Saturday, March 11, 2017

This & that

Good afternoon Folks ~ Here it is Saturday morning. We’ve had beautiful weather this week, except for the ‘wind’ we had at the beginning, like three days of it. The weather channel even put out warnings for fire danger.

With this nicer weather, I have been working outside in the mornings. It has been great. I am getting plenty of exercise, am being refreshed and energized. I ripped out some old growth by the ‘wedding grotto’. (So called, because in a private ceremony of renewing our wedding vows, we did so, in this space. Notice our bare feet, and this was in Dec. A beautiful day and celebration. (2003))


Any who, that was then, below is how the area looked in March 2012. Totally overgrown with hamelia paten, a rose and something else. It all just kept getting taller and more sprawly.


Below is from January 2013. I couldn’t handle it the way it was, so cut it way back. I ‘grief vented’ with this cut back as it was just a month since losing my dear husband.


April 2013


May 2016


Pictures below taken yesterday, the 10th. The pile of debris is about 2’ high and I’m not sorry to see it laying there in a heap. It was time for a change. I took out old flowerpots also that had nothing growing in them and were not even visable, and one of them was an old Watt’s pot, which I’ll have to fill with something nice.

This whole secret garden is another work in progress. Things had become in a saddened state and with suffering from plantar fasciitis last summer for 5 months, I basically just hand watered things. No gardening work got done.


A week or so back, with gift $ I bought some plastic coated chicken wire in a 2’ x 25’ roll, cut it to size, wired it to iron awning support and the pvc piping on the other side as seen below. In the middle I used a heavy aluminum pipe, that I felt God gave me the idea to go look in area where it was stored. It was perfect, the right height and I pounded a galvanized pipe into the ground and slipped aluminum pipe over that. The alum. pipe had two holes at either end, so at the top end, I wired it to the pvc pipe than ran across the top. The chicken wire is also wired to the top pvc, and the aluminum pipe down the middle. I used 3 sections of the chicken wire to fill the space and for me it worked easily and I was thankful to God for the little project that made me feel happy and that I got it done.

I bought a Port St. Johns vine at HD. I had one over 20 years ago bought at Butterfly World, but it croaked sometime between then and maybe 10 years ago. This new one is in a huge pot in good potting soil and I’ve started wiring it to the chicken wire. The flowers smell like jelly beans to me. The vine is fast growing, so we’ll see how long it takes to fill in the space. This vine will be much easier to keep under control and be oh so pretty too. Here is a link to info about it. Pink Trumpet Vine.






As I said, this whole area is a work in progress right now. There are a couple other areas that I’ll be working on also and will show pictures later.

This morning I went to the grocery store early to get ingredients to make endless coleslaw for a surprise bday party I am going to tomorrow afternoon. 

I stopped at an automotive center that had several businesses there for different needs. I don’t need a front end alignment right away, so that was good news. The other news, repairing two holes and rusted places on the roof of my van, was a rather large ‘chunk of change’, but at least I know now how much it is going to cost and hope to do that in the near future. For now, my metal tape trick has been working to cover the holes and prevent leaking!  Smile Both of these business owners seemed really nice and the place has been there for quite a few years now. I’m going to see if the body repair man can also fix my back door so that it will open. The plastic lock mechanism broke so that it won’t unlock from the outside. I have to crawl from the side to the back to open doors, so haven’t been doing that. It will all work out. My van is paid for and runs very good.

Be watching next week for another garden book review and give-away for this book, “Garden Design – A Book of Ideas”. It is beautiful.


Well, that’s it from the Plum Cottage home front.

God is good, spring is right around the corner and I’ve much to be thankful for.

Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

P.S. New post over at my blog for widows.

The Lord is my Strength


Rebecca said...

Endless slaw? Do tell!
Our weather up here is a bit schizophrenic. I just get in gear to work outside a bit and we end up with 17 degrees overnight last night! Our poor spring flowers are quite early - and VERY confused!

Jane said...

Love your can-do spirit, Rainey! I wish I could smell that vine that smells like jelly beans. Snow here today. March in Michigan!


L. D. said...

Tearing it out and starting it over is kind of a cleansing process. It will look beautiful with the way your flowers grow down there. I will be moving to a smaller yard soon and will need to wait and see what will come up to bloom. I love my old garden but I can't move it. I will just start over. I am inspired when I read of your different decisions you make in your garden. Take care.

Nancy J said...

Plants and shrubs grow, overnight it seems, your archway is delightful,and a memory to cherish in your first photo, Go slowly, all will be done in time.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

oh the first photo brought tears to my eyes ; i know how you miss him so. Brave lady carrying on and so beautifully. You have a little bit of paradise there at plum cottage with all of your lovely plants and flowers.

As to your weather and mine right now, for a fun contrast, our high was around 27 degrees today :)

organicgardendreams said...

Dear Lorraine, wow, plants grow fast in your climate! I am so glad for you that you got quite a bit of gardening work done and are happy with your accomplishments. I know exactly how good that feels ;-).
One question: Why did you fence in the patio area with chicken wire?
Wishing you a nice Sunday!
Warm regards,

Ruth Hiebert said...

You are so industrious and make your place look lovely.

Debbie Harris said...

I can remember when I cleaned out the perennials that were over grown in our rock garden, it was refreshing to start over.
You have such a green thumb.
I enjoyed seeing the photo of you and your late husband renewing your wedding vows.


gld said...

Doesn't it feel good to get a project accomplished....and without help. This was a pretty big project too. I can imagine it with the beautiful pink blooms covering it.

Hope the van is next in line. One thing at a time.......

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

One thing for sure, keeping a garden is work of love. I have trumpet vine on my fence and love to see the hummingbirds flit through that area. Pretty much all of my garden is trumpet shaped flowers. I have about a month before the weather will be garden warm.
xx, Carol

Kit said...

Gardening is such a task, isn't it? I have put in plants that are easy to take care of now. No more bending over and crawling around on the ground for me...LOL Enjoy your spring! Kit

Dewena said...

Your new vine will be lovely with flowers almost year round, I see from the link you gave. I know that area must be so important to you for its sentimental memory. Actually, I'm sure that each area of your garden, and home, must hold so many sweet memories. You are such a hard worker!

I tried your camper meal the other night, Lorraine! A can of hash done to a crisp. Instead of beets I had spinach with mine. Very good and easy!

lil red hen said...

What a lovely spot for wedding vows! Wish I could take a tour of your gardens!

Melanie said...

With living in Florida, your yard work is definitely year-round! It's good for the soul to work outdoors in the gardens, isn't it? I love the picture of you and your husband renewing your vows - so beautiful.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Hope everyone had fun at the birthday party.
You are getting things set up really nice in the secret garden. I really like your statue in the middle of the fountain.

Morning's Minion said...

What a lovely memory of renewing your wedding vows in that lovely and private setting.
I am constantly amazed at how much you do to keep your gardens under control in a humid climate. Sometimes a very severe pruning is the only way to go.

My Journey To Mindfulness said...

You are so smart and creative.
I miss all the things I did and planned in my garden.
Never thought this would happen
life goes by at such a rapid pace
when 80 begins....

Deborah Montgomery said...

What a beautiful picture of you and your husband. Just lovely.

I am sitting here looking at about 3 inches of fresh snowfall from overnight. No gardening here!

Love to see the progress and happenings at Plum Cottage. Blessings, Deborah

Betsy Adams said...

I don't know how you can keep up with everything in your yard by yourself... I asked once --but aren't there some teens or someone at your church who go to homes and help people with yard work (as a mission project). I know you enjoy doing everything that you can --but I also know that weeds and invasive plants can take over if allowed to...

BUT--you do a great job anyhow and your yard and flowers always looks good... We are supposed to go down to 15 degrees both tomorrow night and Wednesday night... DANGEROUS and will do damage to our growing/budding/blooming flowers/plants... Scary!!!!! (The joys of living here --when the winter is warm and things start growing --and THEN, a huge freeze comes!!!!)

LOVE LOVE LOVE that first picture of you and your Sweetie.

Sandra @ Thistle Cove Farm said...

Rainey, you're welcoming spring and later tonight I'll light the wood laid in the wood stove. Hard weather is headed by way...below zero a few nights this week and I still haven't heat in 1/4 of the house. I hate to admit how worried I am but am doing what I can do otherwise.
Take care of you and thoroughly enjoyed the photo of your and Handsome. love and prayers, Sandra

KathyB. said...

The picture of your renewal vows under the lattice brought tears to my eyes. It must seem like such a short time ago, and yet so very long ago, a lifetime ago.

I appreciate your before and after pictures and look forward to seeing the progress of your beloved gardens. And I do know they are your very much beloved gardens.

Karen said...

Rainey, I LOVE the photo of you and your Mark renewing your wedding vows. And I love your boundless energy and your compassionate, loving words of comfort and cheer to me. Sending hugs and love to you, my dear friend. :-)

Kalantikan said...

Oh you are working very hard! You mean you did the whole thing on your own? Cutting, pruning, cleaning and putting that wire is not easy especially on your hands. Be sure you get a good rest. Even just a little use of the prunning shear takes toll on the hand joints, as per my experience! Take care.

GretchenJoanna said...

What a sweet picture and memory to have of your renewal of your vows. God is good for sure.

I spent time today clearing out many places in the garden, but nothing so strenuous as building a sturdy trellis such as you have done. You are inspiring!!

Mountain Mama said...

I love seeing your beautiful garden, Lorraine! Can't wait to see how your new vines do on the chicken wire - gorgeous!

CIELO said...

What a beautiful garden you have... love that statue on the fountain!


Rue said...

You did a great job, Rainy! It's going to be beautiful with vines all over it. You really amaze me with all the work you do.

I hope you're having a beautiful week, my friend.

much love,

Cinderella Moments said...

Your garden is awesome! I love the rambling look. It will look gorgeous once those vines fill in. Working in the garden is hard work for sure. But the results are well worth it. I can't wait to see this when it is all grown.

A Joyful Cottage said...

Your new vine growing all over the chicken wire trellis is going to be very pretty. I love Trumpet Vine and the one you linked to is exquisite. You are to be admired for your spunk and drive. Good on ya! Hugs, Nancy P.S. The photo of you and your husband is precious.

M.K. said...

Look at that wonderful project you got finished! And the photo of the wedding vows looks so very sweet. What good memories you have, right there at your cottage. We are eager for spring here too. It's been SO cold and very windy, which make it much worse. Brrr. I miss walking around in the yard. My Lady Banks Rose is starting to bloom, but it's too cold to go look at it!

~ Dixie said...

Lovely photo of the two of you when you renewed your wedding vows.
You keep your gardens well, Lorraine. I love the trumpet vine.

Anne Payne said...

I love your secret garden! It's lush and tropical (I think I've said that before) and it inspires me. I really do need to get my rear in gear and put something pretty in our yard for this spring. It's still so cold and we had a hard freeze just a few days ago. I'm not into running out there to cover up plants...too lazy, I guess. :)

Endless slaw...can I just say YUM?!!!

Betty Barber said...

Your blog is my first go to in the morning, your gardens give me inspiration as does your heartfelt story. In this crazy world it is good to have a site that brings peaceful inspiration. I would like to purchase one of your hearts and looked on Etsy but could not find please advise.
God Bless
Betty Barber

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Aw- such a sweet photo of you and your beloved renewing vows. Such a special place and you are doing a good job of revitalizing it again. I know how gardens can suddenly seem to 'take over' - mine are in desperate need but the weather has been so awful. Rain, rain, rain. Glad you found a nice place to get some work on your van done. I hope they can fix your back door latch. Thank you for your kind condolences on our little pup, Peanut. Sending hugs xo Karen

Darcie said...

All the work you put into your place truly amazes me! I could learn so much from you, as I don't have green thumbs. I've just been so proud of myself that I have managed to keep a plant in my office alive. I always marvel at all you do, and the beauty that surrounds you. Love the picture of you and your husband renewing your vows...beautiful!

Terra Hangen said...

The photo of you two in the wedding grotto is sweet perfection. You accomplish a lot in your garden; my new backyard is low maintenance and drought resistant and is looking rather pretty. Yesterday my son planted a Blue Skies lilac and a Misty blueberry to add to my other two blueberry bushes. I am going to buy the widow book you recommend, thanks for the idea.

outlawgardener said...

You've been one busy flower lady! Thanks for sharing the photo of you and your husband in your wedding grotto. You look so carefree and in love. Glad to hear that you're able to get outside and play a bit more this season as that can be very healing.