Beautiful weather

Looking for me? I’ve been outdoors most of the time.

When you’re outdoors do you have to deal with ticks? NH is listed as the state with the highest record of Lyme disease due to the high tick population and that most people live near wooded areas. The county where we live has the highest tick population in the state. I do fine until I wander off the mowed areas to dump soil or weeds and then I run the risk of picking them up. I’ve found two so far this gardening season and consider myself lucky.

Spring is in the air, and the Iris are blooming. I know they are old fashioned, but, hey, I’m vintage myself. πŸ™‚

We got a load of loam and compost mix to fill two of our stock tank planters. They were happy to see me when I walked in with my invasive jumping worm brochure and wanted them to explain to me how and where they got their compost. πŸ™‚

Then we picked up the organic vegetable plants we had preordered and added them to the heirloom plants my daughter had started, and we got the beds planted.

Left: Schwartzenberries, two grow bags with carrots for the mounted patrol horses, and lettuce. Right:Three of our seven tomato plants.

Last week, I offered to help with container plantings at the UNH greenhouse. Twenty four containers, five students, two MGs, and one instructor – doesn’t sound too challenging except for the fact that the containers were almost as big as my kitchen table and required a dolly to move them.

We used eight plants per container, and one of those was a full-sized hanging basket if that gives you a visual. I kept chuckling at the mere size, and the way we filled them to the brim. I told our instructor that I couldn’t stay and needed to go home so I could redo all mine.

When we got done, as a gesture of thanks, he offered us any perennials that he had there because they were closing the greenhouse down for the summer. Free perennials to a MG – now there’s another good reason to have a truck.

Yesterday morning, I was out early setting a mailbox post. Remember the mailbox was taken out by the snowplow. I wish that driver had come to set that post. Digging two feet plus next to the road is a challenge. I went through sand, soil, rock, and then sand again. But, I hit the desired depth, we added the Quickrete and were in business. We bought a Gibraltar Mailbox post which will not require painting. It was pretty easy to assemble and so far are happy with the choice.

Today, I need to put the plants back in the bed that surrounds the mailbox, which is good sized, and then mulch it. We are expecting rain tomorrow so that will work in my favor.

I wish I had a door to share today, but the only doors I’ve seen lately are the ones leading to the truck or the potting shed in the barn.

So, what’s been keeping you busy this last week in May?

Norm will still have plenty of doors to ooh and ahh over, so check out his
Thursday Doors, May 31, 2018.

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Gardening, New England and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Beautiful weather

  1. We’ve had lots of rain here and my garden is really coming alive because of it. The weeds are growing like crazy and that keeps me busy. The milkweed is covered with aphids so every day I spray them with my soapy water. Some mornings there are holes in the garden where something is digging. I think it’s raccoons. Any suggestions for how to keep them away?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh – those critters. They keep us busy don’t they. I have chipmunks, squirrels, moles, and voles. They all drive me nuts. Some people use live traps. To be honest, if I’m going to use a trap, I’m not putting a live animal in my car and taking him for a ride. I have a Nite-Guard for deer, and it can be installed lower for raccoons. They also don’t like the smell of ammonia so some people put a rag soaked in it down the hole they dig. Best of luck, and let me know what works.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Murphy's Law says:

    Judy, you make a ‘busy bee’ look like it’s standing still! I love irises. Yours are beautiful. I like the set up for your tomato plants….it’s like each plant has its own greenhouse.

    You guys did some heavy lifting at the UNH greenhouses. The finished product reflects the work and pride that went into the project.

    Your truck sounds like it’s worth every penny it cost! πŸ˜„ Good investment!

    Sure hope the snowplow driver is more ‘mailbox friendly’ this coming winter. After all that work and expense to install a new one, I would have to shoot the guy if he takes this one out too!! 😳
    πŸ”Ή Ginger πŸ”Ή

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ortensia says:

    Lovely flowers you have.good weather really mKes u feel alive after the long winter we had isn’t it?here we have glorious weather nearly for a whole week now and should continue for the BH week end….I’m so excited πŸ˜πŸ€©β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈβ˜€οΈπŸŒΌπŸŒΌπŸŒΌ

    Liked by 1 person

  4. germac4 says:

    Your Irises look gorgeous, I love them too, I just wish they lasted a little longer. I also like the big containers, fitting 8 plants! We had some big containers on our back deck, they looked great, but what an effort to repot plants from them…. the containers themselves were so heavy!
    Enjoy your beautiful summer, and look out for those ticks!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Joyce says:

    You are one busy bee, young lady! Your plantings are fabulous – your own and the UNH ones. My favorite part of this post is the gesture for Dover horses – the homegrown carrots that you’re lovingly nurturing for them so they can munch chemical-free!
    I got my window boxes planted (two flats – whew!) and now can settle back in to an air conditioned home to quilt and just putzy around like a little old retired lady! – our gardening energy levels couldn’t be farther part!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Laurie Graves says:

    Judy, you are a wonder, that’s what you are.Irises are my absolute favorites. Such a lovely, elegant flower. I, too, have been busy outside, planting and transplanting. Love it!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Dan Antion says:

    Those beautiful pictures are a credit to the hard work you put in throughout the year, Judy. Good to see that you are still loving that truck! I’m impressed that you’re planting carrots for the horse – very nice thing to do.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve grown carrots before and sometimes it was a big success and sometimes not quite as much. But, I wanted to be able to take the bags down to the barn so the Officers could give the carrots to the horses. So, I read up on growing them in a bag, and we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be sure to report back. πŸ™‚


  8. joyroses13 says:

    I love being outside when the weather is nice! Watch out for those ticks! They make me feel creepie crawlie. When my child was in elementary school their teacher got it and had it really bad. Was off for the rest of the year. My friend’s sons got it pretty badly and my friend had a case of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Almost Iowa says:

    The township road grader uses our mailbox as a scratching post.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Oddment says:

    I feel as though I need to lie down after reading all you are doing and have done! Your accomplishments astound me, as do your iris — and I did enjoy your comment about being vintage like the iris. Let’s hear it for vintage beauties! I didn’t know the ticks were that bad in NH, and I’m sorry to hear it; Lyme is nasty business for sure. Now to lie down and recuperate from all your work —

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Eliza Waters says:

    This is a busy season for gardeners. I feel like I’m running for a train that is always just out of reach. But by small increments, sooner or later, I’m going to get on board. πŸ˜‰
    Those planters at UNH must be something to see. Do they still do the trial gardens there? I like visiting the one at Portsmouth. Maybe this year we’ll make it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The UNH programs are somewhat in flux right now. They have cancelled the two-year degree horticultural degree (not sure of the correct term) because of low enrollment. So, I don’t know what the future will hold for the greenhouses. We have worked closely with the gentleman who directed that program, and we are going to miss him a lot.


      • Eliza Waters says:

        That is sad news! The programs at my alma mater changed as well and the enrollment is at the lowest since WWI, which is when it started as an agricultural school. Who are going to be the horticultural experts of the future?

        Liked by 1 person

      • There’s the question. There is a whole group of interested students who maybe can’t afford a four year degree but could truly benefit from a two year program. Then there are the talented instructors who lost their jobs. Sad state of affairs from my point of view.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Norm 2.0 says:

    Those big planters are a great idea that I may have to try because I’m having a heck of a time keeping the neighborhood kitties from using our raised beds as their litter box 😦
    And you’re clearly a more caring person than I am; I’m so not planning to share any of my carrots with horses πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Amy says:

    Your flowers are beautiful. I’m sorry to hear about the tick population. SW Virginia has a very high tick population and I have heard of quite a few people with Lyme disease. Unfortunately we lost of Yorkie-Poo to Lyme disease last year. I guess they’ve built up a resistance to some of the preventatives.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. debrapugh says:

    Your Iris are gorgeous!

    Now I am worrying that you might have never received the Hyacinth Bean Vine seeds that I sent due to the mailbox being out ha ha!
    Hope they are alive and well and got there
    Amazing and beautiful container plantings!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m so glad to finally see the sunshine! I’m hoping tomorrow we will have roses. I never see them coming until suddenly, there they are. But i might have cut too deep, so this may be an off year.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Annie says:

    I watched our construction worker laboring hard digging the foundation for our small addition… and was shocked how rocky and pebbly and difficult the ground was. The ground at your mailbox was probably worse being next to the road! I am impressed!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. tonytomeo says:

    What’s been keeping me busy? Is that a trick question? It is about June! What has NOT been keeping me busy? Besides all the typical stuff, we have had bees moving in (where we do not want them), gophers proliferating more than normal, scrub jays nesting where they dislike the people who work there (like, why didn’t they nest a few yards away in the forest like normal birds?) There is always more craziness than we expect.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. KerryCan says:

    SUCH a busy time of year–I’m impressed you managed a blog post! I’ve never found tick on myself but the cats bring them home pretty frequently, especially the cat who loves to ramble in the long grass–we call him a “tick magnet.” We have head-and-neck checks regularly around here!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Brenda says:

    I, too, am impressed that you managed a blog post. I’m way behind with even reading other people’s blogs! With such a late-coming spring, garden tasks have been compressed into a frenzied few weeks–must get everything planted!!–and the ticks are making up for lost time, too. Nasty little buggers.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Joanne Sisco says:

    Your love of the garden truly inspires me. I haven’t reached the *love* stage yet, and there is a distinct possibility I never will, but I do love how pretty everything is when a garden is well maintained. I was channelling my “inner Judy” yesterday while preparing 2 small areas for annuals. It started to rain and I kept on working – seriously intent on getting it finished. It poured!! … and I was a wet, muddy mess by the time I finished. See how you inspire people? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, you made me smile. I’ve worked out in the rain more times than I can count. Those plants will love their wet start. Gray cloudy day and moisture will give them a jump start. Go Joanne’s annual. πŸ™‚


      • Joanne Sisco says:

        ha! That’s certainly not the way they looked at the time. They all drooped like soggy messes and I wondered if a few of them were actually going to make it. When the sun came out though, they all perked up brightly πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Suzanne says:

    The challenge for us in South Florida right now is to control growth. With an over-abundance of rain and mild temperatures, (80’s) our yard looks like a jungle. My husband spent two hours trimming our twelve foot tall bird of paradise yesterday, and the jasmine vine on our back fence has forgotten where it lives. There are several clusters of coconuts high up in our palm trees that need to be cut down and then we will get to relax for a while. Our lawns and gardens must be hurricane ready by this time of year,unless you want to be out doing the work in 90+ temps, and maintained that way for the next few months. Everything is green, green, green, and we still have some color in our yard, but not a lot of annuals in the summer. The time for that will be next fall.

    I am a big fan of Iris’s and love the photos at the top of your post. I assume you have to use a drip line in the large pots?? Lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Isn’t that interesting – you are at garden full tilt and many of my plants are a few inches tall because our growing season is late and short. We have a large variety of Iris blooming right now and the Peonies are budded out. Here’s hoping you get all your pruning done before any bad weather heads your way. Stay safe.


  22. Karen says:

    I too love Iris, they always make me smile. I know where you are coming from about the ticks in your area. Whenever I worked in the orchard, I always had to check for ticks. We had a friend who got lime disease and it crippled him. It took him several years to get better so always be observant.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Oh, you’ve been busy! I love those big lush containers full of different plants and flowers. I’ve never been successful when I’ve tried to do them myself.

    Good thing you found those ticks!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. No rain here, it’s so dry. Our daughter has warned us about ticks and lyme disease in Canada too. We’ll be buying the correct repellant cream when we get there.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. pastpeter says:

    Long winter/ cool spring in the NE means we are all behind schedule! I am still searching for the right perennials to fill holes in my beds, no time yet to fuss with annuals! And it has been wet and warm – close to 90 with 70 dew points – and I find I tire more quickly gardening than I used to… wonder what that’s about! We’ve had gorgeous irises. This summer I am cutting anything I can to bring indoors, as Marian can’t get around the yard now – so I bring it in! Have you tried permethrin as a tick repellent? It seems pretty effective. Suffolk County, LI has the highest Lyme incidence in NY State, so we are pretty careful where we walk now…

    Liked by 2 people

    • The humidity here has been like a swamp. It certainly cuts down on the number of hours I can spend out there working. Beautiful flowers should be enjoyed outside or inside so I hope you keep cutting so they can bring joy to Marian. I have not tried permethrin but just looked it up and will pick up some spray. Thank you for the suggestion. This is a perfect example of why the blogging community is such a great place – we learn from each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. joey says:

    Our mailbox will soon give way to wet rot. Of course I said that as soon as we saw it, but here were are, nearly five years later. We do still receive mail.
    I haven’t done much in the way of gardening at all this year. I’m glad to see my perennials, but the heat here has been way too much, way too early for me. Most of the food I harvest this year will not be from seed! Of course, this is also the first summer I’ve worked full-time since 1998, so, I suppose that’s a factor. But oh, this heat! Today is only 77, so I will weed πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Ogee says:

    Good for you for actually asking where the compost is sourced! Too many just take things on face-value. I predict you will be buried in tomatoes soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I’ve heard ticks are really bad here all over the USA this year! My dog has gotten tick bites this spring and last fall. Uggggg. Sooo annoying, because then we have to make sure my toddler doesn’t pet her puppy. (It’s contagious)

    Liked by 1 person

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