Saturday, December 3, 2011

First snow

There isn't a whole lot of color outside today.  We have our first snow - maybe 4 inches so far.  It was so nice earlier, with the quiet of snow.  The snow blowers are humming now, although it is still snowing.

The birds are visiting the bird feeders, and the squirrels are eating what is dropped.

Snow Goose?

Nobody home . . .

Is it Spring yet?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A wonderful surprise

I can't begin to tell you, what a wonderful surprise and meaningful gift I got from our youngest son for my birthday.  My family knows how much I love to spend time in our yard.  It was so fitting that he commissioned an acquaintance of his to do a water color painting incorporating our back yard and deck where we spend so much time. 

It started as a sketch she made from photos that Scott took ~

After they were satisfied with the sketch, she proceeded to bring it to life with water color paints ~

And this is the finished product!   I keep looking at it, finding little touches that make it our home.  The tin star on the back of the house, the Husker birdhouse on the little table, the birdfeeders, the hummingbird feeder, my wheelbarrow filled with blooming flowers, my red wagon (aka salad planter) on the deck, and the chairs and grill arranged on the deck as we have them,  right down to one of our cats, Joey sitting at the door.  There is the little Redbud tree, and our huge Pin Oaks in the front, which form the house.  She did leave out the River Birch clump from the island planter, because it would have covered the view of the deck.  The little bunnies are Don and me enjoying the view. 

Earlier in the year, she participated in a benefit art show for the Japanese Tsunami where Scott purchased one of her pieces.

I am so impressed with her work.  Nicole Gustafsson  has done many art shows - locally and throughout the US.  She also has a blog and an etsy shop.  Her work is so interesting and detailed - she has everything from paintings - seasonal and nature, cards, brooches, and ornaments.  Take a peek and there may be a great gift idea waiting for you to purchase for someone.  Thank you Nicole for such a wonderful piece of art.  And thank you Scott for such a touching gift.  I love it ! ! !

Monday, November 14, 2011

Seasonal changes

In my last post, I showed a wreath I had put together using my fading hydrangea blooms.  Late in the Summer, when the blooms had turned from white to green, I cut some and brought them in the house.  I've done this before and kept them in a vase throughout the Winter and didn't know what they would do if I put them back outside.  

Now I know ~

Now I'm anxious to see how it holds up through the Winter

We went back to visit our son's family in Iowa and I had to drive by a house I admire.  I showed how the landscape looked in August and now I have comparison photos for November.  I have no idea who lives here, but I may mail them a letter or stop and visit next time I am there.  

Here is a landscaped area in the front yard by the driveway.  I love what she has done with her bikes.  I'll show the August photo first and then November one next so you can see the change of colors.

It's fun to see what she has done with each bike ~

Nothing different was done with this trike, but you can see a lot of pretty color in the Fall photo.  I could maybe see a pumpkin sitting on the seat for decoration.  

I have no idea what this shed is used for, but it about took my breath away when my husband pointed it out to  me.  I can picture it being a play house for children, a place to sit outside in during the evenings, or a potting shed.  I did notice wreath hooks on each door, so I can only imagine how pretty this home will look during the Christmas Holiday.

They have such a nice selection of plants for Fall color.  Something interesting we noticed - at some of the yards in town, the homeowners had raked the leaves and they were piled along the front edge of the property just behind the curbs.  We asked our son about it, and he said the city comes by and picks up the leaves if people rake them to the curb. . . no charge.  Now if our city could just see it in their hearts to do that for us, instead of charging us to pick them up, and then charging us to get mulch from them in the Spring.  I guess that's the difference between small and large towns.

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you are enjoying the Fall colors where you are.  We have had really mild temperatures, which makes it nice for cleaning out the gardens and keeping leaves picked up.  This is a bonus year for us - no acorns from our two huge Pin Oaks in the front yard!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


This post is in response to Sue , who wanted to know what I used for my edges in my flower beds.  These blocks are used in the long flower bed that goes the length of the yard.

For the island bed, we have landscape fabric under the Colorado River Rock and when mowing, we just put a wheel just inside the edge on the rocks.  From time to time, grass might start to sneak into the rocks, so we pull it out after a good soaking rain.

We don't have anything down near the edge of the Hosta bed, because in the past, having mulch up under the Hostas that are along the edge made a perfect hang out for slugs, and then they munched away on the Hostas.   About 2 feet in from the edge, we do have landscape fabric and big bark chips.  To mow, we just sneak one side of the mower under the Hostas and go around the edge.  We never have a problem with grass creeping into that bed, possibly because of the Hostas making too much shade there.

And in this small bed, we put these little crescent shaped edgers.  They were really easy to work with.  I'm thinking of picking a spot in the yard to put a circle of these to sit the fire pit on so we don't burn the grass every year.

The blocks were bought at our local lumber/box store and I'm sure they are available at many more.  They all come in different colors too.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shades of Fall

I spent yesterday mowing the yard to pick up the leaves, with the promise of  rain and snow in today's forecast.  Knowing how the rain brings down the leaves, we took some photos to remember the stage the trees are in during their ever changing color.  Every one goes at it's own speed.  The street we live on is lined with Pin Oak trees.  While they provide shade during the Summer, and are pretty in the Fall, we have more than our share of leaves to pick up.  A bonus this year is that we don't have any acorns!  About every 3 years, we don't have them, or if there is a drought and the trees are stressed.

We took some photos after supper, when the setting sun really brightens up the tops of the trees.  Next week, after daylight savings, we won't get as much of a show.

This photo shows how many different colors one tree often has at one time.

The Red, White, and Blue of Old Glory against yellow ~

I got the back yard all spiffed up.  Look Ma, no leaves!

And then Mother Nature pulled an ugly trick on us.  Rain, snow and 30 degree temperatures!

At least it isn't as bad as what the East Coast has had.  We struggled through that in October 1997 and sympathize with them.

Enjoy Fall, because you know what comes next . . .

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bloomin' Tueday

Time for one last Bloomin' Tuesday at Ms Green Thumb Jean's blog.  Not much is blooming anymore, so all I have to offer is dried blooms, favorite things, and visiting critters getting ready for Winter.

One of my favorite decorations for Fall is my pumpkin made from barbed wire ~

The bushes are ready to feed the birds for the Winter ~

And the Squirrels are burying acorns anywhere they can dig a hole.

Sometimes, I cut my Hydrangea when the flowers are white, sometimes when they are green, and sometimes not at all.  I hot glued green and brown blooms into a styrofoam wreath and wired it to my old screen window for the Winter.  It will be interesting how it holds up over the Winter.

I put my trusty old wheelbarrow in the front with pumpkins, a little hay bale, and a bushel basket with pots of Sedum Autumn Joy, Rudbeckia, yellow Mums, Kale, and Purple Fountain Grass in it.  A tip I read a couple of weeks ago was to spray your pumpkins with flat polyurethane to keep the squirrels from chewing them up. They haven't gone near it and the pumpkins at the neighbors across the street has been eaten down to the bottom.

I hope you are enjoying Fall where you are.  While it's a very pretty time of year, I don't look forward to Winter at all.