Thursday, May 30, 2013

Birthday Boy!

 
Duncan just turned 7 recently! He decided he wanted a Minecraft themed party. Minecraft is a video game where the player builds his/her own little world. Pretty much everything is cube shaped. I looked high and low for pre-made Minecraft party supplies, but found very little, despite Minecraft being very popular. So, I headed over to Pinterest to get some ideas.

 
The lady at the bounce house had the party room decked out in green. I added the homemade Creeper boxes.
 
 
 
I decided to just decorate with our favor bags instead of fancy cupcakes or a cake.


 
I printed out a Creeper template and colored in the faces on the party favor bags. I ordered clear plastic cubes for candy inspired by Minecraft. The Twizzlers look like the TNT cubes. The Hershey's Silver Nuggets resemble the Iron Ingot, and the M&Ms are just a rainbow assortment. I had wanted to do all brown and green M&M's like the grass blocks, but there weren't enough of those colors in the regular M&M bag.

 
Duncan loved all the Minecraft touches. But mostly he loved running around and jumping with his friends. So, I would call it a success!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spring!



We've been fortunate to have a nice rainy winter and spring this year. Everything is lush and beautiful. And just, well, happy! I have Peonies on either side of my front steps. They were supposed to be matching Sarah Bernhardts. So, one of them is...



And one isn't! I do wonder what this one is. She's a beauty!


I kind of felt like the blooms (which I left unsupported this year) looked a bit like a frilly petticoat.



I find the pruning procedures for Clematis a tad confusing. If I read up on it earlier in the season instead of waiting to the last second, I might feel a bit more comfortable. I have two Clematis vines on this trellis, though I only see "Niobe" (I think!) And the pruning I did on Niobe must have been spot on, because she looks magnificent!


The warmer temperatures have not just produced pretty flowers! Eek!



Earlier in the spring "Duncan's Smiling Eyes" Iris and Deuztia "Chardonnay Pearls" (also called Duncan!) bloomed together! Yes, I was very excited!



Here's the Garden Formerly Known as Evan's Garden. I dug out many of the plants that were there and moved them (mostly) to Evan's new garden. I chucked a few of them.


I decided to try to go mostly native in the Back 40. It's basically a flood plain (although, flooding doesn't occur too often), so I wanted to place plants in the area that would be best suited to the conditions. It's still a work in progress.


Around the time I started moving things around and piling soil over there under that tree to the left, THIS happened! I wasn't out there at the time, but I definitely could have been! I had been back there close to that orange slide not an hour before the tree came down!


I was going to post this picture a while back when we first got this pallet of stone with the caption, "I've got my work cut out for me." We got these to do a couple of circles around two trees in the Back 40. I hauled some 30 bags of soil over. And when I say over, I mean I climbed over the retaining wall, down the slope, across the bridge, and over to the tree. I took a stone or two over in this manner for about eight times. On the ninth time as I dropped my foot down over the 3 foot drop (the retaining wall), my ankle buckled, and my body crashed. I bruised my elbows on the retaining wall and had a nasty bruise on my side/back from where I fell on one of my stones. So, over Mother's Day weekend Justin took pity on me, and took the rest of the stone over. 



I can't complete a post about the Spring garden without some comment about the Irises. They were outstanding this year.


These two I got in trade, so I don't know what they're called.


This I purchased from the Botanical Gardens sale. I think it's the native Copper Iris. I really should mark things out there!


And, finally, Hardy Geraniums! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Evan's New Garden!

I decided earlier this year that I would move Evan's Garden to what was formerly known as the Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden. That garden is right next to the house. There's no worry of flooding and major weed issues. It's also a garden that Evan and I enjoyed together. It just made sense to move it!
 
 
 
I chose to put in some African Marigolds this year for some summer color. I have a few tomatoes and pepper plants scattered around, and I hear that marigolds are good at keeping the pests away. These little poofy pom poms always remind me of Evan. His last summer with us he went shopping for plants with me. When I asked him which plants he liked, he pointed again and again at the big yellow flowers.
 
 

 
My parents and I did some plant shopping yesterday, and this was one of my new finds. A lovely Clematis with double blooms. I have no clue what it's called, because I got it from the place we call Crazy Eddie's (as in, "Everything Must Go!" type prices.) I have one on each side of my arbor in Evan's Garden.

 
One of two Knockout Roses in Evan's Garden. They look spectacular this year. Probably due to the wet weather.

 
I planted my "Evan Matthew" Dahlia there at the base of the bird. I thought I could tie the plant to the bird for support. The pretty little orange bloom there to the left belongs to an Echinacea purpurea "Sundown," also called "Evan Saul." I also have two plants with Duncan in the common name, a Mikayla Miranda Clematis, and Dahlia "Pam Howden." I had a Daylily "Justin Brent," but I don't know if it's still in there. I may need to replace it.

 
The last hurrah of Clematis "Duchess of Edinburgh" (I think!) She's lovely. I just read that they are supposed to be fragrant! I'll have to go have a sniff tomorrow.

 
And, here are some animal plants to go with the animal theme. Hardy Geraniums are commonly called Cranesbills. The foliage below the Clematis in the previous picture is Bergenia, known commonly as Pigsqueak.

 
Aruncus is called Goatsbeard.

 
A little vignette of plants around Evan's little garden marker. The purple is Plectranthus "Mona Lavender." I'm hoping this annual will attract some butterflies and hummingbirds. There's also English (I think!) Lavender, which smells heavenly, another little Marigold, a Knockout Rose and a Daylily "Big Bird." Can't wait for Big Bird to bloom! I moved him over from the old Evan's Garden.



Here's a picture of what I can see as I sit at the computer. I took this before adding the new plants. I'm very pleased. I think I made the right decision!