This week found me outside everyday.  We had one of those weeks of weather that makes a gardener go crazy.  We call it Minnesota beautiful.  That means sunny, no wind, a high of 70° and no humidity.  It was perfect for everything…work and leisure.  I have learned over the years that I generally need two to three trips to the nursery.  Each time I fill my car to the brim and promise myself I will get everything that I buy planted that same day.  Over a two day period, I planted a little over 150 plants.  Check out my car…full to the brim, including the passenger’s seat. 

Each year I create a plan to determine what color scheme I am going to work with for both bedding plants and containers.  I have some standards that I always use, but will change the accent plants from year to year.  I like to repeat the same color family and plants around the whole yard and in the containers to unify the different areas.  Before heading off to the nursery, I will check out their website to view what they are stocking and make a list so I don’t get distracted by all the great things I see when I make my trip to get the plants.  I try to mix interesting foliage plants that do not flower with the plants that do so the contrast makes both stand out.  This all sounds very much like the same process we all go through when planning a quilting project…right?

When I start planting, I place all of the plants around the yard and in the pots to see how the plan is coming together.  It gives me the opportunity to change combinations before digging.  I use a little fertilizer (Osmocote)  to give the plants a jump start.  Our season is short so it is best to use all the tools available to help the plants thrive.  I will post pictures of this pot and this garden spot to show you the progress throughout the summer.  Everything always looks so skimpy when planted and then glorious at the end of the summer and different every week in between.

I find myself doing a walk through the gardens almost everyday.  I try to make the most of the season and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  It is also a good way to keep up on things “going rogue” before they get too out of hand and doing a little bit at a time makes tending the garden more manageable. 

Now that I have most of the planting done here at home, I have a few pots at the cabin that I will plant this weekend.  I do try to keep the gardening and yard maintenance to a minimum there.  After all, that is suppose to be more about relaxing.  The kitchen duties keep me busy enough.

This is the week that my five ornamental apple trees have fully blossomed out.  I also have lilac hedges on both sides of our property that extend 20-40 feet.  Obviously the fragrance outside right now is pretty glorious.  This is a very short lived period of wonderfulness.  Next week when the rain comes, the blossoms drop pretty rapidly.  However, for the moment, our whole town and countryside is a feast for the eyes. 

I painted a small water color of the apple blossoms for Ella’s room.  Her room is the one I can add all my small pastel pictures and crafts to and they seem right at home. 

Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, I  decided to make my mother’s favorite bar recipe, Mounds Bars, to take to the cabin.  She made these often for many of the weekends at the lake during my childhood. It seemed fitting to have them this year as a tiny reminder of the countless hours she spent over my lifetime making things special.  And it was a nice way to talk about her and all she did for a  little while. She loved the cabin.

If you like chocolate and coconut, you will love this treat.