Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Deck Garden in July

Well....nearly TWO MONTHS since I was here with an update.....what's up with that? I've missed all of you, and thanks to those of you who have reached out to me on Instagram to let me know you've missed my blog posts!

I never intend to stay away so long, it just seems the days fly by, one after another, and before you know it it's been wayyyyyy too long!

Work is crazy....and by the time I shut my computer off at the end of the day/week, I don't want to open it again until I have to. Sigh.

But here I am...and thank you for sticking with me through these long absences!

It's probably the worst year in history to be in the wedding planning business.

I've cried more with my brides this season than in any other year. My heart breaks for all the couples out there who have been looking forward to their dream wedding this season, only to have the rug pulled out from under them.  Who could have ever predicted this when we heard about that first case of Coronavirus here in the US back in January?

Meanwhile, in MUCH happier news....my older daughter got engaged in June!!


We are all beyond delighted for Amanda & Alex and can't wait to celebrate with them when we can all be together again! We've missed wayyyy too many celebrations this year, but we're certainly not alone in that. Sigh. 

I'm still working from home, which I love, even with the challenges that working from home can bring. I can't imagine what the pups think....they won't know what to do with themselves once I go back to the office. Right now I'm their slave...let me out, let me in, give me a cookie, I need a snuggle....you know the drill!


Here they are in one of their favorite 'lookout' spots....they are facing towards the road, and although you can't see it at this time of year, they hear people out there hiking or walking their dogs and love to let them know in no uncertain terms just who owns this mountain top!!

It's great to be able to take a five minute break to let them out and step out into the sunshine and country air....and I've been finding great solace in my deck garden during this stressful time, for sure.


I kept things rather soothing this year with a ton of blue, white, and pink. Funny when I planned my deck garden way back in January, I had a peaceful palette in mind, yet I had no idea how the world would change in just a couple of months.  I'm sure glad I did, it's been such a haven!


It amazes me to look at this lush photo and realize that I started every flower from seed....with the exception of the geraniums, which were overwintered. Remarkable what can happen from a teeny little seed!

I replaced a previous planter on the deck with this one, that my friend Brenda had purchased back in early Spring for her own patio. Previously I had a metal stand in this spot with two very heavy clay flower boxes that I lugged up and down the steps each spring and fall. I decided to go with something that would withstand our harsh winters and save my back, and I 'm so glad I did!


This is the current view from my deck swing, my heaven on earth. I try to take a little time each day after work to relax on the swing before dinner, and usually Molly is by my side. Of course we have to play Chuck It first with the pups....that's Monkey's favorite game! 


I love the way this corner turned out, although it wasn't my initial plan. 

I had purchased Lily bulbs for this corner and was hoping beyond hope that the critters would leave them alone if they were in pots on the deck. 

They have eaten EVERY SINGLE LILY BULB that I planted in the perennial bed. 


Well guess what....despite my pathetic efforts to protect the bulbs, and trying so many different suggestions, the darned chipmunks ate every single bulb. 


I give up on Lilies. So sad. I took a ride to the garden center last week to find something tall to put in those pots in lieu of Lilies. Just look at that gorgeous Salvia, it's just stunning! And you can't go wrong with Cleome. There's also a purple Verbena in there somewhere, it's so feathery and seems to float above the other more dense flowers. I love the different textures playing off one another. 


Of course the darned chipmunks had to dig in the pots right after I planted, just to see if they left any lily bulbs behind.....grrrrrr, they are such aggravating little critters, but so cute! 


I even added some blue Salvia in the herb boxes this year, to carry the blue all the way across the deck.  I can't wait for it to fill in, I just love those blue spiky flowers.....and so do the bees! 

On a side note, it's hard to believe I restained this deck just last spring. The snow and ice really destroys it every season....oh well, I take the good with the bad. Maybe if the urge hits me I'll take a brush to those spots....or maybe I'll wait until next spring. We'll see. 

I do love having these herb boxes right outside my kitchen door, that's for sure! One of the wonderful things about working from home is that I'm trying out all sorts of new recipes. I can easily start prepping for a recipe while on the phone or in between emails - it's wonderful!  I can run out to the veggie garden to grab some lettuce for a salad....pretty soon we'll have tomatoes also, I can't wait! 

What's been going on in your world? I sure hope you are all staying safe and well! 

28 comments:

  1. Hi!! So good to see a post from you again. I'm sorry things are so stressful for you with work. I don't blame you for not wanting to be on a computer again after you're done with work for the day.

    The flowers all over your deck look so beautiful. I feel for you with those darned chipmunks though. We have the same problem!

    I hope that soon you can post about some of the new recipes you've been trying. I'm in a serious cooking rut lately. I think a lot of that has to do with the weather though. We're in the 90's and humid. Too hot to do much cooking!

    xoxo

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    1. It's hot and sticky here, too, Melanie, which is so bizarre for us....meanwhile this is the summer I decided I didn't need to put my A/C in the dining room window! I still prefer fresh air, so I deal with it. My attic fan is great, and I open my skylights and all the windows and doors....and I hear the birds and the windchimes and the wind in the trees while I'm at my kitchen counter/office! I will have to try to put together a post of some amazing recipes I've tried lately. I know you follow me on Instagram, so I often put up pics there, but it is nice to have a roundup in a blog post!

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  2. Glad you are back. I enjoy your posts.

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    1. Thank you, Renate....I can't promise how often I'll be posting....are you following me on Instagram? https://www.instagram.com/mountainmamaonline/ I try to pop in there with a photo every day or two.

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  3. It is so nice to see a post from you! Too bad chipmunks are so cute! :) I love those cushions with the birds on them. Yes, this is not the best time to be a wedding planner. I can't last forever, so hang in there. -Jenn

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    1. I've broken more hearts this year than I can count, Jenn, it's awful. I cry right along with my brides when I tell them why I really think they need to postpone their most special day. It's completely awful.

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  4. Absolutely stunning and radiates the love you have put into the cozy decking with great thoughtfulness . What more can I say - Fabulous. Thanks for sharing the beauty with us. Oh, Oh, and from seeds. Now that warrants a few gold stars!

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    1. It certainly saves me a ton of money each spring when I've got flats of seedlings I've started from seed, Mary! Not all are successful, but each year I try a few more, and I figure out what works really well. It's been a learning experience!

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  5. Yay!!--you're back! Your deck is gorgeous, I love it. Such pretty flowers and I love the colors. Do y'all have mosquitoes there? It's getting really hot here this weekend, heat index of 108. Just nasty bad hot. Hope you're doing well and congrats to your daughter!! Happy occasion!

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    1. The happiest, Debbi!!!! Yes, we have mosquitoes, and horseflies, and triangle flies, and wasps/hornets, and ticks.....I try to be really careful when I'm out in the garden....leggings tucked into socks, long sleeves tucked into gloves, hair in a long braid, straw hat sprayed with bug spray....and when I'm on the deck, I have these wonderful citronella incense sticks I light up that do a wonderful job of keeping the 'skeeters away!

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  6. So glad to see your post pop up. Your deck garden looks lovely. Congrats to your daughter and her fiancé. We have been hanging out in our back courtyard, tending to veggies and cooking pizza in our wood fired pizza oven. I did a post on it recently...if you have time come check it out!

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    1. That sounds amazing Penny! I miss cooking pizza when it's this hot out....thankfully our local pizza place reopened a few weeks ago after being closed for months...it's been such a treat!!

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  7. I can't believe you grew all of those from seed - your garden looks amazing!!

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    1. Not all, Amanda, but 90%!! I don't grow petunias from seed, they take far too long to flower, I learned that last year. Plus many of the seedlings don't make it. So those I buy from the garden center. And then I had to do an 'emergency' run when the lilies were eaten, so those plants weren't grown from seed. I did grow a lot of the lobelia, but underestimated what I needed/wanted so I supplemented that as well. But not too shabby all in all!

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  8. Those planters that I got that you also got, I planted a slew of purple petunias in them and within a month they were dead and brown. It's just too hot here for something not very deep. Wish I could get them to you because they're rather useless to me.
    Brenda

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    1. That's a shame, Brenda, maybe you could plant succulents in them? Or another type of plant that has shallow roots? Alternately you could sit pots in there, perhaps among some dirt around the pots and some of that sedum that grows like crazy in your other planters....that has shallow roots.

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  9. Hello Debbie. Oh how far we have come since winter. Love love love your deck and all its flowers. Just beautiful. We have had two nieces in our family that had to postpone their weddings until next year. So sad. I bet you have had a broken heart for all of the bride and grooms that have wanted to have their weddings this year too. Congrats to your daughter. Great to have a mom that is a wedding planner. Hugs and Happy Friday. Kris

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    1. Amanda's pretty happy to call on my resources for sure!!! We're so happy for them, Kris, Alex is a great guy! Yes, how far we've come, holy smokes! I should really stain the deck again, and you would think with working from home I would have time to spend my lunch hour at least doing odd jobs. Nope!! But, like you, my flowers bring me such joy and peace, and I sure do need that this season!

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  10. Hi Debbie, I've missed your postings but am pleased to see the pics of your lush deck plantings...gorgeous colors and textures. I was glad to see the same planter that Brenda has on her patio as I have kept it in mid and debated about it for my daughters small narrow deck.It looks good for your plants too. Karen

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    1. Hi Karen- they have JACKED up the price on that planter since Brenda and I bought it, now that everyone is home and gardening! The white one is still reasonable but the other colors (if available) are ridiculously priced. The bed is a little shallower than I'd like, but works for my climate....at least so far. Brenda is in a hotter spot and her petunias dried up in there, not enough root space.

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  11. Debbie, it's SO good to hear from you. Lots of us have gotten lost in this limbo, so being away from the blog is not such a bad thing. Congrats to Amanda and Alex! We're doing well, although my state of WV just rose to the top of the states for highest infection rate of 1.36 today. I had a close contact call with COVID and self-quarantined for 14 days, and luckily tested -. We both wore masks, so I will preach on the effectiveness of masks all day long. Your deck garden is fabulous! I love the soothing color palette, and am honestly amazed at your success in all those blooms from seed. Just beautiful. Be well, mind, body & spirit. xo

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    1. That's so frightening, Rita, and thank God you both tested negative! I always have a mask on when I go out to the market....or the garden center. I haven't been many other places, that's for sure! But either way, I have a mask on. I get really annoyed when all the NYC folks come up to our tiny town, renting AirBnB's and flood our tiny market....they have no idea about 'keeping your distance' and really get in my space. I hate that! Reaching over me to grab at produce, I nearly punched some young woman one day she was so within my 6' safe zone!

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  12. Hi Debbie! :) So nice to read your post! Congratulations to Amanda and Alex!!! A friend of mine's daughter just made the sad decision to cancel her fall wedding. They still tied the knot, but the celebration will have to wait. They didn't want face masks and social distancing at their wedding. Sad times.

    Your deck garden is beautiful and looks so peaceful! Isn't it nice to be with the pups all day? :) Purple Verbena is one of my favourites and they look so pretty. Those darn chipmunks, I'm sure they will eat my only surviving strawberry plant as soon as it produces fruit lol! I can't wait until I get lettuce!

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    1. I could sell you lettuce, Rain, ha ha!! Yes, we actually cancelled or postpone every single wedding for the season....it's the only safe thing to do. Those were some mighty hard phone calls to make....your friend's daughter did the right thing.

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  13. Your deck looks beautiful! Congrats to your daughter! That ring is so pretty!!!! Now you got some wedding planning to do!
    Lisa

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    1. I can't wait to see both my daughter and the ring in person, Lisa!! And yes, certainly, some wedding planning in our future - I think she's planning for Fall 2022 at this point.

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  14. Your deck is beautiful. We had the same problem with chipmunks eating bulbs and came up with a simple solution - once you cover the bulbs with a bit of soil, lay down a sheet of chicken wire, then finish covering with soil. They can't dig through the chicken wire to get to the bulbs. We've also had an issue with voles eating plant roots - that problem has been a little trickier but we'll come up with something. Happy gardening!

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    1. Thank you for that tip, Connie, I'll try that next season!!!

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