June 10, 2014

Weekly Menu June 10 and Lots of Garden Stuff!

 Source: Pinterest

This week we have:
Victoria Sponge (Sandwich) Cake
Classic Currant Scones
Homemade Crumpets

Sorry for bailing on you guys last week, I kinda went MIA, didn't I?? I have a good excuse though!! The Geologist and I tackled our garden beds, and it was a HUGE job! We have two flowerbeds against the house, and two rock garden spots under the cherry trees. One flower bed is full of my two gigantic peony bushes, which, surprise!! actually managed to bloom after being flattened!!
We left that bed alone. Someday we want to build a front porch there, so until then the peonies have it all to themselves, and they seem to be happy, so why mess with a good thing??

The other one had the remains of two ancient rosebushes that had put out a few spindly stragglers, one with no buds and one with my least favorite color in the world, bright pink. Bleck. So after we dug up all the soil and added a bunch of great stuff like moisture crystals and peat moss, we ripped those out and planted my new baby, a Don Juan climbing rose!! It isn't blooming yet, I was a good girl and took off all blooms so it could focus on strong roots, but eventually it will look like this:

Source: Flickr
The first photo shows the deep, dark, velvety color best, and the second shows what they look like all bloomed, ruffly, and palm-sized. And the best part?? They smell like HEAVEN!! The goal is to train it to grow up and over the window. Roses aren't roses unless they have a scent, in my opinion!

Speaking of roses, my wild and rambly rose bush in the back is blooming!!

Isn't she lovely?? I don't hate ALL pink. Just really bright pink. I like light pink! She also smells heavenly, and the fragrance reaches all the way across the yard and we get just a hint in our bedroom. Things like that are what make this my dream house. I can smell roses in my bedroom?? I can die happy. Well, no, not quite, I still need my lilacs to bloom for real. Then I'm good. 

So this is what the front bed looks like now:
With the Don Juan on the left, a patch of freesia bulbs in front of it, a mini red rosebush on the right with two purple salvia plants behind it. On each side of the window well are two white and burgundy Dinnerplate Dahlia bulbs, and the ENTIRE middle of the garden is a mess of mixed gadiolas! Speaking of which, I have to give a huge shout-out to Breck's, for all of my bulbs!! They really sell the best bulbs ever, and have a yearly deal where you can get a grab-bag of mixed mystery bulbs, 100-150$ worth for only 25$!! I got some really fun stuff, including all of the bulbs in the front bed, a few lily trees, with some begonias and a yellow cinquefoil for the rock garden! I also have armfuls of spring bulbs coming later this year, but all those we actually picked out. If you are a gardener, especially is you like bulbs, it's worth getting on their email list, they have deals and sales all the time, even giving away bulbs for free, just for fun!

Now. The rock gardens are by far our biggest achievement. And the most work. And the reasons my fingers are still all sore and torn up. I can't believe I forgot to take a "before" picture for you, but this is all I've got:
It gives you a bit of an idea of what we were working with. There are some great structural rocks, making a little terraced effect, but TONS of random useless rocks too. (And the dirt was full of little rocks. Owwww, my fingers!! I need some gloves.) The left side was even worse. Plus the red bark, and a layer of plastic underneath... Oh, and the cherry tree roots running through the whole thing! It was a bit of a beast. But the Gelogist is a stud, and tackled all the hard stuff, and I did some spots by hand and planted a few pretty things, and this is what they look like now:
This side is mostly done, once things start spreading. The big empty space is mostly filled with giant mixed begonia bulbs, I've never had those before, so it's a bit of a "wait and see"!
This side still needs lots of holes filled, the cinquefoil is planted in the far right bottom corner, but nothing else in the middle! I'll have to collect things a bit at a time...
I love this top spot, that plant with the tiny white flowers is sweet woodruff and I think it's my favorite!
 This stuff is meant to grow up and over that big metal thing... has something to do with water... :)
I don't even remember what these little purple flowers are, but I adore them. They're meant to spill over the rock "wall"... eventually! And below, that one lonely little plant is a Rocky Mountain Columbine, he needs a few more friends, but that will be our columbine patch. Have to have one! Colorado pride! I hope that Irish moss spreads nicely to line the sidewalk on both sides. It will grow teeny white flowers too!
It's so pretty!! We're awfully proud. I think we did pretty good for our first real gardening endeavor, don't you?
Mixed in with the piles of random rocks we carted out of the rock gardens were some nice flat sandstone pieces, and my Mom gave us the idea for this little project:
A little sandstone path leading from the patio to the faucet, because I like to go out there in the morning when everything is wet, and I tend to shun shoes... and it turned out adorable!! I can't wait for all that Corsican Mint and Blue Star Creeper to fill in the cracks. The mint smells really neat!

So there's my excuse for disappearing. I've learned by now that you wonderful people are pretty patient though, and I'm not going to lose half of you if I don't post everyday. Thank you for being so fun to write for, and share my house and garden adventures with!


  1. April, your home is just beautiful! Love the garden. :)

    1. Thank you so much Ashley! I miss our game nights :( Now to see if I can keep this garden alive!

  2. WOW this is amazing. LOVE it. And I love the rocks in the garden. A great achievement indeed :)

  3. It's really coming along! I envy your roses-in-the-making, I want roses some day! But the deer would eat them all at my parents house.... scarf 'em down like truffles!!

    1. Oh dang, I sure hope they don't eat mine... Well, I wish them luck with the one in the back, that thing is BRUTAL, thorn-wise! i'm going to have to keep an eye on the Don Juan, thanks for the heads up! (PS- SO glad you aren't moving so far away anymore!!)

  4. April, you've both done some stunning work in your garden. I love it! Our roses are rioting at the moment, blooming like crazy. So much colour and scent! I love it. Looking forward to your culinary week as well. Lookin' yummy! xxoo

    1. Thank you tons, friend! I love your garden pictures. I can't wait till my Don Juan is "rioting"!


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