ordinary… mostly

"We have nothing to offer each other, except a haven." — K. Nafziger



Garden blessings

The rest of the Ordinary Family has been working hard on a garden this year.* It provides a mixture of food for our table, entries for the fair (more on that shortly), and the satisfaction that comes from working with the earth. It is reaching its peak right now, and we visited it last night.**

* On the other hand, I have only admired their work. I’m like those animals who did nothing while the Little Red Hen was busy making bread… except that in the end, I eat the bread.

** We don’t have garden space at Laurelville, but we have a generous friend at church with extra space in her garden.

Multi-tiered garden

The multi-tiered garden

The women have planted a mixture of flowers (far right, out of the picture), sunflowers (far left, tall!), sweet corn (back center and right), beans (front and center), tomatoes (hiding behind the beans), carrots, and maybe some other things.

Tonight at supper, we enjoyed the harvest…

SupperSweet corn and tomatoes from the garden, plus Ordinary Spouse’s bread. Thanks, honey!

This week in the garden… Memorial Day 2012

I anticipate that this will be my last garden update from Illinois. Here’s what’s blooming around the house this week…

Another altar in the world…

This week in the garden… Leap Day edition!

Apparently, this is becoming a tradition… 2010, 2011, and now 2012. I provide an update on our flower bed on the last day of February.

Actually, it turns out that we’ve had such a mild winter in the Chicago ‘burbs that I could have provided the update earlier – a week ago or maybe even two. I almost walked out of the house this morning without taking the requisite pictures, but at the last moment, I grabbed my camera. Without further ado…

It’s all the usual suspects, you know?

And look at the weather conditions this morning when I left for work…

But I’m reminded that we are currently in that muddle of time between winter and spring. Since mid-day, a cold front has rolled through, the temperature has fallen from a high of 60 °F down to 35 °F, and we have winds gusting to 45 mph.

Ah… such is the midwest!

This week in the garden… 11/11/11

Yesterday, we had the first snow flurries of the year. Last night, we had a hard frost. So imagine my surprise this morning when I stepped outside and saw this:



We’ve got clematis blooming in mid-November!

Happy 11/11/11 everyone!

This week in the garden… 10 September 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve tried to capture the garden in pictures. This morning we has a really heavy fog, and this was the sight that inspired me to take my camera outside…

And while I was there, I decided to record some additional views…

Top to bottom, left to right:

Four varieties of verbena

Yellow and scarlet mums, hibiscus (blooming all summer!), purple lovegrass

False dragon’s head, climbing roses, black-eyed Susan

Lots of sunflowers, anemone

Hmm… (a little help?), our resident chipmunk under the rain barrel

If the gardeners out there would care to identify that plant in the last row, I’d appreciate it.

And here’s a little video of the spider. (Well – actually it’s one of its relatives.) Is it an orb-weaver, Dad?

This week in the garden… Boom! Bang! Pow!

We got our first taste of volatile summer weather this afternoon. A hail storm rolled through around 3:30 pm.

Below, I’ve put in the radar loop from about 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. (In order to see the animation, I think that you’ll have to click on the image.) Plainfield is the fat, black cross in the middle of the map. Watch how the storm explodes with lightning (black squares) just as it crosses over Plainfield.

(Click on the image to view the animation.)

This week in the garden… 19 May 2011

A little sun, a little warmth, and a bit of moisture… everything is off and growing!

First row:

  • The first miniature iris are blooming…
  • … as are the tall ones.
  • Lily of the valley is spreading around the flower bed.
  • Russian sage will take over if you let it.
  • Delphinium was planted last year, but hardly grew at all. Now it’s going to town!
Second row:
  • Ordinary Spouse loves wave petunias.
  • Astilbe is becoming a regular.
  • Oldest Daughter likes her money plant.
  • I don’t think that the lilac has had more blooms than it has this year.
  • The sun sets over Plainfield.

This week in the garden… weekend edition

Yesterday, we had some bark mulch delivered. Ordinary Spouse transformed the front flower bed:

Now I’m sitting at breakfast contemplating my Saturday task list:

  • Repair stairs from deck to yard
  • Repair gate
  • Place landscaping timbers around lilac
  • Place landscaping timbers around the Mother’s Day garden
  • Create a garden plot for tomatoes and other plants that want more sun than they’re currently getting
  • Mulch other flower beds
  • Trim the lawn in the back yard
  • Ask my neighbor if she’d like me to do something about our mint that seeded itself in her yard
  • Change the storm door to a screen door
  • Update the family finances
  • Bake bread for our small group meeting tomorrow
  • Shop for salad ingredients for the same small group
  • Shop for other general household supplies (gets its own line because it’s another store)
Hopefully, the weather forecast is wrong. It’s calling for rain all day. We had some as I was waking up, but it seems to have stopped for now. The radar is looking ok…

This week in the garden… 4 May 2011

We left for a weekend and the weather turned warm. Guess what happens next…

I have to mow.

But I also get to enjoy the gardens. Here’s what we have this week.

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