"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday Tea In The Garden

 Thursday tea in the herb garden is a time of sitting quietly, sipping the herb tea I brewed in my pink teapot, eating the crackers smothered in cream cheese blended with chopped chives and chive blossoms from this very garden while soaking up the sights, sounds and scents of spring in full bloom.
 "Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty ." James Norwood Pratt
 "Doing nothing is respectable at tea. " Sasaki Sanmi
 After a generous tea time I walked around Cedar Pond checking out the gardens as I watered them. The garden shown above is the vegetable garden my husband plants and tends. The garlic, onions, strawberries , and peas are coming along quite nicely. The slugs have been giving him a hard time with the beans and lettuces. He has to re-plant them, dang those slugs.
 Our rhododendrons are amazing to see from a distance. These bushes are taller than me !
 "Tea is a divine herb." Xu Guangqi

"Perhaps it is while drinking tea that I most of all enjoy the sense of leisure. " George Gissing
Tea in my gardens is a blessing and a pleasure I don't take for granted. All I need do is brew a pot of my favorite tea , choose a pretty teacup, take them to the garden ,forget the weeding and garden chores for a short while , sit down and enjoy !

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gardens Thrive With Sweat & Rain & Sun

 Rhododendrons thrive here on Cedar Pond.
 They grow wild in our forests, but the blooms are not as colorful there as the typical rhododendron found in landscaping in city & town.
 Snapdragons are doing well in our gardens and our flowerboxes.
 Pots of hostas, hens & chicks, phlox, snapdragons ,  and Campion are sitting next to our garage awaiting planting in other parts of the gardens.  
 Columbine sprouts, grows, and thrives everywhere here. We have several colors of Columbine , white, pink, purple. We did not deliberately plant it, but somehow this lovely wildflower found it's way into our gardens and we've grown to appreciate it.
 The kiwi arbor my husband built in front of our dovecote has finally been accepted by the kiwi. We actually have shade from the kiwi vines this year and the kiwi grows so quickly I know we'll enjoy shade from the hot summer sun here this summer.
 Fuzzy Harwood kiwi. We have a thriving male and female growing here . Each has it's own side of the arbor but they seem intent on meeting. Ah, romance ! We hope the romance of the male & female kiwi will produce fruit for us , but for now their joining producing shade is a good thing too.
 The grape arbor my husband built is greening with the grapes he planted  and I know we'll have a bountiful grape harvest if I beat the birds to it. Last year I made grape juice from these grapes and boy oh boy, my home made grape juice was so good ! I need to quadruple my grape juice canning this year because it  is so good we ran out of it quickly. Beats any commercial grape juice in taste for sure.
Flower box under the kiwi arbor between the chairs. Snapdragons, lobelia, and a red geranium.
All of the gardens on Cedar Pond thrive because my husband has worked hard to prepare the soil they are planted in. He has used the manure of many generations of our chickens, goats, & sheep composted and tended to produce rich soil . Rich soil that was hard clay in places and in other places  rocky & barren when we first moved here years ago. Rich soil produced with the sweat of hard work . Hard work that reaps it's harvest after the abundant rains we enjoy give way to sunny summer days . Yes, gardens thrive with the sweat of hard work , abundant rain, and glorious sunshine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rainy Day Flowers

 After a busy few weeks tending the gardens , poultry, & livestock during the very ( unseasonably )warm sunny days the rain I love has finally returned ! Now instead of endless watering and weeding outdoors I am cultivating indoor flowers . Fanciful flowers I needle-felt onto wool balls I've made using the wool fleece from my sheep.
 I added a few fanciful bees too. None of the flowers or bees are crafted to be realistic, but they are meant to be fun. Some of the balls have jingles inside. My cats love the jingle balls. So do my grandchildren.
I enjoyed spinning up quite a bit of yarn on the porch during the warm days. I can watch my sheep and the birds at our feeder from the porch. I watch my ducks waddle by on their way from the pond to scavenge any birdseed the wild birds scatter under the feeders. Two of my dogs are always at my feet as I spin wool into yarn. Contentment and thankfulness are my constant companions during these times.

Whether cultivating indoor flowers or working hard outdoors , I am always mindful of the blessing it is to be able to do this work in and around a home provided by God through the love and hard work of my husband and family. Thank-you Jim !

Friday, May 1, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wee Wonky Sheep

I was having fun last month making my little sheep and decided to play around with making them more like my real Jacob sheep. I love the results and these little rams make me smile. I am not sure if I will make more of these to sell, but I do like having this little pair of rams on my shelf with a few Wee Spotted Sheep I've kept.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Recycled Junk for Sedum Planters

 I have a lot of poultry equipment that is too rusted out for its' original purpose - watering poultry. The hanging planters full of sedums are the lids of old chicken waterers. We drilled holes in the bottoms of the lids to string wire through them. Then I planted sedums I dug up from around our gardens and walk ways. Sedums grow very well here and bloom abundantly in the summer and fall. Our honeybees love them. The hens & chicks ( sedums below hanging planters ) are in hyper -tufa planters I made last year.

 I have 10 more poultry watering containers to turn into hanging planters. I am going to have a lot of fun ! Maybe I'll plant some hanging geraniums, or Kenilworth Ivy in a few. Those plants always do well for me.
 The days have been very warm and today the temperature was almost 80 degrees in the shade of the porch. Our porch thermometer and the weather man said so .The ducks sought shade under our hostas for their afternoon naps.
Tomorrow the weather forecast calls for temps in the 60's and a light rain so it should be a very good day to recycle a few more old poultry waterers and give them new life as planters. By the way, the bottoms of the old waterers are also great planters , click here to see them. *

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tea In The Garden Thursday ~ Garden Update

 Tea in my garden on Thursday, posted late due to computer woes. Frustrating computer woes. My husband saved the day by finally discovering the problem though. Our computer kept informing us we had NO disk space left and would not let us download any photos, even the photos we had on file for years. Turns out the people who'd "solved" previous computer problems downloaded their own help services which took up all of our disk space. Believe you me, they took up over 80% of our disk space for what ? Anyway, my husband deleted the "help" service and everything is great !

The book above with one of my favorite teacups is one I checked out of my local library. I am not usually drawn to such books , but am so glad I checked out this fictional historical book. It is NOT a Christmas story, but a Christmas quilt plays a very important part in it. It is a story that takes place during the civil war and well worth reading for all ages. I read it while sipping tea in my Blue Bottle Garden. ' A Quilt For Christmas' by Sandra Dallas will make your heart glad. It is not a sappy romance , it does have true love, family love, kindness, mercy, friendship, and yes...quilting . It is all wrapped up in good writing and the writing makes you care very much for the main characters and what becomes of them.
 So what's going on in our gardens ? Well , the plum and cherry trees are done blooming and now the apple trees in the orchard are showing off. The honeybees are sure enjoying the blossoms.
 The ajuga and bleeding hearts are spectacular and we watch the hummingbirds flit to & fro from flower to flower from our front porch.
 Lilacs we planted years ago are blooming and we can smell their sweet scent from all over Cedar Pond. Some of the lilac blooms are growing up and over our back porch and have also woven their branches and blooms throughout the Cedar trees.
 My husband's vegetable garden has begun to grow quickly due to the very nice weather. Onions, garlic, strawberries, and so much more. He loves his vegetable gardens and tends them well.
 My chickens are laying almost 2 dozen eggs a day. I never tire of collecting fresh eggs from my beloved hens and you really cannot appreciate eating eggs until you have eaten the freshly gathered eggs of hens fed well, especially fed well from greens gathered while weeding well tended herb & veggie gardens !
 This is a sweet spot to sit in the sun, under the kiwi arbor my husband built. The kiwi are not yet in full leaf, so there is plenty of sunshine here during the brisk spring days. I hope you're enjoying spring time in your neck of the country and grabbing any time you're able to sit in the sunshine and enjoy a moment in the sun. After all, soon we'll all be seeking the shade and spending a lot of time watering our parched gardens. Enjoy this season now, while it is still spring and full of possibilities !

Although this is not a linky party, please check out Judith's * blog for more gardening inspiration. * ( Thank-you Judith )