Best Day Ever!!

garden8 Leading up to today, I was kinda bummed about how my schedule was working out. Two of my big final presentation/projects are due tomorrow, and the birthday (mine) was looking like it would be more of a non-event. Fortunately, thanks to some planning ahead and an awesome flexible partner (Willie!) I was able to finish the majority of my homework by 10am this morning! That left  me alone for the majority of the day to do whatever I wanted to do.

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(In case you were curious, this is what I look like when I am super relaxed.)

Now for those of you who don't have small children, that might not seem like such a special moment. Enjoy your ignorance. I love Hood, but I honestly cannot remember the last time I was alone AND didn't have some sort of obligation or responsibility I needed to be paying attention to. So I made the most of the day.

I'll spare you the details (free drink at Starbucks, and some shopping at the nursery), but basically my day was filled with hard work, dirty hands, and lots of plants. I feel happier and more relaxed than I have felt in months!

I spent the afternoon double digging one of my raised beds to mix in the manure/compost I top coated it with a month ago. It was hard work, but it will pay off in a few months when I have amazing vegetables growing!

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(The soil was teeming with worms! It is so great to see so many of these guys. They are certainly enjoying the rotting leaves I covered the beds with this last winter.)

I filled "planters" (old ceramic chimney inserts) with crocosmia that I transplanted from  an overgrown flower bed closer to the house. I also planted a succulent garden in amongst the rocks at the base of my potting shed. I have fallen in love with succulents ever since my mother-in-law introduced me to them last summer (more on them later). I planted the old barrel flower pot with dahlias, daisies, sweet peas, and nasturtiums. For now it looks like a big barrel of dirt, though.

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When I was at the nursery this afternoon, I bought some Perlite to mix with potting soil for my succulents. Previously, I had planted them in a soil/wood chip mix, but when it dried out, it would get rock-hard, and the little pink succulent roots wouldn't be able to penetrate the clumps. I spent my afternoon transplanting all of my succulents into the lighter soil. Hopefully they will reward my efforts with better root production.

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(My art studio is quickly looking more like a green house and less like an office. Below you can see the succulent leaves I am propogating.)

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While I was working in the yard, a lady came by and delivered a huge basket full of beautiful indoor plants from my parents. I drooled over it for a few hours, then transplanted all of the beauties into some of the ceramic pots I had lying around. There were three african violets, a dwarf rose, some spiky plant, and a big peach flowered plant. (If anyone can help me identify the spiky plant and the peach plant, I would really appreciate it!!)

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The spiky plant (to the right).

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The peach-flowered plant.

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(And my African violets. I'm nervous about these bad boys. They are finicky, from what I hear. I will do my best to not piss them off!)

And then when I thought the day couldn't get any better, Nick came home from work early. AND he had a stainless steel bucket filled with garden goodies for me like a kneeling pad, really nice gardening gloves, some hose-menders, and a couple of my favorite ground cover plants (Periwinkles). I know not every girl gets excited about plants and hose trappings, but I DO!

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I am so thankful to all my amazing family and friends for making this the best birthday a girl could hope for. I appreciate all the well-wishes and messages. Thank you all so much. Today was absolutely perfect (and it's not even OVER yet)!

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(This is my little early-spring front yard. This arbor is the one Nick and I got married under. Nick built it with his Grandpa, and we got married in Grandpa and Grandma's back yard. When we bought our house, we moved it here. Now we get to walk under it every single day.)