Garden Plantings

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Storms are rolling through our area tonight, but I am thankful for the rain to water all of our little seeds planted in the gardens. I planted the seeds on Sunday, and thanks to the rains we’ve had the last few days, a few little plants are starting to peek through the soil already! I spotted some little radish and cucumber plants earlier this evening!

Here is a picture of our patio garden right after planting. Last month we planted the tomato and pepper plants, so they are already well established. Joining these plants (once they come up) are cucumbers, which will grow up the trellises, bush green beans, and radishes –

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There are already little tomatoes and peppers growing on some of the plants!

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Across the sidewalk from the patio garden is our herb garden. Already growing in this garden are Rosemary, Basil, and Lavender. In recent years the Rosemary that I planted some years back had grown into a giant bush, taking over most of the garden. Jeff cut it back quite a bit this spring, which gave us room to add some new plants. I planted some Oregano, Lemon Thyme, and Cilantro around the edges of the garden. Maimie was my garden helper for this section – she kept me company and was very curious about what I was up to –

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The big garden out in the yard is now planted with seeds, too, joining the onions that have been living out there since February. The square raised beds contain yellow squash, zucchini, onions, and okra. Some not so friendly fire ants have moved in and built a mansion in one of the boxes, so I planted the other half of the box with okra, and will figure out how to evict the residents as soon as possible. The long rectangular bed is completely planted with sugar snap peas –

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Here’s a picture of the peas before I covered them with soil. Not very straight lines, but I probably mind more than they do, and they will grow just as well if nobody tells them!

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The onions are doing rather nicely in their little bed –

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All around the edges of the big garden are little hills – about four per side. In these hills are planted watermelons, pie pumpkins, jack-be-little pumpkins, and orange and white large pumpkins – each to its own side. It will look so pretty when the vines are grown and are trailing around the inside of the fence this summer –

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Speaking of the fence, I love my old rustic garden fence! Although someday I’d love to have a permanent, more stable fence around this garden, I do love the look of this one – and it helps to keep the chickens out of the garden –

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While I was planting the big garden, David decided to plant a little pumpkin patch of his own. He used a small area of soil by the rose garden for his garden. He dug out four holes, filled them with garden soil, and planted jack-o-lantern pumpkins. He then filled up the watering can and gave them all a good soak. I was proud of my little gardener! Here is his plot –

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Our forecast is for showers into the early part of next week, which should really help get the gardens off to a good start. I’ll probably be outside checking on my little seeds every day, eagerly anticipating all the little green shoots coming up out of the soil.

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Are you planting a garden this year? I’d love to hear what you’ve got coming up too!

Blessings,
Nancy

Porch Weather

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Porch weather is upon us again, and I am trying to make full use of it before the heat of our Texas summer arrives and I’m driven back indoors!

As I sit on my front porch, I can hear various different birds singing their spring songs, and the wind blowing through the trees, who are becoming more and more green every day. Someone down the lane is building something. . . I hear the tap…tap…tapping of a hammer. Possibly our next door neighbor preparing a new pen for their growing flock of chickens, ducks, and bunnies. We have a chicken project to begin soon, too! – cleaning out Jack’s old pen and setting it up for the chickens we plan to start raising this spring.

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Our irises are blooming off of the left side of the porch, and many of the rose bushes in the rose garden are showing colorful flowers as well.

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I purchased these new perennials last weekend to plant here by the right side of the porch, joining the daisy that already lives there. Hopefully, they will come back each year and bless us with their beauty.

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Jeff planted some lovely Petunias and Impatiens in pots on the front porch. The pretty pink Impatiens are right next to me on the table between the rockers. I really love them!

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There are bags of soil, compost, and peat moss piled up by the driveway, waiting to be mixed and poured into the new raised beds in the big garden in the side yard. I will post pictures of this year’s gardens in a forthcoming post.

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The temperature here today is 82 degrees. We are expecting rain in a day or so and a drop in temperature to the 60’s. Porch weather at it’s finest!

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I hope you can get outside and spend some time enjoying spring in your neck of the woods!

Blessings,
Nancy

A Lovely Day

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Today was a lovely day. January – but the temperature was in the 70’s and did I ever get Spring Fever! I spent most of the afternoon outside planning my gardens for this year. I also washed off the porch rockers and spent some time there thinking and enjoying the weather. The kids kept busy playing four-square, basketball, and exploring by the pond. Michael got out my Dad’s old tackle box and tried to get his fishing pole lined up.

I had mixed up some Taco Soup in the crock-pot earlier in the day, so all I needed to do for dinner was pop some cornbread in the oven, which gave me even more time to enjoy the outdoors. Sarah baked some Brownie Pops, so dessert was covered, too.

As the sun started to set this evening, the sky was very beautiful, all striped in blue and pink. The moon came out and was lit up with a lovely bright white light. It was a serendipity day – a blessing that I didn’t expect. The kind that makes my heart sing and my soul praise the Lord.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.”
-Psalm 19:1-4

I’m so thankful for this lovely day – a nice break from winter to enjoy, and the promise of Spring ahead that it brings to mind.

Blessings,
Nancy

Our Lovely Rose Garden

The roses are in full bloom right now in the rose garden. I am enjoying their beauty as well as their lovely aroma. As I sit on the porch, I can smell their sweet smell and it is truly a blessing. I think that there are more blooms this year than ever, but maybe I say that every year? No matter, I am, as usual, bowled over by the sheer blessing of this rose garden, planted by the previous owners of our house – and ultimately a gift from the Lord. Here are a few pictures that I took the other day as I wandered around in the roses.

My Mom brought us a beautiful Knock Out Rose bush on Easter this year, which we have planted in front of the front porch, where we can see it from the rockers. It should grow into a nice size bush and bring me joy for years to come – thank you Mom!

One of my favorite things about having a rose garden is when my children bring me roses like Anna did on this day ~

Have a lovely evening!

Blessings,
Nancy

My Spring Sonnet

I meant to do my work today ~
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
and a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand,
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~ Richard LeGallienne

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. I hope you’ve been spending some time out in the blossoming world too!

Be back soon ~

Blessings,
Nancy

Pretty flowers around the yard ~

I took a stroll around the yard with my camera and snapped a few flower pictures. The rose garden is in full bloom and looks and smells wonderful! These roses were all planted by the original owners of our house, and they are such a blessing to me. Here is a small sampling ~

We have planted various annuals around the yard as well – pretty Vinca on the front porch ~

Pink Impatiens on the table between the rockers on the porch ~

Another on the porch rail ~

A mixture of pretty flowers in a pot right outside the porch rail ~

I planted this assortment in the ground by another section of porch rail ~

In the herb garden there are a few little flowers planted amongst the herbs ~

Although gone now, Sarah took some beautiful pictures of the Irises when they were in bloom a few weeks ago ~

And the bush outside the kitchen window (I really need to learn it’s name!) that is all bloomed out now, but has kept my dish washing view lovely up until recently – not to mention the joy of watching all of the butterflies that were attracted to it ~

Jeff planted bright pink geraniums in the hanging baskets around the porch this year ~

David just brought me this pretty pink rose from the garden – it is resting on my journal until I take it in and put it in water on the kitchen windowsill – such a blessing ~

Have a wonderful day!

Blessings,
Nancy

Welcome April!

It’s a brand new month filled with the rebirth of the earth – flowers, trees, warm weather, and blue skies are beckoning us outdoors each day. There is change in the landscape now on a daily basis and I love it. Spring porch weather is here and I am making the most of it – which may be one of the reasons I have been slack in my writing here.

We have a lot going on these days – birthdays, schoolwork, weekly activities, and the ever calling out of doors. Oh, and we have another little bird about to fly out of the nest – I wonder if the mama birds feel like I do when their babies spread their wings and fly off – a necessary and good thing for them to do, but heart-wrenching for the mama who feels their absence so deeply!

More to come on all of these matters – and I will get Sarah’s Chicken Finger recipe posted asap. Hope you are all enjoying the arrival of spring in your part of the world!

Blessings,
Nancy

The Coming of Spring


(photo courtesy of Corbis)

“How do I know that spring is here?
Because the world is full of cheer.
The crocuses and daffodils
Peep out from all the window sills;

The grass is getting soft and green;
The garden makes a pretty scene —
Forsythia bushes all unfold
And show their blooms of fairy gold;

The tulips of my garden wall
Are getting beautiful and tall;
The birds are coming back to stay
And serenade us every day.

The world is full of joy and cheer!
That’s how I know that spring is here!”

~ Carmen Lagos Signes

I hope you will be enjoying some spring in your neck of the woods this weekend!

Blessings,
Nancy

Sunday Happenings Around the Yard

I spent a bit of time outdoors this afternoon, and decided to take my camera out and about and record a few of the happenings around the yard. Here is what I found ~

Newly planted onions in the patio garden ~

Oregano coming back for a new year in the herb garden ~

We moved the picnic table to the yard by the play area – it will be a wonderful place for a picnic under the trees this summer, as well as for drawing in our nature journals ~

The kids have been having fun swinging in this hammock that we hung out between two of the trees – it seems more like a cocoon than a hammock! Here is Anna having a turn ~

David is a happy camper this year since he has learned how to pump on the swing and doesn’t need anyone to push him! ~

The pond has filled up nicely over the winter and is a pretty scene ~

Kids playing on the trampoline – always a favorite spot ~

Jack enjoying the nice weather ~

Mattie working on his car . . .

. . . using his computer to help – ah, modern technology! ~

And finally, a few signs of Spring on the way (besides the nice temperatures!) – a budding bush outside the kitchen window ~

My irises coming up at the front of the house ~

And I found redbuds beginning to “purple” along the back of our property! ~

I’m so glad that it’s nice enough to be outside – I’ll be making good use of my porch from now on!

Have a wonderful evening!

Blessings,
Nancy

Spring Fever

I don’t know about you, but I have had a serious case of spring fever lately. I have been outside as much as possible enjoying the warm temperatures, the beautiful green of the trees and the colors of the flowers. The kids have been blowing bubbles, roller skating, riding scooters, swinging, jumping on the trampoline, and exploring the yard.

We have ventured over to the pond a few times and laughed at the frogs as they hop into the water with a “peep” when we pass by. We even had a duck visitor on Easter in our pond, who has since flown off to find a friend, no doubt, and start a family.

The indoor projects have taken a back seat to the outdoor ones for now, partly out of necessity (gardening), but partly because I just can’t bring myself to stay inside when it is so beautiful outside! I know that this perfect weather is a brief stop-over on the way to the hot heat of the summer, so I am not allowing myself to feel guilty about indulging in enjoying it right now.

Unfortunately this spring fever seems to have affected my blogging adversely – I just can’t seem to focus on writing. My dead camera has slowed me down a bit, too, but I am trying to plow through it and get a post up here and there as I can. Maybe you are all outdoors enjoying the spring, too, and don’t have time to read anyway!

Be back when I can ~

Blessings,
Nancy