Saturday Night, 5-13-23

Answering some questions:

1. Who is Betty that asked about the Vermont Quilt?

2. Here is my big pencil tree that a reader asked about.

3. Reader photos

4. This is what I did today.

Dug up all the Karl Foerster grass along the ramp.

Planted it down by the barn.

Dug up all the mini hostas and moved them.

More hydrangeas will be planted along the ramp to make a bordering row. I’ll need the iron fence sections on the lawn side to keep them upright when they’re blooming.

I have wanted to do this for several years and just never gotten around to it. But now it’s done!!!

We got rain last night so this was a muddy job but I could never dig it up when it was dried out and hard as a rock.

This was a very boring post from the blog about nothing – truly nothing.

64 thoughts on “Saturday Night, 5-13-23

  1. Cheryl Regan

    Was thinking about you today. Hope bad weather stays away from you. Be well!

  2. Barbara Firesheets

    WOW! You accomplished a lot today! Looking forward to seeing your hydrangeas in bloom. 😊

  3. Jan Hebert

    I agree with Anne, not boring at all! I wish I could divide my grasses, they’re really big! I think it would take an axe to cut them into four pieces. But I’m really intrigued with your baby hostas. I have lots of random hostas growing and would love to dig them up and plant them in better places. Your post gives me the inspiration to do that! Thanks Mary! Jan in MA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – and by digging now early in the season they’re much smaller – easier to dig up. And we got an inch of rain last night so I won’t even have to water them! Any grass that comes up I will kill with roundup with a little spray bottle so it doesn’t get on anything else.

  4. Joy in NW Iowa

    Not boring at all! I wish I could still dig with a spade! Oh well, hubby will!
    We have had some nice rains with no storms!
    I did sew today and made a couple cards.
    A dark and rainy day makes one lazy and sleepy!
    Have a good Sunday!

  5. Cynthia from SW MN

    I am glad you sent your blog today! We are getting rain with a reprieve right now, but it has rained off and on since last night. I think there is heavier rain by Fairmont and Mankato. I made a fresh strawberry pie, that I have enlarged to a 7X11” rectangle pan. It is such a fall apart dessert, by making it rectangle I can cut the slices better. We were going to do hamburgers tomorrow but with rain predicted, it will be pork chops, potatoes and corn, with dessert. I find myself treating Mother’s Day like a holiday. We went to check the bluebird houses at Camden today, we have one Bluebird nest, and she was on the nest so I did not count the eggs, I think she has five in her nestbox. It was raining, but the inside of the nestbox was dry! I check them about every 5-7 days. I am still working on the Monorail table runner by Atkinson Designs. Your hydrangeas by your walkway are going to be so beautiful, and it is good for the grasses to get divided up as well. I have done that a few times. I have a silver plume miscanthus to divide up as well, it is spreading.

    The American Goldfinches are busy at the feeders as well as the Baltimore Orioles as well. To as many Orioles as last yearI have noticed.

    1. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

      I have put out my Oriole feeder but nothing yet. I love watching them as they are my favorite. I am envious! Lots of goldfinches and other but still waiting for the Orioles.

  6. Bonny

    Had a welcome rain last night of 3 inches. The blue reader quilt is same layout as the plaid one a couple days ago. Definitely a striking layout regardless of colorway. Love it!

  7. Laurie from NC

    I always enjoy your posts regardless of what you think is boring! One of my kids sent me a bird feeder that attaches to a window so my husband attached it to the window where our cats look out from their “cat condo” and I can enjoy it too. Lots of birds nesting in our neighborhood right now.

  8. Carla

    Your day sounds productive not boring. I sorted my apparel fabrics and patterns with my mom today and made a plan to start learning how to sew my own clothes. She’s a former seamstress and I need to learn from her now! I am 3/4 will and 1/4 skill at this point lol. I also started a wedding gift quilt made from another ladies destash. I’m excited! Mom got bad blood sugar results from her labs and now I have to learn to cook for a diabetic. Yikes! Life is never truly boring when you really think about it. Blessings!

  9. Pamela Dempsey

    Looks like you got a lot done! That blue quilt is so pretty! Wishing you and all your readers a very happy Mother’s Day! 🥰

    1. Jeanne in Co.

      Mary, what kind of a tree is that on the left side of the water picture? Is that a real heron standing by the pond? And, Is that the pond in your barnyard? Your blog tonight was especially interesting. Such a lot of work you have done. It will be even more beautiful when everything is blooming. You ought to sleep well tonight after so muck digging and replanting. We will all be anxious to see those hydrangeas when they bloom.
      The blue quilt was outstanding. Isn’t it the same pattern as the plaid one you had in your post a couple of days ago?
      Happy Mothers Day everyone. Jeanne in Co.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Jeanne – yes, the blue quilt is the same pattern as the brown quilt. The reader sent it because of all the interest.

    2. Sue in Marion, IN

      Pamela, that’s the Simply Serene quilt I made for my son’s birthday two years ago. There are several sizes in the pattern—I think I made the queen. I emailed Mary that this is a very easy quilt to make BUT you need to be able to lay the whole thing out and check your HST’s multiple times to make sure they’re all oriented in the same direction—if not, it spoils the pattern. Very easy to get them sideways/backwards—especially if you’re making a big one.

  10. Angie from Baltimore

    Your work was so worth it. It looks FABULOUS. I now live in an apartment but only miss my flower garden.
    Your stick tree is unusual I need to research it very interesting. Thank you for sharing and making me feel LAZY . Do you give blood transfusions for your energy? I will sign up. Your place looks lovely great work.

  11. Margaret

    Never, ever boring. Love hearing how totally amazing you are, getting all that accomplished. I had that grass and love it, but was hard to get rid of. I love gardening, but these last few years I have had to downsize , broke my heart, but compression fracture and bad knee has put me there, Also my stamina. But I loved every minute and cherish those days.. keep posting, love all your plantings.

  12. MaureenHP

    Well, nothing was fun to read tonight…
    I had never heard of a pencil tree–very unique!
    I saw a beautiful quilt.
    A lovely pond scene.
    Evidence of a lot of hard work on your part, with the promise of a beautiful landscape. I especially liked the mini hostas.
    Sometimes nothing is really not nothing–thanks Mary!

  13. Sharon G.

    Not boring at all, Mary! You’re getting stuff done and it will look so nice especially when the hydrangeas bloom!
    Love the blue version of the Simply Serene pattern. It is beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  14. Dorothy in Chicago

    Not boring Jo. I love to see what you do with your garden. I did the same only on a much smaller scale. Weeded my parkway and planted some herbs in my kitchen garden and some begonias in my old fire pit. I love this time of year when we get to plant what we have been planning while the snow was falling several months ago.

  15. Jo in Wyoming

    Happy Mother’s Day to all.
    I had a beautiful day attending the graduation of my daughter in law. I met her mom, grandmother, and a bunch of family and friends. She worked so hard on her masters, plus 3 jobs. My son had 2 jobs during the last few years. Please, don’t tell me kids don’t want to work these days. Those 2 work their butts off.
    I’m so proud to call them mine.

    Mary, your garden will look fabulous in a few weeks. All filled out. Blooms galore. I can’t wait for those pictures.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      It is a proud moment Jo knowing they did this all on their own achieving their degrees. So much hard work and perseverance goes into all they juggle. One commencement speaker said he chose his path for many reasons but also by dreaming. He had a father who was incarcerated all his life and he said “ I was not going to be my father” and how moved I was by his speech. So don’t give up on your dreams was the message. We have a plaque in our motor home my husband made that reads “ Wish it, Dream it, Do it”. It’s in honor of my grandmother who always reiterated it to me.

      1. Joy in NW Iowa

        Jo in Wyoming you are blessed to have such hard working children. Congratulations to them! They will go far.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – your kids are certainly hard workers – they were taught well! They are in the minority, I think, plus they’re older than the kids I try to hire to help me who are high schoolers. I haven’t found one yet so if I can’t do the job, it won’t get done.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        You are rightfully proud of your kids. Congratulations on their accomplishsments.

    3. Sue in Marion, Indiana

      Congratulations to you and your kids, Jo! There are a lot of motivated (adult) kids. My daughter and her husband quit their jobs 2 years ago at age 30. Abe started over completely to get a degree in geology/hydrology. Katie had a degree in Corporate Communications and a job as a policy writer for the state BMV which she grew to dislike during the pandemic. She quit to get an accelerated Bachelor’s in nursing (program for people who already have a degree and are changing careers). She now works in a medical ICU and loves it. My son I made the blue Simply Serene quilt for graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine last week and is headed to the University of Wisconsin, Madison for 4 years of residency in Neurology. I’m so proud of both of them!

  16. Suzanne

    Greetings from Australia- i know how you feel about garden soil that is hard as a rock, or as I say, hard as concrete . Love what you have done

  17. Dianne in Southern CA

    All of that hard work/digging was certainly something. Your energy level is amazing! Definitely not nothing! You are an inspiration…

  18. Susan-Gilbert AZ

    Totally NOT boring! Can’t wait to see the blooms. Thanks for brightening my day!

  19. Pauline in South Australia

    I so admire the work you do each spring from scratch, as well as over-wintering plants inside. In our garden we have tidied up the last of the vege garden, and summer flowers, and start enjoying the next lot. At the moment I have lots of blue and purple flowers producing a fabulous autumn display. Not much rain yet.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pauline – it’s always hard for me to imagine that you’re looking ahead to winter. There’s lots to get ready for that season, too!

  20. Lisa B

    Not boring to us. Your life is so different from mine here in SE Alaska. I love to start plants but have trouble finding people to give them to. My husband said if I died first the first thing he was going to do was throw all my plants off the deck. Ha! He died first! 😔 I love reading about your life. And Jo K’s blog.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lisa B. – yes, I must stop creating new plants because I also don’t have anyone to give them to – I love starting them. Bummer

  21. Kathy in western NY

    Some big outdoor jobs done now Mary and hopefully your porch will be your perch today to relax to reward yourself.
    We have had a weekend of college graduations which gave us exceptional weather for all the walking we did. Friday our oldest granddaughter got her PHD and working at the university. The ramp garage at Eastman Theatre was fun for me to read license plates as we sat in bumper to bumper traffic leaving as they were from so many states including Idaho and I thought of Luann, your reader. Yesterday was a grandson who went to a beautiful SUNY campus on Lake Ontario and he begins his teaching Monday Morning at our local high school. I am blessed they all have good jobs and stayed here. It was a weekend of memories and celebrations. And a walk to church service this morning soon.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – I am missing my favorite “bird season” because it’s 55 degrees with a 30 mph wind directly from the east – too miserable to sit on the porch and I was hoping I could also be washing windows this weekend.

  22. Connie R. in N. Wis.

    We’re having great weather but could use the rain now. My Mom and I went to an Amish auction yesterday. It’s our twice-yearly tradition and so much fun (my Mom is 93). I bought a vintage metal doll crib and a bag of freshly made doughnuts. Great time, especially because I’m blessed to go with my Mom.
    Hopefully you missed that nasty weather yesterday. Your gardens look great!

  23. Kelli

    Not boring at all!! Love to see the photos and read about your daily activity. I so look forward to reading your blog – thank for taking the time to write it! You inspire me and I’m thankful for you!

  24. Teresa in Indiana

    We are getting some much needed rain this weekend. We are in process of moving about 50 or more day lillies. I really don’t want all if them, but don’t have anybody to give them to. We are new to this home. It’s fun seeing what flowers will bloom next. A beautiful very pale pink opened today just in time for Mother’s day. Mom would have loved seeing it but she passed in February.
    The blue reader quilt is lovely. I live blue quilts! Happy Mother’s day to all.

  25. Dianna in Wisconsi

    Not boring at all. You are amazing .
    So much energy. Rain yesterday and today but farmers have been the fields and we see the corn coming up.
    Spring is here Finally!

  26. mabel

    working in the garden isn’t boring, your playing with something alive.
    Spring has arrived . Have a great Mother’s Day

  27. Diane Deibler

    That’s a lot of digging,Mary. Hope your back doesn’t ache for the next week! I’m going to try and start a few Annabelle plants for my daughter. It definitely is good for transplanting after all this rain.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – my back hurt last week but now I think I’m seasoned – Ha! Doesn’t even hurt and I’m thankful! I don’t do much in-ground gardening, mostly pots.

  28. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    I love the nice weather but with it comes all the outside work. I am going out today to add more dirt around one of our big front trees and plant more creeping phlox. The roots are so big the dirt just washes down and plants just can’t take hold. I had two huge pallets of beautiful flat stones delivered last year and placed them all along the tree and everywhere else around the house. Boy, that was a workout, but I have always wanted them. I love the irregular look of the flat stones and have stacked them almost a foot high all around the house and beds. Probably too high. Now the dirt will stay and I have bought more phlox. I love the beautiful carpet of color they make and hope this will help. The ground is still wet from all the rain we got and yes, that does make the weeding easier, although messier. Love gardening!
    Happy Mother’s Day to all!

  29. Bonnie from central Illinois

    Well done! I admire your tenacity in working with your plants. Digging things can be exhausting but very satisfying.

  30. Terri Flynn

    Honestly! You’re amazingly creative and inspiring. I love the boarder you planted and The idea of planning another border with the hydrangeas. Also think it’s so inspiring to move grass and plant it down by the barn. Who knew you could do that!
    Looking good!!

  31. Betty Klosterman

    It is wonderful that so many people are telling where they live, the weather, etc. And digging in the dirt is so therapudic. BUT don’t even think of trying to pull a weed if the soil is dry and rock hard. Wasted effort. Maybe it is a side effect of a hard winter, but the plants are absolutely beautiful this year and people are buying them by the TRUCK load!!! And, Mary, that great BLACK dirt. It is so pretty. We don’t have that here.
    Sue in Indiana is right about Simple Serene. It is worked in diagonal rows which can be a bit confusing and then the triangle pieces HAVE to be going the right directions which can be easy to turn the wrong way. Patience, patience and more patience, but not a difficult pattern. Kind of like trying to keep all the ducks in a row?
    A local church is collecting clothing, and all sorts of stuff to GIVE to those who need help and my car will be filled to the top or maybe 2 trips? The perfect way to get rid things I don’t use !! Relax, my fabric is NOT going! At least not that way.
    Happy Mother’s Day. What would the world do without mothers? It might be better if they ran the world?
    And it is still raining lightly……
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – it’s still raining here, too, and pretty chilly. The special birds are here in flocks and the weather is lousy but I still watch from my front room windows but certainly not from the porch in this wind and rain! Darn it. I pulled tons of weeds and wild violets in my rock garden yesterday and even dandelions come out with the root intact.
      Yes, I take our very black dirt for granted. It’s no wonder crops grow well around here, is it? I don’t understand how stuff grows in brown clay. I’m not planning on buying too many plants because I know I don’t like to take care of them – I know from experience.

      1. Joy in NW Iowa

        Mary, you mentioning the beautiful black dirt we take for granted, we sent a rhubarb plant to our son in Michigan and his comment was “how much do I owe you for that beautiful back dirt” 😂
        Hope you had a nice Mothers Day, you have a lot of people and animals you Mother! Enjoy!

  32. Jessica in Florida

    Your posts are always entertaining and amazing to me. I truly love seeing the work you do outside with your plants…not to mention that luscious black dirt! We have sand, sand, sand, some light colored dirt that doesn’t absorb water and more sand!! It’s astounding that there are so many things growing in this ground.

  33. Judy Gnade

    Yesterday I transplanted boxwood that I have been babying along since starting them three years ago. I did it in the rain too because my mother taught me that was the very best time; so far they don’t appear to be showing any ill effects. My cuttings were from a plant my grandfather started in the 1950s.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judy – I have never heard the rain theory but it makes sense. I hope those boxwood make it!!

  34. Earlene Springs

    You put me to shame with your energy and ambition😂
    Although I am in Arizona, today is my average last frost date and I moved my plants outside today. Not nearly as many as you but still a big job. Love your blog. Thank you so much
    Earlene in Arizons

  35. Jeanie S, Central IL

    Your gardening project beside the ramp is going to look great. We think our farmland in Central IL is pretty nice. However, we were driving through the country in nw Iowa, and Herb stopped the car to look at the beautiful black dirt-he was amazed by how rich and dark it was!
    Yesterday was perfect weather for the local graduation parties; today was cooler and brought intermittent showers.
    Thanks, Mary 🥰

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie – I, too, sometimes look out over the fields and admire that dark black dirt.

  36. Alice in SW Ohio

    Mary, those of us that have been raised on a farm appreciate that black dirt! Here in SW Ohio we have clay! At my former home we brought in good top soil, actually 21 loads to start a decent lawn. Unfortunately when they build a house they get rid of the top soil. But due to my husband’s loving care we had a beautiful lawn! My roses & flowers did very well,too! We moved 5 yrs ago & this year my flowers & replacement shrubs are finally doing very well. This time I bought large bags of potting soil & worked it into the flower beds. I scattered grass seed in the snow & have a nice plush lawn now! It takes time to get things the way you want them. We have an over population of deer here & they eat everything! I’ve discovered Irish spring soap cut into chunks & scattered around plants works to keep the deer & bunny’s at bay! Your plants & yard look lovely, Mary!!

  37. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary – just wanted to let you know this wasn’t boring- I love seeing what other folks are doing with their gardens! Keep it coming!

  38. Sue Hoover

    I love your posts even if you think they aren’t really about anything. You are very observant and hard-working of which both make for interesting info. Thank you for writing about “nothing”. It also keeps life in perspective. No fake news here!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Maria – it’s a decorative feather grass with a massive root system. If any more of it comes up I’m going to kill it with Roundup.

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