Monday, April 25, 2016

Aches and pains and garden gains.....

Yikes!!!

Suddenly, I feel much older than my 61 years.

It is spring .... and that always brings so much work.  We do most of it by hand.  On my knees, planting one plant, plug or seed at a time.  Digging the weeds out.  Dividing the daylilies.  It is relatively easy work .... until I have to stand up.

Or bend over again.

In a few weeks, I will sprint from one area of the garden to another ..... quickly moving and lifting and pulling and bending.  But until then, it is lots of ibuprofen and hot showers to loosen up the muscles and relieve the stiff knees and shoulders.

I love spring on the farm.  From new kittens and baby chicks to blossoming trees, spring never ceases to make me smile.

We are currently edging gardens ..... one at a time.



Yea .... this was a Pinterest steal.  Well, when you are in business, we call it "research", don't we???

These are tumbled Belgium pavers .... one stands up and the other lies flat in front of it. 

We will be able to keep a nice edge with the gardens.  I loved my plate border edge .... but I would crush them at times. 

OK ... often. 

Really often.

So I would have broken plates every where.

Last year, I went to double loop wire garden fence in an 18" height.

It was messing ..... not tidy ..... and no one cut the flowers in the area.  :(

So hopefully, we can keep this looking nice .... and you will cut the flowers in the border.

One of the new roses went here ... along with lavender, delphiniums, daisies and bachelor buttons.  They are still so tiny ..... but it won't be long before they will fill this garden.




I have this little bed filled with baby's breath, roses, delphiniums along with some stock.  The bunny needs a clematis filling it as does the head board in front of the kitchen.  It too, could use some paint!

I love fresh paint in the spring!

The rusty look is charming ...... but after a while, too much rust makes everything look unkept.  So I am trying to brighten our world.


One can of paint at a time!!!

Well ...... until these beauties start to bloom!!!





Yea ..... I am super impatient this year!!!!!

I may go through a LOT of paint!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Okay. Okay. Okay.

Yes ...... it is April 19.

And maybe you haven't heard from me for a while.

Will you accept the excuse that the dog ate my homework???

No????

Well .... I don't have anything new to show you about the kitchen.  It is spring and all thoughts go directly to the garden.

YEA!!!!!!!

I am now in my happy space.

And now that I have a head groundskeeper full time!!!  (Squeal with delight!!!!!!) Things are coming along nicely.

So it is time for some of the great unveiling ........ new flowers that are coming to a garden near me!!!   Just for your picking pleasure.

First of all ....... gypsophilia paniculata.
(Say whaaaatttt?????)


file photo



Baby's breath.  (Yea ..... you know that one!)
I just finished planting 125 perennial plants of this beauty.  I love baby's breath but it has a few drawbacks.

It is a perennial with a fairly short bloom period.  It should bloom in late June for about 2 weeks.  About the same time period as the lilies.  And then it is done for the season.  Kaput! Finished! Asta la vista, baby!!

It has an extremely long tap root so let's hope I planted in a space that it will thrive because transplanting it is next to impossible once it is established.

I just happened to get two new lisianthus this year ..... Can you hear my heart sing????????????????





file photo




This is a fringed apricot lisianthus.  It should be a beauty!!

And then ....... there is this one... Lisianthus Cherry Sorbet.



file photo



Yea ..... I love lisianthus because it reminds me of roses.

Yea .... roses.

OK .... since we were so rudely attacked by Japanese Beetles, I have let any roses left in my garden die a merciful death.  Most were tea roses that I loved.  But the one remaining rose was a David Austin English rose.  I love the full, fluffy look of English roses.

We have resolved some of the Japanese Beetle issues .... basically, the hoards have moved further west in the state.  The last three years have been relatively pest free.

So I called David Austin and started replenishing my roses again.

Some will be shrub type roses like this one, Mayflower.



David Austin photo


All of my roses will be in mixed beds ...... but a few of these will be in my garden by the house.



David Austin photo



Charlotte is planted around the little gazebo ...... it is surrounded with phlox, lilies and delphiniums.




photo from Pinterest


This is Winchester Cathedral ...... it will be near my chicken coop.  I do hope the girls appreciate all I do for them.  (wink. wink.)

Now that I have a full time head groundskeeper!!!  (I still delight saying that!!) the arbor that blew down during a bad storm will be replaced at the entrance of the main cutting garden.  I bought this rose .... Teasing Georgia ..... to grow over the top of it.



David Austin photo



My grandmother, Georgia, loved her roses.  In the summer time, you could open her refrigerator and it would be filled with bottles and jars of roses cut from her garden.

So it only seems right that Teasing Georgia will be the rose that will be most prominent in the garden.

All of these roses are on their own root stock (except Teasing Georgia) and will handle a zone 4 winter ...... even if I am in zone 5.

That is what is new in the garden .... at least for today.  I always keep a few secrets.

Yea .... I do.  I really do keep a few secrets.

;)

(I'll spill more of the beans later!)









Monday, March 28, 2016

March is going out .............

Really exciting!

Yep ... I have been counting down to the R-Day.  Retirement Day!!  And now .... it is almost here.  March 31st!!! 

We are sort of excited to now have our weekends ..... everyday of the week.

Except .... for the last couple of years .... our weekends have been so crammed with the To-Do Lists, it has been difficult to have a life. 

We love our home.  (Most of the time!  Remodeling reminds us of all of her issues!)  We love our business here on the farm.  And we love our lifestyle of canning, gardening, sewing and making do.  But it all takes a lot more time than running to the grocery store and picking up supper.

Hopefully, now time will be more balanced.  Honey has much better time/management skills than I do.  (I get a phone call and suddenly laundry is forgotten and I am on to a different project!!!)

So we are excited to spend more time with the people we love and care about. 

But most of all, we are excited to spend more time with each other.

Now .... for a kitchen update.

There is still a lot to do on the kitchen but it is becoming more functional everyday.  The floor is down but there is one doorway to complete with new thresholds and the quarter round needs to be painted and put in place.




The dishwasher is now in place and Honey started cutting the sink base to hold the farmhouse sink.  As you can see it currently sits too high. 





There is one last cut to make .... and it will sit perfectly into place. 

After watch you-tube videos .... making a template .... taping the template in place ..... making one cut .... and another .... and sanding down the back of the cabinet ...... there are some "clean-out" cuts to make with the dremel tool so it sits nicely in place.


The next step is to put the fillers in the corner. 

But up to now .... the sink base has gone in. 
The sink base has come out. 
The sink base has gone in. 
The sink base has come out.

You really need those fillers when you are using full overlay cabinets.  That means the cabinet doors completely cover the face frames.  As it is ..... with 2 -3/4" on the cream side and 2-7/8" filler on the green side ...... the drawer above the garbage barely clears the front of the farmhouse sink by a 1/2".

The next section of cabinets will probably go in next week. 




Next to the stove will be my bank of wall cabinets.  The range hood will sit beneath a cream cabinet and then the baking center will be to the right of the stove.

The baking center is a 54" bank of base and wall cabinets in green like the sink base.  The wall cabinets are taller and deeper than normal (15" deep and 33" high) and will feature restoration glass doors.  The Base cabinets will have roll out trays to hold cake, bread  and pie pans. 

It hopefully will look more like a piece of furniture with its flush toe and bead board back.  It will have glass knobs on the doors and glass pulls on the drawers.  And it will have an oak butcherblock top that will be perfect for kneading bread dough and rolling out pastry.

Like I ever roll out pastry.

Isn't that what Pillsbury is for???????

So that is the kitchen and retirement up date! 

Later ..... update on seed planting and what is new in the garden!