Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fair Along '08

I've joined the Fair Along '08 blog, where we are all posting about entering our county and state fairs. Come on over and read the many intros from all over the country; it's fun to see everyone's stuff and read about why they started entering. (my intro is here, and you'll see I have a bit of work to do by July 16)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Floral Friday

We are back from our camping trip. The weather was gorgeous, the beach was fun, the mosquitoes were awful. The boys look like they have chicken pox!

Not much new blooming in the garden this week:
The spiderworts started blooming in the front. These get more shade, so don't get as gigantic as my purple ones in the back. I like the light blue color.

This is some foxglove that I got from a friend 2 years ago (oops, it's not. Suzee says it's Penstemon). The bees love it, and yesterday, Calvin counted and said there were 57 of them working on the flowers.

The stella d'oro lilies have started blooming also. I always think they look so nice and cheery.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I used the panoramic setting on the camera, it kinda distorts things, but you can see more. (click on the photos to make them bigger)

Here are the results of our hard work this past week. Over the course of 4 days we planted 4 dogwoods, 4 vibernum, 8 arborvitae, 1 limelight hydrangea, 3 weigela, 1 service berry, 1 river birch, 3 grey owl junipers, 6 diablo ninebark, 3 blue spruce, and 3 staghorn sumac. I also moved 3 roses, dug up and divided various iris and daffodils, moved 2 oriental poppies, and cut the grass. It looks great!

We also moved this big rock. I'm guessing it weighs 250-300 pounds. At first I guessed 200#, but David says it's definitely more. To move this, David built a sledge out of some plywood and 2x4. We used a crowbar as a lever, tied a rope around the rock, had a boy on each side pulling, while David pulled in the middle, and I pushed. We put a broomstick handle underneath the sledge to make it roll, and got it from the back corner of the lot (by the telephone pole) all the way over to the side. If the Egyptians could build the pyramids, and the Incans could do Machu Pichu without horses, we were going to move this rock! Ancient History comes in handy sometimes! If only I got a photo, it was pretty cool.

Now we need to weed a bit more, clean up our dirt mounds and order mulch. But first, I'm going camping to relax. Yeah, really.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Floral Friday

Last night we planted the last of the arborvitae, and everything that was delivered on Monday is in the ground! I am very tired and quite sore. Now we need to clean up the dirt mounds and order mulch. Pictures to come later. Here's what is blooming this week:

My friend Deb gave me this miniature rose for my birthday last year. Isn't it pretty?

The bachelor's buttons are hard to photograph. I think they are delicate enough that the camera can't decide where to focus. The bees are always working on these.

I think this is some sort of sage, or something from the sage family. The bees like these flowers a lot too.

The peonies are in full bloom, and when the wind blows, sometimes we get a whiff of them.

The dragonflies are always buzzing around; they seem to like the garden a lot. I think they eat mosquitoes, so I hope they stick around! They are pretty hard to photograph too; I must have tried at least 5 times before I managed to get this one.

I've had my eye on this guy for a while. It is so pretty. I wish I could show you the swarms of dragonflies we have across the street, darting around, eating bugs. It's really neat.

This isn't a flower, but it started out as one. We have a peach! Two peaches, actually. I'm quite surprised, as I didn't think we would get fruit for at least 2-3 years after planting. I don't know if I should do something to prevent a squirrel or bird from getting it. Anyone know?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I am going to be MIA this week. Look what came yesterday:
Yeah, that's a lot of plants. And, I've got to move some things around before I can plant certain things. It's going to look great when it's done.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Last Day Of School

YEAH! School is out for summer!

I've got a seventh grader now! Check out his first day as a sixth grader.

I also now have a third grader on my hands! Here's his first day as a second grader.

Floral Friday

We had more storms yesterday afternoon and last night. Most of my flowers have been beaten hard with the rain. I got these pix yesterday morning:

This is my favorite iris, a white double-blooming one. It will bloom again in late October. I'm thinking about pairing it with the 'black' iris, somewhere in the garden.

Another lovely iris.

More iris. Can you tell I like iris? These are the last I have.

The peonies have started opening their buds. I love how these look and I'll even cut some to have on the kitchen table, but they make me sneeze a lot. So I'll suffer.

I met with the landscape designer yesterday, and loved the plan, so bought all the plants and they are getting delivered on Monday. I will be VERY busy next week getting everything in the ground! Thankfully school is out as of this afternoon, so I'll have helpers to work with me.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Weekend Storms

We got hit hard with storms this weekend. They started on Saturday afternoon, and continued through last night. We lost power for about 3-4 hours yesterday, and got a bit of water in our basement, though I was able to clean it up with just towels. So far we've had 9.12 inches of rain this month, with over 7 of it from just this weekend.

Sunday morning the rain came down so hard it was like being hit with a hose. The rain barrels couldn't handle the volume and speed of the water. This is the water that is just coming off of the garage!

Our neighbor kitty-corner from us had some tree limbs fall on their iron fence. I don't know if you can tell, but that half of the street there is under water.

Some trees were damaged in the park, and this one fell across the path down to the beach.

The beach looked like someone had hosed away a bunch of sand. Usually you can only see about 6 inches of that cement block that Connor is next to.

This is about 4 blocks north of me. This area got hit really hard with wind shear. Lots of trees uprooted and torn in this area.

Caleb's school is closed today due to wind and storm damage. It would be pretty hard for anybody to get through safely!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Floral Friday

Time for more flowers! Here is what has bloomed over this week:

This 'black' iris is gorgeous. Calvin is begging to cut it to take it to his teacher.

Instead, I let him cut a bunch of these purple iris. We also have oodles of pale yellow irises like these, and he made a lovely bouquet on Monday.

This one is lovely with the orange accents.

The purple spiderwort have started blooming. I have light blue ones in the front, but they get less sun, so always seem to be a bit 'behind'.

It's hot today, and it feels great. It was fairly cool in the middle of the week (maybe 60), with rain. Now it's about 80-85 today and sunny. The landscape designer came over on Tuesday, took some measurements and photos, and I meet with her next Thursday to see her ideas. Can't wait!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Deciding Entries

It's time to decide what to enter in the state fair. My entry form/fee is due by June 20, entries themselves are due July 16, with judging on July 20. (if you live here in Wisconsin, all the info is here)

I haven't done much over the past year, so I'm not sure how much I'll enter, or if I'll try and get some things done in time. For sure I want to enter one of Caleb's costumes. The question is, which one? Do I enter the Pharaoh or the Jester? I can't enter both -- one entry per category. I'm pretty sure I'll put it in the children's costume category, as that is supposed to be for ages 5-12. Whichever one I don't enter, I can enter next year. Do I try and get a dress made? Can I finish a top that can go with a skirt I did last year and have a 2 piece outfit? Decisions, decisions!

I'm also toying with entering a sweater. I've been working on Notre Dame De Grace for a while, and it's looking pretty good. I've got the back and both sleeves finished, and am partway through the front.

I also need to decide if I'll enter any photos. I really like the one I took of Calvin whittling a few weeks ago, and I do think some of my flower photos are quite pretty. Well, I've got about 2 weeks to decide, so I guess I'll just think about it some more.