The Summer of the Fence

Last fall we replaced our rotten fence and let it cure over the winter and spring. This summer I set about priming and staining it. With three boys, one of them a very busy toddler, a knee surgery, a husband with a lot of work travel, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I figured I would be done by the end of September, and I was right!

I was so happy when I turned this corner

During the summer I would sometimes bribe the boys to take care of their baby brother if he woke up too soon from his nap, but when September came along Eamon started to forgo naps altogether. I had to just let him loose in the yard and hope for the best.

He would frequently end up running around naked

I’m really proud of it


Sun Pictures

When Papa stayed home to help me out after my knee surgery, I had to find some projects outside so he could attempt to do some work during the day. A lovely sunny day was perfect for making sun pictures! I got the idea from my Martha Stewart Living magazine last year. We tried it once last summer and it was a lot of fun.

I’m shocked they’re not touching it

Notice the Lego is now smashed

“Don’t touch Eamon!”

The pictures came out VERY well. I loved the effect that happened to the Lego because it was bulkier. There was a great shadow effect. I sent that to Dad for Father’s Day so I don’t have a picture of it.

The axe was moved by a boy’s foot so that one came out weird

We continued the sun theme by planting sunflowers

I Grew Potatoes!

This hopeless Irish gardener managed to grow potatoes this year at least… We had them with our anniversary dinner last night and they were yummy.

And Papa even noticed that the Giant Pumpkin finally has a tiny green pumpkin growing at the very end of a huge long ten foot trail of vine.

The Rose and the Rogue

I will not profess to being the most attentive gardener. Being an Irishwoman, I forget that rain does not pour down from the skies every day in New England, and I forget to water my plants… This year I have been trying much harder and have been slightly pleased with not killing toooo many things. I am baffled however as to how I could have grown a corn without even knowing it…

This area was getting water because I was really delighted to be given a rose plant for being a room mom at preschool. It managed two more blooms this summer thanks to Karen watering it while we were in Ireland…

When I got back from Ireland I noticed a “weed”. Something about it told me to leave it, and lo and behold, we have a corn plant! Conor and I tried to grow some last summer in our usual patch but got no fruit, just tall stalks.

This makes me sure now that our sunniest patch of our garden is the best for growing. My current patch gets too much shade and Papa wants to maybe build a shed there. You need more proof?


So Conor wanted to grow his own pumpkin for Halloween, but we planted some seeds that the pesky (“f***ing” was a more appropriate term according to Conor) squirrels dug up, so I constructed the tomato cage to protect those, then when we went camping, a sneaky “squirrel” neighbor planted a pumpkin plant grown from the seed of the pumpkin that won the giant pumpkin contest at Topsfield fair. That is the one on the left that is doing awesome and trailing forever. Karen said that there was actually a pumpkin growing on this when we were in Ireland but I think the pesky bunnies might have eaten it? I cannot find any. Just lots of blooms… I have not given up hope…

Speaking of critters, look what has managed to bloom despite proffering up a lot of delicious leaves to the bunnies.

Just in time for the start of school, as I had hoped

There should have been a whole row (four fence sections worth) of these sunflowers but the bunnies got to most of them. GRRRRR! The one reason these still managed to grow is probably the irrigation system. As you can see from the scorched grass at the back (by the pumpkin), the irrigation system does not go that far, something we would like to remedy when we win the lottery. And that way I will never have to water and I may actually grow things!!!

Preparing for Santa

Santa and his reindeer naturally require much nourishment on their huge journey Christmas night. I found a great use therefore for my first attempt at growing carrots – reindeer food!

What’s up, Rudolph?

The boys also sprinkled a ton of sparkly oatmeal reindeer food so the reindeer could find the house.

Sprinkle sprinkle

Then followed letters to Santa (on PAPER), chocolate chip milk (?where do they get these ideas???), and cookies. Some bright spark had the idea of getting the whisk and incorporating a cookie into the milk… Delicious I’m sure.



We got back from camping to find a tomato finally! Thanks to Karen for watering it!

My garden patch doesn’t get much sun so this is a big deal for me!

ALL of Conor’s and my sunflowers came out on Monday for all the kids making their way past our house to school…



Rhubarb Muffins

I picked my rhubarb. I don’t know if I’ll get any more this summer. The rest of it is looking pretty decrepid. I think I let it grow too much before picking…

Chop chop

The muffins are nothing special, just something to try with the little amount of rhubarb I had. But my new cases that I got for Mother’s Day were a big hit! They’re smaller than the usual size cups so it’s quite perfect for little hands and appetities!


My Rhubarb is Thriving

I am delighted with my rhubarb’s progress this year after a slow year last year. It has spawned into four sections! My neighbor Bill was saying he had split his last year (we planted ours at the same time but his was from an established plant and mine was from a garden center) and I was worried because mine was nowhere near that good last year. But I could contemplate splitting it this year. I’ll confer with Bill first though!

AND it’s turning red!