Gardens in May 2015-Photos

May-Cleaned porch and patio. Velvet enjoying it.

May-Cleaned porch and patio. Velvet enjoying it.



May 2015-New veggie table for herbs.


These two are cabin at The Lost Lake before June renovation. Plants cut back and some removed. It’s been since fall of 2010 that we last renovated this area.


These are rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas in mid-May

These are rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas in mid-May

Velvet in Doggieride coach

Velvet in Doggieride coach


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The Garden, of Course!

What are we doing? In spring, we are always extremely busy but this year we are even more so. Emily was very ill last year and only minimal garden work was done. This year we are replacing, repairing, and moving stuff around. It’s time to ‘redecorate’ the cabin and gardens.

Whew! We are tired already. Glenn just took 80 lbs. of light iron to the metal recycling place. Not a lot of money at .0555/lb. but that’s $4.00 we didn’t have before 😉 I told Glenn that it all has to go and pots, etc. because I can’t take care of much now. I also gave him my Potting Shed as I never liked it.

I liked the glasshouse much better but after 10 years, I needed a new one. Thought that a combo potting shed/workshop would be more useful but it didn’t work for me at all. Glenn said recently that he always wanted his own workshop. I didn’t know that before so I gave him this to fulfill his dream, too. I have the cabin for much of my stuff and love it.

That meant that all of my garden/plant stuff had to be moved out. We spent before and during Memorial Day weekend doing that. I have it in garage in front of the large dual window that I can access better with my garage ramp. I’m giving tools to my grandson who now has his own home. Many were from my late mother and I just didn’t have time to go through it all.

It feels good to reorganize, too. I can no longer dig many plant out for sales so will eliminate most of the pots. Since May is our traditionally dry month here in South Jersey, we’ve begun the watering with soaker hoses. Some always need replacing after 10 years or so.

Glenn is happily planning and fixing up his workshop. It says, “4” for Cabin #4 and mine says,”9” for Cabin #9. It’s a joke on our township ordinance which says that all buildings must be numbered. They don’t always word the ordinances properly. If we keep this up, I said before, we’ll have more cabins and numbers-LOL

Here we have to get a permit for everything. The Historical Commission drives me nuts but that’s another, long story… I’m waiting for my new, screens for the cabin doorway and then I’m set to be out there most all the summer in the Cabin by the Lost Lake at Camp Rest-a-While. That’s where we cook in the fire pit, eat, and vacation.

The “Toy Choi”, a mini-version of Bok Choi, is growing well in the new veggie table. I’ll harvest some for salads and stir fry the rest. Going to do that in the fire pit, too.

Pix later.

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Back in the Saddle Again…

…of the lawn mower. Gardening high season is here and we’ve been caught up with the spring chores. The corgis had their first outdoor baths last week and supplied the momma birds with fur for their nests. The herbs and vegetables are partially planted in the 2 tables.

Another table! This one for small, kitchen herbs.

Another table! This one for small, kitchen herbs.

We got a second table for kitchen herbs and they are quite handy. Especially with the corgis who pilfer the veggie if we don’t protect them. Some pruning and tidying up done already. Since I designed the gardens to be informal, we do some and leave some. Nothing really HAS to be done right now. We don’t even prune the shrubs every year except for the euonymus hedge, which is once a year.

Tulips from our center island.

Tulips from our center island.

Every 3-5 years we do shrubs in an area to improve the growth, etc. Emily’s Arch is in and Mom’s climbing rose is planted on it. A nice rosemary, which gets 4-feet high was planted, too. In between we weed some, spray some weeds, and do odds and ends. Then we took a break on Sat. and went to the Creek for our first canoe trip of the year. Velvet thoroughly enjoys it, sniffs all the air, and listens for the animals in the woods on the banks.

Canoe break in gardening... we had fun, relaxed, and had nice weather.

Canoe break in gardening… we had fun, relaxed, and had nice weather.


She has her own little life jacket and sits very still in the canoe. Glenn does most of the paddling and I chip in occasionally. Saw native plants in bloom- especially a local, deciduous azalea. It has small, white-pink flowers. A few dogwoods and viburnums we interspersed throughout. Nice day. Never thought that it would actually get to 80+ degrees as the winter extremely cold and spring, too.

Native azaleas in bloom.

Native azaleas in bloom.

Of course, there’s the usually goings on with plumbing and car repairs and big expenses. That all seems to melt away with a nice, slow canoe trip on the Rancocas Creek in Smithville nearby. It’s 10 minutes away so we can go whenever we like. Velvet sure appreciates it as does Glenn.

Can’t work all the time, right? And, now we prepare to go to the Cabin in Camp-Rest-A-While by the Lost Lake…all in the far back corner of our property. Planning to clean the fire pit for picnics there. It really feels like we left home when we go back there. That’s the reason we have it and love it.

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A Gift of Love

You can read about Emily’s new garden arch here:

Emily's new garden arch was installed today. Thank you, Glenn!

Emily’s new garden arch was installed today. Thank you, Glenn!

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SPRING! Finally…On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

It was a tough winter for most everyone-especially those north of here. We finally feel that we are “out of the woods” as far as more snow and cold comes. Some people never stop fixing things and working, though. Take for example, Glenn, my husband. He’s been at it since Jan.

We both did much inside this year but Glenn gets the prize for tough jobs! In Jan., we had very, very cold weather resulting in low temps in our garden room. I don’t think it’s ever been that cold in there. We got a newer heater but the real problem was above.

We use that all year and can look outside from this room. It’s a very pleasant area and we spend much time in there. I mentioned to Glenn that I didn’t think that we had insulation in the attic it as we only added to the house attic after we moved here 19 years ago.

When he checked, he said that there was only 3” insulation instead of the 6” that is needed for this area. In this deep freeze, Glenn got and did the additional insulation up there a little at a time over a couple of weeks. I don’t know how he was able to stand the 30+/- degrees. It got done and the temps improved greatly! AMAZING!

We keep that room at 65 degrees but it had been getting to 55-60 degrees. That is just too cold for me and the dogs, as well as, the few houseplants in there. Voila! 65 degrees was easily maintained at less electric cost. That cost us less than $100. for greater comfort.

I’m giving Glenn a “5-star” award for that!!!! Next Glenn began measuring, acquiring wood, priming and painting for Cabin parts. He removed and replaced wood on the shady side and back, etc. near the bottom. On the warmer days, he replaced the wood and sprayed for dormant carpenter ants there. Amazing again! It’s almost completed and it’s only April 2nd.

Before Glenn retired he wondered what he was going to do with his time. I told him then that there will be much to do here. I was right. There’s always something to do inside or outside in repairs, replacements, fixing up, etc. He also keeps busy helping me. At times we are both very busy.

Now that Spring has finally arrived, we’ll begin the outside work slowly to recharge our muscles. I’ve already ordered another veggie table for herbs. Too windy today to do what we planned but we’ll do some trimming before the birds make more nests.

I’ve ordered a new tool for the vine removal-fire rake. I saw this before but decided that this was better when I stand or sit in the walker than sit lower with pruners. Easier on the back. The teeth can be sharpened individually or replaced. There are still some spots around the plants in back that I didn’t get all of the ivy and the myrtle that expanded on the road-side of the house. We cut it back and spray Roundup on the stubs. That’s the best way to remove it.

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Who Can Resist This?

Velvet, I love you!

Velvet, I love you!

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We’re Freezing…Spring Forward?

Believe it or not, this weekend we “Spring Forward” to Daylight’s Saving Time. How is this possible? It’s NOT Spring yet. Think about this, in Fall we had “Fall Back” in Nov. but Spring doesn’t come until the end of March. Did the Spring date change??

I writing this to snow showers out my window. It’s not warm at all. Everything was covered with ¼” in. of snow on Monday morning. Even looking at garden catalogs gives me no hope at all that we’ll soon Unfreeze.

I think this is just a publicity stunt by some to get us unstuck and thinking about Spring. I’m not ready. Although we’d like the warmer weather, we just haven’t got the “Spring in our steps” with all this ice on our steps here.

Oh! To be sure, the dogs are ready to go out and run and play. They’ve been inside a lot and playing in the garden room. Since it take a couple of weeks to get used to the time change, we should be “awake” with the bulbs by Easter, April 5th. I’ll let you know if we’ve survived the frozen weather.

I’m cold and have been all winter. The fireplace gives nice warmth but we don’t use it every day. Glenn is in and out all day but even he says that he is cold and tired of it. The corgis don’t complain; however, sometimes they want to come back in right away as their feet are cold. Corky and Ginny are getting older now and much rather be inside.

Velvet and I take a nice, warm, cozy nap under the comforter and quilt where it’s toasty. We finally got a new hot water heater but the water is so cold coming into the tank that we have to draw is out slowly so as not to use all the hot water up at once. It is coming into the tank at 39 degrees…I want a hot bath so I guess I’ll have to draw it out slower. In the summer the water comes into the tank at 55 degrees from the water line underground.

Interesting information but I’m still frozen here. Not that the “Spring Forward” will make me warmer, but I guess just to give me hope that it won’t be long before REAL warmth is outside. Try the end of April and I’ll hibernate until then.

Still frozen...

Still frozen…


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