Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm Covering Several "Bases!"

This is a "wordy" post...
It's a rainy day. I'm shivering in the cold downstairs in front of my computer,
in my jammies, with a cup of hot chai,
waiting to do the myriad of things that need to be done
before I leave town, again!
You may notice that I've included some Sunday Photos and my June 1st Muse!

Tomorrow morning, at 7:30 A.M., a group of 10 of us leave for Vancleave, MS. We will return home on Sunday, June 8. Between these two weekends, we will be working on a Katrina Relief project. At this point, we don't know exactly what our work will be. It depends upon the group that has been working this week, and what they accomplish. :-) YOU will get a full report when I return!

But this week....
Just One More Scoop!

I picked this up Tuesday morning.
Just enough for 3 or 4 wheelbarrow loads.

I was able to stay home ALL MORNING and until 2:00 or so, Wednesday!
I finished filling the bed I enlarged earlier...
(this is the Eastside center bed) and planted a few items there.
(The following photos were taken last evening
as dusk had planted itself firmly! I took the photos without a flash,
which meant re-takes were the norm. It's hard to stand so still! lol.)
Plus... do you see my unfinished project from last summer??? I forgot to finish painting the inside of one of the shed doors!!! Embarrassment!
Click on the photo. It won't get extremely large, but perhaps you'll see these items better!
In front of the white rock, is "Blue Mouse Ears" Hosta.
Behind it, "Bubble Gum" Pulmonaria/Lungwort is growing.
(Of course you can see my impatiens.)
On the right are Tricyrtis/toad lily. The marker is still outdoors.
There's also the "Pink Skyrocket" tiarella.
On the left of the tall "City Lights" hosta, is a Japanese Painted "Ghost" fern.
Can you see my 'Toad House' flower pot? :-)

I created this next bed yesterday (Thursday) morning. Yea!
(Well, it's almost finished.)
And I finally planted the last of those patient little plants.
From left to right and counterclockwise...
another tricyrtis, a little hosta, a big hosta, and Leatherwood fern, impatiens. :-)
All the tags are still outdoors and I haven't entered them in my map, yet.

Below is the reverse view of the Eastside center bed.
In the foreground, a fern-leaf bleeding heart,
brunnera, and two tall tricyrtis.
(The labels are still outdoors.)

And now,
"A Moonlight Sonata-Serenade"
through the "Woodland Gardens!"
You don't see the bench yet. I want to "weatherize it" first.
In the foreground is a bed of liriope (two varieties).
Toad Lily "Lightning Strikes", hostas... the hosta on the right is "Night Before Christmas."
Beyond that, can you see Heartleaf Brunnera and Ostrich Fern?
Perhaps you can see my "Watch Toad?" ;-)

Below is what you'd see on the left as you begin this walk.
"Gold Standard" hosta; my hellebore is still blooming! and a tiny one behind the tree.

As you pass the tree, you'll see that same tiny H on the left
and a new Hellebore "Brushstrokes" strain on the right.
Can you tell me what this hosta in the foreground is????
Then we have "Palace Purple" heuchera, another unnamed hosta (help!),
"Strike it Rich Gold" Heucherella,
and on the left, more unnamed hosta. (Humphf!)

Now... I'm very excited. Iowa Victory Gardener
told me about her Arums. Iowa Boy posted about his
some time ago... I planted mine two Falls ago.
Last year they were leaves (I have these in three places).
This year... my Arum Italica - at this site - decided to blossom!
I've watched it for three days. Yesterday afternoon, it opened.
Can you tell the blossom was reunited with its stem? Will it bear berries, now? You can see that the other plant also is beginning to bear a blossom. And, if you look carefully in the second little photo, you'll see a tiny white "thing" lying on the ground.
It was the Blossom for which I've been anxiously waiting!
Oh, well. :-(

Maybe a rabbit or a little "chipmunk?"

Now... since I'll be absent on both June 1st and Sunday, this is what's blooming and I'll be musing (amusing?) below.
Green Thumb Sunday's Photos
My Meadow Rue

"Thriller" Lady's Mantle and Pasque Flower after-blossoms

Columbine (Colorado's State Flower)

And Astilbe (unnamed). Can you help me?? Is this "Red Fanal?"
Not all astilbe has the dark red bordered leaves...

...sometimes when I plant bare-root items (astilbe, especially) they die back and I think it's permanent. In the case of a "load" of astilbe I ordered 3 Springs ago, when I thought they'd died, I pitched the tags. Oops!

and my June 1 Muse from
A Spring Poem from Bion
(last stanza)
by Eugene Field

"But, thrice welcome, kindly spring,
With the myriad gifts you bring!
Not too hot nor yet too cold,
Graciously your charms unfold---
Oh, your days are like the dreaming
Of those nights which love beseems,
And your nights have all the seeming
Of those days of golden dreams!
Heaven smiles down on earth, and then
Earth smiles up to Heaven again!"

I can't think of a better way to describe these beautiful, green Spring days! And how much I've been enjoying them.

Now. One last thing for you to ponder while I'm absent... what is THIS? ;-)

Looks kinda' Shady! ;-)

Join Green Thumb Sunday!
I've posted early.

and don't forget Garden Blogger's Muse Day by Sweet Home and Garden Chicago

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There was a Party in the Backyard?


There was a party -
A one-person party!

A tap-dancin'
(not romancin')
soft shoe!

All because a

(say what?)

A Ligularia
("The Rocket!")

had sprouted in the backyard!
No, sprouted!

There was a whoop -
And a delighted yelp!

A hand-clapping,
happy feeling
party going on!

And it was by me, myself and I!

All because I'd found the perfect home for a Ligularia!


Memorial Day

Fairfield does such a nice job of recognizing Memorial Day.

Take this year's activities, for example:

The 34th Army Band will march from Howard Park to Central Park at about 9:45 a.m. The band's arrival was followed by a welcome by Paul Riepe, quartermaster of the Dimmitt Vorhies Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2271.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 (retired) Ronald L. Prill of Fairfield will be the speaker. Prill was a member of the Iowa Army National Guard for 44 years. He joined in 1948 as an enlisted trombone player, advancing to director and commanding officer. Under his command from 1972-1992, the 34th Army Guard Band members were both soldiers and musicians. They appeared in many places encouraging patriotism, supporting community celebrations and performing official acts with the military. The unit received the coveted Eisenhower Trophy five times, naming it the best unit in the Iowa Army National Guard.

Prill received the Iowa Meritorious Service Medal, two U.S. Army Meritorious medals, two Army Achievement Medals and the Legion of Merit Medal. For 36 years, while in the military, Prill was instrumental music instructor and music supervisor in the Fairfield Community School District.

The ceremony included Fairfield High School seniors Jimmy Simmons reading Logan's General Orders and Laura Liles reading Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Soloist Jan Hunerdosse, accompanied by the band, sang "God Bless America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The ceremony included an invocation and benediction by the Rev. Marvin Robeck, pastor of the First Lutheran Church.

Following the program in Central Park, a procession will form on the west side of the square and head north on Main Street to the monument on the courthouse lawn. Patriotic organizations and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will follow the 34th Army Guard Band. Other participants can walk behind the scouts.

At the veterans' monument, the band played "Nearer My God To Thee" and "Rock of Ages." An invocation was given, and representatives of patriotic organizations laid wreaths at the monument. A 34th Army Band bugler played "Taps."

The local newspaper has a full center spread
listing the name of every fallen military person
in every war that ever was.

City volunteers place a flag in the town square
in honor and memory of each of these people at 6:30 a.m. Monday
and retire the flags at 4:00 p.m.
The VFW serves breakfast to the volunteers.
The Flag Goes By
by Henry Holcomb Bennett

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State:
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land's swift increase;
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor, ----all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Missed My Blog's Birthday!

Wouldn't You Just Know It?
I missed my Blog's Birthday!
Photo from

It was one year ago, May 21, that I created this blog and my first post.
And it was exactly one week later that I heard the
same sound I heard tonight...

...and wrote this crazy post!
I do think it's "the fox," though.

I'd not had my digital camera very long. I hadn't
played with the video option.
Here's the sound I heard this evening.
It's the same.

Wonder if I should call my neighbor and remind him of our escapade! ha.

As I write this post, I'm hearing a Barred Owl... "who cooks for you.
who cooks for you-all."
Oops. He stopped.
Should have taped that, too!

Have a great night!!

Oh! Just in case you're interested... check out "Making Memories" and "Odds and Ends" for the latest happenings.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stone in the Garden

Stone in the Garden
Part I
A Continuing Saga!

I've recently posted about this...'s finished and it will be soon planted.
This is where it all began... chunks of concrete (April 14, 2008)!

This photo was taken last Spring (2007) of the shady Southern corner
of our front yard. (Limestone rocks)
This untidy area has oak "drippings" and an uncleaned mini-pond (sorry).
(limestone rocks and a few other rocks)
This little limestone rock path takes off from the right side of the little pond and heads down between the two parts of the bed in front of the house.This is a little detail of the front of the bed... not far from the mini-pond.
This is the front of this same bed. A mix of limestone rock and rocks picked up in a friend's field.
This is the south end of the front bed. Plants and rocks.
On the Southeast side of the house... east of the raised bed gardens, is this meandering pathway I began with a little help from a son of a neighbor 4 years ago. We were allowed to peruse the local "County maintenance area" for some concrete sidewalk chunks for the pathway. The front border edging is limestone. Other areas are "a mix." These photos were taken at the end of May, 2007.The plants have spread since then... and increased in number. ;-) You might also catch sight of a couple of those concrete Windsor Blocks available "most everywhere."

The photos below were taken a couple of days ago, of the lower (easterly) section of the largest
backyard bed. I'm widening it slightly and extending the north end
a few feet further. It used to be all limestone and field stones... now it starts with limestone and ends with concrete chunks and field stones.
I was standing on the right (east side) of this bed as I took
the following photos.

You might notice several items waiting to be planted,
most of which will not be planted where they are sitting,
but they're all filling the space where I'm widening this bed.

This shows the new area, beginning just after the City Lights hosta, frizzalae fern, and the little variegated hosta.

The photo below shows the west part of the largest backyard bed. It's edged in mostly stone, but a couple of concrete chunks here and there.

The right side of this photo is a little grassy.
That's because it isn't part of this bed...
yet! :-)
My plans are to enlarge this bed very soon.

There are other beds with rock... but, I think this is a long-enough post, don't you????

Join Nan Ondra at Gardening Gone Wild and create your own post about Stone in Your Garden. :-)

Flowers & Gophers!

Just for fun... Try this!
Concentration Game
from Blooming


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today's Activities

The main theme today:


I have a pillow that says, "Gardeners know the best dirt."
We do.
I bought some today, and here's the proof! :-)

One primary focus this morning was creating a second (one layer) wall
in front of the one I built earlier.

People are replacing old sidewalks in town.
I've found these "chunks" work very well.
I am a bit discriminating as to the size and shape...

This is the last bit...

This little corner is going to be the home of the buddleia I ordered...
Adonis Blue.
This is a shorter variety. It will be perfect
for this little spot in the front yard. :-)
(I ordered from Great Garden Plants, as the plants in
my earlier order arrived in excellent shape!)

Nothing shady here, but now I'm headed
"out back!"

Yep! Definitely shadier back here!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We're Headed for Michigan!

Our son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren live in Mt. Pleasant... north of Lansing an hour's drive. We are leaving to visit them and I can hardly wait!!! That means it'll be a little quieter around here.

Just thought you needed to see what has been not only thriving.but growing green and lush, here this Spring. It is now blooming!

You won't believe it at all... most of you with this plant, experienced its blossoms LONG ago. But not me. Somehow my plant looked peaked last Fall, so I did some soil enrichment, etc. Guess it noticed the amendment this Spring... Anyway, without further ado, let me present

My Hellebore!

Maybe it just wanted to announce its arrival
by being a little on the sneaky side.
Not too shady, here, yet.

But we're "getting there."

Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday

This is the only new item I've been able to plant so far. This was the variegated iris in my trunk last week. It's called Iris Aureo-variegata or Variegated Sweet Iris. The appeal here was the foliage. The flowers are nice, too. ;-)

I've been knee-deep in working with a couple of major projects, these past two weeks, that have pretty much kept me from working outdoors in the yard. But then, my heavy clay soil has been too wet to dig and amend yet, anyway. It rained a lot last night. Hopefully things will dry out in the next few days before we leave for our son's home. If not, I'll have to sink some pots somewhere for a few days.

I have more rocks to haul, beds to enlarge and a nice pickup load of composted soil to purchase and tote around to the enlarged beds! Of course, just digging holes for these new plants means soil amendment. I must also get to the bottom of my compost pile, sifting the gold for planting holes and returning the platinum to the pile! :-)

I might also mention that it's beginning to get a little shadier around here! (The trees are beginning to grow their leaves... isn't it great?) That means I'd also better get with it and set my Sun Calculator out tomorrow morning!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

SS Gardener (Semi-Shady, at this point)

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