Sunday, June 29, 2008

Still Blooming Like Crazy

This is my third season of gardening. For the first one, I planted six perennials flowers in my sad, empty garage bed in July before some friends came over. Last year I added perennials and cosmos I found on sale at a local nursery, some flowers I ordered online, and some I direct-sowed. This year I added more plants bought on sale locally and some winter-sown flowers. The garden is really taking off and I couldn't be happier.

This week I found even more winter-sown poppy blooms, two kinds of daisies began blooming and the Rudbeckia I planted this spring is beginning to bloom.

If you're just starting out, gardening may seem like a monumental task, but as my garden shows you can just do a little at a time, on a budget, and still have a great garden. It may take a little time, but that just makes it even more worthwhile.

Gardeners, plant and nature lovers can join Green Thumb Sunday every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

First Harvest of the Season

And my first homegrown onions...EVER! There is something infinitely satisfying about being able to walk outside in your yard and harvest some food for dinner. I should remember this and plant more next year, as well as planting more greens for fall. They were de-lish too, topped with a tomato picked up at the Farmer's Market last Saturday and some hothouse cukes.

I also spotted the first two tomatoes of the season--Golden Girls. It'll still be awhile until they are ready to harvest, but oh, the anticipation is already building.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Impulse Buy Gets Me AGAIN

Great lines, eh? I saw this vintage end table on Craigslist and had to have it, despite the boyfriend saying it didn't fit in the room. I bought it from a nice lady in the neighborhood. I HAD to have it.

Ya, I'm an idiot. So I brought it home, set it in place and, it doesn't freaking work in the room. Plus it makes this corner, which is right next to a hallway, feel too cramped. You have no idea how much I hate it when the boyfriend is right.

Plus, my mom gave me a hard time for spending $25 on it. She said "You paid HOW MUCH??" at least four times when I was telling her about it. I mean come ON, it's a vintage piece, for $25 bucks!! Where else can you get a real wood end table for $25? I've priced the pressed board crap in the stores, it's like $100 for the ugly stuff. We can't all be auction-addicts, you know.

Anyone wanna buy a vintage "Mersman" end table? Huh? Huh?

Friday, June 20, 2008

My First Poppy

This Iceland Poppy is my first winter-sown flower. Isn't it beautiful? I usually avoid orange flowers in my garden, but wow, I love this color.

This is also official proof that winter sowing does work. It's also proof that I should have planted all the other winter-sown seedlings earlier too. I am still not quite done planting actually.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Roses and Lavender

Today is a special Green Thumb Sunday and Garden Blogger Bloom Day double edition and I'm celebrating my beau-ti-ful roses. The pink rambling rose is blooming now too, isn't it pretty, especially against the lavender?

These are two lavender plants that I just planted last year. They're probably a bit squished now, but oh, they're so lovely with the roses. I can't bear to move them. Plus I have visions in my head of lavender sachets, lavender lemonade and more.

A close up of the rambler's bloom clusters.

The outback roses are winding up they're blooming session, but they're still so pretty and worth the three year wait.

Also in bloom:

  • Bellflowers
  • Catmint or Nepeta
  • Coreopsis (two varieties including Coreopsis grandiflora, sunfire tickseed)
  • Petunias
  • Rudbeckia
  • Sage
  • Scabiosa
  • Veronica Speedwell
  • Zinnia
Visit May Dreams Gardens to find out what is blooming on gardens across the globe on this Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.

Gardeners, plant and nature lovers can join Green Thumb Sunday every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Change in Thrifting Karma?

I do not usually have good thrifting karma, however, today I scored this sweet little red Pyrex dish for just 53 cents. I noticed a new thrift store on my way to our recycling dropoff and while most of their stuff was not my cup of tea, this little piece will make a nice addition to my Pyrex collection. Which, umm, I wasn't going to add to anymore, but it's so hard to pass up Pyrex!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Sweet Alex


My lovely Ali-cat is a special, special cat, my favorite cat and my bestest bud. We've been together for 10 years. Though he sometimes can be a bit mischevious, I couldn't ask for a better fur-friend. Alex is not a lap kitty, but he bestows plenty of affection, with his monster-purrs, head-butts and a well-timed flop at your side (or on your legs). A bit of a klutz (just like me!), Ali has been known to get so into a good scratching or brushing that he rolled off the furniture in ecstasy. Alex loves tussling with his pal Mikko, bathing, patrolling the garden, gnawing on his giant mouse "baby," and guarding water (one of his favorite past-times is sitting by the dehumidifier and watching it drain).

And now Alex is also sugar cat. Yes, he has feline diabetes. I just found out last Friday and have spent most moments since focused on Alex, how he feels, what he's eating, and what we need to do to get this thing under control. The good thing is that diabetes is not a death sentence. It's treatable with diet changes, and possibly insulin (Ali is taking insulin). He's doing quite well right now, and every purr and pet means even more.

I don't want to get up on a soapbox, but if something seems off about your pet, take him/her to the vet. At worst, you'll definitely know you have nothing to worry about. Or you may catch something early and ensure your best friend is around for years to come. If you have a cat, and haven't done so, you may also want to read a bit about feline nutrition. I'm learning a lot because of Ali's diagnosis and am working on switching all three of our kitties to a new diet.

Here to 10 more years with my sweet Alex and to enjoying every moment we get with our special friends. Love you fluffy-butt.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Roses Out Back

I love pretty, sweet smelling roses. The old rambling pink rose that I inherited when I bought the house has been a beautiful and reliable bloomer, but one rose is not enough! I'm not sure when I discovered the forgotten rose hidden in the back corner of my property, but I'd never seen it in bloom until now. Last year, despite spraying round-up on the poison ivy growing near this abandoned rose, I must have hacked off enough of the single cane that was left to reinvigorate it, and I couldn't be happier to see it bloom. It even beat my rambling rose and is blooming like crazy.

I often day dream of planting a climbing pink rose near the corner of my house, that I can train to spill up and over and give my house some cottage garden charm. Unfortunately the side strip of yard is full of gravel and dry clay dirt, so it's going to take a lot of preparation to make it rose-worthy. I'll admit that I'm a bit intimidated by roses, even though I'd get one of the less fincky roses, and the ones in my yard currently seem to thrive on neglect. I don't want to screw up that much of a plant investment, but they're so, so pretty I can feel the purse strings loosening.

What's your favorite, easy-going rose?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Color Me Stainless

The wait is over. The new stainless steel appliances are in and I have pictures. My bout with buyer's remorse is over and now that I've used the new appliances I'm really enjoying them. Not to mention how much better the kitchen looks with matching appliances. Check out the before pic to see the difference for yourself.

I'm really loving the bottom-mount fridge. I've been wanting one since I saw my friend Hanna's fridge the first time I visited her in Finland. As a Scandinavian-wannabe, I want everything that is popular there. Plus, as a tall person, I really appreciate not having to hunch down every single time I look for something in the fridge. The new fridge is pretty quiet too.

The new dishwasher was a pain to put in (thanks again honey), but I love the way it looks. Plus it's more quiet, has better features, and allows me to organize dishes more efficiently. While you're wondering, I haven't taken the plastic off yet because I'm still enjoying (ok paranoid about) the newness. This is only the second dishwasher I've ever had the pleasure of living with ya know.

Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday: Irises!

I've been quiet for the past few Green Thumb Sundays due to bit of a lull in my little garden between the excitement of the spring tulips and daffodils, and the upcoming summer blooms. But things are beginning to happen again and I've resumed my daily garden strolls in search of new blooms.
I'm so, so excited to see these irises. Aren't they pretty? I planted 25 dutch irises last fall, but thought I had screwed up somehow as I didn't see any signs of them until a week or so ago. Yes, I'm still pretty new to this gardening bidness, and I didn't recognize their tiny foliage at first. In fact, I thought they were weeds. Thanks goodness I didn't pull them, cause they're love-er-ly. I'm not a huge fan of the regular large irises, but these are just perfect.

I'm also loving this planter, even if I did just pop it out of a basket, plant it in my porch container and add a few zinnias. So far it's thriving!

I think these are bellflowers (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), although they don't look like the catalog picture. I ordered them online last year, but they didn't do much (although at least they didn't die!). This year, one plant is blooming so far and I'm really loving them.

** Gardeners, plant and nature lovers can join Green Thumb Sunday every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


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