Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PARADISE?

Sometimes I wonder about this phrase. I am kind of hoping that in paradise there won't be room for weeds like thistles and nut sedge, that I fight with constantly here on earth. I am also hoping that mosquitoes and japanese beetles will be banned from paradise. I saw my first beetle today and know that the next month will be spent trying to keep them away from my flowers and grape vines. Maybe, just to please me, God would ban moles and ground squirrels from paradise, and the rabbits would only be interested in eating grass and weeds. On my way out to check on the mole that is ruining my back garden, three rabbits ran into the corn field from my vegetable garden. They have been enjoying my green beans, and not at all interested in the traps that I have set for them.
But, on the other hand, the hollyhocks are beautiful, the lilies are blooming in all different colors, and I am eating fresh strawberries and raspberries from the fruit garden. I ate green beans and broccoli last night for dinner, fresh from the vegetable garden.
So, I guess if I can get past all of the aggravations that nature throws in, my garden is still the closest thing to paradise that I am going to see on this earth. Makes me wonder how much more awesome the real paradise is going to look someday.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

PLANT SALE

Today was a beautiful day! I held my plant sale from 10-6. I had a pretty good turnout, but I think if I had held it a few weeks earlier I would have sold more. Note the great sign. My Brother-in-Law is a sign painter and he painted the sign for me, I think that it helped draw people in.
It was a lot of fun meeting new gardeners, that is my favorite part when I have one of these sales. I didn't have a lot of plants to sell, and of course they were mostly purple, but most everyone that stopped left with something.
Several people walked through my gardens, some asked about specific plants, and others had questions about plants in their own gardens. I always enjoy having these sales but they do wear me out, and I don't get a lot done in my yard because I have to keep an eye out for customers. I spent the time that I had between customers, finishing up the planters for the patio. Tomorrow I will have to tackle the weeds in the beds, the rain over the past few weeks have given them a great start. Our local weatherman reported that for the last 9 Fridays we have had rain. It has really backed us up in our business. Last year we had no rain, and this year we have way to much. That's Indiana for you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

MISSED SPRING

I feel like I have missed Spring! I get so busy this time of year it goes by before I know it. I try to walk around the garden each evening, but that is about it. My 'Dortman' rose is gorgeous, and the honeysuckle vine smells like heaven. My vine was given to me by a good friend. It was a start from her vine, which was a start from her Mother's vine. It takes some work to keep it from taking over the garden, but that smell is worth it.
I have planted all of the properties that we maintain with purple flowers for the 'America in Bloom' competition. This weekend I am having a sale to sell the plants that are left. I do this every year, some years having more to sell than others. I put an ad in the paper with the garage sales and usually sell most of what I have left. I hate giving up the day, and the ad cost me $30.00, but I usually do pretty well. I can still get some weeding done in the beds in between customers. So if any of you are going to be in the Lafayette area on Saturday, and need some purple flowers, stop in. They usually go pretty fast. Of course I always have people ask for something that I had last year, but I usually have different plants for sale each year.
I still want to post about my trip last Friday, but I am just to tired tonight. We took a landscape job in a small town about 45 minutes from Lafayette, and we were there today. We didn't get home until 9:30, so I am off to bed. I have to drive back there tomorrow to finish up, so it will probably be another long day. Maybe I will get to my post about the trip this weekend.

Monday, June 9, 2008

COMPUTER PROBLEMS

May 25 was the last time that I posted to my blog. I have missed sharing my garden, and have also missed reading what is going on in your gardens. In one of the many storms that we have experienced over the past few weeks, the little box on my roof that allows me to receive my wireless signal, was hit by lightning. After they came out and fixed that problem, I realized that my router was also hit. So after purchasing a new one, and waiting for my son to install it, (which explains why it took so long), I am finally back online. My office computer also now has problems, and I will have to find a 'geek' to work on it. How can you love and hate something at the same time? I love how my computer has made doing bookwork so much easier, and adding my books to librarything, and blogging have been great fun also. But when they stop working, it can make you crazy!
The picture above is of my Donald Wyman lilac. It is one of the last lilacs to bloom. It is named after Donald Wyman, a well known horticulturist. When I first started working at a local nursery back in the 70's, the book that I always went to when customers had questions, was Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia. This book always had the answers. I would often look up plants just to see if they were in there. I was rarely disappointed. I remember how great it felt to finally be able to purchase the book for myself. It was a pretty pricey book back then, and there were no half price book stores, or library book sales, so I paid the full price for it. It is probably still one of the most expensive books I have ever bought, at about $40.00. I now own hundreds of books on gardening, but this is always the one that has the answers if I can't find it in the one of the others.
In the garden things are finally starting to grow. With all the cool weather and rain, most plants just sat there. Then the 90 degree weather hit, and things started to happen. One thing that happened was the strawberries. I had no idea that we would have so many. I was not prepared, nor do I have the time to put up any of them. So we are eating them, and sharing them with anyone and everyone. Most people can't believe how good they are, compared to the store-bought ones.
Well, I am cutting this post short because I want to read up on what everyone else has been up to. But I do hope to post tomorrow night on a trip that I took on Friday to a well known herb farm.
Glad to be back, and I do hope that you haven't all forgotten me!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

NO TIME FOR BLOGGING

I can't believe that it has been a week since I posted last. I also can't believe that we are into the last week of May! This Spring has gone by so fast, I have almost missed it.
The rain that we have had over the past few weeks has put us behind schedule. It is hard to make customers understand that every rain day pushes everyone waiting to have work done, back. Most people are very patient, and understand about the weather. We have had a lot of work that had to be done for graduations, so of course those were a priority. Thankfully, we were able to get everyone done that had events planned, and will now be able to get to everyone else.
This picture is the back yard of a customer that was having a graduation party. The beds needed to be cleaned up and mulched. The flowers blooming are Bachelors Buttons, or Mountain Bluets. They are beautiful, and reseed themselves every year.
My yellow tree peony is blooming! After removing the side shoot, it has done very well. I love the lemon yellow color. My "Miss Kim' tree lilac is also blooming. It seems especially fragrant this year, and covered in blooms.
I always look forward to Memorial Day weekend, because I usually can spend it in the garden. We had rain all day on Friday so the garden was to wet on Saturday to get anything done, so I spent the day organizing my shed, which I did not take a picture of, because I was so ashamed of the shape that it was in. It's all cleaned up now, and so much easier to get around in. I have found that when I am organized, I am able to accomplish a lot more. I found so many things cleaning the shed that I had forgotten that I had. I even found my bird bath heater that I replaced last winter because I could not find the one that I knew that I had somewhere. Now I have two, the birds are going to love me next winter!
After church this morning I stopped at my 90 year old friends home to check on her. It has rained the past few Friday's so I have not been able to do any gardening for her. I took a few pictures of her garden while I was there. The first is of her poppies in bloom, they have the most beautiful 'tissue paper' flowers. The second is a picture of some lupine's. The lupines sprang up in front of the compost pile, I assume the seed was dropped when they were finished blooming, and were added to the pile. The tall purple plant along the fence is Dames Rocket, also a volunteer. I commented that sometimes the random acts of nature turn out better than our planned gardens.
Our forecast is for rain tonight and tomorrow. I am hoping that they are wrong, and the rain comes tonight, and then moves on so that I can get some weeding done tomorrow.
Do take time tomorrow to think of all of the men and women that have given their lives so that we can spend a warm Spring day puttering in our gardens.