How Does My Garden Grow?

When I returned home from the dentist yesterday (having survived the ordeal), Mike had the two new garden pots installed in their rightful places. It seemed as good a time as any to plant the marigolds and geraniums that have been waiting their turn in the greenhouse. It's good to have that job finished now.

These are large pots with brand new soil, and so I'd fairly inundated them with water. The geraniums are a little weighted down with it.

And then, it seemed like a good time to take a walk around the garden. The rhododendron is looking magnificent right now. You can see the dogwood tree still blooming away in the background.

Here's a close-up of the rhodies. This one has the most delicate blossoms.

We're seeing the first little nubbins of plums on the plum tree. I'm looking forward to actually harvesting the plums myself this fall since it's unlikely we'll be traveling then.

The white azalea is always the last to bloom, but it's looking pretty good now. I'm afraid its foliage didn't come through the winter very well, but the bush seems to have plenty of life.

The other azaleas are looking splendid.

The red one is especially pretty.

I noticed the first flowers opening on this dark purple rhodie.

It has a lot of flowers coming, but most are still tight in their buds.

Along the driveway, this purple rhodie is beginning to open.

The flowers on the golden chain tree have opened now. It's an immature tree, but it's looking very pretty right now.

Around the back side of the house, the peachy-pinky rhodie is looking very pretty. This is the one that gets sunburned in the summer, and you can see the yellowing of its foliage there. It only does this on the sun side of the plant. The other side looks fine.

At the other end of the sidewalk, this one is looking magnificent.

Here's a close-up of its flowers. There are none showing in this picture, but it is crawling with bumble bees.

The chive blossoms are coming along. I think within the next day or two (maybe today), I'll have enough blossoms for chive blossom vinegar. I'd also like to try some chive blossom jelly this year. I'll be watching these closely over the next couple of days.

The cherry tree is loaded with cherries this year. It had a good bloom with full sun, and the bees did a good job. Possibly we should harvest them now before the raccoons steal all of them...or maybe we'll wait a little longer. They might be a little tart right now.

The first iris are beginning to open. This is absolutely, positively the last year for the iris. When they finish blooming, we're taking them out and starting over with this weedy bed.

Here's my high-stepping cat. He was following me around, but decided to eat some grass at this moment.

The mint is emerging from its whiskey barrel. At one time I had this planted in the culinary herb garden. Then it threatened to take over the world, and so I dug it up and planted it in a pot, then buried the pot. Still, eventually it broke free of its pot and tried again to dominate the herbs. That was when I started treating it like a weed and dug it all up, never to be allowed in the garden again. Then, it volunteered to grow in this whiskey barrel...and that was a very good place for it. It still tries to grow in the herb garden every now and then, but I pull it up whenever I see it there. I offer this up as a warning to you should you every decide to plant mint in your own garden.

So that's what's growing outside. Let's see what's growing inside.

There was housework to do, but I'd just come home from the dentist. I wanted, nay, needed to sew. What would you have done? As for me...sewing. I'm about 2/3 finished with the Quiltmaker's Garden now, and so the end is in sight. The rest of the tulips were quilted.

I've been puzzling about how to quilt the watering can. Consulting Google images, I looked at some watering can images and saw one with a sun painted on the side. That's what I decided to quilt...or maybe it's a flower...I don't really know. And then I outlined it both inside and out.

In the green section above the watering can, I quilted a meandering vine with leaves.

Below, some large pebbling. What do you suppose this is? It's right next to the pavers, and so I thought maybe river rocks? Water drops? Hard to say. What do you think?

Here's how that section looks from the back. Looking at this image, I realize I forgot to quilt the top of the watering can below the handle. I'll go back and fix that next time I work on it.

Then I quilted the blue jay, just the same as I did its friend the cardinal.

Then, I finished off the "floor" of the gazebo. The block on the left was only a partial, and so I quilted a branch coming off the feather to its right.

Then I was ready to quilt the lilies at the left edge of the quilt. I did them in the same way I did the tulips, but with a few more overlapping petals and leaves. Being at the edge of the quilt (and paper-pieced), the edges needed basting here to hold them in place.

Here's how that section looks from the back.

And then, more acres of Greek keys and terry twists. The Greek keys have been going well, but on this section, I painted myself into a corner a couple of times. To correct, I just crossed the stream. I doubt anyone will notice. Crossing the streams can be a safety hazard, I know, but I did it anyway. I like to live dangerously when I'm quilting.

And then, I was ready to stop for the day. Since I won't have time to work on this again before Monday, I took it off the machine and laid it out on the floor to look at it (and to assess my progress). As long as I had it laid out, I took a few pictures from different angles.

Here's how it looks from the back.

With just a few exceptions, it's nearly finished below the roof of the gazebo, and so I'm estimating somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4 finished. I'm optimistic I'll have it finished before month's end.

And now I need to finish getting ready and then head out for my class. But before I go...here's a gratuitous image of a sleeping Sadie.

I'll be back tomorrow to tell you how the class is going. I'll admit to being kind of excited about making a quilt of the flamingos. Yesterday while the dentist was doing his thing, I was distracting myself thinking of names for the quilt. Flamingo Flamenco was what I came up with. I doubt that's what I'll call it, but you know I loves me awesome alliteration.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Anne Kirby said...

You're the only quilter who can drop a Ghostbusters joke!! Love that!! And the quilt is so pretty, I keep thinking about yours instead of mine when I'm at work. I hope you finish it soon lol!!

QuiltE said...

WOW! one lot of intense quilting going on. It's looking wonderful. Nice to see all the detailing being done and matching/coordinating designs to what they are being put onto.

Looking forward to seeing your Flamingos to go from photo-to-paper-to-fabric. As for a name? How about "Flamingle"? After all, those two (actually all three) look like they are mingling! :) (no, not my originality ... saw it on some summer decor recently)


I love all those flowers-your bushes/trees are sooo loaded with blooms--how lucky does one gal get!!!
and that quilt is just lovely and coming right along--think you will really fall in love with it once it is finished--who wouldn't--
and there is both of my fur babies--my day is complete now and I can go back to sewing!!!
enjoy, di

Linda said...

I'm enjoying your FMQ. You don't have a long-arm, right?
I love your kitties. :)
How lucky you are to live in a climate that supports both rhododendrons and azaleas.
I will be watching your progress with chive blossom jelly, as your mention of it has encouraged me to let my chives bloom. :D

Sally Trude said...

Back in VA, I planted mint in an area where other things had trouble growing...and yes, it flourished and started to take over. And yes, that's the real reason I moved across the country.

Quilting Babcia said...

Your quilting is looking really great! Enjoy your class. It will be fun watching your progress on this new masterpiece, especially relishing the fact that I didn't sign up for anything that would make my hair 'grayer' than it already is!

WoolenSails said...

Your gardens are beautiful and something I need to do, plant large flowering bushes to border more of my yard. And your garden quilt is gorgeous, love the quilting.


piecefulwendy said...

I didn't know that about mint. I always learn something from your posts! I'm enjoying the pictures of the blooming things, of course. We don't even have plants yet. Hoping I don't miss it entirely this year, but everything has been so late. Your free motion is looking really good. Looking forward to seeing your flamingo quilt, whatever you choose to name it!

Rosemary Rivas said...

I understand what you mean about mint. I have mine in a rectangular ceramic pot to contain it, but I noticed yesterday while watering that it had cracked the pot! I pull out some streamers that have attempted to root in the dirt beside the pot. I have a "boat-load" of mint and rosemary. My rosemary plant is now a large bush. My husband says I should trim it, but in doing that, it will only encourage it to grow further. Any suggestions?
My rhubarb plant that I planted a year ago January has spread so much, I'm going to have to find someone who can help me divided it as there is no more space for it to grow! Our baby lemon tree is doing OK for an infant. I don't have the room for lovely flowers like you do. My Dad would have loved your garden as he was a fan of "foodies," and roses.


Auntiepatch said...

The quilt is beautiful and your quilting is inspired.

Brown Family said...

Enjoy your class. Waiting to see your progress!