The flowers sitting on my table are three summers in the making. They are abundant this year and I feel only joy in cutting them to bring inside. My favorite spring flower is on showcase this week. The white wedding poppy. If you wonder about the name let me reassure you that it is appropriate in every single way. The petals are soft and ruffled. Slender and elegant. They are pale and delicate and they dance in the slightest breeze.
While this place may be quite lately, my life is more noisy than ever. I'm surrounded by countdowns and to-do lists.
5 days until the Spring Show in Shakopee MN
3 weeks until craftstravaganza
27 DAY UNTIL THE WEDDING
While most of the work is done for all of these things I still have tons of bits and pieces to pull together. It's been hard lately to just step back and take a breath. Life is feeling unbalanced and leaning heavily towards the overworked side. I'm pulling through though... yes I am.
One thing that keeps me smiling is my garden. I think that this will be the first year since moving in that no major work needs to be done out there. Now I can just watch it grow with a little guidance and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
I love setting up a booth at the Mankato Farmers Market. There are so many great people who stop by and I get to visit with the very friendly and knowledgeable vendors too. The past couple weeks we've gotten to set up our booth next to Earthworks Gardens... what a treat. All morning I watched as beautiful,enormous bouquet after bouquet was sold... wishing privately that I could too have one too. By the end of the morning I had wandered over to smell the plate sized peonies and I got to talking with Diane about them and found out I can get my very own... and they are locally grown right outside of St. Peter. My heart races. So after the market we took a motorcycle ride out to the farm which is open to the public all summer. Totally worth it! It was so much fun to talk with Diane and look at all the fields. There were fields of flowers and fields of produce. Rows and rows of hard work and love for agriculture are just spread out before you. It was totally my thing.
I ended up ordering some peonies called 'lullaby'. They are white with blooms the size of my hand if I stretch it open as far as I can. The petals remind me of a dream. They are absolutely stunning. I can't wait to visit again later in the season when more is in bloom and the veggies are growing faster than they can be picked. If you are in the area I definitely suggest a trip out there. Or at the very least stop by the market and get yourself one of those amazing bouquets!
Wanted: 1 bird family to occupy recently remodeled home. Amenities include nearby feeders and birdbath, lush gardens for easy live grub access, non-threatening dog (barks to keep cats away). All utilities paid.
Today as I was out by the compost heap I noticed this little nest on the ground. We've had some very windy days this week so it made me wonder if it just blew right out of the tree. I know we have several families nesting in our yard so maybe it was one of theirs. I hope they didn't leave for a quick snack only to return to find their home was missing!
Don't worry my little feathered friends. I believe we have a few openings in our birdhouses... feel free to move right in.
When we bought this house a year and a half ago the yard had quite a lot going on. There were LOTS of overgrown hollyhocks... they seem to pop up everywhere. The front yard had one very large bush/tree right next to the house and just about nothing else. And all the gardens where haphazard and in need of splitting. Last summer we started cleaning up by removing that tree/bush, adding lots of perennials to the front beds, removing those pesky hollyhocks (they never seem to go away), and just trying to keep up on all the weeding.
This summer I feel like we have a much better handle on things. The front beds are doing very well. Almost all of last years plantings came back with vigor... some could even be split in the fall. We are still trying to keep the hollyhocks in control, but I've finally gotten to move on to some of the finer things.
I picked up a bird feeder for the two families nesting in our backyard... and of course any visitors. They took a liking to it right away. Then I got around to planting a hydrangea bush. I can't wait to pick blooms for my tabletop.
The most dramatic change happened in our front yard where I added two planters with boxwood at the base of our stairs to distract from the hideous painted brick steps which will someday be replaced. I also placed a planter with an evergreen next to the door to add some color up there too. And lastly I made a wreath for the door (more on that in a post to follow). I'm really happy with the changes so far and look forward to further improvements indoors and out. Taking pride in ownership and making affordable changes can really make a large impact.
Have you made any little changes that yielded BIG results? I'd love to see so feel free to share.
As I mentioned on Sunday I had a chance this weekend to complete not one... but TWO crafty projects. Yey me. The first I want to share with you is this great little terrarium I made. If you're a reader of a few crafty blogs you've probably caught onto this fever by now. Terrariums are making a comeback! They always looked nasty and smelly to me, but then I started seeing all these great ones on flickr and they gave me an itch to try one for myself. The key is to keep them at the right humidity... too much water will build up on the walls.... and that's when they start looking bad.
So I picked up a jar, some plants, and my favorite: reindeer moss (LOVE this stuff). I started with two pots of plants. The african violet was my first pick, but was too big for the jar. The second pot had 4 succulents squeezed into it. That was too big also, so I separated two of the succulents and repotted the other two. I'm not sure what they all are, but I do know that one of the two that went into the terrarium is a jade plant. If anyone knows offhand what that other guy is I'd love to know.
Easy as 1, 2, 3... the dirt was in the pot (mixed with sand for better drainage), then goes the succulents, and to top is off the reindeer moss. A sprinkle of water and it should be good for weeks. After doing a bit of reading I discovered that my little guys might prefer it with the lid off for a dry environment, so for the most part I'm going to let them breath.... but I love the lid, so from time to time I'll probably give them some humidity for my own enjoyment (does that sound cruel?).
If you've been hesitant to grow plants in your home because you have a brown thumb, THIS is for YOU!
For the past several weeks, every time I look outside my window or step into the yard I've been greeted by a red tulip parade. When I spent a good hour or so in the dirt on my knees last fall I did so dreaming of the spring color that would await me. All winter long as I looked out into my bare snow covered yard I would send out a little wish to all my tulips that they would survive the harsh cold and hungry squirrels.
This year they gave me a beautiful show. I'm so glad I took the time to plant these babies. I can't wait to see them again next year when hopefully they'll continue to prosper and multiply.