My Garden – April 2015

stubborn snow

Today is what I’d call the first nice spring day. It’s sunny, it’s in the high 60s, and really you couldn’t ask for more after months of cold, snow, and more recently — rain. I decided to walk around the house and take stock of my plants. As you can see, winter still seems to be holding on. I found that bit of snow that refuses to melt!

The first things I wanted to check out were my lilacs. Last spring my parents scored some free lilacs for me and we planted them. I also got a horrenoudous case of poison ivy during yard work that weekend, so I was sincerely hoping they took. Otherwise the pain and itching would have been for nothing. I could barely believe my eyes when I saw tiny little buds on the stems! It looks like I will, at the very least, have some foliage. Hopefully there will be some flowers, too!

lilac

Next, it was on to my forcythia. They’re very healthy so really I just wanted to make sure the deer didn’t do a number on them in the last month. So far, so good!

forcythia

My daffodils have sprouted (finally!) and by the looks of it could bloom this week!

daffodils

The pussy willow out front seems indestructible. Seriously, this thing has thrived through quite a bit of severe weather.

pussy willow

pussy willow

I’m not sure what will happen with my lavender. I would love for it to come back! The leaves still smell heavenly, though!

lavender

And finally are some herbs and veggies my husband picked up for me on Friday. Two varieties of tomatoes, green pepper, sweet red pepper, and purple basil. I am hoping that I develop a green thumb this year! I’m glad, however, that he’s as optimistic as I am.

tomatoes, peppers, basil

Most years I get really excited about plants at the beginning of spring, but my interest wanes as we get into summer. Maybe this will be the year I finally get bit by the gardening bug!

hello, summer vacation!

flowers

summer planter

Our summer vacation official began last Thursday when Noah finished up his last day of 3rd grade! To celebrate, we set up the sprinkler and I made chocolate chip cookie sundaes. I was so ready for for school to be over with, and I know the kids were, too.

Ah, summer… Lazy days, ceiling fans, roses, lemonade, all that good stuff. But let’s keep it real, kids. There’s also poison ivy, mosquito bites, humidity, and plenty of bickering. It all evens out, you know. But the first few days of break have been pretty good, I will admit. The summer will be broken up by various camps and day trips, and I’ll do my best to keep my kids from getting too bored (while at the same time keeping my sanity).

Yesterday Drew drove Jake to his first camp of the year. The local Lions Club generous sponsored him for a week of NYS DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) camp. What a great opportunity! He will spend the week learning about wildlife, natural resources, and outdoor skills. This is right up my Boy Scout’s alley and he settled in quickly. This week Noah is at Cub Scout day camp, and he was beside himself with excitement! It should be a great week for both of them. 

It’s been ages since I linked up with Sandra‘s Happy Homemaker Monday, so no time like the present, right? 

As I look outside my window::: It’s a little cloudy, but really comfortable out this morning! The heat and humidity are supposed to rev up as the week goes on, so I’ll enjoy this while I can.

Right now I am::: Trying to decide if I want to run some errands today or save them for later in the week.

Thinking and pondering::: About an upcoming test I need to have done after my last thyroid ultrasound. I’m not too worried about it, but I just want to get everything done and over with already.

On my bedside table::: Oh, it’s just a mess right now. Lotion, medication, a water glass, various knittle needles and crochet hooks. I need to get it all straightened out and re-organized.

On my tv this week::: Not too much. There really hasn’t been anything getting my attention on Netflix lately.

Listening to::: Laura giggling as she watches “Poppy Cat.”

On the menu for this week:::
 M: leftover pizza
 T: BBQ chicken
 W: London Broil
 T: Leftovers
 F: Hot dogs/hamburgers
 S: ?

On my to do list:::
— Drop off registration forms for rec camp at the town clerk’s office
— Drop off clothing donations
— Dust/Vacuum
— Bank deposit
— Work in garden (cut some things back, plant some perennials and annuals)

Happening this week:::
Day camp for Noah, 4th of July, picking up Jake on Saturday. Not much else, which is fine by me!

What I am creating:::
I think this week I might dig my granny stripe blanket out of the closet and start working on it again.

My simple pleasure:::
Crossword puzzles – I’m obsessed with them lately!

Homemaking tips:::
Rubbing a lemon on your stainless steel sink will help remove hard water spots.

Looking around the house:::
Things definitely need tidying up. After giving the kids a little slack over the weekend as their summer vacation began, there are plenty of toys and crafts that need to be put back in their places.

From the camera:::
My blueberry bush that the kids gave me for Mother’s Day actually has some blueberries!
baby blueberries

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

This Week

Country Living Fair 2014

Ah… the school year is finally winding down. The last few weeks have been so busy! Four concerts, Field Day, Court of Honor, and Preschool Graduation (just to name a few) have kept us on the go. But summer is actually in sight!

Today was Laura’s preschool graduation. What a sweet ceremony her school put on! Drew wrote and performed a song with the kids — abosultely adorable. She was in tears the other day because she’s going to miss school so much. I reassured her that most of her friends with be in Kindergarten with her in the Fall. “But it won’t be the same!” she said. Awww… So bittersweet.

Laura's preschool graduation

Last weekend a friend and I went to the Country Living Fair here in Rhinebeck. I will have to do an entire post just on the fair because it was SO much fun. Next year I think I’ll opt for the two-day pass and get my mom to come on one of the days. So many pretty things and creative ideas. But more on that soon.

My crochet has been tucked away for now, just because there hasn’t been the time for it. But I have been busy in the garden planting blueberries, rhododendrons, various perennials… My dad was able to get me some lilacs another lady had dug up, so tomorrow my parents are bringing those down and I’ll get them in. I adore lilacs and just pray they take so I can have blooms next year!

Hope you all have been well. I miss my little corner of the bloggy world!

A Perfect Fall Day

autumn

I’d be hard-pressed to choose a better month: May or October. They’re both my favorites. Yesterday some stormed ushered in the most wonderful, cool, fall weather. And finally, finally, finally I was ready to open up that pumpkin spice coffee creamer :-)

Autumn

After getting Noah on the school bus this morning I decided to snap a few photos. The rain brought down a lot of leaves, but really the colors are just starting to show up. I’m hoping that they’ll pop in the next few days. Saturday we’re having a family portrait taken and I would be thrilled to have some brilliant color in the background. Anyway, here are just a couple shots from the yard.

Mums & scarecrows:

Fall Decor

My Knockout Rose, still going strong:

Autumn Rose

My burning bush — I think this is the brightest I’ve ever seen it!

Burning Bush

In the meantime I’ve been puttering around, doing some detailed cleaning. Boy, are those circular knobs that are grooved a pain to clean? We have them on some cupboards and somehow there’s always something stuck in the grooves. I also caught up on laundry — hooray!

Tonight I think I’m making a simple Western frittata for dinner with a salad. Maybe I’ll throw an apple crisp together, too… just because I feel like a bowl of some apple-y dessert and a cup of hot tea would be the perfect way to end to the day. Might have to get peeling those apples now!

In the Garden

welcome to my garden

Well, this year my garden is overgrown and underwhelming. The one-two punch of some heavy rains and two weeks of crazy hot weather made the weeds go crazy and sadly I’m just not motivated to keep up with it. (Happens every year — I’m a gardener in my head, but not in reality, LOL!) But I figured I’d share a few snapshots of the plants that haven’t died!

First, there’s my knockout rose bush. This is one of the hardiest plants we have in the front! And what’s amazing is that a few years ago, I bought the plant half-head on clearance for $1, just to see if it would take. I love how bright the pink is.

rose

Then there are these Black-Eyed Susans that came from my mother-in-law’s garden.

flowers

And the Tiger Lily from my mom’s garden.

tiger lilies

Even though Queen Anne’s Lace might be considered a weed, I love having it around the house. It’s so pretty and delicate and when I feel motivated to cut some flowers to bring in the house, the Queen Anne’s Lace makes such lovely filler.

queen anne's lace

This one is called a Balloon Flower and I think we might have gotten it as a bare-root plant from Spring Hill. We placed an order when we first moved here and while a lot of the plants didn’t take, a few did! The flowers close up in the evening and look like little balloons.

balloon flower

And here’s the Spoon Flower my dad made. This one is pretty rare 😉

spoon flower

I found this spiderweb this morning and I never tire of how magical they look. I left it alone — I feel bad anytime I have to wipe one away. I know it’s silly, but they just seem like so much work and this web wasn’t in a place where it was bothering anyone.

spider web

 

 

And finally, my hydrangea. I had only one pathetic bloom last year and it doesn’t look like I’ll have any flowers this year (no idea why!). I did, however, find this adorable little toad hanging out on a leaf! 

tiny frog

Maybe in September I’ll put out some mums and marigolds and kale… I’ll try to take advantage of fall flowers and pretty things up for autumn. So, how are your gardens doing this year?