Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Today’s post is a mishmash of gardening and digging with a childhood trip to China. Flat Earthers, don’t bother to read the last part because you just won’t relate…
I’m pretty good at thinking up new things to do and telling you about my plans. But I’m not all that great about updating you on how said things progress. So today I thought I’d update you on three things I started at the first of the year. A definite winner, a maybe winner, and a big loser. LOL.
Definite Winner: Paint by Numbers. In my February 17 Sunday Letter, I introduced you to the My Paint by Numbers project I had started. (Missed the post or don’t remember? Click HERE.)
Here’s the pic from that post.
I finished my painting.
Turned out great; don’t you think? It was so much fun to do, I’ll be starting another one soon.
Maybe Winner: Insect Hotel. In March, I made an insect hotel during a class at the Botanic Gardens of the Ozarks. I took it home, hung it in the ideal spot, and visit it often. (By visit I mean I walk by it several times a day when I’m working in the yard, and I can see it from the dining room window.) A couple of weeks ago, I noticed some sort of tiny insect fly out of it. I don’t know if he was a true guest recently hatched, or if he was checking out the hotel for future accommodations. Also, a spider has built a web, connecting it from the side of the hotel to the fence. And, we have lots and lots of bees in our garden. I’m going to assume the bees and spider are happy about the hotel even if they weren’t born there. (Sorta like how I love having a local coffeeshop near my home even if I brew my own coffee in my kitchen.)
For now, I’m gonna call my insect hotel a win.
Loser Loser: Red Twig Dogwood Propogation. I had such high hopes for my red twig dogwood propagation! I even had a sprout which I reported in my March 10 Sunday Letter…
Here’s how this went down: I watered my four twigs. Gave them indirect light until the outdoor temperature warmed. Then, I took them outside and set their pots by the back door so they could become acclimated to real sunshine.
But, Annabelle decided they were chew sticks. After all, they were down on her level. In her backyard.
I found one in the grass nearby. I never found the other three. Maybe in ten years we’ll notice dogwood sprouts in random places and recall that one spring when The Schnauzer Conflict of 2019 wiped out the crop. Or so we thought.
This is a real affliction. And I have it. Like tennis elbow, this tendonitis is brought about by overuse from pruning, digging, weeding, all those things I’ve been doing since spring sprung. The burning, stabbing pain is super inconvenient.
Each morning when I can barely lift my coffee cup, I tell myself to rest my arm. By ten a.m. (weather permitting) I’m back at it. Not good, I know.
Anyone have any advice beyond rest, heat, and a cortisone shot?
One reason I have gardener’s elbow is because we agreed to be on the area garden tour which is quickly approaching.
Yes, we’ve been weeding and digging and pruning and planting and transplanting and, you know, trying to get our garden in tip-top shape before a whole bunch of people walk through on June 1.
This year is the 22nd annual Through the Garden Gate tour, sponsored by the Flower, Garden, and Nature Society of Northwest Arkansas. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at any of the private gardens on tour as well as Westwood Gardens and the Botanic Gardens of the Ozarks. Proceeds benefit the Society as well as the Botanic Gardens. Find out more HERE.
I’ve always wanted to be part of a garden tour, so I’m excited about this. One thing I can promise about our garden—it’s real. It’s an example of what two regular people (who are learning as we go)—can grow in a smallish, urban space.
We don’t use chemicals. This means our lawn is far from pristine. In fact, we are trying to turn the back lawn into a clover patch.
Maybe later I’ll do a live tour for those who can’t attend. That might be fun.
(Warning to our friends—if you visit us between now and June 1, just know we may hand you a shovel or a pruner.)
Digging to China
When you were a kid, did you ever try to dig to China? I thought about this as I planted a fern the other day.
My sister and I thought we might dig to China and even tried more than once. Do kids still have the same sort of ideas? I wonder.
There was a time we tried our hardest to end up somewhere else, whether it was to spend the night with our cousin, to camp outside in the playhouse, to have a tea party in a treehouse that never got built. Or dig to China. As though we might tunnel underneath the cotton field and walk along the streets of Shanghai by morning. As though Shanghai was really on the opposite end of the globe from Keiser.
I could say much more about digging to China, but since I’m planning to write a short story on this topic, I’ll not continue with this thread in my Sunday Letter. But isn’t it funny what we try to do as children? What we imagine we can do? Maybe today we should try to channel the spirit we had back then. Or, maybe I do too much of that already which explains why my arm is screaming this morning.
Anyway, have a great week Sunday Letter friends. Plant something. Just don’t try to plant all the plants at once.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Cathy Voight says
If I haven’t read your letter, is it really Sunday?
Love the paint by number. That palette is gorgeous. Might have to do the garden tour this year. We have missed the last few!
Talya Tate Boerner says
Haha it would still be Sunday, just different:) Yes, do the garden tour! There’s another house in our neighborhood on it.
You always make me smile. Maybe we will get your way next year. Id love to see your garden. The weather certainly hasnt been your friend’!! I tried to dig to China several times. Most of the time with mama’s kitchen spoons. Kids now just have no idea how much fun that was! Have a great week!
Talya Tate Boerner says
Yes! We used kitchen spoons too. And a variety of other implements LOL. Thanks, Mary!
So often what you post is relatable to everyday lives. I was on the pond tour many years in Wyoming and oh, the prep work we would do to open our yard to hundreds of people…a few years I even spray painted the “dog spots” in the lawn green for that day!
I made it to Fayetteville this weekend for the Yoga Fest retreat on Mount Sequoya. What a lovely area and I will be back to explore more…maybe even the garden tour! I didn’t get off the mountain but saw from the overlook and the drive in.
Grace Grits and Gardening says
Our home is just below Mt. Sequoyah! I can’t believe you painted the dog spots! LOL. I’m afraid we won’t measure up…
Jenny Young says
I can’t say I’ve worked enough in my garden for gardener’s elbow, tennis elbow or any other kind. And my garden shows it.
This may be the motivation I need to finally attend the ‘Through the garden Gate’ tour! I’ve thought about it for many years & never have gone. I just need to grab a friend & go.
Talya Tate Boerner says
Now that’s funny, Jenny. Yes. Come to the tour!