Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tea Giveaway

I was too busy hostessing to get more pictures than this at the giveaway tea that was on Monday evening. I think the next time I'll have to 'hire' a paparazzi! And guess what?! I somehow missed pulling the eighth guest! I couldn't believe it!

We started the meal eating outdoor but halfway through, got chased in by a wonderful thunderstorm - and a much needed whopper of a rain...thank you, God!

There's always next year! :)

...happy gardening!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Week End Musings

Saturday we hosted a fundraiser in our back yard for Jay and Annette Stoltzfus, who are in the process of adopting a child. All I needed to do was clean the flower beds and yard...the fun stuff! The day was HOT! Luckily, our neighbours have a swimming pool and some dips were taken to cool off.

Jay and Annette
The planners...L-R DIL Bev, daughter Julia, Annette
The griller, son Loren.
The cooks.
Setting up.
One waitress among many, my neice Lynda.
Yummy dessert!
Everything set to go!
From one side of the garden... the other.
Jay and Annette hosted the guests, giving everyone 'thank you' gifts.
It was a fun, interesting and exhausting event. Thunderstorms were all around us later in the evening but we only had a few drops. Altogether, a lovely evening!

Thanks to Bev and Lynda for mopping the kitchen and dinning room floors - on their knees!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Transplanting in July

Transplanting in July? Yep-pers, it is possible! Now, don't uproot a fully-grown annual and expect it to survive - that's almost impossible. But perennials are a different story - one can take a fully grown perennial and transplant it successfully by doing a few steps that makes a huge difference in the process .

I was very unhappy with a some of my day lilies. Both last summer and this summer, they just didn't do well and I was at a loss as to the reason why. I blamed the dry weather last year and some I simply cut back before they bloomed. This year some did well and some not of the same kind - I was soooo puzzled! This week I decided to get rid of and/or move day lilies. In the process, I discovered what the problem was... VOLES!

Yes, voles -the scalawags!

Voles live above ground  as well as using old mole trails and eat the root of a plant. When I lifted the lilies, I could see the damage. We have stray cats coming around, especially at night and I'm hoping they'll catch them. One can also set mouse traps for the rascals.

Any-hoo...coming back to the main topic of this post - transplanting in July. The first thing to do is dig a hole large enough for the intended plant.
Fill it with water.
Dig out the intended plant and plop it in the said hole.

Back fill and water it again. The second watering is important because the air pockets need to be filled with dirt. I usually jab my trusty shovel around the plant to make sure the dirt settles in nicely. That's it!

I transplanted these iris with tattered leaves from the greedy grasshoppers...
and these daylilies.
From a distance...
They never missed a beat even in this heat - happy smiles!

Most any of the tough perennials can be moved - hosta, sedems, day lilies, iris (if they look awful, I generally cut back the foliage). August is the best month to transplant peonies.


In answer to a few questions on the last post on potted perennials, we live in zone 6b and I let the pots where they are with the exception of the one in a pottery planter and place a small lid on the center. I place it back against the house under the overhang. The back of the house faces east. If facing north or west, Id give it a little more protection, though the lavender sits where it is all winter. The only water they get is rain...I want them to stay on the drier side.

...happy gardening!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week End Musings

I had a very profitable yard sale morning on Friday...this blue/gray enamel dish was one - it's filled with dried lavender from my gardens. I'm not a fan of blues but I love this color!
 The annual Haiti Benefit Auction was on Saturday with folks coming from far away and is supported by locals of many denominations. It was warm and dry - a perfect day for an auction.
 The fry pies are delicious! They're made with pie crust, fruit filling with certain flavors adding cream cheese, deep fried and dipped in glaze. These are a-once-a-year food!
 And the salad bar? Oh's super, super good! I know, the color's a bit off...the tent had a red canvas running through it. Trust me...this salad bar is worth making a special trip just for it!


Saturday evening, my gardens were in a twilight tour. I set up an outdoor bed under the arborvita. I decided it's more romantic-sounding than practical. But it was fun to do!


- Message from the pulpit -

'And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this is the judgment:'
Hebrews 9:27
Let's put our life in perspective! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Perennials in Pots

Once upon a time I loved annuals in hanging pots! Browsing through magazines when the outside world was drab and cold, I'd dream and plan. And the greenhouses? Oh my - especially in the  greenhouses! Lush, perfect, healthy, in-their-peak-loveliness and all ready for Mother's Day. 'In their peak' is the key word...the baskets were in their peak and it wasn't long until they looked scraggly and ready to be thrown away. Even planting my own - well, missing one day in the hot July months was enough to literally cook 'em. The only person in my small world whom I knew was successful with hanging/potted plants is DIL M...she's gifted in putting colors together and has a green thumb! So I decided to skip spending allthatmoneyjusttohavethemdie and plant perennials in pots.
And I like it! The advantages?
  • Planting 'em in bigger pots and leaving several inches in the pot to the top, takes less watering - you can douse 'em with lots of water at once.
  • They're not so stinkin' finicky, wilting at the first heat wave that comes along.
  • They're striking in pots.
  • You can use regular dirt mixed with compost...that's cheaper.
  • Best of all, it saves money.
  • Unless you're gone for weeks, no one has to make a special trip to your house to water 'em.
  • It's freedom - the best of both worlds - plants in pots without being a slave to 'em! :)
Are these enough of reasons to convince you?

My potted perennials.

Coral Bells
Sedem in a window box.
I was pleasantly surprised this lavender survives the winter. This is its third summer in this pot and I'm loving it! It's slower to grow but is worth the end classy!

I like the look of perennials clustered together, though they can be moved around to personal taste. A warning - they're heavy!

By the back deck.
The other side.

...happy gardening!

Party links:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Second Chances

These hydrangea needed a second chance - badly! I almost gave up on them...they didn't fill my expectations at all. You can read about them HERE. After their second transplant was a failure, I decided to give them one more chance for another summer. I planted them on the east side of the gazebo where they're protected from the hot afternoon sun and get extra water falling from the roof of the gazebo when it rains. Now they're lush and beautiful and blooming like mad!
Last summer.
This summer.
And a close-up.
H-m-m-m...don't we all need another chance?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Giveaway Results

Finally...the results are in for the giveaway and I would love to have all of you here! But - there's always next year, God willing! :)

I'm looking forward to having these ladies as guests:

Mrs Rosita Martin
Mrs Lena Lantz
Mrs Marion Stoltzfus
Mrs Rhoda Stoltzfus
Mrs Rachel Miller
Mrs Rhoda Nissley
Miss Linda Stoltzfus

Monday evening, July 25, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

Thank you to all of you who responded!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Red Hat Ladies Came!

Several months ago a long-time friend asked if I'd do a tea for her Red Hat group. The tea was last evening. The day started out brilliantly but ended up with a thunderstorm rumbling through the county right before the planned dinner hour - and yes, we were going to eat outside. But we need the rain and the group of eleven fit into the dinning room perfectly. What a fun evening - these ladies pack a mean 'WOW!' and there was lots of laughter! While I did the finishing touches, they roamed the gardens.
 Sue, in the purple top was in charge of the group.
The recipe for this delicious salad can be found HERE.
Two lovely things happened last evening - I made new friends and it made the appeal of being a Red Hatter myself very appealing! I also learned if one is below fifty years in age, the appropriate colors are pink and lavender.

I was too tired to clean up the kitchen last evening but was up this morning at 5:30 to do it...cousin Sue, should I have given you a call then? :)