May 29, 2009

Just For Fun

Our friends, Debbie and Jim, recently added this Elfin Tree Door and Accessories set to their big weeping willow tree. They bought it from Plow & Hearth and are still waiting for the battery-operated light that comes with the set. Debbie told me that they've had this troll for a very long time and that he's a fill-in until she can find a cuter elf. As you can tell, Debbie and Jim are fun people.

May 28, 2009

In The Blink Of An Eye

One morning last weekend, we were about to get in the car when Phillip said, "Grandma, I'm going to ride my bike before we go." This bike has been sitting in our garage since 2006 and he's never shown much interest in riding it with or without training wheels. He's even commented in the past, "I'm not going to ride my bike until I'm 16."

I didn't think much about it when
he pushed the bike out to the
driveway and got on it.

To my surprise, he
peddled down the driveway.

He kept going down the street to the
neighbor's driveway on the left
where he turned around without
getting off the bike.

Peddled back up the street to
our driveway with a look of
satisfaction on his sweet face.

His first words after being safely

back in our driveway were,

"I can't believe some kids don't

know how to ride a bike.

It's easy peasy."

He went from not being able to ride a bike to riding it like he'd been doing it for a long time, all in the blink of an eye. I was thrilled for him but there was a part of me that felt like he was riding right out of my life. I'm 100% in favor helmets, just ask my son and dil, but on this particular day, he took off quickly and I didn't want to call out to him for fear of distracting him and causing a fall.

I love this boy!

May 27, 2009

Porch Swing View

The birds are finally starting to visit our new, cheap, plastic birth bath. So far, there have been robins, goldfinches and cardinals splashing around in there. This particular robin looked annoyed that his picture was being taken. I was sitting on the porch swing with the camera watching him and made sure to get my crooked toes in the second photo because I knew you'd want to see them.
This is the third year that the Fern Leaf Peony has been growing in our yard. One bloom the first year, two blooms the second year guessed right.....three blooms the third year. If you want to know more about this plant, Roger's Fernleaf Peony Farm is a good place to visit for information.
I was still on the porch swing, when this immature male Baltimore Oriole stopped to sip some nectar from the new, cheap, plastic Oriole feeder. They prefer open areas with tall trees and we have lots of both. Their song is distinctive and I always hear them before seeing them.
These photos were taken a few days ago when it was still warm and sunny. It's been cold and raining for the last couple of days, giving me a chance to catch up on inside projects. Tomorrow will be another planting day with Nicole at her house and then Phillip's soccer game in the evening. Sun and warm temperatures predicted for the day.

May 26, 2009


My "daughter-in-love" likes to say that she has no green thumb. Well, she planted this and gave it to me and I'm lovin' everything about it.....just like I love everything about her!

May 24, 2009

Small Town Cemetery

Last Sunday when we were driving home from Wisconsin Dells, the combination of being out late the night before, enjoying a big lunch and the warm sun shining in through the car windows made us feel sleepy. What better place to find peace and quiet for a nap than a small town cemetery.

My honey husband fell asleep almost immediately but I was curious about the stories I might find if I walked around visiting grave markers and I wasn't disappointed.

I guess back in 1875 the deceased wife of Amos Partridge didn't have a first name. That bothers me because, of course, she had a first name.

Many of the grave markers from the 1800's gave the age at time of death in years, months and days.

I couldn't help but wonder about the headstones that were damaged. How long had they been that way, how did it happen and why didn't anyone try to put them back together?

It would be nice if when the time comes, a peony would grow on my grave or even a sprig of dandelions like in this photo.

Kyle Steven Goodearle most likely would be graduating from high school this year had he lived. Oh, how his family must have grieved and their hearts probably still hurt. He was born on my birthday, April 18.

Gregory J. Hyde, was only 47 years old when he died. He was a husband and probably a father. You can't see it in the photo, but the little frog sitting at the foot of the marker says, "Born to Ride." That tells me it was a motorcycle accident that tore this family apart.

Robert F. Flanagan received a Purple Heart for being wounded while serving in the U.S. military during World War II. Someone who respects our Veterans still sees to it that an American flag flys at his gravestone.

Seth H. Weed died in the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. I was still thinking about this when we got home. The date told me the American Civil War but I wondered about this particular Battle. Wikipedia says it was fought May 5-7, 1864 in Spotsylvania County and Orange County, Virginia. The Nation was reunited in 1865 but not before 620,000 American died in the war with disease killing twice as many as those lost in battle.

May 22, 2009

Birds, Apples, Corvettes

We had a Mourning Dove nest on the stones below our clothes dryer vent. The eggs hatched and these cuties lived there happily until a few days ago when they flew away.

Apple orchards all around us are in bloom and that means in a few months my favorite apple will be available....Honeycrisp. We're able to buy these locally grown apples until the first of December. This photo was taken at an apple orchard owned by the Oneida Tribe of Indians and it's not far from our house.

Last weekend we traveled to Wisconsin Dells with the Corvettes of the Bay. We had a caravan of 40 Corvettes and drove the country rodes all the way there, making our way through two places I'd never been before; Kettle Moraine State Forest and Horican Marsh.

Kettle Moraine State Forest is home to the 3,500-acre Scuppernong River Habitat Area, which is the largest wet prairie east of the Mississippi River.

Horican Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. It's known for the flocks of Canada geese that migrate through there, but also more than 290 kinds of birds have been seen there over the years. Due to its importance to wildlife, Horican Marsh has been designated as a "Wetland of International Importance" and a "Globally Important Bird Area."

These photos aren't particularly good, but seeing them reminds me of the fun we had. It's not easy taking pictures through the windshield while driving down bumpy roads.

May 20, 2009

The Busy Month of May

After all these years of gardening, you'd think I would remember that when the month of May arrives I spend more time outside working in the yard than inside on the computer. I haven't been reading my favorite blogs (or new blogs) and Mamma Mia Days hasn't had a new post since last Friday. Hope to change this, starting this evening.

These Caramel Coral Bells are new to my garden this spring. I fell in love with the foliage color and although the creamy-color flowers will be small, the hummingbirds should be attracted to them. The photo was taken right after it was planted and the leaves are still a little messy looking.

Every spring I plant several pots of small, inexpensive garden mums and keep them pinched back to about three inches until the 4th of July. By early September, all of these pots will have big, tall, colorful mums that haven't cost me very much at all. The plant tag for this mum refers to it only as Michelle and it hasn't been pinched yet. Not easy to do when they look so pretty.

Usually, I only use Nemesia as a filler in containers but this year I put some in a pot without any other plants. The tag calls it Berries & Cream Sachet and I think that name fits it perfectly.

One of the things I did last week was take my parents to Pansies Country Store & Gardens, where we bought some tomato plants. Although Pansies has been in that location for almost as many years as I am old, it wasn't until that day that my Dad told me that when he was a young man, he did some of the masonry work on the building.

Hardly anything makes my Dad happier than growing a tasty tomato. He already has four plants in the ground. He digs the holes and my Mother gets down on her knees and plants them. She's the younger of the two, only 80 years old. Here he is checking out the tomato plants at Pansies.

This afternoon I planted three very large gem-colored containers for my daughter-in-love. It's almost more fun to work in their yard than my own. Maybe it's because I choose the plants and do the planting and they pay for everything! In no particular order, this is what went in the pretty pots. Among their requirements; plants that can take a lot of sun and don't drop flowers petals all over the place and need little or no deadheading.

Purple Fountain Grass
Diamond Frost
Licorice Plant
Argyranthemum 'Butterfly'
Joseph's Coat
Fire Dragon
Swedish Ivy
Variegated Flowering Maple
Fan Flower

Also transplanted three purple Liatris Gayfeather from my yard where they didn't get enough sun to a very sunny spot at their house. They have almost three acres, so planting could go on forever there.

Well, now I'm off to visit other yards and gardens and patios.

May 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - May 15, 2009

Just my luck! I finally have blooms to share, but now my time to tell you about them is limited. Thank you to Carol for coming up with the GBBD idea. It's a great way to visit gardens all over the world and to have many nice people see what's happening in your garden.

Beautiful Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart
Given To Me By My Sweet Mother

Muscari Armeniacum
They Get Prettier Every Year
Lungwort - Raspberry Colored Flowers
Perfect For Shaded Areas

Variegated Brunnera
Gorgeous Flowers & Leaves
Loves The Shade

Grow Wild In Our Natural Area

Single Trillium Flower
Related To The Lily

Mayapples & Snow On The Mountain
Flourishing Together

Ferns Making An Appearance
Transplanted From My Mother's Yard

Fern Leaf Peony
Not Quite A Bloom
But Still So Pretty

May 14, 2009

The Glorious Morning Glory

It's been many years since I've planted Morning Glory seeds, but a couple days ago I planted these. The magenta/white ones are called Split Personality because of the soft splits between the petals. The pale pink and violet colors of Blossom Star appealed to me, too. Also planted the Heavenly Blue which will have extra large flowers.

I'm off this morning to take my Dad to a doctor appointment and to do a little shopping with my mother. Took this picture of them a couple weeks ago when I was at their house. June 6 (D-Day) will mark the 65th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. My dad was among those brave young troops who made that dangerous amphibious landing in 1944. The operation was the largest single-day amphibious invasion of all time, 160,000 troops. I sometimes mention this fact to his doctors to remind them that my Dad wasn't always old, that he was once young, strong, brave, and good and needs to be treated with respect. He still is strong, brave and good and I love him. My parents are both good Americans.

May 12, 2009

Orioles, Bird Baths & Poetry!

The Oriole feeder has been out for a few days and this morning we had the pleasure of a visitor looking for a sweet treat. The picture was taken through the window, so it won't be winning any prize in a photography contest. I'm not pleased with this feeder, bought it last fall on a clearance table at Mill's Fleet Farm. Maybe I can find a nicer one at the Green Bay Botanical Garden's 25th Annual Garden Fair coming up in early June. There will be over 100 vendors selling plants, garden art, landscape ideas, garden demonstrations & presentations, music and food.

This is the new birth bath I bought at Stein Garden & Gifts for $19.99. It's been out there for a couple of days and no birds, so far. Maybe they don't like cheap garden tubs.

Phillip and some of his classmates had the opportunity last evening to read poetry at one of the local coffeehouses. They had so much fun and practically knocked each other over hurrying to the microphone. Their teacher encouraged them to dress in black and wear a beret in order to look more like poets. Not many kids around here own berets, so Phillip wore his winter skull cap.

Saw this pretty yellow Hibiscus at the coffeehouse and couldn't resist taking its picture. I've never owned a Hibiscus and so to be sure about its identity, I did a google search. Found out that Hawaii's State Flower is the yellow Hibiscus. Good choice!

May 11, 2009

Purple, White, Red, Soccer, Teddy

The pretty purple "whatever they are" flowers
growing along with the dandelions
made a pretty picture.

And so did these white flowers growing in the grass.

The hummingbird feeder is up, no takers yet.
Any day now, I'm sure.

He might not be as tall as the other boys, but that doesn't mean he's going to let them take the soccer ball away. He's our little star!

After he left here on Sunday afternoon, I found his Teddy on Grandpa's chair and it made me wonder how much longer Teddy will be part of his life.