Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Gardens

It's the middle of April. .
How does that happen!!
Kansas can't decide on winter. .
or spring!!
Last week, after some very SPRING like weather. .
We had a rainstorm. .
with hail. .
and sleet. .
That ended up icing everything over long enough to delay school by a couple hours the next morning!! This week also forecasts rain AND snow!
The daffodils were nearly spent already. .
but the tulips were really starting their show. .
They have been so much prettier already this spring than last year.
I was so burned out on drought gardening last fall. .
that I hadn't ordered any bulbs. .
I have identified some locations that would really benefit from having some planted next fall.
There are quite a few clumps in the memory garden that I had forgotten were there! And some gorgeous ones (that I haven't gotten photos of) near the waterfall that I don't even remember planting there. .
I wonder. .
Maybe I have a Fairy Garden-mother. .
Ya think?
My little clump of creeping phlox is blooming. .
It looks so cool snuggled around the boulder. .
I think I will dig it up, and make several new little plants out of it.
Here is the fence of the memory garden. .
We are going to start doing a little food gardening in there too. .
Along this fence, on both sides, I planted some Jersey Knight asparagus crowns. .
I HOPE they come up!!
Do you see the buckets of sheet rock mud that the guys have used up and cleaned out. .
LOTS of that going up right now!! And painting to take place in the next few days!
My most exciting find last weekend. .
Clematis stems. .
Since I planted this one probably 5 years ago. .
This was the first time I have ever had anything coming up from the root. .
The same stem always gets green leaves on it and a few blooms. .
 but never any more vines. .
I hope it really goes to town this spring.
Some little anemones near the waterfall. .
as well as the little pink flower on the living stone succulent plants.
Not sure whether it work or not, I dug out the old fragrant honeysuckle I had planted by the boy's bathroom so it wouldn't get demolished in the construction.
I put it in a big pot and it is growing new leaves already. .
Not sure where it's new home will be. .
somewhere I can smell it for SURE!!
I never really thought that I would have to be the one who would need to relocate ALL the limestone I had hauled in. .
And more than once, we have joked about the next owners of our home having to doze them all out if they decided they didn't like 'em. .
BUT. .
The boys and I had to move all the ones from the east and north sides of the house. .
It turned out to be a large and messy pile. .
NOW. .
to get them all put back before the rattlesnakes take up residence!!
The possibilities on design should be pretty endless. .
I hope that I won't start a project that will call for another trailer load of them. .
I'm afraid that Jeremy's patience will be pretty thin with me and my ideas by then!
The greenhouse is FULL!!
The purple salvia seedlings in front and the love lies bleeding starts on the left side are all promising blooms already!! It is supposed to hit 25 again at night this week. .
so that will delay their new home placement for a bit yet.
The lemons are growing. .I think there are 7.
Another fun project is this little pomegranate plant. .
complete with a little fruit. .
I was disappointed after I bought it to read later that very few plants like this will bear fruit to eat. .
So far, this one seems to be enlarging and looking like the real deal. .
I will have to keep you posted on whether we get any harvest from it or not!
Even if it doesn't. .
the plant has gorgeous little flowers and really interesting leaves.
Not able to wait for non-freezing weather. .
I planted some gladiolus bulbs in containers to get them a little earlier start. .
I should be able to lift them out easy enough and put them in a final resting place later. .
I still have plenty left in the sack to put out as well!
Still harvesting tomatoes. .
big and small!
Here are the summer starts, awaiting planting time.
There are also several peat pots of chives. .
I did plant 3 little pots into the area that will be planted with perennial herbs. I had to transplant my sage into the area, which only has a huge rosemary plant in it right now. .
I also rescued a couple starts from the tarragon plant and put them into nursery pots and buried them in the ground. .
That is how I grow the sage too. .
so it doesn't take over.
The tarragon was given to me years ago by Grandma Pat. .and it overran it's little area, that will soon be buried under a concrete patio.
The cucumber Diva has provided us much winter enjoyment. .
and I seeded a few more plants in the existing setup to get us through until the summer crop starts. We ended up with 3 cucumber vines. .
And next winter I will easily double or triple that amount I think.
The Carmen peppers have been sluggish. .
but the peppers are really sweet and yummy. .
We've picked more of them than any other pepper I've grown in the greenhouse. .
so they will likely be on the winter list for next fall again too.
I've been rooting lots of stuff. .
including a couple small honeysuckle plants from the vine we moved. .
several pots of different succulent plants. .
The red sweet potato rooting hung out in the greenhouse this winter waiting for spring with the rest of us. .
I've also repotted some lemon grass starts that I germinated from seed a few months ago too. .
It's been fun to look through the gardens, seeing what has reseeded and what is peeking through the ground that survived 2 drought-y, hot summers and is ready for another chance to live.
My favorite part of spring is just that. .
the promise of new life and a second chance at growing. .
For flowers and vegetation. .
And for my own soul and life!
Have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Life From the Ant Den. .

To say it has been busy around here . .
Would be putting it mildly. .
Got to watch these two guys play golf last weekend. .
Tristan tied for 1st place. .
and because the other did better on the 6th hole (tie-breaker) he got the 2nd place medal.
Grant did really well also. .
placing 7 or 8th (I said the wrong placing once too many times and now I don't know fact from fiction)
Quiet. .
is NOT her forte. .
And Tristan assured me that he COULD hear her across the course. .
Though I think he was exaggerating. .
At least a little bit!!
Thankfully there were lots of trees for her to climb during the waiting periods. .
And once, I turned around to see her occupied with. .
Planting some seeds in the dirt. .
Be still her mama's gardening heart!!
Devin immediately decided on NOT going to the golf meet when he found out he had the opportunity to help Kelsey and Brett on the house. .
They would prefer his help running the backhoe than mine. .
And he is a great gopher for them too. .
So when we left Friday, he had his carpenter belt strapped on. .
headed to the roof with them.
The boys pulled up the old yellow pine hardwood flooring in my bedroom Saturday. .
We are trying to use child labor as much as possible to keep the cost down ;-)
My boys have done a lot of insulating and other odd jobs to help out. I figure it is good experience for them too. .
Some day their wives will be amazed at how handy they will be!! You can now see the door to the right, which will open to my new closet. .
and the large whole to the left. .
which will be french doors opening onto the sunroom area. .
I am hoping with all my heart to have the bedrooms done this week and painted. .
so we can move everything back into place. .
and return to sleeping in my own bed!!
The greatest blessing of ALL!
Up on Saturday evening. .
Tristan took his friend Abby. .
And they were a cute lil couple. .
Cami was dying to try on Abby's corsage. .
and was pretty thrilled that Abby let her. .
I LOVE the expressions on these two girl's faces!!
We had to laugh when Cami jumped in the middle of the photo after Colton showed up. .
Her new little summer tank had come in the mail. .
which she HAD to wear. .
And it seemed to match Colton's tux quite well!!
Grant isn't into such things as dances. .
so he skipped prom. .
And showed up for the after prom party instead.
As the mom of a sophmore. .
and the loser of the home-front coin toss. .
I GOT to be the one who helped at the after-prom shindig. .
until 4 A.M.
I can hardly wait to do it again next year. .
Maybe I will win the toss. .
And Jeremy will have to go!!
But for this year. .
he DID stay busy. .
Painting my new exit door from the sunroom. .
AND finished the repair and painting of my crashed up Yukon. .
So. .
He was excused in my book!!
Come back in a few days and see what is going on in our gardens. .
I promise. .
it is already written and ready to post!!
Blessings to you and yours this week!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stuff that Makes the Time Pass. .

I can hardly believe that over 2 weeks have passed since I have checked in. .
So many places we've been, things we've done, and stories I have missed telling!
Of course, Easter has come. .
And gone!
I was privledged to be able to share my testimony of conversion. .
from going to church every Sunday because I knew I should. .
To becoming a true daughter of the King. .
At our Sunrise service on Easter morning!
I read through the testimony that I put on my little 'ole blog last year. .
If you didn't get to read it then and are interested click here
We did all our usual traditional Easter things too. .
colored some eggs, attended an Egg Hunt, church all morning Easter Sunday with the traditional HUGE breakfast feast, and ate Bacon Egg Sandwiches! On Good Friday I transported kiddos from youth group to the city for the day. We bowled and shopped and attended a MASSIVE 10 band Christian Rock concert that evening! The only bummer was the part where I ran the red light I didn't see in the row of stop lights that were close together. .and ended up getting T-boned by a poor family who didn't expect someone to be in their lane. .
Thanks to the GOOD LORD. .
Not one of the 10 people were injured. .
and my car was still driveable for the 2 hour trip home. .
AND. .
My AWESOME hubby is able to do the repair work himself. .
Since we carry liability only on my Yukon!
I guess all the time he spent rebuilding cars and trucks has come in handy :-)
It's starting to look like spring around here. .
Grant and I are trying a new gardening technique this summer. .
We planted potatos (yes, in APRIL. .my St Patrick's day planting grandma would have had a fit!!) last weekend. .
In these tomato cages.
We put straw in them and made a nest. .
For POTATOES, you silly cat!!
and planted the little eyes outward. .
covered with some of our own compost and more straw.
Each layer had about a foot of space filled with straw in between.
We tried Purple Majesty variety as well as some type of bulk red potatoes eyes that were clearancing out of the farm store. .
another hint that we waited a l-i-t-t-l-e too long!
We watered them in. .
Hopefully they will be in a spot that can easily be attended to this summer.
We'll let you know how it works out!
We also tied them to the fence. .
Wind is the rule here in Kansas. .
And we sure didn't want our potential harvest blowing away!
The most exciting thing that we have been up to is visible in the background. .
This is how I found my bedroom when we returned from Vegas. .
With a straight thru view of Camille's room on the other side. .
The 100 year old lathe and plaster walls and nasty shreds of black insulation came out. .
And new walls are going up. .
The most fun aspect, though is this. .
A new sunroom/family room that will be entered from my bedroom. .
You can see it as the wall went up last week.
It will be a major change from the outside as well. .
This will give me a nice big chunk of good gardening space for things that need a little afternoon shade. .
And another little patio area to sit and watch life go by from. .
Here's the inside view of the new room. .
The back wall will contain some narrow french doors to open out. .
and plenty of nice big windows to view wildlife (and the animals I claim as children)!
The plans have changed already about 50 times. .
but, as they always do, for the better!!
We also decided to put in a second door to access the room from the large room that we use as the porch and laundry room. .
This door will come in where the little green window is on the left.
This will facilitate some entertaining in this big room as well as just private enjoyment!
Yesterday found me in the city picking up flooring and many of the odds and ends needed to keep progress going forward. We have the two bedrooms in the middle of the living room, which is about to finally wear me down. .
And the boys are all upstairs with J and I sleeping in Grant's bed and Cami on a love seat. .
Hoping that we'll at least have Cami's room painted and moved back into by next week. .
On the agenda for the rest of this week. .
Golf meet on Friday. .
Prom on Saturday. .
This lucky mom gets to help with the after-prom party. .
So if you are up at about 3 am Sunday morning. .
So will I be!!!
I am hoping to post some pictures of how the gardens are looking soon!
We're buckling down for some winter weather tonight here in Southwest Kansas. .
Hope spring has sprung wherever you might be!
Blessings to you all!