Thursday, April 30, 2015

In the Conservatory With DOA

You'll recall I planned to visit various Public Gardens over the summer this year.

The first up for many reasons was the Como Park Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.  I hadn't been there in years.  Two popular features, The Sunken Garden and the Japanese Garden weren't quite at peak (they were swapping Sunken Garden Exhibits) but it was still lovely to be in a giant greenhouse full of mostly trees and ferns, then to walk through the Japanese gardens on a wandering path.

Because it is still so early in the season, this is a perfect place to go and stroll and feel as if summer is coming.

Don't be fooled, you can't enter here. You'll need to go around to the side and enter where you can visit the Gift Shop coming and going.  They had some very sweet Fairy Garden furnishings.  Since my Fairy Garden is still a non-starter, I resisted.

It is the 100th Anniversary of the Conservatory.  We were told that the Sunken Gardens will feature flowers in the color purple all year in honor of the "royal anniversary".

The Japanese Gardens

Monday, April 27, 2015

Laundry Day in the Garden

Before I retired I made a nice list of things I'd do each day of the week, balancing work and play ever so perfectly.  If I actually have that balance I don't know it!

I have settled on Monday as Laundry Day and Tuesday as Grocery Day.  Things are lively indeed here at DOA Central.

In between loads, I brought out the herbs I purchased yesterday at Shady Acres Herb Farm, somewhere I've always meant to visit.

I put them in one of my mini-greenhouses tonight and zipped it up (not easily, those zippers don't hold out for many seasons).  In my experience the plants stay nice in there overnight and its all steamy in the morning.  Shouldn't be lower than high 40s tonight.  I'll go peek at bedtime and put them in the garage if it doesn't seem right.  Can't let anything happen to my babies.

This worm level view of some of my peas coming up was taken with the camera resting on the side of the raised bed and tilted just so.

I am getting more sprouts from the previous years seeds than from the 2015 set. 

I'm filling seed trays to get more things going.

Some nice bloodroot is blooming at the back of the yard.
Bergenia Baby Doll has defiantly set out one small flower beneath a nearby branch.

Thanks to everything greening up around the garden, things are starting to look nice.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Instant Garden Color with Rustoleum :)

I finally got my nerve up and the weather was decent enough (though a tad too windy) to paint my gray shelf and white milk cans.

I used Rustoleum Candy Pink, Apple Green, Aqua and Seaside.  There are gloss types and satin. The satin seemed a bit easier to apply evenly. 

Never having spray painted anything before, I had to get a good distance from spray can to object down right, and a smooth back and forth motion to apply the paint evenly.  This technique is still a work in progress for me.

All of the cans need touch up, particularly the pink.  It was in the 60s on Saturday but has been 40s and 50s all week so I'll have to wait for the temps to rise again.

Even with the need to go over them in spots and to do the lids, they look so beautiful.  I will definitely try spray painting some old plastic lawn chairs to make them lovelier in the landscape, once I finish these.

My husband who used to paint refrigerators (?) for a living during college was awesome. He sanded down the shelf and the milk cans for me.  It really made a huge difference. 

I washed them off with water and dried them before painting.  I love them all so much.  (And my spouse...)

Candy Pink

Apple Green

Pretty Milks Cans All In A Row


Thursday, April 16, 2015

DOA in the Garden: Not Garden Bloom Day & Nothin' in Bloom

I missed Garden Bloggers Bloom Day yesterday, so caught up was I in my Pea Revolution.


My mind was also snarkily happy not to be working at a library on steenkin' Tax Day and dealing with all the desperate souls who needed just one more form.  Needer needer Bad Tax People. Hehehe.

It has been windy and dry so I hooked up the sprinkler on the east side and let it run. Our even/odd watering ban begins on May 15 and I would like to get things off to a good start before then.  I could almost see things greening up before my eyes as grass and plants got a nice soaking.

I continued to work to get all of the ornamental stuff and my greenhouses out into the garden.  In another month this will look really pretty so compare and contrast, and don't judge or say Junkyard Dog!

I captured the leafiness of a few things which are coming up.  I can't really bend to get a good angle for pictures (knees from Hades) so a couple are too close.  But think positively!  Life is returning.

Nectarine close to being a thing in bloom....

This heuchera doesn't need any flowers to be beautiful.

The sweet leaves of an emerging hardy geranium.

Lovely for its entire existence is Jacob's Ladder "Stairway to Heaven".

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DOA in the Garden: Peas to Please!

Early in my gardening life there was a columnist called The Slothful Gardener.  She has been my secret inspiration during all of my gardening years.  She tried to be particular about how she planted things and tended her garden, but at the end of the day, she just didn't worry and she let her garden grow, grow grow.  My heroine.

In that spirit, I devoted an entire bed today to planting Pea Seeds.  I had seven different varieties because (gasp) I tossed in seeds from previous years.  Seeds which I did not keep in a vacuum packed, temperature controlled vault.  I reek, I know.  It doesn't matter, because I was so very happy digging furrows, planting the seeds, noting which were where in my notebook.

I reflected as I worked how much I love playing in the dirt and always have.  Every other set of pea seeds went in horizontally or vertically in its allotted spot.  As you can see cleverly separated by handy little sticks.

I have never had any luck with peas, no matter how carefully I planted, spaced, inoculated, fed, watered.  I've gotten like 3 peas to eat, ever.  Viva la revolucion!   I just dumped those packets in.  Muahahaha.

If I don't get any peas, no shock.  I had a lovely time planting them and dreaming of some miraculous pea bed, and that is all that counts this time around.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

DOA in the Garden: One Potato, Two...

I have had the Dread Crud since last Thursday and but just had to get outside today for awhile.  I could see crocus from my kitchen window!

Not much else is up.  My Bergenia "Baby Doll"  which I've had for years but has only bloomed once looks nice but is bloomless as always.

At this time of the year, any green is welcome.

I suspect this is Poppy "Louise" coming up faithfully.

This little planter of Hens and Chicks that I overwintered on the workbench in the garage is doing nicely, though the ones I left out in concrete urns were dead and had to be tossed.

Some chives are coming up, and will be moved soon.

I have a small bed of daylilies and daffodils and other plants that are in the "dog" area and right near my clothesline.  The dogs relentlessly work to get in this small plot and then they dig and dig and do other doggie things which you don't want in your garden.  I'm giving up the fight to keep them out this season and will move the plants in the next week or so out of their zone so we can all be happy.  This will give the dogs another closeup spot to leer into my veggie garden though, wishing they could get in, digging, digging...

I planted my fingerling potatoes today.  I was worried that I had too many pieces of potato for the space.  As it turned out, the Rose Finn variety had lots of eyes but also one was completely rotted, ick.   I ended up with just the right amount of these for half of the bed space.

The Russian Banana ones were nice throughout but had few usable eyes so again they filled half their bed space.

I made nice furrows and put in the potatoes, the pulled the dirt over in a mound.

I took some dirt out of the bed so I could start low and add dirt back in as sprouts appear.  I think this will work out very well.

Friday, April 3, 2015

March Craft Month Projects

I made considerable progress on only one project.  Should have had only one as a goal but noooo.

My afghan ten years in the making has gotten many new squares.  I can even crochet now while watching television.

Here is my progress.  While I think I have evened out my tension considerably, you can see a wide variance.

  Also note the frayed looking square on the lower right.  I think the Cat must have found it tasty one night.  Luckily I can just add a new row of black.  And I'll keep the squares in my craft room for safety when I'm not working on it.


Everything needs that one row and an edging.  I've never done an edging but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to figure it out now after several months of crochet immersion.

I have decided I don't like the colors on this so I purchased a few new colors.

I still have all of my old acrylic paints, but I don't know if they are still viable.  I'll find out soon and will either have a fantastic array of colors to use to finish up ceramic projects, or there will be shelf space for some fresh new colors.