Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

What a wonderful memorial day weekend! Here's what we got done:

* Eight graduation parties and one graduation ceremony that almost went off without a hitch!
*A family birthday party at our house today.
*Our salad garden at our house planted with the following: lettuce (planted a few weeks ago), green onions, clicing cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, celery, and some basil and cilantro for some kick.
*Shade garden update: Added some lupines and sweet William, divided up the Mrs. Moon pulmonaria and planted the divisions at the other end of the shade garden, moved some hostas around and divided those a little, added some impatiens, and the results are a shade garden that looks a little more full. (Next year we'll make it a little bigger as well!)
*Planted some perennials at the end of the shed: Cherry Bells, and some red little tyke day lilies.
*Planted some Sum and Substance up by the house on the new addition and in the shade garden behind the bench.
*Cleaned the house.
*Played with my kids.

All in all, a very, very busy weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Rita called on Wednesday to tell us that we had potatoes sprouting out of the ground. Yay!

Today I picked up broccoli, tomatoes, celery, sage, green onions, and some impatiens from the greenhouse. Memorial Day weekend! Yay, summer!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Vegetable Gardening

I tilled the remaining section of the vegetable garden today and planted Sugar Ann Snap Peas, beets, dill, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, and spinach. The I came home and logged two miles jogging on the treadmill after weeding my flower beds. Very tired. I am hoping we'll get some rain soon so I don't have to drag out the sprinklers.

Blooming flowers include:
Bleeding Heart (both the old fashioned and fern leafed varieties)
Lilacs (MMMM... they smell wonderful!)

Onions and Carrots

We planted onions and carrots on Thursday (5/20) and am hoping that rain holds off until this evening so I can till up the rest of the garden and plant peas and beets. I also want to make a trip out to my favorite perennial garden - Glorified Weeds - out in Kettle River to pick up some new plants. I want to add some "Sum and Substance" to my shade garden!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stomp, plop, pull, POTATO!

What a gorgeous weekend! We got black dirt spread in the vegetable garden and tilled it in on Sunday before planting three rows of potatoes (about 5 lbs per row). We had quite an assembly line going there. Rita had a potato planter tool and we had all three kids helping us. I'd "stomp" the planter in the ground, Emma or Joey would "plop" a potato in it, Ben would "pull" the lever and when the potato was deposited he'd yell "POTATO!" Hence the mantra "Stomp, plop, pull, POTATO!"

Next I have to get those onions in the ground, and I'd like to plant peas and carrots within the next couple of days as well. Prior to this beautiful weekend we had at least a full week of wet, cold weather, so it feels like I'm a little behind given that we've had an early spring. But it is still just mid-May in northern Minnesota, so I guess we're probably right on schedule.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Heckuva Day!

What a gorgeous day today! We had highs in the 70's. It really felt like summer.

My Bluestone Perennials order came today, so I planted some Snakeroot, Lady's Mantle, Biokova Geranium, and some Summer Sky Coneflower. I was really impressed with the quality of the plants and how they held up during transport. I will definitely be ordering from them again!

I spread some mulch in my new bed by the bay window. That area is a huge improvement. I'll snap some pics once things fill in a little bit.

We also spread some black dirt in the garden at Rita's. That was quite a job! Tomorrow we'll till that in and hopefully plant potatoes and peas, and maybe some lettuce and spinach depending on how ambitious I feel (and how well I can move tomorrow after all the manual labor today).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Container Gardening

I just checked out this book P. Allen Smith's Container Gardens: 60 Container Recipes to Accent Your Garden from the Moose Lake Public Library.

I don't do much container gardening - just a few annuals in pots here and there because my kids like to buy annuals in our many trips to local greenhouses, but I think I'm going to actually pay more attention to my containers this year and we'll see what happens. I really like the idea of having some fresh herbs in pots outside of my kitchen door, but I need to put them somewhere where they'll get more light in our shaded lot!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!

I always associate Mothers Day with spring wildflowers such as trillium and marsh marigolds. When Mothers Day fell later in spring, we would sometimes walk out in the woods and pick a bunch of trilliums for my Mom, and I think she appreciated those as much if not more than the store bought gifts we gave her. Yesterday as we were driving to the greenhouse by my parents' house, we saw the woods full of these beautiful white flowers. So I pulled the van over and we went on a little trek in the woods to pick a handful for my mom. It was evident that I need to get my kids out in nature a little more - they were all hesitant to come with me ("Are we going to get woodticks?" "Will there be wild animals?"). But it didn't take long to pick a nice little bouquet of trilliums and my Mom sure appreciated these flowers delivered by her grandchildren.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Well, my Rhododendrons don't look quite as full of blooms as the picture I posted last week - one only has one lonely bloom on it. I'm hoping that's because I kept them in their containers most of the summer and only got them in the ground in late August. Maybe next year they'll perform better. They do have a lot of new growth on them which is exciting to see, so it seems like it was a good spot for them

An unfortunate casualty of my planting the rhododendrons where I did are these bushes - I think they're a type of ornamental cranberry. I moved them to plant the rhododendrons and I'm afraid they didn't make it. But the upside of that is now I know just where to plant some Russian Sage. This is below the bay window that faces the lake (facing south), and it's pretty dry in that location, which I'm hoping will suit the Russian Sage just fine. I can just visualize it in full bloom against the white of the siding below the window.