Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Year of Afternoon Gardens - May


First month without snow!! We dug out most of the orange day lilies from the front garden to make room for a wider variety of plants. Perhaps not surprisingly, we didn't start any seeds under lights as we planned. Our hearts and heads are too full of Hazel Nina, and the soon-to-arrive Campbell Walker! So, we'll buy plants and place them in the garden to bring more color to that spot. You may see some holes in the left garden. Yesterday we dug up a few day lilies and put some in the old vegetable garden beds, and brought some down to Margaret, adding to a bunch we gave her a few years ago. We'll fill in the holes, cover with cocoa shell mulch, and let the flowers have some breathing space. This is a bed filled with many different colored day lilies that bloom over the summer.

We have also made a decision about the vegetable garden. We are turning it into a flower garden except for garlic, lettuce, and yellow beans. Everything else we can buy at weekly farmers' markets, or at our local co-op store, or at farm stands. When we first moved up here 41 years ago, there was no source of organic food anywhere. There were a few farm stands, but no farmers' markets. And now, we can buy anything we want - both local and organic - so that we really do not need to keep up a vegetable garden. We've already turned two of the boxes into peony beds, and will fill the others as the spring goes on. I'm really quite excited about this. We've spent a lot of years working a vegetable garden, and I look forward to simply enjoying the flowers, and getting all our food without having to do any work. It comes at a good time in our lives when we are older, and want to spend more time with the grandchildren.

Just around the corner from the patio,


We dug out all the day lilies because they were shaded too much by the maple tree. They had been in there since Tom put in the patio, just a few months before I began writing the blog.


They grew and were beautiful but all the flowers tilted their faces toward the fence, as you see in this picture from August 2006. Again, some went to Margaret, and others are in the former vegetable garden. We're thinking we might move the prolific phlox which are on the other side of the fence into that spot.

And speaking of the fence, the sweet little picket fence has been up since 1999, and it looks its age. Instead of another picket, Tom has a scheme for a fence similar to this picture I found on Pinterest.


It will be cheaper to buy and easier to build. The plan is to do one section at a time. We'll put some chicken wire along the bottom to keep Sadie and any future Windy Poplars puppies from getting out. The thought is to have it go all the way out to the wood pile and then connect with the electric pasture fence. Tom is so happy to have retirement time to do all these things.

14 comments:

  1. Isn't the gift of time wonderful! And Tom's retirement couldn't have been better scheduled as he can enjoy being a grandfather to the fullest! And I love the changes you are making to the Farm. Farm stands and farmer's markets are one of the joys of our life and you are right -- organic food is way easier to find now (and I expect even more so up where you live, but even here in Florida).

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    1. Yes, it is! It is quite amazing that the retirement and the babies coincide! :<) Gosh, I would think there would be a lot more veggies and fruits down there than here.

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  2. It sounds like your lives have shifted... in such a good way. I think grandparenthood is one of life's greatest joys and you are so blessed to have your sweet Hazel Nina (and soon, Campbell Walker) living nearby. Oh, the fun you'll have in the coming days, months and years. Maybe, in a few years, they'll help you with your gardening.

    LOVE your new header!!

    xoxo

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    1. I wrote about the quilt in the 'blog header picture' tab. It's a wonderful story.
      I held Hazel Nina two hours today while she gently slept. The BEST!

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  3. I agree with Les - LOVE your new header!!
    Your plans for the garden are very reasonable. You are right in wanting to spend more time enjoying the garden (and grandchildren) instead of working it all the time.
    It would be lovely to see Margaret's garden, too; I remember your posts about "The Making of a Home" so well, they were something I greatly enjoyed, and to see what it looks like nowadays would be so interesting.

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    1. Please do read about it on the tab underneath, if you have a chance. It is very special.
      Margaret's garden is a wild-ish meadow space. They have some plantings in front of the porch, and along the road, but mostly it is full of wildflowers. I'm so pleased you liked those postings - I can't believe it has been four years since the house was built.

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  4. What a pretty quilt. Did you make it? I too am doing more planting for "older age". More shrubs and fewer perennials to have to care for. There are so many flowering shrubs you can have blooms all year long if you plan for it. I am trying to get that going here. Your sitting area will be so pretty with the flowers surrounding. I feel the same way about the veggie garden. We made a raised bed last year for just a few things to putter with. Our Farmers Market has all we need and a lot less work. :) Can't wait to hear Nina and Campbell escapades.

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    1. If you click on the tab under it 'blog header picture' you can read about this wonderful quilt! I'm interested in your shrubs - any that will grow in zone 3??

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  5. Love your new header :)
    I am not having a vegetable garden this year.
    Planted herbs and some veggies in pots and plan on visiting our new Farmer's Market :)

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    1. I've never had any luck with pots, no matter what I planted in them. :<))

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  6. I love the feeling of spring in this post - the warmth, the feeling of looking forward, the eagerness to do stuff outdoors without freezing your butt off. What a harsh winter this one was.

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    1. You put this so nicely. We've had rain, thunder, and sun all day. Perfect spring day!

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  7. Such exiting changes all around your hill farm, Nan. Good for you for moving along with time and what makes the most sense. Gardening is an ever-changing enterprise. I, too, love the quilt and will click the link to hear the rest of the story of it. Lovely.

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  8. Hey Nan,
    Things look great up there! A word of caution about the Cocao mulch...

    Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.
    Read more at http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoamulch.asp#r0OA6jA2J3qsEx7y.99

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