Gorgeous Day

We were promised sunshine this weekend.  Yesterday continued foggy, dreary, and downright chilly.  It looked as if we would get more of the same today, but the fog eventually burned off and it turned into a glorious day.  I was glad because I went out last week and purchased annuals for my terra cotta pots, and I wanted to plant them.

Each spring I plant the outdoor pots.  Generally, I start out with them sparsely planted and by the end of the season, the plants are ram packed into the pots and overflowing.  This year, I tried to restrain my enthusiasm and planted them even more sparsely than usual.  I still get the distinct impression that they will fill the pots to overflowing again.  That's okay.  They're very pretty that way.

Here's how they looked when I started.  They looked even worse a couple of weeks ago, but Mike went around and cleaned out all the dead stuff.  There are a few pansies that come back each year, and it looks like a few snapdragons.

These are all the annuals I picked up last week.  They've been sitting in the greenhouse while I waited for the weather to turn a little nicer.  Gardening in the cold and rain is not my idea of a good time.  I planted a combination of Gerbera daisies, geraniums, heliotrope, dahlias

petunias, marigolds

African daisies and snapdragons.

As for the rest of the stuff in the greenhouse, the tomatoes are looking good.  I think they need a little time before I transplant them into larger pots.  With the exception of a couple of cherry tomatoes, I'm leaving all the tomatoes in the greenhouse this year.  I've been disappointed by eternally green tomatoes for the last time.

The dill has come up pretty well, and you can just see a tiny speck of Italian parsley coming up in the middle pot on the right.  (Or maybe you can't.  You'll have to take my word for it.)  I'll be planting these in the culinary herb garden eventually, but I want them to get a good head of steam first.

The lettuce is coming up.  This is the greenhouse crop, but when we plant the garden hopefully in about two weeks, we'll plant some there too.  As I recall, last year the lettuce in the garden was ripe about the same time as the lettuce in the greenhouse, even though the greenhouse lettuce had a huge head start.  In my experience, the greenhouse doesn't make a lot of difference unless the sun shines and warms it up.  Then it's very, very warm in there.

I used to plant petunias outside in the standing pots along the walkway.  But then the squirrels took a liking to the petunias and completely cleaned every flower off of them.  Now I plant them in hanging baskets 

at the corners of the eaves where the kitchen greenhouse window is.

It was formerly a Mother's Day tradition to go and buy already planted petunia baskets at one of the local nurseries.  They're terribly expensive that way, however, and last year I got a mind to plant them myself.  They aren't as impressive when they start out, but within a few weeks they will be overflowing with beautiful trailing petunias.  Mark my words.

Okay, now here comes my nominee for a Darwin Award.  He's riding the ATV with an 18-foot ladder loaded on the back and a chainsaw loaded on the front.  I don't even need to know what he's planning to do.

Actually, I do because I got co-opted into helping in what is sure to be a very dangerous operation.

Remember when I blogged about the heavy wet snows we had this winter?  We had a lot of branches get broken off of trees.  Most of them fall to the ground, but some of the larger ones in the larger Douglas firs get hung up.  We can leave them there to die and turn brown and dump pine needle crap all over us for the entire summer, or Mike can figure out a way to get them down.  Clearly, he thinks he knows what he's about to do.

My job was to stand on the bottom rung of the ladder to steady it.  Does this have disaster written all over it or what?

Makes me want to belt out a few verses of  "That Man O' Mine."  I think I need to avert my eyes now.

Success!  And he still has all of his own limbs attached, even if the limbs of the tree are now safely on the ground.

So . . . to get back to my pots  . . . (I just love those dangerous interludes, don't you?  Makes me feel like a real earth muffin.)  here they are.  You can see that hours have passed because all three pots were in the sun when I started.

Here's where I used to plant the petunias until the squirrels took a liking to them.  Now they get geraniums.  Petooey.  Squirrels apparently do not like geraniums.

I always plant one pot with marigolds, and they never really thrive.  I planted more this year and selected one of the sunnier locations for them.

These Gerbera daisies, on the other hand, prefer this shady spot.

Remember a few weeks ago, I showed you the clematis that was getting ready to bloom.  And now it has.  I love this.  It was planted by the previous owner.  We just gave it a trellis to grow on.

George was hanging around all day, but never showed himself for his picture.  The day has all the markings of a cat-out night, which means that it's warm enough that George will ignore all of our invitations to come inside to sleep.  Knowing he gets his medicine every evening after dinner doesn't help at all.  If I play my cards right, I might be able to catch him when he comes inside and close his kitty door.

Tomorrow Mike hits the big 6-0.  Yes our birthdays are two days apart.  Two days and two years.  He's terribly old, don't you know.  I'm expecting that when he wakes up in the morning, he will have lost all of his remaining hair and teeth.  I was planning to make him his favorite dinner of Chicken Marsala.  I suppose I can grind it up to baby food so he can gum it if he needs to.  (Yes, I'm being mean now.)  We're planning to get together as a family next Saturday for the real traditional birthday dinner of prime rib, and we'll really honor the old codger then.  In the meantime, I'll make him the Chicken Marsala just to make his birthday special.  It's going to be another warm and beautiful day tomorrow, which will be very nice weather for a birthday.

How did your Sunday go?

4 comments from clever and witty friends:

Loretta said...

Hi Barbara, oh you have been a busy bee...I love all your pots and they are so pretty! Don't you just love getting your hand dirt like this? Hugs

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I'm not a gardener, AT ALL, but, around here, my marigolds grow into little bushes, thanks to Miracle Grow. So far, I'll I've done is pull up some really huge weeds. Not sure if anything else will get done. Oldest son usually did the planting and watering, but, he's staying at college all summer. That means I have to do my own grilling, too. He will be missed, for sure.

Kate said...

Love all your lovely flowers. I have a black thumb, so I don't even try to plant anything.

Happy Birthday to Mike! I hope there's no more tree trimming on the docket for the near future.

Anonymous said...

That chainsaw and ladder thing is exactly what we did Sunday! But ours was an oak tree. Ray starts the saw before climbing the ladder, which I hate, but it's harder to start when he's standing on the ladder. He broke his ankle fifteen years ago doing this, when the oak branch hit the ladder, and he was eighteen feet from the ground. I wasn't home at the time. Yes, it can be very dangerous!