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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The 2:00 A.M. Blogger

Sleep experts state that if a person cannot fall asleep after an hour or so, it is best to arise from the sleepless bed and read, pursue a favorite hobby or take a walk...at 2:25 in the morning, my love of reading has temporarily faded and quilting doesn't seem to hold my attention. I could venture out into the garden in bare feet and shorty pj's but living out in the country makes for a very dark environment and who knows what kind of furry critters one might encounter.
Besides my mind is in a whirl and that is what has prevented me from drifting peacefully off for the last two hours. 
At first, I mentally planned the next morning's activities...picking the blueberries and peas that should have been done the previous night. Then thoughts moved to what a busy week it has been - constantly on the go each day which no doubt has led to this sleepless night. A feeling of being worn out and overtired prevails. Perhaps if I thought about a quilt? There is a beautiful vintage look red chintz in my sewing room that calls to me - what a fabulous border it will make...should I splurge and order that Di Ford Applique pattern I covet from Australia? Then I remember the present projects that are in the works and more gifts yet to made. 
I toss and turn - the pillows get fluffed and the sheet and blanket rearranged...thoughts float to my parents and worries there and of friends near and far who face serious health issues. Mr. Outback sleeps blissfully unawares of my turmoil...our three shelties softly snore and a small window fan pulls in the cool night air. 
The next thought that enters my racing mind was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back...the debacle that is going on in Congress as a group of elected officials can't reach any agreement on how to pull this country back from the brink - are we headed to the next level of economic meltdown? Why don't they grow up and play nice with each other and will I get a Social Security check in August? The pillows get fluffed again and the tossing and turning continue.
This is ridiculous, I tell myself...obviously sleep will not be visiting anytime soon so slip downstairs, start blogging and see if anyone else is awake?? Kind of doubt it - this has got to be the loneliest time of the night. That old Frank Sinatra song comes to mind..."In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning..."
Sleeping pills are not something I would seek out...perhaps seeing what other bloggers are up to? 
Wow! Pomona over at Little Cottage Comforts has an amazing giveaway going on...be sure to check it out!
And I just noticed she also runs a sweet little bed and breakfast in England...if I had the where-with-all I would hop over there in a heartbeat...I bet sleep would arrive softly nestled into one her delightfully decorated rooms and the anticipation of a fresh scone and tea in the morning ...what a lovely thought...I will try to keep that image as I climb the stairs and once again fluff the pillows and hopefully at long last drift off to sleep.

Pat

I will probably look like this in the morning...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sensory Overload...Part Three

Lot's of  "O's" for this Alphabe-Thursday entry...if you missed the first two parts of the garden tour, check out the previous two posts.

Our final stop of the day long garden tour was in Reedsville, Wisconsin at Solaris Farms. Our guide warned us in advance to be prepared - "you will feel as though you died and went to heaven." And so it was...
There were collective intakes of breath as we pulled along side of the gardens and turned into the drive. Timing was perfect on this day as the daylilies and oriental/orienpet/asiatics were all in bloom. 





We were briefed on how the rows of plants were marked and how to fill out the order form on the clip board we were given. Goodness sakes...make it easy - just give me 3 of everything! (Click on each photo to enlarge)
Chris & I buzzed around the rows, oohing and ahhing and quickly writing down our heart's desire...then a moment of sanity hit...how much do these plants cost? Might be a good idea to check the price list...oh my - that daylily is $20.00...a little steep for our budgets...did you know you can buy daylilies that cost $200.00 a piece! Best to know that before you tell that young college boy to start digging!

However, we had no problem finding equally stunning blossoms priced from $6.00 to $11.00 each... 

Holland Beauty Lily - I definitely had to bring that home with me...
it is stunning!

 And a Dutch Red...
And how about that Satisfaction...
So many others - to dream about over the winter months and perhaps plan a return trip next year... 




Icing on the cake - when I returned home, in my very own little garden - waiting for me...the first bloom of my Lemon Meringue oriental lily...
 - oh the heavenly fragrance...I can hardly wait to introduce it to my new lily friends...


Don't forget to drop by all the other "O" posts over at Miss Jenny's

Have an Outstanding Summer Weekend!

Pat


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sensory Overload...Part Two

Our second garden stop of the day was about a two hour ride from Scandinavia to a town called Kiel, Wisconsin. Again, we stopped along a lovely country lane and parked the tour bus. We had arrived at Pondside Gardens.


Chris - walking down the garden path towards the pond.
 
By this time it was close to noon and the sun had risen high in the sky with soaring temperatures greeting us. It was hot, hot, hot and with super humid air...we seriously considered wading into this inviting fountain in the center of the pond.
These gardens are located on approximately 13 acres on the pond side of the property and 14 acres on the house and hostas side. 
Entering through the arch of the Display gardens, the first of the 500 varieties of hostas invited us to linger and explore. 
With the rolling terrain, it was a good thing we all had on comfortable walking shoes...this pair of work boots were all ready occupied by an arrangement of greenery.
A nearby decorative bench with a welcoming engraving invited us to sit a spell and take it all in, but there was much to see and decide on and our catered lunch awaited us!
Decisions, decisions, how does one choose? Row after row just calling out for our attention...



We were told that if we spied something that wasn't in a pot, they would go and dig up the exact plant we pointed to and it could go home with us...how accommodating! Remembering our own property has somewhat limited shaded areas, I could only justify two plants...Orange Marmalade and June - both with multi-colored green leaves ranging from cream to blue green.
...And I knew the 3rd stop was where my gardening heart would speed up - so plan to come along as we head to Solaris Farms - specializing in hundreds of daylilies and oh-be-still-my-heart oriental/orienpet lilies...
See you on Thursday, July 28th!


Pat



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sensory Overload...Part One



If there is one thing a gardener likes to do other than actual gardening, is visit other gardens. You can walk leisurely through winding paths, ask questions and learn and come away inspired...all without the need of work gloves or a shovel. Put 35+ gardeners on a bus headed to three unique gardens in Southeastern Wisconsin and you have the makings of a truly enjoyable day. Rather than stick you with tons of photos all at once, there will be 2 more postings for the remaining two gardens. Pondside Gardens on July 26th and Solaris Gardens on July 28th. I hope you will plan to follow along as we tour.

Our first stop was way out in the country and the address falls under the Township of Scandinavia (of Iola-Scandinavia Antique Auto Show fame).  Labisch Gardens is a privately owned garden which has been created by a very diligent retired couple who moved out of Milwaukee years ago seeking a quiet life. When our big chartered bus pulled up to the driveway entrance on the narrow country lane, I wonder if they were rethinking what "quiet" meant! They have planted over 350 different varieties of hostas, daylilies and perennials on their shaded hillside property. Mr. Labisch states that it all started with a wish from his wife, "for just one little flower bed, dear."


I hope you enjoy your visit!


A necessary country home item - or the world's biggest watermelon?       

 The Labisch's have followed an Angels and Fairies theme throughout the garden - pieces of garden art are tucked everywhere and sometimes are nestled amongst all the hostas, which range in size from diminutive to giant. Don't you love the texture on these leaves?




In addition to the fairies and angels, the walkways are shared with garden friendly pooches or other critters...


Of course, hummingbirds are always welcomed!
And who wouldn't want to linger when presented with such beautiful blooms...




This is a variety of begonia - the entire display must have been 45" across - just spectacular. I took a close up so that you could see the shape of this unusual variety.
After being treated to baked scones and our choice of coffee, ice water or lemondade, we boarded the bus for our next stop. As we were leaving, these two very sweet little faces appeared at the window - aren't they adorable little yorkies!!
Come back soon and join us for a visit to our 2nd garden...Pondside Gardens in Kiel, Wisconsin...can you believe - over 500 hostas!! And they sell them!!  


See you on July 26th!


 Pat

Friday, July 22, 2011

Garden Moments...

Finally, we have had a very brief break in our hot weather...55 degrees this morning greeted us and I headed out to the gardens for a bit of tidying up. This past week has brought a lot of growth and I discovered tiny tomatoes, summer squashes and cucumbers all being formed. My wilted gardening spirits improved tremendously when I spied this taking place...
We have 4 blueberry bushes and I will be picking in a few days...if our bears don't sneak in during the dark of night! They are definitely near by...


And one of my favorite places to be is the little herb garden in the morning when the oils are so intense on the leaves...a great time to bring out the herb basket and gather parsley, sage and thyme to dry. What? You ask - No rosemary? I don't dry that - preferring it freshly trimmed.


 Something new in the garden this summer...Honey Melon Sage. A pretty herb with sweet smelling leaves and neat little tubular red flowers.
Tomorrow I will be taking a "gardener's busman's holiday" - along with a friend that I don't get to spend much time with; we are off for the day on a tour of 3 gardens in Southeastern Wisconsin. Will be taking the camera along so hope to share our adventure with you. 

All for now...it will seem strange to be taking a break from quilting and being in my own play yard...but I anticipate returning with lots of inspiration!


Have a great weekend and stay tuned for a Quick Summer Giveaway to be announced soon!

Pat