May 31, 2023

Almost time! Flowers forming on toms!

One of the most pleasurable things about gardening is walking through to check the plants and discovering the changes. Seeds sprout, plants grow, they start to vine, new leaves pop out, and flower buds form. Yea!

Several of the tomato plants, both the Beefsteak and the Giant Pink Belgium, have flower buds ready to open. I'm not at all sure where this fits in the 2022 schedule. I know that by mid-June last year there were green Roma tomatoes on the vines. This year the weather seems cooler, so it may take longer. 

But no matter. All happens in a garden in its own time. You can only hurry the season so much without a heated greenhouse. Oh, yes, I'd love to have one but as with all expenses, we'll have to wait and see.

It's enough for now to see the buds in the tomatoes. One lesson that is quickly taught to novice gardeners is that you must be patient. 

The Lady of The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, tomatoes, gardening, flower buds, rural living, country lifestyle, container gardening, greenhouse, Beefsteak, Roma, Giant Pink Belgium

May 30, 2023

The wildflower garden is getting there

For many years, I wanted a knee wall built at our parking area. My first husband refused, my one serious "boyfriend" refused, and the Lord of the Manor refused. I didn't ask because I wanted to see them work hard. I asked because they were physically stronger than me. Even Himself could have done it the first time I asked him almost thirty years ago.  

Back in 2020, I did it myself. It was very difficult to do. Rocks are heavy. I'm still angry that none of them cared enough to do it for me. 

Fast forward three years and the wildflower garden behind the knee wall is showing promise. I can visualize what it will be in a few years. I have an old-fashioned iris from my great-grandmother's garden, a row of Stella d-Oro daylilies, Siberian iris, a red peony, and two seed packs of wildflowers that the seeds have sprouted and are growing. The row of blue wildflowers along the back are lovely. I just wish I knew what they were!

I'm hopeful that next year even more seeds will sprout on their own. I want it to be wild and free to grow in whatever direction it takes. This will certainly annoy the Lord of the Manor, but he had his chance to issue input and now he doesn't get a say. 

Is that petty of me? I don't care. Building that wall myself was an attitude adjustment I'm sure he's sorry he forced upon me. I have my wall. I have a jumble of wildflowers. 

Empowerment comes when we least expect it, and in ways we can't foresee. Be open to it.

The Lady of The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, wildflowers, knee wall, empowerment, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life, gardening, stacked stone wall, 

May 29, 2023

Remembering on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who entered military service on our behalf. Military service is a big deal in my family. My five-times great-grandfather whose last name I was born with took the Oath to the new United States back in 1781. My father served in Germany during the Korean Conflict. 

Dad never saw any "action." He was tasked with driving some General around. He made it sound like he and the General got along rather well during their time together. 

Some people may snicker that this was the task assigned to him, that he didn't do much. Driving a General around - how hard can it be? 

So driving around one of the command staff and protecting him, having to make the decision to step in front of a bullet if necessary isn't really serving your country? It is. 

I thank all our veterans for performing the tasks put to them and the families of those who never made it home for such a sacrifice. 

The Lady of the Hideaway

Memorial Day, veterans, Korean Conflict, Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, a writer's life, rural living, family

May 27, 2023

A very busy month, lots to do

I can't believe it's been weeks since I blogged here at The Hideaway. To say we've been busy would be a bit of an understatement. Spring is a time of preparation in the country.

My little garden is planted and thriving. The tomatoes are ready to bloom! The inner leaves of the cabbages are starting to curl. The sugar snap peas are vining and climbing their guide ropes. After a tentative start, the cucumbers are gaining traction. The butternut squash seeds have sprouted as have the cantaloupe and watermelon. The Contender green beans are looking good and I wish I'd planted more of them. Five of the six green pepper plants are thriving. 

If there is anything I can call a disappointment, it's the Greenstalk. Hopefully, it will improve as the summer progresses.  

Other activities include mowing, weeding, mulching, some tractor work, helping a neighbor with the removal of a downed tree, and the usual household chores. I even uploaded a short video. I wanted to have the pool set up by now, but that hasn't happened. 

It feels good to have the work done. For the next little stretch of time, I'll need to water the garden (possibly daily) and mow once a week or so. During this "break in the action," my one cousin and I may drop a large cherry tree that is leaning out over the yard. Cherry makes great firewood and we'll each take half the wood for the winter of 2024-25. 

One thing is for sure - there is never a day with nothing to do.

The Lady of the Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, country lifestyle, rural living, gardening, Greenstalk, cutting wood, mowing grass, John Deere 1023, helping neighbors, hard work, loving life

May 11, 2023

Lopsided roses

The roses began to bloom a couple of days ago. It's May, so it's time, so that's really not news. The news is they are only blooming on one side. 

What's up with that, you ask. Answer: the deer nibbled off the front side of all three rose bushes. 

The roses are planted along the front porch so the deer can only reach one side. You would think they wouldn't bother roses because of the thorns, but they do. 

Nurturing roses and then having the deer destroy half the bushes is frustrating. We're about to take drastic measures. 

We don't hunt. We have no intention of shooting a deer. We will, however, put a slug in the ground near their feet to scare them away. We hope that if we do that often enough, they'll get the message and stay in the woods. 

Will it work? We'll see. 

The Lady of the Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, roses, whitetail deer, country lifestyle, rural living, a writer's life, deer damage, deer control, gardening, simple country pleasures

May 1, 2023

Press the pause button, albeit unwillingly

Happy May Day! The Celts called this day Beltane and it was, I believe, their most important day of the year. It might be a pagan holiday, but these days, we need to remember that regardless of the different places we come from and the different things we believe that we're on the journey together. 

So. That wasn't on topic for today. Today I'm commiserating about the weather. It's the first of May and it's cold and damp outside. I had to press the pause button on all my outside activities, which didn't please me or Deuce. He's one bored pup at the moment. No long walks or car rides. No playing in the cold creeks. No squirrels running about the backyard. No work in the garden beyond a visual check which resulted in dispatching one green worm today. eewwww.  

Is our rainy, cloudy weather the result of the eruption of Shiveluch, a Russian volcano, on April 11? I haven't heard The Weather Channel mention it. Is it just our normal May weather? May and June are my area's historically wettest months with rainfall. It may be wet, but the temperatures are holding up, staying in the fifty+ Fahrenheit range, so my tomatoes and begonias are fine. 

Around three o'clock this afternoon, a bit of sunshine broke through, and Deuce and I went out for a brief stroll around the yard. It's a mixed bag out there. The daffodils are over, the one really early daylily is trying to bloom, the purple lilac has a couple of blooms, and the old-fashioned brown/yellow iris from my great-grandmother's garden has popped up a few buds. Along the front deck runway, the peonies are showing some promise, too. 

This brief pause won't last long. The clouds, be they regular or volcanic, will soon blow away. The sunshine will return in full force and the outside work will resume. Whether we like it or not, that's the way of weather. We simply need to be patient. 

The Lady of The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, peonies, gardening, weather, rural living, country lifestyle, Labrador Retrievers, a writer's life, iris, daffodils