Thursday Doors

Garage doors. There’s normally nothing too fancy about them. The story is usually what’s behind them.

Does your pulse quicken at the sight of four plus garage bays and a space above? Mine does. Cars plus room for diy projects, potting bench, crafts, woodwork, paint, outdoor sink- oh, the options are endless.

This particular four-car garage is part of the Weeks estate in Lancaster, New Hampshire, that was built in the early 1900’s by John Wingate Weeks, Congressman, Senator, United States Secretary of War, and leading conservationist.

When built, this garage housed the Weeks’ Cadillacs and provided lodging above for the chauffeur.

In 1941, the estate covering  446 acres was given to the state of NH to be used as a state park. Today, it provides visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the White Mountains of NH, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the upper Connecticut River Valley.

It’s a sight to behold so my friend, Sue, told me when she texted me this photo. It’s good to have friends especially on Thursday. 🙂

Like doors? Go visit my other friends over at Norm Frampton’s
Thursday Doors – August 15, 2019.

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Beautiful day in the neighborhood

I had a nice week off with hubby doing fun anniversary things. We kept busy with family and friends, and we ate dessert every day because that’s a necessity when you’re celebrating.

One day I ate a breakfast of banana bread french toast that even looked like dessert. 🙂

Besides having some fun last week, my husband built me two raised beds for blueberries. I had ordered Bluecrop and Jersey varieties from Stark Brothers and moved two plants that were here when we moved in. I also got a bonus when I moved those two because I found two small plants. I amended the soil I used hoping to keep it more alkaline acidic which will hopefully result in good fruit crops in years to come. (Thank you Eliza for catching that typo. :-))

I also had to extend the garden area by about 3′ in order to accommodate the beds and a walkway. In order to gain that area, it required shoveling the soil out of one of my tanks, putting down cardboard over the grass, and adding a truck bed of wood chips.

A MG friend and I also potted up 35 more daylilies for a whopping total of 141. They are in every color of the rainbow. I sure hope we have lots of folks next year who are looking for exceptionally beautiful varieties.

I finished a wall hanging of sunflowers. It was a panel so there wasn’t any creativity involved, but there were several days of straight stitching to outline the flowers.

Now, I need to start a new sewing project and pick up Baldacci’s ‘Redemption’with Amos Decker. I finished Ben Coes’ ‘The Russian’, but regretfully wasn’t impressed as I normally am with one of his books.

This week I have to decide if the blackberries are going where the blueberries were, am I going to repurpose the empty tank, whether I’m going to consider taking on a new MG project at our local county nursing home, and, you know, just the regular stuff.

While I’m working my way through the week, I’ll be enjoying my coffee as it sits on a beautiful mug rug that I was gifted by a very talented friend. We all have skills, but this special lady has hands that create some of the most beautiful needle work ever.

The weather here this morning is splendiferous with a temperature of 66° so I’m headed outside after a quick breakfast.

Hope your life is going well – all your loved ones are healthy, your garden is prospering, DIY projects are close to being done, your sewing machine is oiled, the book you’re reading is a page turner, and a good friend has time for lunch this week. 🙂

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We’re taking a page from Laurie at Notes from the Hinterland’s celebrating book, and instead of one celebration, we’re celebrating every day this week with small celebrations. So, I’ll be out and about and busy this week, friends.

I’ll see you next week, but remember life is short so stop and smell the roses and celebrate every time you have the opportunity. 😎

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Lessons learned

If you’re not a gardener, this post will most likely bore you to tears so you have my blessing to skip it and move on. 🙂

Garden bloggers post about nice things, pretty things.

But, there is the other side of gardening that includes the lessons learned.

Last year, the vegetables in my raised beds were pitiful so I made a few changes. First, I pulled all the plants out the first of August and disposed of them at the recycling center.

Then, I replaced about 2/3 of the soil in the tanks with compost and enriched soil and covered them with landscape fabric to rest until this year.

I’ve changed how I water them, and have used a weak fertilizer every couple of weeks and tried an epsom salt spray. My tomatoes are doing good, and for the first time in years I don’t have blight. Well, I don’t have blight yet anyway. 🙂

A few days ago, I noticed a clump of black eyed susans had some type of issue on their leaves. There were large black splotches, and it spread within the clump and then to other clumps.

This bed is in the same area as my veggies so I pulled them out, all of them, and took a large construction bag half full of them to the recycling center. I spent a lot of time trying to identify the issue, and I couldn’t find an exact match, but it might be cercospora fungal disease.

We had two MG projects going this summer that involved perennial plantings, but were approached from different perspectives.

I was coordinating one and decided we needed to add garden soil for flowers to level the area where plants had been removed. Once the plants had been added, we also applied wood chips from the local recycling center. So far, the plants have survived the heat, humidity, periodic heavy rains, and have the normal amount of small weeds in a mulched bed. They are doing well.

The second project was managed by a good friend who was convinced they needed to add a 50/50 blend of mulch and compost that is sold by one local company. She felt it would improve the soil, act as a better mulch product and look natural, which are all good things. This mulch and compost mix turned out to not hold moisture as well in full sun, but it certainly encouraged weeds. The plants are not doing as well in this project, and they are having some major maintenance issues.

Speaking of weeds, weeding is not my favorite part of gardening, but, I like some measure of neatness to my beds, and if I pull a small weed it doesn’t disturb the soil much. However, if I have to dig out a weed, then I have a larger area to allow weeds to take hold. It’s like that old saying – pay me now or pay me later.

I also got a surprise when I went to check the gauge on my propane tank. Bees.

How lucky can one woman get to find wasps and hornets in one place.

Gardening this year has been challenging because of lack of winter snow cover which dried many plants out, an exceptionally wet spring, and now extraordinary heat and humidity. Our temperature is suppose to hit 90° today, and the humidity is already 90% at 6:45 a.m.

Are you finding new challenges in your garden this year? Have some lessons to share with us?

This has really been a learning season this year, but through it all, the daylilies continue to brighten my day. Happy last Monday of July. 😎

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Hot, hot, hot – it was hot this weekend. There were no outside activities except for watering and picking raspberries. There was a lot of keeping the shades drawn and finding inside projects to keep busy.

Thursday night I did go on a weed walk  at Wagon Hill Farm in Durham.

Wagon Hill includes a community garden which has 90 plots and a waiting list. Beautiful setting, amazing gardens, great views, and lots of conversation about weeds.

Since they are so prevalent after a wet spring, I guess it was only fitting. My favorite weed – Queen Anne’s Lace.

Weeds, bugs – they both hinder good gardening practices, which leads me to the fact that the Japanese Beetles have arrived.

I’ve seen more but, however many there are, they inflict damage. This summer they seem to be focused on my blackberry bushes. If you don’t have them in your area, consider yourself lucky.

Heat, weeds, bugs, animals – none of them seem to impact the tried and true perennials and my annuals in containers. They are just strutting their stuff.

But, last Friday was a banner day because I trapped the ground hog! Yes!

On Thursday, I walked the fence line, found an area where the soil was disturbed, put a nice big slice of cantaloupe in the Havahart trap, and on Friday morning there he was looking up at me.

I loaded him up in the back of my pickup and drove him down the road to a wooded area several miles from home and let him loose. Have a good life, but please don’t come back to visit.

After that, we cleaned up and headed to McKenzie’s farm to buy strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, greens, fresh baked ciabatta, and apple cider donuts. I figured if we were going to spend the weekend inside, we should at least eat well.

Happy Monday, and I hope you have a great week. 😎

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Thursday Doors

Yesterday, I made a stop at Rolling Green Nursery in Greenland, NH. It is a first-class nursery with an amazing assortment of plants, great customer service, and I got door lucky.

I must admit the huge bicycle caught my eye first and then the bright pink petunias. But in the background, there was a seasoned potting shed. Garden art, flowers, and a weathered door – now, that’s a good day for me.

Happy Thursday and stay cool if you’re in line for this heatwave. We’ve got temps in the 90’s this weekend with a real feel of well over 100°F. That sounds like a good time to get back to the sewing machine or grab a good book. 😎

By the way, the wild kingdom score is Animals 2: Judy 0. The deer polished off my entire stock tank of lettuce, and the groundhog is still prancing around and snacking like he owns the place, which I guess he does.

Linked to the Head Doorman, Norm Frampton – Thursday Doors, July 18, 2019

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Home on the range

All I did was glance out the bathroom window while brushing my teeth, and who did I see enjoying a snack in the back yard – a groundhog. Now I’ve got a groundhog? Is Mother Nature kidding me?

There isn’t a photo because I was so dumbfounded, I didn’t grab my phone. I would describe him as big, and it was obvious he hasn’t missed many meals. So, I guess after I write a little, I need to get over to the hardware store and buy myself a trap and some cantaloupe.

I’d better tell you about plants quickly before they’re gone. April and May were wet, now the heat and humidity have settled in, and the plants are responding differently.

The Daylilies and Phlox are doing pretty well, but I have quite a few Daylilies that just don’t have any flowers, just leaves. I’ve never seen clumps of Daylilies with no flowers. There are a couple of Mexican Sunflowers grown from seed that are gorgeous.

I have at least seven regular blue Hydrangeas, which as you know have certain pruning requirements and soil amendments necessary for them to bloom. But, I’m partial to the Annabelle. They are so easy to grow because in the fall you just cut them back to the ground, and in the spring they pop right back up like other perennials with their huge flower heads.

The tomatoes have not been happy. I have four plants, three in a tank and one in the ground. The one in the ground is just all leaves. Two in the tank have a few flowers, and there is one cherry tomato that finally has a few green tomatoes.  I bought four Strawberry Berried Treasure™ Red plants. They all arrived alive and well, but only one has made it. There were six Knockout Roses. One died, one is stunted, three are fine, and the one above looks like it’s on stilts. It’s at least four feet tall and all the blossoms are on the top. It is truly weird how this weather is affecting the plants..

But, I saw two Monarchs yesterday and caught a couple of shots with my phone. It was so happy with the milkweed that I grabbed my garden tractor seat and watched for a while and found there were actually two visiting.

Now, if the groundhog doesn’t eat all my plants, maybe they’ll be back, and I’ll have a better camera with me.

I want to end with a chuckle. A fellow blogger mentioned on Facebook that July was ‘The Duke Days of Summer,’ and she was having a drawing for $100 of John Wayne merchandise for anyone who would mention their favorite John Wayne movie. I commented that Hondo is my favorite movie, and I won because I was the only person who entered. Too funny. Now, I keep wondering what I will possibly find for $100. Thoughts?

Happy Monday, and I hope you don’t have any uninvited visitors in your garden. 🙂

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