Last Monday we went shopping in McMinnville, 20 miles to the nearest Walmart and there are some things we just can’t get any other place. Then we went to Food Land for meat. We just won’t get our meat any other place than Food Land or Save a Lot in Spencer. They both have their own butcher and the meat is outstanding. Each week Joe and his family come up for dinner and to help us with the farming. They are such a big help so it looks like we will be able to do the full crop and canning again this year, with their help. Anyways I try to have a nice big roast of some kind for them and then they can have the left overs to take home for supper. One week we had ham another pulled pork etc but I had decided we would never be able to have a beef roast as they are just too expensive. Last week we went to Save a Lot and got there just as the butcher was relabeling the $2.89 Boston Butts to 99cents a pound so I got three nice big one and thought myself the luckiest girl ever and this week we got to Food Land to find on the flyer bottom of the round roasts advertised for $3.89 a pound. I could not find any in the meat case. The only ones they had were $5.69 a pound so I asked and he just had not gotten around to relabel them and I got two nice big roast for around $10 which is what I look for. I love it when they have their own butcher, the meat is trimmed so beautiful and the Quality is great. Now I have two beef roast also, one for this Sunday and another in the freezer for when I need it for them. Monday afternoon I began feeling tired and achey so I didn’t go out to work in the gardens and by bed time I had a temperature of 101 and hurt every where. I never run a temperature so Norman knew there was something wrong. We went to bed early and Tuesday I wasn’t much better so I stayed close to my over stuffed chair all day and drank lots of water. Today I feel human again. So I went out to look at the gardens and do just a little in the Hickory Grove. Norman gave me orders not to over do and I listened to him. Things had changed a lot in those two days. The lettuce is up, the radishes and onions are both up and so are some of the turnips, not far but at least germinated. We will have five lilac flowers this year. About 12 years ago my sister, Shirley went to NH for a visit and brought me back a lilac sapling from my brothers house. NH have the most beautiful lilacs but they are very fussy things to start and they don’t care for the warm winters we have here in TN. We were living In GA at the time and they lived there but never had time to get any flowers before we moved here to TN and brought it with me. Lilacs do not like being moved, it takes 3 or 4 years for them to get over the move. We have been here 8 years now and only once before did I have a flower on the bush and then it was only two flowers so you can see why I am so excited about these. Maybe it is a sign they will bloom every year now, or maybe it was only because we had such a hard winter this year. Who knows, I am just glad they are coming this year.
This is the “mountain” I told you about in the last blog. It is in full bloom with daffodils and vica major. I have always had vica major in all my northern homes and never knew it was so invasive. In NH it never spread out into to sun light, here I am finding it spreads all over the place and chocks out other plants.
This is the garden in front of the Studio, next to the lilac. It used to have many other flowers in it but they have been beaten out by the vica major, Now all that is left is iris and they have a hard time to live so this year I will take out the iris and move them to the flower gardens in the Hickory Grove and let the vica major have this garden to itself. I do take roots from this garden to put out in the Hickory Grove as I would love to have this spread all over the floor of the grove. It makes a beautiful carpet and doesn’t mind being stepped on. From this garden it is already spreading into the woods and I let it go.
At the top of the hill next to the drive way I put in three little single sticks of forsythia bushes. I never imagined it would grown to this size in 8 years but now it covers the whole top of the hill. I had iris here years ago but had to move them as the forsythia grew. Each time I pruned the bush I put the best looking branches back into the ground and they grew, now I just toss them out. Last year I took some cuttings and put them into the ground down near the large vegetable garden and they are blooming this year also. I do love this area for growing plants, you just stick things in the ground, keep it weeded and it grows!!
This is the first and largest flower plot in the grove. You can see the iris in the background. They will bloom when the daffodils are done. There is also an azalea bush here but it is having a hard time to grow as the deer come and eat off all the leaves and bud when the winter is at its worse. There is also a small hydrangea but it doesn’t get much sun in the grove so it too is struggling. You can see I haven’t gotten this one cleaned out yet. I started today at the other end of the grove and ran out of steam before I got to here.
This is another of the plots. They are about 5 foot square and I will add a little more soil here and put some of the transplanted iris in here. They like more sun than these get but they still do well in the grove.
This plot has some iris in it already but can use more, I have five more such plots to clean out. You can see the vica major on the ground here and it is spreading out on to the floor of the grove. I put the gardens around a tree or a stump so they would not interfere with the tractor going through the grove to bring dirt or take out branches in the spring.
And lastly the flower boxes are in their spring dress and looking pretty. I love daffodils because they multiply so well. I have a few tulips in here and they are budded but they never multiply like the daffodils and get smaller every year. I started out with the same number of bulbs and just transplanted them when they got too crowded, I have never transplanted a tulip yet!! Have a great day.