Category Archives: Grandchildren

SHOVEL SEASON

It’s been a glorious weekend here.

70 degree days

Lots of sunshine.

We are told tomorrow

Will be another story.

This on again off again weather

Has given me the chance to do

Some important fall chores.

So let’s just call this

The weekend of shoveling.

On Saturday I purchased

15 – 40 pound bags of manure

That’s 600 pounds!

I’ve developed a great system

Have it loaded into the back of my SUV

At the store.

When I get home

I just wheel the wheelbarrow

Up to the back of the car.

Split the bag open

And slip it into the wheelbarrow.

I never have to lift one of those big bags.

Then I just shovel 4 – 5 shovels full

Onto each Rose, Hydrangea and Hosta

In my garden.

It does two things.

Provides winter protection.

Serves as a slow fertilizer

Come Spring.

It also makes you a little tired

And sore.

You also may find

A few more Easter Eggs.

IMG_4041

But by Sunday afternoon

I’d recovered enough

To attack the compost pile.

All those leaves, garden clippings and food scraps

Turn into a rich garden amendment

By fall.

IMG_4070

So I got out my handy little shovel

And scooped it into my wheelbarrow

Spreading it onto the garden.

I got about 1/4th of it done today.

There is still more shovel time

In my future.

Having the right equipment

Makes chores like this

A lot easier.

Years ago John gave me this little shovel.

For Mother’s Day.

IMG_4072

Last summer he snapped the handle

On the original.

He quickly replaced it.

A small shovel is a real help

For a gardener’s back.

I did have a friend to help me

With all the shoveling.

This giant praying mantis reappeared.

IMG_4066

I first met it a few weeks ago

When it landed on my dahlias.

IMG_3756

Now it seems to be scurrying around

Looking for a place to hide out

For the winter.

This is not the glamorous side of gardening.

It doesn’t make for lots of

Pretty pictures.

But digging in the earth

Playing in the dirt

Is the beginning of any garden

And perhaps a new gardener.

Photo credit Kristina WynnePhoto credit Kristina Wynne

Gail

P.S.  Thank you to everyone who has kindly mentioned the Oklahoma Gardening video of my garden house.  My favorite comment was from my friend Kay…”I’ve never seen it so clean.”  How true that is!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Children in the Garden, Compost, Dahlias, End of Season Rituals, Fall, Garden Tools, Grandchildren, Hosta, Hydrangea, Oklahoma Gardening, Praying Mantis, roses, Shovel, Uncategorized

SIMPLE DELIGHTS

Late summer provides a bit of a respite

From the heavy work of a perennial garden.

Sure there is still deadheading

To keep the blooms coming

And weeds to be pulled.

But my garden is in that “in-between” time.

It’s a bit early to start digging things up

And moving them around.

Something I love doing.

So late last week

When my friend Beth

Reminded me that

“the simplicity of a water drop on a petal

Can delight our inner self”

IMG_0291

It helped me to slow down

And look for that simplicity.

Tonight when I was making a little arrangement

For the breakfast room

IMG_3014(1)

And a praying mantis popped out.

It was shear delight.

IMG_3003(1)

I quickly relocated it to the garden.

Then as I moved the arrangement to the table

Another appeared.

IMG_3017(1)

What are the chances of having two praying mantis

In the same arrangement?

Pretty slim I’d say.

It reminded me of the moment last spring

When all the babies hatched.

I was lucky enough to happen to walk by

At this moment.

 

A few weeks later

Nature repeated itself for Harper & Henry

When they found their own delight.

IMG_3018

Finding delight in simplicity.

Thanks for the reminder, Beth.

Gail

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Bouquets, Bugs, Children in the Garden, cockscomb, Dead Heading, Flower Arrangements, Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Grandchildren, Perennials, Praying Mantis, Uncategorized

GOOD NEWS EASTER EGG HUNT v.7

 

It’s become a sort of tradition

The Good News Easter Egg Hunt.

Happening on the Saturday between

Good Friday

img_1204

And Easter Sunday.

John and I are the official host

But it’s actually put together by the Nurture Committee at our church.

Nurture.

I really like that word.

It is defined as

“To care for and encourage the growth or development of someone or something.”

And that is what we do

As a church

img_1215

As a committee

img_1160

And as individuals.

img_1167

Encourage one another.

What better place to nurture someone

Than in a garden

img_1198.

A happy garden is one that is not necessarily

Well tended.

But well nurtured.

The difference to me is that a well nurtured garden

Is done so willingly – lovingly.

Often people walk into my garden

And remark how much work it must be.

The truth is it is not work at all

To me

It’s the place I go

To think

To sing

To ponder.

I love sharing it

With the children

img_1189

And families who come every year.

img_1180

There are many ways to nurture a child.

Inviting them into your garden

To romp and play

img_1178

To explore and discover

img_1190

To create

img_1172

img_1156Is, to me, the very definition of nurturing.

Gail

Thank you to Abbey, Andrew, Beth, Eddie Lou, Katie, Kay, Keith, Mary, Megann & Tashanna

img_1154

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Generations, Grandchildren, Uncategorized

ROOTS & WINGS

In my core I am a flat lander.

A fourth generation flat lander.

As a kid I was taught by example

To be in awe of sunsets.

My father loved them.

A get everyone up from the dinner table

To admire them

Kind of loved sunsets.

He traveled the world

Met fascinating people

But was never happier

Than when standing in his own front yard

Taking in the full 180 degree sunset

In the evening sky.

We do have some pretty spectacular sunsets.

And thunderstorms.

My friend Mike Klemme has captured many of them.

unnamed (3)

Copyright Mike Klemme

 

I know this place.

With it’s long growing season.

I know that sometime in late January

I can start looking for buds on the Hellebores

DSCN0574

And by Valentine’s I’ll see the first nose of a daffodil.

If not an out and out bloom.

DSCN3364

I know that each fall when I spread the summer’s compost

Around my garden

I can expect a spring crop of worms

The size of small snakes.

Happily digging their way through

The rich soil they helped to create.

But for the past few years

I’ve been cheating on my garden.

I’ve taken up gardening

In another place.

A place that couldn’t be more different

From home.

Where here there is a generous 9 – 10 month growing season.

There the last freeze date isn’t until June 15th

And the first freeze date can happen anytime after Labor Day.

Really….three months.

How do people live like that.

For me it’s because of my grandchildren.

So I’m learning to garden again.

In a new place.

Now don’t get me wrong.

Home is still home.

But I now have the opportunity

To grow things

That absolutely hate it here on the plains.

I’m trying my hand at

Lupines

And Delphinium.

Oriental Poppies

And even Foxglove

Which I have no luck with

No matter where I try.

I’m learning how to out wit

These guys.

IMG_0994 (1)

Though they seemed to have eaten

Most of said Poppy buds.

Most challenging of all is the soil.

They don’t call them the Rocky Mountains

For their light airy loam.

Even staking up a delphinium bloom

(to make it more accessible to the deer)

Is an excavation project.

But the mountain air

Does make for glorious color

In all that grows there.

So, I’m literally putting down part time roots

In a new place.

In order to give the next generation

Wings.

IMG_4082

Gail

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Daffodils, Delphinium, Digitalis, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Grandchildren, Grandchldren Generations, Hellebores, Lupine, Poppy, Uncategorized

“RRANGEMENTS”

IMG_4025

I bought these little enameled vases

Years ago

At “Crazy Days”

And only remember using them once.

Until Harper and Henry discovered them

One Easter.

They spent most of that Friday

Snapping off tulips

To make “rrangements”.

IMG_7835

So, of course, I had to send some home with them.

Later that year when I visited.

I noticed these little vases all over their house

They were constantly changing the flowers

Kids love to pick flowers

And they seldom leave enough stem

To actually put in a vase.

So these tiny renditions

Were just the ticket.

Kids also learn by watching.

And they have a splendid example

Of arranging in their mother.

In all the years of their marriage

There are always flower arrangements around

When we visit.

In the guest room

DSCN1840

On the fireplace mantel

IMG_4017

And kitchen window sill

Along with the dining table.

IMG_4014

The kids have picked up on this

Often having flowers in their room.

Luckily, Elliott is good at growing flowers

Supplying dahlias and roses and hydrangeas

All season long.

DSCN0912

It’s the simple things

That we often remember about our childhoods.

The smell of my mother’s pies in the oven.

The warmth of the fire that my father

Built each winter day.

Standing over my grandmother’s floor furnace

Making my night gown into a warm balloon.

The roses at her front door.

I’m thankful for the memories

That Kristina and Elliott are creating

For their family.

And happy that flowers are part of those memories.

DSCN0907

Happy Mother’s Day

Gail

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under Children in the Garden, Dahlias, Flower Arrangements, Gardening, Grandchildren, Gratitude, Hydrangea, roses, Uncategorized, Vases

The Good News Easter Egg Hunt V.6

When you choose to live in the same place

Year after year

Decade after decade

Roots grow deep.

Trees mature

As the branches grow and spread

And multiply.

image1.jpeg

There are choices you make staying put.

I think about this a lot these days

As people come and go from this place

And we stay put.

Nowhere in my life

Is this more apparent

Than on the Saturday before Easter.

This year was our 6th Good News Easter Egg Hunt

IMG_3523

Once again Kay worked her magic.

And this year we had the added help

Of Grace.

IMG_3494

New ideas

New energy

A new branch on our tree.

Paper mache’ eggs were a big hit

IMG_0006

Especially when the kids figured out

They were filled with goodies.

img_3577.jpg

Bird feeders are now sprinkled all over town

IMG_3490

Helping our feathered friends survive

A colder than usual week that followed.

And, of course, there were lady bugs.

IMG_3556

It’s was a mix of old friends

IMG_0055

And new.

Children who have been here every year.

IMG_3558

And some coming for the first time.

img_3487.jpg

So that’s the thing about staying put.

Your life gets very full.

Making room for decades of friends

Connections and memories

While saving space for new friends and adventures.

Sort of like a mature perennial garden.

Gail

IMG_3534

A slinky slows you down a bit!

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Grandchildren, Grandchldren Generations, Uncategorized

IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE

This has been an unusual summer

On many fronts.

I’ve been gone half the summer.

Two weeks here

A week there.

Grand kids will do that to you

I’ve learned.

img_1440-2.jpg

Not that I mind

I don’t.

But I’m not used to flitting around

Like that.

Then there was August.

Days turned into

Weeks of mid-80’s

And there was the rain.

In a month when it might not rain

At all

We had 6 inches!

So…

Combine my absence

With cool temperatures

And gentle rains

And what do you get?

A jungle.

The Cockscomb is officially

Growing out of its mind.

IMG_1752

Zinnias have popped up

Everywhere.

IMG_1732

The Asters are blooming,

IMG_1761

And Cleome is still going strong.

IMG_1785

Then there is the crabgrass.

If you don’t pull it.

It just keeps growing

And growing.

I think I’ve filled

Four poly carts

With the stuff.

Yesterday I managed

To get about half way through

The weeding process.

With a little deadheading

Along the way.

That’s really all there is

To do out there right now.

That and enjoy Mother Nature.

Yesterday was a tough day

To be one of these.

img_1716.jpg

Not sure if it’s a moth

Or a butterfly.

First one was eaten for lunch

By a Praying Mantis.

IMG_1679

Then this Orb spider

Had another one

For dinner.

IMG_1711

I was still

In the garden

At dusk

When the locust chorus

Began singing

A familiar song.

Fall

Isn’t it yummy?

Gail

IMG_1765

 

1 Comment

Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, cleome, cockscomb, Dead Heading, Fall, Gardening, Grandchildren, late summer garden, Nature, Orb Spider, Praying Mantis, Rain, self seeding annuals, Uncategorized