Tag Archives: Garden

It’s been a long wait

for a decent spell of weather lasting more than a few days, but it has finally arrived (about a month late). Which means that the weeds have had time to grow and, it seems, multiply.

But they are gone now, and my back is glad that it is over. Weeding here, there and everywhere and carrying around pots of plants have done me in a bit, and I am not doing anything today but sitting around.

I made the first trip to my favorite nursery yesterday, and added some additional blooming plants to the ones already in place on my porch.

On the very left, my lemon tree of many years, some lavender, red daisies, a bay leaf tree and more red daisies, more lavender and iceland poppies. The tall thing not on the wall is a williams pear tree.
More iceland poppies and lavender, the bushy green thing is an almond tree, albeit still small. I’ve had it for three years now.
More of the same, and some forget-me-nots and my tea cup.
The color of this coleus just blew me away and I brought it home. It wasn’t very expensive.

So, I am off to enjoy the little heavenly haven I’ve created for myself. It’s finally that time of the year.

Nuts, Ladders and
Creepy Crawl Spaces

For someone who is actually afraid of heights, I’ve been spending a lot of time on ladders lately.

Recently, to get up on the roof of the garage to photograph hummingbird moths. Also this week, climbing down into the depths of the dank and creepy crawl space under the basement stairs, where it is wet, dark and cold, to replace the defective sump pump. And no, I didn’t look around to see which crawly and slithery creatures might be lurking in the beam of my flashlight or in the shadows beyond. Instead, I dressed in a collared, long-sleeve flannel shirt and tucked my jeans into my socks to fully minimize any available skin space for possible attack from such creatures.

Lastly, I climbed way up on the really big ladder in the garden with a chainsaw in hand, trimming some of the branches of the walnut tree to allow the sunlight to once again slip underneath its branches and bathe some of the yard in morning sunlight.

It appears to be a good year for walnuts. I gathered the walnuts from the severed branches and am drying them out in the sun, hoping that they will ripen, despite having been picked prematurely:

Walnuts, fresh from the tree

A First Harvest

The heat wave has helped to finally redden the first tomatoes. They’re quite late this year, mainly due to the soggy and cool weather in spring and early summer.

Instead of cucumbers, this year I’ve planted six bean plants in a window-box container next to the tomatoes on the south side of the house, and they’ve grown all the way up the roof. This morning, I picked the largest of them:


I keep hearing that raw green beans contain some sort of toxic something or another. While googling to find out whether this is true or not, I found this interesting article about 8 poisonous foods that are commonly eaten.

I’ll be cooking the green beans and then sauteing them in butter with onion, bits of bacon and some fresh savory.

In Between all of the Soccer

I managed to do something to my back on Saturday morning which gladly, was better by Sunday but just to be on the safe side I stayed off the Kiwi, thinking that all those manhole covers (and there are thousands – you never notice that when you are in a car) would not be conductive to getting my back well again.

Instead, I decided to take a looksee around the garden to see what has been growing and changing:

Continue reading In Between all of the Soccer

Have I Mentioned That

the weather sucks rocks? Yeah, I guess I have.

And since I have spent all weekend doing some major spring cleaning and have absolutely nothing even remotely worth saying, I will share some pics with you.

I had a basket of walnuts from last fall which I placed outside
for the birds to get themselves. This nuthatch had quite a blast.
Soon, there was competition
from a sparrow – look at how attentively he is eyeing the situation 🙂
– lots of freshly hatched ones on the east side of the house. They’re absolutely tiny.

Despite the weather, my geraniums are in bloom.
Down by the river this afternoon.
The sky, was again full of threatening, grey clouds, which were very low.
The Alps, however, were getting sunshine
and it made for some interesting viewing.
Everything was grey in grey – but the mountains managed to have sun shine on them.

It’s That Time of Year Again

when my roses are finally in bloom:

Unfortunately, the red ones on the round trellis only bloom once a year, so the time for enjoying them is now.

Weatherwise, it was incredibly hot here yesterday, and it is supposed to get yet hotter today (33 C = 92 F) – admittedly, not so extreme for some of you out there but for us. I am not complaining though! I am doing what they said to do on the radio this morning – air out the house NOW and then shut it up airtight. Then go shower and move my workplace out to the porch.

Obviously, no one here has air-conditioning – you’d only need to use it two or three days a year 🙂

Proof That I Have The Laziest Pets in the World…

….and, what happened to my tulips?

Here is Exhibit 1:

Exhibit 2: (yes, she has taken up permanent residence here, much to my delight)

And now, to the tulips. Years ago I planted tons of tall, purple tulips. See those red ones further back?

I never planted those; they used to be purple – I swear it! Anyone ever heard of tulips changing their colors over the years?

There is Something Particularly

lovely about spring and the positive changes in the weather and the way nature always continues pushing forward with its own plans, no matter what.

Last week, there was still a good 1 1/2 feet of snow. The day after it had melted away, all of the crocuses in the garden were just there and blooming. Even the snowdrops had begun blooming underneath the snow.

My 13-year old niece had a “wanting to sit on the porch” fit the other day, dragged all of her parent’s teak garden furniture out of the basement and scrubbed them clean for hours. When I got home later today from a trip to Germany’s version of the “Home Depot”, I was astonished to see she was carefully and thoroughly giving them a new coat of stained teak oil.

I could not be outdone by a teenager, of course. I proceeded to get the high-pressure water sprayer out of the basement. After removing the most of the dirt and gray “wood scale” on my terrace furniture, I scrubbed them and will be oiling them as soon as they’re dry – no sooner than Saturday, however, for we are having the Bavarian version of sunshine tomorrow (Bavarian sunshine is liquid and manifests itself through droplets of moisture mysteriously falling from the sky).

I am looking forward to “living outside” again in the warm summer months. Now if I just remember to get a long enough USB cable for my DSL modem, I can work from there when the weather permits.

What a thought. Sigh.

Exhausted Once Again

I had quite other plans for my day but my father decided it was time to cut the thuja hedge. Regrettably, he ran out of steam pretty quickly so I spent all morning up on the ladder with (alternating) a chain saw, hedge trimmer and a branch clipper. The hardest was the chainsaw ’cause it is damn heavy and I had to lean over the hedge quite a bit to get the thick branches on the other side. By lunchtime I was unable to hold even a bottle of water in my left hand. We managed to shorten the hedge by about two feet, and spent the afternoon collecting all the bits and pieces of it to take to the recycling place.

Am now going to go grab a well-deserved beer and park my rear on the sofa.

Rearranging the Furniture

is an excellent way to get exercise. It’s also a good way to procrastinate doing your tax return.

Spent the entire day yesterday shoving furniture around and have now discovered a few muscles that I thought had gone away forever.

Looking back, I have always liked rearranging furniture now and then. I remember in Chicago, we had a “Schrank” – a big wall closet with showcase compartments that are standard in most german living rooms – these things usually measure big enough to cover up an entire wall. Anyhow, in Chicago this huge thing took up an entire living room wall and worse yet, completely covered one of the windows. One day, I decided enough of that and with help of my friend Lynda, we dismantled that sucker in its three parts. We left one part standing in the living room, lugged the other downstairs into the den, and I think the third one we got upstairs in the guest bedroom. Lol. When my husband got home from work he just gasped.

So, yesterday I rearranged here in the living room. It is also a wonderful way to clean things and areas you usually don’t get to. A little tip from me – if you need to move a heavy piece of furniture, get four old socks to put under the corners. It eases pushing the piece across the floor while also avoiding or minimizing scratches. If you are having to push over carpeting, well, that’s another story.

On another note, here a couple of things that are now in bloom in my garden:

Bloodwort I planted a few years ago.

My phlox in full bloom.

I have no idea what this thing is called in english, and neither does Leo. It was given to me by an aquaintance a few years back, and has never been as HUGE as this year – it has got to be more than three feet high!

I didn’t plant these – this hollyhock presumably made it’s own way in there. I had planted some a few years back – they must have sowed out themselves.

Aren’t these lovely?

Oh – and in the happy things department. My sincere apologies to all postal employees. The birthday card arrived! Yippee!!!! I had sent him a birthday card with the complete Euro Coins minted in Luxembourg – he got them! Yeah!