How I spent my first few days of daylight savings time, one hour at a time.

Daylight savings time is my time of the year.  I actually wish we would stay on this time schedule.  However, I know its not for everyone.   While I like the extra afternoon light, the transition is a challenge with the kids.  Couple the extra daylight with the pretty weather, and it adds up to them wanting to play  outside rather than doing homework.  Who can argue with that!  Me, actually.  Or I guess I should.  But I know that today through Tuesday will be cold and rainy.  So why not?  While they rode their bikes in the cul-de-sac, I puttered in Helen’s Haven, one hour at a time.



My friends held their annual hellebore party.  Bobby and Roy were delightful as usual.  It was a fun event.  Hundreds of hellebores, good company, wine, and food.  The weather was perfect, as well.  The idea of having a party around a flower in season is a grand one.  I wish all my friends would have parties around their specialty – daffodil parties, peony parties, antique climbing roses, larkspur parties, etc.  The garden should be celebrated and enjoyed.




Another project that I waited until money met need was putting handrails on my front steps.  I often wondered why they weren’t installed when the house was built in 1972.  I hired local welder Bobby Gregory.  Bobby did a fine job.  Bobby installed the rails of a client of mine.  When I saw them,  it was love at first sight.  I called him up and said I want rails just like that!  During the installation, holes were dug, and piled; concete poured, etc.  Afterwards, some tiding up was needed.  I spent an hour moving some dirt around and  took down the containers that made up the porchscape.

On Sunday, during my regular puttering time, I (Aster, actually)  emptied the fountain, scraped away the rust with a wire brush, and applied a coat of paint to the fountain.  So on this day, I added another coat of paint to the fountain.



Added two more coats of glossy, black  Rust-oleum to the fountain.    My goal this week was to add as many coats of paint as I could before the next rain event.



Over the years, I added and deleted containers and accents on the porch steps, creating year-round porchscape.  With the new railings, and the reason for them – to aid my mother’s entry into the house, I needed to remove the pots.  It was surprising the number of plants I had in the former porchscape arrangement.  I spent this hour finding new homes for these plants.  I also added another coat of paint to the fountain.


On Wednesday after our monthly maintenance with the Raleigh Garden Club of the Viburnum and Winter gardens at the JC Raulston Arboretum, Julia invited all who wanted  to come dig up larkspur seedlings.  So a few of us went and sure enough there were plenty.  We all got all we needed and it didn’t look like we were even there.  I plan to spend an hour after work today planting them.  Half will go in the front entrance garden and the other half will go in the Mixed Border.  I truly love larkspur, but have not luck growing them by direct seed.

With the cold front coming followed by expected rain, there will be working in the garden for the next 5 days.  So glad we had the extra light to do just a little at a time.  Also glad we have a covered porch to admire the garden and be outside protected from the rain.  Sitting out there is like being in the garden.  I can’t imagine a screened in porch would offer the same effect.  The kids can pay games, I can read, we can share a meal, and watch the rain.



  1. Helen,

    You really accomplished a lot this week. I love your new railings.


  2. michelle said

    everything looks very nice! great ways to spend those hours.

  3. joey said

    You are lucky to be working outside … still in the 40s here! But spring is on the horizon. The annual hellebore party sounds delightful, happy to note others also celebrate their gardens.

    I love ‘The Lusty Month of May’ (Michigan at its finest) and when the sweet woodruff begins to bloom, we celebrate May with a ‘May Wine’ Garden Party (friends call on the 1st of the month teasing, “Is it May Wine time?”) On our large grassy pie shaped back yard (surrounded by gardens) we say goodbye to my favorite month with a ‘Croquet in May’ afternoon garden party. I’m a believer in honoring the garden 🙂

  4. Wow, Joey, that sounds like a lot of fun. Wouldn’t it be fun to do a blog posting on how we celebrate our gardens?

  5. Nancy Locker said

    Helen- Loved the photos of your garden. Blogging is a great way to keep in touch, even though we live right around the block from one another!…. how can I get involved in the Raleigh Garden Club? -Nancy

  6. Hey Nancy,

    To become a member of the Raleigh Garden Club all you have to do is attend 2 meetings then fill out an application and pay dues. We are past the need of sponsors – thank God! We meet the first Wednesday of the month at 10:30 for social. Meeting starts at 11:00 with a program followed by the meeting. Over at 1:00. It is a good group that does a lot for our hort community. We meet at the NCSU Faculty club (or whatever it is called now;-}) There is a reservation committee for a lunch count and to ensure we have enough seats. Let me know when you want to attend and I will give you the contact person and save you a seat!

    Thanks, Helen

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