Sunday, June 05, 2011

This week's collage

Last Sunday Stephen and I stayed home since he was running a fever and most of the day was spent like this (for him at least):

Monday was Memorial Day and Philip installed the flag that I got him for Christmas. I got to visit a friend in the hospital who had given birth to a baby girl the day before (sorry - no picture!)and then we went to my in-laws to grill and have homemade ice cream - I'll try to post the recipe later.

Because the weather was so nice, I worked outside a lot finishing flower planting, mulching and doing other odd jobs around the house. The mint that was given to me from Saudi Arabia two years ago was finally given a home.

The lily of the valley and bleeding hearts are blooming.

The rest of the shade garden is looking so nice! The hydrangea is getting ready to take off with nice pink blooms this year.

The cherry tree that I planted earlier this spring died and so it had to be replaced but the new one is looking good thus far.

Liberty apple didn't bloom this year but it's looking good.

The pixie crunch apple also had to be replanted this spring since it didn't recover from the damage done by the children last fall. This time I got smart and staked all of the trees so they shouldn't be so easily messed with....I hope. It had twelve blossoms on it this year but they had to all be removed to allow the tree to establish itself before fruiting. Perhaps next year we can get a few.

The strawberries are doing so well and we've even eaten a few - Daniel look surprised after he picked one off... "It tastes just like a real strawberry!" he said. Again we won't have lots this year but I think they've done quite well.

The garden looks like it survived all the rain! The tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers still look a bit yellow but they seem as though they will snap out of it. The green beans, lima beans, onions and carrots will be fine. This week we need to get the rest out if possible. I was going to wait to trellis my grape vine next year but if they get any bigger I'll have to do it this year!

Perhaps the most exciting project I've worked on this spring it my blackberry and red raspberry bushes. This area behind our house used to be overgrown with weeds and to me was wasted growing space! Last year we planted four bushes but then with everything else that went on not much else happened. When I planted, I made a mistake and put down landscaping fiber (since the weeds were so AWFUL in that area) forgetting that the bushes would be sending up new shoots and that landscaping fiber wasn't going to allow them to grow. This year I removed the landscaping fiber and mulched heavily (sidenote: answer to prayer - I love my place to look nice but can't really justify spending a fortune on mulch. I did spend some but then got four bucket loads for free - I was SO THANKFUL!) allowing them to put up new bushes (and they are!). Then in front of them I placed landscaping fiber held down by bricks that are from the wall that's collapsing behind our house. They boys got the job of using a screwdriver and hammers to knock the mortar off of all the bricks. They think because they got to use tools and whack on stuff that it was fun...they didn't realize it was work :o) Then I filled the area in with pebbles to make a walkway. I ran out of pebbles and landscaping fiber but that should be done by the end of this week. This area is also a great hiding place for snakes and we did kill our 12th one last week - hopefully they've all moved on now....I really don't like all!

My flowers are looking nice in the planters but the hanging baskets need to be trimmed back to bloom out again.

Oh, and our van turned over 100,000 miles today!

That about sums up our week. It's busy now that the cafeteria is closed and I have to cook :o) It's amazing how slow I get when I'm not cooking on a daily basis. God has blessed us with some good times together as a family and I'm so thankful for these summer days!

Mom: sorry I forgot to get any pictures of my hanging baskets - I had taken them all down last night when we got a storm and I've not gotten them back up.


Nancy said...

I like to look at your pretty plants and garden when I walk in the evenings. I was just thinking the other day how pretty the plants are that are running alongside the house. So pretty! You must have a "green thumb" wish I did! I planted some veggie plants in some large pots that my Dad brought me. So hopefully those few things grow well. we'll see:)

Juwah said...

So lovely and neat, I'm impressed. We planted strawberries this year and have gotten a few, but they are small. I'm hoping in time our plants will put out "real" strawberries too. :) We use old newspaper covered in mulch to keep weeds down. Not quite as effective as landscape fiber, but cheaper(since we have a never ending supply of mulch). Do you think the off shoots from your bushes would come up through newspaper?

Marianne Brown said...

Nancy - thank you - in some ways it's my way of making some "country" in the city - I really don't have a green thumb - you ought to see my mother's flowers - they're unbelievable!
Julia - I never thought of old newspaper! That's something I'll have to keep in mind next year. I used landscaping fiber under the berry patch but used cheap topsoil and it is FULL of weeds. I do think that the berry shoots would come up through newspaper...they're rather hearty souls...looking for any crack or crevice to creep up through (even the few holes I had in my landscaping fiber from last year had shoots growing towards them. :o)