Whatever Weather

Whether wet or dry, weather has been the Big Boss around here all week, a 50/50 toss-up between rain and shine.  Good things are we need the moisture, but haven’t suffered severe flooding like many areas.  Another positive is, the rain holds off a while in between storms, and gives enough dry out time to mow.

Mow . . . and mow . . . and mow again! I swear the grass grows two inches a day, at least!

And those dandelions, ugh.  They seem to multiply by the thousands!

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I love mowing on my rider . . .  but my back doesn’t like it so much.  Nice to have Hubs around now 24/7 to take an extra yard shift.

One of the damp days had just occasional sprinkles, which allowed me to clean out our little, front entry garden.  I forgot to take a B4, but below are Afters.

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For a few years now, I’ve been planting only perennials; hardy plants that will tolerate our cold winters and continue to thrive the next summer.

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As a natural course of things, over time, we’ve planted, and had to remove, various shrubs.  Unlike trees, shrubs have much shorter life-spans.

This corner below was emptied last summer, and we added a lilac.  This year, Hubs allowed a second stem to grow.   Lilacs can be fun to sculpt a bit as they grow. He’s going for a double trunk look here.  It’ll be fun to see if we like what develops . . . or not.

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A diablo ninebark had to go this year.  Hubs cut it way back earlier in the Spring.  We were waiting for help, to dig out the stump, but look at this.

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I like this spot of color and texture in the garden, so it’s staying . . . at least for this summer.

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Oldest daughter gave me a Mother’s Day gift card, which covered three bags of mulch for a quick cleanup and a few decorative annuals, for some instant interest and color.  (Thanks Breezer!)

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Farther out in the front yard, we have a particular variety of willow tree, not the standard weeper.  It tends to lean a bit rather than stand straight up.  We specifically picked it for that reason.  Hubs and I both love what we call “whonky” and found it perfect.  Drives our one perfectionist neighbor crazy, but no one else seems to mind  😉

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Willows are often easily started from trimmings, so this time when pruning, we saved a few cuts and popped em’ into some good dirt.  We’ve tracked their progress.

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Surprisingly, most of them survived and thrived.  They’ll be transplanted in a few weeks, out back in one of the low spots, where they’ll have a bit more moisture.  Another area to watch grow.

The beautiful spirea below is presently all by himself in the back yard.  We’ll be moving him to the front area before Fall.

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Nothing has been cleaned out in the little back garden yet, this year.

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It’s a little big jungle out there.

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But this week is peak bloom time for our big old crown wegelia.  The blooms are so full and beautiful. You would expect a wonderful fragrance too, but not so with this shrub.

Artzzle Weather FeatureThis size of bush can easily afford to gift a few branch cuttings.

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TIP:  Continue to keep fresh water up to the top of your vase, and these will open fully and be gorgeous for about a week.

FUN FINDS: Pictured here are some of my recent fun finds.

  1. Tall glass vase $3
  2. Decorative Scarf $0.75
  3. Three Tier (Pier One) display piece $2.50

They hold a few loose blossoms & leaves here, but the little sectioned holder is also great filled with candies when company comes.

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TIP:  Keep water levels up in small holders too.  Holding very little, they evaporate quickly.

That’s what we’ve been up to this week . . . Hubs and I.  What’s new with you?

Remember . . . stress less, start more!

Later – Cheryl

The First Alarm Clocks

Company’s a comin’. Busy . . . busy . . . busy! Cleaning, painting, yard and garden work and . . . oh, those mosquito bites! Aahhhck!

So sharing a FUNNY from one of my favorite London sites. Hope you like.

Later – Cheryl

THE EDITOR'S JOURNAL

boffin moment

first alram clocks

History rawks don’t it??!!! 🙂

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Before the Pumpkins Come

September opened here with cooler nights and comfortable days. Touring our yard this past holiday, we noted all the summer beauties slipping away. For a moment I was sad, but quickly remembered that changing seasons are some of the reasons I love Minnesota. Yes, the summers are too hot sometimes, and winters can be cruel, but each of the seasons promises us the return of their own little jewels.

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Orange has always been at the top of my color charts, no matter what features it.
Autumn will offer its’ own beautiful tones soon enough, but before the pumpkins come and the leaves turn to gold, I wanted to share some of the oranges summer can hold.

Summer shows orange in brighter sheen and glows. Fall tames down the color to rusts and ochre tones.

The smoke of Autumn fires fills the evening air, but for one more day, these lilies didn’t care.

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In every season, each day presents us its’ unique agenda. Living in Minnesota, you have to learn to surrender. By accepting the beastly bad, you appreciate the beautifully good all the more.

In the past long weekend I discovered some fun finds. Keep the color orange in mind for next time, when I’ll show them off to you and we’ll do some decorating too.

Meanwhile, don’t stress, just start that project.

Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “Before the Pumpkins Come” my original article, first seen on Artzzle.com. I love comments and questions so send “em” my way. And be sure to spread the word about Artzzle to your friends. The more the merrier!

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Remember, all content on Artzzle, text and photography, is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form, without my expressed permission, or approval from material’s originator(s). You can leave a comment below with any questions on this.

September Soon

It’s almost August 24th, “wedding day” for oldest daughter. I’m still busy with the flowers but wanted to send out a quick Monday post, to stay on schedule for you.

Late August also means it will be September soon (yikes winter approaches). Today I’ll share some spring & summer photos with you. My nature pics folder stores all the warm season beauties I click. Something to peruse in a cozy chair on a winter afternoon, reminders that the cold isn’t eternal!

FUN… that was my first gallery in a post. Cool, and not too difficult (I love WordPress!). Looks like you can click on a picture for a slideshow of the gallery. You’ll get a black screen with one picture. Just continue to click directly on the picture and it should go through them all. I noticed there is also another COMMENT opportunity at the bottom of each picture as you go through the slideshow. Give it a try.

Here’s a final one with more color this time.

Let me know how you like the galleries or if you have any troubles with them! Remember it’s my first attempt here 🙂

But remember, all content on Artzzle, text and photography, is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form, without my expressed permission. You can leave a comment below with any questions on this.

Now gotta get back to my floral duties. Have a good week, and if you live near me, keep cool in these rising temps and humidity.

As always, don’t stress, just start.
Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “September Soon” on Artzzle.com. I love comments and questions so send “em” my way. And be sure to spread the word about Artzzle to your friends. The more the merrier!

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

The Oomph Returns!

Hi and Happy August.

Regulars know that I’ve been bummed and blue after the recent loss of Freddy. Even my crazy cousins’ visit and our fun shopping escapades, didn’t lift the doom cloud completely. I just haven’t found or projected much inspiration lately.

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Energy levels began rising yesterday when Hubs took a mid-week vacation day. Gorgeous weather allowed us to get lots done in the yard. I’m always more energetic when he’s out there working with me! Do you feel like that about your partner? Anyway, look what we cleaned up and hauled to the field.

As is often the case, I forgot about pictures, so no before shots. But you would have just seen “Befores” that were dead trees and shrubs, and big holes in the “Afters”.

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One lilac got moved, to replace a cottoneaster shrub, but otherwise no big changes for photo ops. Several other large bushes did get substantial hair cuts, but again, I never thought about B4 images.

Last year this two-trunk oddity came up in a planting bed by the family room west window. We forgot to pull it and this summer it’s gigantic. I think it’s a cast off root of a former shrub that was removed long ago, but can’t remember the name. We decided to let it continue a few more seasons and see what happens.

It’s sad to have to remove trees. As for shrubs, I always assumed if they remained healthy they were long lasting. I’ve learned that many do have long lifespans. But others, especially some of the more woody stemmed varieties like ninebarks, reach a point where they can no longer be pruned effectively and the roots begin taking all the nourishment from other plants in your bed.

The reddish bush pictured below is a 13 year diablo ninebark that will probably have to go next season.

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On an ending note here are a couple of shots of our front entrance area.

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Here’s a question for you.

Who is Kim Parker and why do I love her book so much?

Find out next time!
Meanwhile, don’t stress, just start.

Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “The Oomph Returns!” on Artzzle.com. I love comments and questions so send “em” my way.

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved