Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade - my 70th and taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Planning the new garden beds


Here's a picture I shared before of the backyard, really the side yard.  There is a huge deck there. I've starting to think about where I want flower beds.  Vegetable gardening is on hold for now though I may put a vegetable or two in a pot on the deck.

Coming out of the slider to the left is this bed that had a raised bed frame in it on two sides only.  Dan pulled that up, put it on the side of our road, and it disappeared to someone else's yard.

There are day lilies there, two kinds judging from the leaves.  The daffodils came up at the bottom right corner as did irises.  The strange "asparagus" like plant came up there on the bottom left corner.

There was mint showing itself too so I dug it up and potted it.  The green pots have gloriosa daisies from Emily. The steps down to the deck make the perfect spot for pots.

I will be adding more potted flowers once we're passed the frost date here.

Looking right are steps down too.  Once those old lilacs are removed I want to make this a flower bed with stone walkway though to grass.

I moved some of the irises to the front edge of the deck.  There was something in this bed I remember from when we first saw the house. I thought I'd come across it in digging and I did.  One bulb of some sort.  I wondered if it was gladiolas but Emily says they don't winter over here.

In the bed on the other side there are Shasta daisies that were here.  I added one lupine volunteer from Emily's garden.

We have this fence separating us from the road.  I was thinking it would be great for a perennial garden but again Emily advised me to slow down as the leaves are not out yet and I can't know the shading until that happens.  There are some perennials there and weeds of course.

I did transplant some day lilies, lupine and Columbine there and later Dan helped me move rocks to form a border.

Eventually these scrubby lilacs will go too and I should be able to extend the bed there.

Out front are two narrow beds on either side of the step.

Even though this faces east it's heavily shaded by the house except in the morning. Emily planted tulips here that are just now setting buds.  There are hostas on either end and Siberian iris I think too.  I also rounded up rocks to temporarily define the beds.  The house will be painted in July and the front porch and lattice work will be stained.  If I plant anything else there I wonder if it will survive that July activity.

On the north side of the house is this strip with the worst color mulch on it.  Slowly there are hostas showing in spots.  It would be a good place for some shade annuals but again what happens when the power washing, scraping and painting happens?

No flower beds planned for around the barn but wanted to share this huge bed of Siberian iris that's there.

Behind it is a clump of ferns, though I don't know what kind yet.  I managed to dig up some of the ferns and move them to the fence bed but couldn't get under any of the iris.  With the work planned for the barn and driveway, Dan says these plants will likely go.

So lots of planning, mostly in my head at present.

If you want to see what kind of garden I once had go here.  The D.P.P. I refer to in that early spring post was my Deer Prevention Plan.  We moved from that house in June 2016 and I thought I'd given up gardening.  I guess not because I'm looking forward to doing beautiful things here in NH.

On another topic I updated my books read for 2021.  See link below this post.  There are some good books I'd recommend to readers out there.
I'm not reading at the same rate as other years because of other house tasks taking up time.  But I still try to carve out time to read when I can.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Farm Up the Road


I've come to realize that the days are mostly cloudy around here. Without direct sun the coolness stays and I need to bundle up when I go out.

This day it was a walk for me and a ride for granddaughter #2.  She brought her bike over and at 4 1/2 is a proficient rider.

The farm up the road is a frequent destination.  The farmer lets you walk by all the cattle barns. Visitors are always fascinating to animals there.  This goat in with the sheep was no exception.

The lambs were too scared to come close.  They will be for sale as chops in the not too distant future.

This sheep was curious.

Next door were these youngsters.

They were willing to say hi to granddaughter.

In the yard was future hamburger.  Granddaughter didn't want to believe that.

More goats in a fenced lot.

Sky hadn't changed much when we turned to go back.

This field has a low spot where a shallow pond forms with the spring rains.  We are actually below average in rainfall and may be facing drought conditions again this summer.

Anyone know what these cloud formations are called?

Monday, May 10, 2021

Pandemic Generated

 In 2019 none of these would make any sense, but in 2021 they are very funny.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Maple Creamees

We had heard about Mac's Maple from Emily so last Saturday morning after taking the trash and recycling to the recycling center we went to find it.  It was too cold for creamees but we did buy Canadian bacon and half a dozen doughnuts.  The doughnuts were amazing.

Mac's Maple is owned by the McNamara Dairy which sits right next door.  So combining maple with soft ice cream takes the best of both,

The store will require another visit come Christmas time.

Sunday we loaded the car and all 6 of us headed to Mac's for creamees. You can only order from the car (Covid restrictions) but can eat it on their grounds.  We unloaded three (Matt and granddaughters) from the car and three of us managed to carry six orders.  Only two were like the one below: waffle cone with soft ice cream and maple candy sprinkled on top. 

I ate the whole thing!  It was a late lunch!  Even the waffle cone had maple flavoring.

Better photos and more about Mac's Maple here.

Friday, May 7, 2021

You Gotta Laugh -3

  These were shared with me by my friend Marilyn under the category:

They Had One Job!

I hope you laugh as much as I did.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park


The Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire is open to walk around the grounds.  The buildings and visitor center haven't been open at all during the pandemic.

You get a first glimpse of Saint-Gaudens' house as you come through the hedge. 
Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a famous sculptor of the Beaux Arts period who summered at this house from 1885-1897 and then permanently from 1900-1907 when he died.  He brought other artists to the area forming the Cornish Colony. More here.

The front of the house is dominated by this honey locust that's 135 years old.  I had granddaughter try to put her arms around it for scale.

We came here on Sunday, May 2nd to stroll the grounds and see what was blooming.  And also to admire the sculptures on display outside.

An inviting front door but not open for visits.  This is a fee park so when we return we can use our Senior passes.

On the side of the house is this lovely verandah/porch.  Daughter Emily said she met a friend here last spring for coffee, socially distancing of course.

From here you can see the studio.

Looking west from the verandah across the green field is the towering Mt. Ascutney in Vermont.

Some of the spring flowers we spied were in front of the studio.

Another view of the house from the studio shows off its grandeur.

Off to visit the sculptures.

The granddaughters had fun going along the paths through the hedges. Most of these were hemlock hedges which surprised us.

We could smell the fragrance of the magnolia before we saw it above the Adams Memorial. Like many of the sculptures here the originals are somewhere else.

This one is haunting.

The Shaw Memorial.  We have seen the plaster cast for this. It is on loan to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.  The original is in Boston.  It commemorates Colonel Robert Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment of African American troops who fought in the Civil War. 

The original of this sculpture is in Chicago.

Farragut is under a protective cover since the base is the original that was eroding in New York City.

The day had started clear but quickly went to clouds and threat of rain which it finally did by 1 o'clock.  When we arrived here it was blue sky again.  All the daily showers we seem to have have turned the grass so very green.

One last parting photo of Mt. Ascutney.

And here is Saint-Gaudens mark.