Archive for the ‘flowers’ Tag

06-21-2016 Journal – June Garden Update!   Leave a comment

It appears that summer is finally decided to arrive. We having much warmer weather during the day and at night and it shows. The garden has really taken off in the last week and things are looking up except for the ghost peppers which aren’t doing well at all. They seem to need hot days and hot nights with a lot of sun to flourish and they’re certainly not finding that here in Maine.  I don’t expect much production from the ghost peppers this year and I’ve pretty much decided to try them one more time next year but in a different way. I intend to plant them either in a cold framework or I’ll build a small greenhouse to try and keep the temperature is high as possible for as long as possible. If that doesn’t work then I’ll give up on ghost peppers entirely and just buy them online. Here are a few shots of the garden taken this morning.

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 The better-half’s flower gardens are also in bloom almost everywhere on the property. This could possibly  be the best year we’ve ever had with a diversity of colors that is amazing.

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We also had a special occasion last night. We harvested the first of the lettuces for this year and they were a perfect addition to our evening meal.

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That’s all for today.  I’m having serious computer issues that need fixing and I hope I’m successful. Microsoft is making my life miserable once again and as usual they’re not much help.

06-09-2016 Journal–June Garden Update!   Leave a comment

Even though June has barely started I thought an garden update was in order. The warmer weather for the last few weeks has brought everything to life in a big way.  Due to the efforts of my better-half we have flowers blooming everywhere.

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The gardens in the yard are filled with irises as you can see. we’ve planted them every where and this is the first year we get to see them in all their glory.

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Just three years ago this rhododendron was one foot tall and looking poorly. We transplanted it to this spot and here is the results of our efforts.

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One of the better-half’s passions is to have as much color in as many places as possible.  That of course includes the deck.  We get to walk through all of these flowers on our way to the table to have our morning coffee. How great is that?

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It’s things like this that help us Mainers wipe away memories of sleet, ice,  snow, and our six month’s of winter.  It’s worth waiting for. Here’s my recent photo of the vegetable and herb garden as compared with one taken in May.  The changes as we move forward will become more and more obvious.

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‘May’

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‘June’

10-13-2015 Journal – C’mon Winter, I’m Ready!   Leave a comment

My Summer ending activities continue apace.  The garden was composted a few days ago and has finally been tilled to await planting in the Spring. I‘m officially done with the garden which will happily require no more labor from me. These final photos will end the year once and for all as far as the garden is concerned.

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These next two photos are the final surviving flowers on the property that haven’t been killed off by the cold nights.  They won’t last much more than another week so enjoy them.

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This sunflower looks a lot like I felt this morning as I rolled out of bed. Able to stand upright but just barely.

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Now I can move forward with other projects and chores I’ve been given by my better-half.  Her list never seems to end no matter how hard I try. My father warned me this would eventually happen but I wasn’t a believer until it was too late.

I was able to get around to working on my Dish Network Memorial table once again. I knew grouting a bunch of bottle caps would be difficult but it was more like a nightmare.  The table was grouted and so was I. I had damn near as much white grout on me as was on the table. Thank god it’s done.  I’ll let it dry for a few days and then seal the grout.

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‘Step 1’

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‘Step 2’

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‘Step 3’

The table will be completed right on schedule for my better-half’s birthday celebration that’s coming up soon. She likes me a little and she likes beer a lot so she should love this table.

07-17-2015 Journal–Flowers, Flowers & More!   Leave a comment

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I just finished doing a lot of yard work and I’m exhausted.  With all of the rain we’ve been having the grass is growing faster than I can keep up. The compost pile is already four feet high and It’s only mid-July. It’ll be like Mt. Everest come October.

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I thought I’d post a few new photo’s of our flowers around the garden and house. The colors are fantastic and as some flowers fade many others are just coming into bloom. The colors are nice to look at but the smells are incredible.

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As you can see we have a few rather large zucchini’s already  to pick and within the week I’ll be collecting a basket full of jalapeños and hot banana peppers.  They should make some tasty and screaming hot jalapeño poppers in a few weeks.

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My friendly skunk has been blocked from the garden by the new fence but continues hanging around.  I’ve been finding holes in the yard where he’s been digging for grubs.  It may be time for one more night of surveillance with my new rifle.  This guy has outlived his usefulness and I may have to lay some serious violence on him.  He’s slowly morphing from a friendly night visitor to a varmint.  Unfortunately for him varmints have a very short life span here.

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This will be a shorter post than normal because the better-half and I have been invited to dinner this evening. Good food, good drink, and two grand kids to chase around for a while.  That has the makings of a great night.

Since I’m not allowed to leave the house until I’m presentable and smell good, I need to get busy. No matter what there are always rules to be followed or ignored. Such is life.

07-11-2015 Journal – Garden Update!   Leave a comment

With warm weather finally arriving the garden is almost out of control.  Many of the plants that were previously damaged by my marauding skunk have recovered. Almost every pepper plant of which there are many are now blooming and others already have jalapeños that are ready to be harvested.

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The newly installed fence has completely stopped all of our little woodland friends from nosing around at night but there are indications that one of them has been testing the fence, trying to find a way in.  I could see tracks in the dew on the grass where the skunk has completely circled the garden checking every inch of the fence.  If he keeps this nonsense up I may be forced to remove him permanently.  I was hoping I could avoid bloodshed but maybe not.

The better-half’s flower gardens are in a constant state of color and are looking gorgeous.  She has such a large variety of flowers that there always seems to be something blooming somewhere on the property.

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After a two year wait I’ve begun to harvest my rhubarb.  During the better-half’s jam making frenzy last week it was used for the first time to make strawberry/rhubarb jam.  I had some of the finished product for breakfast yesterday and it was well worth waiting for.  It’s amazing that such an ugly plant can taste so damn good.

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Last evening we had guests for dinner which I prepared on the grill. The better-half’s dessert was a rhubarb/strawberry/blackberry/blueberry crisp.  It was even more delicious than it sounds. A nice big piece of that crisp with a huge dollop of Kool-Whip.  It just doesn’t get much better than that.

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At the rate the garden is growing we’ll soon be very busy with pickle making and canning.  Without a doubt this will be a year where everything exceeds all of our expectations.

05-28-2015 Journal-Bright Colors!   2 comments

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Now that the vegetable garden has been planted I can relax and enjoy my summer a little. Since I’ve been boring everyone with a continuous stream of vegetable garden information I thought it was time to change things up just a little. I’d like to talk about flower gardens.

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My better-half and I decided a long time ago to split the responsibilities when it came to yard work. I was responsible for the vegetable garden and yard maintenance and she would take care of the many flower beds on the property as well as her container garden on the deck. Her results over the last few years have been more than a little spectacular.

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It’s still May and we are only a few weeks away from that cold and miserable weather of April.  Her early plantings and seedlings that she started weeks ago are already beginning to bloom.  We both love as much vivid color as we can get and that’s reflected in the many containers on our deck. All of these photographs were taken yesterday and will give you some idea of the variety of colors we’re hoping to have all Summer long.

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In another month these deck containers will turn the deck into a wonderland of color.  Late in the Summer it’s like walking through an arboretum.  A wide variety of colors combined with unusual herbs help to make it a fun place to sit, relax, and enjoy a good book.  It’s a win/win because the deck is on the second floor which translates to no mosquitos, bugs, or other annoying creatures except for the occasional wasp.

I’ll update these photo’s as the season progresses. It’ll be getting positively Mother Naturish (my made-up word) around here by July.

05-02-2015 Journal – Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere!   Leave a comment

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I’m standing here shaving this morning and finally noticed just how tanned I’ve become.  The weather has warmed a bit but it’s still cold at night and during the day in the shade. It’s becoming rather annoying but at least I’m getting a good base for my Summer tan.

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Even though I continue to whine about the weather it doesn’t seem to be bothering the plant life all that much.  As you can see by the pictures the plants here in Maine refuse to wait for Summer to arrive.  Flowers are shooting up and blooming everywhere regardless of the cold weather.

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Even the garden wants to get going and right now.  My asparagus patch that I planted early last year has started sprouting which makes me very happy. I can’t eat any of it for another year but it looks as if we’ll have a nice large patch we can harvest from next summer.  There’s nothing better than fresh from the garden asparagus coated with a little butter.

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The rhubarb is coming in nicely and I look forward to harvesting it for the first time this year.  I see strawberry/rhubarb pie and a dozen jars of rhubarb jam in my future. This Fall should be a good all around harvest.

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The cold frames are filled with lettuces and a collection of herbs waiting to be planted.  The lettuce will go in next week and the replacement herbs the week after.  I’m planting a larger patch of parsley than normal because we’ve used up just about everything from last summer.  A lot of basil for making pesto and a number of Rosemary plants too.  We can’t seem to enjoy our meals fully without using fresh herbs whenever possible.

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More yard repairs are needed and a few spots need replanting.  I made the decision to purchase a new lawn tractor this week and I’ll pass my older one over to my step daughter and her husband.  One large headache finally dealt with and now I can go forward to enjoy my Summer.

2015 has already made a great start and it should be a warm and pleasant Summer.   I also see a beach day very very soon.

07-17-2014 Journal Entry – Yard Photo’s and More!   Leave a comment

Every once in a while I find something that catches my eye.  This photograph is of a entry gate that leads to an old and extremely run down house located next door to nowhere important. I saw it a few months ago as we were driving around looking for anything interesting.  I didn’t stop for the shot then but I did a few days ago when we happened upon it once again.  I found it simple and fascinating.

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It’s been an interesting few days.  Shortly after posting earlier in the week I came down with a truly nasty 24 hour stomach virus.  I won’t get into the stinky and smelly details but that virus targeted areas of my body that shouldn’t be messed with.  All of my activities ceased immediately except for staying within running distance of any bathroom facilities.  I was on the mend within twenty-four hours and regained my appetite and my antagonistic attitude rather quickly.

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Just when I thought things were improving my better-half said those infamous words you never want to hear, “I think I’m getting a sore throat and my stomach hurts.” It’s only this morning that she was able to get out bed and go to work.  She’s one of those women who seems more macho that most men when it comes to missing work.  She gets some sort of rush by being able to make it to work regardless of the circumstances.  I was like that once but times for me have changed, thank God.

Since I’ve been staying close to home these last few days I thought I’d spend a little time photo documenting every type and color of flower in our gardens that we’ve been blessed with this season. I was more than a little  surprised at the variety myself. Here are a few samples of some of those flowers with more to follow as they begin blooming.

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Believe me when I tell you there’s no better way to spend an hour or two each week by walking through the garden and photographing everything. It’s a really tough life I have but you know someone’s gotta do it.

07-07-2014 Journal Entry-Garden Madness!   Leave a comment

The monsoons  of Arthur have finally left this area and are on their way to Nova Scotia.  Three and a half days of rain were badly needed but OMG. My nice little garden and the better-half’s flower gardens look like the jungles of Vietnam.  It’s hard to believe that they can grow so quickly when doused with copious amounts of water. You’ll see with today’s photo’s that I may need a machete to get around in there.

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I planted a variety of kale plants this year that a week ago were four inches high.  Today they measuring almost 14 inches.  I’ll be harvesting them sooner than expected and the freezer will be filled very quickly.

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The herbs are out of control as well and it’s obvious I’ll be able to restock a large part of my dried herb collection and be more prepared than ever for the coming Winter.

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I harvested almost three pounds of rhubarb seeds yesterday which I’m slowly drying in one of the cold frames. After a few days of direct sunlight they should be ready for storage until next Spring. I plan on planting as many as possible around the property because my goal is to have a huge patch of rhubarb within the next two years.

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The better-half’s flowers are beginning to bloom everywhere.  The assorted colors of these day lilies makes picture taking a real pleasure. I especially love the dark red ones.

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I normally plant three zucchini plants each year and harvest probably 5 or 6 zucchini’s per plant.  This year I was given a great deal on plants and ended up buying a few extra. As you can see I’ll be knee deep in zucchini in just a few weeks.

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I’d like to keep posting but I’ve got three hours of weeding and general maintenance in that garden.  The better-half returns tomorrow morning from her trip and I’d like to get these tasks out of the way before then.

06-27-2014 Journal Entry–Retirement!   Leave a comment

I still find my life difficult after six years of being retired. First of all I never expected to ever be retired and honestly thought I would have died long before this. For a change it’s nice to be wrong about certain things.

Adjusting my day-to-day existence from being an over achieving workaholic to a gardening, bird watching, and laid back retiree has been interesting and at times distressing.  I now understand that my high blood pressure issues were probably responsible for my former fast paced life style and the workaholic obsession.

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“The garden is producing already. I just thought I’d brag a little.”

But with my slowed down and medicated lifestyle I’m now a much more calm and controlled person.  Yesterday I spent a good part of my day taking photographs. I was able to spend more than an hour taking pictures without ever leaving my yard.  I’ve never had the luxury of free time like this and it still makes me feel guilty as if I’m being lazy and unproductive.  I’ll show you a few of my photo’s and you can judge for yourself if it was worth my time.  After looking at them I found myself very happy with the results and felt the time had been well spent.  See what you think.

I’ve placed numerous bird houses on the property and this year we have a number of winged residents living with us.  I’ve come to find out that birds can be a vicious bunch.  They’re very territorial especially when they’re nesting and protecting newborns. This first photo is of a mother spending twelve hours a day coming and going to feed her recently hatched babies. 

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This second photo is that same mother protecting those young from an intruder.  Two years ago this same bird had two nestlings killed by a bird of the same species.  I found their little corpses in the nest after the birds left on their southern migration.  I finally had to replace the box because they refused to come near the old one even though I’d cleaned out the old nest and dead babies. The first year after replacing that box they returned and took possession of the new one once again.  They seem to be much more protective these days than in the past and rightly so.

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Hopefully within a few weeks we’ll have a few little ones making a racket as they mature and prepare to leave the nest.  That’s assuming no further catastrophes occur such as other birds or the neighbor’s cat.  I might be forced to put a few Be-Be’s in the ass of that damn cat to help them a little if necessary.

I then moved through the garden to an area with freshly blooming day lilies.  They are some of my favorite flowers for photographing.  The colors are just so vibrant and beautiful I can’t resist them.

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Lets get just a little closer to see more of Mother Nature’s finest work.

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It’s these things that help keep me sane.  I could easily roam for hours taking pictures of anything and everything and never be disappointed.

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After a day of doing this I’m not quite so discontented with retirement.  Doing things I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do is even cooler than I imagined. I  do miss working more than I thought I would but it’s all a matter of adjusting to change. I’m almost there.

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