Saturday, April 25, 2009

FINALLY! The rain and cold has gone and we're having five days of midsummer heat (one extreme to the other but I shan't complain). The projects? Got my loads of compost and have been amending clay soils in several garden areas; dug up a mountain of grass growing in the wrong place, laid out landscaping cloth and covered with mulch; dug a truckload of weeds out of the soft ground (it's always easier); uprighted a number of collapsed garden borders; relocated some hostas from sun to shade; relocated our astilbes from sun to part shade (where they belong); moved a whole bunch of groundcover plugs to areas needing them; strewed a bucket of wildflower seeds out by our front entrance; all the while basking in the beauty of our gazillion tulips now blooming for all they're worth, and in campers' compliments on the gardens!

Today I lay out all our soaker hoses, quick before the coming-up plants get too tall! With the temps reaching the high 80s I fully expect to break a sweat today. No matter -- I LOVE working in short sleeves and capris!!

PS I finally found out the explanation for my calloused hands, elbows and knees: my body is making its own protective armor! Who knew I'd be growing a soft exoskeleton?!?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I've been very patient (well, mostly patient) during the past several weeks of cold and windy weather, lots of rainy days, and almost five days of being sick with some kind of bug going around. Today is no different: an all-day rain has me once again sitting on the sidelines (indoors) instead of out there gardening til the cows come home.

There's so much I want to do out there! So many projects, both big and small --- things to be done before it's time for serious planting (in May)! Yet here I sit, reading books; or napping; or cleaning up my house (this travel trailer takes about five minutes to clean, yes I'm not kidding); and I've surfed the internet to complete exhaustion; and I've played Solitaire a few times too many.

During all this inactivity, I've been feeling a buildup of energy. My body is hoarding it. It makes my ears pop sometimes. It's starting to make me crazy. This morning I donned my rain gear just to walk the dog, having every intention of going to work on one of my projects, the weather be damned. But I couldn't do it. I didn't have the guts to ignore the rain and get to work. So here I sit, still, conjuring up more patience, because the forecast is calling for more rain next week, possibly four days in a row. AAARRRGGGHHH.

I'm trying to comfort myself by regaining some perspective here: we need the rain. The rain is a gentle soaking one. The earth is gathering up all this rain and saving it for future dry days. Etc. Etc. Still, cabin fever is beginning to set in. Maybe I'll go shopping like I did yesterday. After all, how wet can one get going from car to store? At least I'll get some exercise walking around the stores. More patience needed, please.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Turns out it's just laryngitis. My voice change, that is -- that happened a few days ago. Yep, turns out I caught the bug that's going around. Imagine that, I who brag often about how I never get sick. Must be Life's cute little way of reminding me that no, I haven't died and gone to heaven yet (most of the time I'm thinking my life's so perfect, that's what's happened).

If none of this makes sense, then maybe it is puberty after all. I mean, I AM feeling a little light-headed.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


There's an icy wind out there, 33mph with gusts to 40 something: not a gardener-friendly day, so I'm inside my 8'x18' living area doing some thinking and planning. There are six newly-created gardens with nothing planted yet: what to put there, I wonder?

After searching the online nursery catalogs for inspiration, and looking for the new and unusual, it's time to review what we already have in the gardens:

  • crocuses
  • daffodils
  • hyacinths
  • day lilies
  • tulips
  • irises
  • Gladiolas
  • Dahlias

  • Blackeyed Susans (Maryland state flower)
  • Coneflowers, several varieties
  • Garden Phlox
  • Four O'Clocks
  • Daisies
  • Blanket Flowers
  • Coreopsis
  • Coral Bells
  • Potentilla
  • Digitalis/Foxglove
  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Red Hot Pokers
  • Sedum and other succulent varieties
  • Peonies
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Ferns / varieties
  • Lenten Rose
  • Cannas
  • Wisteria
  • Asiatic Lilies
  • Hardy Hibiscus
  • Snow-on-the-Mountain
  • Columbine
  • Lamium (Nettle)
  • Goldenrod (NOT the sneeze-inducing Ragweed)
  • Russian Sage
  • Lavender, varieties
  • Hyssop, varieties
  • Hollyhocks
  • Roses
  • New England Asters
  • Clematis
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Chocolate Joe Pye Weed
  • Astilbe
  • Hostas
  • Hibiscus
  • Sea Oats
  • Ornamental Grasses

  • Cleveland Pear Trees
  • Magnolia and Tulip Trees
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Butterfly Bushes (everywhere!)
  • Wiegelia
  • Tree Peony
  • Hydrangea Trees
  • Crape Myrtles
  • Smoke Tree
  • Japanese Dogwood Tree
  • Japanese Cherry Tree
  • Dwarf Red Maple Trees
  • Various Evergreen Shrubs
Since the new gardens around the gazebo are set up differently than the existing rambling gardens, perhaps a tad more 'formal', I'm thinking the selection of plants and layout should be a tad different as well. What fun this will be!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I apologize: I didn't just turn 69, I turned 68. This error is no doubt due to my chronic affliction, CRS. This means, of course, that the outstanding birthday party provided by some real good friends gets a re-do. Next year.