It’s official, we’re on summertime and puttering in Helen’s Haven


We have officially entered “summertime” a.k.a. daylight savings time.  It is the beginning the season I love.  It’s the time of year when the windows can be opened with yet the threat of pollen polluting the home.

Longer days and warmer afternoons allows us to get in the garden after work – to get a head start on gardening tasks before the frenzy starts.  How are you using your extra hour?  Here’s some of what I’m going to do:

Prune.  Cut back. Pick up leaves, sticks and such.

Prep beds.

Mow – It will freshen up the lawn picking up leaves and other bits.

Finish any hardscape projects.

Enjoy – Take your tea outside and feel the warm the spring brings.

Paint fountain – Oh baby, I should have done this last year.  It will happen this week.  The sooner I have it painted, the sooner it will be running again.

Bird feeders – keep them full.  Birdbaths – keep them clean.  Bird houses – clean them out.

Weeding – never ends, but with a nice blanket of mulch and staying on top of them, it keeps this task manageable.


march-8-2009-001LOL Here’s my baby at 2 weeks old!

Mentally, it was important for to me put the sleds away before I began my time in the garden.  Less than a week ago, the kids missed school due to snow.  Not only did it snow Monday, the week before was unbearable cold.

As I accessed Helen’s Haven before delving into fun stuff, I noticed a lot of winter burn.   Instead of worrying and wondering what to do, I decided to leave it and wait.  There may be more damage still to come.

It’s 75 degrees, sunny and beautiful.  Dare I say, almost too hot?  I broke a sweat mowing.  Here is what I managed to get done over two morning’s march-8-2009-002work:

  • Planted new plants purchased from Pine Knot Farm and Cedar Creek.
  • Finished Mixed Border. Yes!  It now has a solid year round appeal.  Most of the plantings I added were to add more “mix” to the Mixed Border are small, but it will not matter for this year’s summer or fall tour.  The summer and fall are not the problem.  During these seasons, the plantings are full and lush – unbelievably lush.  By the time winter rolls around again, the new mix will greatly add value.  I’m very pleased with how it turned out.
  • Re-do porchscape.  We pulled many of the plants from the front porch to use in the new path that it precipitated a re-do.  I will probable remove then all together once the railings are added.
  • Clean up potting shed area.
  • Watered new plantings.
  • Cut Burgmansia sticks.
  • Added another bird house.
  • Cleaned out all bird houses.
  • Added bird feed to the feeders.
  • Added mealworms to the “dinner bell” blue bird feeder.
  • Emptied water in the fountain to prep for painting.  I had some help from Aster!march-7-2009-013
  • Leveled stones – again – in Red Bed
  • Mowed the lawn.
  • Picked up sticks and leaves.
  • Watched and waited for the first blue bird to arrive, but never saw one.

It is fun to see the new buds,  leaves, and seedlings emerge.  Today there was the eagerness all around – on the redbud, fig, roses, maple, monarda, and daylilies.  With a few days of warm weather and plenty of rain, the grass will begin again and there will be lushness all around.

Saturday rocked because it was the final game of 2 of my kids basketball team.  Here’s Lily in the sponsored team jersery!  march-7-2009-0311

I found this nifty little chart over at Washington Home and Garden where I have been featured as a guest writer.  I like what Nikki is doing there.  Check this out
Gardening Calendar for Spring



  1. TC said

    I’m seeing a lot of spring to-do lists on blogs; both accomplished and yet to be accomplished. I don’t make gardening to-do lists, perhaps I should. It sure looks like y’all get a lot of stuff done! ;~)

  2. tina said

    Ah, the kids are too cute. I hope they won their game. Yup, I think 75 is pretty hot. Surely not signs of things to come.

  3. TC, its a curse of mine. I’m a natural born list maker.

    Tina, the good news with this league, it’s non-competitive. As such, I’m not sure we even kept score. We manged to stay in non-comp leagues up to now, but I think we have grown out of it. Next year, we will go a different league. I vow not to become a “soccer mom” Competition is good, but only when it stays with the kids. LOL.

  4. Hi Helen,

    Thanks for the kind words. If you like what I’ve been doing at Gardens ‘n’ Gardening so far, you’ll really dig my new project. I’m starting my first veggie and herb garden this season, and I’m growing all the plants from seeds. Hopefully.

    I’ll be writing about the experiment as much as possible. In fact, I just wrote the first installment of the series I’m calling “Gardening Season.” Check it out, and tell me what you think. Let me know, too, if you have any advice to offer.

    Thanks again!

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