First off before I get into the Five on Friday, I would like to thank all of you for your very kind supportive comments regarding my previous post on weight loss. This week I went from having a negative feeling, to one of overall confidence and renewed determination! I know that the comments left by all of you were the cause of my boost of confidence again.
This blogging group is really quite extraordinary when you think about it. Where else can you let out a little cry of despair and get instant positive feedback from all over the world? I don't always like to share personal stuff on my blog since it makes me feel like I'm complaining. But this dieting thing was going to get the best of me, and I thought maybe I could discuss it with you all. And you have come through for me in such a wonderful way, which I won't soon forget.
I have gotten right back into my healthy eating routine again, my daily exercise of an hour's walk, and already I feel much better ... happier if not exactly lighter. I'm not going to step on the scale for a while though ... sometimes I just don't want to see those numbers ;) If the numbers haven't gone down after a couple of weeks, that too gets me discouraged. So for this second start of my dieting, I am going to just keep eating properly and stay away from the scales until my pants are falling down around my ankles and then I will know there has been some changes around the waistline! My summertime clothes need an overhaul, but I don't want to spend any money there at the moment ... I'll wait until I can fit into some of my old clothes instead. I hope this will keep me focused as well. Every time I open my closet I see a lot of tops that are a little too snug, and I am looking forward to soon wearing them again.
So I thank each and every one of you for your support! It has made such a difference for me :)
And now on to the Five on Friday hosted by my good friend Amy at Love Made My Home! Thanks so much for hosting this again Amy, and I was happy to see that you are back to posting regularly. This week I'm out in the garden and I have lots of ideas swirling around in my noggin thanks to Pinterest and also to my local gardening store. I am in awe of the creative ideas that are posted on Pinterest, and I have finally started my own boards of creative ideas (under "September Violets", and if I can fix up a link for that at some point on my sidebar I will).
1. Fairy Gardens
Like many of you I have admired the tiny little fairy gardens that are all the rage at the moment. My favourite gardening store (Vandermere's in Ajax, ON) has a huge selection of little bits and pieces for creating one on your own. They even have rustic wooden fairy houses made of sticks ... some of which are two and three stories tall (fairy sized), but it adds up to a house about three feet high! I have to work with what I already have rather than purchase a lot of expensive trinkets, and I almost fainted when I saw a flat of fairy garden plants for $50!
Just inside my back gate I have these three little stumps from cedar trees we cut down a few years ago. I've been looking at them now with an eye to making them into fairy homes. I think the fairies in my yard flit through the flowers (and weeds!), and probably wouldn't care all that much to have a domestic-type garden of their own. They are wild creatures after all! My plan is to create a few unobtrusive fairy surprises in the yard made from natural found objects. Today this is all I have to show you ... the stumps. Once I get them fixed up into actual homes, I'll show you more ... stay tuned!
2. Lilacs & Iris
Lilacs and iris are my favourite springtime flowers. At the moment I have this beautiful large lilac bush filling the back corner of my yard with fantastic colour. It fills the entire yard with its strong perfume! This bush has been through a couple of bad times with two huge pine tree limbs falling directly on top of it, but it seems to still be thriving. I think this summer I'll give it a good boost of fertilizer as its leaves are always so tiny. The humming birds have been visiting it constantly since it came into bloom too which is an added bonus.
I have two of Mom's lilacs doing well in the backyard too. This white one, and another purple one (same shade as my big bush). This white lilac is doing amazing, and I'll be keeping a close eye on it to keep it in good shape. Mom loved lilacs too, and had quite a few on the hillside at her place. The two lilacs I have of hers were from that hillside, so fond memories all wrapped up into these lovely bushes.
I bought this pretty weeping lilac last summer when I noticed one on a neighbour's lot. It is very fragrant and has some pretty blooms. I planted it at the corner of the walkway/stairs up to my front door so that you can smell it as you come up to the house. I was really happy with how much it has grown from the time I planted it. It's meant to grow upright and all the branches droop down around it, which gives it a very delicate look.
The iris haven't bloomed as yet, but the buds are so close to opening! These iris are in the front of my house. The iris in the back are stunted and a lot of them don't even have blooms this year. I had every good intention of splitting them last summer and moving them all to the front of the house (since the front iris were by far doing the best of the two groups). But one delay and another, and I never got them moved. This summer I have to do this, or I think I'm in danger of losing the lot!
Last summer I transplanted a few things that were getting lost in a garden in the back yard and then I sort of forgot what had been moved and to where! I forgot this next plant completely, and couldn't figure out what it was. I have now finally realized it's one of the transplants ... spiderwort! Now that I've identified it, I was actually surprised at how well it's doing. It obviously is happy with its new home ... it's about 2 feet across.
I have another spiderwort in the garden around the patio, and it's a lovely bright chartreuse. You can see it in the next photo ... love that leaf colour. I'm considering splitting this one to spread that colour a little further in the garden. It's a good size, but not huge, and I think it might do better in other locations. I often split the plants and try them somewhere else rather than move the entire plant. I'm sometimes worried I might kill the plant entirely if I shift the whole thing at once.
Everything seems to get jumbled up in the front garden. I swear lupins just get up and walk around in the winter time! And I don't remember the coral bells being quite there last summer.
The lupins used to be yellow, but I think they have all reverted back to their natural purple again. I really like them, but they're hard to keep track of. I want to transplant some of the little sprouts that come up each year. They do well in this spot, but I'd like to see more of them in other areas.
My husband loves to get out digging in the gardens far too early, and I'm always sorry when he comes in and tells me "I dug up the gardens!". Usually it means he's dug up some of my perennials that haven't yet shown themselves through the soil :[ This spring I thought he had dug up my remaining balloon flowers. I finally went out to see if they were there, and after carefully brushing away the heaps of dirt he piled on top of them, I found them slowly making there way to the surface. I think I need to transplant them too since they are getting lost underneath the ever expanding burning bush.
This little bit of donkey-tail spurge was transplanted just last weekend (the straggly ropes in the dark brown dirt ...below photo). Isn't it the saddest little plant? But I had to save it. This wee guy was one of the little plants that my son had in his first garden we created when he was very young. He seemed to really like gardening, so we would buy plants that had unusual names to encourage his interest. Let me tell you, unusual plant names were a big hit! We also bought some turtlehead flowers, and they took over that garden (not complaining, I really like the turtleheads). I just happened to see this little remaining bit of spurge this spring lost in the middle of the turtleheads, so I carefully dug it up and moved it in front of the cranesbill geranium ... another transplant from last summer. The cranesbill is doing great, and I have high hopes for the spurge too now that it has room to grow.
5. Burning Bush
I love this bush, especially in the fall when the brilliant red leaves are at their best!
This year I notice that it has sprouted a new bush just underneath it! I love it when my favourite plants have babies ... free plants! I'll have to think of a good spot to move this little guy because he can't stay where he is ... I want to take full advantage of this offering.
6. Harlequin Maple Tree
And I'm squeezing in No. 6 because I can't shut up when it comes to my gardens :) This little tree is finally making a difference to the view out of my front living room window. It's about four years old now, and it is effectively filling out and creating shade! That was the whole purpose of buying this tree. They are not huge maples, and since we have a tiny front yard, and it's all on a hill, we needed something smaller. Also the hydro wires cut across the front bit of our yard and I didn't want a tree that would be butchered by the hydro tree trimmers when it got too close to the wires.
And now I'm sure you're sick to death of listening to me. I've been fiddling with this post throughout the day, and I'm sick to death of writing it!! I realize now that it's far too long, but I'm too tired now to try and rewrite it. Thanks for visiting and I'll try to shorten my next posts.
Johnny Jump-Ups :)