This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Filling the gaps.........................

I was writing about filling in areas of my garden last time. I want the areas to be distinct.
Well today I went to get my mammogram and bone density tests, so, after that I stopped at Meijers garden center. I did not intend to buy anything but.............I did. I saw some Boxwood that were not a bad price and quite big. I really like Boxwood. When it gets bigger its nice to shape and trim. So I bought 2 of those. I got a larger Hydrangea for a corner that is bare and another shrub like I bought last year. I really like that. I forget the name but think I may get another. I like how the leaves turn red at the top.
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I put that in the wooden tub so that it stands a little higher than the others. The two Boxwoods they went either side of the swing. They should grow and fill in a bit so that the back "Shade Garden" is more secluded from the front portion (of the back yard). So far the back garden is divided into 4 sections. The very back, shade garden. In there is a lot of Hosta and a seating area, it has Ivy and Holly.Not much in the way of flowers. Usually I put a couple of baskets of Begonia. The side of the garage has old stuff hanging on it, Old tools and pans etc. There are Poodle paths going throughout the area. The girls like it back there. High in the trees are small wind chimes. They tinkle sweetly.
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It's nice to sit back there when its hot. I had a stalker, Bessie followed me all around the garden as I did my chores. As she was sitting on the fence a Cardinal came in for a look so Bessie climbed the tree.
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We have an area back there where some of our pets are buried. There are mainly Hosta's in that garden and a bird bath. I am beginning to realize my garden is bigger than I thought it was. Trying to fill it out is taking much more than I ever planned. It used to be grass back there but being in the shade it was never very nice so I put down wood chips. That gets expensive so I need to expand the garden parts if I can. The Ivy is gradually moving out. I need to collect more large rocks, I love rocks. I put glass balls around to give colour. Tristen has broken so many that I have few left now. The bottle trees give some focal points in other parts so I need to find something to go back there but glass ornaments are sooooo expensive.
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The Trillium is blooming and it seems to be spreading slowly. I will be interested to see if my Jack in the pulpits will come back this year.
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The very back, Poodle path goes along the back fence and they go under the Forsythia. I think they have this whole scenario going. I think Rabbits come in there.
I found me a Gooseberry Bush and put that opposite the Boxwoods on the edge of the Pond area.
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There is a walk way behind the pond area. The garden there is wild now. Has two Holly bushes that are doing quite well. That one has ivy in it and other things that have taken over. Unless I dig the whole thing up thats going to have to stay as it is. So much work. Each year I should concentrate on one area at a time. Sigh..........
The garden with most sun has grass and the grass seems to be doing better this year. No kids to play on it. I have some seed and will put that down before the next rain.
I took the old fountain and stuck that out there. Not sure what I will do with it yet. Was thinking flowers but it doesn't drain.
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I put in two new Hydrangeas in the garden by the grass to fill in. Nothing much grows but maybe now I used the Dairy Doo and stuff it will help.
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The other areas are the patio by the pond and the new area that will be a veggie garden again. All got to be worked yet...........then I have the front to tackle after that. I picked up a couple of rose bushes. One is a climber. I am not yet sure where to put that one but I am thinking of the fence by the drive. I will haveto dig up the bramble I put in there. That didn't work well. So that will come out and I will give the rose a try. There is one rose growing there that is happy and gets bigger each year. SO I will see.
There are a LOT of Violets and they spread like crazy. I really have to control those and dig a load out each year.
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The Hosta's that I have in pots really do well and they come up sooner than those in the ground. The ones in the garden are only just popping up
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The new Hydrangea is a traditional one and I hope it will grow quickly and fill in under the Lilac bushes. The lilac is not doing so well so I am going back to Meijers and getting another Lilac that blooms all summer. I think its a French Lilac. That will finish that area off.
I am hoping to finish off out back tomorrow. I think the next weekend I can get the seeds in and plant my Tomatoes. So thats my day today, got a lot done and still got tomorrow to finish up. Yeahhhhh!!!!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

It's May....................

It's May 1st. The weather is still cold and wet. I have bought a few shrubs to plant. One is a Gooseberry Bush, I bought one once before and planted it in a bad spot. Well the spot became way too shady. So this time I think I have a better spot for it. I am trying to fill in gaps so that the spaces (rooms) are more defined. I also got two Hydrangeas that I got to fill in under the Burning Bush. However I don't think they are right for that. So, one will go in a barrel that will also give some height. The other I think I may put under the Rhodedendron because that is very sparse.
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Well I thought I might put a shrub in with the Rhodedendron?
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Or I may just put the Hyrangea in the tub, give some height and if it fills out it might help block the area
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This corner needs something. I was thinking about an evergreen of some kind. Maybe a Cedar. Behind the Barrel there, a big gap and I want to not be able to see through
to the back area.
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That corner also needs something. I got the Hydrangea to go there but I am not sure about it. I think I need something bigger.
Thing is its shade. Or at least a part shade. So I wonder what I can put in there. Cedar seems like a good choice. I have some in shaded areas and the seem to like it.
So that is my present dilema.
Next thing I am doing is putting down fertilizer. Everything needs feeding. The soil is depleted I have no doubt.Maybe that will help. Got me some Dairy Doo.
I am gradually filling in gaps with shrubs instead of plants. The plants do not seem to come up early enough for me and don't get big quick enough. I want flowering shrubs. Things that will grow quickly and maybe blossom. I may have to dig up a few things from other spots. Major work. Got to do it though. This year I have to do a lot of work out there. The way my body has been lately I don't know if I can. Take it slow and easy and stick with it. I guess that's how I do it.
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I bought that little bowl of succulents at the same time.
The stones, actually broken concrete blocks, that I moved out of the veggie area I piled up to make another wall. I really need some big stones. I don't have money to buy them and they are hard to find. Maybe next year I can get some blocks and make it better.
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My little bird house village. I will be collecting more to put up on top of the swing trellis.
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Then I started a new bottle tree. It is one I bought but the bottles were too heavy, so last year I didn't use it. Then I found a few small bottles and used those. I need about 3 more.
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It will look better when I am done with the cleaning out and weeding. So much to do. Slow and easy.............I must not get impatient.
I did get all my seeds. Just need for it to stop raining now. Sunshine is what I need. Not hot, just nice and warm.
The old fountain I moved and was going to put flowers in it. The thing is it holds water and so it won't drain. I put this ball on there instead for now to see how I like it
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I still like the idea of flowers in it and maybe if I dont actually plant them but leave them in pots, I wonder if that would work.
I will shut up now, boring it has become.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Exciting stuff....................

Tomorrow I have to go to see a nurse about diabetes. I guess I am expected to learn a few things and that's OK.
After that though I am going to Lowe's. I want to look at fencing to finish the front side since we trimmed the pine Trees. I also want to pick up seeds.
It is also excitig that the Garden Centers are open. Woo Hoo
I love Pine Hill Nursery. Its close by relatively and I enjoy their gardens. I have many favourite places that we visit during the summer.

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This is what they say...................

This time of year is exciting for everyone. We are all itching to get our hands dirty and our gardens looking beautiful. But with our Northern Michigan spring weather we have to be careful about what we are planting. So if you want to get started here is a list of things that are perfect for planting right now...
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It's time to sow these vegetable seeds or plant these roots outdoors:
Kale, Mustard Greens and Swiss Chard
Horseradish, Rhubarb and Asparagus
Potatoes, Beats, Carrots
Snow Peas and Snap Peas
Spinach and Parsley
Onions, Chives, Leeks and Shallots
Turnips and Radish
It's time to sow these flower seeds outdoors:
Columbine, Flax, Gaillardia, Lavender
Pansy, Poppy, Snapdragon, Sweet Peas
It's Time to Plant your Perennial Bulbs...
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Time to get excited now, so after my appointment I will go sus out the seeds. I am intending to plant many of them in pots so I can do some in the house. I will keep them inside till it warms up a bit and then put them out on sunny days. The last time I did this the cats peed in the pots so.............this time they will be put up somewhere safer. If my garden does well this year I may get a grow light for next Spring. Who knows.
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Meanwhile...............I took a few pictures today of a few things brave enough to break through..........A few brave daffodils.
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A few crazy blues.
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Maybe next spring I will have a better showing once I get the Dairy Doo thrown around. It has just been too wet and cold. Forsythia will be cut back when the flowers are done, it's always a bright spot in the Springtime
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The Trillium is poking tentative feelers out but snow is in the forcast the next few days. The weatherman says it wont stay but.............it's just not making it very cheerful out there
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Bessie has been very naughty. She disappeared for 2 days. To make a long story short she got stuck in someones garage. I would keep her inside but she just won't stay in so she will just have to take her chances. Boots is a good girl she sticks around and is not so nosy.
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Had some Robins looking for water. They looked like a pair and I assume nesting because they found this water and were tryinng to get the dried leaves from the Iris.
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So tomorrow, maybe I will take a trip to Lowes and see what they have going on..............I can at least start some stuff in the house until the plants are available.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Brrrrr still too cold.................

After yesterday, being on the beach in temps in the 40s, low 40s, today was warmer. I think by late afternoon it probably hit 50 but was windy so took awhile to actually feel warm. I went out here and there, tidied up a bit. Relocated bird feeders and filled them. The first thing I saw this morning was a Wren. I have never before seen a Wren around here. I was very excited. I didn't get a picture but think this is what he looked like. Although mine looked a bit happier.
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What a cutie. I sure hope he comes back.
I did get out and putter a bit. I will go out again later. It is only noonish and is supposed to warm up as the day goes on. Meanwhile time to think, organize my thoughts.
I am hoping not to spend too much money on the garden this year but that said, it never happens.
I want to fill in some spaces with shrubs. Preferably ones that flower or have berries. Finally the Holly that I put in many years ago is of a reasonable size now. Just a nice size shrub that I will trim up as summer goes on. I like my garden divided up and the Burning Bush that I have in the center is a dissappointment. I will leave it there but, under it, I want something evergreen to keep things divided up in winter. So I will find the cheapest I can and go with it. All the hosta I have in pots will go in the ground as I see where they are needed.
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See the gap, I want to make it so you can't see through to the back. I may go with an evergreen, they are cheap. Or another couple of Boxwoods.
Then the other side of the Burning Bush too. The Holly never did get very big, despite feeding it.
This is a view from the back.......all that needs closing in.
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This Holly Is the best one. I have several others that have stayed smallish.
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Gerry took all the vines off the front porch. That gives me a lot more sun there so maybe there I will put some pots of veggies and see how they like it. All I have to do is remember to water them.
The vines that were cut down I can make into wreaths. I was going to do that today but that wind is very cold. Maybe later before they get carted away when they clean the streets of all the debri from Spring clean up. They allow us to do that in Spring and Fall. Just dump everything, brush and leaves, by the side of the road.
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The Tulips are coming up nice and the Hyacynth has buds, the Daffodils also have a few buds checking out the sunshine, a bit cautious like. The Forcythia has a few frightened looking buds on it. Nice to cut and bring in the house. Or maybe even start some new ones from cuttings. I always think of the ones that grew up the front of my Dads house. All the way up to the roof. Beautiful in Spring and then green once the leaves come on. Except for the year the Sparrows nested under his bedroom window. Must have been grumpy that year because he tore it all down. He left the Honeysuckle out the side at least. In England we could throw our windows open, the curtains would billow outside in the breeze. Everyone had white lace curtains back then. So beautiful to be able to just hang out the windows. No screens for us. I hate the screens on our windows.
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The rocks and concrete we moved from the garden to make more room is sitting in a pile. I will use that under the ivy in the back so I can pull out some of the nice rocks that are burying themselves. Funny how they seem to sink back into the ground. I try to use everything I can possibly use in my garden. This made a stone wall and now will help build up other areas. There are some flat pieces that will be added to existing walls.
So going forwards I have to sort of wait for things to pop up so that I don't inadvertently dig up stuff I want to keep. So not a lot going on for now but it gives me chance to putter and do much needed maintenence
Jasons roses came up just fine this Spring that was nice to see
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Anyway, back to the garden. He trimmed the Pine tree on the corner and now it looks really bare. So, mulch will go under it and I have put one of the old ploughs there. I must continue the fence to the end of that side and see what I want to do with it after that. I think I will move the prickly rose that came back in what is now the veggie plot and put it on the fence there now there will be more light. It seems to be tough so maybe it will thrive. It can't stay where it is and there will be room for it to spread if it wants to.
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I bought a couple of bunnies from the Thrift shop yesterday and they will reside on the porch for the summer instead of the snowman. Nice for spring but will be happy out there all year I think. I am putting two old quilts out there. Some more pastel colours instead of the reds, so I must cover a few pillows to sit out there with them. I am also using my embroidered table cloths. Why waste them sitting in a drawer? People don't use them anymore so its a shame to waste them. At least they can be seen.
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I will venture out again in a few minutes to see how the temperature is. Meanwhile back to planning. I have to find my flowers that were put away for Winter and maybe make a wreath out of some of them. I don't know yet. I can not wait to be able to fiddle with everything. Come on weather warm up, but not too much. No heat waves please. Although I can usually get outside in the mornings before it gets too hot and buggy. I will just have to be methodic.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A warm spring day..............................

This was a great weekend for working in the garden, I think today was up in the 60s, may have hit 70. I know by this afternoon I was whooped. There is so much to do at this time of year. I had asked Gerry to rake, that was the biggest chore. I did some but my body was going into spasms. He had gone and got me some mulch but had to get more today. That much is down now. So basically until planting time the back is done. I will have to clean the deck, scrub it in fact. The poodles used it as a potty all winter and even though we kept it picked up, well you can imagine. Then I need to sweep and clean the drive. Next will be cleaning the chairs and organizing. I don't like to get ornaments out until things are growing.
This is a time for writing lists, getting ideas and making things.
First of all the fish survived the Winter. They enjoyed a sunny day.You can see the black fish in this picture.
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The others are doing well too. Now as long as Bessie stays away..........Boots often drinks from the pond but so far has not hurt the fish. They do have plenty of places to hide.
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The wood chips being down now stand out so much it does not look good. It gives me a chance though to see what I want to get this year. I am thinking shrubs that will grow and fill in areas so that there is less work for me. Hydrangea is one thought. This area on the right I am thinking of one bush behind the Boxwoods and one the other side by the swing. There are Hosta's in there that will be coming up soon so I can't do it now. I think they may do Ok there. I need something that will not mind a little shade.
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Then where the swing is, I have an old fountain that does not work now, thanks Tristen. Well to avoid mosquito lava I am going to put dirt in it this year and put flowers in it. I thought a shrub in that little corner would be nice too. So I must look for something that will do well in shade. Set that by the little boy. Do you see him there?
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What I am trying to do is seperate the areas in the garden from each other. Make rooms. Maybe I will put the shrub in a pot to fill that space and it would be higher.
I think I want another glass ornament, another bottle bush maybe? I don't want to overdo it. Maybe I will wait on that one. I have something that I can make a small bottle tree from (meaning small bottles. I am moving the one plough to the front yard. That leaves a gap over there that I also want to fill in with some kind of shrubbery. Thing is that becomes expensive unless I buy small things. Then they take years to mature and I am too impatient.
Another old fountain I moved to a spot on the grass. That will have flowers in it too.
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Things are coming up, Daffodils and Tulips are breaking ground. The Day Lillies and Iris peeping out.
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Then there was this little cutie, noisy girl. She had a blast out there yelling at everyone out walking dogs or just out for a stroll. No one passed unnoticed or without comment. What a pain.
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I really wanted to put gravel in between the paving stones here on the patio but think I must just use some roundup for now and do it in the Fall.
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I want to thicken up the hedges for privacy but can't see that happening either. Time will tell. So there is all of that to do and then the front to start on.
The veggie patch has been extended into the flower bed. I will move the Herbs once they are up so that I can use their spot for vegetables.
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Gerry would have picked up some top soil but it was frozen still so maybe next week. Meanwhile more clean up to do and designing areas. It is exciting to be able to make a start. Tomorrow I must go grocery shopping, laundry and the house so not sure much else will get done.