Trying to get back to posting a bit more regularly, here is a little update on the gardens…. and a tiny bit of art. The start of the gardening season found me still feeling hit by a train most of the time, and afraid to encounter more ticks the rest of the time… The first garden walks of the year were pretty short, but I have been slowly able to spend a bit more time walking through and puttering in the gardens.
Here is one of my favorite photos from an early Spring walk… These are tiny fiddleheads unfurling on a miniature Fern, just over an inch tall. This was taken the day I found the first batch of deer ticks along my walking path… Some were found near where this fern lives… Ewww! That almost scared me out of the gardens, but I decided that even if hanging out in my gardens caused me to get Lyme, I don’t have to be afraid of them if I know they are there and I take precautions… My garden attire now includes a generous dose of repellent spray made from Geranium oil to repel the nasty little critters… So far the only time I found a tick on me was a time I forgot to use the spray… Oops!
We also ran the Flower Tent in Wysox again this year. I was able to get through the days I really needed to be there to help, but ended up leaving Ken on his own a lot more than last year… Lots of queasies and wobbly days on the medications for treating the Lyme… Really hard to wait on customers when feeling awful, but I did get to play with the flowers some…
Thanks to dead lawn mowers and the Flower Tent, the lawn and gardens got a bit out of control… That is a big problem of being in the flower and garden business… your own gardens get neglected during the busy season… Just like when we had our greenhouses… I never got to work in my own gardens until nearly July… At least with the tent, the season is shorter, so things don’t get as bad as they used to.
The back yard was as bad as the front… Ken did a lot of weed whacking to get things knocked down enough to be able to use a lawn mower. At first, he whacked paths around my gardens for me so that I could access them without having to worry about how many ticks were hiding in the tall grass… Their favorite habitat…
The Lilac Garden didn’t look too bad since I had mulched it pretty late last year. There is one Lilac that died over the Winter and another half dead, but the Hosta and shade plants along the path are doing well.
Late May into June brought on the Peonies… Hawwaiian Coral is always the first to bloom… Such a pretty color!
Peony Gay Paree was the next variety to bloom… It has a fluffy center with pale pink petals that fade to nearly white.
Pink Luau was absolutely loaded with blooms this year. These have yellow centers and bright pink streaked petals…
The Rock Garden is sporting it’s new batch of Sweet Tater Pie Hosta around the base of the Linden tree that I planted late last summer… The pink pinwheel is there in an attempt to scare deer and keep them from eating the Hosta. On the back side of the garden is the Nishiki Variegated Willow. It has gotten HUGE this year… It is wayyy over my head… Within few months, I will need to give it a severe trim to keep it a more manageable size. It will also have the best coloring if it is kept trimmed, too. I love the white on the leaves with streaks of pink that don’t show in this photo.
Here is the bush formerly known as “Poor Harry”… This Red Leaved Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick has had a rough life. It was a nice size when we bought it, but he got munched on repeatedly even before he got planted. The deer must think he tastes like candy… I kept spraying this guy with my garlic and rotten eggs last Summer, then covered him with leftover fir branches from wreath making. I also added a piece of soap on a stick nearby in the hopes of repelling the munching deer… Something worked!! Harry is now well over 2 feet tall and over 3 feet across. He did end up with a couple branches nibbled, but he is finally getting some good size.
This is the first Lily bloom of the year! It just popped open today… I used a pinwheel next to this clump of bulbs to keep deer away. It worked some…. The critters did eat the buds off a couple of the stems, but they didn’t get the best buds, so I got flowers!
One of my Flower Tent purchases from this year… A Strawberry plant that blooms with bright pink flowers And has decent sized fruits… I already have a variety with pink flowers, but it only gets very tiny berries if it has any… This one has good tasting berries. Not huge, but yummy!
Yep, that was me who ate the berry
Here is June’s Sunprinting setup for the first sunprints I’ve done since 2012… I was guest blogger this past week over at the And We Set It On Fire blog for sunprinting month, so I decided it was time to do a few new prints. It felt great to be doing something creative again. I hadn’t done anything at all art wise at all since the end of March. The first of April, I began a higher dose of the antibiotic and that really threw my body for a major loop. I felt totally wiped out, queasy, wobbly and achy much of the time. It was super frustrating since I had hoped to feel better with treatment… I didn’t feel like trying to do anything creative, so decided not to push it and I barely took photos of flowers. By mid May, I was having less horrid headaches which was better, but no creative spark… Finally, by mid June, I actually had an idea for a project while awake in the middle of one night and had to write it down. Since I knew I needed to have blog posts for the ATWSIOF blog, I really wanted to do some new sunprints. I had enough photos and modified posts I already had here for a couple posts, but it gave me a good reason to get out the fabric and paints to play. I just used a sun umbrella for my one short session, not ideal, but it worked! I only had enough oomph to get 3 fat quarters done in that session, but it felt good to create again.
One of the sunprints with the leaves and some foamies removed, showing the results…
The other two fat quarters I got done… One in greens and one in purples. It was a great day for printing, with low humidity and a very slight breeze. This time of year it is often too humid for prints to form well. The green piece was done after the purple one. You can see that the humidity lowered from one to the other, giving sharper, brighter prints.
During my creative dry spell, I did run across a super deal from Sizzix for dies for my Big Shot. Even though I wasn’t feeling creative at all, the sale I found was too good to pass up. I got all four of these dies for just over $12 Including the shipping… I find the original type or Bigz dies by Sizzix cut fabrics the best, so I have been slowly collecting new ones. These were in the Outlet section of the Sizzix online shop, and even better priced for the sale. I played with the spiral die first.
It is a good thing that I was starting to feel a little better with creativity sparking a tiny bit, because I was late getting my postcards done for Postmark’d Art. I had signed up for the theme- Spring, thinking it would be easy for me… With brain blanks, it was impossible for a long time… When playing with the new dies, I decided that the spirals could work as flowers… They reminded me of springs, so I have Spring springing with flowers of spring-like spirals. I named them “Spring Finally Sprang”… We did have a very late Spring here, after the very cold, long Winter, so it fit! I had been having a lot of trouble with my hands and arms, so machine work has really been hard to do. I decided to try hand stitching to start with. It was a very slow go, but I was able to hand stitch on the butterflies, 2 spirals on each card and a few little flowers. It was taking so long, I decided to give the machine a go again… My free motion stitching was a bit shaky, but I got them done!
While I’d my love for my creative funk to be finally over, I am not going to even think it could be… I have had so many times over the years where I thought I would be back on track (yea, see all the blog posts titled “back to creating” or whatever…), but the funk just kept returning worse than ever… Trying to force things seemed to just backfire… Now I hope that not worrying about it and just letting things flow when they are ready will help… I may have more creative posts more often, but then again, I might not… Time will tell…. I am sure as I get rid of the bugs in my system, things should get easier all the way around…