Whoosh! The monthly calendar has turned and spring weather is history. We’re already getting temperatures in the high 80s. And 90-degree temperatures are predicted in a few days. The air conditioner is already running. The flannel sheets have been tucked away in the linen cabinet until next fall. And we’ve completed our annual pilgrimage to the garden centers. Gardening season has officially begun at our cottage!
We got our flower and herb pots planted last week. This year, our herbs include rosemary, basil, thyme, chives, spicy oregano, parsley, and dill. We use a lot of herbs and spices in the kitchen, and we frequently use some fresh ones for extra flavor. We have medium-size clay pots filled with million bells in rose and purple hues. These calibracoa flowers look like miniature petunias, but are actually from the potato family. The pots are elevated in the flowerbeds by resting in green metal stands. We’ve been using these stands for years, and I can’t even remember where we originally acquired them. We also planted some colorful variegated geraniums in a big pot with asparagus fern. The big pot is stationed at the front steps.
Earlier today, we moved around some existing plantings and redesigned the small flowerbed around the mailbox. We found some gaillardia (blanket flower) in a lovely apricot shade, and this perennial now serves as a color accent in that bed. We also planted a flat of marigolds in the front of the main flowerbeds. We’re done with our work, and the yard crew should be spreading fresh mulch soon. I’ll take photos and share them with you when that final step is done! You’ll get to see the new retaining wall too.
We picked out some new trees at a nursery yesterday and had them tagged. We’ll have them planted in the next week or so. We’re getting a beautiful coral bark Japanese maple to add to the front yard. It has light-to-medium green leaves and reddish bark. The leaves turn a golden color in the fall. For the back yard, we’re adding a couple more dogwood trees along the woodland edge of our property. We’re also planting a forest pansy redbud (with reddish-purple leaves) in the lawn area for an accent tree.
The yard crew is going to tinker with our irrigation system and change out a few of the sprinkler heads for better coverage. We also need to start getting some bids for re-staining our shutters and front porch pillars. The builder’s painting crew did not do quality work on these components, and two years of weathering have already made them look tired and faded. So there you have it! Our outside work for our cottage this year is shaping up nicely!
We will be homebound this month. Now that I don’t have work distractions, we can tackle a few interior projects that have been simmering on the back burner. Organization and decoration are going to be the principal themes this month. There are a few remaining boxes in the storage room that need to be unpacked from our move two years ago. It’s a mystery how I will get things to fit, but I’m going to give it a whirl. To reduce storage clutter, all the paint cans that the painters left for us are going to be consolidated. I also want to clean out and simplify my clothes closet. For a little decorating fun, there are some empty frames and mats that need to be filled with my photos! I have some wall spaces reserved in my office, upstairs hallway, and studio room. The hardest part will be deciding what to print!
We’re excited that Miss Jenny (of I’m Having a Thought Here) and her husband will be visiting us next week! They will be in town for their son’s graduation. It will be good to see Jenny again and meet her handsome sidekick for the first time.
By hook or crook, I plan to get some serious photo editing work done this month. We will be upgrading to the new Photoshop CS6 when it is available. I will be on a learning curve with it, investigating the latest features and improvements. I should finally finish up the brown bear series and begin highlighting some of my Canadian maritime images this month. I also want to share with you some delightful photographs from our Kentucky journey in bourbon and thoroughbred horse country, along with a touching story of kindness and wonderment. Look for more “Wordless Wednesday” posts during May, as well.
Gosh, I really need to wrap this up! Congratulations if you have read this far! If you’ve stuck with me this long, then you need to know that we completed reservations last week for another big trip. Where and what, you ask? Churchill and polar bears - again! Hey, it was so awesome to see these magnificent creatures in 2010. We were enticed by a special deal on a tour package with Natural Habitat Adventures in early November, so we jumped at the opportunity.