Monday, May 28, 2012

Patriotic Posies

In honor of Memorial Day, I hung my flag bright and early this morning and then went on a search for some patriotic flowers in the garden.  The red amaryllis was planted after Christmas and is currently in full bloom.

The white Easter lilies are also blooming. 
Seems funny to have Christmas and Easter flowers blooming at the same time.  Most of my mums are in full bloom now too.

And, of course, there is no shortage of blue ... in the form of hydrangeas.  A whole sink full!!

Our weather today seems undecided ... threaten rain or let the sun shine.  The fridge is filled with burgers, brats, chicken, corn on the cob & salad.  The gang is coming over later for a day on the lake and a bbq.  I'd better get going as I still need to prepare the potato salad. 

** Remembering the brave men and women who lost their lives in military service**

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Different Kind of Gardening

At this time of year it seems there is so much to be done.
In addition to the day to day tasks in the house, we now find ourselves busy with the seemingly never ending jobs outdoors. . .
~ weeding, pruning, planting, watering, weeding ~
(sound familiar?)

And while I really do enjoy working in the garden, sometimes it's nice to take a day off and head out to enjoy other people's gardens.
The garden walk we attended on Saturday allowed us the chance to do just that.

It's interesting to see the different types of gardens people create.
This fun-loving couple created a tropical paradise on their lakefront lot.  They included many types of palm trees.  When asked how they survived our winters, which sometimes include snow, he said he wraps the trees in a heat retaining wrap.  Now that's a dedicated gardener!

In amongst the palm trees sat a tropical playhouse.
He said it was her "tiki hut" and his "time out hut".
Inside there was a TV, wicker furniture and beach music playing.
Not a bad place to spend "time out."

If the tropical paradise wasn't to your liking, another garden offered a large vegetable garden situated next to a horse farm.

A mobile chicken coop was brought in for the occasion.

To arrive at one of the gardens we drove down a country lane past this old barn building.  It was once a dairy farm.  

Having always lived and gardened in the suburbs, I thoroughly enjoy the peacefulness and laid back feeling of the country.  I think it would be nice to sit right here sipping my iced tea while reading a good book.  Would I really be happy living out in the country?  Hard to say, but for this one day it was fun to experience it.


 Edited to add:  I was asked in comments if I had picked up any good ideas on the garden walk.  One of my favorites was a simple way to grow clematis .

This clematis was growing straight up in the front of the border.
It appeared to be freestanding.  Knowing that clematis can't grow straight up without support, I took a closer look.  It was growing on a piece of rebar that had been stuck into the ground.  What a simple, yet effective idea.  This is one idea I plan to try.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hydrangea Love

In the garden this morning ...
a shaped hydrangea.
I think I'm in love.

I'm heading out early tomorrow morning to attend a Garden Walk.
Sunglasses - check
Sunscreen - check
Comfy shoes - check
GPS - check
Camera - check
Extra battery - check

All set ... let the weekend begin :).

What are you up to this weekend?
Whatever it is, I hope it's enjoyable!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Small Town Saturday

Photo taken outside of The Last Straw, Blowing Rock, NC

So far today it's been alternating between Raining and POURING.
But, I'm not complaining as we really need the rain.
It makes the flowers grow BIG. 
The ones in the photo above were just sprouts yesterday ;-).

Photo taken at The Last Straw, Blowing Rock, NC

I hope you had a nice weekend and a Happy Mother's Day.
Brett & I took a little day trip on Saturday to Blowing Rock, NC.
I had not intended to do a post about it, but I did take a few pictures while there ... and since it's too dark today for picture taking  ... I'll toss in a few from our trip.  Blowing Rock is a charming little town about 2 hours from us.  If you'd like to know more about it, feel free to click the link above.  Had I been planning a post when I went there I would have taken photos that would make the Chamber of Commerce proud, but instead I'll share a glimpse of our day.

The main street is lined with unique shops, restaurants, quaint churches, a library, etc.  If you have read the Mitford series of books by Jan Karon, you'd think you just stepped into one of them as you walk down the street.  You can read more about this here.
The main street also has a Kilwin's ice cream shoppe.  We stopped in there, got an ice cream cone and ate it while sitting on the bench you see in the above photo.  Behind us was a park filled with kids, parents and grandparents all enjoying the swings and slides and ice cream cones!  From our bench we could people watch (my favorite past time :).  I suppose I should mention that between the park and the sidewalk were beautiful plants and flowers lining the street.  The rhododendrons and lupines were gorgeous.  Sorry, no pictures.  (what was I thinking?)

The bleeding hearts were blooming too and I did manage to take one photo of them.

Our main reason for visiting Blowing Rock was to attend the Art in the Park event.  There were many talented artists selling their unique pieces of artwork. This pottery was so pretty to me.  The artist's name is Laurey-Faye Long.  She calls it purposefully pretty work and says this about her work:
Each pot is a quiet poem to the Southern Appalachians.
The designs reflect the mountains' plants, animals and landscapes.  The inspiration for these pots is from Mark Trail Comics, Palissy the French potter of the 1500s , the American Art pottery Rookwood and our beautiful mountains.

I like the colors she uses and the way she incorporates bits of nature into each piece.  We couldn't resist bringing home a couple of pieces as a lasting reminder of an enjoyable day spent in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Wishes

In honor of Mother's Day I brought out some of the china that is normally hidden behind the closed doors of my china cabinet.
When my mom and mother-in-law downsized I inherited many pretty cup and saucer sets.  It seems many of them were bought in Canada many years ago when a favorable exchange rate enticed these two moms to purchase one new set every time they crossed the border from Michigan.  My dad was born in Canada and our summer vacations usually included a trip there to attend his family reunions.  As I recall one of our first stops was at a little china shop where my mom would carefully select her cup and saucer.  Through the years she would use them often when she entertained.
Although they aren't used much anymore, they are something I will always cherish. 

I couldn't resist showing you the mums that are blooming on my patio ... in May.  I can't recall ever seeing them bloom this early.  
My dad used to say "mum" instead of "mom".  We found this to be endearing and assumed it was because he had been born in Canada.  So, whether you are a mom or a mum I wish you a

Happy Mother's Day. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Decisions, Decisions ...

This morning I was outside early tending to my garden.
I picked some lettuce and radishes, watered all of the plants in containers, filled the birdbath and did a bit of deadheading where needed. 
Once that was done I headed inside for breakfast. 

As I was washing the berries I was faced with a tough decision.
It went something like this ...
eat them at the kitchen table that was presently filled with newspapers, crumpled napkins, a magazine and a few coupons or ...

head back outside where the peonies are blooming, the birds are singing and the breeze is blowing.
Hmmm. . .
What would you do?

I thought so ;-)

The peonies won't be blooming very long so we'd better enjoy them while we can.

Won't you join me?