The trials and tribulations of April 2022

Hello! You are very welcome to my blog. I have so much to tell you. I’ll start with why I missed last week: we were away all weekend at the Irish dancing World Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland. What a great two days we had! My daughter’s girls ceili danced on Saturday and my daughter and son were partners for their mixed team ceili on Sunday. Both teams did great and we are so proud of them. It was such a treat to watch them dance together. My son ‘retired’ in 2014 after his mixed ceili team *won* the World Championships (talk about going out on a high!). So it was lovely to have him back dancing this year and be able to partner with his sister.

Then, unfortunately, it finally happened: I came down with Covid. While I appreciate that really I am fine, at the same time I feel kind of miserable. I’m definitely over the worst of it, thankfully, but still have a bit more to go before I’m fully myself. This comes at a time when so much needs to be done in the garden! My husband has been a tremendous help, and of course whatever doesn’t get done, simply doesn’t get done. And while my handy dandy list is getting lots crossed off of it, new items are being added (daily!).

I am excited to show you what’s new in the garden this week! I showed you last time that we planted a border of Little Lime hydrangeas at the far end of our raised bed garden. We now have a small Rosemary border on the opposite side of the Little Limes, and a lavender border planted along the length of the garden. It is going to take a season or two for everything to fill in to its place, but I am so happy with it. The next step is figuring out a system for dividing the hoggin from the mulch, but my husband is already working on that. 🙂

Another new item is on our playhouse: my husband made an ‘American red barn’ style window cover. This ‘window’ is actually a space that a slide came out of when the playhouse was used by our kids. But after we pulled the slide out, we covered up the space with plexiglass and I have disliked it ever since. You might remember that my son and husband put new roofing on the playhouse a couple of years ago. Now all we need is to give the house a fresh coat of paint and it’ll be looking brand new!

There’s more, of course: there’s the Stellata magnolia that had a last burst of a few new flowers before they all faded, and blooming tulips, and the last of the daffodils. It hasn’t been all good news, though. A bunch of my seedlings didn’t survive. I tried them in a new location and that just didn’t work out. I have done a second round of seeds, but I’m not sure if I’m too late or not. We’ll see! This week I’m joining The Propagator’s meme Six on Saturday.

I hope you are keeping well. Thanks so much for stopping by! Enjoy the tour 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

View from top of garden down to playhouse, including magnolia tree and rainbow garden

1 – Tulips! I just love this photo, actually, as it has the Heaven Scent magnolia tree, the rainbow garden with tulips and the start of peony plants, and you can see the new cover on the playhouse. The white tulips are fringed and called swan wings. The pink ones are called Finola.

Tulip Finola in top photo and swan wings tulips in bottom photo

2 – New window cover. What’s not to love? It makes such a big difference to me!

View of the new window cover designed like traditional American Red Barn doors.

3 – The borders of the raised bed garden. It’s going to take some training for me to get used to not just walking through the plants. I prefer to have plants than to have a fence, though. I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks as the rosemary, lavender, and hydrangeas grow. The lavender plants are tiny, but I bought them that size before and they grew almost full size in two seasons. Getting the black weed mat covered is the next project.

View of the new border plants around the raised bed garden

4 – Stellata magnolia flowers. After all of the first flush of flowers had turned brown, I discovered a few pure white flowers and they just looked so pretty. I am now a huge fan of this magnolia!

Magnolia Stellata white flowers

5 – Apricot Parrot and Apricot Beauty Tulips. I know that not everyone likes parrot tulips, but I certainly do. They just have so much personality! They aren’t afraid to strut their stuff. These were a new purchase for me this year. I wanted to find some to match my pink parrot tulips, and these actually worked out really well. I mixed the parrot with the non-parrot, and I’m still on the fence if they’d all look better in their own groups or mixed in. What do you think?

collage of Apricot Beauty tulips and Apricot parrot tulips

6 – Double daffodils. These were planted this year, and I have to say that I really like them. I’m always torn about cutting flowers and bringing them inside, but these were too pretty not to. I am planning to plant some in a large container next year.

I so appreciate you visiting! Have a great week. I’ll leave you with a picture of my two favorite Irish dancers 🙂

Birch trees – Part of the plan all along

Hello! You are very welcome to my blog. A wonderful thing took place this week. Something that I’ve wanted and planed for a very long time, finally happened. The truth is, in the past I have struggled with decisions. It could be paralyzing, actually, not being able to decide on one thing over the other. Turns out, it was a sign of a lack of self belief. Once I discovered this, I began to focus – a lot more – on trusting myself. While I have improved, I sometimes still grapple a bit. This had even spilled over to the garden. Picking items to plant, and where to plant them sometimes was a real struggle. I have been wanting to get some trees for a very long time, but could not get everything right in my head to make it happen. But a couple of weeks ago I finally nailed down exactly what I wanted and where I wanted them. And this week, it all came to pass when five Birch trees and one Magnolia tree were planted.

I would be telling an untruth if I said I wasn’t a little stressed about where exactly to put the trees. But we had them placed in exactly the spot I had envisioned for them, and I could not be happier. Although I have not created a formal layout of our garden, I have always had ideas in my head of what I wanted each section to look like. I would probably recommend creating a formal layout, though! As we change up and expand different sections of the garden going forward, I’ll be drawing up my plans. This is especially helpful as my husband needs a clearer picture than my vague descriptions if he is going to help! 🙂

The trees really are something to see. We are so happy with how they look. The staggering of the five trees also creates a small bed underneath, which I already have plans for. The variety of the Magnolia tree is called Heaven Scent. There were rave reviews online, so I’m really looking forward to seeing if the scent is as lovely as they say!

We were so lucky with the weather, too. After a week of ‘unsettled weather’ (that means bucket loads of rain along with gusty winds) we had a beautiful, blue-sky day for the trees to be planted. The next day the ‘unsettled weather’ returned.

And that is the story of how my Birch and Magnolia trees came to be!

Now, if I could just figure out how to work with that great big rock in our front yard…

Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

birch trees view of fields
A view of the five birch trees in our front garden. We worked with a local nursery, Nature Works. We were delighted to have the heavy duty work done so easily!
birch trees close up
A close up view of the Birch trees.
front yard view before trees
A view of the yard before the trees arrived. That is the large rock I referred to. Any suggestions???
birch trees end of day
A little blue sky and sun brighten the landscape up tremendously!
birch trees full front view
A full view of the front garden.
Magnolia tree
The Heaven Scent Magnolia is between the Nootka Cypress and the cherry tree.
Cornus Florida end of Oct
I couldn’t resist this picture of our flowering dogwood tree (Cornus Florida ‘Cherokee Chief’). Isn’t it beautiful?
Erysimum 'Super Bowl' Mauve
Erysimum ‘Super Bowl’ Mauve is a must have in the garden. This plant is just so easy, and brightens up the garden, where ever it is planted.
schizostylis RED end of Oct
I showed you pink last week, but I also have red Schizostylis (Hesperanthus or Kaffir Lily). That is a dogwood shrub with burnt orange/yellow leaves in the background, which will show off its red stems in the winter.
Rainbow in garden end of Oct

We had a pretty rainbow in between the rain, although it was still very windy. It is hard to believe we could have such lovely weather and then such horrible weather, back to back! I hope the weather by you has been good! As always, stay safe and healthy and thanks for visiting! 🙂