Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's official! Autumn has arrived... and along with it has came some cloudy skies and rain, perfect for fall cleaning and fluffing the pillows! Football season has began and it's definitely sweater weather... which means we've been busy around here! The veggie garden is officially closed for the season. It's been all  tore out, raked, and tilled again. Later this week, we'll be shoveling manure... to burn up the remains of any surviving weeds and to assist fertilizing and breaking down the composing leaves that will soon be covering the soil. A few of the roses continue to bloom, the Radtkopink Double pink KnockOut continues to put on a beautiful display of color; enough so that I've been able to cut enough for small bouquets every other day or so for a continous arrangement to enjoy in our home.

Although, it's still a little too early for the Hocking Hills region of Ohio to be in the peak of Autumn color, we decided to take a road trip with family to the Hocking Hills Scenic Valley train station. Yep, we've loving riding the rails and an enjoyable day was had by all!

Now, we're looking forward to a couple of cool nights spent enjoying the rear deck and jacuzzi, bonfires in the back yard, roasting weiners and melting marshmellows over the open fire, pots of soup, and oven-baked slow-roasted stews, indoor games, movies and comfy clothes and throws. Let the autumn games begin!!! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In other news...

A recent wind storm knocked one of my angels over... the iron-looking chippy looking one that stood proudly on the pedastal near the knock-out Rosa. Not only did it get blown off the pedastal, it fell backwards, and completely broke off one of her gorgeous wings. I was so saddened to find her, laying there, broken, but thankfully still in two pieces, so perhaps, I can glue it back.

Purchased a new concrete angel, but I don't seem to be enjoying it as much. I guess the other was sort of specail to me being the first one I'd actually purchased specifically to use in the garden.

I purchase a new submersible pump and fountain fixture for the watergarden basin, but I haven't felt like cleaning it, refilling, and installing it. Don't know if it's the summer time blues, blahs, or if I've just had the wind knocked outta my wings dealing with other things.

I recently primed and painted this old desk that's been tucked upstairs in our attic for years. I've decided to stain the drawer fronts a light oak and maybe soon will be shopping for some new replacement knobs and handles.

I took apart the previous garden journal I started to create as a book and decided to go with a 12x12 scrapbook format. It felt great to be creating again! After I whipped out these three pages, the next one just seemed to "fall out", well, the idea for it... creating it was a bit time comsuming spent stamping, cutting, pasting...

I used a special piece of stationery I've had in my possession next to forever, an event/invitation envelope, which I opened and attached to the background cardstock using a hole punch and several strips of black satin ribbon,tucked under, threaded up and tied on top. The clock image is from Above The Mark and the Found Object is a Stamper's Anonymous stamped image. Shown beside the layout is a tag booklet I created with notes of things I desire to include in my pages, Types of Seed Sown, Sown Date, Outdoor Planting Date, Location, and Notes. Plant Wishlists. {I'll be adding some more pictures and thoughts and ideas, to this one, I'm sure!} Monthly Garden Journal - Jan. - Dec., Things To Do, Notes, What's Blooming, Drawings/Sketches/Pictures labelled with plant locations. Yada, yada, yada.....

Envelope opened, interior shown. I added a section of some of my favorite Cavellini papers, used the pocket for journaling, and another stamped image, "Found Object & Official Investigator" stamp - Stamper's Anon. Bird image - Cavellini papers, decoupaged on background cardstock.


Dates on the calendar are actually closer than they appear!

I cannot believe it's September already! And, to add insult to injury, we may as well say "mid-September", after all today's the 12th, and we all know that it will be here before we know it! Have you been "feeling" it, too? The beat and rthym of Mother Earth's song, as Summer creeps out and Autumn sets in? I have. I've noticed I'm noticing the ticking of the clock as the sun is rising a little later and setting a little earlier, there's a chill in the early morning air, and often, fog and mist can be seen in the early morning sunlight. The local children have once again returned to school, the grass now has burnt brown patches from the heat of August sun, and there's touches of yellows, browns, and vanilla as Mother Nature once again begins to change her color pallette. The fading roses in our garden and the turning brown of the hydrangea tree was really bittersweet this week. In one instant, I look forward to the cooler weather, but in another, my heart's just not quite ready to let Summer go! Then, I'll spot a sunflower, and well, I guess you know how that story goes...

 And life is also always full of surprises, bringing us sweet, little things;  Sometimes, things we could not ever plan for... like sunflowers that pop-up in the darnest of places, and a plant that you swore was a non-blooming 3 yr. old peony turns out to be nothing more common than a darn old goldenrod weed. }Are you serious?} I think about how I nurture it, watered it everyday, inspected and investigated, looking for signs of just one small bud.. and I cannot help but to laugh not only at myself, but at the jokes that life plays with us, through nature and the hands of a small child. {I'm pretty certain my 4 yr. old grand daughter,  Alexxis, planted the sunflower "SEED" here!} and I even have to admit it's nice to have a little autumn color! :)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

New Beginnings.... the start of some front yard landscaping.

 Recently, we purchased three hostas to add to the partial sun/shade area of our front yard landscaping. We didn't fuss with them too much, mainly Don helped digging a hole just to the east of the Rose of Sharon, while I amended the soil, loosened the potted roots and plopped them in the ground along with a thorough drink of water. 

There was no sense attempting to create beds and borders here just yet, as we've some future plans of making some much needed repairs to re-cover our concrete porch. I'd love to add railings and handrails, and hopefully, a new mailbox post and mailbox before we do too much here in this area. So, I try to avoid planting where things where they only be in the way later.  Also, we aren't completely sure if there are any underground electrical wiring, so we tried to played it a bit safe. We learned a few things along the way. The soil here is compact! I mean clay-rock hard solid! We will definitely need to till it up, just to provide the plants with a healthy bed of soil in which to start their new lives out in. But for now, these little touches are providing some much needed visual interest and are helping to make our home's front yard a bit more inviting. And it's contagious! I've been noticing our neighbor's envying our yard and garden this year and I've also noticed some of our neighbors have cleaned, tidied, and even added a few plants and flowers to their yards. Makes me smile knowing I'm making a good impression on our neighborhood and community.

  Also, a new addition to our garden and front landscaping, is this beauty below! Let me tell you, she's definately "stole the show" so to speak! I get so many compliments and inquiries about this beauty! We just love this new Knock Out Rose, called "Rosa Radrazz"; it's a rose shrub that's been pruned to become a tree!  I planted in our front yard close to our bedroom window, so hopefully, one day the fragrance can waife in......{same plant, different angle... bedroom window in background} :)

This area of the front yard's hardscape is a bit challenging for me to work within... not only is the soil hard, clay, and compact, the area itself is often changing. One moment, it's partially shaded by three huge maple trees, then there's our homes porch and entrance way, and to the east...... it's sunnier the majority of the day. Let's just hope it's enough for this Radrazz to survive here..... I've been reading that roses perfer not to moved. Anyways, by the time we finished up with the planting, dusk began to fall.

Time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our labor!

Our Rose of Sharon is re-blooming...

 and this little guy just cannot get enough of its sweet nectar!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

August's end and Sweet September beginnings...

The weather here in the Ohio Valley took a sudden shift there for a few days this previous week. We went from sunny and hot, 90 degree days/ high's in the 60's at nights, to dipping down into the 70's for the daily high and into the low 40's overnight one night.  The cooler air was a welcomed relief, even if only here for a few days... it was still a gentle reminder of days to come; yet provided us with another good weather opportunity to continue to work outside of our home and on our landscaping.

We were able to take advantage of a few end of the season sales and ended up obtaining a couple of really good deals on a few items we've been desiring to add to our landscaping and gardens. The first, a new glazed birdbath at a 1/3 of the original price! The second, some landscaping blocks, pavers, and mulch!
Of course, while shopping for some good garden and landscaping bargains, we came across another new rose that yours truly just had to have --- but more on that later.

It's here in the side yard bed that I've been continuing to provide my constant attention. After weeding and digging to aerate the bed recently, I knew I needed to get a border added to this bed to keep the weeds from creeping back in. I'd even made a mental note of a concrete border that I desired, but when we returned to purchase them, they were all but gone, so we settled for 72 bricks @ 32 cent apiece. After loading and unloading several times, I finally got them in place, although there's still some adjustments needing to be made to straighten it, create a drainage trough, its enough for now to keep the mulch from washing out into the yard and away.

I, originally was envisioning some sort of stone path, but once I tried several arrangements using the pavers I'd purchased, I gave up on them entirely in this location and moved them to the bottom of the deck stairs to help fill in and make that area of our yard a bit more safe and secure. I left some room inbetween the blocks, to fill with stone and perhaps, next year, I can add some potting soil and try going a good ground cover there like some creeping thyme.