Sunday, August 21, 2016

Missing Garden Pictures as Promised!

   I was hoping for the clouds to return so I could take garden pictures without the glare. No luck, but at sunset I went out and took these.

  The first is my boulder garden that Randy has dubbed, Stone Henge, because we are getting a lot of sight seers since I installed it. : )  The boulders are bigger than they look in the photo. They are all about 3-4 feet across and 20-30" tall. It took a large dump truck of topsoil to backfill behind them to create the garden. The garden is about 24' from front to back and about 30-36' across. The trees are Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Birdsnest Blue Spruce. The flowers are hybrid Daylilies, Hardy Phlox, Lavendar, and Creeping Phlox.

   This is my favorite boulder which I named Snake Rock. It has a 4" wide groove snaking across the top. I have no idea what caused it, but I love the look of it. When I water or it rains, the water flows thru the groove and pours out the end between the boulders. Fun to watch! Hey, I'm easily entertained. : )

  These are of Mom's arbor and adjoining garden spaces.... There are pink Knockout Roses planted in the center of each stone wall, not blooming on this day of course!.

  There are 4 varieties of Clematis planted on the trellis fencing on each side of the patio. Next year we should have more privacy when they fill in.

  These are the new compost bin...

  This working side faces south. Perfect for composting. The lush greenery in the front is volunteer mini pumpkin and gourd vines. I never have to buy them to decorate with again! Last year I harvested 21 and the vines were a third this size. They have spread over nearly half of the Berm Garden. In fact, I've had to prune them. They are garden bullies.

  These are of my Berm Garden. The huge flat rock in the lower front is a bonus rock I got with my boulders. It is 8" thick and about 6' across. I have it extending out over the dry river bed, which during a rain is anything but dry.

  Plants are starting to mature on the berm. I added the stepping stones this year and a ton of new topsoil to mix in.

   Remember the Galvas? They are my tin family who live in the Berm Garden. Mom (Valentine) and Dad are seen here. They're started to feel a little crowded.
   Can you see Rusty Galva hanging out next to the green trellis? Typical teenager...he doesn't want to be seen with his parents. : )
 This is the waterfall end of the dry river. The tall native grasses hide the waterfall itself. We just had a heavy rain a few days ago that washed some of the river rock over the falls into the drainage ditch. Randy loves that of course. : 0

My trees are getting some size to them now too.

  That concludes the garden tour. I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by! As always...Keep Stitchin' 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

My Summer Vacation?

   School starts for me next Tuesday. This has been a wonderful summer, but it seems too short now. Every year I plan big projects to do during my summer break, usually garden related. This year was no exception. I had a long list this year. I plan to retire in two years so I 'm trying to get all the big projects done before then. I'm not getting any younger and where I used to be able to work 10-12 hour days working in the garden, I find 6-8 hours is stretching my limits now. A friend told me I needed to get back to work so I could rest!

  My first project in June was to build a two bin compost pile. I used green treated lumber and posts to build a 4" by 8' structure with a divider wall down the middle to form two bins. It stands 40" tall and sits behind my Compost Tumbler which I haven't had much success with. A church friend has a prolific compost pile and gave me the directions to make mine. By next summer I should have lots of rich compost. Of course, I had to create a garden setting around it to make it appealing to visitors. I spread a ton of river rock in front of it, moved my antique park bench, another red wooden bench, bird houses, and hung vintage garden tools , etc to the area to spruce it up. My husband just shook his head. Why decorate a compost bin? Why not, I said.

   I wasted no time starting the next project. I reclaimed an arbor I had built Mom 10 years ago. After her death  in January, I hauled it home where it spent the winter laying on its side on my patio.  I wanted to place it centered off my patio as  an entrance to my back garden. It needed some minor repairs first. Even green treated lumber has a life expectancy. It had grown out of square with the move and laying on its side. That was a challenge to fix. When I was ready to erect it in place, I had a high school boy, Rhett, help me because it was very heavy. Rhett is in a program called Silver Cord where students do volunteer labor leading up to graduation for special honors and to enhance their college resume. Yeah! Free labor, although I did feed him lunch. :) Once erected to its new home, I decided the arbor needed an enclosure. Mom had a rail fence on either side. I built a stone wall on either side to enclose the patio for more privacy. That lead to my decision to enlarge the flowerbeds on either side as well and wrap them around the front of the wall. Again Randy asked, "Why?"  And of course I said, "Why not?" Does a gardener ever really need an excuse to expand?

  July came all too soon and Randy decided we needed to go on vacation. We left on July 1st and headed for Gettysburg! We spent 3 days there and loved every minute of it. The battle was fought July1st thru the 3rd so we were there for the reenactment. I bought yards and yards of Civil War repro fabric at the wonderful quilt shop there, Needle and Thread, which specializes in Civil War cotton fabrics. And surprise!!! Randy stepped in front of me to pay for all of it. I was shocked and he said, "Happy Anniversary!" It was our 35th on July 11th. I thought the trip was my present, but I didn't argue the point. :) We went to Antietam National Battlefield, Harper's Ferry, Manassas (Bull Run Battlefield), and Washington DC over the next 8 days. I soaked up all the history I could and Randy had fun too. I think history is growing on him!. Some people go to Hawaii or on a cruise for a big anniversary, but Randy knows how to make me happy...Civil War historical sites every time.

  Here are a few of those moments in pictures:

  This delightful lady is Shelley Reetz who portrays Sophie Porter, wife of Union Brigadier General Horace  
Porter, aide-de-camp to General U.S. Grant. We hit it off immediately and I visited her every time we were in the vicinity over the three days in Gettysburg. Randy accused me of stalking her! 

 Recognize the fellow in the top hat? These gentlemen and several more not pictured, portray Union Generals, officers, and Honest Abe himself at various venues. They speak in the first person in narrative form retelling their career exploits. You really become convinced they are the actual historical people they portray.

  I met these lovely ladies strolling the grounds of the reenactment. LOVED their dresses.

  I'm standing in front of the pool at the WWII Memorial. This is a fantastic memorial to all who fought in the war. I hope all those still living get to visit it. I got goosebumps and was so moved by it. I can only imagine what they feel when they see it.
Here I'm holding a rifle that was actually used in the Battle of Gettysburg. It was so heavy I couldn't hold it in firing position.

And, of course I I had to see the Lincoln Memorial. Standing inside at the foot of his statue, I wanted to break out into the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Lucky for everyone present, I remembered I have a terrible singing voice, but I did hum it the whole time there. :)

I became a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution last year, so I had to visit the DAR museum. I posed with my membership card at the entrance. There was only one bed quilt on display. It was in the "Texas" room. It's applique and mind boggling to see all those apples  (?) or giant berries in the baskets.

I took 479 pictures on this trip, so believe me, we saw a lot. I won't bore you with all of them here. (You're welcome!) This is already too long. I've tried to take pictures of my garden projects, but it's always too bright and they come out blurry. I will try at sunset again and post them next time if they turn out.

Till then, keep stitchin'!