It’s Growing!

 

Upon checking out my garden today I spotted a Monarch butterfly resting.

 

 

As many of you know, one of my summer focuses is my garden. A timelapse process is playing out for me. One day I’ll work diligently among the family of plants and the next day,  a massive growth spurt will occur. It’s mind-boggling how much plants can transform into a towering cousin, still the same being but a much larger version. My tomato plants are swaying trees, busting out of the metal cages and the squash leaves lean towards the tomatoes, creating an intertwined row. Not only are the plants growing, but their veggies are expanding from one day to the next. Leaving one finger sized cucumber one day leads to a gigantic cuke the next! I’m not sure if it’s the sun or few rain showers we’ve had, but it’s a must to visit the garden everyday!

 

 

 

 

 

I picked all these beauties this afternoon.

 

Our corn stalks sway with the New England breeze and the husk appears from the growing cobs. The green bean plants proudly stand about 12 inches with beautiful beans in tow. Romaine Lettuce has been cut back and it grows for other cuttings. I’ve thinned out the carrots as they grew quite thick in the row. Now green fluffy leaves look so pretty in the soil, my ornamental beauty in the garden.

 

 

 

I feel so blessed and in a monumental state of peace beyond the wire fence. It’s a different world, away from bills and problems. I can only wish that you all can bathe in this euphoric sensation…whatever activity you indulge in. It’s these moments that pull us through tough times or mundane days. The restoration feeds the heart and soul, something we all need to live calmly.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

 

The Early Days of August

A front view of our home this summer

 

 

It’s hard to believe that here we are, emerged in August! June and July have hurried by and left behind much rain. Summer days  of indulging in iced tea and watching flowers grow have commenced. August brings  steamy yet comfortable temperatures in the 80’s and relaxing breezes in our humble town. Flowers have bloomed and brought vivid colors to yards. The rich green grass is soft to my barefeet and cool to the touch.

 

 

It’s been awhile since I updated you all on our renovation and building projects. Some of you may remember my post last summer of my husband building his beautiful garage/barn. It’s pretty much finished besides pouring a cement floor and we need to purchase two industrial sized doors. We feel very proud of this structure and by chance it’s foundation is built where the old barn stood many years ago. This was done by  accident, for we didn’t know, but what a wonderful coincidence, don’t you think?

 

A look at the garage last summer. Isn’t it spectacular?

 

 

This summer Tom has started siding our house with cedar shingles. This is where we tore down an attached shed, leaving original clapboard ( not in the best shape) and unfinished work and insulation from many years ago before we were owners. I feel like I should help but I’m not too confident of using the nailgun. I hand him the shingles, alternating between fat sturdy pieces and the thinner shingles and of course I gab the whole time to keep him company. Tom was smart enough to keep the awning up to keep him out of the sun and rain. Eventually we can enjoy that side of the house with light brown shingles and a new window installed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is the one of the best times to create new gardens. Tom helped me dig out a space in the corner of our house facing the diningroom and the kitchen. I planted little purple coneflowers which hopefully will rise towards the sun in magnificent height. To compliment that color, I included coreopsis with a warm yellow glow. While it’s pretty much done, I have a few finishing touches like the gorgeous bird bath my niece made and wait until you see what it’s made from! But that post will come later so be looking for it in a week or two.

 

 

 

August not only brings warm pleasant temperatures, but family! Tom’s mother, Theo, has visited all the long way from Lake Wales, Florida. She arrived last week with Tom’s sister Pam and her husband Jim. After a long tedious day of traveling, I served my chili for dinner. It was a little different than what I usually concoct because at the last minute I added garden zucchini and I think that was a great decision!

 

We’ve spent the week talking, eating wonderful meals and  enjoying the outside with walks(one walk through our town took 4 hours and about 6 miles). We also visited Tom’s sister Bev and her husband Chris last weekend in Easthampton, Massachusetts. It was a great drive down on 91 and the trip was a little under three hours. Bev and Chris are immersed in a challenging renovation project, a huge three story home on a quaint small town street. They are restoring it to its original state, which takes time and patience. They reside upstairs and eventually they will rent the bottom half to responsible renters. I look forward to seeing their progress the next time we visit.

 

During our weekend we explored the bike path on that area, walking in shady and sunny parts and met the nicest people. Bev pointed out how many dads walk their children there and we saw families taking advantage of the trail. Bev served us scrumptious scallops and a lovely hearty breakfast of blueberry oat pancakes. It was special spending time with Bev, Chris ( I love how he laughs at my jokes, one of the few), my niece Michele and of course Theo. It was a magical weekend and I didn’t want to say goodbye but I was itching to hit the road and make the trip up 91 to home.

 

As August has started, the summer clock is ticking away and I glance now and then at the calendar. I believe that I have to be back at school in three weeks. But as the clock continues to tick outrageously fast, I intend to savor the rest of the summer and welcome what happens in those days.

Theo, my mother in law and my husband Tom, after a long day of work for him.

Theo and I are camping in a cabin at a campground north of us for about five days. In that time I won’t be posting or responding to comments but I will rejoin you all when I get back home. I’ll be sure to jot down notes and take pictures of my adventures. Blessings to you all and your families.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

A Garden in July

 

 

 

 

IMG_2892
I’ve allowed a lot of space this year so I’m hoping it grows in some. From left to right eggplant, carrots, broccoi with cauliflower in the back, swiss chard, thyme and basil, squashes to the right.

 

 

 

When I think of summer weather, my thoughts focus on my vegetable garden. My blogger friend Rhonda asked if I ever post my garden’s progress so this post was born. Thanks, Rhonda! I believe that my last garden post was last month in the beginning of its birth. Since then all the vegetables have sprung up.

 

 

IMG_2887

 

 

It’s been crazy weather here in northern New Hampshire! We’ve had beaucoup amounts of rain to the point of affecting some back roads. Tom knows all about that,  as he works as an assistant road agent and has been drastically trying to bandage the town roads. About 2 weeks ago a powerful rain storm reaped havoc on our region, similar to hurricane weather and we even had a rare tornado warning. My husband heard that in our area we had 2-4 inches of rain in an hour! Since then we’ve had copious amounts of rain! At times my garden soil has resembled a pit of clay but after a few sun baked days, it dries out again until the next rainfall.

 

I can’t help wonder where summer is hiding, behind the clouds? Despite that and on a positive note, we have had some gleaming sun shining as well, just not enough for people to be completely satisfied.

 

 

 

IMG_2893
My scant rows of corn, cucumber plants next (ready to be staked tepee style, I’ll post that update when it’s done), eggplants, carrots.

 

 

 

Today has been a bright sunshine filled day, lovely growing weather for my babies! As they shoot up full and reach to the sky, I’ll post their progress! Until then if you’re a gardener, enjoy your labors, breathe the fresh air and absorb the God given sunlight.

 

All My  Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

A Lovely tomato plant

 

Laura’s Spirea Bushes

 

My front yard has come to a vibrant life! With our annual posies framing our house front, a vibrant splash of color greets passers-by.  A few weeks ago I noticed how my Spirea   bushes have grown immensely since I received  them. Two years ago my co- worker, Laura Mulkigian gave me these full green beauties for my birthday. That day she also made me a strawberry cake and all the girls at lunch ate some in celebration. Every time I glance at these beauties, I’ll think of her. She recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, something I’m trying to come to terms with. ❤

 

 

 

Before

image
Look at how tiny one of the bushes was!

 

After. Click on the link for picture from Microsoft Word. 

spirea

 

 

 

It was our first year in our new house and I proudly planted them in front of our house, one on each side of the steps. These lovely shrubs host many small leaves  and have grown magnificently!  Both of them are spreading a few feet wide and are about two feet high.  In the beginning we didn’t realize how big these bushes would grow! We may have to cut them back so they don’t block our window.  I expect them to continue the growth spurt and as that happens I’ll replant my hostas to allow more breathing room. 

 

 

 

img_1917
As October dawned an autumn glow in hues of orange and reds, the bushes sported the same fiery colors.  Notice how the sky casts a pinkish color to match the scene. This was taken last fall. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirea betulifolia TOR bushes flourish with tiny white  flowers in June even though the tag states that they bloom in the fall. I’m going to research  it and feed them fertilizer to help the blossoms. This year it mildly hosted just a few flowers so my future goal is to have full bushes of flowers of a beautiful veil of white.  It would be wonderful to see it bloom twice in the summer!

 

 

 

Do you have any unique bushes in your yard? Have they grown much larger than you expected? In coming years we’ll keep an eye on “ Laura’s bushes” and trim them if needed. I truly feel blessed that I have these to remind me of Laura. 

 

 

 

Happy days to you all and thanks for stopping by! It means the world to me to have such lovely ” pen pal” blogging friends! 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

 

 

Grow Up!

 

 

My sister-in-law used to have an interesting sign in her garden

which stated, GROW UP!

It amused me to no end because it could have two meanings.

The minute I spotted it,

with a little chuckle,

I imagined a teenage girl yelling this at her younger

brother who may have teased her incessantly.

True story for many.

A casual whisper to the roots in the soil

may help with some sunshine

and water. ( you know what they say

about people talking to their plants!)

 

But unlike the catty girl,

my whisper will be in a gentle yet pleading tone.

 

Grow up and flourish!

 

 

download (19)
Our corn is coming well…things are starting to grow. The whispering helps!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Mysterious Flowers

download (3)

 

 

 

Good afternoon to you all! Yesterday I walked around  my yard checking my flowers and plants out. I guess most people enjoy doing this…hearing the birds, having the sun shine on my cheeks, seeing beauty and growth in my flowers! These moments I am truly grateful for because it feeds my soul and alleviates everyday stresses. If you garden, you probably know what I mean. Gardening is a peaceful activity and reminds me of a meditation that I can do at home and several times a day.

 

 

As I walked the lawn’s edge past our towering pine tree ( it’s about a hundred feet tall) and approached the birch, I was surprised to find my little purple gems blossomed! I’m not sure if they are a morning glory variety but I speculate they are since they open up in the morning and close late afternoon and night.

 

 

 

Several years ago my husband’s employer had her flower garden reconstructed and had a few flowers that she didn’t want anymore. Tom happily took these beauties and planted them at our house beside a lone birch tree by the road. We have never really taken care of them and didn’t need to. They seemed to do well where he planted them but now I’m not sure if I should divide them? The clumps look quite big and messy and I even had to stake one bunch because the flowers were drooping down on the ground.

 

download (2)

 

 

I need some gardening advice, folks! Should I stake the rest and divide them in the fall? Any other suggestions on what to do with them? If you know this plant species name that would be helpful too. Am I right with the morning glory guess?

 

Blessings to you all. I hope your summer is off to a great start! Lately in New Hampshire, we’ve had beautiful sunny warm weather with a cool breeze which absolutely equals heaven! It’s spectacular weather for gardening, strolling along your yard and reading a book!

 

 

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

 

 

download (1)

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

 

 

 

 

Planting Our Garden

 

Two weeks ago my husband and I planted  our annual vegetable garden. It was quite a project and took longer than we expected. As the sun warmed the earth, there was that sticky change in the air. It was the distinct sign of rain, as bugs went crazy in our face and nibbled at our exposed ears.  Although our bout with the annoying insects drove us crazy and tried our patience, we still persevered at our gardening task with a farmer’s steadfast determination. 

 

 

 

 

image2 (2)
A tilled sandy garden plot from the very beginning of the season.

 

 

 

 

My husband and I  are quite a team because we work together in tandem like a well oiled machine, but we should, as we have been doing this for a few years now. It’s our fourth year planting here at our home overlooking our pond. Before that we worked and enjoyed a vegetable plot for sixteen years. It’s just what we do in June with persistent faith in what will grow. Tom raked the rows and I planted the seeds and plants. After it all was planted and marked, we watered the rows for the first time. 

 

 

 

Here we are immersed in the June season…a time to start anew and plant in hopes of mother nature’s cooperation. It’s a rush to plant because if you wait until now  it may be too late. The growing season is so short lived here that time is of the essence. I always start the first weekend of June for I fear the weather will have a frost or my delicate saplings won’t make the cold weather. So we plant  hurriedly in hopes of a harvest in July, August and September depending on what vegetables they are.

 

 

 

 

image2 (3)
A little view of our planted product in the early stages!

 

 

 

A New England tip for gardener’s is to not only sow seeds but buy or start plants for a head start. I don’t have a sun room or anything ideal to start seeds in February, although a greenhouse would be nice someday! Buying started vegetable plants boosts your garden and you will harvest much quicker than if you started planting seeds. Some veggies grow super fast, so those you can sow seeds and it’s fine. They are green beans, carrots, spinach and lettuce, herbs, and radishes to name a few. I always choose tomato, squash, cucumber and eggplant plants so that I can harvest in June for the cukes and August and September for the rest.

 

 

 

 

In previous years my dad always has his ground seeds planted by mid May while my plot hasn’t even been tilled yet! The amazing thing is that he lives even more north of me and has different weather but it seems to always work out for him. I have to remember that he’s retired as well and has more time on his hands than me! This year he has a little greenhouse with shelves in it to grow veggies in containers and then he’s placing the containers outside where his garden was. I wish him well with his new system and there will be less weeds doing it this way.

 

 

 

 

 

image1 (3)
my spooky owl that hopefully will scare little critters from our harvest.

 

 

This year we had a deluge of rain, raining just about every day and as that happened, our brook bordering our woods was churning and bubbling fast because of all the water rush. I hoped that our seeds wouldn’t rot in all the muck but with  wishful thinking and the warm sun pulling its weight now,  it all will be fine.

 

 

 

 

Gardening takes lots of patience…patience for it to happen on it’s terms and not yours. Here it’s been two weeks since I planted and little has changed with the plants, although most planted seeds have sprouted from the earth.  I can continuously check every day like an anxious elementary child who has sown her bean seed in a little cup. Even so, if I constantly watch for some growth, it’s definitely not going to speed up it’s progress.

 

 

 

 

This year our vegetable garden includes corn, green beans, carrots, two kinds of cucumbers ( straight 8’s and pickling), beets, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, basil, thyme, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, buttercup squash, zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes ( cherry and early girl), and marigolds lined up as soldiers to ward off the pests.

 

 

 

Have you planted your garden yet? What did you plant for your family and friends? I wish you many harvested goodies from your countless hours of gardening! The pure gift of sunshine and freshly fallen rain helps a bunch and a never ending faith of what will be.

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

image2 (4)
My little row of carrots, broccoli, and Swiss chard. Oops! A footprint!