Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Husband and a Garden

Hello friends. Do you remember me? I'm sorry that I have been away, but we had no longer spent a bunch of time working in the yard and gardens, when a week of stress descended upon us. My husband found out the week before Easter that his brother had suddenly passed away, and as soon as he found out when the services were to be held (in Massachusetts), he set about making plane reservations on Good Friday to leave the next Tuesday. I was outside working, came in to fix us some lunch, and Bob started having some strange symptoms, including nausea, high fever, the chills, and odd breathing. I called 911 and they transported him to the hospital where he spent the first couple of days in ICU and was then moved to a regular room. After five days of testing just to rule out possibilities, it turned out to be nothing too serious, but it was a scare nevertheless. Needless to say, he did not make his brother's service and that caused him additional upset. The medical staff said that stress likely played a hand in it all, and I do believe it probably did. He came home last Wednesday, and is doing pretty good now. Whew! Of course he started doing things around the house the other day as he is getting antsy and said that he can only spend so much time lazing around watching TV. 

He desired a return to reality on Monday, so he mowed the lawn and I planted some new daylilies that I had previously ordered, and were delivered while he was in the hospital. I also transplanted some old things that were doing poorly in their original spots. A few weeks ago Bob had doubled the size of one of my gardens, shown on this post (the first photo of the kidney-shaped space). So that opened some space for me to add new plants this spring and summer.

Here is the garden right after Bob 
dug out the lawn,
which wasn't growing very well anyway.
The garden shed is in the background,
and beautiful purchased garden soil in
the wheelbarrow.
Is there something wrong with me in that I get more excited
about good dirt than I do about a new pair of shoes?...

This is the second order of daylilies; the first order was planted
a couple of weeks ago.
I mainly only order them from daylily farms,
and this particular batch came from Oakes Daylilies.
They are in Tennessee, and send out the most beautifully
healthy, large, freshly-dug clumps,
and at fair prices too!...

Here is a different view of the same space...

Trust me when I say, we have terrible soil 
in this area. 
If I threw a clump of it at your head,
it would be akin to being hit by
a piece of concrete
(not that I would do this to anyone!)
For every hole I dig, I have to throw that
soil into the woods away from the yard, 
and then fill the hole with good composted
soil. It takes about three years of doing 
this to finally have a garden that is friendly
to plants.
And it takes about three weeks for
my back to recover from a day of doing this.
While I was digging holes,
I decided to also transplant some older daylilies
and irises that were not doing to well in other
sections of the yard.
Behind them you see the older plants that
we put into this garden two years ago,
and they are very happy!...

In the front of this photo, you can see what the soil
naturally looks like here.
Do you see how grey and clumpy it looks?...

And here I go with the plant identifiers,
made out of cheap cut-up mini blinds.
I have mentioned before that No. 2 pencil
lasts the longest, and I only have to refresh 
them every two or three years.
As soon as I order my plants,
I make up the tags so that when my plants
arrive I can quickly get them in the ground...

So here is one now planted.
This year I also used drinking straws to 
identify which daylily farm I ordered them from.
I ordered from four different farms,
so am going to watch which ones do the best.
The straws will also tell me which ones I will
water a bit more this summer...

So now the garden looks a little funny,
with the plants and soil in place,
getting ready to mulch...

I initially mulched only around the new plants,
because more are coming and
I'm not yet sure where I will put them...

In our back garden there are some pretty 
daffodils and tulips
growing at the front border.
I bought some bulbs last fall and planted half
at The Wren's Nest and half here.
These white beauties are Thalia daffodils...

...and these others came from a Walmart bag of
mixed tulip bulbs called "Dual Fancy".
Tulip bulbs here often get consumed by voles,
so I was amazed at how well these did...

The following photos are not very good due to the shade,
but you can see the daffodils and tulips mixed in
with more irises and daylilies. 
By the time the aforementioned start to die back,
the latter will take over.
Irises first and then the daylilies,
each taking its turn in the garden,
and camouflaging the plants that have gone by...

I thank you for staying with me on this
photo-heavy post.
One of these days maybe I'll even have time 
for some artwork!

I hope that you are having a wonderful week.


  1. Oh Sue, I am sorry to hear of Bob's brother; and of course about Bob's 'scare' as well. It sounds like he is on the mend and I'm thankful to hear that!
    Your grounds are looking Sooo Beautiful Sue! Gorgeous mix of flowers & green. And look @ you! with the cut up mini blinds! How clever is that ; ) Thanks for sharing your progress~ Have a great rest of the week friend~ Karen O

    1. Thank you so much Karen. Garden is cheaper than a shrink! XO

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your hubby, Sue. That must have been very scary. I'm glad to hear that he is doing fine now.
    Enjoy your time in the garden!

    1. Hi Julia! Thanks for coming by. I hope that all is well on your side of the ocean. Hugs back!

  3. Oh Sue, what a scare, so good nothing seriously was wrong, but so sad your husbands brother so suddenly passed away!
    I know all about stubborn husbands ,Sue- my own just had pneumonia for 4 weeks, and also started doing things outside , very early, even I tried to make him relax inside, LOL. Your garden will look so beautiful, very soon, such a big work, I can see. I love the white daffodils, what beauties.
    Dorthe, xxoo

    1. Hello sweet friend. Thank you so much for your kind words. I know what you mean about husbands...I'm glad to hear that they are stubborn even where you live. I am sorry that yours was ill, and am so glad that he's doing better now. I guess that you just can't keep a good man down!! I hope that you have a great weekend Dorthe! XO

  4. Oh my goodness, such a scary time you had... And I'm so sorry your brother in law passed away, my condolences, dear. So sad that your husband couldn't be at his funeral. Your garden is coming along beautifully. I'm glad he is doing better now, but I do hope he'll take care! Sending you big hugs, xx

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Wen. He is on the mend and doing well. Have a great week! Big hugs back to you. XO


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