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. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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61 Responses to Outdoors

  1. Spring is really here Judy! Although I suspect by the end of the week we’ll be firmly in summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spring is so exciting. With a deck project and some professional landscaping going on, I’m in a holding pattern but I may be able to get some annuals in the ground out front. The back has to wait for the deck job to be completed. It’s just wonderful to be outside!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Judy, I think all gardeners feel the same about weeds! Mine seem to prosper while I have to work to keep the plants I want alive. Your flowers look great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I nurtured three viburnum, two died when I repotted them, but I had one going strong. It died the minute I put it in the ground. ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought I’d seen most weeds, but this year, I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before and don’t have clue what they are. I’m going to have to do some research just so I can understand what I’m dealing with because there’s a lot of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My dad would have the trend to battery-powered tools. I have vivid memories of him either running over cords with a law mower or somehow slicing them while pruning. He was an expert amateur splicer and repairer of cords, but decidedly not a happy camper to have to do it. So good going on that chainsaw! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, thank you for the visual and the hearty chuckle. The tools with the starter cord are great when they work, but they wouldn’t so we’d take them to be fixed, they’d work, but the following year when we needed them we’d be back at they don’t work again. Vicious circle of wasted money. Then the ones with the cords. I cannot tell you how close I’ve come to slicing those things, but I’d never be able to splice it back like your Dad. So, the batteries are much better for this woman. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve not seen that type of iris before. Your photos are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In warmer climates it can be kept outside like regular iris plants. Here in the north I keep it as an indoor plant. After it blooms, it tends to make a new plant hence the name ‘walking iris.’ I pot them up and give them away. The blooms are stunning but only last one day. I enjoy each and every one of them.

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  6. Murphyโ€™s Law says:

    Beautiful flower arrangement! Your Walking Iris looks fantastic. My Bleeding Hearts have filled out quickly, but no ‘hearts’ yet. ๐Ÿ˜ข

    Currently reading A Light Beyond the Trenches by Alan Hlad. Takes place during WWI. I read Anne Hellermans The Sacred Bridge. These are new authors for me, and the books are worlds apart, but I enjoyed Bridge and am liking Trenches,

    Iโ€™m anxious to get some annuals to plant to bring some needed color to my garden, but itโ€™s too darn cold. 33* this morning! Suppose to start warming up. Fingers crossed. ๐Ÿคž I canโ€™t believe we still need the heat on! ๐Ÿ˜ก

    Happy Monday. Happy digging. Happy ice packs on your unhappy back! ๐Ÿคช
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It was 33 here this morning as well. I thought maybe I’d find somethings in bad shape but as soon as the sun came out they were okay. Interesting new authors. I’ll check them out. Yes, to some bright annuals in pots. I haven’t done that yet either.

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  7. Prior... says:

    Hi- it is cool that chain saws come in so many sizes and I have a small one but never imagined taking down a tree with one – so good for you for your versatility and grit

    Also – smiling at the success rate of the weeds!
    Do you have any tips for helping a medium sized hibiscus recover from frost?
    It dropped all leaves but beaches pliable and have that green and white health looking pith inside?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That chain saw is small in comparison to those big mighty ones, but it went right through both those pines and did fine on several trees that I wanted to lay on the ground flat instead of leaning. Oh, the weeds are everywhere and some I’ve never seen before and don’t even have a name to attach to them. I am sad to say I have tried hibiscus several times with no success here. If the roots didn’t freeze, you should be able to trim it back and it will regrow. If the roots froze, I’m sorry to say it may be done. I’ll be hoping the roots are okay.

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      • Prior... says:

        Okay – I will keep an eye on it and see if the roots were protected – and sorry hibiscus don’t work for you – ! Another one that does not work
        For me is hydrangea – not sure why – and no worries tho because have plenty of others
        Thanks again for the hibiscus feedback

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan Antion says:

    I like your observation about weeds. IT has proven true for us. Keep on digging. Your plants are gorgeous, and it must feel and smell like spring. When is the MG sale? I’m trying to gauge how much longer you’ll be tending the crop,

    I hope you have a wonderful week. It looks like Mother Nature is going to be kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The MG plant sale is May 22, and I will be so glad to move these tomato plants out. They are not happy as big as they are now. They need to be in the ground. I’ll move them in and out starting around the 16th to get them hardened off. Yes, our weather is going to be good so that shovel will be moving. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oddment says:

    That lilac looks like Concord grapes! What a gorgeous purple! You are working hard, and I don’t know how you find the energy to turn so many pages! Me, I’m revisiting the first chapters in Karen Armstrong’s “A History of God.” I will never be able to get through the whole book, but I’ve read the first part many times, learning more each time. Not much gardening here because it’s been so wet and cold, but I have made headway in some clean-up. It doesn’t take much for me to congratulate myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The lilac is in a funny stage isn’t it? I like watching it develop. It is a really old one that was here when we moved in. It was moved once, but was in the way. I moved it again out of the way. It wasn’t doing well, so I dug it up again and divided it to put it in two places. It survived! Every bloom is a miracle. ๐Ÿ™‚ I LOVE the last sentence. Thank you for the chuckle.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ally Bean says:

    I’ve wondered about the battery operated gardening tools. I can see the convenience of them over cords and gas. Interesting. The bleeding heart looks [dare I say it?] picture perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would heartily recommend Craftsman battery tools. I’ve got about all of them, and they all work great. The blower definitely doesn’t have the power of a big gas engine but I don’t use that very often. The rest of them I give an A+. I hang them all on one wall of pegboard, grab one, slap a battery in, and off I go. Oh, I do love my bleeding hearts. As a child, a friend had a huge plant and would bring them to our teacher. I had never seen them anywhere else and was smitten. I have at least four plants and treasure every spring heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Joyce says:

    You are a super woman! Not only keeping the engine running on your master gardening group, but felling trees and advising on power tools! Quilting, baking, decorating, reading, and blogging in your โ€œspare time.โ€ Did you find a way to grow the 24 hour day? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I must confess my sewing machine is getting dusty. I just haven’t had a project jump out at me so I just keep gardening and reading. ๐Ÿ™‚ Right now, I need to get these 60+ tomato plants to live until the plant sale on the 22nd. I could use another pair of hands, and we could have a lot of laughs while working on them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. FINALLY! I think today is the day the trees will bloom. It’s sunny and windy, but not cold. I think an electric mower will be our next purchase. Even my son is getting too old to handle the gasoline ones. We don’t cut a lot of lawn anymore. We mow the back lawn once in early summer and just once more in the fall before the leaves come down. Otherwise, we leave it for the creatures and birds. I really can’t do it anymore, even on a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad your weather is improving. Ours is really nice this week. That battery mower is light weight, bags the grass, starts when you push the button, is self-propelled, and folds up. I love it. It runs a good 40 minutes. If your yard is bigger, you might need to recharge or get an extra battery. The extra battery is pricey so waiting a couple of times a year to recharge wouldn’t be a big deal.

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  13. pbmgarden says:

    Your Walking Iris amazes me every year. So beautiful and unusual. Sorry to hear the Covid numbers are increasing. We continue to mask carefully but others have become quite casual about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When it’s not blooming, it is just green leaves, but when it does bloom, it always amazes me with its unusual beauty. ‘Casual’ is an appropriate word here too. Sometimes, we are the only ones with masks on indoors, but we each have to do what is right for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Tina Schell says:

    Belated Happy Mothers’ Day to you Judy! Not sure how you find time to read with all of the projects you have going on – are you an insomniac?!?!? I just finished the new Bill Browder book “Freezing Order”. I absolutely loved his Red Notice so had very high expectations. Didn’t like this one as well but still a good read. I also read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. A fun read with a great twist but just one step above a semi-trashy beach read LOL. Your flowers are beautiful – both the tabletops and the closing Iris!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Helen says:

    I love my battery powered mower. It’s not just that it starts every time I also love not having to buy and store gasoline. We have rain here so I am painting inside ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Marilyn says:

    Your walking iris is still flowering. I think my is done. You had a LOT of flowers this season. I love my plant.

    My tulips are in full flower along with the daffodils.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The plant I left home in the 50 degree house has been flowering for quite a while now. I guess it warmed up. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love tulips, but I have a total of three I think down in an area that for some reason the squirrels and chipmunks don’t bother, but my daffodils are blooming all over the place. Enjoys your flowers.

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  17. You rock, Judy! I love the irises and all your other photos too. You’ve been a busy bee but to good effect from the sound of it. I just finished “Cold Snap” the other day. I read all the Spencer books for many years until I realized that a) I couldn’t stand Susan, b) I liked Hawk the best and he wasn’t really a good person in many way, and c) the themes of the books just got darker and ickier so I gave up. I did always enjoy the food and beer descriptions, though. You would probably like the J.W. Jackson series by Philip R. Craig, although the author is unfortunately dead and therefor not writing any more books. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Eliza Waters says:

    Woman, I wish I had your energy! I swear you must run circles around me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your plants are looking more advanced than here only a couple hours west. It has been such a cool spring, but we’re in for a surprise at the end of the week. With the ground still relatively cool, I hope it doesn’t stress the plants too much with a sluggish uptake of water. Sudden changes upset everybody!
    Have a great week, Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes, I’m not smart because age creeps up on me every year and the flexibility is not there. LOL I think stress from the roller coaster weather is becoming a huge issue because I’m noticing quite a few dead plants this year, and all the bulbs (canna, dahlia, and crocosmia) never budded out even though I planted them in good potting soil. So, I’ve put them all in the ground to see if that makes any difference, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I’ve also noticed weeds I’ve never seen before and can’t identify. I love gardening, but it does become more challenging each year. This morning I’m off to dig at a MG project.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Lovely photos! We’re counting the seconds to lilac-blooming and I’m enjoying one bright yellow pristine daffodil that somehow decided to face the river, keeping its ear-cute back to us! As for reading, I’m gearing up to borrow Brian Moore (anything) from the library, and mostly looking forward to a whole half-a-May visit from daughter, her hubby, and their firstborn adorbs!! Have a wonderful May — try to not overdo! ๐ŸŒท

    Liked by 1 person

  20. germac4 says:

    Well! As everyone has said, you pack SO MUCH into your week! It is fun looking at blogs from the Northern Hemisphere, so many beautiful spring flowers….it gives me ideas about planting for our spring, and sighing at the thought of winter. ๐Ÿ˜” Enjoy your time in the garden and Iโ€™m amazed at how many books you read tooโ€ฆ.at the moment we are busy with family, Paulโ€™s mother is 96 and our youngest grandchild is almost 2 years oldโ€ฆ ( wonderful but not much time for reading, I guess that will come! ) Happy gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. BERNADETTE says:

    I never saw an double colored Iris. It is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. We’ve been doing the same except buying Ryobi because you can also use a lot of their batteries for various equipment. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve always had a fondness for bleeding hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Judy, love your gardening photos AND tips! It’s very helpful to know what tools someone with more experience than I have finds most useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always appreciate it when someone shares a tip or tool that works for them so I try to do the same. For instance, I love pancakes so certainly enjoyed reading your posts on different types of pancakes. The pan recipe would certainly add to the menu for a group.

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  24. Spring has sprung all over (in the hemisphere, at least) and I am enjoying all of the glorious pictures. Your purple lilac is gorgeous! I’m sorry your Covid numbers are up. Judging by the very few masks I see around here, you’d think this whole thing was over. Stay safe and enjoy the season!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there are very few masks here, and the news just announced that the state will no longer issue daily Covid reports and go to weekly although the numbers have been climbing daily. It certainly emphasizes that each of us have to do what is safe for us and not depend on someone else to tell us what to do. Stay well, and enjoy your spring.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Your plants look wonderful! You’re incredible! The only outdoor tools I use is a little bitty potting shovel and a hose. ๐Ÿคฃ I finally bought two plants to put in those pots I’ve told you about. Phlox. Hoping to attract Hummingbirds, and Butterflies…I sure hope they both survive! I hooked up the hose to be able to water them easily before we left and wouldn’t you know it, Sunday and Monday nights while we were in SoCal visiting Big Baby Boy the temperature dropped down to the mid 20’s! I was so worried that we’d have a frozen busted pipe and flooded house when we got home. Thankfully, that didn’t happen!! Winter has been hanging on. We had a little bit of snow flurries on Weds. but it’s supposed to be in the 80’s this weekend. What a rollercoaster! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    I hope your week has been a good one, and you’ve given your back a break from that shovel!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I like the idea of battery powered tools. Every time Mr ET gets the lawn mower out there’s a fair bit of angst before it gets going. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve had a wonderful May, on a road trip to the middle of nowhere and back. I’m looking forward to writing all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve really aged out of priming and pulling to get something to start. Yes, the old machines were nice and heavy and well built, but at this point convenience wins out. I’m glad you’re having a fun May road trip and have enjoyed your photos on Instagram.

      Like

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