Friday, July 11, 2014

Catching Up on Other Stuff Around Here

(Let's take a break from long posts about my recent trip to England, and I will share with you some of what has been happening here on the farm since I got home.)

I mentioned in my last post that I got a whole lot of new inspiration for my gardens from my visit to so many wonderful English gardens.  The area behind our house is going to be the first to receive some attention and to benefit from these ideas.  There were a few existing hostas in this spot when we moved here.  (Most of these got moved out to make room for the propane tank a few years ago.)  While I was outside with the dogs one morning, I could clearly see the new design of this bed in my imagination ... I love it when this happens.

What used to be a narrow, ill-defined strip of plants is now much larger (the original configuration was three feet wide in a straight line along the back of the house.)  We already had all of the materials you see ... this project is intended to be one to make do with what we have on hand.  Our fireman son-in-law laid the concrete and flagstone landing pad (in the bottom right of the above photo) at the foot of our deck stairs last year.  Last week, I laid out the new sweeping curve to enlarge the bed, put down the cobblestone edging and laid the little curved path to the back door.

Planting this new garden will also be done with what I already have.  The hosta, camellia, and iris you see above were already in this spot.  I added the hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Bombshell') and the Hellebore (a seedling that I dug from another part of the yard).  I had a few more things (more hostas, for the most part), but decided to wait to plant them.

While I was doing this, I received a note from a friend.  Without going into details, she is unexpectedly having to clear things out to prepare to sell her house and move, and she asked me to please bring my truck and help her by taking her stash of potted plants.  Whether I have a place for the plants or not, she needs the help and I am pleased to do what I could to ease her stress.

This was yesterday's load ... there's still more to do later.

Coincidentally, most of these new plants will be perfect to add to this new shade garden.  The 'Pink Perfection' camellia will go to the right of the propane tank ... hostas, hellebores, Bleeding Heart, and pink Lily of the Valley will go in there, too.  There are also four large roses and a Damson tree in this load, which will have to stay in their pots for a bit longer and wait for a sunny place in the ground.  

The small Hellebores she gave me are especially personal, having been grown by her from seed from pollinations that she did herself.  I love Hellebores for shady areas, and it makes me happy to add these to my garden.

Summer is here, with its typical hot-and-humid Virginia weather.  When it's supposed to be a hot day, I work outside early in the morning and I plan indoor projects for the afternoons.  One feature of summer weather is the threat of storms ... which we have had every evening for the past three days.

Earlier this week, I spent my indoor time in my basement workshop, repairing and reglazing the two picture windows that I bought to use in The Shack.  I chipped out the loose glazing compound, scraped and sanded the frames, replaced two broken window panes, and laid in new glazing compound on all of the panes.  It's time consuming, but it looks so good when it's finished.  (I have to wait a few weeks for the new compound to cure, then I can paint.)

During one of my spells of wasting time online, I checked in on the new arrivals at Covesville Store.  My scrolling came to a screeching halt when I saw this painting.  It only took a quick exchange of emails and a PayPal transaction, and it was mine!  I drove to Covesville last week to pick it up.  It's even more beautiful in person then it was in the web site photo.

Heidelberg castle, where we had our high school proms and graduation.

Going to England was a dream come true for me ... and coming home was even better.  I missed my husband, my critters, and I longed to work in my own garden.  Everyone here missed me, too.

Ruby and Winnie and I were enjoying a cool evening on the glider on the porch.

There's no place like home.


  1. Oh those sweet little faces. They look like they missed their mama.

  2. I love the garden pictures, but more Miss Winnie, please!

  3. No place like home i have to agree... no matter where you are planted..its still home.. I love what your doing in the hosta garden... I've always wanted some hosta but never had a shady place for it.
    Your friends situation brings back memories of our packing up and moving to CA from TX a few years ago.. It broke my heart to let my plants go.... i guess i get rather plants... go figure.. but when you get most of your plants off the clearance rack and nurse them back to health i guess getting attached
    Heidelberg Castle! Been there!! Loved it! Great picture! So nice to have you home again and getting all caught up! Hugs! deb

  4. Your new garden is going to be absolutely lovely - you have a great start already! How lucky to receive so many wonderful plants from your friend, especially hellebores and OH! pink Lily of the Valley. They are both on my wish list. I know well the heat/humidity having formerly lived in Richmond, but you are so lucky to have such a nice shady backyard! I look forward to seeing your progress. Cindy from

  5. Home is where our hearts are and it is always wonderful getting back home after time away. I'm sure you had a very nice reunion with hubby and critters.

    Your newly redesigned garden area looks great. I love the flagstone and your border too. Your new plants will be lovely additions too.

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

  6. I think I have had a busier than busy day and then I read this...

  7. Be it every so humble (tongue in cheek), there is no place like home. I love going away, but I think I love coming home more. Us gardeners sink deep roots.


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