SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN

That sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?  Well, to me it does as we are in the 90s for temperatures this week.  I’m talking about a wildflower, however.  Euphorbia Marginata , aka Snow On The Mountain.IMG_20170812_073253531

When driving through other countrysides, I always enjoy the wildflowers, especially in the Rocky Mountains.  There are so many beautiful forms and colors just growing in the ditch.   A few years ago, I was doing my usual fantasizing about what wildflowers I would grow in my yard if I lived in the Colorado Rockies –but when we drove into a town, the flowers that I saw the most of were petunias!  They were quite beautiful in the cool, mountain air but gosh, even I can grow petunias.   It made me wonder what I was overlooking in my area.  That’s the year I started appreciating Snow On The Mountain.   It’s hardy, it reseeds easily but isn’t invasive, and most importantly, I think it’s beautiful!

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I think it’s easy to overlook a lot of things in our lives because we are so used to seeing them, but that’s also how we don’t notice some of the special things.   Is there something or someone that is blessing your life right now without you noticing?

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WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

My husband and I grew up in an area that was deeply affected by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.  The generation or two following, passed down a thrifty, do it yourself attitude.  If we are able to rebuild something around here, we do it.  IMG_20170127_172953240_HDR

I use this little tractor and a disk to “work the trees.”  That just means killing weeds in between the rows of newly planted trees to conserve water and keep them looking good.  However, this is getting to be a bigger job all the time, due to someones’  OCD tree planting habit.  No need to name names.

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On a corner of one of the fields that we farm,  was a cultivator that a former tenant had abandoned.    It’s the greenish thingy in the grass.

Late last fall, my husband loaded it up and brought it home.

The guys took it down in size and added blades from another implement.

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Here is a test run.  So much faster!  In our throw away world I admire someone who has a vision and is able to recycle and re use.  Thank you boys!  (I refuse to completely quit using the little tractor and disk though.  It just will have a smaller job, taking care of those – Hard to Reach areas. )

WHERE COULD THEY BEE???

I loved bees before it became “in.”  (True story)  Their colors and shape just appeal to me.  I find bumble bees especially fun to watch.  They are just so big and …..bumbly.   This year I’ve noticed tons of honey bees but no bumbles.   Thankfully I just wasn’t looking hard enough.  Yesterday I stumbled into a Bumblebee Convention.   It was loud and unorganized and very fun to watch.    image

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GREAT GOLLY! WE GOT GRAVEL!

We are always happy for moisture, but along with it, comes ruts.

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Vile Ruts!

While country life may seem peaceful and serene, there is a lot of work involved.   We are responsible for everything: maintenance, water, sewer, and even roadwork.

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So it’s an exciting day when we are finally fed up with the potholes and ruts and ready to spend some money on gravel.

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I’m always looking for a smallish bit for my pathways in the yard also…..

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It’s Gold Baby!  Pure Gold!

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Now doesn’t that look nice?

MORE TREES PLEASE!

In our neck of the woods, trees are not something that we take for granted.  We don’t just plant a tree and assume it will grow.  Many times, it doesn’t.  So you can imagine how excited we get over a bunch of trees.   A tree row around a farmstead is a treasure.  People win awards for the best ones.  I kid you not.

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Yes, Kansas has a forest service.

Due to the drought of the last 3 plus years, we lost many of the older trees in our tree row and had to doze them out.   They were replaced last year, but this year is time for expansion.

The landscape fabric has to be put out when the wind is down.  That turned out to be around sunset on a beautiful Sunday evening.

These little innocent seedlings have no idea of the life they have ahead of them.   Oh the winds they will see………

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I plant, he plumbs.    The trees absolutely will not make it without irrigation.  And often, not even then.  I always have to replace some.  This year we had a terrible wind storm come up as soon as I got them planted, which burned the tender growth.  I have already replaced around half of them.

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It is always worth the work to have a pretty little row of trees started.  You are welcome future generations!………does this shadow make me look fat?

 

THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD.

Well not really, but I’m from Kansas…..(though I get totally sick and tired of references to Dorothy)

I have the best husband.  He tolerates my gardening obsession.  I try to keep a clean house, but it’s not spotless- my heart just isn’t always in it.  However, if there is something in the yard that bothers me…it’s gotta be fixed!   When I laid this path last spring, I knew it would have to be temporary.  I just couldn’t make it look the way I wanted it to.   I’ve started dismantling in these two shots….

Guess what the aforementioned great husband helped me acquire……..?

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Dibbles and I think a stack of pavers is a beautiful thing.

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The hard part is fitting the pieces together – I end up handling each rock several times.  It beats going to the gym!

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And I think it looks much better.  Thank you Dear for your support!

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Hmmmm….now I have a whole pile of the old pavers…..what will I do with them………………I think I have an idea……………

 

 

GRATITUDE

The subject for my MJP Gratitude Challenge for today is :  Vegetable Gardens.

I don’t remember seeing a vegetable garden that I didn’t like.  What is it about them that seems so comfortable?  Is it the spring ritual that we perform year after year?   Buying seeds, prepping the beds, planning where to plant what…….

I think they are appealing because it’s they’re so basic.   No matter how plain or how fancy a vegetable garden is,  it is still just a human, planting seeds in the earth,  in hopes of gathering food.

I consider vegetable gardens the Great Equalizers.  Even the richest person we know is allowed giddiness over a homegrown, vine ripened tomato.

These are such personal gardens.  You are able to catch a glimpse of the gardener that you won’t see in the other areas of the landscape.  What is your favorite part of a veggie garden?