Saturday, May 14, 2022

fast forward

Just eleven days ago on my blog, I was saying how cold and wet it was here and that spring was late. Guess I'd better be careful what I wish for: this week we fast-forwarded right to summer with temps in the 90's all week! Crazy Illinois...30's and 40's one week with the heat on, and the next week so hot that the AC is cranked.

I am not complaining about the heat, mind you. I love warm weather and sunshine. It's just that it's too early here for it to be so hot (we set some record temps for this time of year) and we totally skipped the 60's and 70's. BUT. We'll get those temps next week, so all is good.

Brian had the day off a couple of days ago and we hit three garden centers; two of which are my all-around favorites that I look forward to going to every spring. We're behind about two weeks because of the weather and now we have a ton of yard work and planting to do.

Aren't these hanging chenille plants cool? I didn't buy one but I'm thinking twice about it. I might go back and get one. I came home with a variety of herbs, daisies, coleus, lupine, and tomato and pepper plants.

At my other favorite garden center, I was hoping they had black and blue salvia. I bought it from the same garden center a couple of years ago, put it in a pot on my front porch, and it grew to be about two feet tall. The black and purple (don't know why it's called blue!) blossoms were so beautiful, almost iridescent. The blossoms attracted the hummingbirds and it was wonderful to be sitting on the porch and have the hummingbirds be right there.

I was in luck. They had my plants! We bought three of them and picked up another two for my friend who wanted some, too.

We worked in the yard for several hours that afternoon and yes, we were soaked with sweat as you can tell by Brian's shirt. You can see one of the salvia plants in a pot on the ground. That sidewalk area is going to be professionally landscaped next week. We desperately need some help! The landscapers will also be putting in yew bushes along the sloped area behind Brian, with small boulders in front of them. The area with the straw blanket had hostas in it, but they looked terrible there. Brian dug them out and seeded the area.

With this heat, everything has now exploded into bloom. Remember how the beginning of the movie, The Wizard of Oz is in sepia tones and then later explodes into color? That's what it's like here. 

I was driving down our street today and marveling at the canopy of green the entire way. When it's been seven months since you've seen that, you don't take it for granted.

Just two years ago, we planted three small ferns that a friend gave to us from his yard. This year, the ferns multiplied and spread wonderfully on the shady side of the house. I'll be planting the coleus in this area for color. Then we'll spread a fresh layer of mulch.

Not kidding, just a few days ago, this peony wasn't even halfway up the metal cage. Today it's towering over the top of the cage and has blossoms on it already. So amazing how fast it grows!


My sweet girl, Clementine loves to join me on the porch in the mornings, but I have to stick right by her or she'll take off. 

She's still hanging in there with her kidney disease and her gums being swollen where she lost an upper fang in early February. The vet dentist had said it would only be a few weeks to a few months until the gums became infected (and then there'd be nothing we could do...and of course, we would not let her suffer, so we would have her euthanized at home)...but, so far so good with just inflammation and no infection. 

I know her health could take a turn for the worse any day now, so I give her all the attention and love I can. I pretty much have always done so, being an animal lover, but I think now I'm  more cognizant of the limited time I have with her.

Have a wonderful weekend! 💖


  1. Hi Melanie. Good to see what is going on with you. I'm glad that Clementine is hanging in there. You have been working hard and your yard looks great. I well remember Illinois heat and humidity. We have had a very cool and wet April and May, so I haven't done much planting. There is another reason as well, which I will explain in the weekend post I complete and post tomorrow. My motivation for yard work is not high right now, although I do love the resultant beauty. I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend and hopefully get a chance to relax tomorrow. See you again soon!

  2. I am sorry to read that your Clementine has had such problems, but I am glad she is having time now to enjoy the delayed spring flowers and spend more time with you. Our 17 1/2 year old Pomeranian died early in March from a stroke, but we had to take him to the Vet's office to be euthanized. I learned from that morning it would have been so much easier for him if he could have been euthanized here in his home. The problem was we could not get a quick
    enough appointment to have it done here at home. His stroke was sudden but left him confused and in pain, so we had to go to the vet early in the morning.

    We haven't been able to buy any flowers yet at the garden centers , or even plant seeds yet this year. I'm in Missouri and first all of the cold and wind for weeks on end when I should have been planting my zinnia seeds, and then the super heat, and here there was gusty wind with it on some of the days. Our grass is so tall because we had some things going on where my husband couldn't mow, I am expecting to get a notice in the mail that our grass is too high. Maybe this coming week we will be able to plant the zinnias and get to the garden center while there is still something there to buy. On top of that my huge, beautiful dark pink knock out rose that is under the front picture window came down with a rose disease that turns the leaves red and then makes clumps of red leaves and then makes the roses deformed. The rose bush looks rust brown now but is still alive with a measly two roses on it where normally it would be totally covered with blooms. I read up about that rose disease and it said not to plant roses in that location again because the disease stays in the soil once it has been there.

  3. I always loved spring up north planning and planting! Love the color of the Salvia.

  4. I always loved Salvia too. The hummingbirds and butterflies just love it. Your yard it coming together nicely. Glad little Clem is hanging in there. Have a good Sunday. xoxo Kris

  5. I'm so glad Clementine is hanging in there! What did you do with the hostas you took out? I'd like to have my area professionally landscaped, but instead I'm hoping my neighbor across the path will do some work for me

  6. The Wizard of Oz comparison is nice, Melanie, you're so right about that. I enlarged your post, something my eyes need now, and wow, that first shot inside the garden center greenhouse is fabulous. They should use it in their ads. I love to think of you happily going through the garden centers. Between that and all the hard work you and Brian put in working in the yard that afternoon I bet you slept well that night. It all looks beautiful! And how exciting that you'll be getting a little professional help in the front yard. We desperately need that, especially to dig up and drag out overgrown shrubs in front of the house but since RH was in the garden center/landscape business for many years he's just too stubborn to hire someone, always meaning to get around to it himself.

    I know how much you must be treasuring the passing time you have with your precious Clementine. When I look at her pictures I hurt for you already. That sweet little face!

    Take care, Melanie.

  7. It has been glorious, hasn't it?? And yes to the Wizard of Oz analogy!
    Give Clementine a hug from us. I can't wait to see you in a few hours! :)

  8. Such lovely gardening plans you have-enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  9. Same thing happened here, Melanie and like you, I'm not complaining! We also spend some time planting and it was fun to see the place with some color again!!

  10. That last photo of Clementine is so sweet. It must be so hard to watch her decline.
    Your weather sure took a big jump in temperatures and it looks like you made the most of it with your garden center visits and hard work in your own garden. Everything looks lovely.


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