. . . there is beauty and peace on the farm!
I diligently starting working on my yard flowerbed in May starting with my rose garden which has been weeded, fertilized and prepared for new rose bushes to take place of so many that I lost during the winter either to the cold or the wild rabbits.
I’ve worked on the front bed facing the house and to the right of the front gate but waiting on blooms for the later summer bloom. I have a few coneflower preparing to bloom with big buds next to the rose garden.. The lilac didn’t bloom this year and I’ve researched what I need to do before another year. This was it’s first spring since it was planted late summer in 2018. The hollyhock is blooming and the hibiscus will be later. I have one shasta daisy that was transplanted and I’m still hopeful it will bloom once the weather stays warm. I tried a butterfly bush beside the front gate but it did not survive, which I half expected since it was one of boxed bushes you find real cheap in most stores. A new well-established one is on my list for spring 2020.
The bell garden was my next cleanup but a summer cold/allergies/sinus problems slammed me into bed a few days and after 10 days I think I’m near the end of the mess. I sat in the sun in this garden on Tuesday and got a few things done.
I can’t wait to feel well enough to get back in my gardens but Mother Nature needs to slow down the winds and rain just for a few days! We also have about 65 acres of hay left to roll for our first cutting this year.
I think one of the most beautiful and dainty of house plants are African Violets. I tend to have problems keeping them due to over-watering and moving them from one spot to another. I have learned from past experience that they love my upstairs hallway window where no one sees their beauty but me and they seem to like the east facing window in our guest room which is also upstairs where they spend the winter months with my other houseplants for warmth.
During late summer of 2018 this plant was doing so well that I decided to try to propagate some more from it. I was going to feel like a “master gardener” if I got one plant going. Instead I got a whole pan full and they came in at different stages. First let me tell you the dictionary meaning of propagate: breed specimens of (a plant or animal) by natural processes from the parent stock.
I’m very anxious to collect more starts from other people because they come in such a huge variety of colors. A few tips if you decide to try the violets:
Be careful when watering and try not to get water directly on the leaves
Let the potting mix get dry between waterings, I only water about every 10 days.
Try a east-facing window to keep them but away from drafts.
Hope you will try some of the delicate beauties.
Do you have a gardening journal? I have journals for everything but love planning for changes in my flower gardens the most. I started a Gardening Journal late last summer.
Back in the fall when I completed my rose garden to MY satisfaction I immediately started thinking about my perennial garden. I knew I needed to be able to remember where everything was at the point in all of my flower beds so I started my journal. This journal has been active all through the fall and this winter with notes of whats to go and whats to stay. I’m including a few pages of my journal with color photos I took and diagrams of things to come. It’s relaxing to sit in my recliner on frigid nights going through the journal and my new seed catalogs planning for that precious spring to return! If you click on the pictures they will enlarge so you can see the notes and work ahead for the spring.
Are you thinking about your flower and vegetable gardens yet? Are you working on an orchard? Try a journal and see how things progress in the future!
I’ve been out of touch for a bit (two weeks) due to a bronchial infection brought on by all the pollen in the air but I’m back up and running! Here’s a touch of things that have gone on while I was down.
Winter time can get very dreary when looking out the windows. No beautiful color from the flowers anywhere to be seen. I’ll admit the snow is beautiful before the animals track through it or the vehicles drive through it but it’s not like looking at beautiful blooms in our yard.
I FOUND A REMEDY!!
Take a look at these beautiful glass flowers I created from old dishes!
Now get busy putting those old dishes to good use and think SPRING!!!
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!!
Last year the few hummers that I had loved the butterfly bush, geraniums, bleeding hearts and the columbine.
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.
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.
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! 😦
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:
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.
I have found a few flowering perennials that like the shade but none better than hostas, begonias, impatiens and 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.
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???
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.
I 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!
No words, just the beauty of my photos, says enough I think!
Mother’s day hanging table
Peonies and Iris
Hostas & geraniums
Locust post birdhouse
Peonies and Iris
White rose (old)
Red Rose (old)
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.
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.
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.
We came home with all kinds of plants and had such a pleasant morning together. I love going anywhere with my girl!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
I’m pretty darned tickled with all of them!! Have a wonderful day!!
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.
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!!