Moving roses

Moved six rosebushes tonight. It probably would have been best to do this a couple of weeks ago, but we had to get other things done first. We moved two about this time last year and thought we'd lost them, but they are doing great and bushing out at the corner of the deck. The sandstone rocks between the rosebushes are from Ken's grandparents' pastureland in the Smoky Hills of Kansas. We moved some of them from our last house and I love having them in this yard too.

Ready for roses

The flowerbed is all ready for the roses. The grass is greening, and the Bradford pear is about to burst into bloom.

Lucky clover

Well, not exactly clover, but oxalis, also called shamrock–and this one must be lucky because it's been thriving and almost continually in bloom ever since I bought it shortly after we moved a year ago. This plant always makes me think of my friend Mary, who introduced me to it decades ago. Her birthday is in March and she always has one in her house around this time of year.

He promised me a rose garden

Ken dug the first flower bed of the season last night, March 27. We have seven or eight small rose bushes and want to congregate them in a rose garden at the corner of the house, since we have other plans for the spaces they currently live. But we need to hurry while they're still dormant!

Waiting for Spring

While we wait for spring to arrive, I'm enjoying the orchids blooming on the windowsill in my home office. For the first time ever, I've gotten two orchids to rebloom!

We're also delighted that all the work is finally done on our house (since the storm passed through out neighborhood last spring). New roof, siding, trim, paint, light fixtures, and dining room window. And the finishing touch: new paint on our front door. The color is Valspar's Concerto, a beautiful aqua blue.
Now we've started on the outside, getting all the flowerbeds ready and transplanting a few things. Photos of progress to come as spring marches on.

Wiley Coyote

Probably the most exciting thing that's happened in our yard all year is the coyote (or likely a coywolf) that ventured into our backyard on February 11. Interesting that when we lived at the edge of a small town with a large meadow across the street from us, we never saw anything like this. Nope, had to move to the city to see a coyote stroll through our yard!

He was a beautiful animal, but I'm not crazy about the idea of anything related to a wolf in our backyard!

One month later . . . more of the same

Yes, we're still here. But one month later, February 6, and we have the same view, same single-digit temps, and 8 inches of far. I really can't wait until I'm posting photos like this again:

Baby, it's COLD outside!

It was 0 degrees F. when I woke up this morning, January 6, 2014. That's ZERO degrees! Brrrrr!
Last week we had a cardinal and a blue jay decorating the branches of our Bradford pear tree. Just beautiful. Such a day brightener they were!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a very blessed Christmas and all God's richest blessings in 2014.

Repairs finally done

We've (still!) been busy getting the house back together after the May storm, but the final touches––new guttering, deck painted, lawn furniture painted, lights and house numbers hung––are finally done and we're blessed to celebrate Christmas in a house that's in good shape inside and out. Truly a silver lining of the storm.

 It even looks like we'll be having a white Christmas! But already we're dreaming of spring and the things we want to do with the gardens here.

Almost November

We're finally making some progress on the house repairs since the May 19 hailstorm. Excuse our mess, but the autumn colors are still so beautiful.

Slowly, but surely. . .

October 1, and we are slowly getting everything dug up and transplanted out of the front flowerbeds. Workers are due to put the new siding up any day now, so we need to clear out this area and get the dirt away from the garage, and transfer the plants we want to keep to their new homes. Last night the lilac bush got moved to the side of the house. Tonight, we plan to dig up this volunteer redbud tree that's much too close to the porch and plant it in the backyard. It's such a pretty little tree! I really hope it survives the move. 

The lilac bush should make a nice screen for hiding the air conditioner at the side of the house.

Meanwhile, the checkerboard patio is filling in nicely, and we're eager for the siding to be done so we can transplant more rose bushes over to the new rose garden on the back corner of the house. The gorgeous fallish weather has made being outdoors a delight!

A new bloom!

 We came home September 1 from a trip to California to find our clematis in bloom for the first time! Beautiful! The honeysuckle is blooming anew as well.  

At a standstill

We are waiting, waiting, waiting for the contractors to replace the siding, guttering, and repaint the deck damaged in the May 19 hailstorm, so gardening is kind of on hold for now. But we're enjoying the few things we did plant, especially the caladiums beneath the deck stairs. 

Bye-bye pokeweed

Well, we said we'd chop down/pull out the pokeweed before the birds started eating the berries. The berries aren't even ripe yet, but Ken saw this little feathered fellow, right, perched here and eyeing those berries longingly, so I guess that's the death knell for the pokeweed. We've really enjoyed its bright green leaves, red stalks, and white flowers, but it has grown quite large, and we really don't want to be overrun by pokeweed next year. Thankfully the caladiums are putting on a show in the shadow of the pokeweed, so we'll transfer our admiration to the green and red-veined leaves. 

And just look at the forecast for August 12-17! Unbelievable for August in Kansas!

Venturing north

We ventured into the Smoky Hills of Ellsworth County for our anniversary the weekend of August 11. What a beautiful part of the country! This is where my husband grew up, and where we lived for eight years when our children were small. Recent rains have the ponds brimming and the roadside ditches full of wildflowers and native prairie grasses. And the hillsides are green green green. The clouds were so beautiful the day we made this drive. It really was breathtaking!

Results of the rain

 All the rain we've been getting means the flower pots are overflowing. So much that I've been pruning and plucking and trying to keep them contained. We purposely didn't plant too many pots this year since we knew we'd be replacing the siding and gutters, painting the deck, etc. and it's a good thing, because if we had many more pots, it would be a full-time job keeping up with the results of all this rain! (We're NOT complaining!)
 The caladiums under the deck are growing and multiplying and add such a pretty spot of color that we see from both inside the house and when we sit under the deck. This is definitely a plant I'll want next year.

Indoor gardens

We've had wonderful cooler temps this summer, but mid-day when it's too hot to be outside, I'm thankful for the colorful plants and flowers I have inside. I've collected an assortment of miniature plants to line the ledge of the garden tub in the master bath. They thrive in the diffused light from the glass block window and steam from the bath and shower.

The beautiful yellow-bloom kalanchoe moved from the bath to a caned rush barstool in the corner of the living room. 

It's a jungle out there!

We had inches and inches of rain in July and already this is what our early August forecast looks like! Everything is growing like CRAZY! And unfortunately, almost everything needs to be moved to a new spot. We're in a holding pattern right now, still waiting for repairs from the hailstorm we had in May. We have a sturdy new roof, but there's still a window to replace, new siding and guttering to be put on, and the deck to be power washed and painted.

Come fall, we have our work cut out for us! Almost everything in the flowerbed in the front has to be thinned out and moved. We've already moved some of the barberry bushes to a spot in front of my office window. The beautiful Japanese Magnolia is too tall and covers up everything else in the flowerbed, so it will get moved to a new spot, too.

And this volunteer redbud tree will be moved to a spot in the backyard. We tried to move a smaller one in the heat of July and it didn't make it. (We had no choice about moving it since it was in the way of some repairs.) We'll be patient and wait until fall to transplant this to the back yard. It's a beautiful little tree and growing VERY fast!

If we thought the front flowerbed was crowded, the back is jam-packed! All wonderful plants that we'd like to keep but they simply can't all stay here! We have a Rose of Sharon that is bursting with blooms. . .

. . .three hibiscus plants––two red and one white, that give us dinner-plate size blooms. . .
 . . . plus, the Weigela is blooming again, there are lilies and fleabane and a thistle that's too pretty to cut down yet, a huge hydrangea, and several still unidentified plants all growing together in a messy jungle!

Meanwhile, in the shade garden under the deck the roses keep blooming and filling my vases, the caladiums are lush and beautiful, and the sweet potato vine is trying to take over the world! The checkerboard patio needs to be mowed, but it's starting to look like it's been here forever. We're excited for fall when we can thin things out and start to see the flowerbeds take shape for next spring.