Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday’s Things.......

The columbine is putting out a lot of buds this spring.  It looks like it would like a little more sunshine and less cold and wet.  The largest percentage of them are not open yet. It reminds me that I would like to find some of our wild columbine to plant.  As a farm boy in southern Iowa I remember bringing it up to the house from the timber and an growing it on the north side of the house.  It was still blooming there when my parents moved off the farm.

Our newest garden is now planted.  The dogwood looks good with the hardy geraniums planted around it. As the bush grows larger through the years we can just plant less geraniums.
The surviving jack in the pulpit is getting bigger.  The leaves that seem to shade the  pulpit are becoming larger.  The other two that I had there are not going to venture up this year. A lot of the lily of the valley also was trampled down by workmen. It too will survive in the next season.

We are using some of the furniture that we already have in our sunroom. The trunk shown here is one of the things we wanted to put in the sunroom. A chest is not furniture but it is if it is a coffee table.

When we were first married 35 years ago, we were up at the cabin in Minnesota that summer.  A neighbor to us had begged a large electric spool from the company and she took it apart using the the top circle of it as a table.  She built a set of legs for the base and these boards were left over.  I thought the boards were interesting and they did work well for this use.  My wife and I nailed them into panels and I built a frame to turn the panels into a box with a lid.

The insides were made from scraps of wood from the barn.  It isn’t pretty inside but the lid usually isn’t open. It was moved from Grand Rapids, Minnesota to our home when we sold the cabin.  We stored all the old kids pictures, old newspapers and papers related to all family memories.  It was moved to the newer house and was destined to be in the basement until we built the sunroom.  It has moved up in the world and does work well as a rustic thing agains outdoor patio furniture.

The boards are each curved as originally they were placed in a circle to make the spool center. Neither one of us remember where and when we got the oak tray but it made the move and was hiding on top of the refrigerator.  It works perfectly to sit on top of the chest. We spent our first morning out there with the wind blowing and rain falling once in a while.  Our heater/cooler does work well.

I have a couple of old end tables that I want to sand and refinish.  Problems for me is to find the electric sander.  I have to do some digging through the things in the workroom to find it.  Sadly it might be at the other house. If it isn’t here, I will be hand sanding. They are small and all surfaces are plain and simple.  I can’t work outside today as the rains and cold are bad.  We had to bundle up to be outside to bring the love seat up the 15 steps of the deck yesterday.

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday’s Take on things......

The yellow cemetery iris is looking great. In my young days this type of variety would be seen blooming like this in front of the stones.  It would have been brought from a farmstead home and planted for spring decoration. As the years passed it would take over a lot of the cemetery in front of a stone or on top of the grave area.

The screen messed with this photo but I like the look of my garden area.  I have a lot of variety planted in here hoping to keep it looking like a cottage garden.

The chive is loving this weather.  I have planted it in different places so there is always chive for baked potatoes.

This is anther cemetery variety iris.  Old fashion and small compared to the hybrids. This is the first year for this one to bloom at this new property. It didn’t respond well to being partially shaded but after two years it looks normal in its growth size.

Our three new pieces were delivered this morning. We are pleased with our choices.  They were difficult to get into the room.  We had to bring the couch up from the outside as the sliding glass door would not allow it to travel through it. The chair at the table is temporary as we do have some oak chairs coming to go with it.  Nothing is decided on any of the placement of it.  We did make a move already from where we had originally started.  Bringing the love seat up the 15 steps to the deck was quite an experience. We did it lifting it up one step at a time.

My wife has an idea for a picture to hang in there and we have another idea for a used piece to be a coffee table. Things may get to be too filled up out there and we will just have to do trial and error.

The beginning of a new garden has been started.  I planted the dogwood, variegated leaf, this morning.  We have some nice hardy geraniums to plant around it but we were sidetracked with the delivery.  While he was delivering,  I open up boxes and found that he gave us a dark brown recliner, that we did not order.   I was glad that I caught it as he was going to have to find it in the truck a few houses up the street.  I am glad he was still here.  He was a nice man and we laughed about the mistake. Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


The globe allium puts out a show for the spring.  I planted these in many places on the property and they look good.  I had forgotten where I had planted some of them last fall but they are clearly in sight now.

I have been ignoring the violets.  They like that as three of them are now in bloom. They like to be dried out a little then lightly watered.

The neighbors have two young children but at one time yesterday there were six or more in the backyard. One of the boys decided to throw a ball into the octagon window of the play house, as seen in the background of this photo. That was a first for me to see but he had a great time tossing the ball up there.  I don’t know if the neighbor will ever put windows in the playhouse.

A gray Sunday with warmer temperatures that will make it a pleasant day.  Our rains have caused thick green grass that is hard to mow through.  We had drizzle off and on yesterday.  I mowed the backyard during a rain break but finished it with larges drops of water on me.  I did get done but I was very wet.

We will be out and about this morning with a rain free day. Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday Afternoon.....

New hardy geraniums are ready to be put into the ground.  They look great in the garage right now and it does need to cool down outside before I am going to do any digging.

We bought a variegated dogwood shrub to plant with he geraniums being planter around it.  It will be up by the front yard and front door to make a splash of color along the curved sidewalk.

This planting of iris is really filling in nicely. It probably was one of the first to be planted two years ago. It has a lot of  blooms and has done well.  The very first blooms were damaged by hail.  The falls had been strips torn into them. I am glad that they were not in full bloom then.

One other variety was blooming and they were completely destroyed. The tomato plants were hit a bit but all of them are firmly rooted and will take off with all the rain we had.  The total of 5 inches of rain in a thee day period.

This is an old fashioned variety with its small falls and tall uprights. It is one of my favorites and I can now dig some of it and move it to a new location. I dug one rhizome from the Murray cemetery and after many years of patience it grew into this large sets of plants.

My wife and I were out taking shots of the flowers this morning.  I had to smile as the neighbor lady was watching us all the time from her window above us. She can’t get out as she had her second knee surgery.  When she is out and about I will invite here to come over and look around.

We picked out our sunroom furniture this afternoon.  It is hard to find just what we wanted but we did find a style that looked good.  They wanted to free deliver it on Sunday but we can’t be there for them.  So on Monday they will be delivering the pieces to our garage. We bought two pieces and an ottoman.  That won’t be enough but we will at least have the bare bones of a structure before we add more pieces. We are using the oak antique table for sure and will get a couple of chairs for that. We were pleased with what we had chosen and having them deliver the pieces to our door is wonderful.  You will see photos, of course, in the future.

We are home now for the afternoon.  I am resting up now before I go out and mow the back yard.  It is 80 degree F. right now and I hope it cools a little before I start. The grass is growing quickly with all the rains we have been receiving.  Thank you for stopping in today.

Friday, May 17, 2019

A Wet Friday......

Thursday evening and a storm is coming. I have to stand in the street to get this shot, which looks west. I can’t find the official numbers of the amount of rain but we did get a large amount of rain. It was one of our barnburner kind of storm with lots of noise, wind, and downpours.

I looked out this morning and everything is still standing.  It does look a little water soaked but I got them in the ground yesterday.  There is a lot of empty space so I will buy more tomato plants. I should have mowed the yard in the back but I can maybe get it done before noon, if it dries out for me.
It is a tortured looking its but I have many buds that will give me better blooms.  I shared the yellow one on my photo a day blog.  The rains will really help them bloom better.  All of the transplanted iris have a least a couple of buds on them.  I should be able to locate where all the varieties are that I planted a couple of years ago. This is an old fashion bloom that really looks good normally.  This one didn’t even have one of its three falls on the flower.

I was correct in being concerned about my Jack in the Pulpit plants.  The guys who put down the foundation for one of the piers walked all around in the area.  One out of three has put out a very fragile pulpit. The other two will come back next spring.  I remember that they get larger than this. I had a lot of lily of valley tromped out also but you can’t kill that kind of plant. I am assuming that this pulpit plant was purchased commercially as these usually grow in the wild in our Iowa timbers.
Our morning was rainy and here is what it looks like now.  I know that the weather people say that we are going to have more rain for a couple of days.
I have five different varieties so far planted in our raised bed.  They had a yellow one that looked good as well as a steak tomato.  I didn’t have one like that last year and really missed having them. I still need to buy a  small pear shaped yellow tomatoes and a regular cherry tomato.  Our friend that lives in the retirement apartments can give them away if we get too overloaded. Last year she went door to door handing them out to here friends.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thursday is a Hot One....

It is same as before but it satisfying to get a good shot of it. It is not a full moon but it should be soon.

I took on a major project yesterday afternoon.  The gray shed that sits here was emptied and moved.  I inherited the shed from Arlyn the former owner and It does hold all the tools that I use out back. I didn’t really know what I was going to get into but I started by taking everything out of it.
This actually looks a little neater that what it did look like scattered all over the yard. Some of this is what Arlyn left me when he moved away to Boston.  I have lots of steel post that I would share with you if you lived closer.  I did find a nest of baby mice in a bucket which I didn’t know that I had until I was moving things to the moved shed.

I inherited a tiller which I can see now that it is a heavy duty one. I will put it back in the shed so I can remove it to use it more easily. There was a brick platform already created where the shed now sits. The shed was sitting on black dirt.  It looked like he had bought bags of commercial black dirt to put under it originally. I may reuse the black dirt in one of the gardens.

The finished look is this. is shown  I am glad to get it to the far end of the new veranda and not having it sitting in the middle dividing up the space.  I am going to put up a trellis material on the one side so it won’t look so ugly.  On the right side of is the vine on a trellis that covers the view of it.

After it was moved, dragged on boards to the new place, I now have to scrub down the siding that was behind it.  The people were here of thirteen years and i would not know how long they have had it.

I have radishes up now.  The two rows of them plus lettuce is pushing through.  We are going to have rain storms for the next few says so they will enjoy the natural moisture. I am going to put up screens to protect the all from the one stray rabbits that I just saw a couple of days.

I had mentioned the neighbors had a new dog but I was very concerned about it.  I have not seen it in the backyard for weeks.  I was so glad to see the woman was out with the cattle dog and they both were having so much fun.  At first the dog didn’t like the guy and I was concerned that they didn’t keep him.  This morning I saw the happiest dog running around the yard quickly and he looked like he has a smile on his face.  In the other direction is a brown lab that isn’t happy because his owner boxed in the side places in the yard . H can stay fenced in the back yard.  He has been running the streets for a long time.  He doesn’t like being contained but he will get use to it.

I news to close this down for today.  We have carpet layers coming tomorrow to cover a 12 by 16 area.  It shouldn’t take long but we are at the end of the list of things that they are doing tomorrow.  That means we won’t see them until later in the afternoon.  I wish you all to have a good day.  Thanks for checking in today.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Middle of the Week.....

The fern leaf peony is blooming here at the new place for a second year.  I have three strong buds and three or more that will never become strong buds.  I get a feeling that it is planted in the wrong place or that it just doesn’t like the clay soil.  I may bring another and plant it some where with some of my good Iowa black dirt from the old place.

I have a regular peony next to this and it too is really struggling. An old fashion rose bush is still alive but it too doesn’t like where I had planted it.

The hosta that I planted last spring really is looking strong.  I did give it some good soil in the hole before I planted it.  I think it looks very natural there and it is better than just rocks. I think a larger specimen is going to be perfect as it grows bigger through the season.

We had a building inspector at the house this morning doing a routine run through.  When I say run, I mean it, as it was here long enough to check to see if the electric plugs all worked and then down stairs to see where all the support posts were place. In the long run one can’t see if the wiring was done correctly and if the place was tied into the main structure well. The guy showed up in a city t-shirt and shorts knowing that we are going to get hot today.
Roses are not always red.  These are a pretty deep pink color and they do have a little bit of fragrance.  I moved a rose bush out of the way so the carpenter would not walk all over it.  I see it is planted too close to a hosta, now the hosta has come up.  I do think the jack in the pulpit got tramped down but I am sure it isn’t dead.  It will come back next year. I have a whole new set of areas that could be flower gardens and shuts but I seem to busy to even think about it.

I figured out how to  use a piece of wood to help get the clamp attached to the new railing.  I have a double duty of feeders there and they are coming to the feeders.  This is the second day for it to be there and it is becoming busy with many birds.

We are moving into a hotter season now with tomorrow predicted to be in the higher 80s. I am thinking I need to get the tomato plants into the ground and maybe today is the day. I would have to go to the store for plants though.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Things for Tuesday.....

The afternoon yesterday looks just like today except it is warmer today. We did have rain for most of the morning but it is now looking better.

The sky after the rain does look the same. Clouds are thinning out with it warming up.   The heat will help to make things grow better.
The iris is getting closer to being in bloom. The globe allium are still not quite in full bloom.  The grass seems to be growing quickly as it seems to be time to mow it already.
I put three coats of paste wax on the sunroom beam.  It was a slow process but as the wax built up the coating of it became simpler.  It is solid oak and not a veneer form.  It really did finish up nicely as I hand rubbed it with cloth giving is a nice shine. I discoverrd as I was working up there that the whole interior of the room needs to be washed.  As they put it together in the rain they left mud smudges everywhere.  Some places are subtle but the place deeds to have a scrubbing.  We haven’t address cleaning the windows yet as the carpet people are yet to arrive.  They will be doing a job in a neighboring town and then we will have a carpet put down. A building inspector is checking in on Wednesday to see if all the parts are in the right place.

My bleeding heart is doing well down in the front yard.  I am amazed as to how long they bloom. It is also fascinating to see those stems get straighter and longer as it holds the individual flowers.

I am awaiting for my radish and lettuce seeds to come up.  Nothing is happening so far. The neighbor quietly put in five tomato plants a couple of days ago.  I guess it is the cue that I could get some put in the ground now.  They had milk cartons covering them which helps them put up with cold and rabbits.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Moments from Monday.....

A visit to the old place and one can see apple trees in bloom and stay tulips still in bloom. A few lilacs are blooming now but it is not in full pace at this time.

The pale lilacs are just n ow open and the majority of little blooms have yet to open.  It was cold and wet there while I mowed the grass.

The orange color is a striking color agains the lilacs.  The smell is great but we probably have to move them out in the sunroom so we won’t be bothered by them.

The robins are probably already sitting on their eggs. I haven’t see the nest but I know they are in the blue spruce tree.

It is going to be a good spring day today and we will be warmer to hot by tomorrow.  Thanks for checking in today.

P. S.   We spent about twenty minuets with our granddaughter last night on FaceTime.  She slept through the whole conversation but she seem tired.  She is use to the noise of her two brothers so nothing would really wake her.  Oldest grandson was so proud of his little sister pointing out to us that they had a new baby girl.  It was nice to get to see her and had conversation with son and daughter-in-law too.