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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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.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Slow Start.............

So Spring is here. Except it's not really being very Springlike. Very dull and cold. I got out a couple of times just to sweep the paths, but way too cold to rake. thats what needs to be done first. I had hoped to get Gerry out this weekend but he got a new computer and has hardly moved all day. So much for that. So much needs to be done.
I am thinking on Monday I will go get some seeds and start those in the house. I did that last year but the cat peed on it. I need some plant pots too. Maybe sometime this week I might get out there.
Meanwhile my ideas....................
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While I intend to redo the garden I had last year, there is not a lot of room. I will expand that area by moving out the herbs. I am thinking to put those in pots. Then I have another whole portion to put plants. The tomatoes did well and the peppers would have if they had more room. So I will also put at least one tomato in a pot. I want a whole load of tomatoes so I can do some canning. I did that years ago and the home canned ones were awesome.
Several other ideas for planters. I have about 3 of these
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I also have several of these types of boxes. They will hold things like lettuce and Kale.
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I have two of these large metal things, last year I had water plants in one and tried zucchini in the other. The Zucchini did not do well at all, not enough sun. So I think I will leave that one for flowers and something in between that wont mind a little shade. The other one can maybe hold some green beans with a metal fence in for them to climb on.I also want to put in peas.
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Smaller pots can hold some peppers and radishes.I like this idea and can get free pallets
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My main problem is enough sun. SO I must really take a look at the garden and put containers in the best spots where I won't forget to water them. Come July things dry out so are best in the ground. Spring is time to rethink things. I can't afford to buy much so I must try to use what I have already sitting around. I like this idea because I have one of these.
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I have never so far had any luck with Strawberries but I may just try again. Again, I need sun.
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I have two bags of "dairy doo" to begin with and will use that on the existing gardens but will need to buy several more bags for the flowers.
The patio needs work, I need some gravel to secure the stones like in this picture.
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Then I also want to put more garden under patio stones and put a barrel on that. It will eventually cut back on some of the work. Barrels are expensive though. So will be on the lookout for other ideas.
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Thrift shops and yard sales can be great places to find ideas. I need about 25 bags of wood chips. If only Gerry would go pick some up for me free at the county building but he wont so I will have to buy the bags. Or maybe get a truck full delivered. I will start checking prices.
So much work, I hope my back will hold out and I hope it stays somewhat cool till its all done. I am going to send for another bottle bush, I love glass and love the ones I have. They put a bright spot in dark places. Again, less work in the end. Once bought no further expense.
Somehow I have to find the right spot for the zucchini. I may have an idea if I can get Gerry to dig up under the pine tree to put in some more garden area. I would have to improve the soil but it could work. The lillies that are there now do nothing so no loss there. Oooh I am excited to get started. Just have to get someone to do the digging.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Winter hold overs survived yeahhhhh!!!!!................

Success, I think it's safe to say that the plants I brought inside last Fall have survived. Some have thrived. Some squeaked by but are alive. Time to feed them and re-pot. I really like the Begonia's and I think I want to get some special ones this year to have in the house. The ones I have did really well. I think they had some bugs eating the leaves but that has healed up now and looks good. So this year I will look for some special colours that I like for the house.
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I love the pink in this one and will look for more like this.
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They did not grow a lot in the house I noticed. That's OK too.
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Look at the shape of the leaves on this one.
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I wish I had room to keep the Boston Ferns but did not this year. They were too big, although Laura took a couple. I just hate to let things die off unnecessarily.
I took in 3 Geraniums. They held their own. Now I need to trim them back and feed them. They should do well once they can get outside. Look a bit straggely at the moment but will survive I think. The one in the kitchen window did really well and even bloomed. I need to nip that one back.
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Several Spider plants will go back outside although I may keep these two inside as they are looking nice. I have two bigger ones that would benefit from some outside time.
They do well on the front porch or on the deck.
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Oh I have some plans for the garden this year, how much can I get done though. I am going to take out a part of one garden and put stones down and a planter. I am trying to make less work for myself. Once Spring clean up is done then I don't have to do a lot out there except a bit of maintenance. Spring is my heavy work time. I intend to dig up another garden this year and fix it up with Hosta or something low maintenance. My colour comes from annuals. The part I want to pave is too shady for whats in there now, so I will dig it up and pot it. So much to do..........can't wait to start. Today is cold but sunny. I hope tomorrow is the same and has dried up a bit by then. Out I will go.
Look at my African violets. They need repotting too and feeding
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I may buy a couple more because some are really old.I could start my own from cuttings but don't want to wait.
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Some more Begonias in the house.
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It will warm up quickly once it decides to start into Spring. Should do that soon as the 21st is first day of Spring I believe. Our wedding anniversary.