Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Rock!


Azaleas in bloom!

Spring is here! And the yellow coating of pollen on...well, on everything proves it! I would have thought that our recent heavy rains would have gotten rid of the stuff. No such luck. Although, I suppose it's probably a lot better than it would have been without the rain!


More Azaleas

Spring is a wonderful and exciting time of year for a gardener. The anticipation of new projects to begin. The digging, the planting, the praying for no late freezes! The last two years we've had a freeze after our "average" last freeze date. I'm really hoping that doesn't happen this year. I think it might kill off some of the pesky bugs around (like mosquitos!), but there is so much stuff up, that I would have to do some major covering in the event of a freeze. That's what I get for having gardens all over the place, instead of just in the front yard!


My new stone path in my Veg garden!

This morning Miranda and I purchased some stone and mulch to make a little 3'X 7' pathway down the center of my veggie bed. I like the whole idea of symmetry. And it's nice to be able to have easy access to both sides of the garden, without having to worry about where I step. That doesn't mean I don't have to worry about where Duncan steps. Ugh! I think I need to give that boy his own garden bed, so he can step all over his own plants!


Ain't it purty?

It took about an hour to install all the stones and mulch. And I'm very pleased with the outcome! And I didn't hurt myself! Woohoo!


"I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. Demille."

I'm thinking of placing an urn shaped planter on the rock closest to the wall with annuals and some nice trailing things. What do you think?

What's Up?

I talk to my mom fairly regularly. And in Spring, those conversations revolve around "what's up" in the garden. I am ever the optimist, "Just give it a few more days or a week, Mom, it'll probably come up." Mom never seems to think anything will come back. I'm happy to say that it looks like most things are coming up in Evan's Zoo Garden! It's a little early to look for some stuff, but all of my coneflowers are up--if only just barely!


Spotted Trillium Trillium maculatum

Well, I have a trillium that's up in my Woodland garden. I think there are supposed to be one or two more. I'll keep my eye out. I also have a surprise Trillium in my lawn! I showed it to Duncan, and he ripped off one of the leaves. So, maybe now it's a di-lliam? I need to delicately remove it to a better location, or else the lawn mower will get the two remaining leaves!


Celandine Poppy Stylophorum diphyllum

Oftentimes, woodland plants have colors that blend in with the forest, and aren't noticeable. Pretty, but softer shades. Not Celandine Poppy. I can see the bright yellow flowers from my house. I love this little plant. Great foliage that reminds me of oakleaves, and flowers with pizazz.


Hardy Geranium

I have several hardy geraniums in my butterfly garden. I mostly don't know their cultivars, because I got them in trade, or one was not labeled at the nursery.


Hardy Geranium

I do know that I really love them. They grow into nice little mounds, and the flowers sit atop little stalks (for lack of a better word.) They come in pinks, blues, purples, and others. Rozanne, which I bought last year, blooms sporadically through the summer, but mostly (for me) hardy geraniums bloom in early to mid spring.


My new stone path in the Veg Garden!

And this is how I spent my morning! Miranda and I went to the stone place and got more stone and mulch. She was asleep when we pulled into the drive, so I put her to bed. Then I got to work! It only took about an hour to get everything installed, and I think it looks great!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Disaster!

When I came downstairs this morning, I saw that my poor seedlings all looked terrible. I don't know if I've over- or under-watered. Or if a sneaky little boy sprayed them with vinegar. Just don't know. I went and bought some nice dirt and repotted the ones that looked like they might make it. And started some new seeds. It was very discouraging. After potting them in bigger pots, and watering them (they were dry--ugh!), I took them to the sunniest, warmest spot in the house. My bathroom. Now, I just have to keep up with the moisture and keep away little hands. Hopefully, this time will be more successful. Fingers crossed!

Jinxed

So yeah, Duncan got up around 12:30 am for about an hour. He was all loud and screamy for a little while, and Miranda threatened to wake up, too. She yelled for a minute, but then settled back down. Once Duncan had his peanut butter sandwich and a show to watch, he calmed down, and was ready to go back to bed. Maybe next time, right?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Well, That Doesn't Happen Every Day



It's 9 o'clock and both kids are asleep. They've both been asleep for 20-30 minutes. No Benedryl, either! This never, ever happens. Of course, I'm probably jinxing myself by putting it on here. It's 9 o'clock and if I had a Saturday show, I could watch it. Instead, I'm sitting in the dark, plugging away on the computer. I'm sorta participating in Earth Hour. Most of our lights are off (not nightlights), but the computer is on. So, does that count? Fingers crossed, both little ones will sleep through the night. And that goes for Justin and me, too!

Rain Rain Rain

I think we may end March with a surplus of rain this year. We may still be behind for the year (I'll have to check.) We have been utterly and completely waterlogged since Wednesday. So, not much gardening. I did, after an arm twisting from my mom, plant the rest of my lettuce and onions. So, I have 12 heads of lettuce, and 8 onions. I have no idea about how to harvest onions, so any pointers would be appreciated. I bought some carrot seeds that I'll start in April. no idea on harvest for those, either. Do ya just dig 'em up after a month or two?

I didn't do much gardening, but I did do some purchasing! My mom came to help with the kids on Wednesday and Thursday, and we made time to go to Crazy Eddie's Used Plants! Ok, it's not actually called that, but the prices are so low (because it's an outlet), that it conjures up images of crazy salesmen and "their low low prices" and "everything must go!" They sell mostly "popular" plants that you find everywhere, but at rockbottom prices. They're not going to have all kinds of cool cultivars, just the usual. So no, I didn't find Rudbeckia "City Garden" or any of my choices for my kids' names. But that's ok, I'm starting to think I might try Rudbeckia "Early Bird Gold" instead of the "City Garden." It's one that's supposed to bloom longer than the usual Rudbeckia fulgidas. We'll see! What I did pick up from Crazy Eddie's: Heuchera, Tiarella, Abutilon...and I think that's it. We also went by my local Perennials place (in the rain), and I was pleased to see more organization, more plants with tags. It's nice to not have to guess what's what! They're making more of an effort this year, and that makes me happy. I want them to succeed.

So, we have a few days where the sun is actually supposed to reappear. Maybe I can wade back to the back 40 and make sure everything is ok, and then once things are a little drier, get plantin'!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bed Head



Good morning, Sunshine!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Have a Vegetable Garden!

It's official! I got to work this weekend. I bought some bamboo poles and string, and made my own tepees, after seeing how expensive they were ready made. It wasn't so hard to make. The hardest part was keeping my 2 year old son from destroying them!



After making the first tepee, I stuck it in the ground, and planted the sweet peas plants at the base. Then I did the same with the second.



I decided to plant my lettuce back behind the tepees, so they might get a little afternoon shade in our hot climate.



I planted my little onions alongside the lettuce. I've read a lot about crop rotation and companion planting, and I'm hoping that my placement is going to work. Who wants lettuce that tastes oniony? I also planted my new, teeny rosemary in the back, and a low growing Golden Thyme in the front. I'm hoping it will spill over the rock wall.



Today I planted a couple of Texas Tarragons on either side of the proposed path. I'll probably stick with flowering annuals or herbs alongside the path. Since the path doesn't go anywhere, I think I may put something as a focal point at the end. I'm thinking a nice urn shaped pot with some flowering annuals and trailing annuals, as well.

We're thinking we'll do the path in the same stone as the wall. This was Justin's idea! I just need to get on the ball with mulching, before I'm overrun with weeds!

I can't wait till my first harvest!

Mystery Solved!

I went back to (groan) Walmart on Friday. I even took the little slips of paper with my numbers. The same guy was there, and got right to looking for my prints. And they were there! I got to the car, and broke them out. And worse than the wondering, worse than the waiting...the pictures are kinda boring. I haven't even downloaded them to the computer. One roll was one I had already printed of our trip to Maine with my sister and her hubby. The other roll was what appears to be our first year in this house. The film quality has gone down on the second roll. I'll try to get it together and get those on the computer one of these days, so you can share my disappointment with me. I was really hoping for some new pictures of Evan. Sigh.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Or, Maybe I Can Help You

I've had a couple of interesting retail encounters lately, that made me ponder over the fate of my fellow man. No, that's not true. But it did make me question the "great" local public school system. When I went to (groan) Walmart today to pick up the mystery pictures taken on the mystery rolls of film in the mystery camera, I asked the guy behind the desk to get them for me. He went to look in one place. Not there. He tried another. Not there, either. He asked when I dropped them off. Last Thursday. He looked at the display and touched the Table of Dropoff and Pickup times. This is the same guy who was there last week. The guy who said, "the pictures should be here by Wednesday." He looked at the display, clearly confused, and said that the pictures should be here yesterday. He went and looked in those two places again. Not there. So, I'll try again tomorrow, because, he says, there will be another shipment then. I tell you, I will be extremely disappointed if my mystery pics have gone missing.

I can understand not being able to find someone's pictures. But my grocery encounter made me thankful the cashier had a register to do her math. I was buying some Luna bars, and she commented that she loved Luna bars. "Oh yeah?" I said. "What are you favorite flavors?" She rattled off a few I haven't tried, and told me, "I hate to tell you this, but they're on sale at Kroger."

I ask, "How much are they?"

She thought and then said, "50 cents. You know, 10 for 10."

I looked at her, thinking about how 10 items for $10 is $1 each. In fact, I didn't really need to think about that. Some things you just know. I mean after first grade or so. I didn't say anything, because besides the math booboo, she was really friendly.

I'll be back for my pictures again tomorrow. Wish me luck, and no more twilight zone retail encounters!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lolly

The kids and I went plant shopping with LaLa today. After lunch I purchased an old fashioned lollipop for Duncan. He dug right in. He worked on that thing all afternoon and on the way home. He fell asleep with it propped up in his hand. When I heard a clank, I knew the lollipop was on the car floor. And when little boys and their lollipops are separated, it is cause for wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. He was truly upset at first, and made the usual screechy sounds. But then he reached out his arm, with a little grunt, and said, "I can't reach!" I pretended to reach for it, too (although it was a good 3 feet out of reach), and said, "I can't reach it, either, Duncan!" I pushed a cookie into his hand. Not interested. Trefoils are not always popular with the 3 and under set. I tried another. Ahh...success. Thin mints always work for me, too. After munching on his cookie, Duncan looked longingly over to his lolly and said with a sigh, "I love you, lollipop."

Boys!

Plant Shopping with LaLa

I've looked a little in the nursery sections of the big box stores lately, to see if there is anything interesting. I've delayed going to real plant nurseries, because there wasn't anything interesting. I thought, "I'll wait a little longer, then they'll have the fun stuff in." But when the weather gets into the 70's, it's hard not to give in to the plant shopping temptation. Today, LaLa (aka my mother in law) and I got together to check out some nurseries in her area. We had plans to check out 2 or 3 places. But after lunch with the kids, we only had time for one. But it was a good one! I was excited to find some things for the veggie garden, as well as Evan's garden. Earlier in the day when LaLa made a call to a different nursery, she asked about two plants she knew I wanted: Rudbeckia fulgida "City Garden" and Echinacea purpurea "Kim's Mop Head." The guy on the other end said they had "Kim's Knee High" and went on to make a comment about people finding things on the internet or in magazines that don't exist. Well, I'm pleased to say that I found "Kim's Mop Head Echinacea" at the one nursery we did visit! If that other place was more convenient, I could take the tab in to show him, with a haughty, "nanny nanny boo boo to you!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery Pictures

I had some pictures printed off last week in anticipation of going scrapbooking. I wasn't feeling so great, and then Miranda had a temp, so I stayed home. I suppose I should do some work on my scrapbooks in the meantime. Except I'm so tired by the end of the day, I can barely move, let alone, crop. When I picked these photos up from (groan) Walmart, I dropped off a couple of rolls of film. You read right...rolls. I know that's how it was in the olden days (you know, a decade ago.) I haven't used anything other than a digital camera in a while. I found two rolls of film from I don't know when just lying around the house. I don't know if they were from before marriage or after having kids or what. I remember taking pictures with an oldie goldie camera when Evan was around 4 months old. I'm excited. And a little nervous. I'm hoping there are some pictures of Evan that I've never seen before. I'm afraid the pictures are something lame from my very lame college years. Oh well. I'll find out in a couple of days. No hour photo for these puppies! I got the CD, so if there are any good ones in there, I'll share.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Woohoo! I'm actually remembering to do this! I took these pictures the other day, but everything is still blooming. And this way I don't have to go out into the chilly, soggy weather. We all win!



I called Pansies "Pandas" when I was a kid. I've never had much luck with pansies. I really love them, but they don't love me so much. Around here they supposedly will bloom all winter. And the nice displays at fancy neighborhoods do. Mine are mostly just green until the weather warms up. I hear they like to be fed, and I never feed them. Could that be it?



Here's a Daffodil that was covered in snow a couple of weeks ago. After the snow melted these beauties perked right up.



Mom gave me these Daffodils a few years ago. Thanks, mom!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Old Stuff

My hubby found the memory card with the photos from last month's "Garden Blogger Bloom Day," which had gone missing in the Great Broken Camera Debacle. Well, it wasn't really a debacle. Just a little boy with butter fingers. So, here are a couple of things that were in bloom on February 15th.



We planted this Royal Star Magnolia in honor of Duncan's birth. There were a couple dozen flowers. And then it snowed. Poor thing, didn't have a chance.



This is one of the daffodils in Evan's Garden. They looked really beautiful for a few weeks. They didn't do so well after the snow, either. Once I figure out where my "fancy" camera is, I'll post pictures of the daffies that did make it through the cold. After admiring the hundreds of daffodils on my neighbor's property, I have decided I need more. I just have two plants in Evan's Garden and several lining the street in front of our house. I'm definitely going to plant more in Evan's Garden, and possibly along the creek bank. I suppose that will be a fall project.



And, of course, the biggest excitement here lately is our brand new rock wall! We went and purchased rock last Saturday, they delivered it, and Justin got to work. I didn't expect it to be done for a few weeks, so I kissed the cool season veggies good bye. Justin surprised me, however, and got the wall finished, and the soil installed all last weekend! I did some more dirt moving this week, and moved my sickly looking herbs over. Hopefully, they will be less neglected there. I started some seeds for warm season gardening--basil, tomatoes, summer savory, as well as some fun stuff for Evan's zoo garden: Bunny Tail Grass and Teddy Bear Sunflower. Now I just have to decide if I have time to get some cool weather stuff in the ground. I guess I should do some research. Can't wait!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Duncan, Rockin' the Wall

Justin completed the rock wall this past weekend. We started with the first course of stone a couple weeks ago. We got the rest of the stone on Saturday. Justin moved at lightening fast speed, and it was done Sunday. You wouldn't know Justin was the one building the wall by the pictures we took.


What Little Boy Doesn't Like to Play in the Dirt?


Duncan Calls this "Building a House!"


Funny Faces and Hard Work Go Hand in Hand


Duncan Finds Another Use for His Hammer


Climbing, Naturally



Building Rock Walls Sure Is Fun!


"Say cheese!"


A Well Deserved Rest

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Big Weekend

We celebrated Miranda's first birthday this past Sunday. She was also baptised at church that morning. My parents arrived at our house. It was raining and cold. By the time we were ready to go, it was sleeting. The sidewalk and driveway were slick. We did make it, though, and were joined by Justin's parents for a lovely service. The kids even behaved! No tears!



It was snowing when we got back, so Miranda's birthday party was cut a little short. We decided to forego the pizza and go straight to the birthday cupcakes! Duncan had a cupcake in each hand (what we call the "Two Fisted Approach.") And he would have nibbled on a third, had I not snuck it out of reach!



Miranda enjoyed a birthday cupcake, too!



The snow fell fast in huge flakes. The grandparents decided to hit the road, before conditions deteriorated. I asked Duncan if he wanted to go out and play in the snow several times that day. Nope. Pop and LaLa had brought him a new firetruck. He pretty much didn't want to do anything else.



Miranda, our beautiful baby, in her Sunday best.



I finally did get Duncan to go out in the snow on Monday before most of it melted! I asked him if he'd like to slide down the hill. Nope. He mostly just walked around on the snow. Crunch, crunch, crunch.




He did really enjoy "ice skating" on the sidewalk. Even after a couple of falls, he got back up and slipped around and giggled. We weren't out for long, but long enough to get cold and have some fun. When I suggested hot chocolate, Duncan headed willingly to the house. We may have even had a cupcake, too. Mmmm. First birthdays and first snow, baptism, and best of all...70 degrees on Friday.

This and That

I took some pictures for Garden Bloggers bloom day last month. I was lazy and didn't get them uploaded. Then, a certain little boy dropped the camera one too many times on the floor, and now the camera is broken, and I think my photos are lost. No biggie about the pics. However, the camera will be missed! The photos were of some really lovely Daffodils in Evan's Garden. yellow. Very nice. I decided I need some white ones in there, too. This time of year for the Southeast, Daffodils are everywhere. They're just beautiful. It makes me want to plant them all over the place for next year!




This past weekend, this is how the Daffodils looked! They are mostly recovered, but not all of them made it. Snow on Sunday, and 70's this weekend. Wacky! Oh no. Don't think I'm complaining. I'm all about the 70's. This may actually mean I can go outside and do some work in the yard. I'm so excited! I've got some winter clean up to do, and of course, work on the veg bed. Maybe I can twist an arm and get my birthday pallet of stone this weekend. I have to admit, though, ever since I got a couple of plant catalogs in the mail, all I can think about is ornamentals! I've been pouring over the catalogs, the gift card I got to Park Seed burning so hot in my pocket, I can't stand it! And now...after doing a little surfing on GardenWeb, I found a thread about front yard gardens. I've had such a difficult time with my front beds. I've been so frustrated. I just wanted something that would be pretty and look good with a traditional style house. I found a picture on this thread that I really like, and will use as my inspiration for my front gardens. I'm so excited that the design part is out of my hands. I already know it looks good. Of course, I'll have to tailor it to suit the size of my space, but hopefully I will finally like what's out there!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kids Are Expensive


Evan Wondering What Trouble He Can Make with the Dishwasher

You already know that to feed, clothe, and educate a child is increasingly expensive each year. And think of all of the toys! My kids have a playroom that runneth over. But today I'm not thinking about the usual expenses. Today I'm thinking about all of those things around the house that seem to get broken and need to be replaced, after a little person enters on to the scene. I mentioned recently my frustration with my little son when his sink play turned into Noah's Ark. Buckling floors, swelling countertops, and all. The dishwasher has seen better days. Both Duncan and Miranda think that the dishwasher door is an excellent seat. Sadly, this is the replacement for the dishwasher that Evan broke a few years ago! He liked to play with the buttons. So, the new machine has button locks, but it can still be opened. And sat on, apparently.




In the days before The Thing, we housed our TV and DVD and VCR players in an entertainment amoire. We learned the hard way that all things electronic should be out of reach! Evan broke our first DVD player. And VCR. Now we have our electronics out of reach, but now we have a Climber.




Evan wasn't interested in touching the ceiling. He may have wanted things that were out of reach, but it wasn't his style to do everything in his power to get it. He kept his feet planted firmly on the floor. Or sofa! And then there's Duncan. His greatest pleasure in life is climbing. He climbs up the shelves in the pantry. He climbs on chairs to reach on top of the refrigerator or other "out of reach" places. He climbs up Mount Mommy and jumps over Daddy in his obstacle course. Most recently Duncan climbed up on the computer chair to reach the "out of reach" stuff on top of the computer armoire. He's done this before, and it usually results in a pile of stuff on the floor (Duncan doesn't like clutter on top of things. Except the floor, of course.) This time, unfortunately, when he dumped out the basket, our camera crashed to the floor. Yep, it's broken.

I keep hearing, "Oh, he's such a boy" or "He's just being a boy." So, when does "being a boy" stop exactly? I mean, grown men don't usually go around breaking stuff. And you think this is bad? You should see Duncan's toys!