Monday, June 2, 2014

So Much to Do; So Little Time

Good morning everyone. The sun shines today and the weather people promise temperatures to reach 90. I should be working outside in the cool of the morning, but I have so much to do inside, too. The Head Gardener watered the sod patches that he put in the lawn and the flower beds too, so the work I have to do needs to wait until the soil dries out. There is plenty to do inside.

We are having a family reunion the end of June with lots of company and over night guests, so now I am in high gear preparing. Our little college student has fledged, as in flying the coop, going out in grand style. She will come tomorrow to get the rest of her things. She came to live with us as a college freshman. She transferred to U of Wyoming after two years here. Spent a year there. In the meantime we finished the basement, so when she returned for two more years, she had a pretty nice space. Now it is time for her fly away. I do not know how she accumulated so much stuff. She has saved money for two years so that she could go abroad, so her dream has come true. She leaves Thursday with a companion for Edinburugh, Scotland. They will spend a few days there then take the train to York for a day trip to visit the Bronte Sisters in Haworth. (I am jealous or what?). On to London for a couple days where they will see Othello at the Globe. (Now my heart is aching that I am not joining her). From London they fly to Germany where her companion has family. She will return the end of June. Wow. She has come a long way as a single child of a single mom whom she lost two years ago. We are so proud of her. 

My housekeeper will come Wednesday to help get the basement sparkling clean, followed by the carpet cleaners. 

Out in the garden there is so much to be done. I tackled the little spot in the front that I shared in another post, planting about a dozen plants. It still looks weedy and ratty mostly because of the wild hyacinths that have formed seed pods and the abundant dill that continues to sprout with roots half way to the Middle Eath. I am hoping that as the plants mature, they will fill in, covering the unsightly ground.

The big accomplishment for the week was installing the pond pump and the filter. The pump is a monster, moving 4,000 gallons of water an hour, necessary to keep the water well filtered. We don't know exactly how many gallons of water we have in the pond. I may know next water bill. The pump is in a net bag to keep it cleaner.

In the pump goes and on goes the power. We get only a trickle because the pump is so powerful it over flows the filter, pumping water on the ground.

Our hair dresser gave us her homemade filter when she tore down her pond. It is simply a trash can layered with lava rock, quilt batting, and weed barrier fabric tucked nicely away behind the lilacs. Hubby had to add another bulkhead and hose to handle the flow of water and made some other minor adjustments to keep the trash can from over flowing. 

So here it is. Fully operational with a nice water fall. We have more stone work to do to cover the plastic, but for now the system works. The water has an algae growth that we think we can clear up with a chemical treatment. We have a bad patch of bind weed that has been sprayed, then let the landscaping begin.

Once you create a habitat, it does not take long for the wild life to move in. I hope she likes it here. She found a nice sunny ledge to sunbathe. (My mom made her and etched her name and date on the bottom: Elli 1979).

May has been our rainy month with a lot of rain. My rain gage is hidden in the chamomile patch, so I don't exactly how much rain we have had, but we had a deluge the other night. With all of the rain, the Garden Spot is emerald and the late spring flowers are glorious.

The photo does not show how huge this bearded iris really is. It is a real beauty.

Three years ago we went to the local iris grower and purchased 4 new iris. Really. Who buys iris anyway? They are so abundant and easy to trade. Me. This is the first year, though, that these 4 have bloomed so wonderfully. Two are yet to bloom. Last year they were ruined by the April snows. I love Iris. I wish they lasted all summer.

No amount of irrigation water will turn the Garden Spot green like lots of rain. So the Spot is as green as we have seen it since we moved here. It really is pretty.

The Head Gardener has been working very hard to get the lawn and pasture groomed. He spent hours mowing and using the weed eater around the fence line. He doesn't have to weed-eat every time he mows, thankfully. Oh and those tall plants on the right: holly hocks gone wild. I'll show them to you when they are in bloom.

We are loving the patio and pergola. After it was build, the garden beds had to be reshaped which meant hubby had a lot of bricks to move. He laid a landing of stepping bricks to ease into the lawn then laid sod where the grass had been ruined from all of the heavy traffic.

I had a lovely hosta garden at the old house, so I got brave and bought 3 hostas to see if I can get them to grow here since the aspens have matured enough to provide a shady spot. I added a small bleeding heart, too. As soon as the chamomile dies back, I will pull it then decide what else to add.

Here is another uninvited aquilegia (columbine or granny's bonnet)  in bloom. The color is really more of a deep purple than this mauve color. I love it. It comes up wild in the courtyard every year.

The snow ball bushes are in full bloom. They come on just as the lilacs fade.

I do wish I had more coral bells. It adds so much color to the garden.

The Hens and Chicks are doing well. I need to do more in the succulent garden before I take more photos.

Gadget of the week: I found this lid and straw for a wide mouthed mason jar. Isn't it cool. Ball makes this little conversion kit to turn your canning jar into a great drinking glass. They come four to a pack. I am thinking that they might be cool for the reunion instead of red solo cups.

I had more for this post, but I suppose it is quite long enough as it is. I took pictures of my feet and hands. Now I am sure that you are dying to see my body parts. Another time perhaps. A teaser: Gardener's Feet and Hands. I also want to share with you about how my blog post on my grandmother showed up in an unexpected place. If you are so very complacent and lax about protecting your bog as I am, you will find this story interesting. But for now, I have things to do and I am sure that you do too.

Have a fabulous week for it is the first week of June, a glorious month.

Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams has started a Mention Monday Movement to help bloggers build readership, so I would like to mention a blog on my reading list and send you to visit A Brit in Tennessee, a lovely blog with gorgeous photos, inspiring poetry, and grand touch of her home country.

Thanks for taking time to visit. I love reading your comments.


  1. I love Iris, but every single one of mine was eaten by slugs. They regard my garden as a giant larder.

  2. You have quite a diversity of plants in your gardens and I like the shady patio with the pergola over it.

  3. I love your pond and it's something you'll really enjoy this summer. Tonight I'm going to show my hubby your blog so that he can see your pergola too. It's just what we need! Enjoy your beautiful flowers my friend and have a lovely week! Sweet hugs, Diane

  4. As I always, I so enjoy your beautiful Garden Spot. So fresh and lovely! We live NE of Greeley and I am wondering what you use to spray bind weed. Also, are Hens-n-Chicks perennial to this area? Where is the best location to plant them?

    Enough with my questions!! Thanks for sharing your via your blog.

  5. Wow, Ann! Your garden is so pretty! You have so many lovely projects completed! Yay!
    Yes, I look forward to our Botanic Garden meeting!

  6. It looks great momma! We should paint the mason jars and bake in oven. People can take them home.

  7. Hi Ann, Loved your post. Everything is so pretty there now; the green, green grass, the beautiful pond, your pergola and patio, the gorgeous flowers! I so wish I could have iris in Florida...I haven't tried, but I've never seen them growing here. I opt for the Mason jar conversion tea glasses for the reunion! I love them! Egretta

  8. Everything is looking so well! I love the patio and pergola area, what an asset to the property. The pond is looking fab too, and you've lots of lovely plants. Now coming into summer, there will be days just to enjoy it (taking a break from work).

    The student's trip sounds good, lots of great places.

  9. Hi Ann, Thanks so much for your reply. I got sideways with my Google account after I tried to post back to you yesterday. Hope I have better luck today!

    I taught primary grades for 30 years, then taught Early Childhood courses for four years for Colorado Community College Online. Like you, I do miss it and the kids, but enjoy my freedom. First retirement revelation: stores are open during the day and you can go any time you want!! Yaaay!
    My dear husband smothered my bed of hens & chicks with a pile of mulch several years ago. I haven't had much luck with them ever since. We definitely are not gardeners! My basic approach is plant it and hope for the best!! I want to plant some H&C again this summer.

    Are you involved with the Greeley Home Garden Tours? Just wonder what you might know about it.

    Hope you are staying cool! Oh, love your voluptuous frogette!!


  10. Loved the tour of your beautiful gardens! hey, I buy irises too, love the peachy/yellow one. I want a pink one, seems I have enough purple, white and yellows. I adore your pergola area, just beautiful. See, your retired and you still can't get it all done!

  11. What spectacular gardens and home you have !
    Your flowers are breathtakingly beautiful, and I'm smitten with the pergola and pond, you'll get so much enjoyment out of those.....
    Thank you for sharing your pictures and journey with us.