Best laid plans!!!

It can never be said that one of my virtues is having a plan and sticking to it! It is not that I never make plans....in fact I'm always making plans. But in fact I can't ever remember sticking to a plan...  One of my favorite saying is _
"She who is flexible never gets bent out of shape." and when it comes to planning I am definitely flexible.

One of the beds I loved at the farm was my peony bed.  Nothing in it but about 50 peonies.  "My plan" for the new garden was to have a smaller version and I have been digging sod and sifting dirt all summer toward that plan...  But the soil in that area just doesn't drain that well even though I have added lots of sand and perlite. So one....I don't think the peonies are not going to be that happy there. Two I'm adding so many plants that I am running out of room.  So I am going to have a mixed bed in place of just a peony bed.

Peonies have such bold foliage that any companion plant has to be able to hold its own.  Tall iris and  daisies would work and I have been looking for a spot for my perennial blue geraniums (Johnson's Blue) which gets very large and could work there and of course there are the 100s of bulbs that will be here in a couple weeks. Even though not a strong foliage, doronicum would make a nice transition between bulbs and  peonies and would politely sit afterwards.  Even though I am a failure at following through on a plan I love making them.

Princess Diana clematis has recovered nicely.  I don't think I shared that DH ran over her with the wheel of the lawn mower . My perennial sweet peas are blooming like crazy.... finally.


lattice and I might be i n trouble

 It just always seems to happen... Out of the blue I have another project,.... as if I didn't have enough already.  I went to a lot of trouble to rescue these panels from under the deck and then reattached the skirting.  Now I only needed about  1/2 of these and I don't want to crawl under the deck and of course I can't throw them away... so

I saw this photo of a box similar to my raised beds....hmmmmmmmmmmmmm   And I had wanted to paint my raised beds or something anyway.  They look a bit shabby.

All spring I kept ordering plants but two and three an order.  It is so easy to press that "place order" button.  But it occurred to me that I have pressed that buttons about three times lately for collections of bulbs and each collection was for 100 bulbs.    I'm not sure I can plant many even with my new hole driller.  I may be in trouble.                                       Also when I was thinking about fragrant plants  just lately it occurred to me that I did not bring a start of calaminatha from the farm and it smells so wonderful.  So I thought maybe I could get one online.... yes for #12.99 plus shipping..


sale of farm

 It's official..  the deed was transferred today to the new owners. I was amazed it took so long to sell but buyers just didn't want to take on the house.   I figured they were a bunch of wimps because this is what it looked like when I took it on... But three times we accepted offers and they backed out at the last minute.... but the roof was 20 years old, the well pump 38 years old, the drain field 38 years old, most of the plumbing was galvanized and needs replacing, most of the wiring was from the 40s and needs replacing and the list   goes on. One woman wanted to restore it to its former glory... I told her it had no former glory.. and in the end we basically sold the land and gave them the house

 But to me the real glory was my forest.  Here it is newly planted in 1995 and again some years later...

Here is a shot taken  recently by a drone this spring and you can see the house and barn in the lower right hand corner

One of my favorite shots is the rose from my grandfather's homestead trying to engulf the barn.... actually it was two bushes of the same rose.  I was able to get a start of that rose and it is planted on the back of this new house...


Progress in the garden


The arbor order has been a riot.  This vinyl one I ordered was supposed to be delivered in 20-30 weeks and it came in a week and the wood arbor that was supposed to be delivered in a week is lost somewhere in transit.

I fully expected to be assembling this one  about March.

So now I am doing the white arbor  on the deck in the shade as it is supposed to get to 101 degrees today,  It seemed pretty sturdy material for the price and will be super easy to add the clear greenhouse panels to...a mini greenhouse for sure....
But it needs a back on it and I was looking at lattices and trellis online when I remembered seeing some vinyl lattice panels under the deck.

The only problem was I had to raise a panel of lattice that skirted the deck and crawl under there with creepy crawly things and lots of spider webs in order to retrieve them but was thankful the previous owner had tucked them there and not disposed of them.  I thought that there was two...maybe three panels.  The previous owner was a thrifty fella and also stored lots of wood scraps in the rafters of the garage and I have used all of it.

And the lattice panels were really dirty when I did retrieve them and it turns out there were 4 1/2 panels..... enough for this arbor and the back for the wood one as well (if and whenever it arrives.....)

I laid them out on the lawn and used the hose and a broom to clean them up.

Then last week my thrifting buddy and I ventured out and I found this cool chair for the front porch.  It is very study  and waterproof and fits right in with the white and lattice look that I didn't even know I was heading for.

With that on the front porch I was able to take the two white iron ones that were there to my little courtyard in the back and that freed up the two green metal chairs that were on the courtyard to put in the new little shady area that I want to develop before winter.

 I haven't decided whether I'm going to make a pad of either gravel or tiles under the table...... but I do want to surround it with something summery that smells good.. pots of mint maybe.. Every time I go to the thrift store this winter I am collecting very large pots I can move around the garden next season.  I've fallen in love with all the pot gardens on the Monty Don show.... There are 4 small clematis planted right behind on the fence,  On one side I will add ferns and hostas from the front of the house as this is a wet and shady spot as well.


When is a greenhouse not a greenhouse???

Remember a couple days ago when I said I wanted to build a bench with sides....somewhere I could sit on sunny cold days and capture the sun but be protected from the wind.  Well this is what I meant.  Not necessarily the fancy top but definitely the sides.. pretty cool huh?  So my brain kicked into gear.

Here is another picture of an arbor using old doors.  Just put a seat in here and it would be perfect. ...if I had two old matching doors.  One of my problems is getting lumber of any size.  Before I could scrounge around the barn and find whatever I needed and since we also sold the truck   anything now has to be delivered at a price..

Notice at the base how they used metal shelf supports to stabilize it...brilliant.  Definitely stealing that idea.


But good old Wayfair delivers free, has great prices and has a great selection of arbors.  I decided on this one and it was cheap and will be here next week...

 The management where we live would not allow a greenhouse.  All I need is for someone to tell me I can't do something and then I must find a way to do it.  So a greenhouse is not a greenhouse when it is an arbor.  The longer I thought about it the more I realized that by adding some  windows or greenhouse panels that it could double as a mini greenhouse of sorts as well as my winter bench..

The wooden arbor was actually my second choice.  My first choice was this vinyl one which would weather better.  It was 50% off and only $100 and    it was larger but there was a caveat....you had to wait 20-30 weeks  (not days...weeks!)for delivery. That is months and months away...mid winter at the latest. I want a bench in place by the end of September so I can  sit there and figure out how I can use it as a cold frame as well in the spring.


My place in the sun!!!

All spring I have been looking for a space to capture a little sun when I want to be outside.  I have this lovely area that's like a courtyard. It's protected on one side by the house, another side by the fence and on the last side by the deck . It not only captures  sun. it shields me from the wind. If you look closely you can see I have a tiny table and two chairs there.  It is this area that I "really work" potting, dividing, mixing  soil and fertilizer.  The green bin for yard waste and the composting bin are in this area. It is also where I just sit and think and plan.  And now and then I fuss in my treasured raised beds.  This small area is my paradise on earth.

The long narrow area in the left front was all red rock when we moved in but I planted rhubarb, lavender, perovskia, and sage right in the rock.  I also have all my pots of succulents there for the summer.  All seem happy.

But now the dog days of summer are here and we are at least a a month of 90 + days and I am looking for a place in the shade and find there's very little shade in my new garden The only place is a relatively narrow strip along the fence so I will have to put at least one bench there. Luckily I brought along all my scraps of iron and metal now I have to bring some wood to make the benches.  In the meantime I may have to find a box to sit on here.

  I have just the pieces in mind. This piece has been around so many years I can't remember where or why I bought it.. Someone painted part of it and I was going to remove that so it will be all rust.  It looks like an old headboard but the way it is constructed will make it tricky to attach to wood..  winter/rainy day project for sure.

Also it's a possibility of having a small table and chairs in the far corner right near the thicket,  I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm planting that area and leave a small space I can tuck in a tiny table and one or two chairs. It is only about four foot square and right now I'm using this area as a temporary spot for plants waiting for their permanent spot.

At the farm the small  deck in the front was a great place to sit in January/February when the sun was shining because you were up against the wall and protected from the wind,  I have similar place here on the south side of the house that is somewhat protected by the wind by the deck and captures the full sun against that big wall.   I've always wanted to build an "alcove" bench so this may be the opportunity.  The nice thing about having a small garden that every thing you do makes a big impact.


Hooray for the garage//

When I started looking for a new house for us I thought we could get along if necessary with just a carport since we would only have one car.  How wrong I was!! The place we bought not only has a garage, it is a double garage and even more important it is an oversized double garage.  I don't know how I would get along without it. I am adding a skylight and extra overhead lights.
 There was a workbench already there but it was built by a man who was about six foot five. The top of the bench hits me about mid-chest and would be impossible to work on for me without standing on a stepstool.  Initially I thought I could lower it but it is built too sturdily   to try to take apart. But it is right height  for my drill press and my radial arm saw and  I can use all the storage below and I'll add a pegboard above soon. 
 So I built another workbench my size in the other corner of the garage and it is wonderful. I got to bring almost all my favorite tools and have used it and used it and used it already.    Slowly but surely I'm getting all my tools unpacked and finding a spot for everything.
Years ago I went to an auction of a supermarket that was closing and one of the things I bought were two rolling racks from the bakery department.  I had them in the barn and they were the most useful thing ever for storage because they were mobile. So when we were moving I'm brought them along not sure where I'd put them but they are in the garage and they are keeping the things I don't use all that often  like my big KitchenAid mixer, my bread machine, the ice cream maker , the paper cutter  and my specialty baking pans plus extra cleaning supplies.
Another thing I brought along where a lot of the  bins that I had sewing stuff in.  They were all empty now   but I built a shelf for them and I'm sure as time goes by they will fill up and I will be glad that I brought them.


A tree for Morris!!

Most of the houses in this community have a tree in their front garden and most of the residents have small dogs which they walk around the community at least once a day so all the trees are well anointed with dog urine and all trees are eagerly sniffed on every round.  We are one of the few houses without this feature and so Morris can hold his head (and leg) high with pride I planted his very own tree which was a start from a friend.

I have it protected with chicken wire until it can hold its own against the dog traffic.

There is one house on our street with BOTH a lamp post and a tree. It is the only lamppost on our street.   Dogs get so excited they are not sure which one to pee on first.  And with these two great status symbols, this owner does not even have a dog!!!!

It will take a while but eventually Morris's tree will be lovely.  And what tree is appropriate for Morris.... a dogwood tree of course!!


The BIG project

When I say BIG!!! it is not so much in size but in the massive amount of effort it has morphed into.  I wanted the side garden to be a spot for my collection of peonies...rather a simple straight forward project in the  beginning. 

 I started digging out sod and digging out sod and am finally seeing there might be an end of digging but until the end of summer of the sifting. Same technique with saw and sifting soil except there is just so much of it. It was going to be a small patch on the side of the house and I was going to have the gate moved over eight feet.

The fence company wanted $850 to move the gate so I reversed the way the gate opened, enlarged the size of the bed and added a path.

 The reason it is taking so long to finish is our farm has not sold.  Several people have been interested and even made offers but when the house inspection is done they back away.....so I am watering, spraying, and weeding at both the new house AND at the farm.  We are selling it as is and it is 116 years old and of course it has "issues." And the virus lockdown has added to all the delays... I try not to think about it  before I go to bed as I only fret all night.

On a brighter note is this bit of green.  I took a root cutting from a rose at the farm at the beginning of April and had thought it was never going to sprout but 4 months later this bit of leaf has shown itself....cause for celebration.

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