Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Planting in the Garden-At Last!

Another glorious Spring day in central Illinois with the sun shinning, blue skies, mild breezes and warm temperatures! Perhaps, this is somewhat of a payback for all those dreary, dark grey, wind swept, cold days of winter.

This wonderful magnolia (or tulip tree as it is sometimes called here) tree resides here in our town and I love to walk by it in the spring.

Our dwarf cherry is in full bloom as well. The bumble bees have found the blooms and keep busy sipping the nectar. We had never had a flowering tree of any kind until about 5 years ago. This and a flowering plum were birthday gifts to my husband from me. I'll admit it was a sneaky way to get something I really wanted. You really can't tell from this picture, but I had an ulterior motive for this tree as well. We planted it on the south east corner of our patio and it blocks vision of my mother-in-law's house. We live on the NW side of the block and she on the SW side. For years she stood at her kitchen window and watched us. I know you think I am probably exaggerating, I swear I am not! So I got a 3-fer. Lovely blooms, shade and privacy.

Monday of this week, I accomplished very little by any stretch of the imagination. As usual, the Monday after the weekend with the granddaughters finds me exhausted and in pain(the fibro). And although the new medicine Lyrica helps enormously, I still need a day of rest and recuperation. The only productive thing I did that day was to get to my Dr. appointment for my 3 month check-up. I tell you all of this to explain that by Tuesday morning, I was ready to tackle the world. I wanted so badly to leave the house work and go straight out to the gardens. But things left undone have a way of making themselves known...ants greeted me while I was getting my morning coffee. I am not showing a picture of them as they don't deserve noterity! As many of my friends can attest, I do battle royally with these invaders every spring. (another sure sign spring is here to stay!) I allowed myself 2 cups of the fog lifting liquid and then I set in! I pulled everything out of my cabinets-they were even in my towel drawer-and sprayed. I use Home Defense a brand name spray that is safe for humans and pets. After washing every dish, plate and glass, I put all back . I then sprayed every crack, crevice, opening, closing, up, down, in, out-well, you get the idea. Next on the must be done list was laundry and vacuuming(more of my favorite chores!) At last, by noon, I was done!

I got serious about the gardening. I drug out my garden shoes from the back of the closet and found my gardening capris. Yes, I have an actual pair I save for gardening as I sit and or crawl a lot when I am in the true gardener mode.

This spot is on the south side of our deck and used to have a climbing rose growing up the wood. Sadly, it died a couple of years back and the sight has been neglected. I dug the carcass of the rose out, raked back the mulch, cut the landscape fabric and finally was down to bare earth. Using my new tool- I forgot to include a picture-I dug the area up, added some sand, and sowed wild flowers, zinnias, and in the back, morning glories.

I am going to have a cutting flower area this year!

I found this spot the other day. Notice the vinca has grown all around leaving a circle of landscaping fabric showing. Okay...a perfect spot for a plant!

I divided one of the hostas and half now resides in the spot. Looks pretty good, if I do say so. I also planted some of my seedlings. I took the dark opal basil and the statice and edged a couple of smaller beds. I took 3 of the butterfly seedlings and spaced them in the south side of the big bed on the south of the house. I planted tiger eye iris, trumpet lily, gladiolus and mystery bulbs ( freebies with an on-line plant order)in small grouping through out this bed. I watered everything in although there was rain in the forecast. When you want rain...and sure enough it didn't. I even wrote in my gardening journal and drew a map of my newest plantings! I had just enough time to shower, change and pick up the birthday granddaughter for an evening of shopping and dinner out. (today, I am back to recouping!)

One of the granddaughters, this weekend, thought I needed more blooming flowers so she drew me some on the patio by the back door.

And finally, we have a frequent visitor these days. A large male who hangs out here and is now even letting me pet him. I have asked around and no one on this side of town claims him. He could be a traveler from across the railroad tracks and I will have to check there. If he is a loner, we have decided to adopt him. Not sure how Fat Cat will take that though. I am not sure if he will come indoors or even if I should try to get him. We will just have to see how it works out.
Enjoy your spring time!


Cheryl said...

I loved the story about the tree and your mother in law. It so made me laugh and I really understand that one.
The vinca and the hosta looks lovely Beckie, sure you didn't plant it????
The drawing on the stone, done by artist granddaughter is so sweet. I would need to keep it forever.

The cats looks a bit special to me. Has a beautiful face and his eyes say something. I like him.

Cheryl said...

I meant "sure you didn't plan it Beckie."

I have got to slow down typing I make too many mistakes!!

Laura said...

I hope that in Central Illinois you don't have the weather forecast we do for the first part of next week- rain/SNOW showers. Of course, the way we "northerners" think, everything south of I-80 is Southern Illinois!

beckie said...

Cheryl, I know what you mean about typos! I use spell check because I am such a terrible speller, but of course it doesn't catch everything, and my L doesn't always work. I know! I saw that spot and thought wow! perfect for a plant. Unfortunately the drawing is sidewalk chalk, but I do have the picture. The cat IS you say his eyes. There is just something about him!

Laura, after reading your comment, I checked the 10 day forecast. We're okay. Rain high in the 60's lows of 50's. Whew! You must be way north. Hope your sweet corn does okay.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Beckie that hosta in that vinca really looks good. A happy happening however it evolved.

Isn't it fun to have the grands around. Ilike their chalk art. Too bad it will wash away.

Iam worn to a frazzle. We have installed fencing the past few days. We are slow as molasses doing these jobs. WE don't know what we are doing we just did it. Ha.. It is almost finished. One more go round with it and I will post all about it.

I remember you telling me about your mil snooping a long time ago. Glad your tree worked out so well, a threefer as you say. It is quite beautiful too.

beckie said...

Lisa, I have been wondering where you were. I figured out in the yard! I am sure the fence will be just fine. You 2 seem to have the knack and your projects always turn out great! Looking forward to seeing the completed project.

Rose said...

Beckie, You make me feel like a slug! (I know there's a better word, but I can't remember what it is right now--you can fill in the blank with whatever you want.) My goodness, you got a lot accomplished on Tuesday. I have been substituting and doing housework for Friday. Just wait--when I finally have time to plant, it will rain! Up for plant shopping next week?

beckie said...

Rose, was going to call you to see if you wanted to go! I worked all day again today. More cleaning, but did get some more seedlings planted. You wouldn't have enjoyed working out today-it was hot.

Judybec said...

love the hosta plant in the open spot! and the sidewalk art... how special. Please let us know how the cat works out-- it looks like a keeper to me too!