Green and Blooming

Spring always seems to sneak up on me. I look with anxious eyes for any signs of it, overjoyed at the first bulbs, miserable as the weather continues to swing back and forth, bitter cold and the occasional warm day.

Then, almost by magic, I look around and see green…everywhere. And my heart is happy again. Here are some of the highlights from the last couple of days.

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The picture above might not look like much, but give it a year or two and it will be phenomenal. There are iris, tulips, daylily, and some native blooming plants on each “corner” of the front walkway. I have decided to continue to add perennial bulbs over time, ones that bloom in early spring through late summer, in order to have a constant show of color throughout the year.

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Marge, a librarian from the North Independence Library was kind enough to give me these lovely columbine, which are now fully blooming. She also gave me quite a few lemon balm plants, which I immediately planted in the “greenway” – the patch of dirt between the street and the sidewalk.

Note: I am actively looking for all varieties of mint plants to further fill the greenways in front of our property. If you have any to spare, please let me know and I will come to you! I’m looking for more: chocolate mint, pineapple mint, spearmint, peppermint, lemon balm, catmint (and any others I haven’t mentioned).

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The lovely rosebush that was part and parcel with the property (I think Cranky Puppy planted it) is now blooming happily.

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Our yellow flag water iris, dug up and brought here from the old house (and not yet planted, poor thing) is blooming despite our flagrant abuse. I love all iris for this very reason – the bulbs are hardy enough to survive me and my neglectful ways.

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Just look at those blue potato plants (along with plenty of radishes)! They are growing so well. I’m excited to see them prospering. The soil is quite sandy and mostly fill dirt from the Missouri river. I’m quite curious to see how well our various plants do in it. Amendments will have to wait until I have a serious compost pile going.

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Here are some Yukon Gold potatoes and also beets. The beets are growing rather slowly, I’m not sure why.

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My culinary herb garden is doing well. I was able to add a tiny basil plant to it, as well as some salad burnett, thanks to the KC Seed Savers Exchange last Saturday.

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Although it is not a great picture, (Out of focus much, Christine? Shut up, you!) this is a lovely bush in the backyard with star-shaped flowers. Does anyone know what this is? Drop me an email, I’m very curious!

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Our fence-building is going well. We will have a tall privacy fence to rein in the dogs. It will have three different gates for our convenience. Eventually we will also build a four-foot picket fence around the property. We hope to purchase the 6th city lot before doing this and add it in. This will provide a clear delineation of where our property begins and ends. Sometimes people actually still walk through the long in-ground beds on the side of the house!

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My chives are happily flowering in an old washtub. I need to pick these and put them in white vinegar. They will infuse the vinegar with a lovely onion taste and turn it a lovely rose color. It’s great in vinaigrette.

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This old wheelbarrow might not look like much, but it means the world to me. You see, there are pictures of my father riding in it when he broke his leg as a young child. And again, years later, pictures of me riding in it as a baby. It is rusted, the handle is threatening to fall off entirely, but I was insistent that we move it from Belton to here. It only seemed natural to combine some sweet memories and faded photographs with my love of plants and make it a planter. It holds iris and also some lovely native plants which have just begun to bloom (the little pink blooms).

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I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was to find this poppy growing along the back border of our property. It sits at the edge, a foot away from the paved alley. Dave called out to me yesterday that the poppy was blooming and I just had to take a picture of it. So beautiful! I hope to collect the seeds from the blooms and start a whole mass of plants growing. Once they are established I will be sharing this gorgeous plant with others!

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Good news. This house, just two houses down from us, is being demolished. It caught on fire last November and has been unlivable ever since. It is a bit of an eyesore, and I would love to see the lot bought up by Cranky Puppy and turned into an orchard.

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We have planted about thirty tomato plants this year. Once again I’m determined to replace my need for any commercial tomato sauce or salsa. They are about a foot high now (almost) and seem to be faring okay. We have a line of trees, plus a very tall house, that interferes with a lot of direct sun being on the plants. Tomatoes love warm weather and lots of sun, so, we shall see.

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That bush with the star-shaped flowers? The kids cleared the dead branches out and talked about making it a fort of sorts. I think it will also make an excellent shady area for our hounds once we have finished the dog fence.

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Strawberries and cucumbers – we dug up way too few of the strawberries from our old yard and I’m regretting it. The cucumbers came from Saturday’s seed and plant exchange. I can’t wait to see what they turn out to be!

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Strawberries and kale. The kale is also from the seed and plant exchange. I have plenty of kale seeds, but this might be a different variety, which would be nice.

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It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but there are two horseradish plants on either side. I ended up planting them in a somewhat shady area near the break in the hedge where a house used to be. I planted four plants in all and I hope that they will take over this area. There isn’t anything else on the ground (except for my beloved wild violets) so there’s plenty of room for them to spread out.

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Last but not least, some rosemary from Cranky Puppy in honor of my birthday. Hooray! I love rosemary. The smell is divine and it is great in baking as well as chicken and fish dishes. Now that I have this amazing and wonderful house with lots and lots of windows, I plan to bring in all of my rosemary each year for the winter. Give me a few years and I figure I’ll never have to buy another plant again. How cool is that?!

Stay tuned… tomorrow I will report on my first day of my new cleaning regimen. I’ve gotten one of the rooms done so far, our big double bedroom, and now I’m off to work on the library and office. My bedroom looks GREAT!

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2 Responses to Green and Blooming

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Casey! We do – we have approximately three times the space (even more if you count the full basement and enormous attic) inside the house. The yard is also slightly bigger at 4/10 of an acre instead of 1/3. What is insane is that I haven’t needed to really buy any furniture, and it isn’t as if there are any EMPTY rooms or rooms lacking in furniture. To think I had all of this furniture in a house 1/3 the size.

    I might complain about cleaning it, but I sure do love it, I really, really do!

  2. Casey Diaz says:

    the new house is looking gorgeous! its seems (despite the work) you have a lot more room both inside and out!

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