March 26, 2017

Oh man . . . what a find!


I love garage sales . . . so long as Philip goes with me (yes, I'm that shy).  This weekend a subdivision next to ours was having a sale so we decided to walk up there bright and early.  One of the first things I spotted was this vintage bike.  I have seen bikes like this pictured in magazines often ~ usually in a garden with a basket full of flowers and I've always loved the idea.  However,  every antique shop or fair that I've seen them in were always asking an arm and a leg.


I asked Philip to find out how much it was.  They were asking $35 and Philip countered with $20 (see, I'd never have the guts to do that!) . . . and they excepted!  $20 dollars for a 1969 Schwinn bike in really, really good condition.  How do I know it's from 1969?  From the very clear serial number on the bottom.  I was and am so excited.  I washed it and have sealed it 3 times with a rust proof sealant.  Now to find a basket to plant some flowers.  Did I mention I'm excited?  


After the garage sale (the bike was my only find), Philip constructed another above ground bed for me.  I like the natural, untreated wood - even if I do have to replace them every 3-4 years.  I also like smaller beds - these run 5' x 3' and I find that to be perfectly manageable.  This bed is now planted with cucumbers and sweet peppers.  💗



Outside of the veggie garden, everything is popping.


Including Mom's irises.


Every bloom is a reminder of Shirley Mae.  💓

It's been such a great weekend.  I've worked in the garden until I was totally spent.  LOVE IT!  Now it's time to relax and get ready for the workweek.

May you find a little joy in every day, 
eli

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul."   Alfred Austin

March 23, 2017

Another gardening first . . .


Last night Philip and I were hiking on one of our favorite trails here in Lakeland . . . 


. . . and I spotted my first red admiral of the season (albeit a little tattered and torn).  I've seen these in my garden before, but rarely.  However, each year I let the pellitory grow ~ which isn't easy given my OCD ~ in hopes that I'll be lucky enough to attract them.

And guess what?


Today during lunch, this little beauty worked her way around the entire garden laying eggs!  A gardening first for me ~  I'm so happy I let those weeds grow! 💖


The crazy winds - that I hope are bringing us a little rain this afternoon - made getting any decent photos tough.  But if you've got Mexican tithonias in bloom, you're bound to get at least one decent shot.  😊  And I've had non-stop blooms for over a year now.  ***Daisy, if you would like some seeds, just let me know.***


As I was leaving for work this morning, I spotted these birds (Ibises I believe) on the side of the house.


Every time I see them in my yard grubbing for food, I am so thankful that I gave up on chemicals and pesticides years ago.  Do I have weeds?  You bet.  Do I care?  Not in the least.


Nikki doesn't care either.

May you find a little joy in every day,
eli

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their song."  Joseph Addison

March 18, 2017

New spring time additions to the garden ~

It seems like every time I go to the Spring Obsession or Fall Extravaganza, I find myself saying, "There just doesn't seem to be as many vendors as last time."  Of course every time I go, my garden is even more full than the time before, so I don't really need much.  This year I only found two plants to add to my garden.  However, I found a number of garden art pieces on Wayfair that I just had to have!  😀

I love this piece.   When Charlie (Jr.) was little, he had a playmate that he played with for the first 4-5 years of his life (until we moved) ~ her name was Sarah.  They played together most days of the week and more often than not, when he saw her, he would give her a big hug and a kiss ~ usually knocking her down in the process.  I doubt he even remembers it, but I'll never forget . . . so cute.


These are a couple of other additions - I bought two different fire hydrants  ~ a shout out for the dogs.  Of course they're girls and wouldn't ever use it, but I thought they were cute.  Plus they add a little color to the garden.


And I didn't want to discriminate against my neighbor's cat who calls our front porch home .  . so I added the piece on the left.  Kind of looks like a raccoon, but it really is a cat - and that plant it's next to is a jasmine plant I bought at the spring fest.  The pic on the right is a photo of a new bird bath/feeder (not really sure what I'll use it for) sitting next to the second plant I bought - a purple firespike.  I have a few red ones and the hummers love them so I was happy to find this one (and they only had one which is why I always go early - like right when they open!).  😁


And lastly, this guy - I bought him at the spring fest - not Wayfair.  He's made the same way my see-saw dogs are made.  I like him and he is a colorful addition to the garden as well.

And that's it.  I'm pretty much done with the garden as far as garden art goes.  Well - plants too.  I forgot to take a picture, but I also added a large gardenia bush (I'm known to kill these too).  But it's by far my favorite scented flower so I'm giving it another whirl.

Now as spring approaches,  it just a matter of maintenance, maintenance and more maintenance.  I am working in the veggie garden though, but I'll save that for another post.

May you find a little joy in every single day,
eli

"I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?"  ~Edward Giobbi


March 13, 2017

For the love of rain . . .

Is there anything more soothing than the sound of rain (maybe that of a fire)?  Ever since I was a child, I have loved the sound of a good thunderstorm.  Now that I'm a gardener, I love a good storm for so many reasons . . . but mostly because nothing makes my garden grow quite like rain ~ and I still find the sound so comforting.


Our time in the garden this evening was cut short by a few rain drops ~ with the promise of much more to come tonight.  But we were able to sit out for a spell . . . surrounded by so many wonderful fragrances - orange blossoms, jasmine, almond spice bush, and my banana shrub.  I imagine that's what heaven smells like.  💚


My banana shrub blossoms are working double duty providing us with an amazing aroma . . . and storing food for the birds.  😁  I find peanuts in all kinds of strange places as the birds drop them in flight, from the trees, etc.  The dogs love it when they hit the ground - snack time!

I want to share something Philip made for Jr. this weekend:


My boys LOVE fishing and when you combine Philip's love of woodworking . . . well, you get stuff like this!  He has so much "scrap" wood in his shop and when he can create something from it, he gets pretty excited.  I think that's a pretty cool cardholder.  👍  Of course I may be his biggest fan.

My Mom was also a huge fan of Philip's . . . she loved him dearly (I think more than me sometimes!).   But that's okay . . . he's that lovable!
 

Today is Mom's birthday.  This photo was from our last family trip together.  She had a ball - she was sassy and spunky . . . she was Mom . . . and she is dearly missed. 

May you find a little joy in everyday.
eli

"Losing a mother doesn't happen in a moment.  It takes years to appreciate the impact of what's gone."  Baker

March 10, 2017

A rose is a rose is a rose . . . .


My Mom loved roses ~ and I like them too.  I especially like them in my dried flower arrangements - where I can't kill them (found a lovely shop on Etsy where I splurged a little this past month -Summer Sweet Boutique).


I also, against my better judgement, splurged on another rose bush.  I gave my others away last time - before I killed them.  But this one - well, I created a bed out front just for it.

Double Delight Hybrid Tea Rose
And I'm going to put some real effort into keeping it alive.  I had Philip pick it out on Valentine's Day ~ so it's my Valentine's rose . . . a special rose bush . . . one I will take care of and one that smells absolutely amazing.

. . . but a rose bush is not all I bought.

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now."


Avocados are so good for you and our kids love them ~ so I figured I couldn't go wrong with the addition of an avocado tree.  It's planted out front since the back garden is no longer excepting applications.  In fact, it has pretty much cried uncle so I'm forced to venture to the front yard.  There's lots of room out front.  👀

And guess what tomorrow is?  OUR ANNUAL SPRING OBSESSION!  I got my big wagon all ready and I'm so excited.  Don't need a thing . . . but boy do I have the "wants".  

Image result for munn park spring obsession 2017


This past week I made my first batch of bi-colored soap (organic coconut oil, palm kernel oil - ethically harvested, and organic juniper berries).  The brown stuff in the middle is the ground up juniper berries.  The top coloring was done using a touch of green french clay.  Isn't it pretty?  Oh and it smells wonderful.  I used a phthalate free fragrance oil - coconut island.  Ya mon!


Well that's it for today.  We are so looking forward to the weekend.  High Five!  Thumbs Up!

May you find a little joy in every day,
eli
"A little madness in the spring is wholesome even for a queen."  Emily Dickinson