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Thursday, June 26, 2014


Why do we mulch? There are several reasons why I mulch. One, it conserves moisture, two, it
acts as a weed barrier, and for me, I like how it looks. It is the frame on the picture.

There are many kinds of mulch.. We like triple ground hardwood. This year we are trying a tinted one. It does look quite nice. A neighbor uses this and after a year it still looks good. Not a lot of fade. I know we choose mulch that compliments our homes. We have always mulched every year. We use approximately 2-3 inches. The triple ground breaks down and helps amend the soil.

A very important aspect of mulching is to keep yourself hydrated and take a break every now and then. Give yourself a rest.

For some odd reason, some people mound (volcano) the mulch around their trees. This can become a bad thing. To much of this can kill the tree. The tree will start dying from the top. Do check the flair of the tree and use that as your guide. When mulching around plants be careful not to put it too close to the stem of the plant. This could cause rotting.


Mulched to High

Improper Mulching Results

There are many different kinds of mulch, wood chips, Coco shells (this is pretty and smells good), pine needles, stones, and shredded wood to name a few. At one of our homes we used stone with a fabric barrier. I felt the soil became sad and didn't lend its self to good growing habits. The Coco shells, while smelling good and was attractive, it was light and floated with the rain and didn't always stay where you wanted it. In different parts of the country, climate and other issues dictates what works for them.

Bag Mulch

Stone Mulch
Mulch is sold by the cubic foot or scoop. The size of a scoop varies, so it is always a crap shoot how much to get. Some people buy it by the bag. Every corner has mulch for sale. When buying mulch be sure you are getting what does the best job for you.

A word of advise, don't try to put it down all at once if you have a large area. That is a problem for us, we don't like the pile of mulch lingering on the driveway. This year we tried to make it easier on ourselves. We went to our local John Deere store and purchased a Gator. Now when you figure the cost of the Gator into the cost of mulching, we could have hired it done for a few years. Oh well, as you get older you need to do something frivolous.

When we are mulching the laundry is endless. We get down and dirty. The Jacuzzi really works on the sore muscles. Remember you are working under trees. so check your self for ticks. They seem to lurk there.

This would be a good time to book a massage, or hire a young boy with a young back.

Mr. Mulch....Until next year

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Reflections.......Peony Festival 2014

The Festival first began in 1932, the first week end of June. During World War II they were discontinued, then  after the war they were resumed.

The Wassenbergs', a notable family in the community, had a 50 acre farm that they grew iris, poppies and mostly peonies. The Beckmans' had 20 acres of peonies that they sold commercially and privately. We now have to purchase them from our local nurseries and the internet. The Vera Wassenberg and Bu Te  have Van Wert roots. People probably have them and may not know it. Peonies are scattered over the city. I would love to be able to get starts of each of these. Every home in Van Wert needs at least one peony on their property, being we are "The Peony Capitol Of The World".

The Men's Garden Club have established a display garden of peonies in Smiley Park next to the Children's Garden. They are all labeled as to each variety. This is a good way to see what you might like for your own garden. I have  about 20 different ones in my gardens. I can always find room for one more.

Peony Committee

There is a Festival Committee that brings this altogether the first weekend in June. Many of our peonies are through their bloom by then, but this year there was a nice representation of them at the Jubilee Flower Show. The flower show was held at the new Wassenberg Art Center. The Wassenbergs' would be so proud that this is still on going.

Artistic Design Judge and Horticulture Judges

Best of Show
"Pink Pots"

Queen Jubilee XXXIX and Court
In the early spring, young women from the area are interviewed, and then compete in talent, evening gown, and questions and answer. Queen Jubilee XXXIX was chosen. Scholarships are given to the top three finalist. They are required to make appearances at certain functions. The day of the parade they have a luncheon at The Willow Bend Country Club and make appearances at many other special events held around the area. It is much like the Miss America Pageant, on a smaller scale, At 5 o'clock is the big parade. They get to ride the beautiful Queens float.

Queen's Float

On Friday evening the public was entertained with a free concert in the lovely Fountain Park. This year it was Papa Doo Run Run. Good lively music. There was a huge crowd. One of the largest.

Papa Doo Run Run

Vendors are set up in the park selling their arts and crafts. "ArtRageous" is now combined with the Festival. Good quality merchandise.


There are a lot of food venders. It is a time to load up on junk food. Great sausage sandwiches, barbeque, brauts, cotton candy, and of course icy slush.

Junk Food

On the grounds I ran into my co-blogger and Park Director, Sue. This is an extremely busy time for her. I am amazed how she seems to manage it all, and brings it all together.

Park Director Sue

The weather was picture perfect.. It was well attended.  Thanks to all of you that made this another well planned event. Now next year begins. Back to the drawing board.

It was A great festival.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Landscape Rejuvination

The last couple weekends we have had some beautiful weather! Sunny and in the eighty's, great weather to tackle some landscaping chores.  As we all know, this past winter Mother Nature definitely did some damage to a lot of plants in the landscapes of Northwest Ohio. Mine was hit so hard my husband and I decided to tear both the front and back of the house out. Yes, I made him do the hard work! To be honest with you I think he rather enjoyed it since he was able to use his toy, a Polaris 4 wheeler!

The extra day from the Memorial weekend was exactly what we needed to plan and replant. Don't get me wrong, our falling solider was the real reason for the extra day but with the hectic work schedule of a park employee at this time of the year, you have to take advantage of those days.

knew I wanted some plants that would give us greenery all year round but that's about as far as my planning went. So, I turned to my partner in crime and co-blogger Louise Hartwig.  We made a trip to a Beining's Nursery, just northwest of Ottoville, to check out options that would fit into our space. As we are walking through the nursery Louise is naming this plant and that plant off. Well, of course I have no clue as to just exactly what she's talking about, I'm not brushed up on all the botanical names. To make a long story short, I finally made a decision on what the plant selections were going to be for the project. If you know Louise she had to purchase something too, I don't think she can walk into a nursery without buying something.

Plants are home and we placed them in the location they were to be planted. That's right, we didn't get enough so I made another trip to the nursery the following day. Now, selection of species, one lilac, six boxwoods, two Arborvitaes and one Viburnum. I did mention that I'm not well versed on the botanical names so, I kept the tags to help me. 

Buxus x 'Green Velvet'
Viburnum plicatum Kilimanjaro 'JWW1' Doublefile
Since the back of the house was also torn out and I already blown the budget I went with a few less expensive plants. Three different hosta's, two coral bells and a few potted coleus. Speaking of pots, I had to of course plant my annuals too. All this in two weekends and Now that everything is planted all that's left is the mulching. I guess this weekend I know what's on my slate.

OK! I truly had intentions of posting this several days ago. It's now into the weekend! So, I feel confident in saying the mulching is complete! Thank God for my husband, he had all day Friday off and I must say he did a great job! 

For all visitors to our home, we welcome you!

Until next time, hopefully not as long of a stretch as this last, have a great day!