Six on Saturday – Pop, Pop, Pop – April 20, 2019

Every day this week something has popped in the garden. We had more rain, but this time it dried fairly quickly.  It’s still squishy in parts of the garden, but getting out is possible. We had some strong wind gusts with the recent rain. No trees down, but lots of litter to pick up.

  1. The flowering cherry is in full bloom. Last year if it bloomed, I missed it. Maybe the photo will get me out to handle the stones that got thrown on this area last fall as well as the two bags of soil that are meant to go under the two big pavers the black bench sits on. That’s a job I’ll need help with.

    2.  The azaleas that made it through the winter have started popping this week. I’ll have azaleas blooming until the end of June.

3. The chokeberry is starting to bloom. I and the birds will be rewarded with red berries in the fall.

4.  The hostas have shot up, some leafing out. Now I can see where the fireplace ashes can be spread.  Ashes deter slugs.

5. The epimedium is blooming, though you have to get close to see how beautiful the coloration of the leaves is.

6.  Two weeks ago when I was cleaning out leaves I couldn’t tell where the ferns were. I knew where the Solomon Seal was because I had stuck a pink landscape flag close by. I have to be careful where I walk. Some perennials are just beginning to emerge.

That’s my Six on Saturday, photos of my garden as plants pop daily.This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

 

 

Write on Wednesday – All Shapes and Sizes – April 17, 2019

My writing projects come in all shapes and sizes recently. Ongoing work on my novel revision is BIG. Smaller projects are less time consuming. I was asked to come up with some ideas for the copy that would go inside the presentation box of this year’s Christmas in St. Michaels Christmas ornament. I was told what the ornament would be but sworn to secrecy and produced some ideas which may or may not be used. A new ornament is designed each year, usually by my gardening buddy and artist, Joanne Buritsch. That little project just took a couple of hours.

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Another project is more fraught. I belong to the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels. We are a social club with a purpose and get together for recreation and fellowship and our fund raising supports a number of community outreach projects. We are particularly proud of the scholarship we give each year to one or more seniors at St. Michaels High School.

At our monthly general meeting we begin with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. We also recite a short Collect. Or some people do. I don’t know when the Collect became part of the way meetings were started, but it has a distinctly religious tone which I don’t find appropriate for a social club that hopes to be inclusive.  I, and many others, stand there and don’t recite the Collect and would like to see it modernized. Others like the religiosity and the history of the words.

Our brave club president called a meeting of those who would like to have a discussion about the collect. About a dozen people showed up. I don’t know what that says about our membership of 170 women. Maybe most people don’t care. I am one of the people who does as I think the current wording doesn’t reflect who we are, nor do I think it is welcoming to potential new members.

So now I am on a committee to work on putting together some suggestions for possibly changing the Collect. That word, by the way, means prayer so that’s a problem for me right from the start, but I totally understand about traditions and how hard change can be.  We have people on both sides of the issue who will meet today to continue the discussion.

I have some ideas about a compromise which would be more reflective of who we are as a Woman’s Club and keeps a lot of the traditional language in the original. This small writing project really goes to the heart of how important every word is. It remains to be seen how this will play out. Novel revisions seem easy by comparison. I get to make the final decisions!

Image credit: ID 69931279 © Trueffelpix | Dreamstime.com

 

Six on Saturday – Housekeeping in the Garden – April 13, 2019

We’ve had a dry spell and there is not one soggy place left in our yard. I have a few housekeeping chores in the garden to do today (Friday) in anticipation of some predicted weekend rain. But I’m happy that the leaves have been pulled out of the azaleas and raked from the areas where perennials are shooting up. There is always that brief window of time before raking becomes impossible.

I pulled out seven azaleas that I lost to the winter wet conditions. Or perhaps a combination of late summer drought, then months of wet. Who knows. I’ll have to do some thinking about what to replace them with.

Chores for the upcoming week. 1. Clean out the fireplace and spread the ashes around the hostas. Thanks, Fred, for the suggestion. That seemed to work well last year to deter slugs. 2. Hook up the drip irrigation system and test it. 3. Explore my seed box and see what old seeds can be planted outside to see if I get germination. I hate to throw away seeds.

  1. I have started some seeds inside. The cord on the light support broke after two days. I took it apart, went to the local hardware store which helpfully had an array of cords and then tried to figure out how to thread the damned thing. A long piece of slender copper wire and 45 minutes of patience and I was operational again.

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2. A week ago I wanted to finally start some seeds. I couldn’t find all the parts to the heat mat/light gizmo so remembered someone told me they started seeds in egg shells. What the heck. I had all the parts and these were old seeds for Sun Gold tomatoes. A week later seedlings had emerged and I had found and repaired the rest of my seed starting equipment. It lives on the top of what is now called “brown furniture” but what we seniors call an antique sideboard.

3. The amaryllis bulb that I rescued from a red wax casing last year and then lost in the garage…was found a couple of months ago and planted. (There seems to be a theme here of me putting things away and then losing them.) This is the reward. There will be four blooms in total.

4. This is a geranium a friend brought me last week. It’s such an unusual color. I’ll wait awhile before putting it outside. In the meantime I’m enjoying the pop of color. I’ll try and take some cuttings.

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5. When I cleaned out the winter foliage from the window boxes in the front of the house, I found a lone tulip. It must have been planted by an industrious squirrel. I used to have a lot of tulips. Most have been dug up by the squirrels. This year there were a few coral colored ones near the hellebores. I’ll have to decide if tulips are worth the bother. If the squirrels don’t get them, the deer think the blooms are a delicious dinner.

6.  Last fall when I helped with clean-up at the Reading Garden at our local St. Michaels library, I pulled up a sucker on the Buckeye Bottlebrush shrub colony. It is always spectacular in the early summer with lots of white flowers. I’ll put these in pots until they are big enough to survive in a bed.

That’s my Six on Saturday, photos of my garden as it comes alive after what seemed like a longer and certainly a wetter winter than usual.This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Write on Wednesday – Walt Whitman Hears America Singing – April 10, 2019

For some reason this poem resonates with me as the current evening news is filled with our country’s inability to resolve our immigration issues. Stopping desperate people from seeking asylum is not the answer. We still need immigrants. They make America strong.

When Whitman, who lived from 1819 to 1892, wrote his poetry the immigrants were primarily from Germany, Ireland, Britain and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. People came here to escape war, famine and because the United States was a land of opportunity.  My German and Norwegian ancestors came to America during this time. My parents both told stories of how their parents did not allow them to speak German or Norwegian at home. They were determined to assimilate in their new homeland.

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I like to think that the voices Whitman wrote about were the voices of immigrants, singing in different languages, as they created the rich diversity that makes America such a special place.

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

Six on Saturday – Spots of Color – April 6, 2019

We’ve had some dry days. More rain predicted for this weekend so yesterday I got out to do some garden chores — cutting back the grasses and red twig dogwood. I managed to get the grass debris into bags with the husband’s help on Friday, but the dogwood cuttings are waiting to be picked up.

  1. The camellia is in bloom. The blossoms don’t last long, but by the time the show is over, other things are in bloom. I try to keep this one from getting too big. Anyone have suggestions for trimming camellias?

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2. The daffodils are open. Still lots of cleaning up to do in the beds but there is something to enjoy while I’m on my knees. I don’t know where the bulbs of the daffodils on the right came from but the clumps increase quickly and I now have them many places in the yard.

3. Clematis are leafing out and I think I see a bud on the Montana clematis on the right. The one on the left is Jackmani. I took a slip from one my father planted when I married and have brought it with me to every house (and husband) since.

4. Garden clean-up has begun. The ground has dried out enough that I was able to get the red twig dogwoods cut back. The bed still looks a mess because I haven’t raked it. Dead leaves sat in water all winter in that area. I’ll root some of the cuttings and plant more in this area. I was late getting the grasses but back but couldn’t get into the beds before now.

5. I need to plant new hyacinth bulbs next fall. The ones I have no longer produce many flowers, but they are a welcome surprise in the garden this time of year.

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6. I need suggestions about how to care for these yuccas. I see the one in the front could be divided. All I’ve done with the others is try to get out the dead leaves that are on the bottom. They all bloom. Thus far they have been afforded benign neglect.

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That’s my Six on Saturday, photos of my garden as it comes alive after what seemed like a longer and certainly a wetter winter than usual.This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.