Wednesday, I send up a heartfelt 'Thank you, Martha!'

Because, until an article in her magazine some years ago, I'd never even heard of tree peonies. As it happens, they differ from their herbaceous brethren by blooming about a month earlier, by holding their flowers up rather than needing staking, and by not dying back to the ground every winter.

Martha, being Martha, had an impressive array of these beautiful plants at her home. And she made them sound easy and relatively trouble free. I was convinced and went forth and purchased two locally -- this red one and a pale pink one which has gotten overpowered by surrounding bushes on a lower slope. It didn't bloom this year -- probably because of those bushes shading it -- but this is what it looked like when it did.                            

Obviously, it's time to get serious about pruning back those bushes.

But this red one proves Ms. Stewart was right -- it's chugged along, producing more blooms every year and (and this is HUGE) not getting eaten by the deer that snack on the azalea that is its nearest neighbor.  

I think I need more. Perhaps a white or a pale, pale lavender to begin with. . .

You can see some of the many varieties HERE . . .

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Beauty Everywhere



Monday, April 15, 2019

Dirt Under the Fingernails Time

Saturday was a fine day for digging in the dirt -- prettying up our entry way by weeding a bit and adding a few new bloomers.

I began with the planter by the greenhouse door.  The golden oregano is thriving but the three pansies I'd planted in the fall had been nibbled away. Deer? Squirrels? Who knows? I plopped in some succulents from the greenhouse, a dianthus, some bright blue lithodora, and a snapdragon. 

At the foot of our steps, one pansy plant is thriving, along with a rose and some self sown morning glories, sunflowers, and black-eyed Susans. Plus the lemon balm on the left. Deer don't like lemon balm.

Moving on around the corner -- John has scraped and repainted the framework of the little greenhouse. Now I can work on the bed at its base.

Last fall I hoicked out the masses of Siberian iris that had taken over the bed, leaving a careful few, and adding creeping thyme, Hidcote lavender, bee balm,  tarragon, and a purple aster. The tarragon has disappeared but all the others are thriving.

In go more dianthus and some snapdragons.

A young toadling has taken up residence here. We almost always have a toad around our entry -- the porch lights attract bugs at night, creating a target-rich environment.

Onward to the shady triangle beneath the crepe myrtles. The daffodils are over but their foliage is thick. Still I found room for a few new pretties. I was pleased to see that a few of the many pansies I planted last fall had survived -- despite the mayhem wrought by deer and squirrels.

 Columbine is thriving and self-seeding here -- but it's all pale pink. So I'm adding this lovely blue-violet one, in hopes that it too will flourish. 

The fairy castle is almost lost amidst the daffodil foliage. I bent some back and tried to clear the little pathway. Once the daff die back, I'll consider what else to do here. Perhaps a little swing . . . or a hammock . . .