Monthly Archives: November 2010

Future Plans

Boy am I glad I got to that Clean Up – I just spent a precious Sunday in class:  I am studying to get my Real Estate license and the next 3 weeks are crazy and then we are into the holidays (about which I have previously eluded that I have a Thing)

So, why would I put myself through this? Well, I actually took the “Principals & Practices” and “Law” portions back in 1987 with the intent to keep my options open. See, I first went to college as an Art Major with a back up plan to teach if NYC Graphic Arts didn’t happen.

Long story short, I LOVE Art but found out, through several direction changes, that I DID NOT love doing it on deadline or to specification. Teaching might have been okay, but not as lucrative as I wanted, so with a double major in Fine Arts and Business, I wound up in sales – something I had started  at Shillito’s at 16…

But, I have been addicted to HGTV for years and have always felt I missed a boat somewhere – Interior Design has been a passion for as long as I can remember:  I still remember the “pink-adelic” paint I chose at about 8 and when offered a larger bedroom at 11, I drew elevations for two different color schemes…

I have long realized that my Gardening Thing was an outlet for my Art Thing, my Remodeling Thing is more obvious… Can Real Estate sales be too big a stretch – I think not.

So, that said, you will understand if my postings are few and far between until license is in hand and Christmas decor is stored in January. But, that is okay – the garden has been put to bed and those gardening catalogs start shipping 12/26!

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In The Garden (ITG)

Hanging on the knob of the door leading outside from my kitchen is a little wooden sign, rusticlly painted with carefree lilies and the words “I’m in the Garden” – must have picked it up at some herb festival  or other; can’t remember but it is clearly handmade and at $10 (or even $5), I provided a lot of profit to its maker. It is not my usual style, I could easily have made it for about .25, and my husband resisted its residency due to its, infrequent, prevention of shutting the door easily. 

I don’t know why, but I love it. It serves no purpose because I don’t move it to indicate when I am REALLY “in the garden”. But, it does have those purple lilies and cheers me up when I am not ITG.

I saw it tonight and realized that it is about time to put it away for the season – see, I take it down until I am ready to be ITG again – which really means I store it until after the Christmas decor is put away. I have a Santa to hang in its place (I have a real Santa collection (complex) so I need the knob…).

So, while I prepare for the holidays (another complex), the little sign will be in a box in the basement, next to the seedling bench.

But, I will still have ITG moments as I gather from the yard the makings of an Advent Wreath:  box, holly, cedar, pine, crepe myrtle berries, maybe even some hydrangea, rose hips, and crab apples – it is always interesting to see what is out there that will work.

Even before that, I will be able to find oak leaves for Thanksgiving and a few small pumpkins are holding up. It is just a matter of looking and imagining. That is the reward of the work – the beauty that can be retained in the “off-season” – when I am not ITG.

Burn Notice

As mentioned many times this past season, Cincinnati and neighboring areas are suffering a drought – with little sign of abating soon. Falls are typically dry for this area but we haven’t seen more than a couple days of rain since July. While this has produced a nice Fall, weather-wise, yards look horrible, leaves were never quite as beautiful as some years, and the ground is too hard to plant perrennials or bulbs.  So, with those jobs not possible, we really did find the time to do clean up instead of adding another 100 or so daffodils to the Way Back.

With all the clean up, the compost bin and additional hidden piles are full and three large debris piles are resting in Big Garden. The fire pit is also full. While, in 17 years, we have never yet run out of firewood, we are now going into the stockpiling phase and that is not good. When we moved here, the former owner left us two huge piles out in the open – small cars could have rested below the clippings without notice. I can’t bear to see us headed back in that direction!

But, one thing is fairly clear, this Fall is probably not one to enjoy sitting around a fire ring roasting marshmallows and that is a shame! We miss the family time and we will miss the opportunity to invite friends to join us. Not to mention the new-to-us picnic table I stained a lovely shade of purple to use for fire-side entertaining… Guess I will be showing it off in the Spring.

New Blog Appearance

My blog has migrated to WordPress so I will be learning a new layout – goal for the off-season: add photos for next season!

Nov 7 – We really did it!

Today, all four of us spent about an hour pulling out cornstalks, cutting back perennials, removing seed heads from sunflowers and generally pulling out all the debris!
 
While not a much fun as in the spring, when fresh little sprouts can then be seen, it was a satisfying feeling to know I will have so mush work to do later on. I am really proud of myself for doing this – hope I will be reworded with an earlier start next year.
 
Next on my list should be an accurate evaluation of what grew well and should return and what should be dropped. Then I can hit the ground running in January and order seeds early enough too.

Nov 3 – What’s Next

Well, as suspected, I have not been a good fall clean up gardener… I guess this is just not a realistic goal while I have two boys playing multiple sports – each weekend had the minimum of two soccer games and a football game, if not multiples of each for the both of them. There were several weekends with 5-6 games and on those occasions, the games were not local.
 
So, the cornstalks that did not grace the front door, are still in their square although not really standing. Tomato cages, bean teepees, watering vessels DO still need to be put away but the sunflower heads will remain – the birds can surely enjoy the seeds for some time to come.
 
And, guess what – I am not inspired to do any of these things although my husband has been very good at emptying the remaining pots and dumping pumpkins left behind from my Halloween display. He probably knows I am already into “holiday” mode – planning Thanksgiving and then hitting Christmas with full stride. He was pruing boxwood and the berries from our crepe myrtle boxwtoday and all I could focus on was how the box had been pruned too soon to keep for an advent wreath, but the berries would make a great addition. Since Big Garden is also a cutting garden, I do enjoy bringing in flowers and then learned to “branch out” to other areas of my yard for inspiration.
 
I will also be seeking inspiration for next spring – can’t wait for spring already!