Monday, June 24, 2013

Done before 8 am

We got an early start outdoors today, seeing as how we are still riding on the euphoria of selling the boat. Dave is now onto getting the horseshoe pit up to snuff for his 1st Annual Horseshoe Tournament on the 4th of July. And I wanted to fix that yellow rose bush, as well as plant my remaining pots of hosta and heuchera.

The leaning rose bush that had to be pruned...

And now the new shape, and all the branches in the burn pile. yay!
The recently purchased sale hosta and heuchera along with some transplants from Dave's Memorial Swamp got planted by the little red knockout. I might have to keep the knockout regularly pruned in the future. There is still more empty space in that bed...Hello Wal-Mart.

I'm beginning to see fruit in the veggie beds, green beans, yellow squash, tomatoes, but DUH, I didn't read the seed packet and planted Blue Lake POLE beans, instead of bush, so they will be pulled out. How stupid. I will still have plenty from the bush beans. Don't mention the peppers. arrghh
Dave, now full of enthusiasm for yard work, helped me dig out the hosta to transplant, mowed the field and wacked all the weeds in my mistake garden. Gone so fast, after complaining so long..

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Getting the Basil IN

Today was the day, cool morning, no rain for two whole days, and the ground was ready to be worked. I pulled out the Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana) and dumped it in the compost pile. Then I took the flower pot and paver out and put them aside and suddenly I had a nice big basil bed. I've had basil here before and it does really well, with lots of morning sun and after 3 shade. Plus it's close to the kitchen.

I had planned to put this Fire and Ice hosta in a pot with the new Fragrant Bouquet hosta and dark lush heuchera, but I decided to lift a June hosta from obscurity under the Bleeding Hearts and add that to the pot. So the little Fire and Ice went directly into the peony-hood. I'll keep an eye on it there and move it later if necessary.

The other day I noticed that my young Sum and Substance hosta (in the hosta section of Dave's Memorial Swamp) had been almost decimated, leaves pulled into the ground and other sprawled out away from the plant. Critters! I got Dave to dig the remaining plant out of the wet mucky mud and wash off the offending gluey dirt and then today I found a new safer home for it. It now lives between the new Krossa Regals, right behind and in the shade of the coral bark Japanese maple. Sigh. I love to rescue a plant. It will be huge in a few years, as will the Krossas.

I took a break and decided I could pay some attention to the back yard by the red knockout. I scraped away cleome, larkspur and phlox and tried to dig out a red bud volunteer. The roots had gone to China, and wouldn't budge. I will have Dave give it a try later, when he feels better. I'm taking out those sedum and putting them next to the lantana in the flower box on the pond side of the house, replacing the lanky larkspur I pulled out the other day. It is always dry and shaded there, and I think the sedum will thrive in that sandy soil. So when the sedum is gone, and the other offending upstarts in that bed, I will have a big space, half sun and half total shade to fill. Sale plants in my future?

Now I can see the Twist and Shout hydrangea. Funny thing. When we planted it there, the dawgs stepped on a branch and almost pulled it out of the main trunk. It lay on the wet earth and after a month of rain, developed roots. I saw them today and buried the rooted section. Woowoo! Another hydrangea for free! The big purple one is starting to darken. So yummy.

Back in the front, I realized I had just the right spot to start my new gift sedums. I know they will be spreading but I felt I had to get them in the ground today, or else. This spot is hot and sunny and I think they will respond to the porous soil there. The nasturtiums are suddenly blooming and with the purple petunias and the green everything else, it makes a lovely arrangement.

First of the fancy daylilies is open. Shiny petals!
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pastel Stripey

I felt I needed a second attempt to get the pastel stripey I had envisioned. These look more washed out in the photo than in reality, but work as the lightest fabrics with texture that I needed. I admit to pumping up the color on the first piece, so you could actually see what it is, otherwise it was so faint not to be interesting at all.

 Next comes the Special Editions in lightest pastel. The monoprint was hard to get on all at once, with only my two hands, so I have some big air bubbles, which I don't mind. They end up being useful down the line.
After that are three full spectrum, full intensity stripey on three different kinds of print cloth. I saved these over the years from my student kits, not wanting to have to dye them for myself, since I dyed thousands of the same thing over the years. ugh. Now is the hour to use them.
As I look closely at my 'inspiration' quilt, I see lots of darkness, with brights. I want a lighter sweeter palette, with no black, just darker primaries. And I doubt that I will use as many prints, but I will use some. Hopefully these stripey fabrics will end up looking like those striped-diamond patterned pieced blocks.
In my stash I have a red and black stripe and a royal blue and black stripe, which is a temptation to use since it is already a stripe. I will resist.
Since I will be going to the Ready Set Sew store tomorrow, I will see what they have to add to this mix. Also going to Hobby Lobby to meet that reader who is giving me her dyes. FREE.
Another really rainy day so no dyeing unless the sun returns.

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Monday, June 17, 2013


It's been raining all night and then all day and I had to get out into the garden and look at things. Under my umbrella, with my camera, I saw that dastardly larkspur had fallen down over everything and I just lost it. I pocketed my camera and began pulling it out with one hand, while my other hand held the umbrella. My butt was exposed to the rain but I did not care: I was on a mission.
Soon I had a big pile of larkspur, and some more phlox that was hiding, also many weeds and cleome starts. I couldn't get it all since some were growing in between the landscape bricks. But I WILL.

Now I can see I have SPACE for shade plants (new hosta!) as well as a space for my basil. And I found there was a big nice hosta already there, which I will move out of the sun and closer to the redbud. The best part is that I can see the Twist and Shout hydrangea now, which makes me so happy.
I still have to dig out those redbud volunteers, whose roots go down to China...

The Sun Gold is doing great and showing no signs of shock, and same with the tiny basil. I am so happy to have this plant right here where I can run out and harvest, asap. The coneflowers are starting to show pink at the tips, which pleases me. I would be happy to have white too, so we will wait and see.

The Julia Child rose is next in my mad rampage to control the garden. What a mess it is making with dropped petals.
On my way home from the airport, I stopped at Kmart and found this Fragrant Bouquet hosta, under $5, so what could I do? Many stems..hee hee. Next to it, from my local Walmart (had to get eggs, milk, and ant killer!) I succumbed to a Brass Lantern heucherella, $5.47. I wanted to wait until it was on sale, but it was soooo dry, and so were the others, that I thought by the time they reduced them, they might be dead. Of course now it is so rainy that they all may have survived another day. I plan to pot it with the new Fire and Ice hosta you got me from Lowe's. Also going in that pot is the Fragrant Bouquet. Still deciding where to plant the sedum. Suggestions?
Last but not least, my fancy schmancy nursery grown astilbe is blooming. Sigh. So intense magenta.

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