Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In the Garden

Things are changing again in the garden.  Most of my spring blooms have faded now ... just a new foxglove hanging on with the flowers growing paler and thinner each day.
We've had a lot of rain lately ... heavy rain ... and the ground is waterlogged and there's mold looming here and there.  I have some potted begonias that are covered in some sort of mold and not looking well at all.  My son's climbing rose is now blooming, but the first blossoms have been a bit beat up from all the rain.


The rotten rabbit had a feast on this rose in the early spring, so I'm glad that it at least survived that.  It's now surrounded by the ever-so attractive chicken wire to keep the rabbit away.  We have yet to build a trellis for this rose, but perhaps it will get done this summer.

On the weekend I did some trimming with my heavy duty hedge trimmers.  First were my backyard neighbour's cedars growing up and over our back fence.  The neighbour is a slob and I think they actually rent the house.  They have a pool surrounded by these overgrown cedar hedges.  When we first moved into our house 18 years ago, there was a middle-aged couple living there and they took immaculate care of the house and gardens.  Now after several different people, the slobs moved in and they swim in their green pool, have their radio on non-stop all day long, and on a windy day I like to watch their roof shingles flip up and off their roof!  Anyway ... the hedge is a mess with their garbage trapped under it, and I'm glad that it's all hidden behind our shed :) 
After the cedars, I trimmed this bush beside my patio.  I can't remember the name of it, but I know there's a "d" and a "z" in the name, and it has pretty white flowers that just finished blooming.  Usually this bush is completely covered in white blooms, but I think it was growing too large and not many bloomed this year.  So I cut it back ... way back!  It was almost up to the height of the arbour, and this is what it looks like now (the bare branches to the right of the arbour)  ...

Excuse the long grass as the rain is making it grow rapidly and we've not had time to cut it yet this week!  With "d" bush trimmed back, the clematis on the arbour are better exposed.  The bush also leaves space in my patio garden (I'll show my patio another day, but it's right behind the bush).

My son finally got his pond cleaned up and filled with water.  It's so nice to hear the gurgling of the little waterfall in this pond.   He'll put his two fish back in here tomorrow I think.   The area at the top of the pond (above the waterfall) is a small walled garden around my patio.  It always looks crummy in this garden as I try different things.  My son planted one small pot of ornamental grass there last year, and it actually looks pretty good.  I think I may get some more and just plant it all around the top of the pond.  He chose a grass that look like reeds, so they suit the pond. 

My garden in front of the shed is coming along nicely.  I love this little garden as the plants I put in there all seem to do well.  It's shaded by the pine tree most of the day, but around 2:00 it gets full hot sun.

I have a bright pink columbine that loves this spot right beside the door (finished now).  Last year I bought the pink spire flowers (but can't remember their name and I've lost the card for them).  And beside that I have some garden flocks that will be blooming in a couple of weeks I think.  The clematis on the side of the shed is slowly getting more and more shade each year, so the blooms on it don't come out till later.  It still hasn't bloomed, but is covered in buds.

Here are the pink spires.  When the sun hits them, their ends all hang down, so I try to remember to give them some water in the afternoon.

I'm such a procrastinator that this little window box hasn't been filled with flowers for THREE years!!  The plastic liner that we had was all broken up, so this year I finally got a new liner and some annuals plopped in there, and they're filling in nicely.

I planted some morning glories all along the fence here ... look how tall they are!  I probably should've had them planted weeks before, but I hope they start to climb up the chicken wire soon.  I love morning glories ... these are "heavenly blue" and look fantastic in late summer.  My mom had morning glories growing up strings in front of her kitchen window so she could look out at them while doing the dishes.  I hope the rabbit keeps away from them ... I painted them with "Skoot" to deter him.

Mom's clematis that I dug out of her garden at the last moment.  I'm glad I did because it's climbed right up the fence now and look at the rewarding buds this year!  The people that bought my parents' house completely renovated it and tore up all the gardens that were there.  I'm so glad that I took almost all of Mom's plants before we sold it because the new people obviously didn't care about any of it.

The Shasta daisies are unfurling their pretty white petals ...

The butterfly bush has lots of teeny tiny buds about to appear.  I love the scent of the butterfly bush blooms ... so I'm looking forward to another good year of this beauty.

The lilies are blooming too!

And last weekend the pool has been put up.  Nothing fancy there, but it is so nice to hop in on a hot muggy day and just float around and look up at that blue sky and huge pine tree and relax!  It's already warmed up to 23'C!  Today the outdoor temperature was 31"C, so we're all hoping the pool warms up just a bit more and then we're in there!
Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Fishtail Cottage Garden Party


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Horse & Buggy Story

I promised you a Horse & Buggy story a short while ago, so here's a little read for your weekend relaxing (it's a lengthy post, so be warned!) ... 
My sister has always been considered the "horse crazy" girl in our family.  We lived in the small town of Dundas, Ontario for a short while, and oddly enough directly behind our house in town was a horse farm owned by Mr. Folks.  My dad made inquiries of Mr. Folks regarding riding lessons, and soon after my sister began her journey into the world of horses.  Here she is riding "Judy" a lovely red quarter horse.

I would follow my sister and share her love of horses, but no one considered my interest "genuine", so I was only allowed to be her shadow. 

My family uprooted and moved to the country when I was 9, and it was there that my dad finally agreed to get a horse for my sister.  This is Scamp, half Quarter Horse, half Appaloosa, a strawberry roan, with a lovely temperament.  Appaloosas have a few special traits.  You can always see the whites of their eyes, so you can see exactly where they are looking (rather human), they usually have spots on their coat and they also have spotted skin under their fur .  Scamp had one brown spot on each hip and black skin with pink spots all over ... very noticeable on her nose.  They're also noted for being able to "turn on a dime" and are quite agile.  But mostly they are known for being as stubborn as a mule.  Although she was my sister's horse, she was loved by us all. 

Scamp was so gentle and she longed for company.  When we first got her we didn't have any fences, and she would wander up from the field and stand on the shady side of the house on a hot summer day where she would catch the cool breeze coming up the hill from the woods.  It was a special treat to have her standing in the side doorway while I played the piano ... I swear she enjoyed listening to the music.  She was so very gentle that we even put my grandfather on her when he came to visit.  My grandfather lived in Sheffield, England and worked for the railroads tearing up old disused railway lines.  He told me he once was a blacksmith too.  He quite liked Scamp.

When my sister was busy and needed Scamp exercised, she knew she could count on me to take good care of her.  Here I am with our friend and her horse Lightening, we'd been on a trail ride and my mom caught us along the roadway and asked to take our picture.

 One day my dad received a call from a colleague at work who said he had an antique horse buggy that he would sell to my dad for $100.  Sold!  My dad decided he would not hire anyone to pick up the buggy from his friend's place (about 5 miles from us), and enlisted the help of my two sisters to come with him to pull the buggy back home.  I flat-out refused to help as I would not embarrass myself by pulling the wagon past every farm that housed a kid in my school.  I knew I would never live it down if I was seen pulling a wagon along the road!  So very early one morning about 6:00 a.m., my dad and two sisters carried out the work and brought home this wagon ... two of them were in the shafts, and one pushed from behind.  I was thankful that no one saw them!
The grand old lady in the wagon is my dad's good friend's mother, Pearl.  She told us a wonderful story of when she used to drive a horse and buggy when she was young.  She was approached by a young man in another horse and buggy and he suggested they run a race.  He thought she was beat before they even started.  But!  Pearl was a real horse woman and knew how to drive her horse, and I imagine her horse knew what was up, and they took off and beat the young man even though the road was rough.   Pearl was a very elegant, straight-backed woman, and I will always remember her telling that story.
Anyway, this was our wagon.  A lovely antique specimen which had been somewhat restored with a coat of dark green paint.  All in proper working order ... all we needed was to hook it up to a horse!
Scamp had never been used for driving, just pleasure riding, but we thought her a perfect candidate since she was so gentle.  Dad found a cheap harness for her (which turned out to be somewhat too small for her big head ... first mistake).

Second mistake was putting blinders on her.  With the bridle being too small, it pulled her mouth back uncomfortably.  With the blinders on, she couldn't see what the heck we were doing behind her.  It suddenly put that gentle horse terribly on edge!  You can see by the ears laid back (above) that she was not impressed with this.  As anyone who knows horses will tell you, once you cut off part of their peripheral vision, the horse becomes "shy" of any sound that they can't identify.  She looked angry and nervous whenever we harnessed her up.
Dad investigated for us how to train a horse to pull a buggy.  He had no previous horse experience, and this was long before computers, so my sister and I relied on his good word.  My sister enlisted my help to train Scamp during the summer.  Dad built a travoise  as you can see in the photo (below), it's just two long poles with a board holding them together.  This was to be the introduction to the wagon.  Here we are introducing it to Scamp.  She was a bit curious and didn't like the sound of it scraping on the ground.  My sister and I dragged that thing around the field to get her used to the sound.  We figured she was accepting of it when she wandered off and started to eat grass again.  Little did she know what was in store. 

My parents were leaving for three weeks to visit Dad's parents in England.  We were left home alone, and my sister and I agreed that we would use those three weeks to train Scamp fully to pull the wagon by the time our parents returned.  To assume we could train her to calmly pull the wagon in three short weeks was our third mistake.  We were only at the travois stage when my parents left. 
Here we are hooking the travois to the harness and Scamp looking anything but calm.  Those ears tell volumes, and when we led her around, the head snapped up and the tail swished and she tried to sashay sideways which caused the poles to buck and jump behind her.  But for some reason, my sister and I were undaunted.  We even sat together on that little bar to hold the poles firmly down and Scamp nervously dragged us around the field.  How happy we were with our progress!
Now I'll give you a little bit of the lay o' the land.  This is the field where we were training Scamp (and there's Scamp munching grass).  We had the horse trotting around in circles in this field.  All the trees along the field were willows  ... affectionately known as "The Willow Woods".  The drive ran up the left side of this photo (just out of view).  And that's Britannia Rd at the end of the field.
Here we are looking up the drive from the road (log barn halfway up, and house at the top).  Now the fence is rather crappy (I know ... huge cringe factor when dropped off on the bus and every farmer's kid scorned our fence, barn, etc.), but there was a fence similar to this one at the back of the field with heavy poles, but also with heavy gauge grid wire fencing nailed all along the poles.
Looking at the field from the road in this snowy photo, you might be able to make out the fence line way back in the distance.  The willow woods are to the left, hill to the right.  It must be noted as well that on the other side of the fence lay Mr. Harshman's property.  Could there be a better name for a mean scary neighbour?!  Mr. Harshman forbade us to walk or ride on his property ... EVER!  But since we were such rebels we walked through his property to get to Lowville Park all the time, and we even rode the horse on his land on occasion.  Mr. Harshman carefully looked at the tracks in the ground and the "ruined ecology of the land" and sent my parents a registered letter through his lawyers to never again trespass on his land.  It terrified us as kids.  He would even patrol his property line along Lowville Creek with a shotgun and chase off anyone fishing from his shoreline.  (Then my dad would sneak down to the creek and pick up abandoned fishing poles and store them in his basement rafters ... he didn't even fish!  Everyone was nutty!)  Harshman's property completely surrounded ours, so we were constantly tempted to walk through his property to visit the creek and the park. 
And looking down our drive, you can see our neighbour's barn down the road (this was taken quite a few years later, but it's just to show the area required for this story).
Well, three weeks came and went.  My sister and I proclaimed Scamp was "fully" trained to pull the wagon, and we decided to hook her all up on the day Mom and Dad were expected home.  How surprised they were going to be!!  How thrilled with our progress!!  We didn't consider the fact that they'd be weary from the nine-hour plane ride and would care less about seeing us driving the horse!!
Unfortunately, there are no more photos of the rest of this day.  You'll just have to picture it in your mind.  Everything started off fine.  We had trained Scamp down in the field, so we pulled the wagon carefully down the hill to hook her up there.  It was a sunny day, but with a strong hot breeze that told of storms most likely to come later in the day.  When the wind blew, it caused the willows to creak and groan as their heavy limbs rubbed against each other.  Have you ever heard that sound?  It's a lovely melancholy sound and I miss it sorely.  Now Scamp spent all hours of every day down in that field.  That was her home, so she was quite familiar with the groaning willows.  But storms made her uneasy.  The first time my parents ever left us for three weeks we'd had a terrible thunder storm and Scamp had actually run away frantic with fear and we'd had to search for her through this vicious storm with lightening coming down all around us.  We finally found her about 3 miles from home and thankfully someone had grabbed her and put her into their barn.  Ever after we had to lock her in the barn during thunderstorms. 
My sister and I harnessed Scamp, hooked her up to the wagon, and hopped up into the seat just big enough for the two of us.  As we bounced around on the seat of the wagon through the field, we were aware of the groaning trees, and personally I hoped that Scamp would remain calm.  But the instant we put the harness and blinders on Scamp, every sound was a death threat to her and she jumped and skittered whenever the willows produced a moan or if one of their branches snapped!  Scamp was definitely on high alert, with her head held high, tail high and swishing in our faces, ears completely flat and mouth pulled back in a hideous grin while we chuckled behind her very smugly. 
We got her up into a trot, and made a couple of full circles of the field before things quickly began to unravel.  Once she was in a trot, Scamp became even more apprehensive of all the noises around her.  She tried to skitter around in the shafts, she tried a couple of bucks to get things off of her.  Nothing was working, and she was still trapped and becoming more and more terrified.  Suddenly she snapped, and Scamp gave into her fear of the wagon, the groaning trees and the threat of a storm, and decided she'd had enough of this terror, and she spun around the last corner too quickly and burst into a full canter trying to outrun the noise of the wagon behind her.  The wagon was unable to take the tight corner at that high speed and it started tipping up on two wheels!  The shift in weight only made Scamp run faster!  It was that last high-speed turn that we realized we were heading for trouble and grabbed onto the wagon for dear life, but the wagon kept rising up and up and finally first I was tossed out and my sister followed me, and the wagon fell right over on it's side with a large cracking thump!  Scamp was completely undone with now a sideways buggy scraping and bouncing along the ground behind her, and she couldn't see anything of what was going on because of the blinders, so she accelerated into a high-speed gallop straight towards the crappy wire fence bordering shot-gun-Harshman's place.  Scamp knew how to jump, and she didn't miss a beat as she thundered towards the fence.  Up and over she went, and she tried her best to take that buggy with her.  It was probably a good thing that the buggy finally separated from her at that point, the shafts splintered in half and the wagon collapsed in a broken heap on our side of the fence.  Scamp still had on all her harness and  the broken shafts from the wagon and tore down a line of trees ruining "ecology of the land" behind her!  She thankfully tore back towards our house and jumped the fence a second time.  We were amazed she didn't kill herself or break her legs with all the pieces she was dragging behind her.  But still she didn't stop!  She raced all the way down the driveway to the road, left on the road, across the most dangerous intersection around (luckily no cars were racing up the blind hill), and on to our neighbour's who just happened to be crossing his courtyard when he came face to face with one completely strung out horse draped with broken harness!  My neighbour was a dairy farmer and didn't know about horses, but since he was in front of her Scamp could finally see her salvation in him and came to a terrified, shaking, skidding stop snorting hot steamy breath in his face and he was able to grab her and hold her while my sister ran panting up after her. 
So all my parents got to witness that day was some seriously damaged horse buggy and one snorting, terrified horse that couldn't be left outside until the next day.  Since that time, I have twice been in a bad horse and wagon situation.  Once was a horse and wagon ride in our local park where some brilliant planner thought it would be a good idea to have hot air balloon rides right beside where the horse and wagon trail started.  I could see the horses that day were getting ready to bolt by backing up into the wagon and I didn't wait around for the chaos, and I was first to jump off the wagon.  Everyone quickly followed suit and the horses did take off into a back field where they eventually calmed down.  Another time was when we took a ride in an enclosed old fashioned taxi in a pioneer village.  It was the end of the day and we were told the horses knew it was the last ride of the day and they ended up cantering along the paved roads of the village back to the barn!  I was terrified because I was trapped inside the wagon (I'm also slightly claustrophobic).  It was the sound of the "click!" when the driver shut the back door of that wagon that I could feel my terror mount.  We were safe in the end, but it wasn't a pleasant ride.  I should point out that the rest of the passengers were all laughing and thinking it was great fun ... they just didn't know how it could end like I did. 
Hope you enjoyed the tale!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Backyard Birding

Finally!!  Two straight days of sunshine!!  Not terribly hot, but I'll take the sunshine over all the rain we've had lately.  This is the view out my back door yesterday morning (after a wicked thunderstorm the night before ... complete with murderous lightening and pounding hail!).  I love sitting out in the backyard early in the morning in the summer.  If it's a little chilly, I take a small quilt with me to wrap around my legs, and I sip hot tea on the patio ... so relaxing.

For the last couple of weeks, the backyard has smelled heavenly from the mock orange bush (left side of photo).  Unfortunately, I battle with aphids on this bush every year.  I checked our local nursery for ladybugs to release into the bush, but they were right out.  I cut off the branches that were the worst and I may have to go and buy some sort of powder to dust over the poor bush.  I'd hate to lose it.  Does anyone have any known remedies for this?
One thing I really like to encourage in my backyard are the birds.  I grew up in a virtual bird paradise at my childhood home.  We lived beside some overgrown woods that hadn't been disturbed for ages.  Vines grew over lots of the trees, and there were huge mature maples dominating the forest.  A large creek ran through the woods as well.  There were great blue herons,  green herons, kingfishers, great horned owls, several varieties of woodpeckers, warblers, grosbeaks, grouse, hawks, turkeys and turkey vultures ... just to name a few!  I learned a lot about birds living there, and I learned to recognize them by the way the flew and their songs.  I started a bird watching list when I was young, and my mother and I would love to add a new bird to the list as the years went by.
Then I moved into town when I got married.  I always thought I would get back to the country eventually, but it's been 25 years now, and I'm starting to lose hope.  If I can encourage the birds into my  yard, though, it does make me a little bit happier to see them.
I put seeds out for the birds in winter time, and they really appreciate it.  Especially the smaller birds like chickadees and juncos.  Once the bugs start to appear and the birds can fend for themselves, I stop putting the seeds out and let the birds feed off the bugs on my lawn.  Some summers I put out the niger seeds for the goldfinches and other small seed eating birds, but the squirrels usually tear those feeders to pieces when they can't get the seeds from the tiny holes.  Did you know that if you put out a bright yellow feeder, it will attract the goldfinches?  I found this out when I bought my first yellow feeder when I moved to town.  The packaging claimed that the goldfinches would appear within hours of putting the feeder out, but I was skeptical.  I hadn't even seen goldfinches in the area, but within an hour or so there were about six on the feeder.  I was so surprised!
This pretty little mourning dove can't decide whether or not to make a nest in this weeping pea tree beside my patio.  I believe there is exactly one twig underneath the dove as it's sad attempt at nest building.  Dove's are pathetic nest builders and this one really lacked motivation.  The nasty storm hit us the night after I took this photo, and the few sticks this bird and her mate had spent all day collecting were swept out of the crook of the tree.  I put them all back into the tree the next morning, and the dove tried to re-arrange them, but it seemed like too much work for her and the "nest" has now been abandoned. 
Another thing the birds like is water.  I've always had a bird bath for the birds, and they come and bathe in it and drink from it every day in the summer.  The key to the bird bath is to put it in a place where the birds are going to feel safe.  I have mine beneath my lilac bush, so if there's any danger of hawks or cats, the birds can fly right up into the branches quickly.  
We have lots of mosquitoes here in Ontario (and more than usual this year with the wet weather).  I make sure I empty the water from the bird bath every day, scrub the basin with a small brush and fill it with clean water again.  This keeps mosquitoes from breeding in the water, and the birds seem to like having clean water (if the water is murky, the birds don't stop in).  The base of my birdbath broke a few years ago, so now I just stacked up some bricks and set the basin on top of that.
It's good to have a birdbath deep enough for the larger birds (robins, grackles) to really get in there and get a good soaking.  Mine is about one and a half inches deep in water, and the little birds will get in there too.  The birds don't seem to like basins with a smooth finish like glazed ceramics.  My basin is concrete that came with a white finish (which has now worn off on the inside).  It's rather rough, and flat on the bottom so the birds don't slip when they step in for a dip.
Maybe you would consider adding a birdbath to your yard if you haven't already.  The birds will love you for it!
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Three Square Appeal

In my sidebar I've had a button from LILY (Love in the Language of Yarn).  LILY appeals to anyone who can knit or crochet to make up just THREE eight-inch squares and mail them to their location in Turkey.  Volunteers then make all the squares into blankets which are subsequently distributed to Syrian refugees. 
I kept thinking of making up the squares, but kept putting them off in favour of some other project.  So when I finished the zigzag cushion cover, I decided that now was the time to knit up my squares and send them off!  I knit the first square with plain old garter stitch to get the sizing right ... but, ho hum, boring.
Then I decided to knit one in moss stitch.  How I hate knitting moss stitch, knit one, yarn to front, purl one, yarn to back, knit one ... you feel like you'll never finish!!  But of course I did.

I wanted to make the squares all reversible so that there was no wrong side.  I checked in my knit stitch book for the next squares ... mock cable was more interesting to do ...

I realized I needed something detailed to keep my interest here, so it was then on to four-stitch check ...
The fun continued with tumbling blocks (hmm, one row of blocks looks a bit on the small side) ...
And finally I decided to do something really fun (although it isn't reversible), and went with some cable work with the heart cable ...
I haven't blocked any of them at this point, so hopefully all that wonkiness will straighten out during that process.  I really enjoyed knitting the heart cable, I just think cables are such a cool design feature. 
So that's six squares ready to send to Dianne in Turkey to be knit into a larger blanket and hopefully provide some warmth to someone next winter.
The details for knitting the squares can be found on LILY's blog here or just click on the button on my sidebar.  LILY also accepts knit or crochet hats!
I enjoyed making these six little squares, and will definitely make another batch after these are on their way.  Next time I'll use a less 'girlie' colour.
Linking up with Stash Buster Challenge.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Small Improvements

I'm a bit of a late starter when it comes to gardening.  I have all these ideas, but it takes me a while to actually get started on them.  Sometimes I just need help with the heavier work, and that extra help is not always available.
I recently saw a cute idea over here of making a garden feature from a broken shovel.  I instantly thought of a useless garden rake I have.  All the tines have been badly bent in and you just can't use it for raking anymore, so I was going to pitch it out.  But when I saw the broken shovel idea, I knew what I would do with the rake.  I have a clematis (again, Mom's) that is still fairly tiny this year, but it has grown past the small bamboo stake I had in the ground for it last year, and the ends were all hanging in mid air.  I dug a small hole beside the plant, and pushed the rake handle in as far as I could get it and propped the rake up against the fence.  Instant clematis trellis!

I know that next year the clematis will have outgrown this rake, and I'll be forced to put up a proper trellis for it.  But for this year, the tiny vine can wind its way around the rake ... I think it'll look cute.
Another area that I've wanted to change for years is this spot under my white pine.

I really love collecting rocks, and a few years ago we had to have the weeping tiles repaired along the back foundation of our house.  In digging up half of our yard, a lot of pretty rocks were unearthed, and each night after the construction crew left, I wandered around the piles of dirt and lugged what rocks I could into my gardens.  The crew thought I was a bit nutty.  Especially when I saw a massive rock (about the size of an ottoman) lodged in the side of the hole they dug and asked if they would dig it out for me (they refused).  
I placed some of the rocks around the base of the pine and the rocks and pine needles remind me of the great Canadian Shield just a bit north of us where we camp.  But what I really wanted to do was plant hostas around the base of the tree as I had seen a neighbour do under their pine tree many years ago in a different town.  So on the weekend I scraped away the pine needles, lay some triple mix dirt around the trunk, added some black edging to keep the dirt in place and split some hostas I already have and planted them around the tree.
I hope the hostas will survive here, because it does get some fairly intense heat in the summer for about 3 or 4 hours.  I'll keep it well watered and fingers crossed.  It doesn't look like much now, but next year (all being well) the hostas should fill in nicely and maybe hide the edging a bit as well.
The back corner that I fixed up a few weeks ago with some ferns, hostas, rocks and bark nuggets is coming along nicely.  This is what it looked like just after I planted everything ...
And this is how it looks now ...
I've found a few more ferns sprouting up in odd areas around the yard, and I'm going to transplant them to this new spot as well.  The variegated hosts do really well in my yard ... so much so that I have to split them and end up throwing out the extras because I'm running out of room for them all.
My next garden chore will be my son's pond.  He's not taking much interest in it this year, which is a bit disappointing.  He drained all the winter water out of it a few weeks ago, but then left it unfinished and it's full again now with rain water.  We've had quite a lot of rain this spring.  So I've told him that if he doesn't sort it out this weekend, I'm taking it over.  This is what it looks like right now ....
This whole area is my sons' sort of secret garden, and I try not to interfere too much with it.  The pond itself needs cleaning, pump put in, rocks straightened and fish returned (we have shubunkins).  The garden surrounding the pond also needs attention.  It's difficult to get to the garden on the left side of the photo (below), so I want to cut back the bush there and plant some perennials that'll do well in a very hot dry spot ... maybe some slow growing ground cover would be good.
 Last year I planted love-lies-bleeding around the pond and they did really well and looked great all hanging over the water.  I've started some seeds (very late!), and this is what they look like right now ...
I'll have a bit of a wait to get them transplanted (they're teeny tiny red sprouts that you can hardly see!)
So those are my gardening chores ... some finished and some waiting.  I took the camera around the yard yesterday in the sunshine and snapped a few of my flowers (back to rain today) ...
Thanks for stopping in!
Linking up with Fishtail Cottage's Garden Party!
and Rooted in Thyme Sweet & Simple Fridays!
Rooted In Thyme
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