This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Slow Start.............

So Spring is here. Except it's not really being very Springlike. Very dull and cold. I got out a couple of times just to sweep the paths, but way too cold to rake. thats what needs to be done first. I had hoped to get Gerry out this weekend but he got a new computer and has hardly moved all day. So much for that. So much needs to be done.
I am thinking on Monday I will go get some seeds and start those in the house. I did that last year but the cat peed on it. I need some plant pots too. Maybe sometime this week I might get out there.
Meanwhile my ideas....................
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While I intend to redo the garden I had last year, there is not a lot of room. I will expand that area by moving out the herbs. I am thinking to put those in pots. Then I have another whole portion to put plants. The tomatoes did well and the peppers would have if they had more room. So I will also put at least one tomato in a pot. I want a whole load of tomatoes so I can do some canning. I did that years ago and the home canned ones were awesome.
Several other ideas for planters. I have about 3 of these
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I also have several of these types of boxes. They will hold things like lettuce and Kale.
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I have two of these large metal things, last year I had water plants in one and tried zucchini in the other. The Zucchini did not do well at all, not enough sun. So I think I will leave that one for flowers and something in between that wont mind a little shade. The other one can maybe hold some green beans with a metal fence in for them to climb on.I also want to put in peas.
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Smaller pots can hold some peppers and radishes.I like this idea and can get free pallets
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My main problem is enough sun. SO I must really take a look at the garden and put containers in the best spots where I won't forget to water them. Come July things dry out so are best in the ground. Spring is time to rethink things. I can't afford to buy much so I must try to use what I have already sitting around. I like this idea because I have one of these.
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I have never so far had any luck with Strawberries but I may just try again. Again, I need sun.
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I have two bags of "dairy doo" to begin with and will use that on the existing gardens but will need to buy several more bags for the flowers.
The patio needs work, I need some gravel to secure the stones like in this picture.
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Then I also want to put more garden under patio stones and put a barrel on that. It will eventually cut back on some of the work. Barrels are expensive though. So will be on the lookout for other ideas.
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Thrift shops and yard sales can be great places to find ideas. I need about 25 bags of wood chips. If only Gerry would go pick some up for me free at the county building but he wont so I will have to buy the bags. Or maybe get a truck full delivered. I will start checking prices.
So much work, I hope my back will hold out and I hope it stays somewhat cool till its all done. I am going to send for another bottle bush, I love glass and love the ones I have. They put a bright spot in dark places. Again, less work in the end. Once bought no further expense.
Somehow I have to find the right spot for the zucchini. I may have an idea if I can get Gerry to dig up under the pine tree to put in some more garden area. I would have to improve the soil but it could work. The lillies that are there now do nothing so no loss there. Oooh I am excited to get started. Just have to get someone to do the digging.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Winter hold overs survived yeahhhhh!!!!!................

Success, I think it's safe to say that the plants I brought inside last Fall have survived. Some have thrived. Some squeaked by but are alive. Time to feed them and re-pot. I really like the Begonia's and I think I want to get some special ones this year to have in the house. The ones I have did really well. I think they had some bugs eating the leaves but that has healed up now and looks good. So this year I will look for some special colours that I like for the house.
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I love the pink in this one and will look for more like this.
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They did not grow a lot in the house I noticed. That's OK too.
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Look at the shape of the leaves on this one.
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I wish I had room to keep the Boston Ferns but did not this year. They were too big, although Laura took a couple. I just hate to let things die off unnecessarily.
I took in 3 Geraniums. They held their own. Now I need to trim them back and feed them. They should do well once they can get outside. Look a bit straggely at the moment but will survive I think. The one in the kitchen window did really well and even bloomed. I need to nip that one back.
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Several Spider plants will go back outside although I may keep these two inside as they are looking nice. I have two bigger ones that would benefit from some outside time.
They do well on the front porch or on the deck.
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Oh I have some plans for the garden this year, how much can I get done though. I am going to take out a part of one garden and put stones down and a planter. I am trying to make less work for myself. Once Spring clean up is done then I don't have to do a lot out there except a bit of maintenance. Spring is my heavy work time. I intend to dig up another garden this year and fix it up with Hosta or something low maintenance. My colour comes from annuals. The part I want to pave is too shady for whats in there now, so I will dig it up and pot it. So much to do..........can't wait to start. Today is cold but sunny. I hope tomorrow is the same and has dried up a bit by then. Out I will go.
Look at my African violets. They need repotting too and feeding
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I may buy a couple more because some are really old.I could start my own from cuttings but don't want to wait.
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Some more Begonias in the house.
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It will warm up quickly once it decides to start into Spring. Should do that soon as the 21st is first day of Spring I believe. Our wedding anniversary.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March winds, blowing in the Spring...................

Sunny, rain, snow, windy, sunny, windy and tomorrow snow again. March came in like a Lion. So will it go out like a lamb?
Meanwhile it's blowing up a gale, power is out all over and trees are down hither and yon. Lucky not at my house so far. I took a look around the garden. It seems to be there still but rather a mess as the following pictures will show you. I dread making a start out there. First I will have to take off the layer of dead leaves and see whats under it all. I see the bunnies have been hanging around on a regular basis,that explains why the poodles hang around under the bushes.
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So I had a quick look around hoping not to get blown away. I saw the first Hyacinth poking through. I saw it the other day and it survived so, I am hoping that Spring is on the horizon. The Iris is doing OK if somewhat frazzled.
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I took a look at the herb garden. The sage came back. It looks straggly but I will be able to trim that back. I am thinking of moving the herbs into the flower gardens to give more room for the veggies.
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Oh these are ghastly pictures but I am so glad to see green, anything green. The funny thing is, the Kale from last year came back. I wonder how that would do in the garden instead of a pot?
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The Ivy is doing well. All of it. All over the place. Lucky it is not spreading where I don't want it. I will move some this year from the places I don't want it. The ivy in pots does not grow as well. I would assume it freezes. Maybe a bigger pot would help.
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I did notice that the Rhododendron has new growth. Many years ago I planted two. I thought they liked the shade, or part shade, but apparently it's too shady where they are.This one, is the 2nd one that was planted and I thought had died. Well it has over the years crept into a more advantageous place. Fine by me. I hope it thrives.
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I am keeping my eye on the buds on the trees. Waiting for them to be ready to pop.It won't be long.
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I loved the way the sun was shining on the branches of the bush. It does'nt show too well but it was glowing red and gold
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The poodles have enjoyed the sun, even if it was windy. The ventured out several times today.
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The cats have been going out but they do not like the wind.
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The cats usually spend their entire days outside. Since the winter came though they have stayed inside only venturing out briefly. Boots was brave today and ventured to the garage but the wind was too much and she came back when the Poodles did.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Freezing cold, brrrrrr.....................

Today is a beautiful day. Sunny, but freezing freezing cold. We had a few birds come today. I didn't get too many pictures because we had to take all four poodles for their Spring hair cuts. They go about every 3 months unless it gets really hot and they have got long already. Then we will squeeze in another cut. It's expensive for us, especially now as we get less money as we get older. 200 dollars for 4 poodles.
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I had to have the heating pads and their blankets ready when they got home.
Today we had a few birds come in. They came in the sunshine. We were busy so I missed most of them but snapped a few.
The little Tuffted Titmouse is just so cute.
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I just love those big eyes
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Also that fluffy bum.
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A lone Junco came by
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The Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker......or Woodpecker to me, came to show off that pretty head
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The cardinal pair are still around, but this Winter, Mr has been a rare visitor while his lady comes on occasion.
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I did see some finches and also the Nuthatch but was too busy to get pictures. Yesterday a lone Starling was hanging around eating the fat. Also a bunch of Mourning Doves I hope that sometimes soon things will get more interesting around the garden.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Winter came back ............

Walter de la Mare

Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day's journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.

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After several warmish days and rain, where the earth was showing and almost clear of snow..............then it came back. It has not stopped. The Poodles are bored. I am getting cabin fever. Not much is appealing because I am anxious to get outside. I am not sure it will do me much good, I have no stamina. I don't know what's wrong with me. I have not even had a cold this winter so what's the problem. My body hurts. Oh quit whining and get on with the blog woman.
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Look at those faces. Mum we want to go out and play. Bijou seems to like it out there. She wont next week because they all get hair cuts on Saturday.
My box to pack away Christmas porch stuff sits filling up with snow. While the snowman is happy under a blanket of snow.
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I cant get this stuff put away until I can get in the garage and find the Spring stuff.
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I want to paint the bench. Probably the chair too. I am not sure what colour yet. Maybe I will just stick with white. The chair is white but the bench is dark green.
The quilt will have to be washed. Cushions covered. Table painted. Find the flower pots and all that. Wreath for the wall.
Meanwhile, the cats have tried to get into the mood to venture forth. Boots went and explored her territory in the garage to check on the rodent population no doubt. I saw her lurking around there, she didn't stay long. Came in and peed in the litter box, she always misses and I had just washed the floor.
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The poodles come in with snow balls stuck all over them. They go in and lay on their heating pad and dry off, must be like a steam room under the blankets.
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They tried to play out there but it was rather deep for those short little legs.
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They much prefer the heating pad at this point
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There has not been a lot of bird activity this winter. I did get a few Mourning Doves
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That was about the extent of my visitors today..........everyone must be finding food enough. The squirrels are always here for food but I am missing my more exotic critters.