Thursday, April 25, 2013

Daff's a blooming..

Spring has been slow to arrive this year.... It seems everyone is saying the same thing. No one wants to be grudge mother nature's bounty of plentiful rain for the Great Lakes except now its in excess and basements are flooding, roads are closed. The rain has greened up the lawn and brought out the earlier spring flowers but warmth is needed if we are going to get any tulips in time for Holland Tulip Time festival which starts May 5th.
At Mermaid in Frog Holland I am thankful for the abundance of Daffodils that opened up and spread their cheerful faces all over the garden. I did manage to get out and lift and divide them. Instead of the "plunk" "plunk" of 10 or so bulbs every 4 feet that the past owner had placed them in I have moved them around the beds to suit my individual taste.


Primula's are a spring time favorite of mine after living over in the UK for years. There were none in this garden so I added just 5 clumps. I particularly liked the ones of multiple colours. I picked out five pots and have placed them in the west bed together hoping they will grow into a bigger splash to be seen from the kitchen window.


I still have Hellebore's looking fairly decent although with the predicted 70 degree and up weather this next week Im sure they won't be looking this good for long. The warmer weather Im sure will have my garden flourishing right before my eyes. I've been out weeding and edging and still moving things about while I can. I hope to get the last of the remaining mulch from the fall on the beds around the house. The mulch has been worth its cost in the reduced amount of weeding. I've also cleaned out the pond and sprayed the rocks down. rearranged the rocks and made sure the liner was covered. I look forward to the new blooms and huge advances happening in the garden weekly now that warmer weather is forecasted.
No frogs as yet! perhaps the warmer weather will bring them out as well as the tulips.
This is all from Mermaid at Frog Hollow for this week...
I look forward to seeing who's walking my garden and getting back in touch with my gardening friends.
Im linking up with Outdoor Wednesday again...

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oooops! Please accept these flowers as my apology....


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So for several posts as some of you know I could not get the photos to enlarge other then the first one. Last night I went in through Google rather then Explorer and it dawned on me just by chance that the photos were all enlarging! I then spent considerable time going back and enlarging all the past post photos...Say that five times fast!. I also realized at that time that the post "Tulum" had never actually posted although I did have it scheduled.....  I rescheduled it... it still didn't go!. I've finally gotten it to publish. Then I noticed that the Ice Sculpture post resent... I could give you a whole list of why these things happen to me but they will only sound like excuses. Instead I will share my latest creative endeavor... I took part in a floral display workshop this morning put on by the Holland Garden Club.  A very well spent $10.00 as that was the workshop and all supplies.
I am trying to smile and think myself lucky that we haven't as yet had all the ice and snow that others have face the past few days. However when one even remembers their umbrella and still ends up absolutely soaking wet from the near horizontal rains that all pelting down outside...It takes effort to remember that the rain is a "life giving blessing"...  Then I read Glenda's post from Edmonton Alberta where she states she still has 3 feet of snow.. a shiver runs over me not from the damp clothes and I smile and feel "lucky".

Hopefully I have fixed the "glitches" and I will have this working right for the future with nice enlarged photos that one can actually see!

Stay warm for those of you with snow... Stay dry for those of us with the rain...Sunshine is coming..It is!
I know it is.........


Tulum Mexico 2013

One of the day trips we took was a day to Tulum for half a day and then the other half was over to the
Xel Ha park. When I came through these ruins 10 years ago the guides were amazing with all the information that they gave us about the ruins and what each of the buildings were thought to be used for. Our guide this time was far more interested in trying to get us to buy a parchment paper which I'm sure was from some relative!

Even though there was a lack of guidance from our guide.... I remembered some of the buildings from before and was able to pass on the history that I did remember to Bear.


One of the things I did notice was the vast difference in the vegetation around the ruins. It seemed to me that the jungle was certainly growing in around the ruins.

It was a mild day so the iguana's were not out in the freakish numbers as they were ten years ago either! I remember thinking it was a bit like an Alfred Hitchcock movie back then!

A view of the beautiful beach and the gorgeous water. We didn't swim as we knew we were headed for Xel Ha and it wasn't hot enough to need a dip to cool down. However, I'm sure that on a much normal hotter day that that water would of been wonderfully refreshing.

Here is the shot of the spikes growing up the tree. It reminded me at the time of something perhaps would of been used as a trap in a Harrison Ford movie like Raiders of the Lost Ark!

While the guide was busy trying to talk all the tourists into buying a parchment from his cousin I was off looking at the flowers and snapping pictures... I also forgot to look where I was standing and had a swarm of black ants run up my leg which started to bite and it burned far worse then I remember ant bites feeling ever. The bites then grow into red welts adding to the already attractiveness of the head cold!

These men are some 20 feet in the air and that top is spinning! It was a neat sight to see and had I had my wits about me instead of trying hard not to scratch the ant bites I would of thought to of taken a video of this for you.
I guess this means you will have to go and see the Mayan for yourselves.
Thanks for dropping by and visiting my blog. Again I promise to start blogging about
gardening and plants again soon.. things are coming up and some things are even starting to bloom!
more on that in the next day or two.
I hope all of you had a meaningful Easter and are enjoying Spring break.










Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hollands Ice Sculptures


In December downtown Holland held an Ice Sculpture contest. It was barely freezing that day so a great time to wonder around and enjoy the event. Since the sidewalks are actually heated to prevent ice and snow build up....the sculptures were melting right in front of our eyes.


The main street is a one way street and was blocked off to traffic making it safe for family's to wander and enjoy.

Each sculpture had a code that you could "text" in to vote for your favorite.

Fish of all species were everywhere.


The smaller or finer detail of the sculptures started to melt faster as shown here.



The designer carved these the night before. The had to be with in weight and size restrictions and
then carried from where they were sculpted to be set in front of the various stores. This
competition was for designing ice sculptures that would be displayed at weddings etc.

Which would you have voted for?

I'm sorry I have not posted for a couple months...time has really slipped away on me what
with all the other things going on. Thank you to all the people who have emailed wondering
where I've been. Its nice to know you've been missed.

I'm back now.....














April showers bring......

The Crocus continue to please me popping up in waves of colour through out different beds.


I even found a couple tucked in under big leaves of Bergenia cordifolia and I moved a "Toad house" to get a better look only to find three more happily growing inside the Toad house..




This wine coloured Hellebore brightens up an area under a tree. I pulled some of the older leaves
that got hit by an earlier hard freeze. the blooms are numerous.



White Hellebore on the dark mulch really pop out. 
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This is Heuchera  Caramel planted around the base of a big tree to lighten and contrast with the dark green of the Hellabore and the leaves of the Ligularia when it grows.
Although the Heuchera  Caramel  isn't flowering it really isn't planted for its flowers much as a lot
of the newer species of Heuchera which are loved for their vibrant foliage colours adding interest 
for at least three seasons..


These are existing Pansy's.. I have yet to get out and plant the new flats in..
I did uncover some little Viola's and thought I took a picture of them... I will for next week!
I hope to be able to get out and transplant the Pansy's this weekend. Then the garden will
have a lot more colour to it. 
Daffodils continue to grow daily by  leaps and bounds and with the current life giving rains we have
been getting positively charged from the thunder and lightening then with luck they will start to open in the next week as the weather is once again suppose to get up well over 50.
I found my first daffodil opening. Happiness floods my whole being as I know it won't be long before the
frogs will return to Frog Hollow and the Mermaid will once again come out to play..
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These are real wicker chairs that also came with a table. A client I sold a house to didn't want them and so sold them to me for $50.00. I've painted the one on the left with a coat of paint. I think they are cleaning
up very nicely. The table has a removable tray. I can't wait to share with you what I have planned for it!.
Its a wet windy Wednesday here. But this time of year the rain is far more welcomed then snow! 
I swear I can see the grass greening up and the perennials pushing and unfurling up through the mulch. Stretching and yawning as they push their first leaves up.  I love this time of year walking around and seeing what has survived. I did add a lot of plant material and then did some late year dividing and transplanting. Moving plants around to create what I hope will be far more pleasing waves of colour, contrast, form, and repetition with a lot of my own personal design style thrown in. It doesn't mean it will be any more "right" then the previous owner before me.. It will be just a lot more  "ME"... 
What projects are you tackling lately?. Are you changing up your beds?. Adding a new colour theme? 
Perhaps like me you are looking at your long list of "I want too" and wondering which one to start with.
I'm taking the approach of "Eat the Elephant one bite at a time"....
What gets done will get done... It is after all, all for my enjoyment so I'm just relaxing and not stressing and 
enjoying every hour I get to play and learn in my own garden. If it doesn't turn out the way I've pictured it then I will just tweak it till it all fits together.
Thanks for stopping by and walking my garden. Let me know you've been.  I welcome all comments, suggestions and even corrections!
Im linking up with  A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday...
enjoy..
Im also linking up with Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday...




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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Fools day

April 1st and the joke was certainly on us! We had 58 degree weather for Saturday and 55 on Sunday. Monday saw the temperatures down to 36 degrees yet again!. The snow has for the most part other then the in the shadow of the trees melted and the perennials are all pushing up through the new mulch. I was feeling blue what with the cool temperatures so stopped into one of my favorite garden centers to see what they have been up to and as always I've come away with a little  "colour".
I have only a couple Pansy's in my garden and as I find their faces a delight to look at I am adding more. To limit myself to only on tray would of taken another half hour so I bought three!. I'm sure that I will find plenty of places to add them through out Frog Hollow.

Daffodils pushed up about a week ago when the snow was barely off their heads. What hardy little wonders they are. I had meant to get out and try to divide them as Francis over in Fairy Garden posted but time is something that has been very short around here! Plus, what time I did get in the garden was spent cutting down the mammoth ornamental grasses and weeding.. YES! the weeds are growing. 


The start of the Crocus that was planted last fall. A very welcome spring delight for our garden.
I can't wait to see all the various bulbs emerging and surprising me throughout the season.
I promise to show the Hellebore's next time along with the rest of the beauties that awaken and
enchant me. Drawing me into the garden and diverting my attention from the office work I really must get back too!.
What wonders are bringing the child out in you this week. What is blooming in your garden on this April fools day.  I must really check and see what Tootsie is up too! Has she started her Friday link up for Fertilizer Fridays.. I really have been out of it and head deep into my work. Although its been great for work it alas means that all the reading I had hoped to do and all the various garden craft projects have yet to be done. But with the return of Spring I feel my energy level also increasing and perhaps my projects will start getting checked off  my "I want too" list.
I did discover Pinterest over the winter. Its a very quick way to spend five minutes of down time. Its increase my list of ideas for garden projects though. Are you on Pinterest? If send me a message and let me know you were in my garden and I will check out your boards.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Xel Ha Mexico 2013


One of our days was spent at Xel Ha.. a peaceful float down a very slow moving river looking at parrot fish swimming below us, snorkeling and then eating at this wonderful Catina. The upstairs level where we would of had the most spectacular view over the bay was actually closed but when I asked if I could go up and take pictures they did let me. This is what I found waiting for me upstairs! Not sure I have a place for him in my garden  (after all he might not get along with the mermaid or the frogs!)  but I do think that I could use the inspiration to create something along the same line as the ones following

These pieces of driftwood art work sat on top of all the buffet areas. I'm sure I haven't been the only person going around and taking pictures rather then eating! I have been inspired though!  Just where oh where do I find the driftwood? Back at Fran├žois Lake B.C. where I grew up driftwood was easy to come by. I once even had a stall along the road selling it one summer as a teenager!



I love the soothing shade of blue echoed in the glassware. and the silver ribbons of reed like grass.

Here's a shot that shows the silver grass like closer up for those of you who have been inspired as well.

I'm not sure what Bear was thinking as I went around snapping pictures. The Mexican people were watching me though.

Even these little fish made out of rocks and driftwood caught my eye as keeping fish in our pond seems to be impossible! I'm looking for fish that won't disappear in the middle of the night.

A Sailfish. It would of been awesome to actually go out deep sea fishing but it just did not happen for us this trip.
Now as you know while in Mexico I came down with a horrible head cold so I did not get to go snorkeling with the Bear. I did however find a plant nursery to wander through while he was snorkeling.

This nursery was open for anyone who wanted to find a shady place of peace and tranquility away from all the other park users. The plants themselves were not exactly thrilling as they are started and used as replacement plants throughout the park.

 It was at least a little bit of salve for my soul since I knew what a wonderful time Bear was having snorkeling with all the beautiful colorful fish. I wished I would of had a book with me that I might of sat by a water fountain and just read the afternoon away.



I did find this sign though which answered some questions I had after going to Tulum. There was a tree that was covered in these prehistoric looking spikes! I marveled at the trees defense mechanisms. I'm sure that animals that otherwise would scratch on the truck or try to rub antlers etc would certainly think twice with these sticking out for about five feet up the tree!


I thought the little bit they tell us about the tree was interesting. I hope you enjoy.

The weather here in Holland Michigan is certainly giving hope that Spring has arrived!
The sun is shining by this time last year we had at least 20 days of over 60 degree weather... This year we have yet to reach 60 once! I guess that the Tulip festival will have far more Tulips to be seen which is a good thing for the tourism as last year it was a stem fest!

I hope all my fellow gardeners are finding that they are unfurling and stretching and coming alive with the return of Spring! I look forward to blogging about gardening and reading all of yours. Please excuse the long period of silence. I have been using the time to draw and strategically plan my garden. I've also been incredibly busy with selling Real estate here in Holland. Things are certainly looking far more prosperous for us!