My favorite flower not a rose......

People called me the "rose lady" because I had so many roses and propagated them and sold them.  But truth be known they were never my favorite flower.  If I could only have one type of plant in a garden it is without a doubt ...small flowering clematis.  There are varieties of  all shapes, colors, and for all seasons and they are going to be the divas in my new garden.

Years ago I used to eagerly await the   plant catalogs that came right after the first of the year. I could spend hours going through and marking all the gardens plants that I would love to have had but I've always had abysmal  luck with mail-order nurseries so while it was fun to look at the catalogs I seldom send an order. Now when it's dreary and cold I go online and look at   plant sites and I've been doing that just lately with searching the sites carrying small flowering clematis.

About four years ago I went to a plant sale and spent too much on clematis and felt really guilty because I knew I probably wasn't going to stay that the farm much longer and I was buying all these plants http://olderrose.blogspot.com/2016/05/two-types-of-clematis.html   but now I have moved them with me and so glad that I bought them.  I have moved 15   to the long fence that is at the back of my new garden but that didn't keep me from ordering two more a week or so ago. It will take a couple years for them to get established but I can wait. 

 Now I found a site that has Princess Diana clematis which I've been coveting for several years and I have to order it.  Unfortunately they had a minimum order which means I have to order two more besides Diana. I could say it would be a birthday present for me. But I've already ordered a birthday present for me so maybe this can be a housewarming gift for me. I could try to justify it by saying I'm not going to thrift stores and have all that extra money except I 've spent all that extra money shopping on Amazon. It is truly a dilemma. I say this as I push the button to send   yet another order off for more clematis

Just a few of the ones I have.....



Today is one of those days...........

Today is one of those days when I wake up I think of all the things I could do today. I felt like I was 31 and could do them all.  But by  the time I had my coffee I realized I was 81 and I had to think about what I am able to do..... not what I wanted to do. What I really wanted to do today was get out and dig up the bed for the peonies. Then I realized I really needed to do is get a sprinkler system man out here and have him lay out where the sprinkling system is because I am afraid as I'm cutting up the sod I am going to cause a big problem by hitting a sprinkler pipe.  Since it is Sunday I will have to wait until Monday to call and probably it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before he could get here...so time to rethink today. Eventually this peony bed will be about 3 times this size but I need a place to get all I've dug in the ground until I can enlarge the bed...The ground is so hard and rocky that it is very slow digging.
So putting that project on the table.... next in the line is building a frame for a piece of stained glass for the deck and to finish sorting out the sod from this hellebore bed. Yesterday we drove to the neighboring city and I got  all my hellebores from my dear friend who had been keeping them for me over the winter.  Now they are all planted. I still have all the sod clumps  by the side of the bed to deal with.  I sit on a chair and knock  off as much of the dirt as I can and then I add some   perlite and  some farm soil and mix it up and add it back to the bed. It seems to be working. Then the green sod that is left goes into my new compost bin....
Yesterday we got this precious bird bath installed where I can see it from the kitchen.  It was a gift from our realtor and it is just the perfect whimsy for my garden.  Don't you just love it?  I put my little solar bubbler in it and it works great because it gets sun all day.We just have to wait for the birds to find us.
 So today I will go ahead and finish cleaning up all the sod and  if I have any energy left I'll clean out the freezer and reorganize it. Things got all jumbled during the move and I can't find anything. First thing Monday I will call a sprinkler man and go ahead with the peony bed then in a responsible way.
 My overall plan is to have the new bed of hellebores also loaded with daffodils. It will be my spring bed. Next to bloom will be the peony bed in June and   the bulk of summer color will be all clematis vines that I am planting. I have a very very small garden area so going up the fence with color is my best option.   I have about 15 planted and I just ordered three more and I'm going to try to dig up a couple more at the farm this week that should give me color all through the summer..... lots and lots of color


First of the grass to go!!!

The weather is getting warm enough that I get to work outside in my new little garden. It's hard to decide just where I want to work first because I have lots of things in my head that I want to do but  my back just needs to hold up.  When I first bought the place one of my friends said she  imagined it wouldn't be very long before I dug up all the grass... I laughed and said oh no I won't do that but I can see it probably won't be very long before I am digging up all the grass.
 I am starting with a small strip along the back fence. Very heavy ugly sod and lots of rock and it's a sort of a useless piece of greenery.  It would be hard to mow and so I'm digging the sod out piece by piece and planting shade plants. My original plan was to fill in with perennial   geraniums as a ground cover but it is a very shady spot at the base of this fence so I have been adding bulbs and spring flowers that do well in the shade such alliums hellebores etc.  
I do have two bins of geranium cuttings rooting though and will use some of them.
My big project in the front were to humongous junipers.  The one on the right was about the size of a queen size bed. It was growing into the house on over the sidewalk. the one on the left was just about as bad and growing into the steps and over the walk on two sides. With Juniper's I like to turn them into trees.
it's a bit tricky trimming them back until you find the main trunk.  I always hope to find a nice curved one which I did with this one.
It was harder with the second one because it was so huge and I probably took off too much on top but I can shape it as it grows. it not very interesting now but I will keep working with it.  All that grayish area around it is the ground that it covered.  Now I can fill it with spring perennials and bulbs.  It is pretty ugly now but will be beautiful I promise. I've already planted dwarf iris, daffs, alliums, hellebores and two kinds of clematis in front of the house.
There was another huge low-growing juniper at the back of the house that was about 15 feet across.  I want it out completely.  The main bird feeder will go in this area.
  I had cut and cut and cut on this and still haven't found the main stem it's going to take me all summer to get it out of there.
Yesterday we went up to the farm and I dug peonies, rhubarb and a few shrubs plus I'd gathered   up all my marble stepping stones and some of the whimsy  stuff from the garden.  DH wanted to take it all to the dump......no way.  When he starts using the dump word I just implore him to trust me....it's all a treasure even though it is rusty, crusty, and covered in lichen... right????


Neighbor on a scale of 1-10

Our new home is in a 55+ complex of 60 homes.  The complex backs up to subdivisions on three sides and the other side backs up to a business park.  And our neighbor on the back is the USPS facility which repairs those little white postal vans.  The parking lot and entrance are on the other side and all we see is the back wall of overhead doors and as soon as the trees leaf out we won't even see that.

How do I rate them as a neighbor on a scale of 1 to 10???  Well I give them a 9 1/2...  The only thing better would be a bird refuge behind us.  Every so often during the day one of the door opens and a wounded postal van is maneuvered in.  Some time later the door opens and it pops out  on its way/  We see no one, we hear no one, the area is immaculate, and at night they have security lights and security cameras and an 8' fence surrounding it.  It is all neat as a pin!!!

And of course I have great plans for the deck to fore shorten the view and already have 14 clematis planted along the fence.  You might wonder why I am so welcoming to a business neighbor.... If you have followed the blog you have read my repeated rants about my ONLY close neighbor to the farm.  He was rude, crude, disgusting and a despicable human being.  This Google aerial photo of his garbage laden property says it all.  Over the 25 years I had repeated altercations with him and reported him to practically every agency in the county to no avail...  Every so often a delivery person looking for us would go to his house by mistake and their comment was always "You wouldn't believe the smell."

So my USPS neighbor is a breath of fresh air..... Yep 9 1/2 at least.


Elastic Alternative - nifty

One of the things that amaze me about this move is that everything that I felt I had to have seems to have the perfect spot in the new house. A good example is my featherweight sewing machine. At the farm it was always handy on it's little vintage cart in the dining room and in the new house there is a perfect little spot at the end of the buffet right next to the slider window. It just fits and I can easily use it  whenever I need to. That is whenever I need to after I find the foot pedal,   my sewing scissors and all my sewing stuff.
When I did finally find the foot pedal for my machine I decided to make face masks for the family. But of course by now there is not a piece of elastic to be found in town and on the Internet it can't be delivered until May. 
So   I was searching for an alternative and decided the perfect thing would be the little elastic stretchy thing for ponytails and I pick some up at the dollar store they work great. Three of them looped together are the perfect length for a large mask and two of them looped together are perfect for a smaller mask. It's fun having the pretty colors as well.
I'm at an awkward stage with unpacking I which   was evident when I started looking for my foot pedal for my sewing machine. A  lot of this stuff that is   still packed needs to be on shelves and the shelves are still at the farm and even if I had them I didn't have the new brackets. Now the brackets have come and I wanted the handyman to help me put up the shelves but he isn't working because of the virus restrictions.  It's like a catch-22.

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