Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

I celebrated my birthday over the Christmas holiday. I try to not to make such a big deal over my birthday. I don’t need presents, though I do enjoy pretty cards. Just a Happy Birthday wish from dear friends and family is sufficient. This year’s birthday was a sweet one.

On my birthday I had an appointment downtown to get my nails done. After the manicure, I stopped at my favorite little shop Blooms and Heirlooms to wish the proprietress, Ann, Merry Christmas. The bell above the door gave a little jingle to announce my arrival as I said, “I just stopped in to wish you a “Merry Christmas." I could see Ann was behind a line of hanging vintage dresses near the florist cooler. She stepped out from behind the clothing with a beautiful bouquet of flowers laughing. “I have something for you.” Laughing more, she added, “I was just getting ready to deliver these to you.” “For me? Who would ever send me flowers?”  We had quite laugh over my well-timed stop allowing me pick up my own special delivery.

My dear daughter Heather in Denver had planned for a week to have birthday flowers delivered to me at the door because she was sure that I had never had flowers sent to the door, (She was correct). Dad had instructions not to let me leave the house. Of course I spoiled the surprise when I dropped in to the little florist shop to say “Merry Christmas.” I carried my own flowers home and called Heather to thank her. She was most disappointed that I had not been surprised at my front door. But as I told her, this makes a much better story.

And I was also crowned a queen Christmas Eve. The youngest daughter Jennifer is the crafty one. She made crowns for her little girls for Christmas, finding the pattern on Pinterest. Mine is special. She used the lace that I purchased in the antique store in Haworth, England (home of the Bronte Sisters). On my last trip to England, I knew that a little baby was its way, so I was looking for English lace for a christening gown. This lace is actually crocheted edging salvaged from a set of pillowcases. I found it in basket of sundry laces and brought it home with the purpose of adorning the christening gown Jen would make for her first baby. I gave the last little bit to Jen to make crowns for the girls, but there wasn’t enough for two, so I received my own crown, designating me queen.

My daughters are sweet young women and I love them. Thank-you, girls.

Now that Christmas is neatly packed away and the house has been returned to its daily functionality, there is little to do. I am on break until January 15 when I return to the university. One bright spot in the month is the parade of gardening catalogs. The first, Dutch Gardens, has already arrived. The wish list has begun: I want one of each.

Josephine would be beautiful climbing on the blackberry arbor that we built last fall. 

Helen Sever also caught my eye. We have a very nice collection of daylilies that we purchased from Oaks Daylilies when we lived at the old house and moved them all to the Garden Spot. It is hard to resist adding more, especially pink ones. I could order this entire page of pinks.

Actually this year my strategy will be to shop early at the local nurseries before the inventories are exhausted to get the must haves that I seem to miss every year. Top of my list is a bleeding heart. I had a beautiful one at the old house. Should have dug it up because the new owners dug it out. Killed it.

As for projects, the front circle is a priority this year. It is a large area and left to itself, it grows so unruly and wild. The self-seeding pernials such as the rhudekia have left their corner at the front, seeding haphazardly where ever they wish. Worse, however, are the weeds. I just couldn't keep up with them last summer. So I will start early this spring by laying down a nice treatment of Preen, a premergent for annual weed seeds. That will be a start.

We have had various plans for this space, but we have come to realize that the plan has to be simple, not work intensive, and one that will control the weeds. The worst offenders are thistle, and not just one variety, and bind weed. Both are nearly impossible to get rid of and require multiple treatments of Round-up. The space has to be treated early, too, before the noxious weeds form blooms which rapidly form seed heads.

We have high hopes for 2013 unless we suffer from one of these fears: Triskaidekaphobia or Trideckaphobia. Do you suffer form either one of  these phobias? Do you fear the number 13? Let’s hope not; otherwise 2013 could be a long one.

As for me I will embrace 2013 because 13 is my number. My social security number ends in 13. My husband and I met on Friday the 13th. Our marriage certificate ends in 13. My wedding rings have 13 stones (by coincidence), our second daughter was due on Dec. 13. My current driver's license expires this year.

So I shall embrace 2013

It was quite fun to see everyone’s beautiful Christmas displays, decorations, and to read about everyone’s Christmas celebrations. Now we can get back to gardening and sharing our garden plans, hopes and dreams. January is pretty blah. I call it the month of crummy snow. We had snow Christmas Eve which is still on the ground. It has been so cold that the snow has not melted only become hard and crusty, dirty, and icy with little moisture content. So let the seed catalogs roll in, while we keep each other company by filling our posts with beauty and inspiration as we wait for the dark days of winter to pass.

Just Blog It.

Happy New Year,  Friends


  1. This is a great post, Ann! What sweet daughters you have! :) Those are the most thoughtful gifts, and you know that crowns are all the rage in decorating now, right? I see them in catalogs and on blog posts -- kind of a shabby chic, French country thing, I believe. Anyhoo, I love that your lace came from England.

    This is the perfect time to look at seed catalogs. I love Clematis, and every year I say I'm going to plant some, but I haven't yet. Bleeding Heart is SUCH a wonderful flower; we see those around here, and a friend of mine's mother has them growing in her yard. I think they're delicate and gorgeous.

    I don't mind the number 13 either. Our son's birthday is August 13th, and he was born in Room 3113 at the hospital. :)

    Have a wonderful day!

    Denise at Forest Manor

  2. Hi Ann, What thoughtful gifts from your girls! Happy belated birthday, too! I think a bleeding heart would be tops on my list, if I lived where they thrive! Here in Florida, we have a "Florida bleeding heart", which is really pretty, but not as heart shaped as the bleeding heart I was familiar with in Kentucky. I am sure that is the one you want and it is gorgeous. Hope to see it in the future on your blog. Happy New year! Egretta

  3. Dearest momma- the flowers symbolize so many things. Mostly that flowers are always blooming. You are the flower of my life. Your blogs are so lively and are always blooming. Without flowers there are no seeds. We wanted this year to be special. Luv u.

  4. What a lovely positive post and a great story about the flowers.

  5. I've always felt that 13 was lucky rather then the other way around.

    I've fell in love with that day lily also....sigh. Oh boy, here we go.

    Oh, and the header just changed last night, so you weren't out of touch at all...I had the most difficult time getting it sized. lol, hours, and hours of it.


  6. Lovely blogpost again. Though it's late, congratulations with your birthday, I see you had a happy day with the beautiful lace crown on your hat from Jennifer and the spoiled birthday surprise from Heather.
    It's such fun with the new catalogs at the moment, but my eyes are bigger than my garden, I almost cannot find any empty spot for new plants. As I see you can still go ahead with your front garden, lots of weed to get rid off and lots of space to fill in. The bleeding hart is really a must have in every garden, I think. Day lilies are great too and very reliable.

  7. Belated birthday wishes.How funny you should pop into the florist just as the flowers were being made into a bouquet for you.

    The lace crown looks wonderful and I know Haworth have visited it in the past.

    I am not superstitious, so don't have a worry on 13 or any other number or thing.

    Jackie in Surrey UK.

  8. Belated birthday wishes to you.
    I too am waiting for the spring and to be able to tackle the garden.

  9. Belated Happy Birthday Ann! Best wishes for you! Such a lovely place you have. Your weblogs are so vibrant and are always blooming

    broomfield patios


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