Dirty fingernails

and a big smile on my face. 😎 We’ve had several nice days which allowed me to work in my own gardens as well as on two MG projects.

The MGs installed a native plant butterfly garden which was registered as a Monarch Waystation, and I planted the entry containers at the mounted horse patrol barn. Whew, MG projects caught up for a few days.

I’m putting a link here in case you are interested in native plants. It was an involved process to find the right plants and then a source. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the list.) Β We ended up establishing a relationship with a brand new nursery and purchasing from them –Β Bagley Pond Perennials, Warner, NH. Gardening is one thing. Gardening with only native plants is an entirely different challenge.

In my own gardens, I have the tomatoes, lettuce, asparagus, and schwartzbeeren seeds, a Volga German crop, all planted. The blueberries, raspberries and blackberries have been trimmed.

The hummingbird feeder has been attracting some customers which makes me happy. No photos though because they are fast little folks, and I’d have to sit and wait with a telephoto lens which is not something I do well.

I use perennials in some of my bird baths and this year I tried succulents. Β They seem to be really popular at the local greenhouses, and I thought I’d try something different.

I haven’t had good luck overwintering succulents in the past. I guess they don’t like being buried under feet of snow for six months. This fall when I take them out, I’m going to try a more sheltered spot for them to spend the winter and see if I have more success.

How do I keep them from drowning in a birdbath when it rains? The pot they are in is sitting on an upside down terra cotta saucer which allows them to sit above the majority of the water.

The lilacs, iris, and bleeding hearts are blooming, but I’ve lost plants like Nepeta, catmint, Knockout roses, and butterfly bushes that have been like ‘iron man’ plants for years. I was reading an interesting blog post from a local landscaper who said we had an early freeze, not much snow cover so the plants kept going through the freeze/thaw process, Β excessive deer damage, and a wet spring. As a result, a lot of plants and shrubs were frozen, eaten, or rotted. Who can say ‘hello greenhouse, and here is my credit card.’

Bleeding hearts, lilacs, iris, and Korean lilacs.

A new piece of garden art was added – a rotary hoe wheel. We had picked it up a couple of years ago and kept meaning to ask a friend to weld it, but never got it to him.

Last week, I scrounged in a wood pile at a recycling center to find a stump for another project and ran across a second stump which worked perfectly as a base for the wheel.

I like garden art. Do you?

We have a lot of rain forecasted this week. Thinking positively, the gardens will all get watered, and I’ll Β work on inside projects.

Hope you’re having some good weather where you are and enjoying the very last few days of May. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that we’re moving into June this week. Happy gardening. 🌺

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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51 Responses to Dirty fingernails

  1. Joanne Sisco says:

    The weather is still abysmal here. Temperatures are still running well below normal and any yard work I’m inclined to do is suffering because of it. We have another gray wettish day ahead of us πŸ˜•

    I’m glad you mentioned the catmint. In previous years, mine has grown like a weed and I’ve had to crank it back repeatedly to prevent it from taking over. This year it’s barely breaking the ground and obviously struggling. It appears the problem isn’t just mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gray, cold (44), and rainy here today too. I have four catmint right next to the driveway where they sit under the bulk of the snow removed. They are fine. The ones in the back that weren’t under the snow are dead. I don’t believe in my years of gardening here, I’ve ever lost one of those plants. One thing about gardening – you learn new stuff all the time. πŸ™‚


  2. Sounds like you had a perfect week. Love your creative use of the stump to place your piece of garden art! Sounds like the MG have kept you very busy!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Murphy's Law says:

    Dirt under your nails? I’m surprised you have any nails left! Love your garden art…you clever girl. And the succulents in the birdbath are perfect. I hope the Monarch Waystation is a rousing success and attracts all manner of butterflies.

    I still only have the initial pair of hummingbirds at their feeders. But traffic will begin to pick up soon and we’ll have two dozen or more. Love watching them.

    More thunderstorms forecast for today and tomorrow. Won’t complain though. We’re lucky compared to other parts of the country.

    Happy gardening!!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Marilyn Maxwell says:

    So nice to read your cheery posts and see sun in your photos. We have had a gray month. As I write, I look out my kitchen winter and see fog and a gloomy day ahead. Yuck.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Joyce says:

    You’ve accomplished a lot during your break in the weather! We’ve had rain, rain, RAIN with just a few nice days wedged in between and that makes the onset of June seem kinda weird to me also!
    I like your dedication to the mounted horse patrol and am sure your floral contribution is appreciated. Did you poke a few carrot seeds into the arrangements? πŸ™‚ That would be your little secret between yourself and the horses!
    My daughter (currently in Texas) planted a butterfly garden and reports a huge population of visitors! I’ve always been skeptical since my gardening efforts are dismal at best with wooded shade (altho you and your MG friends could make it a paradise!).
    I love your garden art! The hoe wheel looks right at home and the bunny is so sweet! We have a little section to the side of our front door that is fenced and makes a perfect bird welcoming station. It is sheltered with trees and bushes to make the bird bath a safe place. Feeders are there, too, including a popular humming bird station. My garden art is two cement cats beneath the bath – our birds are smart and know they are fake so that doesn’t affect attendance!
    I wish we could share photos here in comments. My pink rhododendron is splendid in blossoms this year and I am so proud of it! Some years we get nothing, some, a few. Probably depends on winter weather!
    I’ve gone on long enough here, but still wanted to tell you how much I always enjoy going back to see what others have added to your previous post. Always fun and interesting, your replies included! There’s something for everyone here – even us struggling gardeners who just come to admire your efforts and enjoy the thoughts of your astute readers!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Judy, I know you are happy now that you can dig in the dirt again! Your garden is looking good! We have the same trouble finding plants here in Georgia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I must admit when we planned this project last fall, it didn’t seem like it would be that big a deal. Then in February when I sat on conference calls from South Carolina, I still thought it would be doable. But, when we were still working on just the plant list in April, I realized how tough it is to find the right ‘native’ plants and then to find a source. Boy, was I glad to get those plants in the ground last week. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your lilacs, garden art, and the succulents in the birdbath. We have pretty much given our yard over to succulents, which do well year-round here. Although they are drought tolerant, our unusually rainy winter has really done wonders for them. I guess as long as their feet don’t stay wet, they are happy. Happy gardening!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oddment says:

    Congratulations on the MG work, the unique garden art, and especially those dirty fingernails! To gardeners, that is high social status! I am so pleased that NH is finally getting some good weather. As you’ve probably seen in the news, the Midwest has been pummeled day after day — nothing like the sound of that tornado warning siren to get the blood flowing. Your photos perked me right up, though, especially the lilac and the iris. How gorgeous! And of course I had to laugh at your comment about the credit card. Exactly right!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad we had a couple of nice days to get work done, now we’re back to dodging raindrops. It’s good for the new, emerging seedlings, however! Wish I had finished planting all my seeds… oh well.
    I like your new garden art, looks like a sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your garden looks wonderful, The Bleeding Hearts are gorgeous! I rarely see those. The succulents in the birdbath are very pretty!

    I like garden art, and your new addition is pretty neat!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Everything looks splendid, and for a gardener, having dirty fingernails is a fine thing. I, too, like garden art.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Dan Antion says:

    Your gardens are beautiful, Judy. We have plants, you have gardens. We’ll probably never get to that level. Me wife got some veggies in on Monday, and we’ll be extremely happy if we get some fence around them before the bunnies eat the plants.

    We don’t have any garden art, but yours looks good. I’m happy to hear that you guys are thinking about the Monarchs. Those guys need all the help they can get. I hope you continue to have nice days to enjoy getting dirt under your nails.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. joey says:

    Lovely! I do like garden art, but not for the sake of garden art if that makes sense? Love the rotary hoe wheel — very well done. Pity you lost so much. I didn’t lose anything, but there will be no lilacs this year. 😦
    I managed to get some things in — and will do more after vacation πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  14. How sad to hear about the plants you lost due to the strange weather. Hopefully you will be able to replace them. But nice to know you’ve finally had some lovely spring weather. After telling you last week about our very warm autumn, it’s just two days now till winter starts and it has come early. In the southern states some places have had their first May snow falls for 20 years and here, further north, the wind has an icy feel to it. No more open windows for a while!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Annie says:

    I’m interested in native plants so I’ll certainly check out that nursery. Thanks for the tip. I have some of the same plants looking good right now in my garden. The weekend of sunshine and warm weather helped… but where’d it go? I’m wearing a down jacket today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Working outside has been interesting the past few weeks. You have to hurry out between storms and then you’re either bundled up like November or wearing short sleeves like July. Keeps us on our toes I guess. πŸ™‚ That new native nursery is just getting off the ground, but the owner, Denise, is very good to work with and we’ll be back for more plants in July.


  16. I like the art, Judy, and it makes me happy to know you’ve been able to get outside and out to work. It’s soggy here, but I need to plant a few things soon. I, too, can hardly believe it’s almost June. Where did spring go (or where did it hide?)


    Liked by 2 people

  17. Rose says:

    I pulled out my lilac last year…it was planted too close to the house, plus it was half dead. I am not sure what happened to every time I see photos of one, it makes me miss it. It does feel good to dig in the dirt!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. We got 3 nice days last week and one of them, we did as much of the garden as we could. Mowed ONE yard, didn’t get to the other AND Owen build a fence through which The Duke cannot find and exit OR jump. Pretty good for one day. I hope we get another nice one. Any day now!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. tonytomeo says:

    I think that if I needed to put as much effort into succulents as others do, I would not grow them. So many grow like weeds, and need to be thinned out like invasive perennials. Iceplant (not the real iceplants, but the ‘freeway’ sort) grows wild on the cliffs above the beaches. Aloe arborescens forms mounds ten feet tall or so.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. It’s fun to read about where others are in the gardening year — here in Georgia, we are well into summer with hydrangeas in full bloom. We’re also having a heat wave with temps in the 90s most days; lots of sun (good) but no rain (bad); this is about 15 degrees higher than average, I heard on the news. It will probably be a good summer for the crape myrtles. Good luck with the butterflies and succulents!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. KerryCan says:

    You’re back in your happy place! And it feels even more special, since we’ve had to wait so long this year. Our ground is still really wet and saturated, even though we’ve had some decent days. Things are growing fast but I haven’t done as much weeding, etc., because of the wet soil. Pretty soon, I’ll be compplaining about the heat and how I have to water every day . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I am in my happy place. πŸ™‚ It is really strange when I’m out working, and I want to leave the shovel in the ground and I have to use some pressure to get it to stand up. I’d think the ground was more saturated from all this rain, but apparently not so much. Gardening – it’s always interesting. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re getting to sit once in a while and enjoy that gorgeous view you have. πŸ™‚


  22. Your lilacs are beautiful. I’ve never heard of Korean lilacs before! – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lilacs are beautiful and smell great, but they are rather large and gangly especially if you don’t have a lot of room. Korean lilacs can be pruned to as small a shrub as you want, and you still get to enjoy smaller flowers with a great smell. Win, win. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Junieper2 says:

    Judy who cares about dirty fingernails, doing this creative work outside – I have ’em all the time with painting, to the point that I seldom put fingernail polish on anymore:) Yes, my irises are blooming too – Oh the bleeding hearts are such stunning flowers! I like garden art when it’s in between plants. Our property is lined with 60 feet (and higher) pines, so we don’t get much sun, only on our deck, and even hydrangea dies there, so no flowers (except for bulbs) and no garden art, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. krc says:

    im hoping i will hv time to work on my garden this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Such a relief when you finally get a decent gardening day during a year like this. I just got home after a seven-day work trip. The weather was sunny but it was just 60 degrees. On June 2nd??? Glad you had some good days for getting your hands in the dirt.

    Liked by 1 person

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