Forward - From the Heartland of Carolina

This is a continuing story of the journey Forward shared by 2 people, Lynne and Tom. Both love to LIVE life to it's fullest, which currently means spending lots of time outdoors, working on various projects from gardens to patios, flowers to vegetables, sunrises and sunsets, birds and woodland critters, and spending time with family. Don't forget to check the monthly archives, and please feel free to leave us a comment so we know you stopped by.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hello again - Trust you all had

a nice holiday weekend. We had a great one spent with family and a really good cookout on Monday. Celeste - what can I say about her - she is getting sooooooo big and standing up and walking around holding on to things. Her smile is engaging and she is taking notice of everything going around her. We spent a good bit of time in her great-grandmas room and great grandma got a chance to hold her which is very special to us. The smile on both their faces was enough to light up the darkest night - it was so very precious. We did get pictures with a store bought throw away camera because ours is still in the repair shop - ggggrrrrrrr. Tom will get them scanned in and on the blog as soon as he can. The boys spent the day being typical boys - video games and playing in the woods. I think the final critter count was 1 chameleon and 1 small lepherd frog. We did try to get John to leave the frog here but it was a failed attempt. I think eventually all the critters on the west side of Clayton will be residing on the east side of Clayton - they seem to take a couple home everytime they are here.

The gardens are full of color (another reason I hate not having the digital right now) The place changes every day as old flowers fade out and new ones fill the space. The larkspur is on the downhill so the soft blues, purples and pinks of that plant will fade away but the poppies are picking up steam and are going to be gorgeous. The sweetpeas are my real triumph this year and we are enjoying them so much. I have enough to pick fresh bouquets everyday for the house. I don't know if it was the weather, perfect planting place or just dumb luck but I really hit the jackpot on them. I have tried for years to grow sweetpeas and dreamed of handfuls of them in every color and this was the year. The hollyhocks are in full bloom right now and will g ive us a good show till the dreaded japanese beetles appear. Gloriosa daisies, rudbeckia and black-eyed susans are beginning to bloom and will continue till fall. I started several new cultivars of them that I am really excited to see bloom - sure hope they come true to the seed packet. One rudbeckia is called 'Irish Eyes' bright yellow daisy petals with a green center. All the salvias are starting to bloom - again many of these started from seed or by stem cuttings. We love it when new plants come into their own after Tom and I have nurtered them from a small cutting or from seeds. We feel in our own small way we are giving back to God's world after he has blessed us so much.

The vegetable garden continues to give us fresh veggies. We have been picking cabbage, brocolli, sweet peas, beets, lettuce, carrots right along and have had enough to freeze also. Those veggies are almost done but bush beans are setting little pods, pole beans are blooming, tomatoes - oh my gosh - are we going to have a ton of them - little baby tomatoes have already started from plants the Tom started this past winter. The first of the corn is about 3 ft tall and he has started 3 different plantings several weeks apart. Can't wait to sample that first ear - yummy.

Couldn't finish the blog without mentioning the birds - hummingbirds are back in full force and provide morning entertainment as we drink our coffee on the back porch. Several families of wrens have been visiting the feeders with the babies doing their little wing flappy thing to get mommie and daddy to feed them. We have had one family of bluebirds. one family of titmice raise young in our birdhouses and now a mommy and daddy flycatcher are building a nest in the martin house and we have been watching them on a daily basis fly in and out all day. One thing we have noticed the male never brings any nesting supplies but he does accompany the female on each of her trips - wonder if he will do any egg sitting duty or help feed the babies. It really is the best kind of education - watching it all unfold.

When Tom blogs again and posts some pictures he will have some more exciting news of discoveries here at the 'heartland'. I will give him the pleasure of putting it in his words - he does it far better than I ever can and so until then..........

thank you all for stopping and reading our journey. We love reading your comments and to the person who asked the question about WSing, please join us over at . It is all explained there far better than I can do it here - go to the FAQ's and there are pictures and everything. It really changed our whole approach to gardening and REALLY works and has given us so much fun this past winter and so many many plants that we could never find much less even afford to buy from a nursery

Life continues to be good here in the 'Heartland'

Lynne ~~he who plants a seed - believes in tomorrow~~

Friday, May 19, 2006

Spring is well underway

and what a difference from last year. This time last year - Tom was still at the beach although he was in the process of moving his stuff inland. I was going crazy with wedding plans and wondering if we could pull this off in the back yard - would the yard look nice?? - would the weather be nice?? would everything fall into place?? It was a very exciting time yet a very scary time. A year later things are sooooo different - we now face spring with a much slower pace of life - taking time to savor each and every change our gardens present us. WinterSowing which I have mentioned before was an amazing success - I have more plants that I could ever dream possible - the gardens are bursting at the seam with new babies. Pictures will be forthcoming once we get the camera back from being repaired - can't believe that it decided to act up when we needed it most but such is life.........

Tom and I were able to get away for a few days a couple of weeks ago for the first time since Mom got so sick. We were finally able to use one of our wedding gifts - a gift certificate to a B&B of our choice for two nights that Ruth, Lee and Tracey and spouses gave us. We decided to go back to the OuterBanks where it all started and spent three very wonderful days on Ocracoke Island. Tom was able to go fishing and caught 3 fish - two of which he could bring home and I just sat and drank in the ocean. It was so very relaxing and a much needed break. Ruth stayed with Mom and we came back home home to a very clean house with fresh cut flowers from the garden all over the place - THANK YOU Ruth :):):)

The bird activity in the yard has been GREAT - the pileated woodpecker is a daily visitor - we have a pair of indigo buntings nesting close by, a titmouse family is being raised in the martin house with a chickadee family in another compartment, bluebirds have nested in one of the bluebird houses. Nightly we hear the whipperwill and of course have the assorted cardinals, bluejays, gold finches, and other song birds visit the feeders, The black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars are munching on the fennel so will expect to see coccoons pretty soon. We have a really HUGE tadpole in the pond (about the size of a tennis ball) so expect to see another bullfrog soon - of course there are a gazillion smaller tadpoles. Obviously we are doing something right as far as our nature critters go.

Will catch you up more on the family in a later journal when we can post updated pictures but for now - rest assured - that life continues to be good in the 'heartland'

Lynne ~~he who plants a seed - believes in tomorrow~~