Monday, July 6, 2015

Just Chores

Interesting things are happening here at the Garden Spot--at least I think so. We had a very quiet Independence Day, choosing to stay home to get some much need chores and projects done. We are taking time off this week, flying away to visit in Texas where it will be hot, but hot is hot no matter where you go. So if I don't get next week's post up, I am on the return flight home.

So let's see what happened here last week.


The water feature needed maintenance early in the spring, but there were other projects that took priority, so Friday the Head Gardener donned his fishing gear and went fishing:

The water lilies before we drained the pond down stood tall above the water on long, thin stems, dancing in the breeze. We have had these lilies for years and this year they have been gorgeous, huge and plentiful.

But the pond needed some work.

Step 1" Drain the water down. When we do pond work, usually it is early in the spring before the water lilies wake up so that I can separate them, feed them, and we can clean muck out of the bottom. This year the lilies have been spectacular with huge blooms, healthy, and hardy. You can see in the photo pots that had tipped over, so he cleaned things up as best he could. Next year we will get to the maintenance  earlier.

Step 2 Dive in. Well not literally. 

Step 3: Slip Slide and Away. Green algae is very slick.

Step 5: Refill. About all he really got done this time was to remove the empty pots and rescue the last year's fledgling lilies that need to be where we can get to them in case we want to give them away. Still full of algae, the pond will benefit from fresh water and algae treatment will be added more regularly. I have given up hopes of having a crystal clear pond; however, we did get a filtration system and pump from the neighbors who covered up their water feature. So sometime when the HG doesn't have anything else to do we will increase the the filtration and movement of the water.

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

I am so glad that we don't have to depend on farming for a living because this year the weather has been brutal on the farmers. First we suffer suffocating heat with little or no rain. Now we have plenty of rain, too much. Rain, go to California where they really, really need you.

The hay cutting, then, was delayed two weeks because we have had so much rain, which really did make for a very healthy field of hay. The HG estimated 120 bales, about 20 or more over previous years.

I watched the tractor for make a full round, took a few photos then went inside  to let JG do his job. I love the smell of freshly cut hay. This time of year, the country side is fragrant with fresh cut hay and alfalfa. 

Mending Fences

One of the horses, Sundance we assume, has learned to lift the gate off of the hinges to escape into the hay field, Smart horse, I suppose, but a very dangerous move on his part. Once we discovered the boys in the hay field and the heavy metal gate on the ground, the HG knew that he had to fix all 10 gates on the property. The previous owner had put the hinge  pins on wrong with both pointing up so that the gate could easily be lifted up by man or beast. Now we can leave knowing that the boys will stay put. I could just imaging the rodeo if Sundance had gotten the gate stuck around his neck and couldn't get it off. I shudder to think of the tragic results.

New Faces In the Garden

 Queen Anne's Lace showed up this year in the Ugly Place. It grows by the road at the neighbors. My dad called it wild parsley and always said that it was poisonous to horses and cattle. I looked it up on line; it is also called wild carrots and once used as a folk medicine to prevent pregnancy. I was worried about it being toxic for the dog and cat. It seems safe.

Wild cilantro--I planted cilantro in with the strawberries and sage last year with not good results. The strawberry patch is now a chicken pen and it seems that the cilantro found a new home all by itself, too. I tasted it to see what it was. I actually thought that it had been a a volunteer carrot gone to seed. Hidden amongst the dill weed, it was easy to spot with its white flower.

Agapanthus is gorgeous planted next to the yucca. Oh I love the yucca blooms.

OOOOO and AHHHHs please for this gorgeous day lily. She cost $30 dollars a few years ago, purchased (not by me) by the HG from Oakes Day. She goes by the name Beautiful Edging, appropriately so.

This manarda is one of my favorite varieties. Easy to grow, it has such a fascinating bloom cycle.

Each stage is beautiful in its own right. And the color is gorgeous. The humming birds will flock to her later in the summer.

I have more of the garden to share, such as Flight of the Bumble Bee and Sick Plants, but I think I have taken enough time on your computer screen. So I'll save those stories for later.


Won't you agree that there  is nothing better than family? When the message came from cousin Sarah that she was in Denver for the a few days, I made sure to let her know that we'd come visit her in the city if she had time. And she did, so we met her for dinner.

Sarah  (on the left) lives in Sioux Falls, SD where she and her family have a quilt store selling fabric and sewing machines. She was in Denver to film some classes. Her hotel was in the theatre district in downtown Denver. Look what's playing! It was last night for Wicked. Oh how I wished I had purchased tickets. We splurged, ordered desert--Heather and  I shared a poppy seed with black cherries in phyllo dough. Sarah and the HG had chocolate decadence. And of course there was the trip to the lady's room. I suppose folks do take photos in bathrooms, do they? Well, I had to take this one. I call it 21st century graffiti. Instead of scribbling and carving up lavatory stalls, it seems trendy and certainly more civilized to leave one's mark on a Post-It note. The HG said he found the same in the men's bathroom. And the pointy feet? LOL. As I was putting my iPhone away, my finger hit the camera button. At first I thought I had a supernatural photo of witch's feet. LOL. Turns out that I accidentally snapped hubby's feet in his western pointy-toed boots.

Family always. We marveled at how it had been 15 years since we had seen Sarah--her wedding day. But it was like time had never passed, for aside from catching up on over a decade, it was like we had know each other forever. We do keep in touch on Face Book, but hugs and laughter are better.

I hope you enjoyed the garden photos this time, for this morning the garden is ruined. We had hail yesterday. The water lilies along with everything else were shredded. The good news: the garden is resilient and by the time we get back from Texas it will be back to its old self.

Thanks so much for joining me. Be sure to visit Judith at Lavender Cottage where I will post my Monday Mosaic with all of the other wonderful Monday Mosaics.

flight of the bumble bee

science Daily


  1. Hi Ann! Wow! There is a lot of work going on at your place!
    Have fun in Texas!

  2. You really do have a tremendous amount of work to keep things going at your place but it always looks so beautiful. What pretty flowers and a nice visit with family. I wish I was visiting Texas this week! I miss my family. Sweet hugs, Diane

  3. Lots of work in a garden for sure. Manarda reminds me somehow of a Jester's cap.
    Nice to met family ....anywhere.

  4. Great post, Ann. How busy you've been so much going on in the garden and on the farm. Your flowers are stunning! Looks like you had a grand time visiting your cousin in Denver, shame you didn't get to see Wicked, I have it on my must see list, too.
    Have a great week,

  5. Beautiful flowers! Love that amazing pond! We have one that's much smaller, and I clean it out in the spring, draining the water and mucking out the dead leaves from the fall before. Your lilies look amazing!

  6. Your day lilies are huge, and beautiful. In fact I'd have to say they are some of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.

    The hay crops are so important, and I know how much the farmers depend on them, but oh the allergies they cause me...sigh. Itchy red eyes, sniffling,'s never ending, so sadly as much as I love seeing the bales on the fields, I'm glad when it's over.


  7. Your day lilies are huge, and beautiful. In fact I'd have to say they are some of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.

    The hay crops are so important, and I know how much the farmers depend on them, but oh the allergies they cause me...sigh. Itchy red eyes, sniffling,'s never ending, so sadly as much as I love seeing the bales on the fields, I'm glad when it's over.


  8. So much work to do in the garden but you are lucky the HG takes care of the pond. So nice you took some pictures of the hay cutting I´m always interested in farm work overseas. That day lily is a beauty with that wonderful edge, well it not for nothing named ´Beautiful Edging´.
    Wish you a great time in Texas!

  9. What exquisite Water big!
    My Monarda is only just about to flower. I was amazed how it had spread sincee last year, too much really. But the bees will love it.

  10. We gave up draining our pond, dividing the water lilies and cleaning the guck several years ago. There is algae on the sides but the water is crystal clear and I've learned that the overwintering frogs, tadpoles and dragonflies bury themselves in that gross stuff on the bottom, so it stays.
    I'm glad you found out about the clever horse in time so that there were no injuries, I shudder to think what could have happened myself.
    I love that $30 daylily! Wow, gorgeous colour and worth it to splurge every so often, isn't it?
    I planted the Queen Anne's lace in my butterfly garden but have wild cow parsnip in another garden that came in with some soil and spreads by runners underground.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Ann.

  11. Oh Ann, I'm sorry your garden is ruined by hail. The Monarda is stunning in all its phases. I hope that some things will grow back and flower again. The daylily color is really wonderful.

  12. I often think that I would like a "real" pond, but then I see projects like this, and I change my mind. Yikes! Do you think your water lilies will be okay with that going on around them?

  13. Hello and really nice work indeed. Lovely photos too!

  14. Such fun to have your niece over for a visit! What a beautiful lady she is! You have been busy in the garden. The pond looks good though!

    Wishing you a fun time in Texas. Stay cool!

    Madelief x

  15. I just love stepping in to sit down and see what is happening with you...that is a big pond project, and haying is always hard work...I have had instructors who I would allow to change their schedule as the haying had to be done. Lots of work and good times with family...the best!