Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Never Ending Project

At least it sure seems like a never ending one. Gardening. ...... First I must say that this is the first year in several years I have been able to do much work at all in the garden.

Before my open heart surgery it seems 15 minutes work and I had to sit and catch my breath. It was a never ending battle. Needless to say for the last 2 or 3 years I have done very little other than to the small flower beds around the house, and those have not been done the greatest. This year I have spent more time in the flowerbeds helping George than I bet I have in 5 or more years. And I am loving it.

We decided that they needed totally redone. Our poor little pond we put in you could no long see for the wild roses and small trees that had sprouted, Virginia Creeper that decided to move from the property line into the flowerbeds. Boy what a mess it all had become.

This is what it was looking like last fall. No deadheading, weeding or even mowing it down.

The biggest was out back by where the shed is. The one to the front  was a mass of weeds. 

So we started the project and  have worked 4 week ends. and every evening it has not rained. Hauled manure, mulch and two loads of plants and are still only half done. 

Here are a few things we have done thus far. 

Front right quarter with some of the plants. The ones to the front left are Madonna lilies which have all these pretty green leaves come up then die back during the month of June. Long about the end of July or early in August they will then push up stems and we will have beautiful lilies where the leave were. I find they are a very interesting plant to have. Oh the common name for them " Naked Ladies" . I always laugh when they open and tell everyone our naked ladies are standing in the garden again. 

The bed in back is the other front quarter. George decided it was break time and I had to agree.

Two front quarters are now pretty much done. Will be nice when the plants get bigger and fill in more but I am loving the way it looks already. 

This is now what the area looks like after planting of both sides. Peony to the middle are some that were there and we left as they were.  To the right is also a large spirea we had planted several years ago. It got a good "hair cut " and it still put on a show of flowers for us. 

This is my angel garden. There are mostly day lilies and iris planted here. 
I also put a clump of bee balm and there was a butterfly bush there. Day lily and iris were two of the flowers my mother loved. Along  with flowers mom loved hummingbirds therefore the bee balm for the hummingbirds and butterflies another of moms favorites in the summer. So the butterfly bush will bring the butterflies here. I must mention mom was a collector of angels so I moved the angel from near the house to this garden.

I also added a memory of my childhood. How many remember getting milk delivery right to your door. Here is the box that was at the door of my husbands home many years ago. I remember even having milk delivery at the door when I was married to my first husband and my girls were small. I sure do wish we could now get it. Remember the cream floating on the top. Yummy it was. 

This is one of my favorite rose bushs given to me by the Seniors of the Onsted Senior Center as a birthday gift. I had taken my birthday off that year to cook for the Volunteer  Banquet. Every time it blooms I can not help but think of those wonderful seniors and how much love they shared over the 2 years I worked that center. Now many of those seniors are gone and I fondly think of them as I tend to the rose. 

The back is started but with rain every day for over a week now we have not been able to get into the back and do any more work. Here is what  we started out with. I call this "Lilacs Gone Wild"
There were many wild flowers that came up and bloomed but were very evasive so those all came out. 

The back quarter of the bed after cleaning. And look what we found. Yup the little pond is there. Full of a beautiful pond lily pad plant . And it even had a couple buds on it. 

The iris there on the right side are a beautiful deep purple ones that a friend gave me from her farm house just before she moved. She since has passed away and these are a special reminder of all the fun times we had over the years. 

I hope the daily storms will finally stop so we can get back to work but weather is calling for more right through Tuesday again. Not sure if it goes beyond Tuesday. I really am afraid to look. I sure do wish we could send our rainfall to the states that really need it. 

Now I would like to share a few of the flowers we have in and around the yard. 

One of the dark roses 

Siberian Iris

This is one of the hanging baskets over our flowers at the end of the carport. The yellow at the bottom are in the flower bed. I believe they are what they call false lupine. I was given a start these years ago by a friend and have had to separate them several times sharing starts with may friends and family. 

One of the hanging baskets on my dinner bell pole. I love petunias and plant several each year. Almost all of my annuals I plant are in red, white, and blue along with yellows and orange.

Beautiful ruffled day lily.I loved the cream color of this one and had never seen a ruffled one before. 

Shasta daisy. When George and I married this was the main flower in my bouquet . I can hardly wait till they grow in a big clump so I can separate and add more clumps of them throughout the flower beds. 

I have no idea what these are called. Will say that when a leaf is broken or torn it smells like an onion. Have been here for years and is a very strong  reliable plant for a good bloom time

Another childhood memory was a milk can. My Great Grandpa and Grandma had a big farm house and when I was real young my favorite place to play when there was in the cool milk house. I could have cried the day my husband came home and said there were a couple milk cans thrown at the side of the road. He drove right on by them. He did take me back but both were gone already. This one I found at a garage sale many years ago and only paid $5.00 for it. It has been outside all these years and not a bit faded. I have it under the large overhang of the house or under the car port so it does not get the rough weather if in the open.

Yellow Day Lily. Love the color. Such a soft pretty yellow.

Love peonies and have them in three different beds and in 3 different colors. 

My hanging kettle above my herbs. Quite a story here. The hitching post it is hanging on is from the old General Store owned by my Great Grandparents in Napoleon Michigan. Once cars came in and horse were no longer ridden this hitching post went to my Aunts home where as a little girl I loved to climb all over it doing summersaults and generally just hanging from it. From my Aunts it went to my parents home where the iron kettle was hung. Many batches of laundry were done in that old iron kettle years ago. When my parents sold and built and new home the hitching post was dug out and went with them to their new home along with Grandmas kettle. Several years ago mom and dad decided to downsize and called me one day and asked if I would like the post and kettle. Believe me hubby and I could not get there fast enough to get it. And now it proudly hangs in our own yard. When it cools a bit this will be getting a fresh coat of paint. 
 I am sure Great Grandma and and Grandpa would be happy to see it is enjoyed and that both have been useful for one thing or another for all these years. 

This was an area where an old evergreen bush was when we moved into my mother-and father-in-laws home. It was close to the road and finally bit the dust. George tried to dig it out, hooked and pull it out but it was not budging. So what do you do with an eyesore. Last spring while working in the bed closest to the road we decided to take out some iris. I set them behind the old stump and low and behold they grew and this year flowered.  So I added flowers to the front an since have mulched it with dark brown mulch and added a couple elves to it. Sort of like it that way too. 

Now back to relaxing in the shade of our gazebo. My place to view what we have accomplished this year so far. We still have a huge long garden to do and hope to also get that done this year. And I do at times drag a craft out there and sit while crafting. I think it is good for the soul. 

I hope you have enjoyed  a small part of our ongoing project. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Month of Celebrating

Spring is here "the grass is rizzzz", flowers almost all planted,  half the veggie garden is done, and the celebrating for a month is behind us.

And celebrate we did. May 4th started the day cool but turned warm and just the right weather for the first big celebration of the spring. This was the biggest day for two very special people.  My oldest Granddaughter Ashley graduating with a Masters degree in Art Therapy  from Adler School of Psychology in Chicago and for her fiance' Ray our soon to be grandson  Graduating from Adrian College and also being commissioned 2nd. Lt. in the U.S. Army.

We were very honored they asked if they could have their party to celebrate all this plus their going away party. It was the first time we would meet Rays' family. We had a wonderful time ,lots of good food and will have many wonderful memories of the day.

Ashley and Ray along with Grandma ( Me)

Ashley and Ray with Ashleys' dad Darryl

Ashley and Rays with Rays Parents, Brother and Grandmother 

Ashley and Ray with Ashleys' sister Brittany . 

Celebrating so many things at once. What do you  put on  the cake?  
Best Wishes. 

After the excitement  the day  totally needed to some serous relaxing. The next couple days I did  just that. Then came the next few busy days, preparing to get away to the beauty of nature while camping in the North Woods of Michigan. George and I spent a week at the Sleepy Bear Dunes Platt River Campgrounds. We walked trails  took a few senic tours and just  enjoyed the time alone. It has been a long time since just the two of us have gotten away. We looked for the elusive morel mushrooms and came home with enough for 4-5 good sized servings of them. Weather had been dry. Rained finally Wednesday and Thursday so by Friday morning  mushrooms were really popping all over. Found many good sized ones that day compared to early in the week. Alas Saturday morning it was time to pack up the trailer and hitch up and head back home. 

Just a couple pictures of our trip. More to come about our beautiful state later. 

Point Betsie Lighthouse. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes. 
Short note. Warning signs all over do not go off the wooden trail. Dunes could move. Well the two dots down by the lake decided to climb down to the water. As we left rescue helicopter was coming in as they could not get back up. Why people do things as this just baffles my mind. 

Back home and now just one week away from the second big celebration of Spring of 2013. 

Our Granddaughter Brittany would be graduating and she has lived with us for over a year now. Party # two Open House for her Graduation. 

Walking into the gym 

The Year Is  over and she is now officially out and is College bound.

Brittany with her mother Cherrie

Brittany with Grandma and Grandpa Gilbert,  Grandpa George and I 

With Aunt Lisa and Cousin Holly

Brittany with our Nephew, Tyler. And out of all the boys in her class they ended up walking down together. What are the odds of that happening. They match boy girl alphabetically. 

Then came the Open House. She had asked for a Mexican Meal so that is just what she had. Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice, Mexican Steak and Gravy with potatoes in it, homemade chips and salsa, taco salad and all the other goodies to go with the meal.What a fun time with all. 

Good food, Family, and Friends. What more would you need.

The cake. Made by her Aunt Jill. The little Graduate is solar powered and jiggled. 

Love her look. She was not too sure on cutting that cake. 

Her niece. Our Great Grandbaby. It was so nice to see her. Her parents live out of state now so the last time we had seen her she was just 4 weeks old. My how she has grown. 

Great Grandpa Choate and Jan 

Aunt Pat and Great Grandma Cox

Grandma and Grandpa Gilbert

And this is the morning after .

So the celebrations are over. Quiet has returned to our house. At least until I decide rather to have the family reunion later this fall. We have been talking about it. Been 3 years since doing one. 

Now the gardening has begun in earnest. I hope that I Can soon be sharing some of the changes going on in our yard.