Monday, August 30, 2010

Remember those flowers I pressed?

Here's a sampling of the finished product.

On this page are sweet peas (still so very fragrant), bachelor buttons, wild flowers, love-in-a-mist (that's the one in the upper right hand corner), blanket flower, calendula, and zinnias.

On this page are snapdragons and love-in-a-mist.

Those love-in-a mist are divine fresh and just as pretty dried. Not much smell that I noticed, but beautiful.

I wanted to show you how I store these - my little sister taught me this.

I put them in a little photo book. Ingenious, non?

She's brilliant.

Friday, August 27, 2010

County Fair Blast From the Past

When we went to our county fair, I walked through the antiques building and saw these photos.

Little 3 year old Jay in 1939 getting on his horse.

I need to take pictures of how Ains gets on her horse.

It makes me smile to think that that little boy is now 74 years old.

This is Betty and Shirley milking Blossom.

I want a Blossom.

And my favorite - 'The Eastwoods - Plowing Garden'.

Folks, not many of us these days have that in us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunflower House

It worked this year!

Last year it didn't work out so well. Not planted thickly enough, not protected well enough from the goats.

This year, I marked the walls and then poured on the seed that I'd saved from last year instead of planting one seed per foot.

It's perfect. Started a bit late, due to the cold spring, but perfect. The bantam chickens love it too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What do these books have in common?

The Yale Shakespeare. The Horse Industry Handbook.

The Small Ruminant - Production Medicine and Management. Walking with Dinosaurs. James Herriot's Treasury for Children.

The Cake Bible. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of North American Birds.

Any guesses?

They're all big, heavy ...

Perfect for pressing flowers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lemon queen.

A new addition to the garden this year.

Lemon Queen from Baker Creek. Striking soft yellow color - unique for a sunflower.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Will you look at that.

No, not those insanely cute kids. Look behind them.

Do you see that?

She's riding by herself!

Let me repeat.


No more long rides with me holding onto the lead rope. Overnight that girl's confidence kicked in and now that pony can't get away with anything.

Her chihuahua seems just as proud of her.

Rides every single day - sometimes morning *and* night - are the order of the day now.

Her new ability is infectious - her sister's right behind her, I can tell, chomping at the bit (heh) to ride by herself also and her little brother is now riding steady in the middle instead of leaning to one side or the other.

Though sometimes Ains gets tired of sharing her saddle and he goes up on my shoulders for the rest of the way home.

'Tis the life.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Color in the Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden was started last year when we first moved to this house to help Hannah make the transition more smoothly. We didn't get much last year besides calendula, flax, zinnias, and sunflowers, but we got a lot of all of those and some big butterflies also!

This year ... well, this year we had a cleaner garden (no big piles of rocks to move), more time (we've been here for the entire spring), and more variety. We just don't have a lot more flowers. We had a cold, cold, *cold* and loooong spring which made for frustrated flowers. Finally, in the last few weeks, we've gotten some eye-popping color. And we're glad of it.

We put in four rose bushes. Two yellow ones transplanted from my cousin's garden. They don't look like they made it, but I'm being optimistic and leaving them in until next year. A pink rosebush for Ains, and a blue one for Hannah. Hannah's is covered in green, but Ains' got several beautiful blooms! I had to fight her off of them until I got a picture. It was only a two minute fight, but don't think that that made it any easier - she wanted those roses.

Remember the calendula I had last year? I didn't collect all of the seeds like I thought I did.

So happy to see those back - they put a smile on my face every time I pass the garden.

It's hard to see these because they're so delicate. Lilac Pompom Poppies. They're not striking, but they're passively pretty. I'll use them again next year because they mound nicely to fill in empty spots and don't detract from flowers around them.

Flemish Antique Poppy. Delicate. Beautiful.

The zinnia patch. So tall and full and lush last year. *sigh* Poor things are doing what they can with what they were given this year.

A few sweet peas by the main garden fence. I love the look of this so much that I'm planting lots more next year, if I can afford it. Is it hard to collect sweet pea seeds? This variety is Late Spencer Choice Mix.

LOTS of sweet peas in the garden this year. I'll put a fence up next year for them to climb - no money for that this year, so they're mounding, and they're beautiful. This variety is Blanche Ferry.

This one (my favorite) is Beaujolais.

And this one is Dolly Varden, I think.

Our first hollyhock of the season. Don't have any idea what this variety is, but it's got a lot more petals than hollyhocks that I'm familiar with. Pretty, though.

Can't even remember what these are - got them at a huge nursery sale. But they're pretty and the girls love to pick them.

Nicotiana (afternoon blooming) and blue bachelor's buttons. I also have pink bachelor's buttons in another part of the garden.

Then there's the wildflower and flax patch around the calendula and the shasta daisy patch. Both of these patches are naturally reseeding and naturalizing which I want in this garden. The more perennials and reseeders I can get in here, the better.

And we have enough sweet peas that I can bring some in for my desk. They smell oh so good.

(The notecard on the wall is from one of my favorite artists, Katie Berggren)