From My Carolina Home

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Early April in the Garden

It is getting warmer now, and the garden seems to be coming to life again. All around the flowers are not as prolific this year due to a late freeze that did some damage to the buds. Still, the light pink azalea is producing blooms and the bumble bees are having a great time.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

As was the case last year, the white shows the most damage in the discoloration of the blooms. But I still love the white flowers.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Covering the tulips helped, and the pink ones are in full flower.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Dawn on a quiet morning, sunlight makes an interesting pattern on the ground from the leafless trees. This time of day is so peaceful.  Crisp mountain air, hot coffee, breathe.  Soon the trees will leaf out, and the mountain views to the east will be obscured until fall.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The azaleas in the circle are sparse, but the ones that are blooming are pretty. Several others haven’t started yet, and the dogwood is still dormant.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A view down the drive from our home, more azaleas are coming out. It doesn’t seem like we will see the profusion of blooms all down the side of the meadow this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We have new visitors to the meadows and the back yard. This Eastern Towhee was scratching for food.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

His mate was nearby. She seemed to be more interested in bits of twigs and grass, and I am hoping that means she is building her nest nearby.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It seemed like this female cardinal might also have a nest in mind.  I hope so.  Her mate was in the rhododendron but I couldn’t get a good picture of him.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We had a visit from a Northern Flicker as well.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another dawn, and a foggy morning over the valley. Looking out over the hushed silence of the morning, there was time to appreciate the beauty of our world.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Goldfinches wearing their brighter color jostled for position on the feeder.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hostas are coming up strong, and soon will completely cover the bare ground around the tree.  My one little red tulip gallantly blooms all by itself.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The redbud is blooming, hosting a number of bees and butterflies.  I am hoping that the new growth coming from the bottom will fill in the bare spots.  DH has pruned it a bit severely to get the branches off the driveway.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Closer to the small blooms, the pink color is intense, and lots of buds have yet to open.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another new visitor, I am not sure who this is. I don’t think it is Bert or Ernie as he acts differently. He puffs a lot and gobbles loudly, happy for a handout of whole grain bread. But he has been in a scuffle or two as his bedraggled tail attests.  But, how would I know?  He might just be acting differently because it is spring.  In any case, he is fun to watch.  And he seems to like the bread treat.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is surely spring when the robins appear.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Small violas cover the mountainside behind the house, and sporadically in front.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The white and purple one I planted in the garden came back this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the small clearing behind the garage, ajugas are blooming profusely, covering a large section. The pollinators like them too.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I’ve taken so many more pictures, but this is enough for now. I love sitting on the veranda and enjoying the quiet solitude of our place, the mountain views ever changing, nature ever evolving.  We still have a week to go before the last frost date, but I think it is safe now to do some gardening.  The forecast is for temps in the 70s all week, with lows in the 40s.  Time to begin hardening off the seedings in the basement.  Some are still alive, but some died for no good reason that I can tell.  Oh well, will see what happens when I get them replanted.

What’s going on in your garden?

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March in the Garden

It is still looking more like spring than winter here, and amazingly the flowers are coming into bloom.  I am so afraid that our Blackberry Winter will nip all these flowers. Blackberry Winter is what we locals call a cold snap, and often a freeze, right when the blackberry bushes begin blooming – usually early April. Recently, I went to the Biltmore House, and showed some of the wonderful costumes in their Designed for Drama exhibit. While we were there, we did some walking around the gardens. Normally there would not be anything blooming in February, but due to the early warmth, lots of flowers are coming out too soon. All around are Bradford Pear trees and Golden Forsythia starting to put on a show. The cherry trees are starting to bloom with their delicate pink blossoms.

Biltmore Gardens Winter at From My Carolina Home

Little clumps of daffodils are popping up here and there.

Biltmore Gardens Winter at From My Carolina Home

Believe it or not, these are azaleas! They shouldn’t be in bloom for two more months.

Biltmore Gardens Winter at From My Carolina Home

This beauty is a variety of crocus dwarf iris?  There were several beds of these guys around Antler Village at the Biltmore Estate.

Biltmore Gardens Winter at From My Carolina Home

One thing I appreciate about winter is the architecture of the bare limbs of plants and trees. This gorgeous thing is a giant wisteria vine along an arbor leading into the Biltmore Gardens, likely close to 100 years old. It covers this arbor, and is stunning in spring.

Biltmore Gardens Winter at From My Carolina Home

This is a Japanese cutleaf maple, wonderful twisted trunk and branches, almost resembles a giant bonsai. In spring, this will be covered in red leaves.  There is such grace in this form.

Biltmore Gardens Winter at From My Carolina Home

Just down the path from the arbor is this spray of white flowers covering several bushes. I didn’t get the marker for what they are.  But I know they shouldn’t be blooming yet.

Biltmore Gardens Winter at From My Carolina Home

Back at home, the seedling are starting to put up small leaves. I need to replant some of them a bit deeper.

March Garden at From My Carolina Home

The best part of February was the progress on the amaryllis. The bud came out in mid-February, with 2 blooms. Previously the flower spike had four, so I need to repot it this year. It must need more nutrients than I can give it with just fertilizer, and needs new soil. Excruciatingly slow, it took four days to get partially open.

Amaryllis Bulb Year 4 at From My Carolina Home

Then one flower opened fully, beautiful dark red. The other followed a few days later.

Amaryllis Bulb Year 4 at From My Carolina Home

Both flowers fully opened, just lovely. I moved it out of the kitchen over to the pub table to protect it from damage.

Amaryllis Bulb Year 4 at From My Carolina Home

The bad news was there was going to be a major thunderstorm with possible hail on Wednesday night, then below freezing temperatures for three nights beginning Thursday night.  As I raced home from BOM club and errands on Wednesday trying to beat the rain, I found this when I got home.

Hyacinths 2

The hyacinth bulb I planted last year has come up and begun blooming. I knew the freeze would kill it, do I dug it up and put it in a pot in the Carolina room out back.  Then, looking at the flower beds truly for the first time in a few weeks, I was not pleased to see all this growth, in every bed! All three iris beds, the tulips, and the gladiolas are all coming up!

Tulips

I needed to get them all covered before the rain hit, just in case there was hail. Plus, they need to be protected from the mid-20s overnight temperatures we will have for three nights. Racing against the oncoming storm, I managed to get them all covered with sheets or fabric, weighed down with lattice bits, extra pots and gutter remnants. The forecast for Saturday night is 24 degrees, a hard freeze.

Covered bulbs

As I went to the veranda for extra pots to use, I found the jump-ups were already in full swing, and blooming! So I picked up that pot and put it in the Carolina room too.

Jump ups on veranda

As I worked, I also saw that the bargain snapdragons that I got for less than a dollar made it through the winter and are growing.  They have doubled in size from the original plantings. They got covered too.

Snapdragons

The planter box was covered as well with a piece of lattice and a drop cloth. I just hope that there isn’t a lot of wind, and that the covers all stay in place for the next couple of days.  There are daylilies and irises here.

Iris bed raised

I’ll have more gardening chores to do this month.  Transplanting the seedlings to set them lower in the dirt (which encourages stronger root growth according to my gardening book)  and thinning them out will best be done between the 5th and the 12th when the moon is waxing.  A PBS show on NC gardening has given me a couple of good ideas for new plants for the garden this year, so I will try to find these in my local garden centers – variegated weigela and red salvia.   I need to order my torenias too, the garden center grows them, and sets aside a flat for me each year.  Still keeping in mind that the last frost date for here is April 15, planting outside will have to wait in spite of this warm beginning.  I just hope that the freezing temperatures overnight and over the weekend don’t damage the local apple crop, or my bulbs.

Are you doing any garden chores or planning?  Or are you enjoying the last of summer in the southern hemisphere?

 

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February in the Garden

The moon is in the right phase for planting up to the 10th according to my Farmer’s Almanac, so I had to get a bit done over the weekend.  DH has set up a grow light for me in the basement, and donated some of his workbench space there so I can once again make an attempt to get some decent tomatoes, and a head start on the flowers for the veranda. Before we get started with digging in the dirt, here is the bud on the amaryllis. It continues to make slow progress towards a flower again this year.

Feb Garden 6

The African violets in the kitchen continue to do well in their new pots. See how tall the amaryllis is getting! This will be the fourth year it has bloomed.  I put a stake in the pot and loosely draped a selvedge around it to give it some support if it starts to lean.  Most years it stands just fine on its own. This way if it starts to fall over, it is protected from damage.

Feb Garden 7

This year I am starting some seeds in the pots I plan to keep them in, so no transplant shock. I found these two urn shaped pots at the thrift store.  I think they will look great on either side of the front door.  I plan to put johnny jump-ups in them.  They are only about 2 feet tall.

Feb thrifting in the garden 3

Warm days over the weekend made it nice to fill pots with soil outside.  Once again, I did coffee filters in the bottom.

Feb Garden 1

I plan a small herb garden in the ceramic pots, and I want to start those seeds now too.

Feb Garden 2

I had to dig out some trays to catch the water, and make sure I had enough of them.

Feb Garden 3

Then DH did pack-mule duty and helped to carry all of it down to the basement. I planted seeds in all of them. This year I hope I have solved my labeling issue, every year I seem to mess this up. This year I dug out some leftover plastic knives from my picnic supplies and wrote the plants on them with a sharpie pen. Let’s hope this time I’ll still be able to read them in two months.

Feb Garden 4

Last year I put some seeds out in the garden after the last frost for a hummingbird vine. The seeds were sent to me by long time reader, Mary. I do not know what happened to them, but I suspect that I forgot they were there and pulled them up as weeds. This year I put them in the large clay pot on the left, and Mary, I promise that I won’t pull them up as weeds this year. She also sent me some Meyer Lemon seeds, and I’ll try those a bit later in a larger pot.

Feb Garden 5

And lastly, I am still enjoying the gorgeous white roses DH brought me over a week ago. Aren’t they beautiful?!  They have such a lovely fragrance too.

Roses 1

Here are a couple of close shots, just perfect flowers.

Roses 2

Roses 3

I found this lovely white planter at the thrift store, but didn’t plant anything in it now. I want to put flowers in it and I ran out of seeds. But I’ll get some for planting later in the week.

Feb thrifting in the garden 1

Oh, and I found this garden themed goodie too. Not sure what I will do with it, the holes in the sides make it unsuitable for planting. It might end up on a table at some point.

Feb thrifting in the garden 2

If you have a spot for indoor above-ground crop seed starting, now is the time for February, up to the 10th when the moon reaches its fullest point.  Are you planning your garden or starting seeds now?

 

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Early September Garden and Oklawaha Greenway Walk

It has finally cooled down to a reasonable low 80s during the day, so DH and I can get back to doing some hiking.  This weekend, he wanted to explore the Oklawaha Greenway that runs through Hendersonville.  This isn’t hiking, just walking, but it was close and we could get some fresh air and exercise.  This greenway is a paved walking path that links several parks in our small town. It is so much green right now, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing it again later in autumn when the leaves start turning.

Oklawaha Greenway Walk

One part of the trail has a raised wooden bridge, over a swampy area.

Oklawaha Greenway Walk

Pretty little gardens appear here and there, but their blooming season is just about done.

Oklawaha Greenway Walk

I don’t know what these little wild orange flowers are, but they were in bloom everywhere!

Oklawaha Greenway Walk

Speaking of blooms, back home there are still wonderful torenias that the hummingbirds visit daily. The leaves on the torenias are losing their deep green color, signaling that their season is almost over. In the background, it looks like we are losing one of our beautiful evergreen pine trees that was hit by lightening earlier in the summer.

Early September Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The yellow torenias are still going strong. They are a different variety, and seem to be a bit hardier. The hummingbirds will visit them too, but they seem to prefer the purple ones.

Early September Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The geraniums are giving me one more burst of blooms.

Early September Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The white impatiens got huge over the summer, and are still blooming like crazy too.

Early September Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

There are a few new blooms on the bargain snapdragons. I love it when I take something almost gone and bring it back with just a little water and care.

Early September Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I have a few new blooms on the delphiniums (oops) dianthus too. I love the light and dark bands of color on these flowers.

Early September Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

There have been a couple of visitors in the garden recently too. I keep seeing these gorgeous black and blue butterflies. This one was resting on the veranda, and graciously agreed to have its picture taken, opening its wings to show its color.

Late August at From My Carolina Home

Then there was this little guy. He (she?) is a walking stick. I don’t see them often, and it is always fun when one stops by for a visit.

Late August at From My Carolina Home

Lastly, I wanted to share these photos with you. Sometimes the sunsets are quite spectacular from our veranda. These were taken in late August, and I just now have a spot to share them.

Late August at From My Carolina Home

They were taken about 10 minutes apart, and nicely show the progression of the sun and movement of the clouds.

Late August at From My Carolina Home

I wish I could get the camera to see both the beauty in the sky, and the green of the trees the way my eyes can.

Late August at From My Carolina Home

How is your garden doing?


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August in the Garden

Every time I say something about the garden, it conspires to prove me wrong.  In July, I said that I planted the johnny jump ups too late to get any flowers.  Then not a week later, here they come. I really cannot complain as I love their sweet flower faces.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

More little tiny buds are showing and I hope to have a lot of these soon.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I said I was disappointed in the dianthus in the flower bed, and then they went to town blooming.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The caladium is getting a lot bigger. I’ll have to repot it soon.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I put a saucer from one of my larger pots out in the yard near the bird feeder for the birds to use. Contrary little things haven’t touched it.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

These white begonias must love this heat, every one of the pots that has them is blooming profusely.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

And more begonias.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The verbena is still producing pretty purple flowers, surrounded by those begonias.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The last thing I said was that the hydrangea was just about done. Then it decided to put on a new show, with copious blooms in a dusky pink…

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

one gorgeous bloom in deep lavendar…

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

and one in a blueish hue with some purple and white, all on the same plant. At the same time!  I think this one will deepen to all lavendar over the next week or so.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course, the torenias are still going strong. These baskets will keep going all summer and well into fall.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Then there were the visitors this month. A small flock of wild turkeys is back, which usually doesn’t occur until September. I am hoping for cooler weather soon.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

With the longer lens on my camera, I can get much better pictures of the wildlife now. These males were fluffing their feather against the rain, and I was hoping they would spread them and strut but they didn’t oblige me.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The one on the right here is a juvenile, likely hatched this spring.  I think this small flock of five is all bachelors.  Hard to say though, as the young ones don’t have their red coloring on their heads or the feather wattles they will get later.  But the females don’t turn red or grow wattles.  Either way, I just like watching the wildlife as it strolls by.

August in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

They stayed around for quite a while, eventually working their way around the house and up the mountainside behind the house.

What is going on in your garden?

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July in the Garden

Wow, after all the holiday posts, it is nice to get back to the garden for a bit.  The weather did cooperate for me, giving me lots of cool and rainy days to post about Christmas ideas, then turning back to warmer and sunny for getting back to the present.  Unfortunately it is now maddeningly hot.  Heat absolutely makes me wilt and I hate it.  While we were making holiday projects and getting new ideas, my flowers kept going. The torenias are spilling down the sides of their baskets, and I managed to grab the camera when the hummingbird paid a visit.

Hummingbird July 2016 4

She comes regularly, but only stays a short time. By the time I notice the movement and run for the camera she is usually gone.

Hummingbird July 2016 5

I am pretty sure she is a girl, there is no red on her.

Hummingbird July 2016 6

July is the time for my gladiolas to bloom, and they did.  I thought they should bloom in June so I was disappointed in them then, but I just needed to wait another month for gorgeous flowers.  A couple of hard rainstorms broke the spires, so I had to cut them and bring them indoors to a vase to enjoy. One thing about glads, the flowers will continue to open even after cutting. Here is the white one…

Gladiolas in July at From My Carolina Home

and the yellow.

Gladiolas in July at From My Carolina Home

This gorgeous deep apricot one is in the back on the mountainside. It is either a volunteer or was planted years ago by the previous owner of the house.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

DH was kind enough to get out there on the slope behind the chain link fence after a rain, and dig up several by the roots to replant in the front flower bed with the yellow ones. I cut the spires for the inside vase and planted the bulbs. The little daisy was a gift from a friend, and I think I’ll plant it too.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

The lighter color apricot is also from the mountainside.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

Lovely together aren’t they?

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

A misty, foggy morning during the Christmas in July event shows the layers of hills across the valley.  It is so thick that you cannot see the next high ridge that I show on my header photo.  By the way, I changed the header photo to a summer pic.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

My caladium seems happy in its place, another gift from a friend.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

I planted the johnny jump-ups too late and they never bloomed.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

But the little dianthus flowers keep going.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

These yellow torenias continue to bloom too, I just love these flowers and so do the bees.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

All the impatiens are getting huge and blooming profusely.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

It is just too frazzling hot to get out and deadhead the hydrangea, and I need to clean up the torenias and the geraniums. On the bright side, the lobelias don’t need any tending, and they are still blooming nicely.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

The super belles are getting a bit leggy, and the blooms are few and far between.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

And I was very surprised to find a squash plant growing in the middle of them! How it got planted there is a mystery, but I suspect a squirrel did it as I keep running one off the porch that has been digging in the pots. The squash plant has produced some flowers but no veggies yet.  Well, at least it has some flowers, maybe I’ll get a squash or two. The others have been eaten by something, the plants are completely gone. Rabbits or some other leaf eater got them all, and my broccoli too.

Squash in the flower pot

The tomato plants have only produced a total of three little tomatoes, and I do not understand why they won’t grow better.  They get 7 hours of sun a day, plenty of water, and I have given them marvelous soil and fertilizer.  So, I am still buying tomatoes at the farmer’s market and the produce stands. Also in the front bed, the verbena is still going strong so why the veggies aren’t doing well is beyond me.

July 2016 in the Garden | From My Carolina Home

What’s blooming in your garden?

 

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An Interlude on the Veranda

The flowering season continues, and as we head into a holiday weekend, many more blooms have shown their faces. There were several weekend mornings over the past month where I took my study materials out to the veranda on a cool morning with a hot cup of coffee. Quiet and peaceful, birds chirping and enjoying the feast of seeds in the feeder, it is relaxing and easy to concentrate.  Although sometimes I got caught up in the beauty of the forest and the flowers.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Sunlight filters through the forest to the east as the sun comes over the mountaintop.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I finished 24 hours of CEUs in June, bringing my total close to the 50 I need for the year.  Thank you to everyone who commented for all your support.  I wouldn’t say it was fun, some of it was interesting, but I would just rather be playing.  There is only so much neuropathology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes management, and psychopharmacology one can take, even as interesting as those subjects are to me.  Now I only have one more course to do and four months to do it. Cool quiet mornings on the weekends and my days off helped. So did staying off the computer as it gave me back a lot of time.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

In the garden, things are still blooming wonderfully, especially my hydrangea! Looking over the railing, it is full of blooms in three colors. What looks like white on the right is really a pale pink in the early morning light.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

This lavendar color is my favorite, and I cut a few of these to have inside.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The daylilies continue their show, this one is just so intense with color.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

And this one too.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The paler peach one with the yellow throat blooms just a few feet away.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The ruffled one is still going too.  Daylilies will bloom continuously for a month or more.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The Easter lily bloomed finally, just a few days ago. Just one bloom this year, it may be done, but I’ll give it some fertilizer and we will see what happens.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The geraniums and verbena are happy, and apparently the fairy is out as he left the door open. One can just imagine what wonders await at the top of those stairs inside.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The little blue lobelia in the pretty pot is happy.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I think the white lobelia got a bit waterlogged as the container is water tight after all. I drained it out, and will be much more careful with the water on this one from here on. I need to move it into more sun too.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I can’t believe how tall the yellow lantana has become! I didn’t know it would get that tall, it is almost 2 feet. Next year I’ll put those in the front bed for some height.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Here’s my study space in the evening after work, glass of tea at the ready, books open. The impatiens are getting huge and blooming like crazy!

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

This verbena on the porch was lagging along, then all of a sudden took off, blooming and filling in nicely.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Out front, the local goldfinch population got the word out that the diner was open and all the barstools were taken, LOL!

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

The hostas came into bloom over the weekend, I love these. The foliage fills in beautifully every year and the flowers are so pretty. These are along the back retaining wall behind the garage.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

These are out front, around the big oak tree.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Close up they are such a pretty purple with a variegated throat.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Here is the hydrangea from the front, spilling through the railing on the steps.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Out back, on the mountainside, the rhododendrons start pale pink opening to white.  They will bloom for a couple of weeks.

Early Morning June Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

In the time I allowed myself between studying and working, I have been planning and sewing on a special event to come in July. It is a Christmas in July event that will cover daily posts here on my blog for 12 days, plus the link up with a blog hop. There will be something for everyone, the crafters, the sewists, the quilters, the stitchers, the tablescapers, the DIYers, the cooks. I promise you will not want to miss a day. But, that is all I will say for now, there are more plans to finalize, sewing to finish up, crafting to do, cards to make, pictures to take and tutorials to write.

How is your summer going?