Following the Flowers

There wasn't much time for sewing yesterday. I spent a little extra time on the hand quilting, and then I spent quite a bit of time outside in the garden. Sunday was supposed to bring rain, and then didn't. So the watering and weeding was off by a day. I needed to do some catch-up on things, and so the bulk of my time was spent there. Here's what's going on in the garden right now.

First, I'm getting so excited for the cherries. Fingers crossed we get to harvest some this year. 

The first echinacea flower is trying its hardest to open. I expect it has opened by now. There are lots of buds on the plants, and so there should be lots of flowers this year.

The hydrangeas are the stars of the garden right now. Only two of the five have bloomed, but there are lots of flowers on the other plants too. This first one is the variegated flower. This plant was the slowest getting started. It was planted in full sun, and hydrangeas don't like that much sunshine. It struggled for about five years, but then it took off, and now it is always the first to bloom.

It's neighbor to the left is the craziest one. It's showing flowers in three colors now. These are the blue, and you can see that the flower on the left has some lavender in it too.

This flower, on the same plant, is more lavender.

And then, here's one of the pink ones. Crazy, huh?

This will be the next (and the last) peony to bloom. This one is called Joker. The petals seem to be loosening up a bit, but the buds are small. This one is the largest...only about the size of a marble...and the other two are even smaller. 

When it blooms, it's supposed to look something like this:

Around the other side of the house, this is the wine-colored hydrangea. It's covered in flowers, and one of them is starting to open just the tiniest bit. You can see that the Gracie Memorial Catnip Garden to its left is in fine fettle too.

In the vegetable garden, some of the green beans are starting to put out little climbing tendrils.

Also, the zucchini are starting to form blossoms.

Now, here's something: Remember the golden chain tree that fell over while we were traveling? Our tree service guy was up yesterday, and he makes regular visits. He happened to be up here one day while we were gone and saw a buck rubbing his antlers on this poor little tree. He says that's why it fell over. A buck pushed it over. (Shakes fist...DEER!!!) See how the bark is rubbed off the tree on this side? 

By the way, the tree guy says it will be fine.

I sat watching the bird parents for a while and I witnessed the changing of the guard a couple of times. Here we go...one bird in:

One bird out:

Looks like it has something in its beak, doesn't it? They are hard at work, day after day, keeping those babies fed and cheeping.

Now here's the saddest story you'll ever hear. Remember our pretty blue clematis?

Well, I'm afraid we chose poorly when we decided where to plant it. During the warm weather, the warmth coming off the wall of the house cooked the poor thing. We were both heart-broken.

We're hoping we can revive it, and we're going to try, but we'll have to dig it up. It doesn't stand a chance surviving the summer if we leave it where it is. It gets full sun for at least three-quarters of the day, and it's simply too tender to survive that kind of heat during the summer. 

So, we went to the nursery yesterday to see if we could snag another. The blue ones were all gone, and we went to two nurseries. The second nursery had another one that was very pretty, and so we picked that one.

Although the photo shows it being red, it's really more burgundy like this one:

The plant is larger and more established as well. We have a spot picked out for it where the sun will be less intense.

It has quite a few buds on it, and so we should be able to enjoy some blossoms this year.

So it was late in the day by the time I got into the sewing room. There, I was getting ready to work on Luna's pawtrait. Sadie helped me with fabric selection. She's very good with color.

Smitty was a little put out. 

Wait...you're going to make yet *another* cat quilt, and you didn't consult me?

Fortunately, I could mollify him with a little catnip in a dish, and we got along fine after that.

Sadie and I sorted through all the off-white, white, brown, gray, and black scraps and pulled out all the ones we thought had potential. I won't use all of these, but it's good to have them out where I can see them.

Now it looks as if a bomb blew up in the sewing room. 

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to redraw the template. The first one had too much detail added in, and so I simplified it a little bit.

I know...it still looks pretty messy, doesn't it? 

When I had that finished, I really wanted to get started before quitting for the day, and so I started with her eyes. 

After that, I needed to give my own eyes a rest. It gets weirdly hard to discern lightness and darkness after looking at so much fabric. When I get to that point, I know it's time to stop.

So...happy day!...we're going to the grocery store! And you know how much I love the grocery store. Yes, I rank it right up with being kicked in the shins, or a red hot poker to the eye, or sewing through my finger. Our governor has ordered mandatory masks state-wide beginning tomorrow. I'm glad of that. In previous trips, only about half of our fellow customers were wearing masks, although everyone we saw at the two nurseries yesterday was wearing them. I'm glad for the state-wide order. Honestly, people...wear the mask! It's the only way we have any hope at all of containing the virus. Okay...stepping off my soapbox now.

And as long as I'm off my soapbox, I think I'll go take a shower. The grocery store awaits.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lyndsey said...

Our clematis shrivelled up as well and I was wondering why. Thank you for reminding me that they don't like full sun. We have had high temperatures and serious sun recently and the poor thing was just in the wrong position. I'm hoping it will recover. Love the eyes you have created for Luna

Cathy Smith said...

Since you stepped off the soap box, I'll step on! I have had a similar situation here in Arizona. Our governor took away the authority of localities to set their own mask requirements. He has revealed himself to be profits before people. Once our numbers started to sky rocket he finally agreed to let municipalities have mask authority. Hmmm … something about a horse and a barn door come to mind. I stopped going to both my local grocery and hardware stores because lack of masks on patrons (lax employees, too!). I drive about five miles more to Wally World to pick up my online grocery order. No contact! You park, pop the back end of the car open, they load, and you drive away. My new go to way of buying groceries!

gpc said...

I'm no ornithologist, but I do subscribe to an internet service, as well as to the different wildlife groups that have pictures, and I think that birdie parent is carrying out a poop sack. Suddenly makes changing diapers look not so bad.

Julierose said...

I can't get over your beautiful hydrangeas--what a treat for the eye...;)))

Luna's eyes are really looking great..
Stay safe ~ ~ ~ waving in the rain~ ~ ~ Julierose

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the flower photos - thanks. Too bad about the blue clematis and hopefully it recovers in a ne location. Yes, the birdies are cleaning house - as gross as it is. To help keep parasites and decay at bay for healthy babies. I love our little local grocery store just 2 miles up the road - very clean, well stocked (meat prices are coming down!), friendly employees, and in general folks are great with the masks. I took my Mom today - she was a lost wanderer at times and people were helpful in 'locating' her (yes, we are getting to that stage). It was Senior Day, so I think the staff is very use to this.

piecefulwendy said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about that pretty clematis! I wouldn't have thought of that either. Hope the second one fairs better. As for the swallows, I thought the same, that she/he is carrying a poop sac, keeping that house clean, y'know! We managed a grocery store run yesterday too, masks in place. Not everyone is wearing masks here either; we are waiting to see if the governor will issue a mandatory mask policy, but nothing yet.

Frog Quilter said...

Love the kitty eyes. That is such a pretty shade of blue. Love all the kitty commentary!!!

SJSM said...

You hit the mark on Luna's eyes. So sad about the Clematis. Your other flowers are going strong. Mask wearing here is very high. Almost all stores enforce the mask wearing. No mask, no entry. We saw one older gentleman struggling to shop at the grocery store who was also coughing. The manager went to him and talked. The customer wrote some things down and left. The manager did his shopping for him and took his groceries to the car. It appeared the poor guy stayed home as long as possible but needed to get groceries. Yes, there are services and volunteers to help get groceries to you, but I think this man didn’t want to bother anyone for help. It was one of those moments of kindness we are seeing more of in our area. Now if we could stop the illegal fireworks that would be a bonus.

Stitches said...

I love the flower pictures, the hydrangeas are beautiful. I always love your pictures..so sorry about the Clematis. The burgundy one is gorgeous. don't forget that Clematis like their foliage to enjoy the sunshine but they want their roots to stay cool..so you will need to mulch the root area..I have loved seeing all the varieties of your peonies, wow!!!

Nancy said...

When I was researching mask effectiveness I read a report out of Wake Forest. They tested several different cloth mask materials. They did discover that good quality fabric was even better that the standard paper masks but batik cloth masks were better. They found 2 layers of batik blocked 79% of the particulates. An N95 blocks 95%. Paper is between 62 to 65% Normal cotton was around 69%. Needless to say after reading the report I used batiks for all my masks. The hypotheses is that the thread count of batiks is from 110 to 200 per inch while most cottons are 80 to 100 threads per inch.
And there in a nut shell is why I was very good as a data analyst. I am very data driven.

Debbiegsp said...

Hi, Barbara. Your yard is so beautiful Thank you for sharing all the flower photos. I’m sorry about your clematis. My understanding of clematis is that the top of the vine can manage the sun, but the base of the plant, and the roots MUST be shaded. That is why you often see clematis with other small shrubs planted closely around the base,You can even buy a pottery half-pot for shading the base. For many years I had a purple clematis planted at the base of a white and pink climbing rose, and both did very well in afternoon sun. I love your new burgundy one. Good luck with it.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm so sorry about the clematis - hopefully a move and some TLC will revive it. I do love the colour of the new one too. And the hydrangeas are beautiful - such showy flowers. You'd wonder at a deer being strong enough to push over a tree - wow.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

ps - I'm all for masks too. I think it's going to have to become mandatory and for a long time to come no doubt.

QuiltGranma said...

I recall seeing clematis prominently planted on the lattice of a personal lamp post/ mail box in a yard, away from buildings along an entry walkway.

The Joyful Quilter said...

That's the same method I used for the pet portrait that I'm (not) working on. My question is about that pile of fabric... do those already have fusible on the back?