Friday, April 28, 2017

My yard is very sad.......

Boy is my yard feeling neglected or what?!! poor thing....... This last month has been crazy and busy with company for 12 days off and on, going to the beach and some part-time working. My poor yard has not had ANY attention, other than a couple of lawn mows. These following pictures are worth a thousand words!  (and scroll down towards the end to see our front yard catastrophe!!!) not good......

Everything dead (almost).. this was taken about 3 weeks ago. Our back "lawn" was ruined by the winter snows and cold.

Below is our "gravel" area where we had our patio set and flowers last year. Looks more like mud now.. the gravel  has sunk into the ground, never to be seen again I fear!

The weeds are doing very well thank you.  And the ladder is there when we had to get our kitty cat down from the roof...... you'll see why later in this post.

At least the weeds are growing now! Is that a good sign? also one little pot of pansies shows some promise.

Pretty sad from 3 weeks ago (below). 

Dead or lying dormant Vinca Minor (I think)..... those vines below..... in my rock garden that is no longer there (see why further down post). 

 Our "patio" area is one giant mess! (below). At least there's some green now.

 Everything grows in the gravel! (grumble grumble)

And now.................. for the not so fun news.......... we lost our big front yard tree in the April 7th HUGE windstorm all around most of Oregon. Although it had died, it was beautiful in its own way, and I really liked it... and it still gave wonderful shade to the front of our house in the hot summer. Goodbye tree.

It hit the power lines.... the power company came and cut just enough out so it would drop to the ground.............then left!

Look at that pretty silver/blond bark. It was SO pretty! A guy was driving the neighborhood looking for downed trees I'm sure, and offered to cut it up and remove it for the wood. We let him. Easy peasy (above).

The root ball tipped and totally trashed my rock garden... also caused a huge crack in our rock wall to the side. The guy didn't get the root ball. We have to deal with it ourselves.

Cracked wall (below).......... plus it was pushed out and in doing that, it pushed out the rock wall along the front of our house, that was cracked a little bit, but now there is a huge crack in it! Not happy.

Good news though, our Homeowner's Insurance will cover the repair, less $500 deductible of course, but at least will pay for some of it and removal of the big root ball and stump.

Even though my yard is very sad, there are a few good things happening, although very slowly....... we're not getting much sunshine these days, but despite that, Mother Nature is performing her magic.

Grape Hyacinths popping up all over.

Spider Wort in the foreground, more grape hyacinths and my vine maple tree that I brought with me from Washougal, WA 5 years ago, has survived.

My raspberries that I also brought with me from Washougal, WA are doing very well. Lots of new babies are appearing. There's our kitty Rudy on the right. He loves playing in the tall grass (that needs mowing). Oh hubby, where are you????

Tons of shasta daisies are raising their cold and wet heads....... amongst all the dead growth from last year, that I just HAVE to get out and cut down. One of these days..............

The grape hyacinths are so cute... but the tall weeds love them too much.

One lone tulip in our back flower bed. We never planted it. Someone did... thank you "someone".

Did I spy some Delphiniums? Yes!  

Did I spy another Holly Hock in our back flower bed? Yes!

Oh good! some strawberries survived the winter! Love.....

A couple of more things............. my rock garden in the front yard is kapoot... the lilac bush survived but just barely... need to transplant that, but it's awfully big. I want to try to save it as our yard is so devoid of color. I think we're going to remove that entire rock area so that I can walk from the side of the house right onto the front lawn, without having to climb a big step, and then go down 2 steps (and back and forth, back and forth) to drag the hose out to the front to water. Now that the tree is gone..........................

We scored a couple of neat garden/yard pieces from a neighbor lady who was moving. Got a big old wood kitchen hutch.......... going to paint it of course. What color says she? Will be perfect for a potting bench outside!

The top part is shoved forward, because after we lost the big tree, our older cat got up on the roof a few times, and then couldn't get back down because the tree was gone! All our cats were used to climbing that tree and jumping onto the roof, and then getting down by jumping over to the tree and climbing down. The two youngsters figured out how to jump down onto the fence, but our older girl was stuck...... I tried shoving that top of the hutch to the front and urged her to jump there, or onto our patio table (to the left) but she wouldn't.... finally had to get the ladder out (in previous photos) and hubby had to climb up and get her. This happened many times until she has finally figured it out!

And surprise surprise, this hutch has two of those big metal bins that were used I'm sure for flour and sugar at one time. They will be perfect for my potting soils!
Also got a pretty wood garden bench in fairly good shape. Just needs a coat of paint.

That big mess of weeds and grass clippings that is in the sunken down area with cement surround, is our future pond (I hope)............... hubby?... are you there?  I have a TO DO list.
I think hubby is hiding............. oh well............ one of these days............there's alot of work ahead...............

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Maybe if I try this..........

Maybe if I try a new header for my blog, I'll feel more like it's Spring??????

You have to hop on over to my actual blog to see the new header! Does my blog feel more like Spring?

We did have a little sunshine today... sure is a booster for the winter blahs.

Our lilac bush's leaves are popping out all over!  No color yet, but pretty soon maybe?

And some new Iris's are peeking out of the ground.

A little tiny bit of color with some new pansies popping up.... they survived the 2 feet of snow!

Here's a silver "something" that survived the winter.. it never did wilt.. just stayed like this perfect silver statute. What is it? I bought it last summer and planted it, but can't remember the name.

Even those dead old mums have some new shoots. Amazing as that area never gets water or any snow or snow melt!

Wow my hollyhock survived too!  New leaves all of a sudden.

Here's the hollyhock last summer - just HAD to throw in at least one picture of something pretty!

And believe it or not.....our lawn needs mowing!  Hubby...........where are you??

I'm happy to just take a few pictures as things begin to wake up in our yard. Not ready to go out and work yet!

What about you?

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blog mojo and the blahs

Spring hasn't even begun to sprung here...............I'm not complaining though.. not one bit. I look out at all my dead plants that were last year's lovely and colorful garden, and still have NO desire to go out and work! I'm happy with the winter weather for now so I can stay inside and craft.

I've somewhat lost my blogging mojo, but am instead having fun doing some crafting and playing with paper. I can't seem to get inspired to share anything, as no wonderful outdoor photos to share (like so many of you have been doing)... and haven't really made anything stupendous or earth shattering.

I am kind of in the "winter blahs" mood, and yet enjoying just staying inside and puttering and watching YouTube (that is my downfall) and doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that in my craft room. I have no desire to go outside... go for a walk or begin spring clean-up in my yard! I think my dead plants from last year will just have to stay there for another few weeks,  until we have some nice warm balmy spring weather. Although today is amazingly 60 degrees out (!),, it is incredibly windy and again, no desire on my part to partake of that wind and blowing debris.

NOTE:  I DID get out a few days after I started this post (two weeks ago!) and go for a nice long walk. I was happy that my knee was OK (after the fall I took last July and going to physical therapy for the last 6 weeks) and my foot didn't bother me more (some sort of foot problem from limping so much when I hurt my knee!). Bah.

Thought I'd share some "last summer" and "now" photos of my garden, to show you what I'm facing when I DO get outside and work in the yard!

Our front walkway looks so awful! Dead chrysanthemums all along it and they need to be pulled out! New shoots are coming up already. This area gets no rain, so we are thinking of taking out the entire raised bed (chopping out the rocks with a sledge hammer) and making the entire area a covered "patio/porch" along the front of our house. I want a little picket fence along the grassy side of the walkway and will put potted mums there. I would LOVE to have a covered porch where I can put my two wicker chairs during the summer. What do you think???

Oh the poor dead garden. That's all I have to say on this one (above)

My new "rock garden" was so pretty last summer. I'm thinking of taking some of the rocks out by our front porch "stoop", as every time I drag the hose out to water the front lawn and flowers, I have to step up on the stoop, and then down two steps and drag the hose over it. This house has NO faucet in the front area! How stupid is that???? It would be nice to just be able to walk from the yard to the side of the house without going up and down, up and down, up and down...... of course it IS good exercise...... what do you think?????

OTHER THINGS................

I've had more fun downloading FREE printables! I love them.... journaling tags, gift tags, quotes, pretty pictures to frame, watercolor flowers......... there's no end to them.  Here are a few of my favorite sites:

Free Pretty Things for You - and that's what everything is on her site.... FREE everything! Her free downloads are great for framing and I plan to frame these two for gifts. She has many different watercolor wreaths, with different sayings in them. Love them!

The Cottage Market -  they have 23 pages of FREE printables! So much fun for making cards or for framing and giving as gifts. Here are a few I have downloaded and am going to use:

I can just see using the sweet little camper image to frame and give to someone as a gift. I have plans for that one! And the french shoes?  how cute! There are several different designs and colors with perfume bottles, or shoes or a purse.  I mean, The Cottage Market has tons of free printables and they are just darling. It's like being in a candy store for HOURS. 

I could go on and on and show you more.. but go take a lot for yourselves, if you want something quick and easy and inexpensive to print out and give as a gift. I found some darling vintage type frames on sale for 50% off at Kohl's and Michael's (in my area) so am stocking up on those.

With these winter blahs, I'm loving have some pretty and fun things to just browse and look at on my computer. (and make plans for using them).

Sweetly Scrapped is also another one of my all-time favorites for free downloads (above).

One more site that I found, that I absolutely love, that is not free but the downloads are VERY reasonable (about $2.00) is Senaca Pond Crafts on Artfire is similar to Etsy but a smaller community. It is the way Etsy used to be, before Etsy got way too commercial for me. I'm thinking of moving my Etsy shop over to Artfire. It is strictly handmade and vintage, nothing else. 

Senaca Pond Crafts has about 4,000 WONDERFUL printables and downloads that are very vintage, cottage, shabby chic or retro. I love them ALL and have spent hours browsing her store. I have so many ideas for using her wonderful tags.  Here are a few:

I have plans for these darling beach tags to put into a little quote and tag book for a friend who lives at the coast. Senaca Ponds has a bunch of beach themed tags and downloads that are so vintage and sweet. I think she also has a store on Zibbet and not sure about Etsy. 

My Etsy shop is closed right now. Due to my computer having some sort of virus or something, I can't even get onto the Etsy site! Until I get the problem solved, my shop is closed, but I'm strongly thinking of moving to Art Fire anyway.

Have a lovely week everyone!

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