Working Wednesday

Good thing we both worked outside yesterday because today it’s raining again. I cleaned up over half my plants – removing all those maple helicopters and in cactus plants, it’s a hard job done with a needle nose pliers. See?

And see what happens when they fall into the dirt? Just look at all those baby maple trees in the hydrangea plant.

I even went to Clear Lake and bought some more annuals on the end of the season sale. On my way home I stopped at Connie’s for a garden tour. Come along with me!

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If you recall Connie recently obtained the lot north of her house and has happily planted shrubs and perennials with abandon! She has a real flair with garden design – my flair is mowing, I guess. Ha!

Everything grows and blooms at Connie’s house – even wisteria which I didn’t think could grow in Zone 4.

Everything is lush and green.

The peonies are in rare form this year – even the tiny little peony that I moved to a bed by the barn last fall actually has a bloom!

Can you see this wire leaf – a piece of yard art?

This is one of her new gardens close to the street.

The town of Garner got hail a few weeks ago as seen by all the ragged hosta leaves.

These lupine are self seeding throughout his particular area – they’re beautiful! I’d let them come up anywhere.

As we continued our walk around the house we came to the Joe Pye Weed plants that are only about half grown at this stage – they get huge – maybe 7′ tall?

Everything is huge and dense – she hopes to divide and move some plants ASAP – of course it would have to be a day that it isn’t raining!

Smiling Betty came along on the garden tour! Just look at that cute puppy sit!

And we’ve made the full circle around her yard.

And that’s the house in Garner but I’m going to visit her on Saturday at Okoboji and I know she has beautiful gardens there as well. I’ll take you along again!

And now for the Miscellaneous stuff. Here’s Tammy “hiding” in a box – haha!

And several asked about the table mat on the porch. Here it is – it’s Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Trip Around The World.

Sue R. said “better late than never” and sent her Harvey made from linen and French General fabrics. Such nice color, Sue.

Reed was here the day I got the package marked “live plants” from Susan Ketterer in TX. Inside were aloe plants that he and I shared. Susan had told me last winter that she had 180 aloe plants! Wow! I’ve got some room to grow my collection, I guess.

We both have enjoyed the book Oh,Scrap by Lissa Alexander.

Connie fell for this quilt right off – it’s those Halloween colors, I think, but the quilt is so nice she reduced the pattern so she could use a Fig Tree charm pack.

The name of the quilt is Awesome Land.

Here is the small quilt – can you tell it’s the same block and quilt layout?

I started making Surrounded from the same book.

I have two blocks done …… and I don’t even have this one in my Dirty Dozen!! Forgot about it. Yikes!

And now for my thoughts about the wedding garb. The men looked just perfect in their dress gray shirts and nice jeans with boots. They wanted an outdoor informal wedding and honestly, I think tuxedos would have looked mighty out of place. The bride’s dress was not elaborate nor were the bridesmaids’ dresses. Bouquets were mostly greenery. All the music played at the dance was Country as well. These young men are farmers, truckers and small business owners in a farm community and I just gotta say they looked handsome and will never regret their wedding clothes. I think most of the attendees should be ashamed of how they were dressed – shorts, T shirts, slacks – the gentleman dressed in the black shorts in the photo walked the bride down the aisle! Shorts and sneakers? No.

Feed Bags – I actually found several more of the white wild bird seed bags if anybody wants one and feel free to order more at this time – I still have quite a few that I’d like to get out of here. Include $4.00 for each bag for postage.

Reed is coming over this afternoon – he finished the hand binding on his log cabin quilt for the fair. Now he would like to start a baby quilt with the 30’s fabrics he bought last week at the quilt show. I might as well start another one, too, so I can sew along with him – no, I won’t be adding it to my Dirty Dozen – haha!

That’s it, Folks! I think I’m caught up for today. I always keep notes throughout the day so I can remember what I should talk about. Since I can’t mow, I guess I’ll start a new quilt!

48 thoughts on “Working Wednesday

  1. Diane, Squeak's Mom in Central Ohio

    Wow–Am I the first one to reply? I’d like to move in next door to you for 2 months and Connie for 2 months in the Summer and Fall. I don’t garden–two black thumbs:( I totally agree with the wedding party–they looked very nice and the only concern should be love and marriage:)
    Did you receive my email about the Island Chain quilt Connie has on her Dirty Dozen list? Our electricity went out briefly last night in the rain so I wasn’t sure if it flew:)
    It just started raining here AGAIN. Everything is so green and it is soooo humid!!
    I could make all three of the quilts pictured today, but I’m sticking to my Dirty Dozen and some other UFO’s for now.

    1. Diane, Squeak's mom

      Only three ads to click today. It’s odd. Sometimes I have five, sometimes fewer.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – Connie says this is not the quilt she is making.

  2. Kathy Hanson

    Wow! Connie’s gardens are so beautiful!!
    What a job those helicopters have been how much work all this has been for you everything is so much work! Reed looks happy with his new plants!

  3. Beth Laverty

    We have wisteria growing up in our woods, it is pretty much wild now. It was hanging down from an old tree house that blew down in a very bad windstorm a few years ago. We are zone 5.
    Love the scrap quilt but don’t dare start another!!!

  4. Patti in W Barnstable

    Great post, Mary! Full of beautiful pictures. Connie has a gorgeous garden(s). And Betty is a sweetheart. The peonys are not doing so well around here yet. We need some sunshine! It has been an awful cloudy June. Your trip around the world is so bright and cheery.I love the Surround quilt you’ve started. I put it on my “need to make” list. I’m still working on my Bull’s Eye quilt! Haha.

    1. Susan K

      So glad the aloes got to you safe and sound. I guess I should clarify that I have 180 pots of aloe and many of them could be separated into another 20 pots! I hope they do well for you and for Reed. I love the relationship you have with him – it’s so special.
      The wedding apparel – I agree on being dressed up and that it doesn’t always mean suits and ties but doesn’t mean shorts and T-shirt’s either. Connie’s garden is wonderful. I enjoyed all of the pictures.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Susan K – where do you keep 180 pots of aloe? Do you have a greenhouse? Do you have other plants besides aloe? I am impressed!

        1. Susan K

          I will email some pictures. We have three small greenhouses. Two are just for the aloes in the winter. My husband made them special for the aloes. The third greenhouse holds the largest aloes (the oldest is 12+ years old) and hibiscus, shrimp plants, a pikake (Hawaiian plant) and various other plants. We pack them in as close as we can. You can’t walk in during the winter time. We have a large yard for our area with lots of shade and have potted plants and aloes throughout the flower beds in the summer. It takes me over an hour to water all of our potted plants during the summer mornings.

          1. Susan k

            It’s a sickness my husband says! I give some away. I sell some. I keep most. I can’t just throw them out for some reason. And they love our backyard so keep growing more and more. The pots are full of plants and then I divide them into more pots which get full within a summer. In the wintertime I have two homemade greenhouses just for aloes and another greenhouse with the largest aloes and our other plants.

  5. Betty Klosterman

    It’s me again. Out here we’d look at all the working guys in the wedding and would make 1 comment. “You all sure clean up good!” And we’d be so happy about their friends.

  6. Anna M

    Wow, love the garden tour! I have a wisteria that I’ve had for I bet 10 years and it has never bloomed. what’s her secret? I’m in zone 4 SE SD. Love the lupine, too!

  7. Louise

    Thanks so much Mary for the newsy post today…I had to take a break from
    Your email though as I am watching Women’s Soccer…our women’s team is excellent
    at passing..Kudos to Connie for her beautiful gardens and it was such a treat to
    see a pic of Reed. Thank you Mary for your endless energy!!

  8. Louise Murphy

    Thanks so much Mary for the newsy post today…I had to take a break from
    Your email though as I am watching Women’s Soccer…our women’s team is excellent
    at passing..Kudos to Connie for her beautiful gardens and it was such a treat to
    see a pic of Reed. Thank you Mary for your endless energy!!

  9. Linda Baker

    Every time you post a picture of Reed, I can’t help but think what a lady-killer he’s going to be!
    Beautiful quilts and gardens, you never disappoint with your blog news.

  10. lissa Alexander

    Connie and Mary,

    Thank you for the kind words about OH SCRAP. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have learned from you over the years!! I am truly honored….


    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lissa Alexander – that is high praise indeed, Lissa! We just love this book! Are you a regular blog subscriber here?

  11. Jo in Wyoming

    That Connie has got a gift! I saved the picture of her next to the petunias at the library…spectacular!
    They have outdoor flowers like that in Ft. Collins. I worked there many, many years ago. When the apple trees dropped their blossoms, I felt like I was in a giant snow globe. Downtown was mesmerizing.
    Little Reed is growing up and getting very handsome.
    I talked to my son this morning, got a quick lesson on coffee growing. The trees never go dormant. If there is a frost, they die and have to be replanted. Lucky for us, coffee is grown around the world. He can talk for hours about coffee, but we both had work to do. Quickly, he told me about a woman’s farm that grows amazing coffee on about 2 acres of land. He buys directly from her, I love there is no middleman taking her profits. Thanks for the post card today.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Jo – Reed sled me today if I had started measuring it and I haven’t. I’ll take a picture and make him go thru the ditch to measure it.

        1. Rosemary

          Be careful for that wild parsnip in the road ditches. We know someone who unknowingly went through some and is really hurting!

  12. Linette Stewart

    Mary, your posts are always a bright spot in the day. What I wouldn’t give to have yours and Connie’s green thumbs! I finally got to try your window cleaning recipe today and I love it!!! No streaks and took all water spots away. I was wondering if we are interested in a Country Threads pattern that we can’t find is it okay to email you a question about it? Thanks again!!! 😊

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linette Stewart – yes, please email. What we can’t handle is simply getting an order for a pattern that we haven’t approved – some simply are gone!

    2. Rosie Westerhold

      Can someone point me to the post that had the window cleaning recipe? I remember reading it, but didn’t save it! DUH.

  13. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Well. I’d love to have the gardens Connie has but mine are enough work as they are… between the chipmunks digging holes all over the place, ants crawling up the foundation and somehow into my guest closet ( discovered those stinkers today), the deer eating all my hostas and balloon flowers, the carpenter bees making Swiss cheese out of the shed and the woodpecker drilling the shed…I’m spending way too much time on varmint control.
    Today was supposed to be a sewing day (secretly trying to get ahead on one of the dirty dozen as it’s a quilt I’m doing with my sister, my part is done at the moment, need to light a fire under her so when it gets back to me I’ll be ready… hoping it’s not the first number pulled) …. instead, washed all my floors, cleaned out cupboards looking for ants, washed down the appliance because the kitchen was half clean and who doesn’t like a totally clean kitchen…. and now I’m too pooped to participate! Kitty and I are resting!
    Well, there’s always tomorrow…unless another invader comes around. Might be getting an anteater for a pet!
    You and Reed have a lovely relationship, another garden you nurture. Have a blessed evening.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol at Pin Oak Quilting – I just had to chuckle when you mentioned getting an anteater for a pet! Haha!

  14. Brenda

    I am so wish we had your beautiful Iowa dirt. Kansas clay is the pits. Most of Connies plants are bigger in two years than mine are after ten.
    Do you have a dolphin succulent? Saw a picture of them and they are so cute.
    Was told NOT to order the seeds.

  15. Launa

    Mary, Appreciate the wonderful tour around Connie’s gardens. Couldn’t believe we had big hail in rain today…slush is a better term. Noticed some volunteer Lupine blooming in front yesterday, but the wind gusted through so strong I wasn’t out there long! Don’t know if the elk or deer will munch on it.
    Our high was 48 so had a fire in the wood stove.
    Need to get busy on a UFO!

  16. Caryn Goulden

    Mary, thank you for the tour around Connie’s gardens. I’m always amazed at how much you ladies do! Sounds like Reed is learning to be just as busy and creative! Would love to see his quilts.

  17. Rita S

    Tell Reed if he goes into the ditch to watch for wild parsnips. They look a lot like Queen Ann’s Lace but are yellow. They will give you a rash worst than poison ivy. Love Connie’s garden and thanks for taking pictures and sharing.

  18. Janice

    I love reading everyone’s comments as much as Mary’s wonderful posts! Isn’t it amazing how we all have such different climates? Poor Launa! I can’t imagine 48 as the high this time of year. Is this normal for you, Launa? And then there’s Nicki I think it is who lives in Texas with all of that heat. Just incredible. Mary, just love your blocks from Lissa’s book and Connie’s mini version too. Just might have to get that book! I love scrappy quilts. This rain we’ve been getting has made our grass grow long and the hosta’s are doing great. Just hope the slugs stay away. Jan in MA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janice – I couldn’t agree more! I love it that you all are connected via the comments section. Lora, who gave me the name of the wildlife rehabilitators, did so in the comments. And I passed it on to Kathy who has the 3 baby raccoons. The wildlife place is full right now but as soon as they have set somebody loose again, Tom and Kathy will take Rockette and her two brothers there. Next week they’re going to start weaning them. Isn’t that just great? They have really grown!

  19. Cynthia Sabinske

    After visiting the Powell Gardens a few years ago, I saw they had wisteria and I too wanted to give it a try. The one I got for my zone is Blue Moon. It took a few years befor I got blooms, biput I love it, you really have to keep up with the runners to make sure they don’t start new ones in areas you do not want a cli,bing vine to get established, They can really grow a lot in just a day’s time! Loved the garden tour also. Looking forward to the next garden tour! Loved meeting you and Reed and the other followers of your blog!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Cynthia S – NOW when I see your name, I know who’s talking – yes, I loved the “board” meeting but several readers left the Civic Center by 12:30 because they were just too tired. I know tired – by noon I was using a cane!

  20. CountryThreads Post author

    Elizabeth Underwood – yes, you’ll be happy to know she has one next year. I’m going to let her chime in here and give you the particulars.

  21. Diane in WI

    Your gardens and Connie’s gardens look wonderful. Some of my plants are just not growing. I think it’s too much rain. My Sweet Autumn is tiny compared to last year. The extreme cold nearly did it in. I’ll cover it this winter. I’ve been teaching sewing to an eight year old girl all week. She’s been excited over the finished projects. I still have to take some time to get my projects ready of the game in July. We are picking up our new used Equinox tomorrow. Ouch!! Even they are expensive. Have a good day. I think I saw more rain in the forecast.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in WI – we can be thankful we don’t live by Launa with a high of 48 one day. It’s chilly, windy and rainy here today so I can’t even spend time on the porch! It’s Concord day anyway so Becky and I will play for the monthly birthday party. Enjoy your new used car – all cars are too expensive!

  22. Janine

    What a great garden tour! Connie, it’s amazing – everything is gorgeous! You both are so creative in your gardens. Mary, thank you for posting the Bonnie Hunter table topper. I love it and can’t wait to make it. I have three color palettes in mind already.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janine – I have a quilt started with several blocks already made – guess I’d better find them and add to my Dirty Nine at this point. Some UFO’s that I found I don’t even want to finish! This one I do!

  23. patti leal

    i know you told us to be better about this and i truly thought i had. i’m working on the 9 patch from the charm pack. i have both edges stitched and am ready to cut apart. picked up the ruler and realized i was working with 5″ squares. i am finally deciding that i should cut at 1.5″ from both sides and then trim the middles. is there anyone on here who can remember when this was posted or if i am guessing right? thanks much. patti in florida

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Patti Leal – you’re right so far. Just trim that middle section to 1-1/2” and sew the light strip to the negative nine patch unit and the dark to the positive nine patch unit, then subcut and reassemble the 9 patch blocks.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Patty Leal — the instructions for the 5″ squares was posted on May 8 and called “Grab A Charm Pack.” I printed it out so I wouldn’t forget.

  24. patti leal

    thanks mary and betty. i figured i was on the right path but just wanted confirmation. i didn’t go far enough back on the blog to find the directions. thanks agaain. patti in florida

  25. Moe Baly

    Mary, enjoyed your trip thru Connie’s garden. How wonderful ! I laughed at Betty, what a sweetie! In 1984, I had a garden wedding outside at a friend’s farm. Invited 70 people and they all showed up dressed for church. I told everyone to bring casual clothes to change into if they’d like and many did later after the ceremony and the dinner. Loved my wedding! Jay and I are still best friends. Cant wait to see what you do with those aloe plants. I have one that I treat gingerly because they usually die on me. I have a pothos plant that I have to keep cutting back. Brought home 50 plants from work to live outside on my deck for the summer, going to repot this weekend. WOW to the Trip Around The World. Love it. Hey have you seen a Japanese Lilac tree or bush, they are beautiful and in bloom all around Chicago right now. Smell heavenly. Tell Connie to look it up, bet she’d love it for her yard.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Moe Baly – reed gave me a Japanese lilac tree for my 70th birthday last summer and it is in full bloom right now. I think Connie has two of them and they’re planted in the boulevards down Main Street in Garner – that’s how Reed knew I wanted one and I swear he bought the biggest tallest one he could find. I told him that 71st birthdays are not as special so it didn’t require such a large special gift! Haha! Isn’t he just the best?

  26. Diane Bauer

    Oh, Betty! I just want to wrap my arms around you!!

    Connie’s gardens are gorgeous! I so miss hostas and hers are enormous!! You don’t find many hostas in Colorado. Guess we just do not have the moisture necessary for them to do really well.

    My firepit arrived from LL Bean this afternoon and I assembled it this evening. Was hoping to have a backyard fire, but alas, Colorado is under a winter storm advisory and it’s just not nice enough out on my patio!! Yes, it is the first day of summer and there is the potential of a freeze, so plants will be covered again this evening! Steamboat Springs got over 12″ of fresh powder today. Walden is getting snow. Will summer ever arrive?

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