Monday, May 12, 2014

Crafts, gardening, and carb sensivity hodge podge

So, let's start with crafts. For Sunday as part of my job as Director of Ethical Education I do a service project with the kids for Mother's Day. This year's project was twofold, one was for Mother's Day, the other a start on the Father's Day project. I really only have 45-50 minutes with the kids, so that isn't enough time for them to cut apart egg cartons, paint, let them dry and then assemble, so I had to cut them apart (getting a blister in the process) and paint them. I then organized all the materials so that on Sunday the kids (ages ranging from 3 to 11) could assemble them. This took up a big chunk of Saturday, and any of the time I was going to devote to gardening. I was "gardening" in a different way!

This fit in perfectly with our curriculum on reusing/recycling/being good to the earth. All materials for the projects except for the ribbon were leftovers from other projects, and egg cartons, of course.

They turned out so cute and I think the kids had fun making them. We'll finish the Father's Day "owls" soon. (As always, you can click on a photo to make it larger).


Next, gardening. I need to do a lot of it and I "sort" of love it. I get a bit overwhelmed when I look at the big picture though. We inherited a mostly blank slate of a yard with the exception of some overgrown bushes.  Here are the masses of flowers and plants I need to get into the various spots in the yard:

My front yard is actually taking shape. We put in this stone path two years ago and a lot of the perennials have come back and are filling out a bit. And when I saw "we" put it in. We put it in. I dug up the sod with a manual sod cutter and then my husband and I laid the stones and then I planted.

Two of the three peonies in the front yard have gotten quite big and beautiful. For some reason, one, that I planted a year later than the rest isn't filling out - same with the ones I planted in the back yard too. All three "newly" planted ones have just 1 stalk. This one and another are only one year old, which is typical for a first year, but one is two years old and it's still like that. Weird.
I do have some naked spots though where the perennials didn't make it. AND I need to get the front step pots filled and organized and the area surrounding it weeded.

A problem area I have in the yard is this side yard. It is COVERED in sweet gum balls and it is either WET or DRY and doesn't get a lot of sun. So, I have tried planting several things back there now and nothing likes to grow there except the crepe myrtle and the Viburnum tree. I have ordered a few things to go there - some giant astible and red hydrangeas

 This side flower bed is a pain in the butt too. It is FREAKING HUGE and was a huge mulch pit with layers of that weed prevention cloth - FIVE layers. I took that out two years ago and 'some' areas have filled in, but others not. What grows really well there are thistles. I have TONS of thistles I need to dig up.  It's a combo area of shade and partial sun.

We also have a rock garden. And it gets SOOOOOOO weedy in the front with those false strawberries. Ugh! But the one peony is HUGE. It's almost up to my shoulder!

While in the back yard, we took out all that overgrown forsythia. That one patch is HUGE. The other got wide at the bottom of the property:

A big bummer was that ALLLLLLL the figs I had in ginormous pots died! The winter was just too harsh for them this year. Now I have to decide if I want to try again or just plant one in the yard - like back where that huge forsythia was.

And, our deck needs a lot of attention. I have a ton of pots on the deck, planters around the deck (10 of them) and then the raised planters to plant the herbs (out of rabbits reach).

Lastly, I have to plant a tree in the front yard. Hopefully third time is the charm. I first transplanted a tulip tree there and it took, but then I read that those were "discouraged" because they tend to splinter. So, I planted an ornamental I ordered, but it never took. This time I bought a native pink dogwood. Let's hope.

One of the 'fun' spots in my yard is the gnome garden. I am so happy to see the perennials I planted around it mostly came back (and are still filling in).

And lastly, carb sensitivity. This weekend, being it was Mother's Day, I treated myself to rhubarb pie and homemade ice cream. I had one slice and one scoop and it was GREAT.  However, because of that indulgence despite my caloric intake only being 1800 and I took over 10,000 steps yesterday, I gained 1.4 pounds. According to my gizmo (and calculators), I should have been at a huge deficit for the day, but those carbs? Nope... they make me hold water like crazy!  It's water weight and it will come off, but I think it shows how extremely sensitive I am to carbs if a single dessert on an otherwise spot on day can do that to me.

Phew... I think that's all in this very picture heavy post.  As you can see, my yard will keep me busy. We have 1/3 of an acre, but it sure does feel HUGE at times.

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