Memorial Day Weekend 2016

We got soil and manure, you guys! But it’s been too hot to get the garden in.  We’re going to keep working on it through the week and get veggies going next weekend…

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The newlyweds came to visit! Jeremy,  too… but he escaped my lens…

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I bought a few more flowers

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Bought these "annuals" last year and they're blooming again!

The peony bloomed!

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And the table made its seasonal debut.

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I grew those weeds myself!

Here’s to #summer2016

Much to celebrate in the coming months.  And much to demo.

Planters Are Planted!

Over the past weekend,  I picked up some plants at the fantastic Hilltop Nursery and got them planted. Hooray! Then the temperature plummeted and I fretted, but today is Wednesday and things are still looking not-frozen. Double Hooray!

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Big planter!

I’m not sure of those little white flowers are gonna be the “spiller” I want them to be,  but here’s hoping…

And… drum roll, please… presenting, for the first time ever…

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BASKETS!! THAT HANG ON THE PORCH!!

(I’m disproportionately proud of my baskets, especially considering that they could each probably use another plant…)

The baskets are hung up and I think they look adorable. They also reeaaallly highlight how much paint scraping we need to do on the porch, which is fantastic. No, really,  it’s just awesome. Agh!

Oh, and for my own garden journaling purposes,  I am posting a photo of one of two peonies that are going on their third season with us.  They are cuttings from our brother-in-law, and his plants are cuttings from a peony from Chris’ father’s family farm in Jackson, MN.  They are healthy and green and getting big, and THERE IS A FLOWER BUDDING!! It’s our first peony. So. Excited. (Yes, disproportionately 😉)

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I'm a family heirloom!

So looking forward to a beautiful summer!

Happy First Day of Spring!

So what if it’s currently snowing a little?  The calendar says it’s the first day of spring!

We’re determined to have a bountiful garden this year, and for the first time since I was a kid,  I’m trying to start some things from seed…

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We’ve been saving egg cartons for months, and I finally got them all going today!  The seeds are from the fantastic  Hudson Valley Seed Library http://http://www.seedlibrary.org/, which has the prettiest packaging ever…

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(they have an open calls for artists every year,  so hey, artists… send in your art!) I think all of these seeds were either gifts or purchased at the fab Country Living Craft Fair, so they also remind me of summer funtimes with friends and family.  Yay!

I’ve planted 2 kinds of lettuce and the Ragged Jack kale, some sage that I plan to repot and give as gifts if it goes well,  and a whole lotta Morning Glories — which I’m really, really hoping take off because a) I’ve got a trellis that is just waiting for something good to climb it and b) when I was little, we grew some Morning Glories that climbed the railings of our front steps and I have very fond memories of how pretty they were and how much fun they were to grow. 

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Now,  I’m going to be honest and say that I’m truly confused by the growing instructions on each and every one of these packets. But I figure that humans have been growing plants from seeds for quite some time now,  and some of these humans must have been dumber or less garden-ally inclined than I am.  So I’m giving it an earnest go and hoping for the best. My track record might be spotty, but it’s a whole new season, right? 

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Another reason to love weekends  (as if we needed more reasons)… time to cook!  With the chill in the air it seemed like a good day to pull out the slow cooker and make a big ol’ pot of pot roast.  Along with Chris’ amazing home made bread…

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…it was, a terrific Sunday night supper.

The bread is Mark Bittman’s classic no-knead/Sullivan St. Bakery recipe,  which you can find on the NY Times website, but I also found this lovely post about it,  which I recommend checking out: http://www.astackofdishes.com/the-famous-ny-times-no-knead-bread/

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Final version, ready to serve!

All this productivity aside,  my favorite part of the first day of spring might have been this morning’s delicious rainbow bagel. Carb-tacular!

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So cheers to carbs and slow cookers and seedlings and the last of the snow. Happy Spring!

Time flies when you’re living life…

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve been here!! I wish I could say I haven’t posted because all of our projects are complete and our house is immaculate, but as I type on my phone amid a pile of  unfolded laundry, I am realizing how badly I need a new laptop and a winning lottery ticket…

Since I last logged in, another summer has passed, full of barbecues and fairs, a beach visit and a camping weekend. The air is turning crisp and clear and it’s almost time to start raking leaves.  We have a cat. A dear friend moved nearby and two others moved out of state. Six of my friends had babies. Six! A friend passed away. I had a big surgery and I started a new job. Our vegetable garden was an epic failure, but my big planter of flowers is still blooming. My beautiful sister married her longtime boyfriend,  making him *officially* my brother-in-law, and it was a damn fun party.

The world goes round. We almost got most of the peeling paint on the front porch scraped off. We’re planning a better garden for next year.  Some days we’ve just slept in and done nothing at all.

So I’m welcoming myself back and taking things one step at a time.  Like the rest of life, working on this house is a joy and a challenge and I always wish there were more hours in the day.

But today was a great day.  With the help of my brother-in-law, I tackled the garden area on the side of the house, digging out tons and tons of bulbs that have been multiplying like crazy and getting rid of giant weeds.  I might buy a couple of shrubs to put in. I’m going to replant the bulbs so come spring we will have healthier daffodils, tulips and lilly-of-the-valley.

It’s now a pretty clean slate where I can attempt to grow whatever I choose.  I haven’t done much of this before,  so I’m learning as I go.

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Before

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After

Catching Up: Leaves, Pumpkins, and Oh, yeah, THAT happened ….

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So, getting rid of all those leaves was this past weekend’s chores.  Because, if you like watching paint dry, then you super-love hearing about OTHER people RAKING THEIR LAWNS.

A brief detour to the very overdue topic of Halloween ….

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And then also … this happened:

Yay, fall!  And omg so horrified by that raccoon!!!

Garden Bounty!

We’ve had two wonderful road trippy weekends in a row (more on that later!) Came home this evening and picked this:

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It worked! Our garden did so many things! I’m currently looking up recipes. Pickled beans, stuffed zucchini, tomato/mozzarella salad….

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

And also, how did it get to be 4th of July weekend already?  I’m woefully behind in my blog posts, and will spend this week sorting through some photos so I can post about a very fun party we had, the tomatoes that are blossoming, some fun things I have cooked and the porch that’s getting a thorough scraping.  For now, I will just post a photo of my planter– I’m very proud of it, as it was a little touch-and-go at the beginning!   Early July feels like a good time to reflect on the summer so far.  Stay tuned for some backtracking and in a few days I will be back up to speed!

MWAH.

happy fourth of july!

happy fourth of july!

 

 

(my how we've grown ...)

(my how we’ve grown …)

A pot of pansies

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I got most of the plants from my last post (aka buying binge) into happier homes this weekend, though the weather was cooler and more windy than I would have liked. 

The rest of the pansies went in the front yard, along with the white impatiens.

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So teeny! I’m hoping they grow bright and strong through the summer.

I also got my large planter um… Planted….

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Filler, spiller, thriller? We shall see.

I will update with growth reports! I hope!