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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Not the Best of Times, Not the Worst of Times

For about forever, our days here in northern New Jersey
have started with sun, and wound up with rain.
Yesterday was pretty much all rain.
This doesn't encourage a lot of gardening around here;
I am not a mudder.
Okay, who else is channeling Kramer?

But today started with the Sun.
Mother Nature, being the hilarious practical joker that she is,
tossed in some heavy morning clouds to tease us,
but it looks as if we've got some clear days ahead.

We will finally get our Spring planting done, just days before Summer.
Right now, ain't a whole lot going on in the yard at That Old House.
Thank goodness for perennials.

Up on the top of the stone wall along the patio, lavender thrives among the hydrangeas and ivy.

Our beautiful silken poppies are all pooped out.
Their foliage is being trampled by spearmint;
the good thing about yanking mint is how great your hands smell.

Climb into the Time Machine, and you are sitting on someone's floor,
listening to a Jethro Tull record on someone's stereo.  Have we dated ourselves yet?
Well, here is a different Jethro Tull -- a hybrid Coreopsis that is amazingly prolific.
If you see it -- buy it and plant it.  Trouble free and beautiful.
It doesn't play the flute, but its petals are fluted.  Ha!  I just got the connection.

An old fashioned ramblin' rose at the back of the house, outside the powder room window.

I've never seen the roses get this shabby on the branches;
other summers they were eaten by trespassing deer.  Who are mysteriously absent this year.

The hedges along the driveway are coming into bloom.
The smell is heavenly.

It's a Fern Fest, along the shady part of the stone border.
There were a handful when we moved here; now there are a ba-jillion.
Should we be frightened?  Ferns are such primitive, alien life forms.

Down from the ferns, some good ol' orange daylilies.

Mother Nature sure goes to a lot of trouble for a blossom that lives one stinkin' day.

Atop the stone wall, along the driveway, Sedum and Daylilies.
Personally, I am not a big Sedum fan.  For most of the season the blossoms look like broccoli.
Then, in the Fall, they get ugly.

But I do like Daylilies, with their short, tragic lives.
Ah, my red minivan is chomping at the bit for a junking adventure.

Now that the weather is improving, it's time to get the Russian Sage
and the Knockout Roses and some show-off annuals in the ground
or into pots.  And the weeds out of the ground.
'Cause we are having a party.
June 30th.
To celebrate Anne's grad school graduation.

Yes, I have a TO DO List.  Don't ask.

So like last year, in late June, That Old House is getting slapped into shape for a party.
Thank goodness it's already painted, and the white paint hasn't worn off yet!

Take a look at the front part of the house, on the right of this picture.
See how uneven the clapboards are?  All wiggly, and different sizes?
That's cause they are 180 years old, and are the original cedar boards,
cut on site from local trees when the house was built in 1832.

I have to say, vinyl siding won't last 180 years and still be in great condition.
But then again, neither will I.

Visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for more of Outdoor Wednesday.  Click here!
Outdoor Wednesday: Click on the picture below to learn more...


  1. What a fun post Cass! I love your sense of humor and the beautiful garden photos!
    I planted a couple Knock Out Roses this year in a new rose garden we started and they are growing rapidly already.
    We planted mint in our garden at our old house and know what you mean about your hands smelling good as you PULL IT! A never ending spreading project for sure HA!!
    Thanks so much for your gardening inspiration!

  2. You live in such a grand old house and I love the wonky cedar siding on the front part. Happy gardening!

  3. My son is outside painting our old house right now (not as old as yours, ours is about 110 years old). I think he might like the idea of vinyl siding about now!

    Your garden looks wonderful. All the rain is probably great for the plants.

  4. Our old house which is about as old as yours has had no paint on it for the past ten years and is holding steady and Joe says if he paints it the city will increase our taxes. He is right of course. The house is made of fatlighter and the wood does not rot so all is well. It does not photograph I take pictures of the yellow house instead. Your old house is so well maintained and is lovely.

  5. Oh - Everything looks SO lush and green! We are desperately needing rain here...send some my way, will you? I love that wonky old siding-and the paint is still looking good and you won't have so much to do for this year's special event! xo Diana

  6. Everything looks so pretty and green! It reminds me of the beginning in the Peter Rabbit videos that I used to watch with my kiddos. I like the sedum plants because the bees love them and you know how our bees are slowly disappearing. We don't want that. So I can pretend that I like them for the bees. :) Have a great week!


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