September 29, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Death Day - 09/30/09

Kate at Gardening Without Skills is full of good ideas. One of her ideas was to start Garden Bloggers' Death Day where on the last day of the month gardeners post photos of their "not so healthy" flowers and vegetables. Be sure to visit Kate's blog and leave a comment that you're participating so we can all stop in and see what's ailing in your garden. Sometimes, too much pretty can be a teeny tiny bit boring.

This is Phillip's houseplant garden that grows in one of the bathrooms at our house. It didn't always look like this. Up until a few months ago, the plants were thriving. Over the last year he learned their names and it's always his job to water them when he's here. He even came up with the idea to use his ruler to measure how tall they were, write it down and then measure again a couple weeks later to see if they had grown. In case you're wondering, going clockwise starting with the one in the basket; shamrock, grape ivy, spider plant and English ivy. He colored the picture that's on the mirror five years ago. Green must have been his favorite color when he was two.

Here's the culprit!
Oh, he looks innocent.
But we know what
goes on when we're sleeping.
We still love our Alley Cat.

This is being posted a day early because I'll be gone most of tomorrow.

September 28, 2009

More From The Door

We know a very lucky couple who live in North Carolina and recently bought a very charming farmhouse with acreage in Door County, WI. They and their family will enjoy it as a vacation home. On our recent trip up there, we checked it out and I fell in love with everything about it.

On the drive there, we saw this hay sculpture. Or is it a straw sculpture? Since I live in America's Dairyland I should know the difference between hay and straw, but I don't? Anyway, it's nice to know that farmers have a good sense of humor.

I'm not including a photo of D & T's farmhouse for privacy reasons, but trust me that it's everything I'd want if it were mine. They do have this very old building on their property and I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Oh, the stories it could tell.

They also have their very own silo. Most of my adult life, I've dreamed about living on land that had a silo. Don't know why that's desirable to me, but it is. Not sure what's going on with the pile of gravel next to it. It looked like someone had been shoveling it into the silo.

There was something literally blooming all around the house and I could have posted a dozen photos of flowers. These were some of my favorites. Yes, they even have a white picket fence.

Oh, how I'd love to sit in these yellow chairs and enjoy some good conversation with friends. Actually, sitting out there alone with my own thoughts also sounds appealing.

D & T, if by chance you read this post, I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos again. If you need a caretaker to live there while you're in NC, give me a call:)

September 26, 2009

A Day In The Door

A few weeks ago we enjoyed a day trip to Door County, WI. Not a long trip, only an hour from our house.

The county has more than 300 miles of shoreline, more than almost any other in the country and is known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest. The waters of Green Bay are on one side of the Peninsula and Lake Michigan on the other. There are five state parks in Door County where visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, swimming, fishing and snowmobiling.

Door County has 12 lighthouses, most of them built in the 1800's. The Peninsula is also know for its cherry and apple orchards, wineries, fish boils, and shipwrecks.

This sign was posted at Cave Point County Park and I think it was meant for people like me who like to get too close to the edge of the cliff when taking pictures.

When I looked down at this big rock in the water, I could see a face. It looked like it was smiling and winking at me.

These beach chairs were on a beach on the Lake Michigan side of the Peninsula. The reason they were empty is because it was too dang cold to be out there lounging next to the water.

On the Green Bay side where it was warmer, we saw this couple enjoying some fishing. They looked so peaceful and seemed to be happy soaking up the sun while waiting for fish to bite. As nice at it looks, I don't think I could sit still long enough to catch a fish.

September 22, 2009

Cronenwett Farms

I bought a container of grapes at the grocery store this morning. Ate almost all of them as soon as I got home. Left a few for this photo. They were very scrumptious. They were labeled as Table Grapes grown at Cronenwett Farms in Lawton, MI. I wanted to know more, so I went to their website. The farm has been in the same family for six generations and some of their grapes are used in Welch's juices.

This flower bed is still looking really pretty and I'm appreciating every minute because I know that it's only a matter of days before it starts going downhill. The photo was taken on Sunday. That's my Mumkin front left and Diamond Frost next to it. Please, may I remember to plant lots and lots of Diamond frost next year.

The shrub roses were cut back about a month ago and now they are blooming nicely again. This is the pink one. There are also red and white bushes.

Left to Right
Jack, Joseph, Phillip, Caitlyn, Ava
Lucky in the Front
Kids & Dogs Playing Outside - Luv it

We put out the fall decorations over the weekend and Alley Cat joined in.

You might be sick to death of my turkey photos, but here's another one. When we pulled up the kitchen blinds Sunday morning, there they were crossing the street from one neighbor's house to the next. Picture taken through the slightly dirty window.

September 18, 2009

Who's Been Eating The Petunias?

These poor little purple petunias. Night visitors have been eating the foliage and the flowers.I picked up the pot and found these slimy slugs. There were also some earwigs but apparently they're camera shy because they scampered away.

I met up with this spider while making my way to the outside water faucet. He was kind enough to stand still for a picture. If I had walked into his web and he had ended up inside my shirt, I'm not sure he'd be looking this intact.

Our tomatoes are finally turning red but I'm not especially impressed with how they taste. I like the tomatoes my mom and dad grow better.

I saw a field of sunflowers as I was driving along the other day. I pulled over, got out of the car and very politely asked them to turn and look at me so I could take their picture. Very stubborn they were, kept their backs to me.

I often see Sandhill Cranes in the fields, but they don't let me get close enough for a good photo. They are always in pairs and they never both look at me at the same time. There are different subspecies of Sandhill Cranes varying in size and weight. I never get close enough to make a positive identification. All cranes engage in dancing which involves bowing, jumping, running, stick or grass throwing, and wing flapping. They have an unique call that I always recognize. I hear them flying overhead before I see them.

September 14, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - 09/15/09

The first time I participated in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day was February 15, 2009, and it was only my second post ever. Everything in my yard was covered in snow except for the tops of some ornamental grasses. I posted of photo of that and wrote a few words and remember being stunned that four people actually took time to leave comments. Those four thoughtful people were Gail at Clay and Limestone, Jan at Always Growing, Jan at Thanks For 2 Day and Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Bloom Day was Carol's original idea and what a great idea it has been.

The Susans are still putting on a show
and the Autumn Joy are looking prettier
with every passing day.

The "messy bed" is filled with Lantana,
Russian Sage, Sneezeweed and volunteer
Petunias from years past.

The Sneezeweed looks pretty tangled
up with Russian Sage.

The Butterfly Weed was very late
to show up this summer.
It was worth the wait.
Adapts wells to poor, dry soil.
Maybe that's why I love it so.

Green grass doesn't get the credit it deserves.
What better place for a boy to sprawl
out and look at the sky while he
dreams whatever it is little boys
dream about on summer days.

I haven't seen a hummingbird at the
feeder for a couple of days now.
Maybe they've flown off to warmer places,
although it was still 85 degrees here today.
They'll be missed.

Good news. Bad news.
The good news is that I
find fall colors to be intoxicating.
The bad news is that it seems too
early to be seeing a tree this red.

I'm posting this one day early because I may not have time tomorrow. But I will make time to visit your garden.

September 11, 2009

A Poisonous Snack

I won't be winning a prize for best butterfly photo, but Phillip and I had fun discovering a frenzy of butterfly activity while we were on a hike at a nearby park. The minute the patch of milkweed came into view, I knew we'd see Monarchs. I'm no expert on butterflies, but I was able to explain to him the difference between a Monarch and a Viceroy. The Viceroy has a lateral black line perpendicular to the veins in the wings.....something like that. He didn't care much about that fact, but his ears perked up when I told him that eating milkweed turns the Monarch into a poisonous snack for its predators.

He was very interested in the milkweed pods, so I let him pick one off the plant, open it up and take a good look. I know you can order milkweed seeds online, so we brought the pod home and have plans to plant the seeds. Will we ever see milkweed growing in my yard? Probably not.

By the time we made our way up this hill, we were hot and tired. As we walked, we talked about how in the winter this same hill is used for sledding and we decided we would come back in the winter with a sled.

September 9, 2009

It Was Time For Them To Go

I never enjoy cutting down my Annabelles, but it had to be done. By early September, these Hydrangea shrubs are overgrown and begging for a haircut. Every year I cut them down to the ground and the next summer they come back loaded with flower heads in excess of 10" in diameter. There was one white flower left, so I brought it inside along with one flower that had already turned greenish on its way to becoming a dried flower head. I've never used them as part of a dried arrangement.

Late last summer, my mother's neighbor introduced me to Euphorbia marginata (Snow-on-the-Mountain). Although its sap can burn the skin or cause dermatitis, I've become a fan. The foliage and flowers provide a striking display all summer into fall. This one is paired with Durango Orange marigolds.

These Stonecrop (Sedum x 'Vera Jameson') plants have been in our yard since 2004 and almost every year I move them because they don't seem to do well. They get more sun now and that seems to agree with them. The bees follow the Sedum wherever they're planted.

Can't think of the name of this plant, but every year I buy one and put it in a container. This year I put it directly into the ground and it's been one continuous show of blooms.

There's hardly anything I enjoy more than sitting on the porch swing watching the kids run around having fun in our yard. I hope to never live where children aren't playing outside.

It was a rainy day and these waterfowl had just crossed the road in front of my car, so I took a picture through the windshield. I'm using the word waterfowl because to tell you the truth I don't know if these are ducks or geese.