Thursday, April 21, 2011

Catching My Breath

This week, so far, has been a LOT about accomplishments and not so much about blogging, I'm sorry to say.  I have a spare few minutes right now, so let's see what I can do to get all of you caught up on the happenings here in Hartwood.

The Husband and I are taking a trip with friends this weekend.  In preparation for this, I have a huge list of things that MUST be finished before we leave. 

Early Monday morning, before the breeze came up, I was out with my sprayer of herbicide, killing the weeds and grass that have sprouted in the area that is to become the new gardens by the barn.  This is my version of multi-tasking, because the herbicide can be working its magic on the weeds while I am busy with other things for the next week.  (I will show you more about this in a later post.)

This area will look a LOT different, once the herbicide has done its thing.


In preparation for the plant sale at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, I have to have ALL of the roses in the greenhouse potted into their final, big boy containers before we leave .  I finished this on Monday ... spending all day with my hands in dirt, potting and arranging roses on the benches in the greenhouse.  The big pots take up SOOO much more space, and there isn't a spare square inch of room left in there for anything.  Everywhere you look is wall-to-wall green, with a few flowers thrown in for accent.  The fragrance is a lovely combination of humidity and rose perfume.

As The Husband was updating the calendar on the Hartwood Roses web site, adding a notice there about the plant sale, we noticed that the photo they use on that page is a photo of ME.  I didn't believe it at first, but The Husband wisely said, "I think I know my own WIFE!"  I had no idea that anyone was taking my picture.



I was gone all day Tuesday, hostessing at a house on the Virginia Garden Week tour.  I dressed up in my finest pseudo-19th Century day dress, complete with a swishy slip and a garden hat with flowers.  The house belongs to rose friends of mine, and I was honored that they thought to invite me to be one of their hostesses.  We had a beautiful day, with light overcast and warm temperatures.  Everyone who knows me knows that I am a storyteller at heart, and I love doing stuff like this.  (I probably should have had someone use my camera and take my picture, because I looked really cute!)

The plant selections throughout this garden are SUPERB!


This vignette is on the patio, off the sunroom ... which would be a beautiful spot to have morning coffee.


I found the quote on the plaque to be particularly appropriate for me right now.


Speaking of storytelling ... yesterday evening I gave a presentation to the monthly meeting of the Rappahannock Area Master Gardeners Association.  This is a great group of knowledgeable folks who were eager to learn more about roses that are well-suited for growing in our area.  I always start this particular program by assuring everyone that the combination of "easy care" and "roses" is not an oxymoron.

Mutabilis is one of my most favorite, easy-care roses.


While I have been working on nursery business, hostessing tours, and giving presentations, The Husband and our daughter have been quietly working behind the scenes making the gardens look beautiful.  Monday, he took delivery of a dumptruck-load of mulch ... it's good to have friends with access to a dumptruck.

This ten-yard load of mulch will not be nearly enough mulch to do the whole garden ... but it's a good start.


For the past two days, after work hours, the two of them have been weeding beds and spreading mulch.  What is love, you ask?  I think it looks a lot like this:

The Daughter, pulling weeds in the Rose Field.


A freshly-mulched bed in our front yard.


and a close up of the dogwood tree ... it's particularly lovely this year!


As people get spring fever and look out into their gardens, I guess they have decided that they need some roses because orders have been coming in pretty steadily ... thank you for this, if you are someone who has placed an order.  Receiving orders means that I have to spend a bit of admin time here at the computer, which gives me a nice break from outside work each day. 

'Dr. W. Van Fleet' was the first rose to sell out this year.  Most folks remember it from their grandparents' gardens, and they want to grow it for themselves.


Today will be spent on final preparations for our trip.  We are taking the dogs with us, and this means we have to pack all sorts of extra things for them.  Our new hitch-mounted cargo carrier should hold most of our gear, leaving more room inside my Jeep for the dogs' comfort ... it's all about the dogs, we all understand.



HOLD THE PRESSES!!!!  I just got a call from a blogger whose blog I follow but I have never met in person, and she's on her way over for a drop-in visit!  How cool is that!!!!  Gotta go now, 'cause I have company coming.

Anyway, I will be unplugged until next week.  Please enjoy whatever spring weather you have where you live, and I will see all of you when I get back.

17 comments:

  1. I'm exhausted just reading this!! So busy but such wonderful things going on. Enjoy your week! hugs, Linda

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  2. Woohoo, you are famous with that picture! You know I wish it was me stopping by for a visit...soon though! And have a great trip!

    Kat :)

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  3. Wow, Connie, you have been busy! Good luck with all your undertakings and keep us posted!

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  4. Amazing. I knew we both liked Jeeps but believe it or not, I have the exact same Jeep; color and hardtop...minus the Greyhound tire cover...and my Jeep is dirtier.

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  5. Such a cutie you are in your hat!
    And you left me exhausted also...
    I love your jeep! And yes, we always make sure our pups are comfy too! Sometimes at our own discomfort. Ha!
    Have a wonderful week, and a joy of an Easter!
    xo, misha

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  6. You have so many gorgeous photos in this post, and how fun for you to be a hostess at a tour and dressed for the period.
    I loved your comment on my blog, about how growing potatoes started you on the gardening path.

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  7. Take a deep breath..! My goodness lady....what kind of vitamins do you take :)

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  8. Beautiful photos! Have a great time on your trip! And you're right, it's all about the dogs' comfort!

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  9. I LOVE that rose!!!! Must look for it...

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  10. Connie, you freakin' amaze me! Have a wonderful trip, "Happy Easter!"

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  11. Loved seeing a glimpse of your busy life!!

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  12. You certainly have a lot going on girl! You are going to need a little vacation when your done! I think Charleston,SC would serve as a wonderful little retreat not too far away from home! ;o) That rose is amazing, love the color. Will have to let us know when you have it available again, I would love to order it! God bless!

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  13. The Mutabilis rose is unique and new to me. I've never seen one, it looks like a Clemantis...very cute!

    I love discovering and learning something new when I visit blogs like yours.

    Have a wonderful trip and Happy Easter to you and Family.

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  14. Hi Connie! Cute photo of you, girlie! :) I so envy the life you have and the work you do! Day to day with your hands in the earth and the fragrance of roses embracing you. :) Seeing your photos and hearing about your work really makes me miss my job at the landscape company. :) Hope you have a blessed Easter!

    xoxo laurie

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  15. Connie,

    Was LOVELY to meet you and tour the grounds. Ladies, she's even more fabulous in RL! My harddrive nosedived and is in the shop so I haven't been able to drop you a note. I look forward to seeing you this week at the Ginter sale.

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  16. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, Connie! That dogwood is beautiful. I wish we could have them here.
    I'm so glad you brought up the "R" word. I always get a little nervous among gardeners wondering if they'll shun me for my love of Roundup. I LOVE Roundup. If loving Roundup is wrong, I don't want to be right. When we bought our place eleven years ago, it was 40 acres of weeds. Tumbleweeds, dandelions, you name the weed and we had it. Roundup became a very important part of my life.
    Hope your trip was wonderful!

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  17. Connie- this is certainly a busy time for you as you begin your season- I can't even imagine! Your volunteer activities sound so interesting- they are so lucky to have you to give of your time and experience.

    Call me crazy- but I love the photo of that dump truck!!
    Vicki

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