Category Archives: le jardin

How the Garden Grows.

Our garden is starting to blossom!

Apparently this Iris is pink?

I had been told to expect purple or yellow but this is nicer in my opinion.

And these are the hot pink Peonies we have.

I had never seen one like this before – after doing some research, I think it is a variety called “Mikado.”

I also have a tiny white Peony as well. This was a transplant from last fall so it will be interesting to see how it grows up!

Last but not least, the Raspberry Bushes.

Marcus accidentally weed whacked one (I know, we all mourned) but we’ll see if/how it bounces back in the next year or two.

I should probably cut down the grass between the bushes or do some sort of hoe-ing of the area so that it is just dirt. In time. I’d also like to add some rhubarb plants here and do a small, sunny jam garden that is low maintenance.

I cannot remember if I shared this, but we finally committed to a landscaper whose final quote came in SIGNIFICANTLY lower than what we were initially seeing (and he was recommended by Bruce, so legit) and our project should start in the next two or three weeks, so that is exciting! Once they’re done, I’ll be able to plant and relocate our current crop of Irises/Hostas/Day Lilies and we are going to have a pretty spiffy situation.

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Home Sweet Home

For the past month, I have been trying to do one fun Critter and Mama adventure each Friday after I pick him up from daycare. Marcus has Glitter on those days so I have the extra time. Last Friday, he and I visited the “jungle” (garden center) at Lowe’s to buy some hanging baskets and some simple plants for our planters.

Critter loves visiting the “jungle” (lol seriously) and it is such a hoot to wheel around the aisles with him while we look at the fwowers. However, there is only so much gardening to be done. The Irises have yet to show me any flowers and the Peonies are getting closer to blooming but we are not quite there yet.

SOON ENOUGH.

We are finally making some landscaping decisions (more on that in another post) and little by little we are spiffing up the exterior of the house. It’s crazy to think that at this time last year, we still had not seen our house and were wrapping up our third month on the multi-generational compound.

We are also starting to move into a whole new rhythm of summer life. ECFE ended last week. Library story time will be sporadic throughout the summer. Glitter has turned into a two nap baby which is fantastic because she is pretty predictable and it means that now I get at least 30 minutes of solo time in the AM with Critter and usually at least 30 minutes of time to myself in the afternoon when their naps overlap.

He has also taken to calling our house “home sweet home” from time to time and it is the sweetest, most hilarious thing. I have no idea where he got it from but he is right. It is our home sweet home!

The Garden is Growing!

Our house came with one peony (bush?). And that was it. Last fall, I planted some free plants a former co-worker gave me and then promptly forgot about them.

Yesterday when we were playing outside, I thought Hey! We should probably rake these off! Like how all of our neighbors are raking off their gardens!

Behold!

Daylilies.

I think I need to split these?

Irises.

(OMG THEY ARE SO BIG ALREADY HOW DID THIS HAPPEN I HAVE DONE NOTHING?!)

The Peonies the house came with.

My bonus Peonies I planted last fall.

(They are very small).

We do have some re-landscaping plans for this summer but we are not there yet. In the meantime, I am going to continue my very passive gardening efforts.

In No Particular Order

Apparently I just have a lot of different little things that I feel like I need to share, so here they are.

  • We discovered that there was a bird nest in the insulation covering our exposed foundation.  When they went to start removing the insulation, we discovered there were baby birds in the nest!  So that project has been tabled until fall (I do not want any bad baby bird karma) and THANK GOD the mama bird did not abandon the nest.
  • I finally completed all of my recertification credits for my SPHR and submitted that application.  So, now I have to wait the four weeks while they review it (snooze) and then hopefully that should be all-wrapped up.  Spending free hours listening to webinars was not my favorite part of the whole summer, but the nice part is that the hours also counted for my SHRM-SCP recertification so it was sort of like a buy-one-get-one type deal.  Now, I just need to figure out how to translate some of my other recertification credits  from the SPHR to the SHRM-SCP.  Lean in!
  • The deck off our our master suite is finally completed and on the first night of its functionality, I was able to watch a squirrel build a leaf nest in the maple tree so already, it is a fascinating and worthwhile adult treehouse.
  • A former co-worker was seeking to unload a bunch of Iris bulbs so I requested some and now they are planted in the one bed of dirt we have outside of our entire house. Re-landscaping will be a whole different project for another year.  To summarize: our house is surrounded by rock that is somewhere between gravel and proper landscaping rock.  The sum total of plants is one day lily and one peony bush (win!).  There are some bushes around the house but every single one is a different kind.  At least now I can say I’ve tried to plant some flowers and Do Better.  Last weekend we also obtained a trowel, watering can, and pruning/clippers thing.
  • I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  I discovered this because my hands were falling asleep at night while I was sleeping (how uncool, right?) so the remedy is apparently to wear wrist braces while I sleep.  I just cannot even begin to discuss the level of indignity.  BUT. I slept so, so well last night and I know I was waking up every hour and a half or so before because my hands were falling asleep while I slept. So I will take it. 
  • Critter woke up on Sunday and decided to become a full-blown toddler so that has just been a really energizing time for all of us as we try to negotiate Not Touchdown Spiking All Of Our Toys In Inappropriate Places amongst probably any other toddler behavior you can think of.

So that’s how life is over here, lately.

Up North At The Cabin (and some other weekend stuff)

Cabin 1

This weekend, I went Up North to the cabin with my parents.

Even though it poured for a good portion of the day on Saturday, it didn’t really matter – it gave me a pretty rockin’ excuse to nap and read.  I know that I could have done both of those things in the cities, but it is sort of nice to do them with a view.

And this morning it was Not Raining, so I hustled Dad out onto the pontoon so that we could go fishing.  Or really, so he could drive the pontoon and I could fish.

After about 20-25 minutes of trolling the shoreline, I caught a fish and I told Dad that we could head back in.

Cabin 2

When we got back to the cities, I was truly astonished because it was GORGEOUS outside (compared to the cloudy/cool clime at the cabin).  I decided that today I would FINALLY tackle our deck and front step planters since those have been on my to do list for the better part of a month now.  Plus, who doesn’t love to garden when it is sunny?

Le Jardin 1Le Jardin 2

They are done now and that is great.  The basil is actually a plant that we sourced from Trader Joe’s a week ago.  I felt like giving it more dirt would provide it with its best shot at life.  We’ll see how long that lasts for.  The kind woman at Lowe’s also informed me that if you are doing planters, you can mix one bag of potting soil with one bag of topsoil to stretch it out (and save some money).  I did not take her advice on this because I only have six planters, but if I was doing any more than that (or had more space to store soil), I would.  So there’s your green thumb tip for the day.

Travels Past: Giverny

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve really run the clock on this story since it has now been an entire year since we went to Paris.  But, who is keeping track?

Giverny is Monet’s home in the countryside outside of Paris.  If you want to see extraordinary examples of his work, go to Musee d’Orsay or L’Orangerie.  But it is here where you can see his Japanese-inspired Water Garden: the water lilies, the willow trees and the bridges that he so famously painted.

To get to Giverny, you have to take a car, because it is about an hour’s drive outside of the city.  Once you get to the true countryside, to the world of small villages and hay fields, tiny creeks and winding roads, you are there.

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It’s all very transporting.

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Mom accused me of taking photos of her butt as we wandered the town and gardens.  I would dispute that as being not entirely accurate.  For whatever reason, on this particular day in France, the only thing I actually wanted to take photos of was my mother.  To me, she was the most beautiful thing.  And yes, Mom, if you are reading this, of all of the things in Monet’s gardens you were my favorite.

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I’m sure that when spring isn’t MIA and everything is in bloom, it is quite lovely.  But instead, I did my best to take snaps of the few flowers blooming on the entirety of the grounds.

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Some people say the light is different.  When Marcus got the chance to look over some of the snaps I took of the willows and the water, he could not believe that the water and the sky were not switched.

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It truly was just like that.  I have never been of the particular belief that seeing an artist’s subject matter will bring any sort of great clarity to viewing their work.  That being said, seeing the light on the water was  not something I could have possibly even imagined.

It was a different piece of art entirely.

Picture 203

Au revoir, Giverny.

Workshopping

KITTENS.

This has really been quite the week.  This is me.  Right now.

Me

Watching Sharknado because apparently that is A Thing.

  • I know that this is straight from the department of First World problems, but coming back to work after being gone for a week (or more!) is So Hard.  And this Monday marked the fourth time I’ve done that this year.  It’s exhausting.  I knew if I survived the meetings I had today, that the week would be a success so as I was driving home after my last date with PowerPoint, I put a point on the board for Team Kat.
  • Jetlag hasn’t been terrible this time around, which is nothing short of a miracle.  It may have to do with our 30 hour journey home, in which our bodies gave up on any semblance of time-telling.  That being said, I have been crashing HARD at 9:00 PM every single night.  I can’t imagine that tonight will be any different.
  • In spite of the heatwave that is paralyzing the country, my Petunias have performed quite admirably.  I think they may have cousins close to the equator because otherwise I can’t find a way to explain how they’re doing so well.  Look.

Flowers

  • Otherwise, Le Jardin has largely been an act of willful ignorance.  I did move our hanging basket from the deck to our front steps because I don’t think the Impatiens were agreeing with their location, but before we left we were getting tons of rain (no need to water!) and then my mother looked after our plants while we were away.  Much less stressful than herbs (though I won’t be tossing my flowers into a summer salad any time soon).
  • My parents were in London the week before we headed out to Europe and they brought me back an eclectic potpourri of wonderful commemorative Royal Souvenirs (I know – so trashy, but they kill me).  It’s basically a Customs House around here these days.

Souvenirs

  • In other Good News, my mitts and paws are finally in order after 20 days.  It only took me three days longer to accomplish than I had originally planned (read: I thought they would be done on Monday), BUT they are done now.  I still think that going polish-free for Europe was the right idea but, restoring order?  So Centering.
  • I’m headed up to the cabin tomorrow afternoon and I am So Excited.  Yes, seriously, I need a vacation from my vacation.  What better way to do that than with a weekend full of pizza from Zorbaz, beer, sunning and running?