Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birthdays, Buddies, and Blooms, Oh My.

Hello, hello! Remember me? Sorry for the silence. It's Mikey's fault. You see, one birthday in the midst of growing season I can manage, and since Kristen arrived almost perfectly on time (April 2), I can't blame her for my blogging absence. But Mikey? Well, that little stinker's original due date was May 18. Guess who decided to show up a month early? He's such a troublemaker. (Truly. Bed rest and everything with that boy. Good thing he turned out to be so sweet and funny, or I might really hold a grudge!) 

So, during the craziest growing and gardening time, we have two birthdays to celebrate. Kristen opted for a girlfriend sleepover, creating tie-dye shirts and hanging out by a bonfire.

Mikey wanted the action of Frankie's Fun Park with friends. Laser tag, go karts, and lots of noise... 


The drummer boys...Mikey opened the present from big brother, Tyler: "Look! I got shelves!" It's actually a cajon, a wooden, bongo-like instrument. Between the djembe and the caj on, they had quite a jam session.

Have I mentioned that I love birthdays? The former PR girl/event planner in me loves a good party.

Peter thinks I'm a bit obsessive.

Just because we have to celebrate on the actual date, then celebrate with friends, and of course have a family party on the weekend, does that really make me obsessive?

I hate it when he's right.

Poor Mikey, he was sick on his birthday. Toast and jello aren't very festive. He rallied, though, and enjoyed the weekend with friends and family.
Chloe didn't know what to think about my great-nephew, Max. 
Hanging out with Max just makes me happy.

Actually, our kids have spent a lot of time at home, sick, over the past few months, which is another reason I'm behind on my writing. Poor kiddos, it's been a rough time, but I think we've finally gotten them over the worst of it. (Crossing fingers and toes.)

(Note to self: Never tell a friend that your kids rarely have stomach issues. I can assure you, Murphy will be listening, and you'll suddenly find that your kids are champion thrower-uppers. Lesson learned. Blegh.)

On the rare occasions that the kids went to school, we had some gardening fun. I helped Mikey's class plant a pollinator garden...

...but more on that in my next post. All I can say is...teachers should be our highest paid professionals. Those kids wore me out! 

Then, I planted salad bowls with Mikey's Scout troop. 

The boys were great, but more on that to come, too.

When we weren't throwing birthday parties or gardening with kids, we coached (Peter) and cheered (me) at soccer games...

 Goal! (Mikey is #3)

...celebrated the Grand Opening of Kristen's trainer's new stables...

...chased chickens...

...and tried to find a little time to enjoy the spring blooms.

 Bleeding Heart, one of my favorites.

 Columbine, another favorite.

Tulips are almost done. Sniff.

Loropetalum continues a magnificent show.

Emerging Autumn ferns...

First azalea blossom.


Irises are replacing tulips blooms.

 Dutch iris...I wish I had planted hundreds of them. Truly one of my favorite spring flowers.

Lilac. 'Miss Kim' isn't as showy as the variety my mother grew in the north, 
but the fragrance is just as sweet.

Strawberry season is just around the corner...

...and our blueberry bushes are full of blooms.

Bees love Pieris Japonica.

I didn't plant anything in this container--the violets are a happy accident!

Hostas and Solomon's Seal are waking up.

No matter how many lilies of the valley we plant, we only have a few appear...
but I love them.

I wish our forest was covered in trillium. I adore them.

So, that's what's been happening here. Birthdays are behind us, and now it's time to get serious garden work accomplished. 

Weeds, beware--I'm coming! 

What are your gardening plans this week?

My plans are to clean up the kitchen garden beds and the potager and plant warm weather crops. 

But I promise--I'll be back soon. Hope you'll join me!

Happy gardening!

XO ~



  1. Wow! You made up for your absence with an amazing post. Your garden looks fantastic and you've had so much going on. Tell Peter I think he's wrong. Birthdays are for celebrating as much as you can, especially for children, but for adults too. It's a time to say how pleased we are that we have these people in our lives. You cannot overdo it. I loved your cakes.
    PS. I love the look on the dog's face too. He really wanted to share that hotdog.

    1. Thanks, Missy! Honestly, having a big age gap between our oldest (22 years) and younger kids, I know that too soon the kids will rather hang out with friends on their birthdays. I'm going to keep making a big fuss as long as they'll let me! ;-) And you're right--the adults in our lives need to be celebrated, too. It's fun! (Isn't that dog hilarious? He belongs to Kristen's trainer, and when she first got him, he was smaller than our guinea pigs! Mikey wasn't very successful protecting his hotdog, I'm afraid.) :-)

  2. Geez, Julie, you've been busy -- what a great post! I love celebrating birthdays -- string it out, I think. My mom believed in having at least a birthday week (if not a month!)

    It's a great time in the Carolinas for flowers of all sorts, too, from wildflowers to garden flowers.


    P.S. We learned early on that sharing people food with our (pampered) dogs wasn't a good idea, no matter how cute they looked begging for something!

    1. Isn't spring in the Carolinas just fabulous, Lisa? I feel sorry for my northern friends this time of year. I want to find a weekend to take a hike and look for wildflowers. We love going to Pearson's Falls--such a pretty wildflower habitat. The trillium around that area are amazing!

      Our pups are definitely sits and wags the entire time we're at the dinner table, just waiting for a treat--and the other lays on my feet UNDER the table. I'm such a sucker...

  3. Happy gardening to you as well! Wow you have been busy!!! I love all of those birthday shots and find that I can relate to being obsessive about birthday celebrations as well! How wonderful that the school was planting a garden...we need more of that for kids! Stunning blooms as well!

    1. Thank you! I still have birthday messes to clean up--Mikey's banner is still hanging a week later, but we like to draw out our celebrations! ;-) I'm crossing my fingers that the school garden does well. A few years ago, I wrote a grant, received $ to plant a garden there, spent weeks creating an ABC garden and several butterfly gardens...and the landscapers the school district used sprayed everything with Round-Up. So. Frustrating. I'm making a "no-spray-zone" sign for the class garden! ;-)

  4. Happy Birthday to your wonderful kids!

  5. Know you certainly had your hands full these past few weeks. Those birthday parties look like lots of fun!! Love your blooms, especially that container of violets is super!! I would love that.