Wednesday, May 31, 2023


62 this morning, clear. About 78 as I write at 9pm. 

I have been back to work on furniture this week, trying to push a few projects out to the booths. But in the mornings, I am still out in the gardens a bit, trying to keep ahead of the weeds, and watering as needed. This morning I hoed the little herb garden. I was delighted to see that the Job's Tears and the money plant seeds had germinated. Surprisingly, the chamomile seeds did not come up, but quite a few plants came up in another bed, self-seeded. I pulled a lot of bindweed out of the raspberry patch. It is really a bad weed in there, but I have managed to kill it out of one flowerbed with constant weeding, so eventually maybe I can get it under control.

I picked this little bouquet when I finished. Lavender, rose, coreopsis, yarrow,  and some of those pink primroses. So pretty.

Dinners lately have been easy, cooked on the grill. We ate steak at granddaughter Hannah's the other night, last night Larry grilled chicken, and the other night we did hamburgers, a very rare meal in this house. We keep it simple here, just adding a salad and baked potato or French bread to make a meal. Love this time of year when we can eat outside! Have you been doing the same?

Larry trimmed some way overgrown shrubs while I worked in tbe gardens. Seems like we just did them, but it has been a few years. How the time flies now! We also had to protect tbe cherry tree from marauding Cedar Waxwings and their feathered friends. For the first time ever the birds have found our tree! So sheets, net curtains, a rubber snake and a strip of rubber have deterred the birds, at least for now.

Here are a few of the furniture projects: 

This was my buffet. It is really white, not gray as it looks in the photo.

I have been working on this small desk off an on for a while. It's finally ready to go, I think.

We found this very ugly buffet at a yard sale last week. It is going to take a LOT of sanding and work to make it beautiful again.

Also finished but no photo is a small white dresser. It is already loaded in the van. And a cupboard that I had to do a ton of sanding on is ready to paint, along with a halltree that Larry made from a door. So those are next on my agenda. 

Time to read for a while! I am reading The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher. Nothing heavy, but her quirky humor is a real treat. And perfect for the tired end of a long day.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Veggie Garden Update

60 this morning, bright and clear. We got very little of the promised rain this weekend, so watering has begun in earnest. It is supposed to warm to 90 by the end of the week. Ugh.

Here are a few pictures from my vegetable garden. I still need to get photos of Larry's early garden, and of the tomato garden, just planted this weekend with help from granddaughter Haley and her friend Desiree. 

Celery in front, then beets, then Swiss chard.

Cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts here.

The beets again, with Lutz in front and Detroit dark red on the other end of the row.

A longer view. On the far end are carrots--atill tiny--green beans just coming up, a row of peppers planted last week, a row of onions, and potatoes at the far end.

Strawberries in the tubs, with cucumbers and squashes on the ends. Oh, and a row of zinnias in there too, just coming up.

My annual sacrifice to the garden gods! Spinach never ever does well for me, but I try every year. There has to be a secret; do you know it?

The wee little herb garden is beginning to grab hold.

And aong view of the garden, after watering this morning.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Flower Gardens Walkabout

55, brisk and cool this morning. The weather has been gorgeous all week, so we have been in the gardens every day. Still so much more to do!

Here's a quick look at what's happened  this week in the flower gardens. 

One if my favorite roses is this one that my mother called a Tudor rose because of the colors. I planted this three or four years ago but the deer ate it back so often that it seldom bloomed. So I moved it to the new rose garden, close to the house.

A new rose last year. This is a tea rose. It's pretty pale pink color doesn't show well in my photo.

A tiny red miniature rose, which is surprisingly hardy here. It is at least 3 years old.

A new phlox I planted two weeks ago. I love phlox but have only had luck with the old-fashioned variety.  Fingers crossed in this one.

This is the corner I revamped last year, pulling out huge overgrown evergreens. My goal for this corner is color that I can see from the porch.

Part of the same garden, where the annual pink primroses(?) have made themselves very much at home.

This was an expanded garden last year, and
still a work in progress.

The drift roses are coming into their glory now. I need more of them! Well, maybe not need, but sure would like.

As you can see the primrose are happy here too. And that make me happy too.

A hodgepodge of chives in bloom, tiny parsley that you probably cannot see, lettuce, and the new rhubarb plants.  

Yet another rode, this one a gift from a sweet friend several years ago. 

And a late blooming peony. I have added several peonies in the past year, only one of which bloomed this year. This one is 5 years old and doesn't bloom well because it is in a too shady location.

This is my favorite rose, new this year. The color is stunning, a variegated pink-orange-yellow mix. Has the sweetest fragrance too. It is a climber, so I had a bit of a think as to where to put it.

And my oldest rose, at least 40 years old. It blooms sparingly, but smells wonderful.

Works in progress: pulling weeds, cutting spent iris stems, pulling up daffodil leaves, etc, etc.

And a flowerbed revamp. I will dig out the iris in July or August as this location is too shady. I moved some hostas from the bed I abandoned this year due to the lily of the valley and weedy vines taking it over. I think the hostas will be happy here. I will move the peony later in the year too. Live and learn! At the top right you can see a shaggy climbing rose. It was once a tea rose but was killed back to its roots and this monster emerged. It has no blooms on it yet this year. It will be coming out of there, either this summer or next spring.

There is always something else to be done. Bushes need pruned, weeding, deadheading, on and on. And that doesn't even include the vegetable gardens. I will get photos of them tomorrow, I hope.
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