Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summing up May: 2016

Another month, in the books.

Ah, I know. I'm a bad blogger. I was supposed to get this posted yesterday, but I had urgent garden affairs to attend to. Some of my tomato starts had become root-bound and were starting to die. They had to be transplanted immediately. All is well though. The best of the starts are moved, I've gotten a wee-bit sunburned, and I'll just post my monthly wrap-up today. 

May's weather left something to be desired. It was an extremely rainy month. We've had a huge pile of dirt in our yard for most of the month, waiting for dry weather, just itching to be moved into future flower beds. We're also tapping our feet for the yard to dry out so we can get in and build our fence. Thankfully the end of May was not too wet, and we were able to get the flower beds out front done. Hopefully by the time I write my June wrap-up, the side and back flower beds will be done and the fence will be installed. In the meantime, let's look at the front flower bed-

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Side view.

Looking at the front door. 

The hubby's cousin and his wife mentioned to us over the weekend that they wouldn't know where to start when picking out a landscaping style. I have to admit, it can be overwhelming wondering where to start. We started at our local nursery. At first, we simply walked around and took note of plants that interested us. 

Our nursery has goats! 

We knew we were going to get a couple of trees. What we didn't know was that our local nursery was selling trees grown in Oregon. About an hour from my parent's house, to be exact. We got a kick that these trees traveled ~2700 miles to come live in a former Oregonian's yard. 

Putting our Blue Spruce in place...

The final spot. With black mulch.

Along with our evergreen, we got a small Japanese maple. These trees are spendy, so we went with a small one. The color on them is so pretty. 

Oh, come on. You know I had to sneak some purple flowers in somewhere :-)

We just had to get some Kentucky Blue Grass!

Closer look. The hubby and I were really focused on color. We love the look of green, red, yellow, and that blue spruce color together, so we picked out our plants so the colors will really pop when they all grow together. 

Hanging baskets we put up out front.

My Plum Pudding Heuchera that sits on my porch. I love this plant. The hummingbirds go nuts over it. I can be sitting next to this plant on the porch and hummingbirds will still come up to it and me. I love it! In fact, we are lining the side of the house with multiples of heuchera's. 

The hummingbirds stick their little beaks inside the tiny pink flowers. It's amazing. I highly recommend adding this plant to your garden if you like to attract hummingbirds.

The backyard garden. It's changed a lot since Year 1, right?

Here's a peek at June of 2014:

I love comparing. We've added a ton to the garden!

This little guy came to say hello. I was wordlessly, silently changing my camera lens to get a better picture, hoping he stayed still. Alas, as soon as I took the lens off the camera, he hid under the box. I shook my fist at the sky. I was 2 seconds away from getting a great picture. Ah, the life of the photographer.

The honeybees are doing great! They are loving the white clover in the yard that I won't let the hubby eradicate this year. I snapped a few pics of this lady-

She then got a little irritated and left.

May was also the month of my first honeybee sting. I was changing their sugar water mid-May, which I've done before. However, this time it was mid-morning and it was pretty warm already. They were active and I, like a fool, went in without my suit. They let me take the feeder to fill, but someone got MAD when I brought it back. The bee stung me through my shirt. I dropped the feeder and took off in a dead sprint, screaming like a banshee. When I got back to the garage, I lifted my shirt and saw there was a stinger in my side! *Shudder* I had the willies for hours afterwards.

The good news? Honey bee stings don't even hurt! The only other bee I've been stung by was a hornet, so when this happened, I was amazed that I hardly felt it. It never swelled, it never itched. I just feel bad that the little honeybee gave her life over some sugar water. You can bet I'll always wear the suit when I change the sugar water from now on. 

Another wildlife injury! I was pulling weeds in the garden (hence my fingernails, ha ha) when I heard a scuffle behind me. I turned to look, and there was a squirrel hanging from one of my bird feeders! I watched and he just violently swung around on the bird feeder. He was stuck. I didn't even think, I just walked over and lifted the bird feeder off its cane. I put it on the ground, squirrel freaking out the whole way. I was hoping once I put the feeder on the ground that he'd be able to get unstuck somehow. No such luck. I had to lean down and see that his foot was stuck in the tray of the bird feeder. I reached in to try and free the squirming squirrel. Amazingly, when my hand was on his foot, he froze. He sat still until the very second his foot was undone and then all hell broke loose. He was gone in 0.1 seconds and I had a scratch on my finger. 

I raced inside, panicking and thinking 'I need to go to urgent care, ASAP'. I google the diseases that squirrels must have, convinced I'm going to get rabies. From what I read, it's not likely to get rabies from a scratch. A bite yes, but not a scratch. But I did need to keep an eye on the cut to watch for infection. I ended up applying Neosporin twice a day for a week out of paranoia. I'm happy to report I didn't get any wild animal diseases :-)

One of my new plants, a Petite Plum Dwarf Butterfly Bush.

True to its name, this plant attracts tons of butterflies. I've already got another in white, but I saw it in pink as well. I'll definitely be getting more of this!

My strawberry patch, followed by carrots, green onions, and finally in the way back, the herb garden.

The strawberries are growing like crazy! No berries yet, but I'm checking. 

Zucchini and pumpkin starts, along with companion plants of lettuce and marigolds.

My poor little tomato bed. The tomatoes and peppers still aren't that happy yet. May was hard on them, with cooler temperatures, lots of wind, and colder than I would like nights. They look like they are still recovering, but I'm noticing them looking stronger every day. 

Green onions. My white onion and potato patch is behind the green onion barrel.

Lots of dill, radish, lettuce, and marigolds in the onion bed. 

An oregano seedling. Oregano always starts so small.

My chamomile is getting ready to flower! This is my first year growing it. I'm hoping to dry the flowers and use them for tea. 

Top photo, parsley seedlings. Flat and curly varieties. Bottom photo, basil seedlings.

My greenery bed. There's spinach, rainbow chard, Swiss chard, a mesclun mix, and Kale planted in here, interspersed with radishes to draw the bugs. 

Hyssop growing quite wonderfully.

Lavender seedlings.


Snapdragons, which will be planted in the flower bed at the back of the house.

A visitor to the waterer.

Bees getting out and about.

Friends that came along while I took photos of the bees.

I can't tell you how much I heart these little guys!

Hello from Mariota :-)

My favorite recipes of the month include-

And that's it for May! Join me next month, when we tackle June. Ah, summer :-) Have a great day friends!


  1. What a wonderful post! I thoroughly enjoy it.

    Glad your bee sting wasn't too bad and that your squirrel scratch healed.

    Your veggie garden looks great as do your flower beds. I look forward to seeing what all you two get done in this merry month of June.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you FlowerLady! The hubby ended up getting an unexpected day off today, so my side-yard flower bed might get finished sooner rather than later! I'm a happy camper :-)

      Hope you are having a great weekend!

  2. I'm glad you didn't get any wildlife diseases! And I'm glad the bee sting turned out ok too. What a month! The garden is looking great and I love the landscaping. We've been talking about adding a tree or two to the yard, we are just having the hardest time deciding what kind and where to go with it. So three years later we still don't have the trees!

    1. I know, I don't even know what I could have got, or the symptoms to look for. Luckily that didn't happen! Ha ha :-)

      I found, with the trees, once we had decided on one, buying the rest came a lot easier.

  3. My goodness! That bee sting looks awful - so glad you aren't allergic. The landscaping and plants are so gorgeous - that's going to be one outstanding yard in a few'll be asked to head up the garden of the month club!

    1. The bee sting was definitely a case of looking worse than it felt. Thank goodness! :-) Thank you Kelli! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  4. You and your husband have done a marvelous job landscaping! So cool about the trees from Oregon. :) Your garden looks way ahead of mine and my tomatoes are not happy either at the moment but with the heat pouring on, I am hoping they perk up soon.

    I'm so glad the bee sting was not worse and that you are ok after helping that squirrel. Poor little guy owes you big time! ;)

    1. My tomatoes were perking up, and then we had a monsoon-y day yesterday. Argh! I can't win with those plants, I swear!

      I think the little squirrel knows me now. There's one that won't run from in the backyard now, and I wonder... :-)

  5. I don't have any idea how I missed this post earlier, but glad I caught it today! I LOVE your landscaping and gardening! I've been debating about getting a butterfly bush, and I think you just helped me make the final decision. I need one.I love your spruce :) And the Japanese Maple. We bought one of those a couple years ago, but it was one of the coldest winters we have had and it was just to cold. Sticking with more Wisconsin friendly trees for now :)
    You made me laugh at your squirrel scratch. I would have been taking the exact same steps as you. Googling to week long treatment!

    1. We have really cold winters here too, I'm hoping everything we picked out makes it. I know the evergreens will do great, but I don't know about that little maple. I'm hoping for the best!

      I love to look at squirrels, I just have no desire to possibly catch a disease from them! Ha ha. Luckily, nothing happened and I now have a pretty friendly backyard squirrel now. He might be a little too relaxed around me :-)