Garden adventure

On Saturday, a friend and I went on a garden tour in what I’d call a rural/bedroom community. Their population is around 10,000.

We saw a variety of beautiful gardens, traveled dirt roads, hiked through the woods between a couple of gardens, and bought fresh peaches on our way home. It was a good day!

Instead of showing you plants, I’m going to share some other things we saw. Hope one or two bring a smile. πŸ™‚

Happy Monday and first day of August!

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Solace in the garden

”When the world wearies and society does not satisfy….
there is always the garden.” 
by Minnie Aumonier*

During these past couple of years, I’ve found a lot of solace in my garden.

We have been seeing some wicked hot temps, high humidity, and drought. There is a chance we may get some much needed rain today in the state, I just don’t know if we’ll get lucky and get some here that will make an appreciable difference.

Regardless of the temperature, I can always look out the windows and smile. Hope you have a good week that involves plenty of smiles.

*Thanks to our blogging friend, Gerrie, at Canberra’s Green Spaces for first using the quote.

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Daylily season

The daylilies are blooming, and I always enjoy them. The blooms last for one day, which in this hectic world we live in, reminds me to stop and enjoy them because their beauty is fleeting. These are the ones blooming right now. Others have gone by and some are yet to come.

We are in a drought, and that definitely impacts everything in the landscape. Our blueberries are not ripening and the tomato plants are not doing well at all. I may have to buy tomatoes this year. Now, that’s a gardening travesty. πŸ™‚

Look what I saw when I looked up from pruning a tree last week. The paper wasps are back. These guys sting.

I’ve ordered an extension battery chain saw. It should arrive this week, and I’ll cut the branch off back at the base and hope to relocate it off to the edges of the property.

Why even try to move it? I don’t want to get stung while working out there, and I’m seeing very few pollinators so I don’t want to unnecessarily kill those that are around.

On Friday, we closed out the week with a lovely picnic and afternoon sitting by the water with a friend. We talked and laughed for a couple of hours. It is always good for the soul to just have an old-fashioned conversation without a phone involved.

Gardening, reading, sewing, and a little DIY are on my agenda this week. I’m moving a little slower right now because yesterday I dropped an iron cultivator wheel on my foot. Based upon my experience, if at all possible, avoid doing that. πŸ™‚

Hope you have a wonderful week!

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Garden Tours

For a gardener, a garden tour is a wonderful opportunity to take a look at another gardener’s vision. Last week, I got lucky and did it several times.

On Tuesday, along with some other friends, we visited a Master Gardener who had just hosted the garden wedding of her granddaughter. This garden could be in a magazine or on a fact sheet for how to layer plants to grab your interest.

I think each of us on the tour was making a mental list of what to move in our own garden. A couple of take aways were to pay close attention to the garden backdrop, height of your plants, and there’s definitely more interest in plants grouped together than planted individually.

I’ll share a couple of photos, but a professional photographer would be needed to truly highlight the beauty of this garden.

Over the weekend, a friend and I took advantage of a local first annual town garden tour featuring over a dozen homes and community gardens. These gardens were an eclectic group that with one exception were all home owners expressing their individual gardening interests. The town is hilly and rocky so it was interesting to see how people handled those challenges.

One home owner made a rock wall, while another gardened on a rock wall. The plants that seemed to be the predominant choices by all were roses and clematis in every type and color. There were also fascinating pieces of garden art, sheds, a handsome fire pit, and well placed seating opportunities.

Seeing friends, enjoying fun conversations, and visiting all these gardens made for a good week.

On the weekend garden tour, one of the stops was at a professional landscaper’s home. As we finished our chat with her, she said we should make sure to stop and say hello to her friend on the front porch.

There on a small table was her pet rabbit, Cinnamon. She has a little pad to sit on, one to sleep on, and a small box with ears on top to rest in.

After stopping to pet and admire her, we moved on, but she kept me smiling all weekend.

Happy Monday, and I hope you all have a fabulous last week in June!

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June

The weather took a hard left turn last week. We had mornings in the 40’s and mid-day temps of low 60’s. That’s rather cold for June, but the plants don’t seem to mind.

Trees and shrubs are growing, berries are doing well, and the flowers are blooming. It’s pretty out there.

A lot of gardening work is not very interesting to write about. For instance, I dug up an entire shade garden and created a tiny shade area. I gave all of the plants to a MG friend and a neighbor. Following the leveling of the area, I hauled in and shoveled two loads of mulch. Like I said, not too interesting, but it sure kept me busy. πŸ™‚

I’ve noticed more door challenge blog posts than usual this week. I’ve had my own real door challenge while refinishing our front door. After a lot of work and multiple coats, I’m happy to say the red front door project is finished and hopefully won’t have to be revisited for a while.

Technology has kept my mind busy. I have an email account I’ve had for over 20 years, and now I keep getting the message I’ve tried too many times, and it locks me out. I have to change the password before it will let me open the account. Changing passwords every day or two gets really old.

More important though, is a WordPress re-blogging issue that I’ve been told is just part of blogging. Almost every post I write is reblogged on another site. I tried taking the share button off and also contacting those very special Happy Engineers, but I’m told there’s nothing I can do. Having a blogging friend share content is one thing, but having a site pick up almost every one of my posts and putting it on their site is kind of creepy.

News fear reporting is at a high right now in our area. Our NH electric company is raising rates this summer by 50%. No, that isn’t a typo. Along with the increase, they consistently tell us there will be rolling blackouts. Nice, to have your budget destroyed and your power disrupted at the same time.

Last week I met a good friend for lunch and coffee at a local farm cafe that dates back to the mid 1660’s. It is the oldest family farm in the country. Impressive history, and the conversation and coffee were good too.

This week a friend from Indiana is in town, and we are visiting a MG friend’s beautiful garden for a tour. Good stuff!

Hope mid June is treating you well and keeping a smile on your face. 😎

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Flower Power

Gardeners who plan well have flowers blooming throughout the spring and summer. I’m still working on that. My biggest problem is I love spring flowers.

Besides gardening and reading, we’ve been doing a few jobs around the house. Remember that old, bad joke about ‘how many xxxxxx does it take to replace a lightbulb?’ Well, in our case it took two seniors to replace a lightbulb inside our microwave. We debated making a service call, and decided how hard can this be. We found the bulb we needed, and then found a couple of YouTube videos. We figured out how to take the top pieces of the microwave apart and get that tiny bulb replaced for less than $10 – I like it.

Thank you to every person who has filmed a YouTube video for the rest of us to learn from. Doing that is not in my wheelhouse, but I couldn’t count how many I’ve watched in order to learn how to do something.

Next on the to-do-list was our front door which is metal, and some of the paint had started to chip off. I scraped and sanded all the spots, but I had a really uneven finish after that. I put primer on next, but the areas where I scraped were still highly visible. Back to Google and YouTube. I picked up some Bondo and filled in the depressions, sanded and sanded some more, and re-primed. It’s looking pretty good, and I should get that new red paint on it this week. If anyone needs almost a full can of Bondo, please let me know.

I hope you had a good week, and that this one will be even better. I also hope your gas prices are lower than ours at $5 per gallon. It sure makes your eyes bulge when you have to fill the tank.

Have a good one!

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Memorial Day

Home of the free because of the brave.

Thank you. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I never imagined that in my lifetime I would not only be remembering all the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present, but also all the lost children in our grade schools.

Living in New England, the travesty of Sandy Hook is never far from our memory, and each new mass school shooting like Uvalde hits hard. News coverage, visits by politicians and celebrities, prayers, Go Fund Me pages do not replace the loss of a child, a chair empty at each and every family event.

This is not an easy problem to solve, but we could certainly start by updating the laws surrounding the purchase of guns, improving our mental health offerings, and providing parents with a safe avenue when they think their child is headed on the wrong road because of personal issues.

It is easy to feel that there is not much just one person can do, but we could all come together and let our representatives in Washington know that we’ve seen too much loss and need real change. It took me thirteen minutes to send messages to the President, Vice President, two senators, and one representative.

One Nation…

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Links to other well-written topical posts from Marty, Dan, Maureen, and Mary.

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Flowers

Even though our weather has been jumping from 50 to 90 degrees depending upon the day, the flowers are starting to bloom.

It’s also the season to plant containers, and if you’ve bought annuals this year you know the prices are up substantially. Six packs became four packs last year, and this year there are a lot of singles.

I normally buy six packs of Marigolds each year. This year the color I wanted was in single pots so I went through them to find doubles so I could divide them. Cheap, frugal? Whatever, you want to call it, annuals only last here for about 12 weeks, and then they move to the compost bin. If you’ve never tried dividing plants, it’s pretty easy. You just need enough root material to transplant.

Gardening is an adventure and there are many learning moments. Several weeks back I potted up my canna bulbs hoping to give them a head start. No problem with potting up, but I watered them, and a vast majority rotted. The secret is to pot up and not water until they produce new sprouts. Hard lesson, but I’ve learned and won’t do it again.

Speaking of lessons, I planted two tanks approximately 3′ apart the same day with the same seeds and soil mixture. I put lettuce and carrots on the edges, and in the center planted beans in one and peas in the other. Take a look. Interesting, huh.

The week before Memorial Day is always a big gardening week. I’ve got annuals, perennials, more Cannas, and Rose of Sharon bushes waiting to be planted. If you’re looking for me, check outside. 😎

Have a great week and holiday weekend – stay well, safe, and have fun. Are you traveling or staying close to home?

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Lesson from the toilet

Yes, I know, that title can be a put off, but this self-deprecating story is about a toilet experience that I want all of you to avoid.

As many of you may know, as one ages one becomes more familiar with public restrooms. It is what it is and has to be acknowledged and accommodated.

So, on a weekday a couple of weeks ago, I headed to Home Depot to pick up some gardening supplies. I was attired in my usual gardening wardrobe – old, loose, comfy jeans. Jean pockets allow me to not have to carry a purse while lifting soil and compost bags.

Again, as a senior, one does a mental check as to whether or not a trip to the restroom would be advisable before lifting. On this particular day, the decision was made to make a stop.

Quick stop in a clean restroom shouldn’t be a problem. However, when the self-flushing toilet kicked in, I glanced over to realize my iPhone 12 was bobbing up and down in the flushing water.

I was quick to grab it, but then stood there in shock not knowing whether to scream or fall down laughing. I dropped my phone in the toilet?

I took the cover off, wiped off the water, and pressed to see if it would wake up. It appeared to be working. I put it back in my pocket to leave and could feel the water coming out of it as it made my pocket wet. Karma?

Rice, I used lots and lots of rice over the next couple of days. At first making a phone call was very scratchy, but eventually that leveled out. My iPhone made it through a waterfall and lived to tell the story.

This Public Service Announcement was provided so that you can make sure your back pockets are phone secure. I would not recommend writing this story for yourself even if you did enjoy a few hearty chuckles along the way. πŸ™‚

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Outdoors

Happy Monday after Mother’s Day!

I hope everyone who comforts and loves others had a wonderful day.

I spent part of my day with Mother Nature which always puts a smile on my face.

There was also a decadent but welcome dessert to enjoy.

My gardening tools and I have gotten a workout lately including my Craftsman 20-Volt 10″ Chainsaw. It is lightweight and works great. I’ve taken down a couple of 15′ pine trees and cut up some trees that fell down on their own. It uses the same batteries as my other Craftsman so that is convenient.

We decided we wanted a small mower for those times when a light trim is needed. Craftsman was our first search so we could use the same batteries, but based upon reviews we went with a 20″ Ryobi 40V brushless self-propelled mower. It does a really decent job, the battery run time is around 40 minutes, and it folds up to store upright saving space.

The simple truth is I’ve aged out of pulling cords on outdoor equipment that sometimes fires up and a lot of the times doesn’t. Do the battery powered tools have the same power as gasoline, probably not, but it’s okay because that’s balanced out by the fact that they start every single time.

Even with all these tools, the one that probably is getting the most use is my shovel. I’ve been digging on behalf of Master Gardeners for our upcoming sale, and I’m always digging here at home. What have I learned these past couple of weeks that I can pass along? If you pay for the plant, it’s got a 50% chance of survival, while the multitude of weeds will prosper and multiply. 😎

I’ve read a couple of good mysteries including Ace Atkins’ “The Revelators” with his Quinn Colson character, Marc Cameron’s gritty “Cold Snap” with Arliss Cutter, and Ace Atkins’ witty “Bye Bye Baby” which is part of Robert Parker’s Spenser series.

I’ve got a small painting project this week. I like to paint so that is a good thing.

Covid numbers are climbing here so we’re playing it better safe than sorry. That makes things not too exciting but easier to live with.

Take care, hope you are having a good May, and by all means share what you’ve been doing or reading.

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