The invitations for the Mad Hatter Tea Party on July 15th are back from the printer and ready to be mailed. It's getting real. I can hardly wait.
We'll be putting the invitations in the mail tomorrow. If you are local and would like an invitation, please send me a message with your mailing address. It's going to be a great event for my favorite cause.
What's happening in my backyard lately? I can't make sense of it.
First the ducks, then a frog, now this?
Seriously? I knew she was in the neighborhood, but today she was inside my deer fence. Grrr. And a fawn knows to stay put and wait for her mama... so she simply wouldn't be shooed away.
Then we brought out the big dog. But neither animal knew what to make of the other. And the fawn would simply not budge.
Finally, they sniffed each other - and the fawn decided to be urged out of my yard so she could wander back to her "nest" on the wooded area on the other side of my fence. Mama was waiting the entire time in the neighbor's yard where she could watch.
If that's not enough, we have a frog that has taken up residence in our pool. He's not stuck. He just keeps returning for a swim. I don't get it. It can't be good for him - but he likes it - chlorine and all. I've already removed him a few times... and he keeps turning up back in the pool. My backyard is turning into a petting zoo.
Not to be left out, my ducky duo made a landing on their "pond" but the problem with ducks in your back yard is that they leave droppings. This will not do!
Seriously, frogs and ducks in my pool? I haven't even used my pool yet this summer.
I shooed these little guys away. While I think they have a nest nearby, I would prefer not to have any wildlife inside my fence. So I think I'll have Wilma doing her business in the back yard which has forever before been off limits to her. Bulldogs and swimming pools don't mix. She knows she's not allowed in the backyard.
While I love wildlife in nature... I'm not sure I consider my backyard nature. After I snapped these pictures and put my phone away, I saw a woodpecker picking a tree to drill. I expect to see the fox and groundhog next. Who needs a zoo when you have a backyard like this!
I'm picking up new hobbies this year. In addition to painting, sewing and quilting, I'm starting to spend more time in my garden. I'm really enjoying it. I also have a goal. I want my garden to be ready for The Mad Hatter Tea Party that I'm hosting on July 15, 2014.
My dear friend Joanne organized this tea party for several years as a fundraiser for a women's health and recovery center which has since been absorbed by a larger institution and "retired" the event.
So with Joanne's blessing and advice, I resurrected this very fun event to help keep the 10,000 youth in Scouting going strong in Connecticut. If you'd like to learn more about this event, please leave me a comment or email me and I'll be happy to help. You can also join our Mad Hatter Tea Party Facebook Group. It's going to be great fun.
I've been so busy in my garden, trying to fix it from the very cold, hard winter we suffered, and trying to jazz it up and give it new life. Tuesday I went to Filanowski's Farm in Milford and got some gorgeous impatiens. I meant to plant them yesterday, but time got away from me. This morning, my plans were thwarted by a lot of rain. It's so wet, that it's probably great for planting, but less so if you're a neophyte like me.
In fact, it's so wet outside, that it's really only fit for the ducks that have claimed my backyard as their home. I don't know where their nest is, but I definitely expect to see little ducklings very soon. That should be fun. Hopefully my impatiens will be in the ground by then.
Stay dry today folks. It's a good day for indoor sewing, knitting or computer work.
I love going to the Westport Farmer's Market. Even though I support our local CSA at Stone Gardens Farms from Shelton, CT and have more vegetables than I can shake a stick at, I like to visit the Farmer's Market in town. There are great vendors of various things beyond vegetables. Some of my favorites include
I told the vendor at Beltane Farm how I like to make a goat cheese salad. I thought I'd share it with you. It's so easy and it turns an ordinary garden salad into a scrumptious delectable treat from the garden (or in this case, Farmer's Market).
You'll need three ingredients to turn any salad into a Farmer's Market delight.
Beltane Farm's Fresh Chevre - or your favorite goat cheese
Italian Style bread crumbs
Put a very small amount of olive oil in one dish and the bread crumbs in another.
Using unflavored dental floss, slice a one-inch thick slab of cheese.
Coat cheese in olive oil.
Coat in the Italian bread crumbs.
Bake on a sheet covered with aluminum foil at about 450 degrees for 5-10 minutes just until the cheese is warm and soft. I prefer to use my toaster oven. The cheese will be very soft, so gently transfer to the top of your salad.
My friend Ellen is a past president of our local Westport Garden Club ("WCG"). She has been a great friend this year helping me learn a little bit more about taking care of my deer infested garden. I know. In Connecticut, that last part is redundant. I offered Ellen half of my Elephant Ear Hosta for the WGC's spring plant sale. I had no idea how intense the root ball of a senior hosta could be. We used a saw to separate the roots!
Yesterday, she came back and helped me plant twenty new green plants for my backyard.
We planted three types of hosta (along with four of the elephant ear hostas that we transplanted from my overgrown plants last month).
We planted some grasses for the shade.
I went to Gilbertie's Nursery in town looking for some annuals. I found this lovely metal pig, but he didn't come home with me, jiggety jog.
These oversized ceramic glazed vases caught my eye. I was thinking of planting a distinct boxer bush inside and placing them in the yard for an eye catching spot.
But back to our green plants. We planted some ferns for the shade as well.
I'm excited to watch them grow and spread and have green growing everywhere! Next up will be some deer repellent spray. Do you have any good experience with the spray? Which brand do you like the best?
My friend Ellen and I went to a garden fundraiser in Bridgeport today called Vines & Vignettes. It was a delightful way to spend a Saturday morning - on a gorgeous day and for a good cause. I learned about this event because my friend and health coach, Amie Guyette Hall, was one of the vendors at this event.
Ellen and I visited all the vendors in the distinct vignettes and paused to chat with Amie at her By the Sea garden. You'll remember Amie as the Square Foot Gardening coach.
Amie created a colorful decorated fantasy garden that would make anyone want to spend more time in their garden. We wandered around, listened to a lifestyle lecture by Mar Jennings, then came back for Amie's presentation about Square Foot Gardening.
After Amie's class, she had a hanging flower basket door prize for one lucky member of the audience.
At one of the vendors, I even spotted a few garden pigs. I might have to go back and find a pig for my garden.
This one is my favorite pig. But there were other choices, too. There was a large 18"x24" pig out of recycled materials.
I bought two books at the event today. One was the Square Foot Gardening book - and the other was Mar Jennings' most recent book - Life on Mar's: A Four Season Garden. Both books gave me great ideas that are attainable and I already have plans to get a start on both ideas tomorrow.
One last plug. This garden landscape was created by two-young men - one of whom I have known since the first week I moved to Connecticut in 2003. He's now a senior at UConn and has started his own landscape business. He's one of the hardest working young men I know. If you're looking for someone for your yard in Westport or the surrounding area, I cannot say enough good things about him. Drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with him. Look how gorgeous this pond is.
I wish I had taken more pictures as it was really a picture-perfect day. You can see more photos of the lovely home and other vendors at the Vines & Vignettes Facebook page.