Sunny and Warm

It was such a beautiful day yesterday, I wanted to get outside and do the last of the planting. The garden is coming along. I spent some time weeding, and checking, but nothing is coming up yet. It's too soon, but we should see some little sprouts within the next couple of days. We're expecting warm weather through the week...good for sprouting seeds. Mike has been working hard at getting the fencing repaired and up. Yesterday, he finished the work on setting up the automatic sprinklers. This involved a significant investment in hoses, timers, splitters, and I don't know what all...

There are hoses running all the way around, and the sprinklers will run twice per day automatically. It's far better than making the garden depend on addle-brained seniors to remember to turn things on. 

With him finished tramping all around, I was able to plant the last of the sunflowers. I had about half a dozen already started in little pots, and I purchased more of the American Giant seeds. They're all planted along the north side fence. You can see all the little bamboo skewers marking their location. If the "giants" get big and need staking, it will be simple enough to tie them to the fence.

The squirrels have broken my heart this year with their munching on the sunflowers. I can't even begin to count how many I've planted, and they've eaten at least half of them...thus, the order for more seeds. The medicated body powder seems to be working to deter them, but it needs to be reapplied frequently. Even if it isn't washed away by rain and watering, it seems to lose its effectiveness after a day or two. I'm determined to get sunflowers this year after last year's dearth.

When I was finished in the garden, I checked on things in the greenhouse. The tomatoes are growing like crazy right now. They'll need repotting into their largest pots within a couple of weeks.

The lettuce is coming along slowly. As you know, we've had problems with squirrels in the greenhouse, and they've been chewing on the lettuce now that the sunflowers have been removed.

We've never had so much trouble with squirrels. We had to purchase a larger trap. They defeated the smaller one, and we were finding it sprung with no squirrel inside. Or else, the bait was gone and the trap wasn't sprung. Crafty little buggers. And, yes, I've seen the video. If you haven't seen it, it's well-worth watching. If you can't see the video, then click right here.

Checking on the peonies, it looks like this now. Isn't it practically opened?

When it's fully opened, it should look like this:

And, looking at the first picture, it's hard to know where those white petals are going to come from. A few of you have suggested the flower hasn't formed properly. I'm not sure why that would be, but what do I know? I've never grown peonies before. Someone suggested the possibility that it had been damaged by frost, but we doubt that. There hasn't been any cold weather...at least, not that cold...since we've been home. It's possible that we're just not getting the big flowers for this first season of blooming, and I've read that is not uncommon. On the other hand, its partner on the same plant looks almost identical, just a few days behind in its progress.

So, I'm not ready to give up on this yet, and I haven't checked it yet this morning. On the other hand, buds on the neighboring plants continue to grow larger. Possibly one of them will be the first to bloom. This next picture is the last bud to form. It started tiny, but now is about the size of a ping pong ball.

The daylilies are heading up now.

But the hydrangeas are setting themselves up to be the next stars of the garden.

Okay, so let's get back to the sewing room garden. You might remember when I purchased this fabric on our trip this past winter. I had in mind to fussy cut the little flowers for use as cornerstones in the Friendship's Garden quilt.

I pulled at least a quarter of my stash to see what looked best. Consulting the Resident Retired Engineer, we thought this combination of fabrics was best. The floral on the right will be the outer border.

That's a nice sort of Marine Corps green I've used to put a narrow frame around each block.

Then, I fussy cut the little flowers to use as cornerstones. I kind of like that little tan frame around it, and so I cut a quarter-inch seam allowance around each one. They end up at 2-1/2 inches square...a good size.

There are 16 in the quilt, and I wanted each one to be different. There were still others I could have selected, but I chose the ones close to the edge of the fabric.

Then, I used the yellow fabric for a sashing and made a sample block.

That looks pretty good to me, and so I cut the rest of the sashing strips, and I'll pick it up there today. 

It should be pretty quick to sew this together in the next couple of days. I think I have some good fabrics to use as a quilt back too.

Sadie was a terrific assistant yesterday, choosing a nap over rearranging the quilt blocks.

Smitty stood by to retrieve any scraps I might like to use in the quilt.

His part of the process left him exhausted and he took a nap on his catio after dinner.

Okay, so we'll all be back at it again today. We're making a trip to the grocery store this morning. Yes, I was just there a few days ago, but that list was short. Today's is a week's worth, and so it'll be a longer trip. It's senior discount day at our grocery store, though, and hey...it's the best part about being an old person! I'm so excited about the approximately 86¢ we're just about to save. Also, we treat ourselves to Egg McMuffin at the drive-up window, and so you just know it's going to be a bang-up day. I hope your day is bang-up too...but only in the figurative sense. Please, no tripping and falling or running into things. We have enough to worry about already.


Julierose said...

Flower cornerstones are lovely; perfect choice for these blocks;)))
Clouded over here again...rain expected--but it has gotten so dry that I cannot complain..we need it...
Enjoy your warm days...

gpc said...

Another beautiful quilt. You are so clever, love the flower squares. Squirrels broke into our screen room last night and destroyed all my sunflower seedlings, as well as one batch of poppies. There is a tear in a door screen caused by the last owner's dog but they had politely ignored it -- we think -- until now. It is perhaps a worldwide vendetta.

Nancy said...

Darn I wish you had told me that warning last week. My trip to a grocery store was bang up as I stepped on a cherry in the produce department and went down with a Big Bang. Surgery for total shoulder replacement next week. Take care out there those stores are dangerous!

Lyndsey said...

I love the cornerstone fabric. It will set off your embroidery really well.

Joan said...

I love your Friendship’s Garden quilt! The cornerstone flowers are such a perfect touch - lovely. I have also had it with the 🐿. They finally broke my “squirrel proof” bird feeder after many midnight seed raids. I am so disgusted with them. Now I take my feeder down every night. I agree with gpc - I believe the squirrels are vying for world domination.

piecefulwendy said...

You two have been busy at Three Cats! Great idea using those little flowers as cornerstones. The quilt is going to look nice!

Gretchen Weaver said...

I really think that one peony bud is deformed and isn't going to open but . . . I could be wrong, that happens occasionally.

Sherry said...

Your setting for the Friendship Garden is stunning. It is going to be beautiful. The green and yellow made for a great combination to compliment your embroidery.

SJSM said...

A 100* Day is supposed to happen today. The tomato plants will be happy. I’m almost finished with vacuuming and mopping floors so hope to be in the sewing room shortly. It will be a serger day as the sewing machine is in the shop.

Nice work getting your flimsy on its way to completion. Squirrels have not been bad here but there are quite a few feral cats who probably keep the population down. There are two who patrol our yard and and a few others. It seems there are enough cats to set up a secure squirrel reduced zone. The skunks probably do their part also.

Enjoy your sunny day.

Della said...

I got a real kick out of that squirrel video. Have to admit they are smart creatures. This morning we found a hole chewed in out plastic bin that we keep bird seed in, on the porch. We immediately thought squirrels, but our son-in-law thinks it might be raccoons. I guess it doesn't matter, it is a problem regardless.

Kate said...

Squirrels may look cute, but they are evil little things. After dealing with them in the attic, they are definitely not my favorite creature. Those floral cornerstones are going to be lovely. Pretty color palette too.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Oh my goodness! So many fun things to see in this post. I love that wonderful floral fabric which was a very lucky find on your part. Looking forward to seeing both that peony unfurled AND your finished quilt!

QuiltGranma said...

loving your cornerstones choice. and thank you for caring that we not really get banged up today.