Sunday, August 02, 2020

Hydrangeas On View

That is my second video.

It was a good year for one of my favorite shrubs.

Monday, July 06, 2020


I love these so much.  I loved them before it was cool to love them.  I loved them so much I bought my mother one to plant because I didn't own any land.  The macrophyllas haven't bloomed, except for a few blooms, in five years so this year I am thrilled to see them.  Although, they seem very pale this year, and the Endless Summer is going lilac.  Here are babies from other hydrangeas.  They've never bloomed.  They're very pale in color.
This is Endless Summer, my first ever hydrangea, planted in 2016. It's trending lilac.
This is Blue Bird. Or Blaumeister. There were two tags with it, I think from Home Depot.
Blue Billow out back:
Blue Billow in the front yard:
I'm thinking the Rozanne geranium is distracting.  Hmm.

I've already decided that the Strawberry Sundae hydrangea was a very dumb choice for the side garden.  It is huge this year.  It is the sister of that monster, Vanilla Strawberry.

Here it is looking ginormous even at the beginning of its' panicles forming.
I'll put it in the back.  It can go next to the stone wall garden or next the newly transplanted Hansa rose.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Best Garden Ever

I miss when my garden was young and looked terrific.  I think it also had something to do with the mild winters as well.  Here's the back garden.  I believe these are all 2014.
I miss those days, even with my neighbor's ugly backside of house, ladders and two-toned backside of my own house.

Best Garden Ever - Heritage Version

My Heritage Garden was the first "designed" garden where I had really thought about where things should go.  The problem with the garden was everything grew supersized, so it got out of control and I had to remove a lot.  Then I think I removed too much, but now I think it's okay.  Here are its glory days.  I particularly loved the fall plantings I put in that first year.  And that first spring was lovely as well.

This is how it started out - a strip of grass with iris and ladybells on the right, next to the stone wall.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Before And After: Stone Wall Garden

When I moved in in 2005 there was a ginormous barberry that reached almost to the top of the deck, which is off the second floor.  I never liked it but I was a new gardener and thought you should keep what came with the house.  I cut that thing to the ground in anticipation of someone building stairs off the deck but that never came to fruition.  I decided in 2016 to rip it down.  I really like the garden I made in its place.  It'll be evolving, though, since the Montauk daisy is too big for the space and it'll become pretty shady when the Japanese maple reaches its full height.

Here's May 5, 2012:
And Spring 2020:
Before, you couldn't see the lovely stone wall, on which I planted four Green Mountain boxwood.  I talk more about it here:


Early Summer

Technology has been frustrating the heck out of me.  That and the fact that I never remember to take pictures at the right time and day.  I can't access my old photos to show the growth I wanted to show of some of the plants.  So here's my first video.  My brother (who's 15 years younger than I) "OK, Boomer"'d me when he saw this because I held the phone the wrong way.  I'd forgotten many names of things.  Too much pressure!  And of course, Boomer can't figure out how to edit or insert captions.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Spring Is Coming!

It's been a relatively mild winter with little snow, some cold days and no frozen pipes!  Daffodil shoots have already poked up as well as at least one crocus's blades that I saw.

I'm anxiously anticipating this spring and remembering the massive amount of changes I made last year, mostly involving moving things.  I'm remembering that I moved the big Stella d'Oro daylily and the peach one from the back garden to beside the front walkway, giving that area some definition since the Livin' Easy rose died.  I also cut the catmint way back in that area since it had taken over.

Near the driveway I moved most of the beautiful purple and white irises and transplanted two veronica from the back, where they were not doing well amidst the ivy groundcover.  I also bought an agastache and transplanted a large sedum from back to join the one I planted when I made this garden.  I moved the hosta to the shade garden because it would get crispy.  If I had any phlox left I got rid of that and maybe the daisies as well?  Oops, can't remember.  I transplanted a couple (?) daylilies from my mom's old garden to the strip between my neighbor and me. I also took some iris from my mom and put it in the Heritage Garden and in front of the small Blue Billow hydrangea.  I'm not sure if this is the year that the knockout rose died but it is most sincerely dead now.  I transplanted a piece of the big hydrangea in front to the smaller one on the side.  I think I transplanted the daisies in front where the rose was.
The pretty iris.

I bought a white catmint to put near the Blue Billow hydrangea in the front yard.

In the stone wall garden I moved the large hosta to under the Japanese maple and bought a caryopteris.  I also bough a Japanese maple, ironweed and a Purple Dome aster to go here.  I can't remember if I removed any foxglove.

I moved two boxwood from the back to the porch garden. And moved the helleborus from between the arborvitae to the other side of the sidewalk.

In other categories, I finally put stone dust in between the cracks in the walkway.  Now hopefully I won't have to weed there.  During my manic, sleepless, prednisone-fueled spell I actually finally made a stone staircase into the alley garden out back.  Hopefully it hasn't moved much.

I think that's all but I'll find out soon!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas Preparations

First off, I hate Instagram!  My phone is too small and it's difficult to post.  Why in the world can we do that online?  Sheesh.

My stollen is in the oven.  I used the Martha Stewart recipe where you braid it instead of the wreath I made two years ago.  I think it's the same ingredients.  Labor intensive but delicious.  I started at 9 this morning and it's 1:49 p.m. now.  I'm watching this woman called Delia from England.  I guess she's their Martha. I like this Christmas special.

My pictures are all hung in the dining room.  It was torture as I knew it would be torturous to hang the rose pictures.  But the other ones I just eyeballed and are fine.

I wonder when I'll get around to finishing the closet.
We've gotten so many cookie deliveries at work that I don't even feel like baking.  Can't decide what I want to make.  Maybe fudge and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I'm going to make Fluffy Cheesecake (two) for Christmas Day dinner.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thanksgiving Countdown

OK, so I'm exhausted.  Per usual I've procrastinated and added way too much to my to-do list.

First I stepped on (idiot) the storm window insert for my old, ugly aluminium storm doors.  I cannot justify fixing it so I decided to order two new Pella storm doors.  I also lost all my keys (idiot) so I can't lock the house.  Now I have to buy storm doors that lock.

But first I have to paint the door frame . . . just when the weather starts turning cold (it snowed Sunday). It has to be 40 degrees.  Very tricky.  Plus the screws are impossible to remove so I have to wait for my brother-in-law to bring his special tool.

I never hung pictures in the dining room.  I finally got everything framed but am indecisive concerning placement.

Due to my impending retirement I am hoarding vacation days so I can't take time to clean and cook.  Oh well, I guess the most important thing is to make sure the food tastes good.

This is the lovely curtain fabric.  And no, of course, I haven't sewn them yet.  My mother's and sister's sewing machines are broken and I'm too cheap to buy one.  Guess who's wasting her time sewing by hand?

The design for this room is bright colors, with a sort of country modern/garden theme.  The paint color is Ben Moore's Mill Springs blue.  And I have cushions on order from CHINA.  (Love the way Trump says China.)  Must have caught a fast ship because they're in town, and originally the date was sometime in December.  So I got hot pink, orange and lime green.  Hopefully the colors will be OK.  Couldn't find turquoise anywhere so I'll keep looking.

This innocuous picture of my front door represents over three hours of my time trying to figure out how to put all the door hardware back on, after SIX YEARS.  Yes, I procrastinated that long.  I completely forgot how it went together.  This Old House has a diagram but putting the lock back on was tricky.  After I was done the door WOULDN'T CLOSE.  I started chanting "I hate my house!"  Couldn't figure it out.  I remembered my brother-in-law had a trick of putting something on the edge that rubbed off so he could tell where he needed to sand the door down.  This was after I took the door off its hinges in order to paint it, and when I reinstalled it, of course it didn't close.

So I kept fooling with it, removing the strikes.  Finally got it to work, better than it ever had. I was so proud and told my co-worker, who then said, too bad you lost the key to it.  Yes indeed. But at least my house doesn't look so freakish, with a hole where the doorknob should be.

There have been coincidences lately.  I was watching old Martha Stewart videos online (looking for gravy recipes) and her daughter was saying they didn't have doorknobs in their house during its renovation phase. I can relate.  I still have to put a lock on the bathroom door.

 As I'm looking at this right now I think I like the first one the best (it's upside down).  I texted a good friend who is so good at these kinds of things (well, she's good at almost everything to be truthful) but didn't hear from her.  It's the busy season at her work.

I wanted pictures of bright roses from the garden.  I think this (below) will work out. I would have preferred an odd number but the span is 74 inches and this would allow about 3.2 inches in between.

This is the space above the pass-through.

So right now I'm waiting for my timer to go off so I can put a second coat of paint on the doorframe. It's still 45 so I'm good.  It got into the 60's today.

I'll try to remember to take pictures of the food Thursday.