Blossom…

This past Sunday, Hubby’s Mom and Dad had a little garden party…

…In fact, the garden WAS the party!

Azaleas

I mean, look at all that COLOR!

Winter Berry

The sky was a little gray that afternoon,
but that seemed to make the colors even more vibrant!

Lambs Ear

Mom and Dad have a knack for creating color contrasts in the garden!

Lilac

Everything was in bloom, and very fragrant!

White Flowers

Even the tiniest of blossoms…

Bleeding Heart

… seem to tug at your heartstrings.

Outside In

So I went home, and brought some Outside In.

Go not abroad for happiness,
for see,
it is a flower blooming at thy door.
~Minot Savage~

Monday, Monday…

Mondays.

Most people hate ‘em.

I actually like Mondays quite a bit. They’re like a brand new start… a clean sheet of drawing paper… a new new notebook and freshly sharpened pencil. I usually have a bazillion things to do Monday mornings, and today was no different. It’s almost lunchtime, and my morning has consisted of sending off a note to a friend, sorting and washing laundry, vacuuming a poor neglected floor, and shuffling piles of stuff. But it’s all good, and really nice to see  some tangible results.

I was able to tidy up my computer desktop a bit as well, by listing a couple of new things in our Etsy Shop… a couple of silhouetted inspired by my favorite place, which just happens to be Colonial Williamsburg. My parents started taking me there since I was about 8 years-old, Hubby and I honeymooned there, we took oodles of family trips there, and even celebrated our 25th anniversary there! I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve walked up and down Duke of Gloucester Street.

I’ve toured the houses and museums there. Shopped in colonial shops. Watched plays, gone to concerts, and interacted with historical interpretors. We even got to dance once in the Capitol! But my favorite place to go is behind the fences.

Behind the fences are the gardens. And about midway down “Duke” is the garden market, a working garden where you can wander and touch and smell flowers, herbs, and heirloom plants. A gardener is on duty that can tell you all about 18th century gardening methods, and how to care for the plants they sell. Sometimes he’ll even put your kids to work watering or weeding. We bought our Pomegranate Tree there. And one year, both our Moms got Strawberry Trees for Mother’s Day. Every single time I go to Williamsburg, about half my photos end up being taken in that small, colonial garden. I just plain love it .

The Etsy silhouettes were inspired by that garden… and also by Mondays, which sounds like a rather odd combination. But, on Mondays, I sort of feel like this Jenny Wren, taking a good, hard look at the house and thinking about what needs to be done to put it in order.

And then I need to get to work moving things around.

A Date with my Sweetie, Part Two…

I took way too many pictures last week on our little day trip to fit into one post… so here’s the what we did AFTER we left the museum! We headed  to Longwood Gardens! We usually make a “Girl Trip” to Longwood around Christmas. Over the years, it’s included Mom, Robin, Jo, Kate, Nana Anne, and Me. I don’t think Chris has gone there at Christmas since the girls were pretty young, so it was all new to him! Every year, Longwood decorates with different flowers and has a different theme… this year was mostly red and white, and the theme was Gingerbread. Here’s what it looked like when you walked into the Conservatory…

And as you walked toward the back…

The photos really do not do it justice…

Hubby loved the Poinsettia Topiaries…

And I loved the Moravian Stars in the Rose Room…

There were trees made of Real Gingerbread,
and a Gingerbread Train…
THAT room smelled heavenly.

And a Gingerbread and Sugar-Glass Conservatory…

… And a Gingerbread Peirce duPont House!

But the best of all is the Indoor Children’s Garden!
We probably looked silly exploring in there since
we had no children with us!

All throughout the Children’s Garden, water drips, pours,
and spurts. It’s pretty amazing. The kids are so fun to watch as
they try to catch it or figure out where it’s going to come from next!

And I’m definitely not into scary Gargoyles…

But SOMEONE was a genius when they thought of this…

There were paint brushes available for the children
to “paint” with! The light changes color,
so they think they’re really doing something!

And I even came away with a new idea for an art project!

The ornaments on this tree were made by local elementary
school children… If you look closely, the designs were
taken from antique Butter Molds! What a neat idea to
combine art with early American history!

Hubby and I really did enjoy our “just us” day. We topped it off with a great Mexican dinner, and got home WAY past our bedtime! Being self-employed and usually having a mile-long “To Do” list, we often feel guilty taking a day off, but it’s a good thing to do every now and again.

Opening up a can of worms…

Kate brought a surprise home last night from her babysitting job…

I knew immediately that it was NOT smoked almonds…

It was my new pets. Their new home has been waiting for them since August, when I gathered up my birthday money to buy this condominium for them. It needed a final touch before they could get an occupancy permit…

Then we had to fill it with special bedding and a handful of dirt…

And then the girls could move in…

And begin enjoying their first meal… a baby spinach salad that had lingered in our fridge way past the “use by…” date…

And then we placed the roof on to let them get settled in…

Vermiculture in my artroom. A very quiet agricultural endeavor. My raised beds will be very happy come spring.

Thanks Brett, for collecting our new critters for us!

A Not-So-Square Triangle.

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I left my plastic triangle on the dashboard of our mini-van this morning. The mini-van was sitting in the sun. And now, the once flat and very accurate triangle is now an abstract sculpture! Maybe I can sell it on E-Bay!?

:-D

We spent the afternoon painting frames, painting papercuttings, and digging in the dirt. Actually Hubby did most of the digging, with Kate coming in a close second. I went out for the grand finale and planted asparagus roots. Chris has been working on some new raised beds for asparagus, rhubarb, and strawberries, and nearly has them finished. We’ve planted all sorts neat things this past week… chestnut trees, a mulberry bush, red currents, blueberry bushes, thornless blackberries, sweet cherries, and apricots! Hopefully the farm will have lots of fruits and nuts in years to come! Kate’s working on her end of the garden too… she has peas coming up nicely, just thinned out her broccoli, and the lettuce is looking good! The carrots just went in today. There’s a sort of  “no man’s land” in the middle of the garden, and Kate and Dad are each advancing their trenches toward each other. I wonder who’ll win? I’ll try to get a picture sometime this week!

And our lilacs are blooming and smell heavenly! However, we usually enjoy them outside… they get a little heady for us indoors. 

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The grass withereth, the flower fadeth;
but the Word of our God shall stand forever.
~ Isaiah 40:8 ~ 

…and plant gardens…

Good morning everyone! Today is my Dad’s birthday… let me show you what he’s been up to the last couple of days!

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There was nothing here Sunday morning! Dad started this fence Sunday afternoon, and he and Hubby had it up by dinnertime. Monday morning we heard a very loud “bang” and a dump truck full of dirt was being delivered! Dad worked on the raised beds and cold frame yesterday, and today is filling beds with dirt, hoping to finish before the rain comes. We told Mom she better hurry and buy the plants! Instant garden… just add water!

And I’m going to get one of these… been drooling over them for a very long time! 

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coldframe

See what I mean? 

Happy Birthday Dad!!!  And Thank You!

Build ye houses, and dwell in them;
and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
~Jeremiah 29:5~ 

 

The next batch, and finally in pots…

I’ve almost got another batch of cuttings ready for paint! One’s a special order, (Hi Barb, it’s yours!), one’s a new folky bird design, and there’s a spring beeskep design, and a scrawny new lion. I think he’ll have “Peace” written on his banner. And a very interesting papercutting challenge… the Capital Dome! I thought that turned out rather neat, although it’s not my usual style!

Last night, my Dad came over with the big horse trough that Nana Anne planted her tomatoes in, and both he and Hubby set it near my other galvanized “planters,” and shoveled a bunch of dirt in it. It’ll hold tomatoes and peppers this summer, and it’ll be very nice to have the garden within a few steps of the back door! Kate has declared she has no time to garden this summer, so I guess the big garden will be back in my care as well. I’d love to put in more rows of berries and a row of lavender, but we’ll see. It may lie fallow for yet another season. Anyway, here’s the mini veggie garden so far… the spinach is not doing as well as I had hoped… it’s a little pale in color. However, the lettuce mix and peas are happy! (The watering can still has weeds in it, so please ignore it!)

And, some of the flowers found their way into some cute and joyful pots. I thought about adding a few white ones to the “Flower Pot,” but couldn’t bring myself to do it. The little Red Orange flower is happy there all by its lonesome. (Jordan, that’s your pot! I couldn’t leave it empty!)

Anyway, have a blessed evening!

The Garden Bug has bitten…

It actually bit about two weeks ago. When I should have been doing other things, I began to ponder compost. Our giant sized pile has gotten out of hand, so I was doing lots of thinking about disassembling it (and using it in the garden, of course!) and starting a new, more manageable compost system. Those sometimes outloud thoughts led to some discussions with Kate, who in turn began pondering worms. To the point of, if she raised oodles of them, how she would sell them. Kate was the first one to go out and play in the dirt, and she has one raised row all ready for seeds. Last week was too cold, but today my Dad was busy pruning fruit trees and such, and I needed something to occupy my mind with this afternoon, so I headed outside.  The main accomplishment for today was to remove mum remains from my three washtub planters just outside the back door, get rid of the weeds and unwanted roots, and add potting soil and compost to fill the tubs. I used an entire bag of fresh potting soil in the large tub, mostly because the plan for that one was to broadcast a lettuce mix and I like to know that we’re truly eating lettuce! Another tub was planted with “Peas in a Pot” peas… a version that is suited to container gardening, and the last waas broadcast with spinach. Springtime salads are on their way!

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My 2008 gardening goal is to start small enough that I can actually keep up with it. I usually get overwhelmed somewhere around June, and by July the weeds have won. BUT, one should always keep trying to improve!

Oreo helped by walking through the lettuce bed at least once, and then by chewing on the chrysanthemum carcasses.  I think you can see her little footprints in the first picture. Hmmm… I’ll have to do something about keeping her out!

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A quick walk around the property gave me some more garden activities… start some cuttings from the fallen-over apple trees,  check for asparagus and spruce up the asparagus bed, get the wasp nest out of the hand pump before the wasps wake up, and do SOMETHING with the blackberries and raspberries that have gone crazy.

Anyway, spring fever has officially hit, and maybe I’ll get something accomplished around here while it lasts!

Have a great Monday!