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When I’m not crafting…

…I’m probably gardening. My frequent long gaps in blogging this spring have been mostly due to me taking advantage of every scrap of nice weather to get outside, clear land, hoe, weed, lay a brick border, plant, and then tend to said plants. We had a couple of areas alongside our driveway that, according to the landlord, had been gardens at one time, but they were completely overgrown with grass and weeds. I dug all that out.

It only took me and Mr. Gren about 15 tries to get that arch to stay up. Sugar pumpkins planted at the base of the far side and cantaloupes (transplanted from my compost pile) planted at the near base. Also in these beds on either side of the walkway: zucchini, cucumber, nasturtiums, marigolds, tomatoes, and basil.

It only took me and Mr. Gren about 15 tries to get that arch to stay up. Sugar pumpkins planted at the base of the far side and cantaloupes (transplanted from my compost pile) planted at the near base. Also in the beds on the right side of the walkway: zucchini, nasturtiums, and marigolds.

To the left of the walkway are cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, and marigolds.

To the left of the walkway are cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, and marigolds.

Continuing down the driveway, four pots of cherry tomatoes

Continuing down the driveway, four pots of cherry tomatoes. There actually are plants in there, but they’re puny.

Another arch for field pumpkins at the upper end of the driveway.

Another arch for field pumpkins at the upper end of the driveway.

To the left of my field pumpkin arch: lettuce, rainbow carrots, finger carrots, beets, cabbage, onions, a variety of herbs (few of which have come up; I'll to try again), and nasturtiums.

To the left of my field pumpkin arch: lettuce, rainbow carrots, finger carrots, beets, cabbage, onions, a variety of herbs (few of which have come up; I’ll have to try again), and nasturtiums. Also, a mole hole. Also, also, please excuse my ugly assortment of boards and newspapers — I was killing weeds.

There was another little bed in the backyard that had been aggressively taken over by periwinkles and weeds. As nice as periwinkles are, they had to go before they encroached any further on the backyard. I dug each one of those out by hand, hand-tilled the dirt, and let the kids plant some flower seeds there.

Lots of little flower sprouts. I can't wait to see it in bloom!

Lots of little flower sprouts. I can’t wait to see it in bloom!

I cleared and dug out another small patch below our oak tree for peas and radishes that don’t mind the shade.

I was worried about the squirrels digging up this plot, but instead it has been the moles!

I was worried about the squirrels digging up this plot, but instead it has been the moles!

And I planted lots of flowers, both in pots and in established beds around the yard.

Some flowers in pots (none blooming yet), plus four more containers for pear tomatoes.

Some flowers in pots (none blooming yet), plus four more containers for pear tomatoes.

These were getting scorched on the front steps, so they got moved to the back deck. Represented are alyssum, freesia, impatiens, English daisies, and some others I'm forgetting.

These were getting scorched on the front steps, so they got moved to the back deck. Represented are alyssum, freesia, impatiens, English daisies, and some others I’m forgetting.

My success has been mixed. The squirrels found it great fun to dig up the bulbs and seeds in the pots on the steps or, finding nothing to their liking, just knocking over the entire little pot in a cascade of dirt. Moles are churning up my main flower bed where I had daffodils, freesias, and a mix of shade-tolerant flowers to the point where I’m not sure if anything is going to live long enough to bloom there. The moles have also come up through the radishes, in the middle of the yard, and over in my main garden amongst the cabbages and beets. It’s maddening.

Ok, moles, now it's getting personal.

Ok, moles, now it’s getting personal.

But enough about the varmints. I hope that in a few weeks, I’ll be able to post some “after” pictures with more flowers blooming and more vegetables beginning to grow. if I’m silent on here, you know where I am…

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Sweet alyssum

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December 31: celebration

It’s low-key here, but this is big stuff to the kids — eating sausage, crackers, and cheese in the living room while watching a movie! We’ll have our traditional strawberry floats later tonight!

IMG_6644And, in the spirit of celebration, here is the sign that Konik made for his bedroom door. The party was supposed to have taken place on Christmas day (Christmas music, dancing, and confetti, he said), but we all kind of forgot to attend (he also forgot to remind us). But he still has the sign up and it’s just too adorable.

IMG_6542Go and party well and wisely! Happy New Year!

December 27: relax

The word of the day for December 26 was “busy.” Apparently, I was too busy to take a picture. “Relax” is apt for the 27th, though. I saw off my parents and brother as they headed south to visit our other brother and grandmother. My kids were wired from three days of company, cookies, and stocking candy, so I sent them each to their rooms with a book and I sat down with a cup of tea.

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