Monthly Archives: May 2013

In Between the Rain

It’s been raining forever it seems, and according to the forecast there’s not much hope of it clearing up anytime soon.  It’s been a bit dreary and depressing, but it’s given us some glorious green color around here.  Just yesterday while I was out driving I couldn’t get over how alive everything is outside right now!  One thing rain does is bring life.  Makes me think metaphorically about the rainy seasons we go through in life and how much we grow during them ~ even with as dreary and depressing as it can sometimes be.  Gosh, I miss the sun.  In reality and metaphorically.  Hope it comes out to shine on me again soon…

In the meantime I’m doing what I can to find the simple joys, and there are plenty.  Gardening truly is my therapy.  ✿

The scent of lilacs is still filling the air here, and in between the rain I have been bringing out a little folding chair to sit on out on the patio (the patio furniture is quite damp), just so I can be outside smelling their lovely fragrance.  They will be gone before long, their bloom time sadly brief, and I can’t let the rain steal that enjoyment from me.

While the lilacs are on their way out, the Lily of the Valley are in full bloom right now.  They are another one of my favorites so I’ve tried to go out enjoy those as well in between the rain.  I’ve brought my camera out there with me on a few occasions and have tried to take pictures of them, but I’ve had a heck of a time capturing a clear focus with my humble little camera.

Although, I think this shot turned out nicely…

DSCF0178a

I absolutely adore their delicate, pretty, little white bells!  And they’re so unbelievably fragrant!  I love them.  ♥

~

I also snapped a picture of my fairy statue that I have out there.  Back in 2010 when I lost my house and moved into an apartment, I couldn’t bear to part with it, so I brought her over to my mom’s thinking she’d fit in nicely among the Lily of the Valley.  I think she’s quite happy in this spot.  🙂

DSCF0054a

 As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my Grandma planted these Lily of the Valley on the side of the house over 60 years ago, that makes them even more special to me.  I think my Grandma would like my fairy statue being nestled in among them.

~

I wonder what she would think of this silly fish planter that I have sitting on my potting bench nearby…

DSCF0133a

There is some confusion and a bit of disagreement over the story behind how we acquired this little guy ~ my mom, my sis, and I all have a different recollection on it.  It’s rough getting old, but I’m the youngest, so I think my story is the correct one.  😉  One thing we all agree on is that he’s a cute little spud.  I think he originally had a succulent type of plant in him, but this year I planted Baby Tears in him.  It looks like hair haha!

~

I was concerned that all my plantings would get water logged and drown with all this rain, but they all seem to be coming along just fine.  In between the rain I’ve went out and tried to take a few pictures of their progress.

My beans are emerging…

DSCF0002a

In typical alien looking style, I might add.  😉

~

The lettuce is coming up…

DSCF0283a

I foresee delicious salads in my future.  🙂

~

Carrots…

DSCF0012a

So tiny I could barely get them in focus.  Once they get just a little bigger I’ll have to thin them out quite a bit.

~

I’ll have thin out my cukes as well…

DSCF0007a

Hope these do well because gosh I would love to have another bountiful crop of cucumbers like I did last year.

~

My peas are coming along quite happily…

DSCF0018a

It doesn’t show in this photo, but I planted some mint in with my peas this year.  Don’t know if that will end up being a great idea or not, but I bought so many varieties of mint this year that I ran out of places to put it.  Couldn’t help myself, I’m such a huge fan of mint!  😀

~

Another thing I don’t know whether or not was a good idea, is that when I noticed peppers already forming on my bell and jalapeno plants, I plucked them off.  It just seems too early for them yet, the plants are still so small that I wanted to give them a chance to grow a bit bigger and stronger before they started dedicating all their energy to the developing fruits.  Sad little discarded lifes…  😦

DSCF0080a

Thinning, plucking and pruning is always a hard thing for me.  They all want to live!  Hopefully I did the right thing.

~

All of my herbs are doing well.  A few I happened to take pictures of were the Oregano…

DSCF0174b

and Rosemary…

DSCF0177a

They both smell delicious!  😀

~

I rearranged and planted a few new things in the flower bed, one of which was this Columbine…

DSCF0183a

The lighting on this photo isn’t exactly true, in person it’s more of a bright, rich berry color.  At the garden center, I agonized between this one and a blue (purple) variety, but in the end decided on this one because even as much as I love it, I can’t have everything be purple.  😉

~

Lastly, I’ll share this picture I took of the pretty lavender colored Lamium I planted in my mom’s flower bed many years ago.  It’s a ground cover type of plant and is really a bit of a nuisance, but it is pretty…

DSCF0041c

And my mom really loves it, so that’s what matters.  But I do plan to yank some of it up.  Shh don’t tell her…

~

So in between the rain, we can still find many simple, beautiful, living things to enjoy while we wait for the sun to return…

Icon

~Gardening is my therapy~

To Garden, or to Blog About Garden: That is the Question…

That’s easy…  garden, of course.  It feels like ages since I’ve posted anything, but now that we’ve hit a patch of rainy weather here for the past several days, I finally feel like I have some time to sit down and write an update on what I’ve been doing out in my tiny garden.

With the unpredictability of our spring weather this year, I’ve felt all discombobulated with what to plant, and when.  And I’m still feeling insecure about having what I’ve planted grow properly, because now everything is water-logged from all the rain we’ve had.  But all I can do is keep an eye on things out there and hope for the best.

I got all my seeds planted ~ cucumbers, zucchini, beans, and carrots, along with the lettuce seeds and peas I planted earlier.  Which are coming up quite nicely by the way, but I don’t have any photos of them for this post because it’s been raining off and on pretty much ever since I’ve noticed them popping up, and I haven’t really had a good opportunity to take any decent pictures.

I also planted my celery, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers, in addition to all of my herbs.  Might could have waited on the tomatoes a bit longer, but whether the weather is ready or not here I come.  *Fingers crossed*

Also, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve searched far and wide for the same variety of strawberry plant that I fell in love with last year and bought on a whim when I saw its pretty pink blossoms, but alas, it was nowhere to be found.  😦

However, when I came across this bright little red strawberry pot, I knew it was destined to come home with me…

DSCF0201a

Although they’ve been around for quite a while, I’ve never grown strawberries in one of these types of pots before, so I really hope they do well.  They were looking quite neglected and scraggly at the store, but seem to have perked up under my tender care, and already have a few blooms and strawberries developing, so they’re off to a good start.

This variety doesn’t have the pretty, pink flowers that my plant had last year, but gosh, look how cheerful and cute this little white blossom is…

DSCF0217a

~

And another thing I find cheerful and cute…

DSCF0229a

I don’t care what people say about dandelions, I adore them!

~

And even though this is also cute…

DSCF0149a

I don’t adore it feasting upon the seed I put in the new bird feeder I set out…

DSCF0133a

Although I have to admit, I do admire its mad acrobatic skills.  😉

~

And I am feeling a small bit of mercy toward it too because just yesterday as I was reading in my room, I happened to look out my window and notice a squirrel scurrying up my tree trunk to the hole that is in it, carrying babies!  I grabbed my camera, but I couldn’t catch a shot, it was too quick for me in its mission to get them in there to safety.  In all, I saw it bring three little ones into the hole, so precious to watch.  I love little creatures so much and so it’s hard to be too seriously angry about the raiding of my bird feeder.  But I’m more than just a little concerned about my garden veggies this summer with an entire family of squirrels living in my tree.  It could end up being a nightmare of a battle to keep them away, as I can’t be out there on guard 24/7.

In the end I’m probably going to have to take the bird feeder down.  I had reservations about putting it up in the first place in fear of attracting nearby squirrels, but in seeing all the little birdies flitting about, I just really wanted to put one up so they’d pause for a bit and visit me while I’m out in my garden.  I don’t think squirrels eat thistle seeds so maybe I could leave the bottom section of the feeder up in hopes of the goldfinches stopping by for a quick meal from time to time.

Anyway, here is one shot I did get while the babies were being delivered to the hole in my tree.   If you look closely you can see a baby head peeking out just above/behind the momma’s outstretched arm…

DSCF0033b

Hi little precious head!  Sooo cute!  But I have bittersweet and mixed emotions about it with my garden being so nearby.  Please leave my veggies alone this summer little squirrels, I don’t want to end up detesting you…

~

Okay, so while I’m here and having the chance to “Blog About Garden” let me share some of the photos I’ve taken while I’ve been outside this spring.  It’s been a virtual bloom-fest out there, and in combination with all of the varying shades of fresh, new, spring green going on, it has been a delicious treat for my visual senses!

I wish I could have taken more pictures of all of the freshly sprouted green things I’ve seen popping out all over the place, but all I got was this shot I took one day of the new leaves on the lilac bush.  They were so pretty when I looked up at them against the backdrop of the blue sky.  This photo doesn’t come close to showing just how lovely the color really was.

DSCF0001b

And here are the lilacs now…

DSCF0021a

I can’t even begin to describe the amazingly lavish scent filling the air when I took this picture, it was pure and absolute bliss!   Makes me breathe in deeply through my nose just looking at this picture and remembering it.  ♥   Gosh, I love the scent of lilacs!  I really wish they lasted longer…

~

Another blooming beauty I’ve been enjoying is the Rhododendron bush I planted for my mom many years ago on the corner of the house.  I’m going to have to share several of the photos I took of its gorgeous, delicate, lavender-pink color when it was at its peak last week…

DSCF0082a

DSCF0048a

DSCF0074a

DSCF0069a

DSCF0072a

So lovely!  It’s a bit unfortunate that Rhododendrons don’t have any fragrance to speak of, but if they did I imagine they would smell as beautiful and they look.  🙂

~

And lastly, I’m so glad I had the chance to snap some pictures of these few yellow tulips that are left over in the flower bed from a planting many years ago, because the heavy rain has since decimated them.

DSCF0129b

Tulips are one of those flowers that just seem to symbolize and embody the spirit of spring, and they are an especially refreshing sight in yellow!  🙂

~

Ah and spring is such a refreshing time in general, isn’t it?  All the earth comes back to life, urging us to be renewed and come alive along with it.

Spring can be a busy time for gardeners, but the simple beauty, and small wonders of the season are often brief.  May we all pause long enough to soak in and partake in the beauty and new life going on around us.

~

Icon

~Gardening is my therapy~

Magnificent Magnolias

While I was out and about running errands the other day, I noticed Magnolias blooming everywhere.  The funny thing is, I’ve lived in Minnesota my entire life and have been gardening for years, but I never realized that they even grew here, I’ve always associated Magnolias with the south for some reason.

Anyway, in seeing that they were in full glorious bloom, I pulled over on a whim and got out of the car to snap a few photos of them.  The weather was a bit drabby that day so the lighting wasn’t the best for taking pictures, but I still think they turned out fairly nice, and I enjoyed myself very much while taking them.  Such a lovely sight on a dreary day, and not only beautiful, but wonderfully fragrant as well!

Most of them that I saw were white, but I found this pretty pink variety while driving along a parkway…

DSCF0141a

DSCF0154a

DSCF0172a

So delicate and lovely!  ♥

  ~

And here are a couple of shots of some of the white ones that I saw.  The pink variety had no scent whatsoever that I could detect, but these white ones were unbelievably fragrant…

DSCF0071a

DSCF0106b

~

Much like other early springtime bloomers, I have a feeling that Magnolia’s blooming time may be very brief, so I’m really glad I happened to notice them along my busy day, and was able to enjoy some of their beauty while they were doing their thing.  ✿

Knowing now that they grow here, I may have to try and find a sunny spot in the yard to plant one.  Hmm… but pink or white?  Maybe both.  😉

Icon

~Gardening is my therapy~

Pleasures in Planting

I got to go out and plant yesterday!   Gosh, it felt great!  And the weather was lovely too.  ♥

Gonna make this a short one because I’m heading out there again in a little while to have my coffee on the patio and then putz around in my mom’s flower bed a bit.  There’s a high of 78 in the forecast today and I’m eager to get out there and enjoy it, so I’m just gonna share a few pictures.

So, I planted my peas and some lettuce.  😀

~

Here’s my little peas after a good overnight soaking…

DSCN7844a

getting all tucked in…

DSCN7852a

and given a drink…

DSCN7856a

Grow happily little peas, I can’t wait to eat you!  😀

~

 A friend of mine from Alabama sent me a sort of ‘gardener’s care package’ of seeds earlier this spring and one of them was a Mesclun salad mix.  I had already purchased my lettuce seed, so I planted two types of lettuces this year…

DSCN7865a

such tiny little seeds…

DSCN7877a

~

I was afraid to plant anything else yet since we just had snow last week, but I knew peas and lettuce should be safe.  Ordinarily, around Mother’s Day is the date I typically figure the coast is clear, but with this weird spring weather we’ve been having, all bets are off.

Just planting those two things gave me the gardening fix I’ve so been needing, but wanting to do just a bit more… I also dug up and divided some terribly root-bound iris that I had planted in my mom’s flower bed over 15 years ago…

DSCN7887a

It was to the point where only one or two of these would actually bloom, but dividing them up should help a great deal.  😀

I ended up with tons of extra little iris sprouts, and had no idea what to do with them all, so temporarily I just put them into a few random pots that I had laying around until I can figure it out.

DSCF0062a

I think my sis will be happy to take a few of them off my hands to plant up at her cabin.

~

Well that was it as far as what gardening I did, but while I was out there enjoying myself, I also noticed that the Lily of the Valley are sprouting up even more now.  They look like little soldiers all standing at attention…

DSCF0044a

Soldiers that will smell absolutely freaking amazing!

~

And something else that will smell amazing…

LOOK!!  The lilacs have buds!

DSCF0035a

Ah sooo pretty, I can hardly wait until they start blooming!  ♥

~

As I said, it was a lovely day, and I so enjoyed being out there digging around in the dirt.  Like really, you have no idea.

I think it’s safe to say spring has finally arrived in Minnesota!  ☼

Icon

~Gardening is my therapy~

Sprinkles of Springtime Snow

Just thought I’d share a few photos I took during the “winter storm” we had the other day.  Thankfully, we didn’t end up getting much snow in my immediate area, only a light sprinkling, but just south of us they got 15 inches!  So insane for the month of May!

DSCF0202a

~

DSCF0186a

~

DSCF0215a

~

DSCF0234a

~

It was actually kinda pretty to be honest, but hopefully we’re done with it now once and for all.  Either way, I drew up my garden plans this morning and intend to go out and plant my peas and some various lettuces tomorrow.  I can’t wait any longer to go out and dig in the dirt…

Icon

~Gardening is my therapy~

Mayday, Mayday!

Yes, happy May Day!

always_hopes_by_pinkfirefly135-d4vz2h5~

Meanwhile, in Minnesota…

Mayday, mayday, there’s a winter storm warning in the forecast!

I know, preposterous, but true.  After a nice little patch of some lovely spring weather, the forecasters are telling of yet another winter storm warning for our area.  I just have to laugh.  Hahahahaha!  It’s that, or else I may cry.  Come on, seriously, more snow?

I’m so lost as to what I should be doing in my garden this spring, it’s not even funny.  The date on the calendar is obviously null and void as far as using it as any sort of gardening gauge this year.

During that “nice little patch of lovely spring weather” I noticed that the dirt in my raised garden box had sunken down about a foot from last year, so I aside from being confused by the weather and not knowing when it will be safe to try and plant anything, I figured the first thing I should do is go out and get some more soil.

So I went out to the garden center with my sis to get some, and we saw this sign out in front of the place…

302918_556003744422178_1994227264_n

Hahaha!  Are you sure it’s safe?  With this latest forecast, I’m thinking maybe they were perhaps a bit premature in saying that we can come out now.  😉   Ah well, what can ya do?

~

 Also while out enjoying that beautiful weather, I took this corny picture of a little hedgehog statue that my mom has hanging on one of the branches of the lilacs.  I thought he was a cute example of us finally “swinging into spring” here, with the little bits of green buds showing in the background, but now I’m not so sure…

DSCF0033a

~