Sunny Sunday

may2011-013

SPRING – only 64 days away!

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Busy days of Spring

The busy days of spring have arrived.  Seems like it took forever for winter to leave us this year.  The snow is gone and the temperatures are finally above freezing.  Tulips are getting ready to bloom, the lilacs are full of buds and there are hints of green scattered throughout the woods.

It has been a rough start for us this spring also.  Hubby recently spent almost a week in the hospital after feeling very ill for many weeks. It took some time and he had to see a specialist but he’s been diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disease call anti-synthetase. syndrome.  He is doing better now and has an amazing positive attitude and a whole new appreciation for so many things in life.  I’ll admit it’s been extremely hard on me as far as acceptance goes but I am working really hard to be the positive person that hubby needs me to be right now.  🙂  

Recently we decided to re-do and expand the gardens in front of the house.  Rain streaming down the driveway during storms and spring melt has been an issue for us since we moved in so we have been creating a dry stream bed to divert the water away from the garage and chicken coop.  Here’s the progress as of this past Monday.

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We’ve been adding more stones and it’s still a work in progress but even without a lot of rocks… it does work.  Today we went foraging for rocks at a property where a very old farmhouse was recently demolished and not only did we find lots of rocks… we scored on plants also!  We’re figuring that the plants are pretty old based on the age of the former house but we found peonies, iris, daylilies and asparagus!  Amazing what you can scrounge up for free with just a little hard work.

Got the veggie garden started also. So far we’ve planted red and white potatoes, peas, onions, carrots and lettuce.  Hopefully I can get back out there to get more in the ground before we get more rain, but we’ll see.  Being back in the dirt these past couple of days has been amazing therapeutic for me and it’s been a God-send considering all the rough stuff we’ve gone through already this spring.  It’s good for hubby too….

I’ve also got to mention this amazing greenhouse that we recently visited and the new additions to our little flock.  Tuesday after picking up these little adorable fluffies…

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we stopped by Cypress Avenue Greenhouse to pick up some new plants for the garden.  Most of the plants are grown right there from seed…  a true local gardening source.  And, super friendly too!  We will definitely be visiting them again.  

 

The Week in Review

Well, actually the past two weeks in review….

Last week was Spring Break for the kids.  I really enjoyed having them at home!  Hubby was also off the the 2nd half of the week and we were extremely busy.  Hubby and FIL got the roof up and older DD was a working MACHINE!  Actually, she did most of the work with Hubby… I was amazed at everything she did.  Up on the roof, hammer in hand – WOW!

I got a lot of work done in the garden.  Moved my Hibiscus, Artemisia, Daylilies and a couple other plants to a new bed. FIL also gave us some Lilac suckers so I’ve scattered them around the gardens and am looking forward to my favorite blooms in the future.  Cool season seeds are in the garden – radish, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce and peas are all in.   I built a few trellis forms so I can grow more vertically and save on space so the peas will be growing up and when the weather warms… I will grow the cukes, zukes, melons and pole beans up instead of across the lawn (hopefully).  There are so many things that are starting to bloom.  Tulips are in full color, as are the grape hyacinths and wild violets.

The chicken eggs in the incubator have about 4 days to go.  Yesterday I purchased a brooder lamp. bulb, chick starter and pine shavings so I am ready for the little babies except for a container to put them in.  I originally started with 11 eggs and turns out that 10 were fertile which was pretty good.  Candled them for the last time on day 15 and all but 2 or 3 still showed definite movement.  I don’t know if the shells were just a bit too dark on the last couple to see anything or if those babies are just getting too big.  Hopefully they’re OK though.  I’m hoping for total success as anyone would but I’d be thrilled with 75% success.  You can bet I will be GLUED to that incubator with video camera in hand when hatching starts.  🙂

 

Welcome June!

I am pretty happy that June if finally here.  May was OK but so cold and wet.  June has started off to a beautiful start with bright sunny skies and temps in the hi 70’s.  Nice breeze blowing… couldn’t ask for a better day.

I have just about filled the garden.  About 1/2 of the tomatoes and peppers have been put in and I’m out of room.  Can’t get much more to fit.  I usually plant things fairly close together to keep the weeds down and maximize the space but if I put more into each row…. I will really be pushing it.  So, on to containers unless I find some other spot in the yard to tear up.

Most of the morning glories that I planted are up and looking happy.  I’ve got Moonflowers, Hyacinth Bean, Cypress Vine, Japanese Morning Glories, Brazilian Morning Glories and some of the more common types.  I am hoping to collect tons of seeds in the fall.

Just returned from town after mailing lots of packages.  Seems like I’m selling more internationally from my shops lately.  Especially my paper, fabric and crochet shop ( http://rusticdivadesigns.etsy.com ) which is A.O.K with me.  I think it’s so much fun to see who is interested in my items and ship to lots of different places. 

Saturday is grocery day.  Been gathering up my coupons and getting my lists together.  Hopefully (fingers crossed) I will do better than I did last month saving money.  I’ve learned so much from the new FB coupon groups that I joined…. lots of friendly people with loads of great hints and tips!

Since this is my first Spring in this area, I’ve been amazed at the variety of wildflowers along the road.  Lupines, woodland phlox, another plant that I am thinking might be a wild creeping phlox,  red columbines with yellow throats, purple geraniums, daisies, woodland violets and some others that I haven’t ID’d as of yet.  I am ashamed to admit that I’ve been ripping what I thought was weeds out fo the garden.  Turns out they were the wild geraniums and some other pretty orange flower that I haven’t ID’d.  <sigh>  All around, Spring is absolutely beautiful here.  Soooo much green everywhere!  Within days, it seems the trees have filled out completely and I have NEVER seen lilacs like I’ve seen here.  Huge 20-30 things and so full of blooms!  Amazing.

         

 

Early morning in the garden

 
Pink Tulip

 

There’s nothing quite like being in the garden early in the morning.   Sent the kiddies off to school, took a walk around the yard and decided it was a good day to get right to work.

Even though my seeds that had been planted early got snowed on and were subjected to a freeze or two, I’m happy to see that my radish, lettuce and peas are growing like crazy.  Of course, it helps that the temps in the past couple of days have been really warm.  Still waiting to see something from the beets and carrots though…

Today I planted lots of herbs.   Bouquet dill, cilantro, mixed basil, chamomile and curly parsley.  Unfortunately, planting all the herbs has cut into my tomato and pepper growing area.  <sigh>  I need a bigger garden.  Transplanted my chives and thyme into the herb bed and planning on transplanting the chocolate mint that I just found (thought it died) in my front flower bed.  I also have my catmint in various areas around the house but I’m leaving it near the house as it’s “supposed” to deter ants.

Herb patch and DD's little garden.
Veggie patch. Not much room left for the maters and peppers...

 

Wintersown containers are really sprouting like crazy.  Couple seeds I’m concerned about but it’s still early in the season, so we’ll see.