A New Garden to plant!


Bulbs in the new bed this spring

A new bed on the south side of our house just waiting to be filled!

New garden bed looking east toward the creek

Last year was the perfect summer weather. My flowers looked great all summer and into the fall, which is not always the case every year. Mind you, the summer of 2009 did not, in any way, resemble a typical Kansas summer. It was wonderful. No wind driving at 40 mph all day, frying things to a crisp in 100 degree plus weather. There was the perfect amount of rain so none of the usual flood or drought that we have grown accustom to. It was without a doubt, the finest Kansas summer I remember in my 5 decades here. So, what did we do? Based on this weather, we put in a great big new flower bed.  How’s that for good reasoning?  

The excitement and lure of good weather for at best, two more months through the middle of June, means we can be in complete denial about what is on the horizon, while I do what all gardeners enjoy doing, and that is planting new plants that I haven’t had in a while or have never tried!! And they usually last at least two months, so I can pretend I’m really good at this for at least that long!

The new bed is on the south side of our house, so it get’s lots of sun. Last year I had over 10 tomato plants that got terrible blight, so I am going to move my tomatoes to avoid those problems and let that soil rest. I also miss having lots of flowers to cut like I did before we moved to Crafish Ranch.  I have enough room that I can try out all kinds of new things over the next few years!!! Yippee!!!

photos of what I planted in the fall

I planted bulbs in the fall, and they have not disappointed! I also realized last fall that I had all kinds of things that were perennials in my pots that I could plant. I tried Cardinal flowers, which I haven’t had before, and my new favorite plant, agastache, in a lovely pink and orange. I had salvia from my pots, moved those peonies that haven’t done well since I planted them under those trees.   I knew I wouldn’t actually remember all I planted, so I took lots of photos so I could tell what I planted and where.  There will probably still be some surprises. Seems like there always is in one’s garden. 

I used leaves, we have an extraordinary amount from all of the trees on our property, as mulch, over the winter. It got much colder than usual, 10 degrees below zero several nights, with extended very cold temperatures so we’ll see what has managed to survive.    

Reid is excited because he will have less lawn to mowe.  That is something we have wanted to work on for some time now, to cut back on the amount of lawn there is to take care of. We’re probably just exchanging one kind of work for another kind of work. Oh what the heck! I’ll have flowers to cut for arrangements and new space to plant!!


Crazy Crow Lady


I have a confession to make.  I am known as the Crazy Crow Lady in my neighborhood.

This is probably because I have been known to stand out in the middle of my front yard and yell and clap at the crows that find their way into town from out in the countryside. I mean, I yell at the top of my lungs and clap and WHOOOTT WHOOTT at them until the crows find me obnoxious enough that they finally leave.  Oh and then, the other thing I do is if the crows are roosting anywhere within three or four blocks of my house, when I ‘m in my car.  I go real slow and honk my horn at them until they fly away.  The neighbors do tend to come to their windows when I do that……

Why do I do these rather odd things? Well,  I am taking a page from my Mama’s playbook on this one. It reads “Everything is trainable!” I think that crows are very smart, as are most birds.  I think they all get together in the afternoon and decide which block they are going to terrorize.  When the subject of McEwen Estates comes up, and the creek that runs along Kevin Street, They probably discuss how nice it is by the creek, and how that little lake has all kinds of possibilities for crow activities. And those trees, especially that big cottonwood, is so tall, why you can see for miles if you are roosting up there on the top of that tree! But then they remember that crazy little white woman that makes all that noise and makes those terrible noises that sound like shotguns, and all that noise that black car makes at them, and they decide to go terrorize some other neighborhood.  They go over a few blocks to the south, or to another part of town, where they can poop a haze of white over everything they see, and hover with their friends in tree limbs until they break.  But not by the Crafish Ranch. No siree.  I’ve got my crows trained.

Spring Almost Sprung!

Is there anything worse than having just a tease of spring after a long hard winter, only to loose it???? AAARRRGGGHH! I am so glad I saved a few bulbs to force, and in typical Gail fashion did it much later than one would think one should…. because now as I see my hyacinths poking their little heads up out of my mulch in my garden, I can actually see and smell the ones I have on my kitchen counter top!
Too bad I can’t somehow insert their delicious fragrance into this blog. It is the headiest of all the bulbs. And I love the fuschia pink! So bright and cheery!

Frames and Shelves For a Great Wall Decoration

Michelle's great frames with shelve wall idea

It’s only right that I should steal, (with permission, of course ) one of my favorite ideas for a first real post. And from one of my most talented friends!! My YaYa Michelle Green recently redid her basement, and when giving “the tour” showed us this little spectacular design idea shehad. It’s always a challenge to figure out what to put over the bed in a guest bedroom, but not for Michelle. Here is a great decorating idea of hers that doesn’t require highly specialized materials. Just run down to your local hobby store, and you’re in business.   

Here is what she did. Michelle took a frame, rectangular in shape, and placed it on the wall. She then set a shelf on the top part of the bottom of the frame.  She then placed an object d’art on the shelf, in this case these great looking contemporary vases. Repeat the steps above and place the same configuration side by side.  Three is a nice number, sitting them all on a row, or you could also place them in several different postions. The trick is to have the items match either in the color or the shape that works best for your own little project. Another little tip from Michelle, use velcro on the walls and the frames to keep them even. (Don’t want the OCD to kick in….LOL!)  My suggestion is to use a level to avoid the frustration of thinking you have them all even, only to find out that they aren’t after you’ve spent an hour putting them on your walls. Voile’! You quickly have a seriously classy treatment for a guest bedroom. 

Michelle had so many people bugging her all of the time to help them decorate that the YaYa’s decided she had to start charging for her time. ‘Cept for us, of course!!!

This great idea used in a guest bedroom

Welcome To My Little Piece of The World

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Ok. We are officially in the 15th year of our 5 year remodel plan. It’s taking a little longer than we had hoped. And now….well, the first room we did really needs to be redone… Here’s the ongoing saga of what it means to live in a 54 year old house and what we have learned about this labor of love, so maybe you won’t have to make all of the same mistakes we did!  And due to the fact I have such a huge quantity of amazingly talented friends and family, the blog will be crammed full of great ideas for all things home and garden. I even have a few of my own tricks up my sleeves!