Garden: Spring is in the air

I have a lot of gardening to catch up on this Spring. Things to change, move, dig up and bury. I thought I’d share a few photos of what I found waiting for me in my own back yard.

My Roses are in Bloom

Spring is my favorite time of year because I haven’t killed anything yet.

My Kind of Dirty

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. George Bernard Shaw

I did a crazy thing this week. I twittered Anne Lammott and asked her if she’s ever been so angry that she couldn’t write well and what does she do when that happens?

That really bordered on questionable sanity on my part.  Why?

1. I do not know her personally.

2. She has  11,000+ people following her and messaging her. I highly doubt I’ll hear back. But you know, I had to ask.

3. I’ve read enough of her books to guess what she’d do. She’d breathe, write a crummy first draft, walk in the hills, pray, love, and maybe eat something. I already know what to do, I just wanted to whine.

Today’s political climate has my blood pressure boiling. Even though I’ve yet to decide who I’m voting for or which issues I believe in or what I think, I’m finding my circle of people I can have an intelligent conversation with in regards to politics to be drastically small. And just a hint, by intelligent I mean void of phrases like “liberal press”, “sluts”, “entitled”, “socialism”, “Communist”, “fair and balanced”, sighs that really imply “Jane you Ignorant slut”, “uneducated liberals”, “fascist right wing tea-parters” “bigots”

I think you get my drift.

I don’t like any of the GOP candidates. Considering I was a member of the Republican party since 1989 – 2011 that’s a tough cookie to chew on.

I think they are all idiots. And by using the word idiot, I have also disqualified myself from intelligent conversation. I do however predict this. The GOP has gone so far in alienating women that they will use Sarah Palin as their VP running mate in hopes of getting us back. I actually like Sarah and I honestly hope she’s more intelligent than to allow herself to be a puppet.

I’m still researching the “issues” and trying to determine where I stand and how I’ll vote. Given the push back and angry accusations from friends and family alike however, I think I’ll be more discreet in my research.

It is my son’s senior year, I have a book to write, poetry to edit, soccer games to attend, and a garden to clean up and recreate. I’m too busy to engage in everyone’s favorite pastime, “fighting on the internet” – so if you don’t hear from me for a while – let me at least show you where I am at and what I am doing. When I’m too angry to formulate intelligent words, I create beauty.

20120314-135212.jpg Our house is and the end of a dead-end road. Beautiful pine trees covered this fence before the ice storm of 2007 took them out. I now have a five year old maple tree to one end and a rose of sharon at the other end by the gate. For three years I had flowers and bushes in this garden. Last year’s record drought killed those. And so I have a clean slate to work with. As you can tell, my grass is still brown but the weeds look great.


This focal point in my front yard always looks beautiful by midsummer. It’s loaded with irises, a nicely shaped evergreen, a Forsythia bush and a Rose of Sharon. All it needs is some weeding and trimming out.This is the garden my black widows like to live in. Must remember to wear leather gloves.


My front entry. You will notice I only have one shutter. The left shutter has removed itself and refuses to reattach. No worries. My handy-dandy power drill / screw driver will cleverly remove lone shutter and I will transplant him with his mate against the fence you see in the back. This space does cry for balance. I have a lilac bush to the right with nothing to balance the height on the left. I’ll have to shop and see what I can find. Yeah, shopping.


This side garden has never really come together. In the far back you can see my pine tree that succumbed last summer, a sweet pea and the twigs of a crape myrtle. Buried under the weeds are also day lilies.


My side garden. The white fence behind the swing on the right separates this garden from the dogs and the rest of the yard. This is my happy place. Usually filled with lilacs, roses, and such, it is in a trans-formative state – meaning I have no clue what is coming back this year and what died for good. Weeding it and clearing the winter debris is a good start to discovering what lays beneath.


THIS will be my biggest project. Prior to the ice storm, this little spot in my yard was home to a Bradford Pear (pretty white flowers that smell like raw sewage) and a pin oak. We’ve tried may things since then including a vegetable garden in feed troughs, but without shade this piece of land blisters in the afternoon sun. That and the fence is broken. We need to work with our neighbors and fix it. The trellis I put up to hide the fact it is broken, isn’t hiding it at all really. I will strip this garden clean and start again. We have utility right of ways back there so I have to be very careful. I am however convinced that I can create beauty back here.

I would rather play in the dirt than sling it, so instead of participating in the online folly, you’ll find me on the bike trails or in my yard. I will be here between games, and senior year activities to talk about what’s going on and what we as women in transition can do for the world and for those we love.

Have a great week you guys.

Garden Obituary #238

Some people have gardens and some people have garden cemeteries. My home is the place most plants come to die. Just calling it what it is folks.  Please join me as we bid adieu to this year’s not so lucky winners of the “Oh Dear Heaven’s Please don’t take me home” Garden list..

This summer alone I killed:

  • Six zucchini plants — got ONE stinkin zucchini before they all died. (personally, I think my boys sprayed them with Roundup, but no one is talking.)
  • Three String Bean Plants – got nada from those babies.
  • My asparagus and rhubarb never even sprouted a single blade of anything green. Maybe next year?
  • and four fir trees — okay that one makes me kinda sad, the guy swore up and down I couldn’t kill those.

The good news is I have not killed these new members to my garden cemetery; three new lilies, My sweet pea and red twig bushes, Two wisteria bushes, one lilac bush (I now have three different varieties), two trees Jeff brought home that look oddly like well, something illegal, I’ll leave it at that, but the gal at the garden show said they are flowering bushes of some kind, three tomato plants, peppers, and herbs all did well, and I still have three of the original seven evergreens remaining.

So this is a good gardening year as far as gardening years go. More plants survived my black thumb than succumbed to it. Fall is approaching and it’s time for me to harvest my seed pods. I have daisies, spirea,  coral bells, black-eyed susans, some lime green cone flowers, Holly Hocks, moon flowers, and well… a large smattering of flowers I forgot to label, all ready to be replanted next Spring.   

I’m curious: What kinds of plants do you grow in your garden?

My Garden Shed, she is finished!

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I blogged about wanting to redo our garden shed?

Well it’s finished!

The picture to the left is our shed before we painted it. – I was in a patriotic mood the year we bought that shed and wanted our home to be red, white and blue – a color combination very popular in New England, but not so popular in Oklahoma. I wound up choosing a more color neutral pallet for our house so that it would fit in with our neighborhood that prefers beige to everything else. What worked for the shed was rejected for the main house. I still like the colors, but it is time for a change. And wow – did I change it.

Not being able to work in my garden is probably the most difficult part of my recovery from surgery. I love working in my gardens. Something about it is peaceful and comforting. Still, just because I can’t physically work in them doesn’t mean that I cannot plan them.So that’s what I’ve been doing — working through new plans.

I told you a few days ago about how I was on the Better Homes and Gardens pages and got inspired to redo our garden shed. I thought my husband was going to hold his breath until he turned blue in Home Depot and I still walked out of the store with watermelon, Green Apple, and Lilac paints.  I am a blessed woman.My oldest painted and I helped as I could. Yes, DH thinks he deserves canonization for it, but Lutheran’s don’t canonize, so the poor man is out of luck.

This cute sign (Above) – Plant Grow Bloom was purchased from Amanda’s Gift Shop on E-bay

The metal flowers below were purchased from Lowes Hardware store.

If you look closely, we had to use special brackets (purchased separately) at the top of the wire sculpture. The hardware that came with the flowers was not sufficient to attach to the wall.  The watermelon color is by Glidden and the green and lilac are Behr.  I wanted all three in Behr, but you are not allowed to cross brands. Meaning, I cannot pick up a Glidden color card and ask the Lowes guy to mix it in a non Glidden paint and vice versa.  Nothing against Glidden, it’s a great paint, I just prefer Behr for longevity. Having said that, I really like Glidden’s exterior color pallet this year, it’s bright, and very versatile.   

The watermelon was a little intense, so we used lilac with the green apple on the sides.

Side view -- now to go back and add the landscape.

So that is my new garden shed. Pretty hunh?  Being the only female in my house, I’m pretty much the only one who likes it. My husband has jokingly told me his tools may not be able to live in such a place. And even though he’s not on the same artistic page as I, he does agree this project and these colors have not yet killed him.

We still have landscaping to finish. Pea gravel for the front of the doors, some flowers and maybe a rose-bush or two.  I have a wisteria that I need to move and will probably put it next to the shed for stability. The white picket fence in the back ground is new as well. My dogs were destroying the fence line and have broken the main gate too many times, which is why we split the yard this year.  

And that is how I spent my recovery time – blue printing and planning my gardens. I have more to come and as time and the doctor allows, I’ll be busy. 

Have a great day ya’ll and don’t forget your sun screen.

On a side note, I was linked to from Shed Building Master’s Class  last week.  What a huge compliment. If you want to know more about building your own shed, please be sure to check them out. It’s a really nice and professional looking piece.

Wordless Wednesday: Dreams of Summer

I’m dreaming of the sights of Summer. My gardens are dead now. Some of my perennials will come back though, the rest I’ll have to plant and I can’t wait. Until then, I’ll offer you sights from summer past.



Unruly sweet potato vine mixed with coleus.

And purple fountain grass.

Wordless Wednesdays:Remembering my Gardens

Remembering my Gardens

I wasn’t going to garden this year seeing as I killed everything last year. But the catalogues started arriving. They had pictures and promises of daisies, flowering bushes, baskets overflowing with forget-me-nots and other sundries. I started sorting photographs for scrap booking and I came across my garden pictures. My gardens may be dead, but they were pretty while they lasted. Pray for my husband ya’ll. The gardening itch is back. I cannot wait to get out there, clean up the horticultural cemetery I call a garden, see what survived and start again.

Starting again

It turns out that losing three of my four rosebushes wasn’t the end of the world. I still have a beautiful climber in the back yard, and I got to go shopping. There is a local nursery in town that supports people with developmental disabilities. They run the nursery and the money earned there, goes back to support job training, housing, and whatnot.

My roses died close to the end of planting season in Tulsa, so the nurseries were pretty picked over. I was however able to find lavender, a fir tree, and a beautiful yellow forsynthia bush as well as a barberry bush. I then moved some of my Iris’s from my back yard and added several annual pieces, like sweet potato vine, for color.

I found this beautiful plant at Westlake Ace Hardware on Memorial Day weekend. They had a close out on thier potted arrangements. It turned out to do really well in the heat and looked great with the rest of my plants, but it didn’t come with a lable and I have no idea what it is. I’ll take my garden scrapbook with me this Spring while I shop around so that I can lable it and know what to buy.

With all of the sandy loam and sawdust left behind from my pine trees – ants moved into the new territory. I don’t like ants and after we sprayed the tar out of the garden,I started putting in plugs to keep them away. The plugs worked.

I let my new bed grow for the season while I focused in on building up my other new garden spots. The results ended up a little “over done” by the end of summer, but for a first year garden, it really wasn’t that bad. Not a bad second start. I spent my fall pulling out the annuals, trimming back the lavender and pitching the barberry bush (it died under the vine – my bad). I’ve added several new perenial pieces from SpringHill Nursery and I’m looking forward to seeing what blooms this Spring.

Sitting to the side, in the white pot is a magnolia “bush” I also purchased in the Spring – I really need to stay from on line catalogs. I didn’t read the small print and the “bush” arrived as a bare root plant that will require several years to mature.

This was another one of my “oopsies” last year. I thought I was buying THIS.

Spring Hill showed it as part of a “sunny garden spot foundation garden set” that can be purchased as a group and I thought it would be perfect in front of our living room window.

I’m fortunate to have a husband who likes to read the small print and dig in the yard from time to time. While we were planting the new garden set, he read the little box this root came in. It turns out my cute little bush grows to a height of ten feet.

THAT – will not fit in front of our living room window. See what I mean?

I added building out a new bed to my fall clean up and plantings. I wasn’t planning on doing that yet – I was going to build those over the winter and plant in the Spring, but she needed a home and my South fence needed some covering, so that is where we put her.