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Fun at The Flower Barn

After work today, I drove out Barringer Road in Ilion, NY, to the Flower Barn.  I have yet to out together my container garden, but I think this weekend it could happen!  I have been meaning to get out there before this, but with one thing and another… well, these things happen.

And they are awesome!

Full disclosure:  the above picture is one I took last year, when I was writing about The Flower Barn for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  Today I went straight from work and did not have my Tablet with me.  I did, however, have my mask.  I was pleased to note most other people were masked as well.

I had made up my mind not to go overboard, as I have a tendency to do.  However, once I had two plants in my hand, I realized the efficacy of using a cart.  I saw a flat wagon that seemed to be free.

“Is that your wagon?” I asked a nearby lady.

“No, not mine.”

“Mine now!” I declared.  She laughed.  I picked up a few more plants.  I had not seen any marigolds, which I usually get.  Another lady had some and told me they were in two different places.

When nobody was nearby, I pulled my mask down for a little air.  Today was hot and humid, by the way.  Then I saw a worker watering plants, wearing a bandana (I have also done the Old West Bad Guy mask on occasion).

“Sorry!” I said, pulling the mask back up.

“You’re OK,”  he said.  “I have to wear it, you don’t.”

“But I do,” I said.  “I don’t know what germs I have.  My mask keeps me from spreading them to you and others.”

“Thank you!”

I paid for my plants, while dancing to some David Bowie that was playing near the cash register.

I don’t think this is too many, do you? I can always buy more.

I put the plants on my back deck, where the rain can water them.  If it does not rain after all, I will water them tomorrow morning.

Before I went inside, I took a couple of pictures of our daisies, which started to bloom today.  I love daisies.

I did not plant these; they just grew.


And here are some with the peonies in the background. Come on, peonies!

He loves me, he loves me not…

The Flower Barn is located at 1480 Barringer Rd., Ilion, NY, phone number 315-895-4313.  They are open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.



The Blog’s Gone to Pot

I took some pictures of what I have so far for a container garden, hoping I could make up in pictures what I lack in words.  Seriously, my brain is dead and writing is just not happening for me.  Well, I’m not going to whine about it (although it is somewhat distressing) (no, no, NOT whine).  Instead, here are some pictures:

I guess you can’t see the flowers very well, but aren’t they pretty?

I had three pots with the design, but one broke last year.  Now that I look at this arrangement, it does not look as symmetrical as I had hoped.  Size-wise it’s good, but I don’t like the two decorated and one plain.  I’ll have to work on it.

Oh dear, you can see the icky garage and crappy window in the background.

I had never seen black Johnny Jump-ups, and I like the way they look with the orange marigolds.

An overhead shot, for a different view.

I liked the combination so much, I did two pots of it.

Ooh, I like what’s in the background of this one.

I tried to have “the thrill, the fill and the spill” in this one, but I think the “spill” looks a little unhealthy.  Perhaps they will pick up as time goes on.

Fresh pesto, you will be MINE!

Basil is the only herb I have so far, but as you see I have a nice amount.  Ooh, I LOVE fresh basil!

I would also like to get some dill and cilantro, as well as a few more pots of flowers.  Unfortunately, the malaise that has been causing my writing to atrophy seems to be infecting the rest of my life as well.  Then again, I see I have managed over 250 words on a blog post I thought I couldn’t write.  Maybe there’s hope for me after all.


Posting from the Deck

So I’ve gotten through most of Saturday before making my blog post and oh, what a day I have had!  OK, not really, but it was pretty scattered.  As I was working on one of my last chores/adventures of the day (and how much richer life is when one can feel the two are combined), I thought, “It used to be that on a Saturday when I had multiple adventures, I would spend the next week making multiple blog posts about them individually.  Now I blow my wad (so to speak) on one Scattered Saturday post.  What’s that all about?” (And here’s a Freudian slip I found on proofreading:  I originally put “blog my wad” instead of “blow my wad.”  Isn’t that awesome?) (Maybe I should have used that for the headline.)

I answered myself, “When I started this blog, I was in my late 40’s.  Now I am in my mid-50’s.  Who knew there could be such a difference in the decades?”  It was a silly answer, because, quite frankly, I have to keep reminding myself that I am in my 50’s.  For anyone who wants to know, I am 53, the same age as the Grinch (“Why for 53 years I’ve put up with it now!  I MUST stop Christmas from coming!  But how?”).  I like being the same age as the Grinch.  But this is not what I sat down to make a blog post about.

In fact, it is a little difficult to post right now, because I am sitting on my deck, and the sun is a little bright for computer screens.  I stubbornly remain out here, though, because I brought out all the cushions for our chairs.  I could have just brought out two, one for my butt, one for my feet (naturally one puts one’s feet up on the weekend).  Then I brought out for for Steven, who should arrive home in about an hour.  Then I brought out the fourth, because it seemed unkind to exclude just one (yes, I anthropomorphize chair cushions; I anthropomorphize EVERYTHING, I thought you knew that about me).

Where was I?  Ah yes, on the deck, admiring what I can see of my container garden so far. I feel I should purchase more plants, more pots and more dirt, going overboard as I have in years past (last year being a notable exception).  The important thing is, I have basil.  Fresh pesto, you will be mine!  I’m sure some of my readers will appreciate it if I post pictures.  I’ll be doing that one day soon.  For right now, I’m sitting with my feet up and drinking a beer.  Happy Saturday, everyone.


Woo Hoo! They Grew!

I am resorting to pictures for this week’s Tired Tuesday post, but I went outside and took a few of my backyard.  My impetus for doing so is that the rhododendron is in full bloom and is lovely.  I was worried it would not last another day so wanted to take a picture.  Naturally I could not find the Tablet.  Steven and I searched almost all of the house except for the dining room chair it was sitting on.  Eventually I found it and was thankful it had not started raining again by that time.

An old boyfriend used to call me his “little rah-d’den-DRAHN”

The bush gets bigger every year and has since a few years ago when I broke off a couple dead branches.  I suppose there’s a metaphor for life there, but I really do not feel like figuring out what to prune off myself for improvement.  Having captured this picture, I moved on and snapped a few more shots.

That’s the neighbors’ pool and house in the background.

My mom gave me the Rose of Sharon in 2011.  After Steven accidentally mowed it down a couple of times, it started to grow bigger.  I’ll have to take another picture after it blooms.  If it ever does.  And speaking of wait till it blooms, here are a couple more shots of plants that are going to look better later.

I suppose I could have pulled some of the weeds first.

I got the Black-Eyed Susans from a sale at the Herkimer County Humane Society back in 2011.  The chives are, I think, from Tripple’s Produce in Schuyler, NY.  They were in my container garden some years ago (I forget when but prior to 2011).  After the season, I put them in the garden to see what would happen.  Woo-hoo, they grew! (Hey, that might be a good title for this post.)

Ooh, even more weeds over here.

The irises are from my Mom.  She’s had irises in her yard for as long as I can remember.  Periodically she thins out the bulbs.  This is the first time I had a yard to put any in.  There are more very year, so woo-hoo once again.

You can just about see all the other stuff in the background.

This last shot is another preview of coming attractions.  These are the plants I purchased at T & J’s Fruits and Vegetables in Herkimer on Sunday.  They will eventually be part of my container garden. I hope to share some pictures of that eventually.  When I’m not too tired to put them in the containers.  Happy Tuesday, everyone.


Junk Run

Once again I ran after almost talking myself out of it. I thought I would go for that awesome feeling during the cool-down walk again. Today I would run the hill near Valley Health. I want to build up to the hill up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC).

So off I went, and it didn’t feel too terrific right away. It wasn’t too bad though, so I kept going. I saw a pair of plastic sunglasses in the road, near the curb. I picked them up, thinking to place them somewhere prominent, where they were in less danger of getting run over and where somebody looking for them might see them. Then I realized there was not such a place handy and I had to keep running. I kept the glasses in my hand. After all, no point in letting them get wrecked now that I’d rescued them.

They appeared to be cheap but nice sunglasses with not a scratch on them, child size. Well, I could always give them to somebody who can use them. Really, they just would have gotten run over or kicked if I had left them lay there.

Then I saw a piece of a silver poinsettia plant, that had perhaps come off a Christmas decoration. It, too, was in pristine condition, other than apparently being broken off from whatever decoration it had graced. Having set a precedent, I picked that up, too. I could use it as a decoration on my container garden. I felt a little silly, running along with a pair of red sunglasses and a silver poinsettia, but then again, I am a bit silly. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I was so busy thinking of my newly acquired junk that I made it up the hill by Valley Health without even noticing I was doing it. Score! Well, maybe the last few steps were a kind of an effort, but it’s a good thing to make an effort when you are running.

Sunday is usually my day when I up my run time by 10 percent. That meant I should run 29 minutes instead of 26. You see, I round up. Then I thought maybe I should not round this time and run 28 minutes and some seconds. I would have to do some math for that. It seemed like a lot of trouble.

My legs were certainly getting tired. I started asking myself, what’s wrong with plateaus anyways? You can enjoy the view from a plateau. There’s always the future to improve. I pictured a plateau but could not see where the mountain went up from there. Then I thought, “I’m not so much on a plateau as pausing for breath on an outcropping.” I pictured myself precariously balanced, then decided to drop the mountain metaphor and just run however long I ended up running.

Up a street, over a block, down another street. Admiring a garden or a window box. Trying to peek into a back yard to envy the screened in porch. I was startled by a bright, almost iridescent magenta sports car. What a beautiful color. And wouldn’t it be nicer to drive somewhere instead of running there? No, no, running is fun. Then again, so is sitting on a porch like that one over there with the padded wicker chairs.

It looked as if I was going to make my time or close to it. I ran by Meyers Park but not through it. I saw a white peony somebody had picked and dropped. That wasn’t junk, that was a poor innocent flower that was going to dry up and do nobody any good. I picked it up. Now I had sunglasses and a poinsettia in one hand, a peony in the other, but I was almost home.

That wonderful feeling I get during my cool-down was within sight. And it was at least going to be 26 minutes. Let’s make it 27! Go past the house, I urged myself.

I ended up running my 29 minutes, by virtue of two laps around my driveway before I stopped. Steven put the peony in some water while Tabby and I walked my cool-down. I put the poinsettia in with one of the plants in my container garden. I felt pretty pleased with myself.

Not Overboard Yet

Today’s post actually took place before yesterday’s post. At first I felt a little silly about that and wondered if I shouldn’t have made it all one big post. Then I remembered it is Non-Sequitur Thursday. Perfect! On with the post!

Saturday Steven got out of work early enough to do something fun. I had seen in the paper that Ilion Farmer’s Market was selling flowers and herbs, which I wanted for my container garden. Tabby is welcome at the Farmer’s Market. Our plan was set.

We got there around three. Right away we saw the small display of plants, but first we went into the barn to browse. A few of the vendors had changed, but the historic barn’s atmosphere was still warm and welcoming. Tabby found all kinds of interesting places to sniff, and a few people petted her. I did not let her go near the cafe. I may have to come by without Tabby sometime and enjoy a little of that good food.

Back out at the plant table we chose basil, dill and two different flowers. I don’t know what they’re called (have I mentioned today that this is not a real gardening blog?), but the big blooms were red, pink and white while the little blooms were purple. The herbs looked very healthy. I sure hope I can keep them that way.

Jim Parker, the folk artist who runs the Farmers Market, told us they would be getting in more plants. I said I might be back next week. I’ll try not to go overboard (as I said yesterday I tend to do with my container garden), but what’s wrong with leaning out a little over the rail?

Sunday we decided to supplement our Farmers Market purchases with a trip to T & J’s Fruits and Vegetables in Herkimer. I’ve stopped there for produce many times, most recently finding a wonderful hyacinth for my mother’s Easter present. I had noticed their greenhouse was full. All kinds of choices. They even had the leaves that grow straight up (I’m not describing them very well, but perhaps you know what I mean).

“That’s what you need for containers,” I told Steven. “You want the thrill, the fill and the spill.” I said it with gestures, demonstrating the contribution of each “ill.” I did not purchase any thrill, but I found some fill and spill. The fill included marigolds, and the spill some little yellow flowers I of course do not know the name of (some of you are probably surprised I recognized the marigolds).

As I said, I haven’t gone overboard yet. But it’s early days. We’ll see what the weekend brings.

Me and My Boring Deck

Every year I make a container garden on my deck. And every year I go overboard. I purchase more plants than I have containers for and by the time I’ve found a place for every plant, we have a hard time finding places to put chairs when we have people over. Still, it looks nice and I get a nice sense of accomplishment when its done.

This year it seems that sense of accomplishment is far away and receding. I have done some work in the yard (perhaps you read my blog post about it). I have purchased a few plants and some dirt. Oh, I’ve been good. In my determination not to go overboard this year, I don’t think I bought enough stuff. That’s OK, greenhouses all over the Mohawk Valley have more. A short trip and I’m set.

I suppose I shouldn’t feel too bad about my so far boring deck. After all, it is best to wait till all danger of frost has passed. I’ve been told to don’t plant before Memorial Day weekend. Why, that was last weekend.

If only I had spent the weekend hard at work. I did get a little done on Monday (when the only blog post I could manage was a Middle-aged Musings Monday). Three largish containers now have flowers in them and half the dill is in a container (I hope to plant dill in the yard as well. Oh, ambitions, they always get me in trouble). Then the sun started to get to me. I have kind of a sensitivity in that area. The rest would have to stay in their original little plastic pots for now.

I promptly forgot to water any of it. Oh dear. That is a cruel thing to do to pretty flowers and delicious herbs. I poured a lot of water on them Tuesday after work, as soon as the deck seemed shady enough (I’ve been told to don’t water plants in direct sunlight). I watered them again Wednesday morning (today), just to be on the safe side.

So my deck is still boring, is what I’m saying. How appropriate is that for Wuss-out Wednesday? I will have more blog posts about my container garden as the work progresses.

Flowers, Tomatoes and Herbs, Oh My!

Saturday I took the first step toward my container garden with a trip to Brick House Acres in Frankfort, NY.

I first encountered the business at the Mohawk Valley Bazaar sponsored by Relay for Life Team Janice at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds. I was especially interested in some potted tomato plants the guy had. He said I could leave them in those very pots on my deck and have cherry tomatoes all summer then bring them indoors and have cherry tomatoes all winter. I was unable to make the purchase at the time but took a business card with a promise to seek him out at a later date.

For once I did the smart thing and called first to get directions. From Frankfort you go out Higby Road about five miles then turn left at the fire station onto Albany Road, go to a stop sign, then right onto Roberts Road. It’s a lovely drive over the hill. We once got lost in a dreadful fog on Higby Road, but no worries about that on Saturday. It was bright and sunny.

The business is housed in a very cool looking old barn. A rooster crowed the whole time we were there, disproving once again the myth that they only crow first thing in the morning.

I remember once reading a story in a children’s magazine (when I was a child) about a rooster in danger of being made into stew because he liked to sleep in and the farmer needed to be woken up. The farmer’s children get the rooster an alarm clock. Now, years later, remembering it, I wonder by they didn’t just give the farmer the alarm clock and let the rooster sleep. But I digress.

We found the tomato plants as well as some herbs. I was very excited to find cilantro. Homemade salsa, here I come! I was also happy about the basil. Love that fresh pesto. We also got a couple of flowers that were on sale as well as an eggplant for what I thought was a very good price (not that I’ve comparison shopped for eggplant recently) (or ever).

We left with two cardboard flats filled with plants. I felt that I had not gone too crazy, which I have a regrettable tendency to do when it comes to my container garden. I have a couple more places I’d like to check out before I’m done. Must spread my flower dollar around, after all.

Brick House Acres is located at 10628 Roberts Rd., Frankfort, NY 13340. Phone number 315-737-5635. You can also Like them on Facebook. You might like to take a ride out there. I found it well worth the trip.