High Hopes and Fingers Crossed

High Hopes and Fingers Crossed

The weather is absolutely beautiful, isn’t it?! I have spent a good deal of the past four days outside gardening.

Just look at that front yard, it is about to take off and start blooming!

We’ve cleared parts of the yard, burned brush, planted seeds, and finished installing the rest of the hanging planters on our wraparound porch.

The hosta is from last year. I’d say it is well-established. This fall I hope to divide them and begin planting them in other shady spots throughout the property.

I’ve worked on the front yard of The Cottage as well, moving forward with plans for plenty of flowers and blooms year-round. It will take a couple of years for everything to fully develop, but we are definitely on our way.

Pretty, pretty tulips!

Ever since those punks hit The Cottage with their trashy graffiti, I have wondered what to do. Should I hold off on beautifying it until we are done with the inside? Do I risk having them damage it further, or even steal plants or planters?

And one of our favorite colors of tulip. As for the creeping charlie you see on the ground. I have given up. It may be a weed, but it is also an excellent groundcover. In some parts of the country, they actually intentionally plant it!

I tussled with this a while.

First iris blooms this year

I’m going forward with plans to create those decorative windows I mentioned in my last post, and I’ve decided to plant plenty of seeds and improve the outside of the building as much as possible.

The daylilies surrounding the TDN sign are well established and should bloom well this year.

This includes:

  • Finishing the painting (we have portions of the west wall that still need the green paint and some of the trim needs a second coat)
  • Transplanting more perennial bulbs and plants
  • Caring for any plants that sprout up
  • Installing the decorative windows in the open spaces of the front porch (they will have flat glass marbles, glued in place and then epoxy over them) with chains above and below anchoring them.
  • Add a tri-fold door to the end of the porch which has been decorated in Zentangle designs
  • Add curtains to the windows which prying eyes can easily access
  • Continue the brick path across the properties to join up with other brick paths

The stump from Thing One (one of the first cottonwood trees we cut down) will be one of the first blooming areas in the yard as I begin my mission of removing the turf and turning over half of an acre into a paradise of flowers, edible fruits, and more.

I guess you could say I’ve got high hopes and my fingers crossed that the punks will leave us alone and realize that this is a cared-for home, even if it isn’t occupied at the moment.

Our Mesabi cherry tree planted this spring. Fedco Trees has plenty of heirloom fruit and nut trees to choose from.

Building Bridges

I’ve gone round and round with the neighbor directly to the west of The Cottage. And I’ve decided on a new tactic…

Look how tall one of our heirloom apple trees has gotten. I think it is at least ten feet tall now.


Is that a word? Why look, it IS a word!

  1. 1.
    the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.
    “pupils draw power from the positivity of their teachers”

I am continuing that brick path heading east towards our house.

In any case, positivity is my weapon of choice these days.

I planted these hanging baskets with a ton of low-growing wildflower seeds, nasturtium, and morning glories. I’m taking a chance here, but I do hope it pays off and no one decides to steal the hanging baskets.

Yesterday, when I was over there transplanting some iris and daylily, he came out. The truth be told, Dale is incredibly lonely. But within moments of greeting me, he begins a tirade of negativity (the opposite of positivity!). Everything from ethnic groups, the government, the homeless and those “awful people across the street” are his target. Everyone, it seems, is his enemy.

Some transplanted iris, daylily and a local perennial.

I tried something different. “Hey Dale, tell me something positive.”

He stopped, smiled a little, and said, “It’s a beautiful day out.”

We will cover the bottom of the deck soon and then I’ll probably transplant some honeysuckle so it will grow up the lattice.

“Yes, it is.”

Later, after course correcting him out of his diatribes a few more times he said, “So I guess what you are saying is that no one wants to hear me be so negative.”

Hmmm…what to do with this interesting piece of stump. Does anyone have any ideas?

I told him, “There’s a time and a place for it. What I’m saying is that, in some ways, I was a lot like you. And everything changed when I changed how I viewed the world. That’s all.”

Here is the other side of it

The way I see it is like this. You can spend your life expecting that folks and fate are going to screw you over, and the world will give you exactly that. Or you can expect that life is good, that most people are innately good, and most likely, the world will respond in kind.

The jerks that tagged The Cottage were punks. They made our pretty little house look like trash. But I can also point to a dozen people (at least) who have told me how pretty it is, remarked on how much they liked what we were doing, and even in a couple of instances, run off n’er-do-wells.

Our new firepit. It’s way too small. I prefer the industrial size, burn a car in it size, but unfortunately, the fire department would object.

I really wish I had gotten to see the little old ladies across the street from me hollering at some punks trying to break into the back of it last year. They ran those kids off before they had a chance to get up to mischief.

We brought the elephant ear outside and after months of low, indirect light, it is in deep shock. Dave watered it well. It will recover. No worries!

It is that memory that I hold close when I saw the graffiti. Not the other way around. You get out of this world exactly what you expect from it.

In any case, that was my bridge-building for the day.

High hopes, fingers crossed, and shoring up that old bridge. I will continue to hope for the best.

Each year my garden gets better and better. I love gardening!

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