Sunday, June 17, 2018

Garden Expansion

It seems that each week I dig up another six feet (or more) of lawn to make space for more plants.  I had the nice long stretch of garden and then a big gap before a small cropping of hostas.  This just won't do.  They need to be connected.
Also, I had purchased some of my favorite plants I had had in my old garden and no place to put them. So with shovel in hand I fixed that problem.

The garden is my refuge.  It provides a lovely view to gaze at while sitting on my little deck and keeps my hands in the soil...if you can call this root chocked horrible stuff soil.  I've never liked using the term "dirt" and in my Master Gardener class was taught to only call it soil.  But really, this crap barely deserves the term dirt.

The digitalis is blooming, something I've never had success with before so I'm enjoying that very much.

My friend Marti said I had all my favorite ferns but was missing the Lady in Red, so I had to remedy that.  This is a lovely fern with nice red stems.  You were so right Marti!  The photo below doesn't do it justice.  I'm still getting reacquainted with my camera after a long absence, so I'll try for a better shot in the future.

Some new plants have been added to the side of the shed where I get a little bit of sun.  The yellow and orange flowers below are tickseed coreopsis.  Very fun and festive blooms.

the pink flowers are bee balm, behind them are the cucumbers

This is my new favorite clematis called Pink Mink.  It has an explosion of tiny bell shaped flowers.

I've never had this one before, it's called Hawk weed.  The foliage was interesting to me and now it has this cute yellow flower.  The bloom was closed up due to the rain, but I'll try to get a close up when they are fully open.  The bloom looks a little like a dandelion when fully open, but in a good way.

When I spotted this Visions Astilbe at the 101 Market I fell in love.  I know how large and sturdy this variety is.  I added this to the newer area for easy viewing when it comes into bloom.  I'll add photos later when it's blooming. It is indeed a vision.

The roots around the tree make it impossible for anything but succulents, so that's what I've added here with some hens and chicks and black scallop ajuga.  I also stuffed in some Mouse Ears hosta to see if they'll make it here.

Oh what the heck, since I had some succulents left over I stuffed them into the tree.  Yup, you heard that right..into the tree.  There was a space where a limb had come off a long time ago that just looked like the perfect spot for something to grow.

That concludes today's garden tour.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I'm learning how to make a video of the photos and will share that at a later date.

Long Live the Queen

Saturday, June 16, 2018

All Decked Out

One of the many rules in this park include that there are no "decks" allowed.  You may have a 50 square foot "stair landing" in addition to your steps.

So, this is our new "stair landing". 

It provides a nice place to kick off shoes and sit on a nice afternoon to enjoy the view of the gardens and birds and of course, cats running through the tunnel.

Long Live the Queen of, stair landings

Friday, June 15, 2018

Free Outdoor Concerts

In our little town of Otsego, population about 16,000 there are many opportunities for shopping and entertainment.  And if we can't find it here, we go into Elk River, population about 25,000, which is right down the road.

One of the things I'm looking forward to are the free outdoor concerts on Thursday nights in Elk River.  Not only does this sound like fun, but the staging couldn't be prettier.

It is set right on the banks of the Mississippi in downtown Elk River with concrete seating and grassy areas to set up lawn chairs.

This should be a fun summer!

Long Live the Queen

Monday, June 11, 2018

Happy Birthday Christy

Christy is my oldest daughter and was turning 51.  That's right, I had her when I was 12.  No, actually she is the best friend of my step-daughter and I've adopted her, making her my oldest child in my new family. She's the one in the center of the photo.  She had given me the "Ya Sure, You Betcha" shirt for my birthday last year, so I just had to wear it for this event.

Stephanie (now the baby in our family with my son becoming a middle child) set up a surprise party for her and we gathered at The Lookout for supper and celebration.  

You know I love someone when I leave the house after 4:00 to go anywhere, since I tend to be a homebody in the late afternoon and evening.  We ended up going to Tracy's house for cake afterwards and I didn't leave there until 9:00 ...gasp!

The place was crowded and tables at a  premium, but luckily my granddaughter works there and had secured a table for us earlier.

It was a sweet celebration and I gave the gift of a punch card for pickleball at the Andover Community Center since she had become addicted to the sport earlier.  I'll get this family all playing yet!

We had the funniest waitress during our stay who told us the story of her several rescue dogs.  One of them would turn and look over her shoulder when she pooped on the floor because she didn't get let out soon enough as if to say "sorry, but this is your fault".  We requested her to reenact for the photo.

There is no better time than when women come together to talk, share and laugh.

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Life in the New Canned Ham

This blog post is SO overdue.  I thought I'd get away with weekly summaries with my Sunday summaries, but that was...well...a month of Sundays ago.

I've finally took some photos with the camera, not thinking that my usual setting is in RAW, which is WAAAAAY too big for the internet.  So, after fumbling around and figuring out how to change the settings on the camera, I diligently went back out and shot again.

As in my gardens of old I need to add some touches of whimsy here and there, or it wouldn't be my garden.  The red jacks above is to remind us to take time to play. I needed that reminder!

I'll introduce you to the first garden I did last summer, which is the triangular section you see above, going up to the tree.

In this garden I planted some of my old favorites, like this dwarf goatsbeard.

The newest addition is from the tree going outward.  It's not large, but I've managed to create a bird haven with a bird bath, feeders, a wind chime and hanging basket.  My favorite are the trellises.  I kind of went nuts and bought six of them because I love vines and since it's a small area I can use the vertical space.  Mostly because I love vines.

Since it's a shady area I can have my ferns and hostas here that would never cut it in Arizona.  Each location has it's one unique beauty.

One of my favorite ferns from before was this Ghost Fern, so that got added to the new area.

And I had to have just one more of the Japanese painted ferns, you can never have too many of these.

This is my favorite brunnera, Jack Frost.  He'll get tiny blue flowers but I tend to grow my plants just for the foliage.

I added the variegated Solomon Seal in the back for some height.  I love these and hope it spreads quickly along the back border.

Of course, a shade garden isn't complete without an astilbe.

Now let's go to the back of the yard and see what's around the shed.

 The purple pig had to come with me, of course.  This was a gift from my son.  I planted morning glories by him, from seed no less.  I've never had any luck doing that, but maybe it was the heavy clay soil I had before.  This side area of the shed has bags of garden soil because the soil here is awful as well and hard to dig because of the copious root system from all my trees.

Here's a view of the side of the shed.  I have cucumbers planted on the left trellis and there's a tomato on the right side.

This is the back of the shed.  In the farm house container sits Bob.  He's been with me forever and even though his bottom is busted out now (a toddler accident with the grandkids) he still likes to be around in a planted.  Just another senior who needs a little more support.

In the taller metal stand I have a little fairy garden.  I'll need to take some closer photos for those to show up, but for now I just wanted to get this blog started again.

These are my "free hostas" that I'm using to line the edge of the driveway.  I am a quasi-member of the Beautification Committee here in the park and I assisted in thinning out some of the overgrown hostas and was able to take "a few" of them home.

This has nothing to do with the gardens, but on the other side of the trailer is our cat cage.  It's the same cage as in Arizona, so they are used to using it.  This allows them to exit through a small window in our living room to enjoy the night air.

Well, that's it for today.  I hope you enjoyed the garden tour.  I promise I'll update the blog more faithfully from now on with photos of things as they bloom and as things are added.  Because I'm sure things will be added.  I have some trellises with nothing on them yet and I spotted a park member who has a surplus of ferns should he be willing to part with some.

Long Live the Queen!