Monday, June 18, 2018

Midwest Gardening 2018 Part 2

 Part 2---Looking good!

Our side yard is a long strip of concrete ten foot wide with a three foot garden bed on the east end. It gets lots of sun as it is on the east side of the house. 

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Part 1 ended with our colorful dragonflies on the fence and
 I had added an OLD enameled chair for a planter. 
Despite our 90 temperatures  now---the Tiger Lily has not yet bloomed, 
but the orange blossoms will be welcome. 
Purple Russian Sage is another perennial in the lower left.

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This side of the house is also a working garden, partially with a little fence to protect our Eggplant and Red Lettuce. We have Squash and Pumpkins mounded here and there along the fence which has green fencing added for climbing. 

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We did buy Lettuce plants, but I will add seed as soon as these are eaten. It's so wonderful to have fresh greens 12 feet from the kitchen.


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Our Spring record rainfalls for the last two years forced these bushes to grow huge around the back porch. My Fairy and her pond have been displaced. I will have to find another spot for her. The wooden base she has sat on for 8 years had to be moved as it totally disappeared under the bushes.


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I moved the box of green wood over to the corner of the patio---and now it lifts and protects my pots from the constant hoses being pulled across the deck. 


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The vegetable garden itself is my hubby's domain. Here we have tomatoes, peppers in pots and Swiss Chard. We have eliminated the weed barrier and the mulch this year, and are crossing our fingers we won't have drought. We are sticking close to home all summer, so watering will not be an issue. We eliminated the old lattice which had been up since 2009, and was the remnants of my Art/Craft/Antique shop in Volo, IL, which I closed in 2008. 

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The entire garden is fenced now with a narrow mesh. We are still far enough into the country that Bunnies, Woodchucks, and voracious Squirrels and Chippies are an issue. These pics were all taken on June 14, 2008.  Our tomatoes were all started from seed, as were the peppers.

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Golden squash planted along the fence, you are seeing the older fence top rail. We have ladders and trellis that we will place when they are ready to take the area over.

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This is the overflow from the greenhouse of our seed grown plants. Family and friends are picking them up over the weekend.

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The Marjoram plant on the lower right is huge this year. We have seeds going and perennials. Everywhere are frogs that my family has gifted me over the years. 
The water trough pond is a favorite of the local birds.
 I have a stack of patio blocks placed inside to give them a place to stand under the shower.



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I'm so excited the climbing rose is blooming to replace the morning glories that terrorized the yard. Amazing the damage one package of seeds can do.  
We have Indian Corn and Fairy Tale Pumpkins planted behind here, Much of the green on the ground is from Morning Glory's self seeding. Lots of weeding to do.


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Up close the roses are brilliant. This was a cloudy day---taken around 10 am.

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This rose looked like it was dead there was so much frost damage on the canes. 

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Behind the Greenhouse the forgotten Chives blossom. No worries, I will cut them back and they will be fresh again in a month.

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The north edge of the yard, perennials, Tomatoes, Rhubarb, so delicious. The cart in the back left is full of cut grass destined for the compost pile.

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Center of the yard is a badly listing trellis, but birds are in both houses, so I just roped it to the Grand's play house. We will redo something in fall, since the birds still have at least 2-3 sets of babies yet to produce.

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Here's my urn on top of the well pump surrounded by Day Lilies. 
Can't wait for the color to come.



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Here and there we have planters with annuals. I still have a few to plant...but it's so HOT!




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I'll garden post again in a month, good or bad weather to see our progress or failure. 
Last year was fair to poor. But, today is another year.

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

KID FUN! LET'S PLAY!

It's not all Barbies and stuffed toys at our house. 
We are fortunate to have the Grand visit almost every Sunday, 
giving Mom and Dad some alone time and eager grandparents some kid (PLAY) time. 


"What should we do Grampa?" She's five now and a cross between Ms.Captain America, a pink teddy bear, and a pirate.


Pirates were HERE! Digging for gold in the Pirate's lair. 
We have always had a sand box for our kids, because it can become anything, 
and perfect for PRETEND!
We pull a tarp cover over it during the week, so it stays pretty fresh and clean. 



Somehow, those dirty PIRATES bury treasure in there. 
Sparkly rocks and Gold Dubloons!



Swinging from the yardarm.....ARGH!




Higher, Please!


Time to change the colors. "I want to help too, Grampa."


Horrible storms and wind have wrecked Old Glory, which will be properly disposed of. 



And, the JOLLY ROGER goes up over the ship deck. 
"AVAST YE MATIES, ARGH!"


Now for some proper sword play! Ring that bell, enemy approaching.


"UH, OH, Captain Daddy with a light saber sword. We're done-in!"

HAPPY FATHER'S Day to every Daddy and GrandDad!
Take time to PLAY!


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

Sharing at these Ad Free blog parties-with ads not in the middle of the blog (I'm going to try and see if this is possible)

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Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle
Sandi



Friday, June 15, 2018

Midwest Gardening 2018

AD-FREE BLOG

No Spring? Straight to Summer!


Well, I guess it's safe to talk about our weather extremes here in Chicagoland, sans expletives!

And do a GREEN post. Yes, it is finally time for the garden.



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We had freezing temperatures past Mother's Day, and then in one day jumped to the 90's. Rounds of storms, dampness, cloudy misery or blinding sunshine and heat caused everyone scurrying around like ants to get yard work partially accomplished before the next weird weather wave.


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This morning, despite our yard NOT being done, or even picked up, I scurried around to take photos before another storm hit and then blistering heat.

Our plants have barely had time to grab hold. Many seeds aren't even up. My front yard perennial beds are fairing better, (above). Everything Spring was short lived. Tulips, Daffodils, Iris, Peonies, were all POOF with the heat or pounded with the rains.

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Our Iris were beautiful but shriveled up in the the high temperatures within a day. 
Now, Sedum and Tiger Lilies are looking lush and waiting to burst into blooms.
Crossing my fingers, and ready to dash out for pic opportunities...lol.

I need to REDO the paint on my birdhouses...but that has to wait until the yard is done!


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The Hostas loved our all-time record rain for the month of May. 

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This is the third year for this area. I lost one Canterbury Bells, and three Tearose bushes from the corners, because of our meager snowcover and freeze/thaw patterns last winter. I transplanted some creeping sedum to fill in the front of this bed. I will have to plant some more where the roses failed.

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Despite having a new greenhouse up this year, we didnt' even get our plants into it, until after the last freeze. I never even started marigold seeds, and with extra medical bills this summer, we cut back on plants and projects. I still planted some pots with annuals, but they are still small. I love the blue Lobelia for as long as it lasts.


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The geraniums were bargain ones at the local grocery store, and are so brilliant. This is the actual color. We plant Peppermint in pots as bee deterrents, a GREEN thing to do instead of poisons. I'm severely allergic to bees and wasps. So we plant the peppermint in pots anywhere there is seating or main working areas. Those pots are dumped into the burn pit, rather than the compost pile as peppermint is invasive. 

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On the porch I have herbs and a few flowers in the pots. The Basil is looking great and my Rosemary is coming around. I may have to transplant that to a bigger pot before I bring it back in towards Fall.

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The porch is set for an occasional sit down. Facing south, the porch is hot except late in the afternoon. Our overhang will keep the coleus planter in the shade. 
I will move it soon for something more exciting on the table.

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This is a cozy spot, we have a table and umbrella here also. 
Down the stairs we have a small bed of flowers.


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The cute? garden critters are gifts from my kids. I move them around where interest is needed.  Everything was pretty much dead in here, except for one (lower left) multicolored greenery. I planted Sunflowers and Zinnia seeds, here. We will see if anything comes up.


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My tall plants from seeds in the big pot, haven't come up? I have dahlias in lots of pots and they are just started to leaf out, promising flowers soon.

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My peonies were very few this year, big, and then exploded in the heat. I had one bouquet on the table. I will try and get in there to trim and pull weeds this afternoon, after the storms.

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Variegated greens and some bright annuals in a long planter will pump up this area. 
Yes, that is some sort of invasive creeper trying to swallow the rocks.

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I have lime or grape colored sweet potato vines planted in to fill areas around my pots. 

Next post will be the side and back yards and the vegetable garden, which is doing great!

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NEW OLD addition to the side, an old chair rescued from the clay shop redo---I had enameled two of these in the 1970's and we have used them all these years. Now it's designated as a pot holder and the flowers are doing great here.

How is the Gardening in your neck of the woods?


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

Sharing at these Ad Free blog parties-with ads not in the middle of the blog (I'm going to try and see if this is possible)

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Sandi











Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Craftroom: Moving In

Good weather finally hit in Chicagoland, so we were outside. I'm not fully moved into the basement craft room, but it is beginning to look like a real work/play room. This is just a preview, as with all new spaces you have to make 'friends' with it. Everything will eventually find it's 'space'.

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The huge table is the BEST for sorting items. I did get tired of walking around it for two days while I moved things around in circles, LOL.


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The sink still isn't hooked up, saving that for a rainy day. 

We added two IKEA corner tables for work stations. We opted for the tables for their work surfaces instead of cabinetry. The left one will be for painting, small assembly, and paper work. The right one will be for power tools, (dremel, sawing, jewelry, and hot gluing.) 
During this photo, I'm still sorting.

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The pegboard rings hold plastic pots on the wall for storing pens, pencils, brushes, etc. I do have some for sale in my Etsy shop. They take a 7 1/2"-8" pot. IKEA has some perfect white metal pots that fit, but they are $5.99 each, so I'm making do right now with Dollar Store pots, and a couple of my own ceramics. 

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I will eventually put up hooks for all my tapes, adhesives and small tools. A few pretties have been added. The bag was from a TJMax/Homegoods store. Just love the photo....great for a backdrop or I may frame one side.

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I really had a lot of stuff to sort through and organize. I couldn't believe I had stuff stashed everywhere.

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My Etsy Shop storage is below. Five of those bins are full of goodies I have to list.

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Here is my collection of baskets, I probably have 7 or so more of these. 
They will be used for storage and eventually specific projects. Labels are temporary until I decide of something more attractive. The baskets will slide under the tables for easy access. 
This little corner to the left will be slotted for a permanent Vickie's Vintage 
and the new second floor addition. 
I hope to install shelves above for standing doll display, if I ever find my doll stands.

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We've found that the doll houses aren't sitting level despite propping up here and there on the small tables. Everything is wonky and wobbly---as the floor is uneven, mostly higher at the walls. So, some rainy day the empty doors (raw wood you see), will be secured to the wall by sitting on an installed small ledge. Then the front will be on supported by adjustable legs so we can get the entire surface plumb and level.


The Grand (she's five now) Moved everything back into the houses. And she designed the back yard. 

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(Seems the old garage was taken down during the move...so now the yard is larger.)
We have yet to reinstall the decks. I will wait and do that when we redo the support doors. All the clothing and accessories have been sorted and labeled in bins below.

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Vickie's townhouse was enlarged by a second matching house I found for $4.99. This will be fun to rework, paint and really decorate. The garage will be enlarged when the new bases are finished.

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The pegboard above will be flexible for storage and/or display. Quick shelves can be put up for lighter items. 

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Here is the holding corner for projects. The lower shelf left is the stranded on the island set, above will be Joe's apartment. Parts of Vickie's Vintage shop, the bowling alley, the cabin in the woods, the bar setup from the Halloween setting, are all here along with extra dolls.

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This eight foot long banquet table will be perfect for setting up temporary dioramas, having art/craft parties, and sorting through my antiques for the Etsy shop. Come on over and have a cup of coffee or some iced tea and have fun with me.

NEXT: Plumbing and Lighting


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

Sharing at these Ad Free blog parties-with ads not in the middle of the blog (I'm going to try and see if this is possible)
Share Your Cup
Friday Favorites
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Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle
Sandi