Saturday, June 28, 2014

Flowers in the Yard

The yard is really starting to bloom, so I took some pictures today.  I missed the spring flowers, so I didn't want to miss the early summer blooms.  Many more flowers still to bloom, but it is really starting to take shape!

This is my favorite section of the yard.  It is right in front of the house, and I love driving up and seeing it.
 My new sprinkler from my awesome neighbors, the Martins, hard at work making those flowers bloom!
 These are Fire Pokers.  I really like this flower.  It will re-bloom near the fall.
 These are perennial geraniums.  They are HUGE and out of control this year.  I had to move one of the really big ones because it was crowding all the other plants.  They grow really, really fast - this plant is only 2 seasons old and it is a monster.
 This is a type of tickseed.  It kind of just showed up on the edge of the planned yard and woods part of our property, so I rescued it and brought it to the front of the yard.  It kind of looks like the geraniums, but it grows much taller.
 This is a type of rose - it is called "Rose champion" and it is an organic flower.  It was in an overgrown section of the yard, and I just loved it.  It was small, and I put it in the sun and this happened:
 This is a golden bush daisy.  Impossible to keep up with, but it is pretty!  I have two, and I totally cannot prune this sucker fast enough.  There are

 A view of the front area of the yard.  The plants are monsters this year.  I even separated some of them and they still grew gigantic.  I have a lot of green here still - waiting for my day lilies to start to bloom.
 This is Sage and it smells AMAZING.  It is getting ready to finish its first round of blooming.  When you cut this plant back, it will continue to bloom and bloom all summer.  And cutting it is when you get the best fragrance.
 My row of Stella Del Oros.  This is just one row.  I have MANY.  One of my favorites because it will bloom all summer as long as I keep pruning it.  Love it.
 A fine young man who shouted "take my picture!"
 Lavender.  Smells amazing.  SO very, very picky.  I have to cut it back to almost a nub each spring because it doesn't do well over the winter.  It has kind of thick branches.  I have some that do really well, and just bloom and bloom, and some that have at least one foot in the grave.  They are way too picky.
 Annual Geraniums from the Connellsville Geranium festival
 This is Coreopsis Lanceolata.  It was a plant I picked up from a local garden club plant sale and it was a quarter of this size just last year.  It is very, very tall, but very pretty!!  Best $2 ever spent.
 Creeping Thyme.  It is almost finished blooming.  I also have purple (lots of purple in the yard....)
 My new little hostas.  I have a very shady yard, so I end up buying a few hostas each year to fill in some holes.
 I love this tree.  It will bloom a large part of the summer - I wish I had more than one!

 My knockout roses.  These are thorny, but these are worth it.  I have two large bushes and three small ones throughout the yard, and they are pretty easy to care for.  If you can get past the thorns.  As long as I prune off the old blooms, new ones will appear all summer.
 These are Sundrops.  They start red, which is interesting, but when they are ready to open - they turn yellow.  A lot of people think I have two different plants mixed in here, but nope!

 Hens and chicks.  I really like succulents and need more!
 These are a type of daisy and the picture doesn't do them justices.  They are a crazy purple/blue color.

 This is foxglove.  No idea why, but last year in the woods near the edge of our grass, I saw these in the sun.  6 of them.  No idea where they came from, or how I missed them in years past or what.  There were yellow and purple.  So small and I was pretty sure that I killed them last year when I moved them to the front of the yard.  They looked terrible.  So - when they appears this year and were huge - I blanked on what the heck I had planted!  It wasn't until it bloomed that I remembered!

 White roses.  NOT as easy to care for as the knockouts, but they are really pretty.  This bush was in the yard when we moved in, but hidden half way in the woods.  I moved it to the front.
 A corner of the yard that is.....busy.  Autumn Suns, Smoke Bush, Iris.....
 Autumn suns.  If you have a BLACK thumb - you can still grow these.  They are drought tolerant, and don't mind being neglected.  But if you prune them, they will bloom and bloom and bloom until October.
 My newest little section of the yard.  I planted these last year because no matter what I planted the last 2 years in this spot - nothing would come back.  So I went with Shasta Daisies which I think would grow in a garbage dump.  I bought the smallest little plants last year, and look at these suckers this year.  They have doubled their size.

 These are finished blooming but these are Jack in the Pulpit.  We have tons and tons of them here in Massachusetts, and I love scavenging the woods for more each year.  The love shade and will grow in the weirdest places, so they are perfect under our pine trees - where nothing else will grow.
 This is my biggest Jack in the Pulpit - look at the size of this puppy!
 Russian sage - smells amazing.  It will get a purple (I know - more purple) flower later this summer.
 These are 3 (yes, only 3) giant hostas near the front of the house.  Remember those little baby hostas you saw earlier?  These were them just 3 summers ago.  Now they are monsters, and I love it!
 Flower on our climbing vine.
 Lambs ear.  So fluffy and soft.  AND - gets a purple flower.
 Our first summer, we uncovered this huge hillside with a beautiful rock wall that had been completely overgrown.  Just beautiful find.  So the past several summers I have been planting these hosta with the white outline - my favorite kind.  And they don't get too big.  Of course - the hillside is shaded, so this worked perfect.  Here are just a few there.....the deer have pummled them this year and I hadn't had a chance to spray to keep them away.  SAD!
 I was doing so well - but I have NO idea what this plant is - I have totally forgotten!  Moving on.

 Mat's garden.  We built the encloure last summer, and this year Mat planted some veggies.
 Garden is looking good!  We might actually get some food from it.
 By our detached garage we have two unbelievable in size hosta.  I mean, just giant.  I have no idea what is in the soil up here, but it grows monster plants.
 A perfect rose for the end of the tour.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Camping We Will Go

For Father's day, one of Mat's presents was a family overnight camping trip NOT in our backyard.

Most people know that I dislike sleeping in a tent.  I outright LOATHE it.  So this was a big deal.

We didn't go far - we have a campground right on the outside of town.  He had a pool and bathrooms, but we still had to sleep in the tent.

We had a great time (until it was time to go to sleep, but that is besides the point), so here are some pictures of our time there.

Our tent
 Girls ready to swim

 Cooking hotdogs over the flame.  This went well until Cainan's fell in.

 I love picnic food
 Making smores went well.......until Cainan's marshmallow fell in.

 After dinner Mat took the kids back to the pool and I had to stay and tend the fire.  And read.  Darn.
 Then we made apple pies over the flame and played a board game.

 A movie before bed