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  • A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
  • My Home, My Garden.

    Some Words from Your Sponsor

    August
    21
    2009

    Question mark cucumber Well, hello there!

    It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated my blog with a “regular”, non-giving-something-away, real honest to goodness words from my own mouth kind’a post. So here it is!

    This summer has flown right by. Once I put my garden in the ground, things picked up. I’ve signed back on with EWebscapes as a freelance designer so I’ve got a few projects going on there, a few on my own – and then toss in a weekly giveaway, children at home and bored, a husband who is on active duty with guys overseas, a complete gutting & revamping of my studio space, a couple of road trips, tons and tons of PICKLES, planting an insane amount of daylilies at our Church and OH YEAH, I can’t forget about Facebook!!

    And that about sums it up.

    You’d think that with all of this, I’d have lost a few pounds this summer right? Wrong. Add that to my pile of “things that frustrate me to no end.” I wait, for school to start – and I hope that things become “normal” again. What, pray tell, is normal to me?? Will I even recognize it? I wonder.

    Today, I decided to stop for a few minutes. To give you a glimmer of hope that some day, I will write again, I will write more often. As my time over the summer is so short, I am finding that the little space that Facebook provides for status updates is just enough to keep my creative spark alive, and it makes me anticipate the time I will be able to sit down and craft a fun and creative story to share.

    My weekly custom portrait giveaways are also giving me exactly what I need each week to stay creative as well. It is not a large investment of time, and I still feel very committed to it – 34 weeks in and I still enjoy it, giving that piece of time to someone each week is extremely fulfilling to me, and so I shall push on through the end of the year!

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support through the years and especially during “dry” spells, where stories are sparse and my weekly drawing is your only eye candy until the next week. I cherish your comments and e-mails and, well, thank you. So much. Because I know you’re busy too, and that you understand but don’t forget. I love you for that.

    On with the day now – and don’t forget, it IS Friday, and this week’s custom portrait giveaway will close at around 5pm tonight!

    p.s. Like my veggies? They are so sarcastic this year.

    My Amusing Cucumbers

    July
    17
    2009

    lol cucumbers funny vegetable photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Mary Mary quite contrary,
    How does your garden grow?
    With LOL’s and giggly green bells,
    And flowering broccoli all in a row.
    Like my photography? Buy a print! Secure check out using Paypal.

    Appreciation

    June
    26
    2009

    tiny swirled paper people photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    My daughter had a friend over, and she brought a small container full of these tiny little swirled paper people. They’re not more than 1-1/2″ tall, and don’t even fit onto my pinki finger. I looked at each one in amazement – little tiny details on so many – a hundred maybe? Some dressed as clowns, some with curly hair (tiny paper, curled and glued) – I don’t know who made them, but I just adore them!

    orange house finch photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    Orange house finches are an oddity around here, I see maybe one a year. According to Cornell, the color variation is due to diet – so he must be eating more beta-carotine. I promised Taba a pic, so here it is!

    killdeer bird photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    The elusive Killdeer – they are everywhere, but I can’t manage to get a nice, crisp closeup shot of him! They are so fast.

    canadian geese clan photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Surely, you know better than to try passing them on the left.
    gosling photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    A well protected gosling.

    goslings photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Gosling siblings.

    red winged blackbird bird photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    Male Red Winged Blackbird, on top of a sign located next to the river. How, pray tell, do you park in the rear on a river?

    red winged blackbird bird photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    My ideal Red Winged Blackbird shot.
    mallard ducklings photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Mama mallard and her babies. Awww.

    mallard ducklings photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Another mama and her babies.

    I hope you, too, stop to look around. There’s so much to appreciate and enjoy all around us! Yesterday afternoon, I watched a hummingbird flit around my delphinium, saw a shrew hustle into his little hole alongside my garage, and watched a young bunny sit underneath my bird feeders and munch on dinner. A storm blew in and the fresh, clean air swept across my face as a few light raindrops trickled down from the sky. I trimmed my roses while warm rain fell on my back.

    If you stop to appreciate these things, you’ll find all of your worries just slip from your mind. It’s hard to be troubled when you’re taking in all that is good around you.

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

     

    Pelican Love

    June
    25
    2009

    white pelican 1 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    We took a little walk along the Mississippi River early Monday morning, and I caught several shots of the pelicans (and other birds, which I’ll share tomorrow!). One of them had his wing tucked a little funky and I was a bit obsessed with him because as we walked, he went alongside us and seemed to want to pose for me.

    I can’t recall seeing pelicans in our area until a couple of years ago – so I’m not sure if they’ve always been regulars around here and I’ve never noticed, or if they are indeed new to this area of the Mississippi River.

    Either way, they’re quite majestic – enjoy!

    white pelican 2 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 3 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 4 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 5 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 6 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 7 photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Coming in for a landing!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

    Why My Hands Are Swollen

    June
    24
    2009

    landscaping project foundation flooding fix Leanne Wildermuth
    Here it is, folks – the reason I cannot make a fist … the reason I am taking 800mg of ibuprofen a few times a day, the reason I mouse with my hand on a gel-ice pak. Yes, indeedy – this might not look like much to the untrained eye, but to someone who has taken on a project like this at their own home – you know what I’m talking about!

    A week ago today, I had 2 cu. yards of topsoil delivered. The “before” photo above is what our foundation bed looked like that morning. The soil sat below the driveway by nearly 2 inches, which meant that every time it rained, 2 inches of water sat in that bed and drown my Roses, Azalea, Rhododendron, and Iris.

    With the amount of rain we’ve had so far this year – every one of my Roses was dying. Black spot had taken over the lower 4-5 inches of each of my plants. The leaves were yellowing. The Azalea didn’t even start greening up until 3 weeks after all the other Azalea’s in the neighborhood had finished blooming. The Iris only produced about 4 flowers of the whole bunch – the Rhodie had yellow leaves from the water and burned leaves from the sun. It was all very pitiful.

    Enter 2 cu. yards of topsoil.

    I pulled everything out of the bed, save the Honeysuckle and a 13+ year old Rose, that wasn’t about to budge. I did manage to work the soil around it up enough to raise it a couple of inches, and shoved soil beneath it to keep it from sinking back down.

    My driveway looked like a nursery! I had containers filled with plants lining my driveway. A mound of dirt, covered by a tarp. It was quite the project. The first day, after working the soil, filling it to level with the driveway and stomping it down, I realized that the cedar edging was not going to work. It would not hold the soil in, and I could not sink it below the surface successfully. So after 6-7 hours, I took my sweaty self down to Lowe’s and picked up some recycled composite edging that gave me 3-1/2 inches of height. It would have to do – because it was too late to turn back!

    And then, it rained. And flooded. And my dirt? Became mud. And the mud? Was quite heavy. And the sweat? It dripped from the tip of my nose like someone had a hose over my head.

    I protected the lowest piece of siding on the house with plastic edging. I set the composite edging against the driveway. I filled the bed. It is about 5 inches higher than it used to be, and 3 inches above ground level (the edging is countersunk against the driveway about 1/2″).

    I moved things based on what I’d learned over the last year of watching them drown and do poorly, and I gave them new homes.

    The Rhodie, now in part shade, should stop burning and thrive. The leaves are already deepening and it seems very happy. The Azalea, moved over by the northeast corner, gets sun most of the day and with the downspout being redirected off onto the driveway, will get better drainage. The Roses, they’re pitiful. They’re adjusting. I’m praying for their speedy recovery.

    I’ve added Coral Bells and English Ivy on two beautiful window-looking trellises to my north wall that is mostly shade. They are very happy, the Ivy is going a little nuts after just a couple of days.

    I’ve added Morning Glories on medium-sized heart trellises, because I need hearts in my garden – I am such a girl. They flank both sides of the Roses, on the East side of the house. I’ve also added a white Potentilla, because Lowe’s said it was dead – and how dare they?! Rude! It had plenty of life in it, so for $5, I get a gorgeous, delicate flowering shrub next year. Go me! I almost feel like I rescued a dog from being euthanized. Almost. I have a lot of plant love.

    The Iris, well, they’ve got a whole area all to themselves. My old fashioned Iris are in the back against the house, and my Batik (and white) Irises are in the front. They’ll get full sun and I’ll get Iris. Happy plant = happy gardener!

    I mulched, and added some garden gnomes (because I’ve come to realize that every garden needs some tacky crap) and some word stones (“Mom’s Garden” and “Believe”, because “Hope” has lost all meaning to me lately), so I am all set.

    I have already picked my first weed, so it’s official – I am obsessed with my new raised bed, and also, sporting a very, very wicked back tan.

    I might not be able to hold a pen, but dang, I look good!

    Landscaping Poll!

    June
    16
    2009

    edging cedar log pavers

    The problem: My foundation planting bed is flooding every time it rains. I have roses in there on the verge of death from all the moisture. I must raise the bed, and I have these two choices. The pavers, standing on their short end, give me approximately 7 inches in height. The cedar edging gives me about 5 inches.

    I’m having a truckload of topsoil delivered tomorrow – so I need to figure out (quickly) which edging I’m going to use! Help!

    Which edging would you choose?

    View Results

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    Bird Photography

    June
    5
    2009

    Hermit Thrush bird photography by Leanne Wildermuth
    I decided to join in on this weeks Bird Photography Weekly (#40) since I have a few bird shots that I’ve been wanting to share with you!

    The beauty above is a Hermit Thrush – new to my yard and it took me a little while to identify her. I used my Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song book
    (and confirmed with Taba), and was just giddy to have a new visitor to my yard!

    Red Winged Blackbird male bird photography by Leanne Wildermuth
    This male Red Winged Blackbird joined us over dinner by the river last weekend, he and his spouse were enjoying the tortilla chips I broke up and tossed their way.

    Red Winged Blackbird female bird photography by Leanne Wildermuth
    The female Red Winged Blackbird came much closer than the male, such a pretty little girl. I’m glad I tucked my (big honkin’) camera in my purse before we left the house! There are always neat creatures hanging out down by the Mississippi River.

    I hope you enjoyed my birds this week – we’ll see what photo ops present themselves for next week!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

    High Def Flowers

    May
    31
    2009

    High definition double delight rose photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ve shared these photos with friends and fans on Facebook, but wanted to share them here as well. I’ve been playing with an HDR photo editor to enhance my photos and the results are just – stunning!

    Trying to explain what the effects of HDR do to my eyeballs is like trying to explain that squishy face you get after gulping a big glass of ice cold lemonade on a hot day.

    The rose above is a Double Delight, one that if I were capable, I would replicate the scent and be a millionaire off of profits from its perfume. How I wish monitors were scratch & sniff!!

    High definition german bearded iris photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    This is a German Bearded Iris. After a heavy rainstorm, all of my irises fell to the ground so I quickly grabbed my shears and cut them, brought them inside and have been very much enjoying their concord grape scent. I loved the water droplets and took the photo op while I had it. This one, if things ever go my way, (haha!) will become a painting. If you’d like a print, however, let me know and I’ll hook you up!

    Peony Bouquet

    May
    30
    2009

    peony bouquet photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    I have 6 7 peony plants in my yard. (woops, I’m not very good at math!) This year, I had to transplant three of them, so I wasn’t too sure about their blooms. Needless to say, I’m totally excited that they’re blooming, and the four established peonies have upwards of 200 buds on them.

    I am a firm believer that peonies are meant to be cut. The stems grow thicker, the foliage thrives all summer, and these beautiful flowers do NOT deserve to be droopy and falling onto the ground from the weight of their petals. So if you have them? Go now, cut them and bring them in!! Enjoy the aroma around your home, and don’t let them rot on the ground outside.

    I’ve got two bouquets now, and have several vases on the table, just waiting to be filled.

    Update, the same bouquet, 2 days later:

    peony bouquet by Leanne Wildermuth

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