Tag Archives: flowers

The Beauty of Butterflies

My butterfly bush was an especially beautiful treat today! Very few blooms at the moment but the butterflies stayed on it all day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sedum was found with sweet nectar as well!

 

 

 

Everything blooming was covered with a honeybee preparing for winter!

Moonflowers

I have a new plant this year that is absolutely gorgeous!  They’re called Moonflower’s because their huge blossoms open during the night.

Moonflower plants like full to partial sun during the daylight hours. You will like the fact that Moonflower thrive in poor, dry soils. That makes them useful in areas where many other popular plants just won’t grow. It also makes them easy to grow with little care or attention. Just plant them, and away they grow!

We woke this morning to this beautiful sight at our gazebo at the pond.

We begin our mornings sitting on the front porch and having breakfast and what a treat to have fresh flowers to brighten our day!

I want to plant hostas all around the gazebo and have the moonflowers as the focal point.

The blooms fade as the heat of the day increases and I pull the spent blooms.

This plant bears large trumpet-shape flowers that unfurl in the evening or on overcast days. I’m anxious to see if any blooms open during the eclipse tomorrow.

This morning I found several buds that will open tonight.

This is a seed pod that grows on the plant. Once they dry and open I’ll collect the seeds to start next spring. Some articles I’ve read on the internet says to sow them in the fall but you can also sow them in the spring. I got this plant from a nursery after Mother’s Day.

Moonflower plants like full to partial sun during the daylight hours. You will like the fact that Moonflower thrive in poor, dry soils. That makes them useful in areas where many other popular plants just won’t grow. It also makes them easy to grow with little care or attention. Just plant them, and away they grow!

Spring pictoral

Just a quick note this morning to share the beauty in my yard so far this spring!

More iris

Peonies

Shamrock from hubby for Mother’s Day

Clematis

Hostas everywhere

Tall phlox will bloom late summer

Iris of every color that have never bloomed much. We opened up the maple tree and this is what I got this spring.

Allium got froze back but still showed a little color.

More iris

Roses budding

More iris

More peony

Sweet William, my grandmother’s favorite

Siberian iris

More Sweet William

And more Sweet Williams

Foxglove

Siberian iris

Clematis hiding it’s beautiful bloom

It’s just about time . . .

This little fat guy came to visit in 2015 and we had almost thirty that year. I had five or six feeders out and had to fill them twice a day.

April 15th is my deadline for putting out the hummingbird feeders. Last year I was late getting them out and didn’t have near as many.  This year I’ve got the jump on them I hope by putting out two feeders on the front porch this morning. I’m early but they might be too!!

First feeder out and ready!

I’ll start with two feeders and always in bright red. That seems to be their favorite color and I plan to have red and purple flowers all over the porch and yard this year. I’ll be watching out for the first fuchsia plant to hand on the porch too. Their vibrant colors really attract them.

Last year the few hummers that I had loved the butterfly bush, geraniums, bleeding hearts and the columbine.

That beak looks deadly, doesn’t it?

We have the ruby-throated hummingbirds here at the farm.

We think they’re stunning birds!

This was last years batch and I think the most we had at any given time was 10-12 and that was toward the end of the season.

Get those feeders out this weekend and let us know how many you have and when you first sighted them!

Here’s my recipe for the feeders, all natural:  1 cup sugar to 4 cups of water.  I mix it up in a pitcher and put it in the microwave for 6 1/2 minutes to sterilize it and keep it from fermenting.  I let it cool to touch and then pour in the feeders.

 

Hydrangeas, Bleeding Hearts, & More

Proof of spring and early summer!

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Lavender & purple Iris

Lavender & purple Iris

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

Columbine

Columbine

Peonies

Peonies

 

Peony buds

Peony buds

More peonies

More peonies

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Can you tell I absolutely love peonies and have them all over the yard!?

Rose of Sharon started from seed from our old homeplace on Johns' Creek.

Rose of Sharon started from seed from our old homeplace on Johns’ Creek.

Lilac bush from my daughter to be planted. I'm making sure I choose just the right spot.

Lilac bush from my daughter to be planted. I’m making sure I choose just the right spot.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

Purple iris

Purple iris

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Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Beige & peach Iris

Beige & peach Iris

Peach Iris

Peach Iris

Two year old rose

Two year old rose

Old fashioned rose

Old fashioned rose

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

And of course, where would we be without our wonderful honeybees pollinating everything.

And of course, where would we be without our wonderful honeybees pollinating everything.

This is what is blooming at our house right now, the last day of May!!!

Walking through a wildflower garden

Fall is here and so are the fall wildflowers.  Here’s a few I took photos of just along the driveway from the house to the mailbox.

Wild touch-me-nots, blue mini daisies and more.

Wild touch-me-nots, blue mini daisies and more.

I love these but don't know what they're called and they remind me of liatris, I think??

I love these but don’t know what they’re called and they remind me of liatris, I think??

They're not bluebells but the bloom is somewhat shaped like them.

They’re not bluebells but the bloom is somewhat shaped like them.

Shaped much like blackeyed susans but different.

Shaped much like black-eyed susan but different.

Goldenrod, gorgeous but sure does mess with my nose.

Goldenrod, gorgeous but sure does mess with my nose.

These aren't as blue as they normally are and our neighbor has a field full of them.  When the sun hits the field in mid-afternoon the entire field looks blue.

These aren’t as blue as they normally are and our neighbor has a field full of them. When the sun hits the field in mid-afternoon the entire field looks blue.

Chicory is popping up everywhere.

Chicory is popping up everywhere.

These little orange jewels bloom and then have a pod that when touched pops open.  The driveway is full of the huge plants this summer/fall.

These little orange jewels bloom and then have a pod that when touched pops open. The driveway is full of the huge plants this summer/fall.

Tons and tons of bloom and full of teeny tiny  bumblebees.

Tons and tons of bloom and full of teeny tiny bumblebees.

Queen Anne's lace is huge this year and maybe due to all the rain we received spring and summer.

Queen Anne’s lace is huge this year and maybe due to all the rain we received spring and summer.

Goldenrod at it's most beautiful.

Goldenrod at it’s most beautiful.

I don't know what this is but most of it is white with yellow centers like a daisy but much smaller and abundance of bloom.  I've also found the same plant but blue with orange centers.

I don’t know what this is but most of it is white with yellow centers like a daisy but much smaller and abundance of bloom. I’ve also found the same plant but blue with orange centers.

Once the weather cools a little and I can get out in the sun there will be an abundance of wildflower and nature photo ops.

Enjoy the summer as long as you can because that cold weather is just around the corner.  How do I know??  My hummingbirds have left!  😦

Mother’s Day with my Daughter

My beautiful daughter knows me so well and knows that in May I’m thinking about my flower gardens and what to hang on the porches, in the gazebo, in my antique wheelbarrow and anywhere else that I can find a hole to put some spring color!!  The last couple years it’s red and purple and blue and white.  Here’s what she came up with and presented to me for Mother’s Day 2015:

Mini petunias

Mini petunias

Flowerbed on wheels

Flowerbed on wheels

Hanging basket from my daughter

Hanging basket from my daughter

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These added to all of my perennials and roses make for an awesome yard!!

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One of the fullest hanging baskets she’s ever found for me.

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Back side of previous basket!

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Mini petunias that just keep blooming!

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The hummingbirds and honeybees love these!

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They’re all over the yard! She has such good taste and knows my taste as well!

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Gardening in the shade

View of the house from the front yard

View of the house from the front yard

 

As you can see from the picture our house is surrounded by the beautiful maple trees which provide lots of shade in the summertime and maple syrup in the spring.  We love the trees but it has been a real challenge finding plants that grow well in the yard and grass that survives the shade and our cold winter.  The left side of the house gets the morning sun and grows well and most of my roses are on that side and in the front.  The left side however is the challenge.  Hubby built this hanging table for me last year for Mother’s Day and I keep it covered with lots of my indoor plants in the summertime and bird feeders in the winter.

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

I have found a few flowering perennials that like the shade but none better than hostas, begonias, impatiens and bleeding hearts.

Impatiens love the shade.

Impatiens love the shade.

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts

This corner of my yard gets hardly any sun due to the shade trees and this winter my planning will be filling it with shade lovers.

West corner of the front yard.  Not very pretty.

West corner of the front yard. Not very pretty.

Daylilies and tiger lilies do well but the blooms don’t last long enough.  I’m currently looking through all of my seed/plant catalogs in search of the all summer shade garden to dress it up with the dinner bell as my focal point.  I think astilbes, bleeding hearts, hostas, lamium, lilyturf, and monkshood will compliment each other and layering them from the dinner bell post to the front by height will look nice.  Primrose, Lenten rose, coral bells, bergenia and false spirea are some good prospects, as well.  I need to amend the soil with some good compost and garden soil and maybe a little chicken manure they should all get a good start.

The plants in front of the stones are herbs and they just did not get enough sun.  If any survive, they’ll go in a raised bed near the grape arbor beside the garden and be covered with chicken wire to keep the lovely ladies out of it.

I’m thinking spring!!! How about you???

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow??

Can’t believe I can remember that nursery rhyme!!  I wanted to share with you the spectacular bloom my flowers and garden have provided this year.  Hope you enjoy the photo shoot.

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Green peppers and the plants are full of them.

Green peppers and the plants are full of them.

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Banana peppers by the baskets full!

Banana peppers by the baskets full!

These came from two hills and I cooked some with fresh green beans and we baked some for supper last night.  SOOOO good!

These came from two hills and I cooked some with fresh green beans and we baked some for supper last night. SOOOO good!

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Peonies

Peonies

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Lupine

Lupine

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Pinks, reds and white begonias.

Pinks, reds and white begonias.

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DSCN5215I had something blooming all summer and now the hibiscus, cardinal flower, hyacinth bean and trumpet vine are starting to open but it’s too wet to get new pictures.  I’ve had a very good year.  We’ve canned almost 100 quarts of green beans and hubby finally pulled up the last of the beans yesterday and fed them to the cows.  He planted turnips in their place and the corn should be ready in a few days.  In the spring the new rhubarb set got a great start.  The asparagus just wouldn’t quit bearing and the strawberries got a great start too.  We got raspberries and blueberries before the birds got all of them.  God has been good to us this year!!  Fall is upon us and soon winter will make us very glad and grateful for all of the bounty He helped us produce and these pictures will get me through the winter months waiting for spring to come again.  Our migrating hummingbirds have returned and I’m patiently waiting for the hummingbird moth to return.  Our fall calves have started arriving and the spring calves are growing fast!!  Life is good on the farm!

 

My yard is blooming

No words, just the beauty of my photos, says enough I think!

Peonies and rose

Peonies and rose

Peppermint rose

Peppermint rose

Dinner bell garden

Dinner bell garden

Peonies

Peonies

New Rose

New Rose

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Old Fashioned Rose full of bloom

Old Fashioned Rose full of bloom

Another new rose

Another new rose

Trumpet vine

Trumpet vine

Hyacinth bean

Hyacinth bean

Cardinal vine

Cardinal vine

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Bigger blooms every year

Bigger blooms every year

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Lupine

Lupine

Goosefoot fern

Goosefoot fern

Jade plant

Jade plant

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Shamrocks

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Mother’s day hanging table

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Peonies and Iris

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Hostas & geraniums

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Locust post birdhouse

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Iris

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Peonies and Iris

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White rose  (old)

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Red Rose (old)

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Siberian Iris

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I have two of these in the yard and I can cut them back to a foot tall and by June they’re back full of green, pink and white.  It’s so pretty and covers the ground at the yard entrance with rose petals all summer.

Memorial Day Weekend flower shopping

In a previous post I mentioned the flower shopping trip that my daughter and I took on Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It was so much fun spending the morning with her and grabbing a biscuit on the way from our favorite fast food restaurant (that I don’t go to anymore since my weight loss program started)! We had a very nice morning together and went to four different shops before heading home to the big job I was undertaking. First stop was Home Depot because of the magnificent sale they were having on their hanging baskets. I needed something to put in my gazebo and these fit the bill but will hang on my front porch until I get the wood protection painted on the interior and exterior.

Begonia baskets from Home Depot.

Begonia baskets from Home Depot.

Pinks, reds and white begonias.

Pinks, reds and white begonias.

I wanted some vines to grow up the gazebo that have blooms to attract more hummingbirds so I found two trumpet vines and a clematis.  They won’t grow a lot this year but in the coming years they’ll climb and protect the wood and the visitors to the gazebo.

Trumpet vines to put on the west and east sides of the gazebo.

Trumpet vines to put on the west and east sides of the gazebo.

Clematis in the center.  We thought it was a white one but it bloomed this week and their blue/purple.

Clematis in the center. We thought it was a white one but it bloomed this week and their blue/purple.

Clematis

Clematis

We came home with all kinds of plants and had such a pleasant morning together.  I love going anywhere with my girl!

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Spring flowers on the farm

 

 

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daffodils

A pop of color all over the yard makes my heart sing and swell!!  I love flowers anytime of the year but these sure help get rid of the winter doldrums.  Spring is in full swing in our area and the cars are covered with pollen and the honeybees are so happy that we’ve already had our first bee swarm!  It left for the mountains before we could capture it.  Of course, the fruit trees in full bloom are helping them, too.

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Easter lilies and wild hyacinth

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Daylilies and huchera

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Poppies

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Daffodils and columbine

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Daylilies

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Goldenseal in the backyard

Allium

Allium

Mother’s Day 2014

Mother’s Day was a whirlwind of activity.  My son and daughter came early and spent the entire day with us.  I also had friends from the office join us for lunch and we visited the babies, picked asparagus, walked a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the day.  The day started for me at 6:00 a.m. and everyone was gone by 5:30.  Then,  hubby Sassy and I enjoyed some quiet time.
Heather and Shawn bought me beautiful cards and a push mower for the yard which I’ve wanted for two years and was going to buy in June.  It’s part of my new weightloss program.
New toy from my daughter.

New toy from my daughter.

Mother's Day card from my son.

Mother’s Day card from my daughter.

Mother's Day card from my daughter.

Mother’s Day card from my son.

Eddie made me a beautiful hanging flower table out of a old wagon wheel and bought flowers to go on it.  He had to have the kids help him hang it in the yard while I was preparing lunch for our other guests.  I absolutely love it and never thought for a minute he would re-purpose something like this.  I may be rubbing off on him! 😉
Antique saw blade will be inserted in the center of the table.

Antique saw blade will be inserted in the center of the table.

Antique wagon wheel re-purposed into a hanging flower table.

Antique wagon wheel re-purposed into a hanging flower table.

Not only did he build the table for me but he loaded it with plants that I’ll repot as soon as the cold snap passes this weekend.  He also went to the woods and brought me this beautiful bouquet of trillium.  The blossoms are so delicate and elegant, don’t you think?

Trillium from the woods behind the house.

Trillium from the woods behind the house.

They adorned our kitchen table where I served our guest and my family their lunch.  We’re going to try to transplant some to my shaded flower gardens later this week or next.  Hopefully with all the shade they’ll think they’re in the woods and thrive.  He also got me a beautiful card and all of my cards made me cry!!  I am so loved.

Hubby's card for my day!!

Hubby’s card for my day!!

To top the day, one of our gielbiev cows delivered a calf which was perfect for Mother’s Day.
 
I hope your Mother’s Day was as wonderful as mine.

Our hummers are back!!!!

You know it’s spring when the hummingbirds return.  For several years now I try to get at least one hummingbird feeder on the porch by April 15th.  I was a few days late this year and didn’t get mine put out until Sunday the 20th and boy was I ever glad.  Our first arrival was yesterday afternoon when we were sitting on the front porch enjoying  the warm afternoon.

Hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbird feeder.

 

First I sterilize my feeders.  Then I make their feed which is four parts water to 1 part sugar.  I mix this together and boil for six minutes.  Let cool and fill the feeders.  This mixture will fill two of my feeders.

First I sterilize my feeders. Then I make their feed which is four parts water to 1 part sugar. I mix this together and boil for six minutes. Let cool and fill the feeders. This mixture will fill two of my feeders.

 

After preparing the feeders, hang them where you want to get a good view of these little angels in action.  We usually have 4-6 feeders on our front porch out of the sun so the syrup doesn’t spoil as quickly.  If your syrup seems to have strings of film in it after several days it’s time to change the syrup.  I usually start out with two feeders to begin with and as the population grows I add more feeders.

One of the first arrivals.

One of the first arrivals.

 

Last year in June, I believe, we had about thirty at one time.  I had four feeders on both sides of the porch and we were refilling them almost daily.  We love watching them.  Here’s a view of last years group:

Feeding time at the Caldwells!

Feeding time at the Caldwells!

I try to grow as many of their favorite flowers as possible every year and add perennials to my garden that they love as well.  Most of these flowers also attract the graceful hummingbird moth as well.

Hummingbird Moth

Hummingbird Moth

 

I’m so pleased with my flowers this year.

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Crafty morning

I started the morning with some relaxing crafting which was SUPPOSED to be a room clean-up!  Needless to say I got distracted!

I have wanted a new wreath near the front door for a while so I decided to make a wreath that can move to my guest room during the fall when I put out a fall wreath.

Here’s my creation:

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I took a simple straw wreath  (on sale for $1.17) and and wrapped with with burlap (on sale for $2.00) .  I had purchased one large bunch of silk flowers ($5.00).  I used my wire cutters to cut the flowers off the big stem leaving a three to four inch stem to work with.  I used floral picks (had too long to remember the price) to attach the flowers to the wreath.  I took a six inch piece of 1/2″ satin ribbon and tied good knots on each end, criss-crossed them and attached to the back of the wreath and “wallah”  I have a new pretty to dress up the entry way.    The flowers were chosen to match the red and purple flowers I have growing this year.

Peppermint rose

Peppermint rose

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I’m pretty darned tickled with all of them!!  Have a wonderful day!!

The yard is starting to shape up

After a horrific flower season two years ago my yard is starting to get some shape and color back.  My wonderful hubby bought me some new roses and periennials  a few weeks back and I’ve been busy.

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Let me know what you think!  There’s a lot more to do but I think it’s a fantastic start!

April goals

Yes it’s almost mid-month but I have some goals to complete before months end.  I always have high expectations of what I can complete in a two day weekend and that means I have six days to complete my goals.   Here’s the April goals:

1)  Clean out the fall/winter debris in the yard

2)  Transplant the hibiscus and shasta daisies to another location in the yard

3)  Clean all the flower beds and make ready for new additions

4)  Make 12 new blocks for the sampler quilt

5)  Start spring cleaning the bathroom, pantry and back porch

6)  Make new cushions for the lawn and porch furniture

7)  Set out 15 of the 30+ apple root stock and nine American chestnuts we started from seed.

8)  Finish planting the garden and flower seeds in the greenhouse

9)  Spring clean the guest room  (decided to start in the least travedled and used room)

10)  Clean the paddle boat and put it on the pond

I think this should keep me very busy for the rest of the month.  Since turkey season begins Saturday I should be able to start bright and early in the morning.

Images of fall without pictures

As I rode into work this morning the temperature was hovering between 39* and 41*.  Fall is definitely in the air and I thought about this post without pictures.  See if you can picture it as I drive along!

The pond in our front yard as I drive out the lane is billowing wispy white fog.  The blue gray sky has hints of pink and red on the horizon.   The golden rod is such a stunning gold and waving in the light breeze.  The new baby fall calves are huddling close to Mom and nursing to warm their little bellies.  A gaggle of Canadian geese sail off the pond and head for new ground to eat before their migration if they decide to leave the county at all.  The maple trees are tinted with gold, orange, yellow and red and the dogwood are blazing red with their changed leaves and full of red berries.  I pass fields full of white yarrow, boneset, catnip and milkweed.  Those are alongside the beautiful yellow black-eyed susan, hawkweed, woodland sunflower, and the many types of goldenrod.  Mix all of these with the purple joe-pie weed, wild aster, vervain and blue chicory.  Imagine a acre field of orange touch me nots and the wild turk’s cap lily growing along the roadside and into the valleys between each ridge you drive through.  I even spot a few touch of bright red cardinal flower along the roadside.  The air is cool and brisk and you can see your breath and the breath of the cattle and deer grazing as you drive by.  They blend in with the tall brown grasses this time of year as do the coyotes out looking for a quick meal without being spotted.  God has truly blessed us with this vision of nature.  Hope you enjoyed the peaceful and beautiful ride into work this morning.

Have a very blessed day!!

Rita

Update on flower gardens disaster

One of my first posts was about the disaster I had last year with my flower beds and the nasty “Weed & Feed” junk that I killed EVERYTHING with. Well, God has blessed me with a few more brains this year and I decided to post some of the flower results this year has given and their not even half to capacity yet. No more talk, just photos:

Enough for today! I’ll do a follow up post when the yard is in full bloom. The hostas and daylilies survived the torture I put them through last year and the old roses made a come back but the new one’s I’m afraid are gone forever!

It’s Getting Out of Hand!!

I worked in my greenhouse last night for about two hours and my dilemma is way too many plants. At this point my green thumb has gone into overkill and I probably have over 1000 spouts/plants and no more room. I talked to hubby about the situation and we are going to put up some shelves on another side porch that gets the morning sun, is covered and is away from the north and northwest winds. I’m at the point where the little enclosed porch is so perfect for growing that the plants no longer need the covered shelving. I know this because I’ve found tiny toadstools growing in the plant trays with the plants and I’ve found little patches of mold. Last night I uncovered everything of the plastic and once the shelving is in place on the side porch this weekend I can move the larger tomatoes, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers to the outdoors and help them acclimate to the cooler temps without too much shock. Freeing up their space will allow me to transplant the smaller flowering plants to larger pots and watch them grow. Hopefully by that time, two weeks max, I should be able to bring them to the flower beds.
The shock of losing everything last year will soon be a memory and by the end of June I should have flowering masses.
My biggest worry at this point is the weather. This morning we awoke to heavy frost and at 6:00 a.m. it was 34*! I’ll have to really pay attention to the weather around 7:00 each evening to prevent losing everything I’ve worked so hard on. Updates later.

Mad? Your darned right!!!

Have you ever been so mad at yourself you could spit nails hard enough to build a fence??  Well, I might exaggerate a little but I was so mad at myself.

Ten years ago we moved onto the farm we live on now after my husband inherited it from his uncle.  The farm has been in the family at least five generations and our children will be the sixth.  It’s beautiful and has 500+ acres of farm and woodland.  We raise beef cattle, chickens, and pretty much all the food we eat.  It’s beautiful and and I wanted the yard around the house to look just as beautiful .  For eight years I added every perennial I could find along with the lilies, lilacs and roses already here.  It was becoming my masterpiece and I couldn’t take enough pictures for my garden album.  I had several colors of columbine, hostas, lupine, shasta daisies, roses, bellflowers, cleome, hibiscus, peonies and much, much more and I’m not exaggerating about how beautiful it was.  Last spring I was having a problem with dandelions and had a few patches where the grass wasn’t surviving over the winter so I went shopping at my favorite big garden shop and checked out what they had.  I won’t name the product I bought but it killed weeds and fed the lawn (wink).  I bought two big bottles of it and all you had to do was sprinkle it on the part that needing weeding and the part that need feeding and I went at it.  It worked wonders on the dandelions and broadleaf weeds.  The grass was beautiful!!  Oh, did I mention, I decided it had to be wonderful flowers since they weren’t WEEDS???  I was devastated because within two days all of my flowers  except the old-fashioned roses and the lilac were dead.  No, I didn’t get a new fence from the nails I was spitting and yes, I’ve started all over with the help of some very special friends that saw the results of my stupidity.  REMEMBER, most flowers are considered broadleaf and that weeding/feeding stuff in a bottle will kill them dead!!  Happy gardening!!

Here a picture of my sad flowers!!  Hopefully I’ll have much prettier flower gardens to show off by mid summer!