Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Musings

When we initially bought our house, we had a vision as to how we would like to make it “ours”.

The 175 year old house has great bones which has allowed us to make the necessary yet subtle changes we wanted without having to sacrifice too much of the original look.  The five acres of land and out buildings were a blank canvas just waiting to be transformed.


Last spring, Mr. Painted Quilt dug out a huge flower bed for me which I envisioned as a rose garden. 


We got everything planted but then when I became ill, everything was put on hold and although all the new plantings survived the winter, by the time this spring rolled around, the bed had become overgrown with weeds and needed a lot of work.  With a little bit of elbow grease and some TLC, here it is today.


This bed includes five different hybrid tea roses, a Japanese maple, a white lilac, an heirloom iris, white daisy, lamb’s ear and heuchera.


The rose bushes are filled with buds just waiting for a little bit of sunshine to help them burst forth.


We want to visually separate the ‘front’ part of the back yard between the house and the red barn from the “back forty” with a series of strategically-placed flower beds. 

Below is the first stage of two new beds. 


The photo below shows the initial plantings.

In the foreground and to the right is a flowering dogwood that we planted late last spring.


Here it is this year just starting to throw it’s beautiful salmon pink flowers.  In another week it should be in full bloom.


To give you some perspective as to where they are located, in the photo below you can see the new beds in the distance, to the left of the barn. 

We plan to add contour to the beds…rather than have them remain the boring rectangular shape that they are now…by digging out and shaping the borders a little at a time.  In so doing, not only will they look more natural but they will also increase in size and be able to accommodate more flowers.  You see, there is method to my madness here.  *wink*


Because our property is in a rural area, it is not uncommon to have many species of four-legged animals emerge from the woods to pay us, our flowers, veggies and fruit trees a visit.

Although I took this next photo through the window in our mud room late in the afternoon and in the early spring of this year , this is not an uncommon sight in our back yard.


There were actually five deer visiting but I only managed to capture four (look closely) in this photo.

And here is what was visiting in our neighbor’s back yard just a couple of days ago…a black bear, photographed from her deck just as it was returning to the woods at the edge of her property! 


I wonder if it was the same one that Mr. PQ spotted at the edge of the woods on our property while he was cutting the grass on the tractor the other day?  My guess would be yes.

Because of the abundance of wildlife, unless we were to erect a high fence around it, we had no alternative but to locate my veggie garden right outside our back door, the one we use all the time.  We thought that if we placed it close enough to the house…hence the term ‘kitchen garden’…then the critters would might be hesitant to invite themselves to dinner. 

So far so good.


Along with the rhubarb which is flourishing and just keeps on giving, I’ve planted several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, lettuce and some hot peppers for Mr. PQ.  My everyday herbs are located in the pot on top of the wooden barrel.


And so many of you have enquired about ‘Les Girls’.

I just came in from my morning visit with them when I top up their feed and give them fresh water.  They are doing really well but I must admit that because they are growing by leaps and bounds, they are also becoming more chicken-y looking by the day and their chick-y cuteness is quickly fading. 

After all, they are now 26 days old!


On a cold and rainy day this past week, I managed to take some time off to shop and finally purchased the fourth crate that I’ve been needing  for my “hands-on, go-to” stash.  I wanted to raise the fabric up one level so that it wouldn’t collect the dust that just might  gather on the floor.

I haven’t decided what I’ll put in the bottom crate but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.


And I just had to take this photo with the sun shining in on my featherweight and mini quilt.  Wouldn’t it make a pretty picture for a notecard?


Frankie says hi and wants to thank all of you who so kindly left a comment about my recently completed granny squares quilt.  He just wanted to tell you all that he loves it too!


Thanks for stopping by.



Jackie's Stitches said...

I can see why you fell in love with the property - it's gorgeous. Love the dear, the bear would scare me! :)

Maria said...

The garden are looking beautiful..
How nice to have the deer visit but I don't know about the bear...
Were I live we have Kangaroos visit..

Joan said...

Loved the tour! Your gardens are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kaaren,

Your gardens are looking lovely.

I think the crates are a great idea. Its nice to have the fabric in view and so readily available.

I plan to make the FFF for a young firend I am helping to learn to quilt. She is building up sewing supplies and it will make a nice additon.

Have a great day.


janzi said...

Utterly delightful post, and my goodness how hard you both have been working.. I know how hard it is to get a garden that great looking!! You are doing well and the ideas are smashing.. bet in a couple of years it will be so beautiful to sit in!!! hugs from across the pond!!xx

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I must say that visiting your blog is always so calming. I love everything about your home and gardens.....except maybe your neighbors bear. We do have a family of foxes that live under our storage building and deer walking through, but no bear.

gracie said...

I really have enjoyed the garden walk today. Les Girls are certainly feathering out quickly! Don't you love the wild life. Today I had a coyote at the garage door!

Carol said...

so enjoyed the garden tour. love your area of our world and have visited it once several years ago. so different from where we live in the deep south USA. our iris are long gone and I could NEVER have a Japanese maple except in almost complete shade. dogwoods the same. I have tried several and failed miserably. love them, tho. I have cleaned and refilled my hummingbird feeders this morning and watered my plants. love to watch them come and drink.

Carol said...

Forgot to mention I have printed off the FFF this month and will make it for a hostess gift for friend who is hosting my quilt bee for a tea party later this month. It is just too cute. And I also have marked the finished quilt you just posted (and when you had it in progress as well) for a MUST DO project. Love it. Have ordered my white fabric for it already!

Lori said...

You and hubby and landscape artists! It is looking lovely!!

Candace said...

What a thoroughly lovely post, Kaaren! I just love catching up around your garden! I expect in a few years time we won't even recognize it! What will you plant on your new arbor? I can understand the deer, but a bear? Uh, oh! Frankie may have to learn to be a guard cat! Les girls are really growing and oh, so pretty, too!

Kathy MacKie said...

Looking at your progress makes my heart happy and yes your Featherweight and quilt would be great.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

After hearing about all your gardening work, i think I need to be spending more time with my gardening efforts. Your gardening plans sound wonderful.

Thank you for sharing progress with the girls.

Ahhhh Frankie, would you consider sharing the quilt--he is one smart cat!

Beverley said...

Lovely garden Kaaren.
We don't have bears in Britain anymore, they went a few hundred years ago. Are your bears dangerous? Say, if you'd gone outside to put something in the bin (garbage), and there was a bear there, would it take a chunk out of you or run off?

Teresa F. said...

Your garden is wonderful, your property is magnificent.
I love your fabrics, I wish i had half of it.
Your Granny Squares quilt looks lovely and Frankie likes it,too.

Lesley said...

I love this post! And how you have shared your garden stories with us! Yourr long-term vision for your property is definitely coming together. You certainly have some interesting careful out there! I love the picture of your quilt and featherweight...yes, I see notecards! And I love quilt notecards!

Marsha B said...

Everything is so pretty! Thanks for the tour of your beautiful yard. It is fun to see all the critters but I hope they stay out of your veggies!

nlcalendar said...

Wonderful flower beds. You and Mr PQ are doing lovely things. I love iris's, so enjoyed seeing your heirloom one. M

sewprimitive karen said...

You're making the yard so beautiful. Frankie, stay away from that bear! Do you suppose the bear knows about the chickies?

Colleen said...

Thanks for the photo tour of the gardens. Your property is wonderful. We have three rose bushes in front of the house in one flower bed. I told my husband a couple of weeks ago that I think two of them are dead and he should take them leaves or buds on them. The other day I noticed the one living bush had no leaves on it. I think my grandson pulled them off when they were visiting. He must have wanted them to all look the same!

Darlene said...

I enjoyed "Sunday Musings" so much that I'm leaving your blog with a happy heart. Thank you for sharing, Kaaren.

Carrie P. said...

I just saw a story on the news this morning about how people are seeing more bears closer to people.
Your gardens look really great.
Yes, that photo would make very nice notecards.

Sandra Henderson said...

Lovely post Kaaren. I really love your home and gardens. The trellis if a very nice addition. Before you know it, you'll have roses or morning glories or something climbing up on it. It will be great fun watching your hard work take form. I do hope you keep us updated through the years of your transformation. The deer are so beautiful and I love the kitchen garden. Everything looks so healthy, included Les Girls. They are fun to watch transform into pullets. Wait until you start to get teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy pullet eggs. :)
You have such a sweet life... XO

Diana and LaDonna said...

You and your mister have such talent! How inspiring! Thanks for the beautiful pictures!


Nancy in IN said...

I love the flower garden. Mine don't look as nice but they are coming. I just planted some annuals for color; future I want almost all perennials. Our kids in VA near Manasseh have to have fence if they want to grow are garden. DDL thought she might try a container garden on the deck. Blessings

Miriam said...

I love seeing your growing garden. Beautiful photos. The japanese maple is going to be glorious when it grows. Looking forward to seeing your roses bloom too.
I kept making gardens beds here to cut down on the mowing! Lol
The wildlife in your area is amazing!!!
A great idea having your kitchen garden by the door.
The featherweight and mini quilt photo is beautiful.
Frankie is gorgeous!!!

Kathryn said...

I loved hearing how your gardening is going. In my home, my husband is the garderer and I'm the harvester. We just got back from 5 days away from home, and the zucchini are ready for picking. I'll be making your Zucchini Bread tomorrow and having a Zucchini Pasta dinner tomorrow with some friends who are visiting us this week. I hope your strategy of keeping the garden close to your house works out. I think our bunnies are brave enough to go anywhere. Enjoy your week. Kathie L in Allentown

Elyte said...

I enjoyed your spring/summer images. A bit of a tonic for us heading into our cold, grey winter.

JudyCinNC said...

This is so wonderful to see your "homestead" - and very exciting to see things growing and the beautiful progress - making it your own has always been my motto.
Thank you for sharing with us - so creative. JudyCnNC

Sandy said...

Great pictures of your yard. We are re-doing some areas this year also. After 34 years in the same house, the yard needs some much needed refreshing. Have a lovely week. P.S. I love the granny square block, it is one of my favorites.

Sandi said...


You and Mr. PQ have been very busy both inside and out.

Your plan seems to be coming together nicely and hopefully you will be enjoying summer evenings in the garden soon.


Merilyn said...

How nice to see things progressing so well for you in the garden and your cute little chooks! I am so behind on my blog reading lately, life does seem to get in the way, but it was lovely to catch up with how things are going for you! Your garden plans are looking great, nice to have deer visiting once in a while, not so sure about the bear LOL! but I guess they are not that interested in us per say! Your granny squares quilt turned out sensationally, it was nice to catch up with a few blog posts to see its progress! The quilting on it really makes it special. I'm glad to see you have been active in the garden, I hope you are gaining strength every day, what a joy it must be to see those little chicks grow, they will be laying before you know it LOL! Lovely to catch up with you Kaaren, I will continue to follow with great interest!!!

Shirley--Knot-y Embroidery Lady said...

I love how you see and share your life. Have a peaceful week.

Taryn said...

Thanks for sharing your garden pictures. I like seeing that the bed you started prior to your illness is thriving. I hope you are, as well.

Ali said...

Your completed flower bed looks lovely. Thanks for showing us all around your garden. Really interesting and great to see the wildlife and your little chicks.
Ali x

Annette-California said...

Fantastic tour of your beautiful grounds. Loved every photo:) I sure hope you are feeling as beautiful and well as your garden looks. love Annette

Vickie said...

I had a wonderful visit! Your gardens are beautiful! We also have dear visitors but thankfully no bears! It's good to have your garden by your door. When we first moved to the country and planted a garden our "visitors" went through it leaving it looking like a tornado came through!
Thanks for sharing!

Janet O. said...

You are ambitious gardeners with a beautiful yard. Those first visitors are beautiful to see--that last one in your neighbor's yard--not so much!
Your sewing room is looking so organized. Do you hire out--for gardening and organizing? : )

Barb said...

beautiful! I really like your island garden and its filled in nicely.
The chicks look great!

thanks for a tour!

Needled Mom said...

The gardens look beautiful, but I could pass on all of those four legged creatures.

The girls are growing so quickly! Before long you will be enjoying the eggs.

Siobhán said...

Your gardens are coming along so nicely! Dogwood--oh, how I love those trees! Your kitchen garden sounds great, too. Heirloom tomatoes--yummmmm.

Ter'e said...

Look at that beautiful Granny Squares quilt!!!! How gorgeous is that?????
The yard is also looking so beautiful. I loved the property when you bought it - now I love it and it really feels like home. You two are working so hard on it!!!!
That's a good thing. It means you are feeling, more and more, like our beloved Kaaren!!!!!!!

Allie said...

I can visualize your yard with all the beds and flowers - Kaaren, it will be stunning. I could handle seeing deer, but a bear? Not so much. The "girls" are really growing, they seem to be quite happy at your place!

Your studio looks wonderful and yes, that picture would make an awesome card. I see Frankie has decided that quilt was for him - it's wonderful!

Margaret said...

The transformation, of nearly nothing to something beautiful is challenging also very rewarding. In your case the workover is looking lovely, and the perfume and eye appeal have made something into a special reward.

Susan Southam wrote a book called Velvet Pears. She lives on the coast of N.S.W. if you can get it at your library I am sure it will inspire you , it is a story of creating beauty.

Jantine said...

Unbelievably gorgeous this garden. Imagine bears and deer...
Maybe some baskets in the lowest crate??? That might prevent the dust to sweep in?

roccagal said...

You have such a gorgeous property and your gardens are just lovely!

I luv your granny squares quilt!!

Frankie had really turned into a handsome fella!
Be well-your blog always makes me smile!

Dorothy said...

Your garden is looking good. Such a lot of work getting it how you want it. The quilting on your quilt is magnificent and you quilt looks lovely.

antique quilter said...

your gardens are going to be wonderful
isn't it amazing to see how much they grow year to year
Love the idea of making them a bit bigger each year adding more flowers. HOw nice it will be to have cut flowers in the house all summer
ah Yes that would make a great note card love the the featherweight! and quilt!

Carole said...

So glad to read that you are much better and able to continue with your dream. I do like how your home is progressing. Are those Rhode Island Reds? I have 4 teenagers! The are hilarious to watch. They hang out in a group, unlike my 5 adults, which are Jersey giants (I think). It was our first year so I did not pay attention to the bread. Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I always so enjoy visiting and amazed at the amount of work you and your hubby can get done between posts.
I saved your deer photo(my hubby loves them)as our desktop wallpaper, and received a surprise. There are actually four deer. You did better than you thought, deer are not easy to photograph. The "fourth" deer is right behind the deer on the left.

blessings, jilly