New Wreath and First Frost

Christmas Wreath 2012

I haven’t posted any Meadow Mondays in a while, but mostly because there’s not much changing out there right now.  We did have the first frost of the season several weeks ago, and I snapped a few pictures.

First Frost

First Frost

I love how serene and calm the backyard is, especially very early in the morning.

Frost on Weed

Frost on Weed

I also started on Christmas decorations a couple of weeks ago.  I just now got around to uploading some pictures so I could show you my first project of the season– a new wreath!

Christmas Wreath 2012

Christmas Wreath 2012

I wanted something new this year, and since I had bought a huge tub of silver and gold ornaments from Home Goods for other decorating purposes, I put some to use here.  I bought the ribbon at 70% off at Michael’s, and I already had the grapevine wreath and spray.

Materials for Wreath

Materials for Wreath

This is a super easy project to do, and there are tons of excellent tutorials on making wreaths out there.  For my wreath, I used the materials above and some florists wire (and wire cutters).

First, string a group of ornaments together, and secure tightly with wire.  I bunched up all my ornaments first so that I could position them on the wreath where I wanted them before securing them.

String Ornaments Together

String Ornaments Together

I attached the spray to the wreath for with some wire, and then added the grouped ornaments.  I made a bow with the ribbon, attached it and styled it.  I love wired ribbon because you make it go pretty much where you want it.

Christmas Wreath 2012

Christmas Wreath 2012

I am contemplating adding some more ornaments, but probably not.

I am looking forward to having my family visit this Christmas!  It gives me more incentive to make the house look festive.  :)

Linking up to Centsational Girl and the Christmas Crafts Party

Meadow Monday: part four

Fleabane

Fleabane!

Fleabane

Fleabane

I don’t know what variety this is, but I’m pretty sure it is in the fleabane family.  Daisy fleabane is very common, and looks very similar but has slightly different petals.  I like these plants because they look like a bush of mini daisies.  I noticed it blooming a couple weeks ago, and now is the dominant blooming weed in the meadow.

Fleabane in the meadow

Fleabane in the meadow

Not a whole lot is going on out in the meadow right now, although we are starting to transition into fall.  I see more leaves changing color every day on my commute.  I love the color, and I’m trying to take it in and enjoy it as much as I can because I know once those trees are bare it is going to feel lonely.

We had another fox sighting!  This is the third sighting this year, and this little guy sure looks scrawny.

Little Fox

Little Fox

Even though I was very careful to move slowly and around the edge of the room so he couldn’t see me through the window, he must have heard something because he looked at me almost the moment I peeked around the window.  He was way too scared to stick around.  He looks so thin though, is that normal?  Also, I don’t even know if it’s a he.

Run Away!

Run Away!

Time to start doing some research on foxes!

 

Meadow Monday: part three

Bee on Salvia

Happy Fall!  As of 10:49 AM on Saturday it is officially my favorite season of the year.  It seems as though Mother Nature flipped a switch this week, and all of a sudden we have much cooler days, the trees have started to turn, and the crops are starting to turn brown.  There’s a slight nip in the air at night, and the sky is a crisp blue.

This isn’t really a post about the meadow, but it is all about the outdoors around my house.

Pot Mums


Pot Mums

Mr. Lucky surprised me with some Pot Mums the other night.  We’re going to stretch it just a little bit and say that they were an anniversary present (since both of us sort of forgot).  They really do look just like they do in this picture- bright and colorful.  I plan on finding a spot for them in the meadow, towards the edge I think, and hope that they come back next year.

One thing I love about my lot of land, is that I can just walk around and see all sorts of things going on. The salvia in front is still a monster, and I love finding bees on it.

Bee on Salvia

Bee on Salvia

I chose this shot to share because you can really see the pollen sac on the leg of the bee.  I really want to propogate this particular plant, but I’m also really nervous because I don’t want to do anything that might kill it.  I’ve already lost two of them, and I would be heartbroken to lose this one.

I did successfully propogate another variety of salvia however, given to me by one of my friends.  Together we took a fair number of clippings, but only one survived out of the entire bunch.  It has grown quite nicely though, and took me by surprise.

New Salvia

New Salvia

The mums I planted two years ago are doing well again- they came back for the second year in a row!  I’m happily surprised that they keep coming back on their own with absolutely no help from me.  They too are becoming quite monstrous.  I wonder if there is anything I should be doing to make them look better though.  In particular, when should I remove the dead stems?  Should I deadhead the plant?

Monster Mum

Monster Mum

Walking around the back of the house, I noticed I was being watched.

Being Watched

Being Watched

There’s a pretty white cat with a raccoon colored tail who frequents our meadow.  If I move too fast or too closely to the meadow, it will take off.  It pleases me to know that this animal is taking some pleasure from our meadow.

Untouched Photo

Untouched Photo

And just because it was such a gorgeous day, I took this picture and didn’t do anything to it except add the watermark.  You can see where the scrub pines aren’t looking so good.  The one closest to the center lost it’s top in the bad storms we had a while back.

Here’s a peek at a project that I’ll be working on in the house for the next several months:

Project Door

Project Door

Yes I am painting all the doors in the house.  None of them were painted when we bought the house, and as I’ve been painting rooms, I try to paint the doors and trim in the room as well.  However, for most of the first floor, I had the house painted before we moved in, and I did not pay for the trim work sooooo…. I will slowly take one door off at a time, paint two light coats of bright white high gloss paint, and put them back.  My total tally of doors to paint:  22.  Actually painted to date: 6.  And 5 of those doors were painted ages ago, *Sigh.  This will take some time. But hey, at least it’s pretty easy to do and it will look great.

Meadow Monday: part two

View of Meadow from interior

It’s Monday again so here’s an update on the Meadow!

Today I am going to highlight another flowering weed, this one is called Horseweed or Marestail.  I am not 100% certain that it is the weed I’m picturing here, but that’s the closest thing I could find on the world wide web.

Horseweed

Horseweed

In it’s own way, it can be pretty.  The head hasn’t really started blooming yet, so I’m expecting to see this mass of white on top.  So far, all the natural “weeds” seem to be either white or yellow.  I’m hoping to plant some more purple bulbs this fall and hopefully some more perennials in the spring, which should bring a nice contrast.  Or maybe I should plan colors to change as the season changes… pinks early on fading to reds, and then to yellows and whites?  Hmm…I better come up with a plan and stick to it for this year though, otherwise I’ll never get it done!

Detail flowering head of Horseweed

Detail flowering head of Horseweed

So growing up this is not a particularly attractive plant, but hidden through my meadow I didn’t really notice it until it started to bloom.  According to the internet, it appears to be a scourge to farmers, taking over a lot of their crop, as it is also resistant to most of the herbicides used.  Ah well, it can have some space in my meadow, as long as it doesn’t take over everything…

View of Meadow from interior

View of Meadow from interior

From this shot, you can see a few scattered around, but it doesn’t stand out as much as the goldenrod does.  See those smaller pine trees?  They are coming out very soon.  If I have too many trees, it becomes woodland and not a meadow.  I actually prefer woodland, but not on my drain field.  I plan on selling this house one day, and I don’t think that a wrecked drain field would be a selling point.  Also, scrub pines (which most of those are) are not good trees for a forest.  Around here, they are spindly looking and frail.  They snap easily in the winds, and have a poor root system that comes up easily.  We’ve had five of them come down this year in storms.  Every year I think we’ve lost at least one or two.  The only thing they seem to be good for: woodpeckers love them.  Then again, I saw a woodpecker working on a utility pole here the other day.

This last friday my boss also surprised me with a new plant!  She bought this on clearance (and paid a mere fraction of the price tag):

New Daylily to plant

New Daylily to plant

The plant looks like it’s it in good condition, and now I just need to figure out where to put it!  I have a couple of spots I’m thinking about, but I’m going to wait until fall really starts to settle in.

In some non-meadow but still outdoor related news…the salvia out front is bigger than ever this year I think:

Salvia gone wild

Salvia gone wild

I really want to propogate it because I’d love to have many of these plants out back in the meadow.  I am worried about cutting too much however, and then nothing surviving.  I would be very sad to lose this plant, as it’s the last of three to survive that I planted the first year or two we were here.

Almost every window well to the basement has it’s own funnel spider chilling out.  Check this guy out:

Hello there Spider

Hello there Spider

They’re all pretty big spiders, but I’m happy to see them.  I like all my outdoor spiders because they catch and eat a lot of annoying bugs.  Also, I like my indoor spiders too for the same reason.

Happy Monday!