Monday, June 16, 2014

The Alabama Nature Center at Historic Lanark

The Boys and I had a fun day out last weekend at the Alabama Nature Center located at historic Lanark in Millbrook, Alabama.  We attended Hydrangea Fest where we were taken on a guided tour of the gardens surrounding the lovely old antebellum house.  There is a formal garden, a potager, and literally miles of walking trails through the surrounding forest.  They have a huge collection of both French and native hydrangeas surrounding the ponds near the house and we learned all about how to grow them successfully, how to propagate them, and even how to dry the flowers for use in crafts and floral displays.

The boys enjoyed the cool, shady, wooded trails that wound along the banks of creeks and through swampy cypress bogs; while I preferred the landscaped gardens around the house.  I've really been bitten by the gardening bug this year, and it was great fun for me to gather ideas about plantings and designs to take back to our garden at home.

It's too hot now to do much of anything except watering, but as I'm watering,  I'm planning a perennial border here, a shade garden there, a cutting garden down near the meadow, a vegetable know how it goes ;)

What's blooming in your garden?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


: Mushroom cap the size of a saucer! : blowing bubbles (through the front porch screen door) : gorgeous native oak leaf hydrangea : diy tomato trellis in the afternoon light : faux fossil clay pendants : pillowcase for the Little Boy (the one blowing the bubbles above :)

So much has happened in the last few weeks here.  School is out - for a very long time - as we have made the decision to homeschool our boys next year.  I am both looking forward to it and terrified at the same time.  When not Googling everything I can find about homeschooling, I am spending every available second outside.  The tomato plant in that pot sprouted in a flower pot in the back yard! So we went down to the woods, gathered up a wheelbarrow load of beautiful, black composted topsoil and filled up that huge pot with it.  Then we cut down some silver maple saplings (they grow like weeds here) and cut some long honeysuckle vines to secure it with - boom! diy tomato trellis. And finally, happily, I am making things again.  The stress of the past few months (jobs, finances, school) have melted away with the long summer afternoons.  I think I must be part plant.  I can feel myself unfurling.  Stretching.  Relaxing. Soaking up the sun.  Growing.

Love you guys. Thanks for stickin' with me.