Monthly Archives: May 2009

Sprinkler Systems

After the sun comes out
How it alters the World-
Waggons like messengers hurry about
Yesterday is old-

All men meet as if Each foreclosed a news-
Fresh as a Cargo from Batize
Nature’s qualities-

Emily Dickinson (1148, 1869)

Weather: Sunny–80 yesterday–will be 80’s again today. The pasture is looking green–a mix of grass, alfalfa and weeds–it still has a long way to go. Had hay delivered during the weekend–$185 a ton–poor quality–we were disappointed. We worked on the sprinkler system all weekend.

Sprinkler Systems are wonderful. With all the planting we’ve done this Spring, it will be nice to know it will all be getting plenty of water.

We have lived here 2 years, and have put this project off all that time, but we’re so close to having it down now.

Here is what we’ve done so far:

1. Our oldest son designed the system–measured out the dimensions–divided the yard into 6 separate “systems”, and went to the store and bought all of the parts for us–pipes, sprinkler heads, system controller, etc. He also put flags in the ground where each head would be.

2. Prepped the Yard: Had 22 yards of topsoil delivered (could have used more), sprayed for weeds on the first nice day, then tilled the yard and raked out the new topsoil with the tractor.

3. Spray painted the lines for the pipes onto the dirt, then rented a Ditch Witch ($140.00), which is like a HUGE chainsaw, and dug into the ground following the spray painted lines.

4. Rolled out pipe into the ditch.

5. Next will be splicing all of those pipes together (2 clamps) and tying them into the main system controller. Then, attaching sprinkler heads where they’ve been marked on the map.

tilling 09

ditch witch


pipes in ditch

As usual, the thing that took the most time was equipment failures. The Ditch Witch broke right aff the bat, and it took about 2 hours to fix.

Still, we’re coming along fast! I won’t have to spend too much more time walking around and hand-watering each plant.

Do you have sprinkler systems at your house? Or, do you prefer the one-on-one, tending of your plants by hand–including their watering?


I Survived Winter 2009

I hate cold
Don’t love rain
Temps below 40
Are are a blankety-blank pain!

Emily Dickinson’s Garden, 2009

As you’ve noticed, I’ve been gone for some time. What have I been doing in my garden? SURVIVING!

The “poem” above sums up the last couple of weeks. How would Emily have written it? How about this?

Cold–I hate
Don’t love–Rain
Weather–below 40

Ummm…don’t think she would have written this poem.

More and more, I’m beginning to see why she loved her Conservatory. I’ve been begging my husband, if we ever have an extra–$30,000 or so–sitting around, build me a glass solarium off the house. Winters are brutal.

The weather is beautiful now, but what got me through the bad days were the bulbs. Those darling Daffodils and Tulips–Hyacinths—so brave against the cold! I could look out my window anytime and see them cheery as could be in their places–no matter how windy or foul the weather.

I did an accounting and looks like everything made it, except the Geraniums–oh, and my “purple grass”. I think I was a little premature planting that. Somehow I got it in my head that Spring came a couple months ago when we had those first nice days. Silly me!

This weekend we start the Sprinkler System–we have all the parts and are ready to go. I’ll have lots of pictures to post by Sunday!

Until then, Happy Gardening–and I haven’t forgotten the book giveaway!

Book Share

I like to think of this next drawing as a “book share”, though you don’t have to return the book. There’s nothing like sharing a great book with a friend, especially when you know how much joy it will bring them.

Marta McDowell’s book is one of these. It’s one of the books that really inspired me to plant a symbolic garden–a garden where a flower was more than just a flower. I call it my poetic space, and I will refer to her book over and over, season after season, as each one of these plantings takes on deeper and more profound meaning in my life.

Here is my book:




I wasn’t much of a gardener before this. The only thing I had real experience with were herbs and roses–a few shrubs, ferns and hostas. There was one rose in particular that I loved most of all, and I’m not sure its name, but it had big pink, fleshy petals–a huge rose. We’d planted our last son’s placenta underneath it after his birth, and that rose flourished!

I had lived in that house for about twelve years, and it saw all of my children as infants, so I drive by it a lot even today–mostly because of the plantings there–and memories. I planted flowering plum, lilac, rose, thyme, and others, which I can still see from the road without stalking the new owner too much.

Is there a special home in your own life–one that brings a wealth of memories?

***Please leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for the book share–we’d love to have you join our discussion.*****

The Winner of the Teleflora Bouquet Give-Away

Fame is a bee.
It has a song-
It has a sting-
Ah, too, it has a wing.

Emily Dickinson (year 1898, #1763)

We have a winner…but first I want to say that because this blog is visited by old friends, new friends and family, I wanted someone else to choose the winner while I photographed the process. And, I also want to add, that I’m starting another give-away for the book Emily Dickinson’s Garden by Marta McDowell–a book which, if you have not read, you will love, and if you have read, and you win it, would be a good one to give someone else as a gift. So, in two weeks we’ll choose another name for that.

Now for the winner…

First, there were the names.


Then there was the drawing.


Then there was the winner.


If you can’t read my writing, you don’t win! (Just kidding) Congratulations, and thanks to all who entered! We’ll look forward to a picture of that bouquet sometime in the near future!

Here is what’s growing in the garden.

Maybe this is the Bleeding Heart coming back to me.


And the ferns are shooting up…


The tulips have opened….



they look fantastic among the Daffodils.


Spring can’t hide from us (here in Zone 6) much longer! May is going to force it out!

How is the weather in your Zone?

Countdown to the Giveaway

I’m getting the give-away ready this morning–counting all those entries and putting them in a container to be drawn. To be fair, I said I’d have someone else do it and take a picture. So, the person drawing will be my husband when he has some free time around 11:30.

This weekend, we planned and purchased all the the equipment for our Sprinkler System. Grand total so far, $1,600. This will be front, back and sides. We’ll also have to build more retaining walls and create some bark or rock pathways around the house.

You know the little alcove we created in the back–the area where we planted all the bulbs and the Japanese Maple? We bought a firepit for that area this weekend–$79.00 at Lowes–and the men and grandchildren went out on the 4-wheelers to bring back wood for a wonderful bonfire. Everyone sat back there in that newly planted space and relaxed.

What a sweet area! And, those Tulips and Daffodils…wonderful! I LOVE bulbs!

Also during the weekend, I took the ladies YARD SALING! One of the sales we found was raising money for rescued pets. It was put on by an Agronomist from WSU who was selling starts directly from her yard. I purchased a Peony, Hydrangea, Bleeding Hearts and Irises from her, and I need to plant those this morning. Our daughter purchased some well-started strawberries.

Do you remember the Bleeding Heart I thought was dead? Well, there is some new growth around it now….hmmmm…maybe not dead?

More later–hopefully pictures, too–and the winner of the Teleflora Bouquet Drawing. No more comments will apply to that drawing, but all new comments will apply to the next give-away–one of the books this blog is based on–Emily Dickinson’s Gardens, by Marta McDowell. It’s a great resource for gardeners and lovers of poetry!

More later….