Glory's Garden

All the world's a garden, you know, and we are mere flowers within it. Come, I'll show you!

Don't get any funny ideas!

©2018 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

My Peeps!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sedum Autumn Joy

Most of the growing season you barely notice Sedum Autumn Joy. Why? Well, the name should be a clue. There isn't anything spectacular about it until the Autumn.

Other sedums, those which crawl over the soil and spread like the flu in kindergarten class, make their show in spring. I have several types of these. Sedums with yellow star shaped flowers, pink stars shaped flowers, and red flowers are all over the place and are always getting weeded out when they get carried away with their own tenacity--which is dreadfully often! But I still love them. Go figure!

Autumn Joy, on the other hand...well, it lays in wait for the right time to make itself seen. And a good time too, it is for it to bloom! It has very little to compete with it at this time of year. Only a handful of perennials are still putting forth blooms and any annuals which may still be about are slowly but surely going to seed.

No doubt about it, Sedum Autumn Joy is a fine plant to have for that sparse time at the end of summer and just before Jack Frost shows up. I ought to get me a few more. Good thing it is like all other sedums and propagates easily--just not on its own. I'll have to help it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The new lily garden

So, Tom walks into the kitchen while I'm cooking with a huge smile on his face and a big box in his hands.

"You have a package," he says. At the blank look on my face, he adds, "Dory forgot, didn't she?"

I certainly must have. I couldn't recall ordering anything.

For me, a package? Why would I get anything in the mail? My Helium pal Jim Bessey, when he eventually strayed away from the camping grounds, had already sent me my long awaited seeds from his Phlox paniculata, so it couldn't possibly be another one from him. After all, if Jim--aka Mr. Procrastinator, thought to send me more seeds, I'm quite certain I wouldn't get those for another two years!

So, when Tom called me Dory, I tried to remember and it came to me...

Contents of the box

It was the Lily collection I ordered way back in spring from Gilbert H. Wild and Son, one of the best mail order places for the newest, best and sturdiest cultivars of Hostas, Daylily, Peony, Iris and Lilies.
Many kinds of lilies

Unlike what you might think, I grimaced at the thought of all those lily bulbs and said, "Oh, no!"

Why? It's not that I didn't want them. I most certainly did! It was because I was not ready for them. There were 70 lily bulbs of different kinds which needed a whole garden all to themselves and one where I could keep them relatively safe from marauding rabbits which pretty much nibbled to death most of my other Asiatic lilies.
After much heaving and huffing, stone back in place

What to do and where to put them? I could only think of one place which had been giving me trouble for years, my stone-step garden. This stone-step garden is just three tiers of planting beds. Tom created them to keep the hill from washing out. It was a very wet spot and as you can see, it still is! It was a mess especially after all this rain, but not only that. It was also falling into disrepair. The rocks-boulders-stones, whatever you wish to call them, were toppling over, wobbly and unsteady.
Muddy mess where rain water collects

So, first, I had to do that, fix the hardscape part of this garden. I was all alone so I had only me and my not-so-strong back to take care of this. OY! Not an easy task for this weakling, I'll tell ya! I almost killed myself with a giant pry bar coming down on me. After much heaving and huffing I straightened the blasted thing. Hey, I survived. I'm alive still and that's all that matters. I may actually have a few more muscles now, too! Woo-hoo!
Middle tier planted and freshly filled with soil and compost

It took two carts full of soil/compost to refill these beds after I removed all the weeds. One good thing about a lot of rain. It makes the weeding that much easier. They just pull out nicely with nary a bit of resistance.

I filled the cart with weeds and took them to the compost pile and then filled it up with the compost and brought it back. Efficient work.

And there it is, my future-to-be lily garden. No, it doesn't look like much now, But I do so hope it will be nice next year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What is that thing in the sky?

I can't quite tell what that thing is I saw in the sky. It's bright and warm, and well, I just don't recall seeing anything like it.

What did you say? It's the sun? Are you sure? Blimey! I'd forgotten what that looked like.

Okay, so I'm being sarcastic, but it really has been over two weeks since I was able to go outside and putter around in the garden. With so much rain, the yard is a sopping wet mess and the weeds have gone bonkers. As if I don't have enough to do!

My peony garden is stymied until...well, they are calling for more rain, but I'm so hoping they are wrong! I have way too much to do before autumn's completely gone.

A pretty little clue of things to come
I bet you're wondering what I did with my first dry day in the garden. Well, I'll have to tell you tomorrow, but here's a clue.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My favorite poem

This time of year, when the garden begins its assent into autumn, is rather sad for me and my mind will drift to my favorite poem by Robert Frost which expresses my melancholy feelings perfectly.

 Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Earth's first green is gold, 

her hardest hue to hold,

her early leaf's a-flower,
but only so an hour,

then leaf subsides to leaf,

so Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day,

Nothing gold can stay.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sewing 101: Running/straight stitch

Yes, were doing another sewing lesson, so grab your sewing notions and let us practice the running stitch. Why its called the running stitch is anyones guess, but it is also called the straight stitch, and that does make more know, because it's straight.
Needle starts from the front to the back

To begin, take a threaded needle and make a knot at the end. You do recall how to thread a needle the easy way I hope. If not go back to Lesson #2. Well wait for youDum-dee-dum-dee-dum Youre back! Groovy.
Needle goes in and out at even intervals

Now for the beginner you may wish to draw a line a ¼ inch from the edge of the fabric where you wish to sew the seam. Especially for little kids, it could be difficult to get that line straight and marking the fabric just makes it that much easier. Even experienced quilters sometimes mark seams, so you neednt feel this is a sign of ineptitude. Whos going to know anyway? I most certainly wont tell. Im the soul of discretion, you know!
Like an accordion until you pull the needle and thread tugging lightly
Okay, back to sewing. You start, of course, at the beginning of the seam which you may or may not have marked. The needle goes from the front to the back. Then you bring the needle back up to the front again trying to keep even spacing. You neednt be fanatical about this. With practice, evenly spaced stitches will come easily, but for now, no worries.
When you get 2-3 stitches on the needle pull the needle out and tug the thread out until it is even with the fabric. This means dont tug too much or the fabric will bunch up. Just pull until the fabric and thread lie straight and flat.
Tie a knot at the end
Continue in this fashion, going in and out accordion style until you reach the end. At the end youll want to make a knot. To do this make another stitch on top of the last stitch you made but then wrap the thread around the tip of the needle and pull the needle through this loop. That should form a knot. I usually do two knots just to be extra sure it takes, especially with seams on clothing which will get loads of wear. We dont want that seam opening up again, do we?
One seam completed
So, that is the straight or running stitch. Can it get more simple than that? No, it cant.I hope you will practice this sewing lesson and put it to use on a torn seam.Next time I may show you the whip stitch for using to hem pants. Betcha you can't wait for that, huh?
Let's not all cheer at once!
3-bar quilt block
If you want to know what I was making with these pieces of fabric, I'll tell you. It's part of a 9-patch-3-bar quilt I made for Brandon. You can see the finished project in the craft room, but to see the making of it you'll have to go to Self-Reliance Works where I show you exactly how to make the 3-bar quilt block.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brandon's birthday!

25 years ago today my Brandon was born. Boy, did he stir things up in the hospital! He was an instant celebrity from the moment the doctor pulled him into this world and he said, "This kid's a ten pounder easy!" The doctor was quite wrong. Brandon weighed in at...hold on to your hats, folks-- 11 lbs 9 oz.
That masked man is my dad?
Yes, that's right. He was huge! He didn't even fit in the newborn stuff people had given to me for him. He went right to the 6 month stuff and even that was a tad snug. I blame the grilled cheese sandwiches. I was craving them something awful while I was pregnant.
WHo knew this chubby would end up being the skinniest in the family?

He was a rather tough baby to figure out. He would scream his head off for about three hours straight at night until we wanted to tear our hair out and just when we were about to run off screaming into the night, he would just stop. It used to freak me out. I thought he had died. No, just dead asleep and he wouldn't wake up for eight hours. It was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen. I was the one waking up every two hours to make sure he was still alive. I said, "Two week old babies aren't supposed to sleep through the night." Well, that just shows how much I knew about babies. Alexis was totally different. Ah, well. Justin and Tyler taught me things, too.
Funny, he looked little when Tommy held him.

Although he was a bit of a terror as a toddler, he grew to be a very good boy. He always got along with his sister and brothers and tried his best to please his parents. Can't ask for much more than that.

He was a cutie, but the strange thing was, he didn't talk until he was nearly 5 years old.
Brandon loved the Tigger Halloween costume I made for him
Tommy and my own brother were the same way...they just wouldn't talk. Guess they didn't have much to say. They don't shut up now though. Go figure!
At the Boulder field near our home in PA

Brandon grew up to be quite the athlete. Baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey were all sports he played in leagues and/or with school, hockey being his favorite now.
Brandon, the tallest of this bunch, loved sports

Brandon will drop everything for sports. Just LOVES sports. His favorite is going to see the Flyers play. He loves playing hockey himself with his buds.
Like pulling teeth to get him to smile in photos anymore

He's a good sport wherever we go on vacation, although I have heard him say, "I will not torture my kids this way."
Brandon is the one holding the ball

Brandon always got along with people at school, even the guys I though were just nasty pieces of work. Maybe he could be a diplomat? ;-)
For someone born so chubby, he's the skinniest in the family

Brandon was the only one who could keep up with Tommy is such tough going places as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite  and Yellowstone park.
"The hockey hall of fame in Toronto is the best place in the world," says Brandon
Taking a break from work to make a sandwich while checking the scores

Justin and brother Brandon

Brother Brandon, as Justin calls him, is the one brother Justin will willingly admit to having. Guess Brandon understands him and rarely irritates him. He's also the one who says he'll take care of Justin when Mom and Dad are no longer around to do so. A huge worry for us and Brandon is fine with lifting that burden from our shoulders. What a guy! No wonder Justin adores him!
Would-be drinking buddies
Brandon always orders a specialty beer for himself and a pina colada sans rum for Justin.

Brandon owns his own business repairing and refurbishing vacuum pumps. Vacuum Pump Rebuilders keeps him busy. So busy that he barely has time for his girlfriend and hockey...his two favorite things...not sure which is on top of his list. Actually, I can make a very good guess, but I won't cuz it might get him in trouble!

So, Happy birthday my boy! Brandon knows we love him, but it's good to get it down in writing just to make it concrete.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pathetic pumpkins

What horrors awaited me upon my return from vacation! Look at these pathetic pumpkins! They look like deflated balloons, only worse. They are rotted and squished and oh-so miserable looking and not just because they were almost over run with weeds while I lounged in the Outer Banks sun-drenched beach with my Tommy.

The vines had shriveled up and just died and the pumpkins...well, let's just say the slugs had themselves a feast.

At least some fared a bit better.

How odd. The vines were barely visible anymore. Quite dead and dried up which is double weird what with all the rain they had in Pennsylvania in our absence. Well, perhaps not so odd. Too much rain is barely better than too little. The vines must have rotted.

Some pumpkins were not quite ripe and those vines seem okay as of yet. Fingers crossed!

I even spotted a few blossoms. Who knows? They just may be able to do something before the end of the season. Not holding my breath for that one though. Jack is due any minute now. Jack Frost I mean. I hate that guy! Have I told you that lately? Well, I'm saying it now!

All in all a rather disappointing harvest, especially when I compare it to last year. *Sigh* The trouble with vacation I suppose. But my Tommy would have imploded if I hadn't insisted on going.

Better luck next time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deer are the devil!

This is my heavily laden peach tree. You might think it's VERY heavily laden and that the way the tree is leaning is due to the heavy fruit. You would be wrong.

It's those blasted deer! They are obviously knocking them down, pulling them down and otherwise, trying my patience something awful. How do I know it was them when I didn't actually see them do it nor am I ever around when they are in my orchard?
foolproof evidence of deer presence

The tell-tale sign of deer...their droppings. I don't much care for them defecating around where I have to walk but they are only doing what Mother Nature have taught them to do. They are merely fertilizing their own food supply. As a frugal and self reliant sort of gardener, this self sustaining activity upon which plants rely greatly must be not only tolerated but expected and revered...but I think I just digressed again. Where was I? Ah, yes, deer are the devil!

The only good thing is the deer are not eating the least not yet. Why I can only imagine is that the fruit isn't quite ripe yet. After all, the deer, rabbits and woodchuck plus other assorted critters of the four-legged type, know instinctively when they are ripe and will, therefore, wait.

Well, I picked a few apples which I assumed were ripe. There were half eaten ones under the tree to tell me that. The deer had, in my absence of the previous week, taken a few choice ones which were growing on branches lower to the ground. I had to reach on tiptoe to get these. Bother! I'll need to get the pole picker out to gather the rest before the deer take those too.

I also grabbed a few peaches. I thought I'd bring them in and see if the ripen a bit in the house. I can only hope.