Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday in the Garden

As we headed out to the garden this morning, I determined that it would be the last planting day, unless I get bored and have to go to the local garden center to see what's marked down. We had a short list for today:

Plant the few bargains that we picked up Saturday:

  • the two roses , 50% off. Who could pass that deal?
  • the one little perennial 
  • the dozen strawberries, 2 six packs for the price of one. Couldn't pass that one up
  • 2 bargain hostas
Plant the two small apricot trees that we bought last week end, another two for the price of one.

We discussed last night what we would do today. I wanted the iris that bloomed so wonderfully this spring moved. The Head Gardener got ahead of me last night and by the time I got back outside he had them dug and loaded in the EZ-Go. My plan had been to mark each one so that I knew which was which. Now they will be labeled Plant 1, Plant 2, etc. when I divide them.

Planting was going well. We had the apricot trees planted; though we struggled to figure out just where to plant them. You would think that with a yard as large as we have, finding a place to plant two small trees wouldn't be a problem.

Next the roses. I bought them for center garden that we have worked so hard to reclaim from weeds. Me and the Head Gardener work well together. I tell him where to dig and he digs, but he does offer his wisdom and I generally listen. Since this was a rather uneventful work day, I left the camera inside.

Me: I'd like the pink [rose] one here.

Him: That tree is going to grow. (He is referencing the already huge ponderosa pine that still has a lot of growing to do) I will leave off the discussion we had about the how stupid  it was to plant two big trees … Never mind. This was not a part of our conversation that should be made public.

Him: How about here?

Me: Too much shade.

Me: Here?

Him: Well, I don't think the tree will reach that far. The lower branches are shorter.

Me: (In my mind: My luck the rose will die before the tree ever gets that size.)

Rose #1 placed.

Now for Rose #2.

Me: I want it here.

He begins to dig. No discussion

Me: (Cheerfully remarking) So much easier to dig here since you tilled.

Him: Yeah until you hit an Aspen root.

The digging stops. His head droops. He then drops to the ground, his hands fiddling around in the hole he has been digging.

Me: What's wrong?

Him: I think I ruined the sprinkler line.

Okay. So we didn't really get everything planted. Rose # 2 is still in its pot out in the garden as I contemplate now where to plant it.

Six strawberries were planted and the one hosta that I planted while he repaired the sprinkler line. Then it was time for lunch. Then the thermometer hit 93. Then it was time for a nap. Then a trip to the grocery store. Then . .  . And the  daily thunder storm rolled in.

And so today would not the last planting day.

Yesterday's Sunrise, a brilliant red sunrise perhaps filtered through a haze created from distant wild fires.

A golf cart load of work. I will divide the iris, giving some away and planting the others around the water garden
I left the Head Gardener to tend to the sprinkler line. Needless to say, he was a bit annoyed. Oh not with me. Let's just say he needed his space.

So I took pictures. Sundance steeling green apples. 

A gorgeous yellow swallowtail butterfly; the first I have seen this summer linger in the garden.

There is still garden to work to do, but seriously I am ready to just enjoy what we have accomplished this summer. Today was not a stellar day in the garden, but some days are like that.

Me: I think I should map out my gardens, marking where all the plants are so that when I buy a plant I know where it will go before I get it home.

Him: Not a bad idea.

Me: And sprinkler lines.


Our Colorado weather has been rather weird this summer. We have had a lot of rain and a very cool June and July. The days have been pleasantly mild, ending with loud thunderstorms, but now I believe the dog days of summer have arrived as 90+ temps are predicted for the next several days. Good thing the sprinkler line got repaired. 

Even as a child, I loved walking around a rain wet garden. Some things we just never outgrow. So barefooted, camera in hand I, wandered about the garden in the rain to see what caught my eye.

The old song "Raindrops keep falling on my head" played in my head.

Using my 75-300mm lens, I was able to capture rain drops pooling on the patio table covered with heavy clear plastic over a table cloth.

 I loved that I was able to capture rain drops in action.

Rain drops on the tiller handle

on Echinacea

on a tiger lily bud

 A rain covered patio floor.

Before I leave you, I'd like to invite you to check out my new blog that I have just launched. I hope I can keep up with two blogs; I know that some of you do.

 I was inspired when I restored Heather's doll house this spring. So much so that I am building my own doll house. Jen bought me a kit on Craigslist, but before I start that house, I have ordered a small cottage to learn how to work with the manufactured wood. I have to admit that I have become obsessed with miniatures and building my house, so of course I have to blog about it. My little cottage arrives this week. I will spend daylight in the garden, but I will be working on my house at night.

Stop by Ann's Dollhouse Dreams, if you like. The current post is about Heather's House which you have already seen on this blog. I hope to see you over there, but I know not everyone is into dollhouses. It will be fun to see how the new blog progresses since I will be doing a few things a little differently, such as connecting it to Pinterest more than I do with this blog.  I remember how discouraged I was when I started the Garden Spot. I stressed because it took so long to get followers and comments. Blotanica helped so much and joining another blogger's garden party helped me meet other bloggers. Now as an experienced blogger with a such a lovely group of followers, I can now appreciate the hard work and patience that it takes to get a blog going. You all are my first love.

Have a fabulous week. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Friends and Cherry Pie

So many of my blog friends are expressing the same lament: not enough time to get everything done; blogging seems to be at the top of the list of back burner projects. And I am no different. I have a photo library full of photos that will probably not make the blog and inspirations for blog ideas rattling around in my brain that will be forgotten by the time I need true inspiration to get past writer's block.

Having recognized that we are busy and otherwise engaged, I want to share my trip to the Denver Botanical Gardens. I will be interrupted as the little girls will soon arrive for a horseback riding lesson, but that is how my life goes--interruptions.

If you do not follow PomPom, you should, for she is a delightful, beautiful lady who writes such a warm, inspirational, happy blog. I always leave her blog with a smile and since I generally read my blogs early in the morning, I always start my day with a smile. My blog friends make me smile, getting my day off to a good start. I knew that she lives in Denver, so I invited her to join me for a walk about the Denver Botanical Gardens. She accepted my invitation. I would know her by her white hair and she would know me by my straw hat.

I caught my first glimpse of her as I turned the corner of 11th Avenue onto York, she was standing at the front entrance. I parked in the parking garage then headed to meet her.

It was as though we were old friends. We have so much in common that we kept a stead stream of chatter: grandmothers, retired teachers--English teachers, no less--, gardeners. We walked the garden paths, lingered here and there, had some lunch then sought out the trails that we might have missed, and finally engaged a youngster to take our photo. 

The gardens were a perfect place to begin a new friendship. We exchanged garden woes and successes, asked each other if we knew that plant or another. Some of them we knew, some we didn't. What a wonderful day and at day's end we have made a  new friendship. The weather was warm, but not hot. No rain. Just an all around perfect day.

Take a walk with us, now. Not only are the gardens themselves spectacular mid summer, but this year they are decorated with hand blown glass art by Dale Chihuly who, according to the gardens' brochure, is world renowned for bringing glass blowing from a craft to an art. He has exhibits all over the world, including the one at the Denver location. 

This is first piece of glass art that we see. Amazing to realize that it is hand blown glass.

The same piece from across the gardens.

All through the gardens, glass sculptures are placed so that they reflect and compliment the landscape. 

Of course, I was particularly interested in the water gardens and the plant specimens. 

And how does your garden grow? With cockleshells and little maids all in a row? A neatly mulched kitchen garden. We loved the pansies as companion plants.

Bubbles and Balls.

The photo just does not do this glass art justice. From here, it is very had to distinguish it as glass. It looks like a giant water aloe vera.

Red hot pokers, glass, naturally, juxtaposed with tall pines and high rise apartments in the dry lands exhibit.

The Japanese or Asian garden is beautiful as it is, but add giant floating glass bubbles and you have amazing. 

I had to wait in line, practically, to get this fellow's photo. He was taking his time on the giant hydrangea.

And more bubbles.

I took this same photo in May when I attended the plant sale. Quite a different look. The water plants are all in bloom and the garden beds have been planted.

Inside the tropical garden, it is quite hard to distinguish the glass are from the real thing. Can you guess which is glass?

This piece is stunning although the photo does not do it justice. I heard another viewer remark about how beautiful the sculputers were at night lit up.

OOOOh. These are pretty.

Here we are: The lady with the white hair and the lady with the straw hat.

The garden does not necessarily have a lot ancient Greek sculpture or garden art, thankfully. so this rather modern looking princess with a frog (prince) was so pretty and different.

These look like giant ice blocks.

I was quite remiss in reading signs for the exhibits; we were too busy chatting.

We decided that these represent either great herons or flamingos, perhaps.

We arrived at 10:00, an hour after the gardens open. By noon the crowds had arrived. I took this photo to show the sheer number of visitors. There wasn't a special event going on to attract a crowd, just lots and lots of people wandering, looking, oooooohing and ahhhhhing just as we did, enjoying a beautiful day in the gardens.

We had such a lovely day that ended with promises that we would meet again, perhaps in my little town that has no less than 5 antique stores. And Pom Pom had a sweet little gift for me. She told me a little secret that she likes to leave gnomes in friends' gardens, unbeknownst to them. I love my little gnome. Mr. and Mrs. Gnome in the courtyard garden don't know it, but they are going to get a permanent house guest. I hope he is a gentleman. Look, he brings gifts, too.

Back at home, I have some new voices in the garden. Love this bee balm, or monarda.

Just planted, this daisy was luscious at Lowe's but wilted down some after I planted it. I will dead it, hoping that will bloom again before fall.

Crazy for echinacea, this orange one, also newly planted, compliments the prairie sun rudbeckia in the center garden.

From the other side of the garden, the monarda is quite showy.

Saved from Jen's garden before they sold their little cottage, I planted this lovely lily with great grandma's tiger lilies. This is its first year, and I love the brownish pink color.

This lily photographs nicely after the rain.

And while there are not many, the grapes continue to develop. I am excited.

My flower hanging baskets succumbed to my lack of watering, so I replaced them with 2fer 10 dollar strawberries in baskets. I love seeing the red berries. At the end of the season I will transplant the plants in the berry patch.

Speaking of berries, I found a berry thief in the raspberry patch. 

Our little North Star Dwarf cherry tree finally produced enough cherries for a pie.

It was yum. We invited friends for desert. It was pretty good.

I always make a cinnamon roll with left over crust. I took the hot pie plate out of the oven and placed it on the cool glass cook top and it immediately shattered. I cleaned up the shattered glass and as an after thought took this picture. The Pyrex pie plate is new. I am wondering if the new ones are as sturdy and tempered as the old ones. My guest concurred. Yes, I threw out the roll.

I have been thinking that perhaps I should come visit you. We could meet at your local garden. I'd wear my straw hat. What might you wear? I wouldn't have a problem in the US, but I need to renew my passport if I want to travel out of the country. Wouldn't that be a kick, traveling the world meeting my blog friends?

The little girls had their riding lesson. They listened to their teacher and I think they learned a bit more about how to make Pop follow their commands.

The weather this week has been very cool and wet with thunder storms every afternoon, rather atypical for July in Northern Colorado, but I have enjoyed the coolness--great for sleeping with windows open.

I have taken up quite enough of your time. This is a rather long post. But thanks for visiting.  I hope you have a wonder week.