Wednesday, October 19, 2016

a garden story II

I quite enjoy chronicling the growth of my garden. It's only been since just last year have I even attempted to grow anything and I very much enjoy it. In 2016 I planted even more than last year! Here is what the back deck flower bed area looked like after I cleaned it up in mid-March.

The same area at the end of September!

I don't care for the look of the underside of the front deck so my aspiration has been to grow something tall enough to cover it. This was how it looked in the middle of March when things had already started to sprout. 

Full grown! I wish it could look like this all year long. It sure gets boring in every other season.

Back to April. I decided I wanted to try to save some money by growing my own flowers from seed: Hollyhock, wildflowers, zinnias, and morning glories.

I was ecstatic a week later when they sprouted. 

I repotted them after a few weeks and by the end of May they were ready to be planted outside.

By that time my perennials had started to grow.

My hydrangeas were supposed to grow buds on the old woody stems but some frost killed them. I was psyched to find that they were regrowing from the bases though! 

A few weeks later they kept going. 

My pink hydrangeas never did bloom though they did grow tall-ish (I'm hopeful for next year but if they don't, I'm replacing them), but my Endless Summer Hydrangeas tripled last year's growth!

Last year they were blue but I adored their purple color this year. 

I planted half of the morning glories in the front yard and half in the back and it seemed like it took forever for them to grow. Also, my shade wildflower seedlings did not grow well - too much seed in not enough soil I think. So I bought another pack and they quickly thrived.

In August I discovered I had mistakenly sown creeping jenny along with the morning glories back in the spring. They were choking them out! Duh. I spent a hour ripping the weeds out and thereafter the morning glories grew better.  

On the first day of school, August 22, my front flower garden was looking amazing.

A month later it was in full bloom. 

I love morning glories! 

But after the frost they were done for :(

Talk about a mound of flowers!

But now it looks like dry wilted spinach. Evie says to leave it until Halloween because it's a good decoration.

I was also proud of my deck flower baskets. I planted the zinnias from seed, and though most of them died out from this first basket and I had to add petunias, several survived. It worked out! 

The middle basket had many more zinnias.

And the last basket had the most. It was so cool how they flopped in every direction. 

For mother's day I got the bush there to the right, a Snowmound Spirea.

It grew quite a lot, but I was even more happy how my Frannie transplants overcame being killed last year and began thriving this year. Faith gave me some transplants in the spring that have done very well here too.

We bought only two tomato plants this year - an Early Girl and a Cherry Tomato. By July they were huge already! 

We had many tomatoes, but also planted two crops of carrots and green beans. 

Here's the back deck again. So lovely.

A glimpse of the perennials next to the path.

I planted my weakest zinnia seedlings in the back here where I thought they would die but they did absolutely amazing. I'm definitely planting them again. 

It took my morning glories a while to take off but when they did begin to climb, they went fast. I was so happy to have lots of blooms because last year I had so few. 

This was the last day of August when they were at their prime. Later in September they started turning yellow. They added a lot to the pergola and I'll do them here again next year.

They grew all the way up to the top of the pergola which is at least 15 feet high. This was after the frost though. My Cosmos in front there lasted a little longer but they didn't mound up as much as last year.  

Anyway, I quite enjoyed my garden and can't wait until next spring to try some more. Right now I'm attempting to grow an indoor herb garden. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

random September post

Every once in a while (okay, like twice times in the last two months), I have no ideas for the random collection of photos in my iPhoto folder. Therefore, the random post fills the gap!

Behold, some pictures of the kids playing at Canyon Lake on a beautiful September morning, just before fall began.

This particular morning the kids and I visited all three playgrounds, thereby fulfilling the kids' (Samuel's) desire to play there...which was voiced every time we had driven by (practically daily). Notice how happy Samuel is! :D

I posted this one on Instagram. So pretty with the tree and the green and the light. 

Terry snapped this of me reading Classical Conversation timeline cards to the kids one morning. 

Terry took the kids to the dentist one Friday morning while I was on a coffee date. When the three older kids were done Ezra insisted it was his turn. He's not old enough yet but they humored him. 

Selfies are okay when you have a cute little boy willing so sit on your lap. 

Alan Shlemon from Stand to Reason, a podcast we listen to regularly, was in town for a conference and we tagged along for an evening of visiting at a new friend's house. The boys almost watched a 3D movie - we switched to a Blu-ray - but they looked so cute in those glasses.

Noah's Suzuki recital

Earlier in the same day that we went to see Tim Hawkins, we had a family get together at our house for dinner and a little piano recital. Noah had memorized all of these Suzuki songs during the last two years of piano lessons and before he could move on to new ones, he needed to perform them.

It was a quick thing, no more than fifteen minutes. But even I was impressed at how much he had memorized. 21 songs!

Such concentration. Ha!

Here is a small sample of one of the harder songs towards the end of his recital (when everyone was getting sleepy). 

fun together - Hawkins and the boat

The weekend before my birthday, we went to see the comedian Tim Hawkins with Terry's folks and Shari and Jesse! We have most of his DVDs and employ his jokes around the house all the time. This was actually our second time seeing him live and it was even better than the first time.
Hello grumpy photo bombing lady behind us! I hope her frown turned upside down once Tim got started.

My favorite part was when he joked about all the silly things moms say and do. I was crying!

Two days before we had been out to the ranch to take a look at Terry's great grandmother's 1976 Chrysler New Yorker. We could fit all of our children in that trunk ;)

All four fit comfortably in the back seat!

Cute little faces.

The following weekend we went out again to try and get the old thing started and maybe drive it around. After replacing the spark plugs, adding new fuel, and airing up the tires, the engine actually turned over and we got to go for a ride. Talk about a boat right?!

I had heard stories about this car and how it just floated along the road and you didn't feel any bumps in the road. While we were fixing it up Terry told me about how when they'd go visit his great grandmother in Montana she'd have them load up and drive them around the city. As a kid he was less than interested but now it sounds like such fun!

Plenty of room for this Six Pack plus Snap dog!

Such a beauty! 

It was a lot of fun to ride around in her and I got to see first hand what a smooth ride she is. 

After our little drive we took the four wheelers out for a less than smooth ride around the ranch but just as fun. Ha! 
The last time we visited, this stock pond was completely empty. Just a couple days of rain filled it up at least a little.