Yep!! This is about everything blooming and more, but boy, what a treat it will be to look at this winter! Can you believe we were complaining about cold weather 3 months ago? And we will surely be complaining about the heat shortly. Ha!
One of the Hibiscus Sisters is doing pretty well. In spite of my great ability to bring them very close to death as I winter them over in a large percentage of space in my family room, this past winter seemed to have the most desirable of results...beautiful blooms in April! Indoors. Alas, a week or so later I was watering the old girls and I saw a swarm of what looked like gnats or fruit flies. I gingerly lifted up a leaf, then another and saw that they were infested with white flies and their larvae...as in the leaves were "encrusted" with them. I literally flew down the hall screaming for The Husband. As he shook his head in dismay, I demanded Herculean efforts...as in get the damn things outside now!!! April in Chicago isn't exactly balmy and I thought I killed the poor ladies, but secretly, I knew it must have also killed the freaking larvae. Fear not, the plants pulled through. One of the gals has been pruned down to almost nothing but carries on and this one is looking pretty attractive, but no blooms yet. Just not sure what I will decide to do this winter. I try to limit living things in my home to us and the dogs.
My container tomato plants are doing very well. I have 4 in here and one is just a cherry tomato plant. This is the same size container as the Hibiscus Sisters are in, believe it or not. I have them in a sunnier spot than last year and they are my pride and joy.
I love when I see these little gems. I have never successfully grown anything in a container and I was so bummed out that I ran out of time to ready my vegetable garden beds....this gives me such satisfaction and makes me smile. :)
I also planted a tender 'Salad Bowl' lettuce in a container. A tip I have is to give your lettuce a 'crew cut', just snip off the tops instead of pulling the leaves out of the soil. You can bet on another shearing later. And in late August I can plant more seeds...they love the colder weather here as they mature.
at our farmers market. I was worried...hers was doing so well and mine looked sick. Well, she gets more sun...be patient. If you have less sun, your plants may be slower, smaller...but fear not! Look at this baby.
This is one of the newer hydrangea plants I found at the nursery last summer. Blooming like crazy yet the plant is only about 5 inches high!! I can't bear to cut any flowers yet. :(
The same for my new clematis...just barely climbing the trellis (an old iron headboard) and blooming. How brave and strong and sweet plants can be.
I'm not new to day lilies but these are from the package that The Husband gave me as a gift in the spring from his favorite spot, Costco. They are coming up so great and I love the yellow ones. I happen to have some extra deep pink colored plants from the lake that I'm going to add...this will be such a pretty corner.
This area has always been called my "Woodland Garden". It's very shady and I have this beautiful abundance of day lilies that came from the first home that my sister Chrissy and her husband bought 8 million years ago. It was totally overgrown with orange day lilies and she dug them up and gave them to all of us sisters. I may be the only one still in one place that has them. Here's to you, Chrissy! :)
Lastly, the herb garden is doing okay. I have two varieties of oregano and one is not as fragrant as the other so I may give it the heave ho. I want to add some thyme and tarragon. I like to cook with those and that's what it's all about, right?
About two weeks ago we had a wicked storm blow in at night. We lost our power for 22 hours which is unheard of in our area, and the most damage seemed to be from the winds. My table umbrella, which I thought had just blown over into a corner of the patio, was actually cracked off at the table level (the base was made of teak). I was so sorry, I really loved that umbrella so I ended up ordering the same one again from Plough & Hearth. It's so well made and is raised by a pulley rather than a crank and I really like that. And I was brave...I got something different and colorful instead of the earth tone thing I had before. Daughter Emily does not like it. She said it's 'Grandmother-ish' Well, hello!!! And thank you all for your sweet congrats! Future mother and father are doing well! And you know what...I'm actually loving when certain people in my life don't like or agree with what I do. It's sort of fun to shake my head and point my nose up...say nothing. It drives them crazy!!
I'm going to tell you more about this in another post. This is at the lake. I was actually too undecided to show you the "after" pictures because the sun was hitting it a little wonky and I want you too see it in the best light. This area is the left side of our front porch and then there is a twin side on the right. Let me tell you, it was all overgrown with weeds and God knows what and it smothered out the day lilies and hosta's I had planted there years ago. My wisteria on the posts had also gone crazy and tangled everything up so I had a real mess on my hands. Note the gorgeous local stones that our guy added to the cement foundation...truly custom and a great nod to the land we live on.
This was part way into my job last Saturday. I pruned the heck out of the wisteria as I also did on the opposite side. Years ago I prayed it would reach the balcony and arbor. Oh, dear God. The stuff is miserable. But we're good now. I have scratches up and down my arms and face and some spots on my hands have almost became infected. Next time, long sleeves and perhaps, a face mask. In any event, the porch and balcony are neat as a pin and I proceeded to do some landscaping on Sunday. I love to say that...landscaping. In a nutshell...ahem, I went to a family owned nursery here in Chicago and met with one of the brothers that owns it. He was such a wonderful help in selecting shrubs and plants. And after carting it all up to Michigan on Friday with The Husband not uttering one word, I played landscaper for 7 hours on Sunday. Once again, I love that title. I could be a landscaper if I weren't inherently lazy. And extremely allergic to all things green. Just call me a soldier for now. I'm so relieved I don't have poison ivy. Anyway...when I finished, the light was set behind the trees and casting very unbecoming shadows and glare on my creation so I am going to make you wait with baited breath to see what I did. So there!
Today was a hellish day for the dogs. The annual trip to the vet. Happily, they are in great shape, Dr. Fisher said that she can barely believe Milo is 10 years old. He shows no symptoms of slowing down or being out of shape. He does, however have really bad problems with his lower front teeth. She has wanted to pull them for the last year and I have been too frightened of anesthesia. Now he's lost a few on his own and she has me worried about infection and pain so he is having the 'surgery' next Thursday. It's breaking my heart, I remember Brenda's pup having 13 teeth removed recently...:( Tonight they have sore hips from their shots and are just creeping around and shying away from us. And I feel the wimpers coming again when I think of the cost today and what it will be next week. How we love our critters. Here is Layla waiting for me to turn in. The Husband needs no excuse.
Finally, a little update on my Tulo~man grandog. He loves mud and water. He has never met a puddle he doesn't like. He has come out unscathed in many an adventure in his short 14 weeks of life. 2 jumps out of the window of the moving car, 2 ticks and a fish hook in his paw. My son loves to take him everywhere and he lives on the edge of a spectacular forest preserve. Jeff and Abby take Tulo for hikes along cliffs almost every morning. Thankfully Tulo has been (somewhat) fortunate and my son has learned what that child-lock window button is for on his car.
Again, it's lake time on Friday. This weekend we are having DIL Mary Clare's family up. I love all of them and we will have a full and happy house. Having company gives me a reprieve from work...other than passing out paper plates and replacing toilet paper rolls, I'm pretty good with just sitting and enjoying the company and fresh air. We are actually having temps in the 70's and the humidity finally went Bon Voyage! And it's supposed to stay like this for awhile. We've had so much rain, but mixed with sun, too, so it's hard to count on anything. I personally take the rain as a sign to snuggle in bed longer with the hounds in the morning or sneak in an afternoon read or nap. Really! That's what rainy days are for!
I will be back on Monday. I was (finally) asked to be on one of those blog hop tours where you answer a whole lot of mind bending personal questions about your reasons for blogging, etc. Just kidding. I adore the gal that asked me and I hope to take my humorous shield off and give you some close to the heart answers.
Happy Hump Day! :)