Learning As I Go

I’m crazy for beautiful gardens, but I’ve never been much of a gardener.  Now there is no choice as every area of our yard has growing things that require attention, and that has meant a pretty sharp learning curve for me.

Gardening is a bit of a challenge as much of the growing area is on a rocky cliff which makes footing in some areas rather treacherous.  

Much of the area facing Rockport Harbor is in shade, and I have learned the hard way that not all plants do well without lots of sunshine.  Hostas are one of the exceptions, and right now they are coming into their own. The oodles of varieties make them a most interesting garden addition when it come to color and texture.

Day lilies are doing their thing, and I do love their vibrancy, 

Peonies have been deadheaded though there is one lone bloom that refuses to give up, perhaps because it doesn’t want to leave its insect dweller homeless.

I don’t know where they came from, but this year dainty forget-me-nots have shown up in every garden area.  Earlier in the summer I was pulling them up, but the task was never ending and I decided to leave them as ground cover.  Their little blue blooms are sweet, but I’m still not sure how I feel about their presence.  Any ideas for getting rid of them?

Climbing hydrangeas bloom through the summer and need little attention other than an occasional trim.  It’s best for the hubby not to be the one who takes on that task as he gets carried away and they get scalped!

Lacecap hydrangeas line a garden path.  They are trouble free which is a good thing.  The down side is they don’t last as long as some of the other varieties which is sad because they may be my favorites.

A favorite part of the yard is what the kids call beautiful land.  Among the rocks, ladies’ slipper, mosses, ornamental thyme and other ground covers flourish.  Best of all, this area requires little maintenance other than some weeding.

Wherever I look there is something of beauty whether it’s lining a pathway

or adding its own unique touch in another garden area.  

Even the unruly, unkept areas that belong only to nature make their individual statements.  One thing’s for sure, I won’t be scaling the rocks to try to get any of it under control.  That’s a lesson learned early on!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Porch Love

dinghy/Rockport HarborDuring the summer months we spend lots of time on the porch watching the action on the harbor,

enjoying birds at the feeder

or sharing tini time with family or friends.

Maintaining our special place, however, got to be a real challenge as Maine winters are hard on exterior finishes.  Finally, the porch with its rotten boards and never ending demand for paint got the best of us, and we decided to replace it with a synthetic material made by Azek.  The hard part was the hubby and me agreeing on color and composition!

That done so began a project that proved to be a major undertaking.  Piece by piece the old came out

 under the watchful eye of Willow who accompanied her boss to work every day.  She wasn’t much help when it came to the installation, but she was perfectly behaved.

The crew worked 12 hour days, and the hubby couldn’t resist getting involved.  He proved to be an able assistant.  That definitely gives him some ownership of the project as well as a few aches and pains.

In case you are thinking this was an easy job, think again.  Every piece that went in had to be carefully measured and cut as nothing of the original porch was perfect.  

When all was said and done, however, the porch is perfect and will be much appreciated when next spring no repairs will be required.

Now the birdhouses are back in place,

new plant stands replace a peeling bench and are perfect for a garden vignette.

martiniBest of all, the porch is again ready for tini time!  Cheers!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

Out and About

Maine is a big state with many small towns.  During the summer, it is not surprising to find some fun activity going on that draws neighbors and visitors from near and far.  Count me among them as I venture to Washington for the Strawberry Festival held on the grounds of the Village Church.

It is an annual event sponsored by the Ladies Guild.

The festival is a celebration of food and fun.  The food is simple, and there is something for everyone.  I mean, how many places can you go and find PB&J offered for the young at heart?

The main attraction is, of course, strawberry shortcake. 

Oh, and let’s not leave out the scrumptious pies all homemade!

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While folks line up to order and pay for their food choices,

guild ladies are in the kitchen working efficiently to meet the demand.

Outside, folks eat and visit under a beautiful Maine sky

and local musicians get feet tapping and hands clapping.

It’s days like this when people gather to enjoy the simple things in life that remind me why I love Maine.  Yep, here is the way life should be.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind.

 

Nothing to It!

Funny how sometimes there’s nothing to setting a table.  That is quite true of this one.  It started with a linen table runner I hadn’t used in some time.  

What drew me to it is the bird image as  I do have a thing for birds and bird houses!

It was a no brainer to add a bird house from the collection on the porch and  a little birdie that just happened to be sitting on the counter waiting to be used for something.

With so many flowers blooming in the yard, it was very easy to run out and clip a few to add a touch of color.  For me, there is no better way to arrange flowers than to stick a stem or two or three in bottles that are then grouped on the table.  

With the bird on the runner being stamped in black, there was no better choice for dishes than the black Ikea plates.  

Finishing off the table is a favorite simple napkin fold that works perfectly as a pouch for the flatware.

You know, it just doesn’t take much to make a simple dinner at home something special.  

And dinner was simple.  It was an Against the Grain pizza with pesto and mozzarella to which was added pears, bacon, pine nuts and blue cheese. 

Out of the oven, it was topped with arugula which made a salad unnecessary.  By the way, if you haven’t tried Against the Grain pizza, look for it in your frozen food section.  It is quite good, and as an extra bonus, it’s gluten free.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

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Promise of Independence

Fireworks-52

July 4th, a day of flag waving, bar-b-que, hot dogs, apple pie and fireworks in the United States.  While all of this is great fun, it does not tell what this holiday is all about.  July 4th is the date the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776 with a document of promise and hope.

For the last several years I have been asked to read from the Declaration of Independence in a patriotic celebration in small town Maine, and I am so grateful for the opportunity as it brought me back to the real significance of July 4th.  As I look over them today, I realize that the words crafted by early American patriots could apply to all  mankind.

We hold these truths to be self evident:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights: that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them small seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

In these days of turmoil throughout the world, it would serve us all well to take such truths to heart.

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Garden Bounty

While I may not be very experienced  when it comes to laying out a garden and choosing complementary plants, the garden does provide bountiful beauty from spring until fall.

Gardening is a learning process filled with errors and rewards.

The reward comes when the garden blooms making it possible to cut a few stems varied in color and texture.

flowers/rhdodendronThe rhododendrons are all but gone,

peony but coming in right behind them are peonies changing daily from tight little buds

peonyto partially open teasers

peonyto full blown beauties.

They don’t last long, especially if it rains, so I cut them and fill the house where they can be enjoyed.

Their differing colors and textures make each bloom a special gift.  Salvia, which tries to take over my little garden, provides wonderful contrast, and the alium which is past its prime adds an interesting texture.

So grows my garden.  It may not be perfect, but the same is not true for the beauties that grow there. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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