Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool

Here's a rerun of what the yard looked like March 8 in this photo taken from our bathroom window.  The snow has melted in the area over the warm drainage field/septic tank and the Girls are out and about enjoying the feel of dirt between their toes scratching around the crocus..

Oh, but let me show you what a difference a mere few weeks makes!

Here we are again, April 1.  What is wrong with this picture?

(Beside the fact it's not great photography and besides the stainless steel gazing ball is still sitting on the ground again (forgot to put it away last fall, ooops.)    

If you said, "Well, there appears to be more snow in this picture," you're right, there's more snow in April than there was in March.  The black blobs in the foreground are the same crocus, doing their best to bloom even after being buried by the last snowstorm we had nearly two weeks ago that dumped  17" of snow.  Living in Wisconsin, a snowstorm in the spring is no big deal, it happens all the time, but normally the snow melts in a day or two and we're back to mud.  Not this last time...the temps have just been too cold for much thawing. 
Teddy Dog making his way carefully across the snow this morning.

I am running seriously behind this season.  I'm afraid I will have to take drastic measures soon if this snow doesn't melt.  Normally we'd have the greenhouse up and running by mid-March and I'd have my seeds all planted, but since the last snowstorm we cannot even get close to the machine shed where the hoophouse is stored for the off-season.  There's still a 4' drift in front of the shed that extends over 50 feet.  I guess I'll have to go back to starting my seeds in the house and then transfer the flats out to the greenhouse when (and if!) the snow melts and we can put it up.  The only reason I'm not fond of seed starting indoors any more is because this house is so small; the only place I can set up the plant stand is in the dining room which severely limits our card playing activities.   I have around 2500 seeds to get in the ground and here it is April 1 already.  Oh, boy.
With Ashley in the lead, we have Buffy, Francee, Crystal and Goldie on their way out to work this morning, with Pudding Dog bringing up the rear.  The Girls don't let snow get them down.
Speaking of April Fools, Carl and I had a Serious Conversation about what we wanted to accomplish this year.  We need to finish something we started. 

We've been spending the last ten years working on the Quarry Garden and the Escarpment, and the hill behind the Quarry and the Pachyberm and the Something Else gardens, which all involved moving big rocks around in circles.
  In April of 2005, Joel is hauling a rock up to the construction site.  This is what April in Wisconsin normally looks like, in case you're interested.  Mud.

When big rocks are delivered by a dump truck, after they are unloaded, you end up with a whole lot of not-so-big rocks, too, as you can see in this April 2005 photo, below.  

 We had a lot of rocks on pallets when we got done sorting them all out.
I spent days and weeks sorting through the stones, grading them by size and loading them onto the pallets, which is what I'm doing in this picture taken in April of 2005 below: 
I would pick through the piles for rocks too small to use for the garden project and toss them into pails for gravel.  (Hard to believe how much I've aged in the last six years....sigh.)  Note my trusty knee pads and trendy black socks making a fashion statement. 

Here's where the true Fool part of this post is coming in:  I had a Foolish Idea which, at the time, six years ago, sounded like a Brilliant Idea.   (Now it's an idea I wish I'd never had.) 

I decided we could build something with those leftover rocks that were too small for landscaping and too big for gravel.  It wouldn't take much time, and hey, we had all the raw materials.  Let's build a Stone Garden Cottage!  (Arghhh, what was I thinking??)
We did get a start on the project way back in 2005, and that's where it all ended.  And that's where this post is going to end, with Carl and I sitting around making plans this past winter for what we're going to accomplish in 2011. 

Talk about April Fools?  How embarrassing to have started this project six years ago and not finish it. 
No, it's not a silo ruin, it's my 'Stone Garden Cottage'............sorta. 
Wall of Shame
Stay tuned for 'How This All Started, Part 16' or whatever number we're up to now....and I'll tell you a story about what happens when Carl & Karen bite off more than they can chew. 
But, hey, I take all the blame; after all, it was my Brilliant Idea.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What a terrible April Fools surprise. We are getting snow flurries but nothing like you girl. The wall of shame looks like a future great showpiece to me. Have a wonderful weekend.

FlowerLady said...

I hope your snow melts and you have no more this season. I LOVE your 'stone garden cottage' and can almost see it finished. Now we all know what you four have done through the years, this seems doable that's for sure. You've got the foundation laid, now all you have to do is keeping moving up. :-) They are smaller rocks at least.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Karen, Like you, I am way behind and sick of snow! Your stone-garden cottage is a masterpiece in the making - I love it. P. x

Beth said...

Karen, You do not have a wall of 'shame!' You have created so much, with your quarry gardens and windmill and gazebo and escarpment bed and goodness, be proud of yourselves!!! You have a paradise on your property that you and Carl and boys created; it's a real wow! Hope spring comes to your area very soon.

Junebug said...

Tell that snow to go away!!! We had our first 60 degree day yesterday since the first of the year. This is unusual for us and we had 6 inches of rain in March. I think Mother Nature is having a problem this year. It is no wall of shame in my book, only the start of something beautiful. I join you in finishing a project that have been a little slow in accomplishing. On to 2011!
Have a great April Fools Day,

Alison said...

I'm so sorry you are behind and still have snow to deal with. But I have to tell you -- your partially finished stone cottage is cool! You should leave it just as it is, and plant stuff in it! Turn that circle into a garden bed, and plant rambly stuff like clematises and climbing roses that will partially cover the stone. That would look awesome! Then it won't look partially finished, it will look like a ruin that has been taken over by plants!

And I agree with others who have said that you and Carl should be very proud of the beautiful garden you have created.

Darla said...

So sorry about all that snow, geesh! I say toss the cards and start those seeds....why can't you plant the wall of shame just as it is?

Bonnie said...

Us northern gardeners have been very patient this year, the weather has to break sometime, right? I do have some crocus in bloom though.

Gatsbys Gardens said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gatsbys Gardens said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gatsbys Gardens said...


You and Carl and the boys have done a magnificant job with that property. It is amazing what you have accomplished with all of the rocks.

I am very partial to stone for beds and walkways and my property is small. I can't imagine moving all of the stone you have.

Hope you warm up soon.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


I kept clicking because it wouldn't register, guess I got my point across, ha, ha!


Zoey said...

I think your "wall of shame" looks pretty good! How tall do you want it to be?

There is nothing shameful about all the work you and your family have done on those gorgeous gardens. I would consider you professionals after all that on-the-job training.

Sandy said...

Hi Karen.. thanks so much for your concern during our stormy day. We had 24 hrs of high winds(70mpr) and 5 tornados going through... I felt like I was back in Illinois.. We were in the walmart and they called everyone to the electronic dept while the tornado went over.. did not get us though,, just the entire town..haha
What a mess!
I hear you all had more snow.. will it ever end?
take care
and thanks again..

Jester said...

Hey Karen!
I woke up to snow this morning here in Jersey, but by midafternoon it was gone & just rain. But still, it's been cold here. I feel your pain! WOW!! Do youi really start al lthose seeds yourself??? You & Carl are quite amazing!!!!!! And personally, I am so lovin the cottage, done or not. You could always make it into a fancy looking gazebo, as if that was the plan all along?
...and you know I was totally drooling over all them rocks right????? and the tractor to move them all!!!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

What a miserable winter you have had in the East. It's been crummy here, too, but with too much rain and gray skies that have lasted forever! Hooray, today we had sunshine....there is HOPE! I don't envy the catch up work you have to do....I've been out in the yard two days in a row and tonight I have sore legs and tired back and I only pulled weed and planted beets and radishes.

Tufa Girl said...

Drizzly 45 and 39 a couple nights here in Fort Worth - now up to the 90's this weekend. That was a lot of rock, y'all have some kind of talent and vision going on is all I can say. Love those chickens!

Jean said...

We were fooled by Mother Nature too! Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 60'2 but then back to 30's and 40's! I hope we aren't 'fooled' the whole month of April. Jean

Sall's Country Life said...

Ughh, thank goodness someone else has it worse than us! Just KIDDING! I wouldn't wish more snow on anyone! Try to stay upbeat with the girls. We are stepping back this year with greenhouse plants, can't seem to beat mother nature and all of her nasty schemes. Weather patterns have gone off the chart and we've decided to ride it out from the sidelines for a year, until things come back to normal (whatever that is) Good Luck with your spring plans, the stone garden cottage has me intrigued. I'm sure it will be yet another Quarry Garden Masterpiece. Take Care and think spring!!

Cass @ That Old House said...

We too had some snow on april fool's day, but you beat us! (Which is OK with me.)
And those 79 cent Michael's tulips? They come in the most gorgeous cheery RED --- would look great plunked in your snowdrifts!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I am amazed at what your are able to grow in your create lots of beauty without some of the more tender flowers. Thanks for the comment. Hope you are warming up. Jan

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

After I have seen what y'all can build, there's no doubt in my mind that you can finish your stone garden cottage. Piece of cake for y'all! Can't wait to hear your plans for this year.

lifeshighway said...

Oh how I laughed at your wall of shame. Not this is looks shameful but that it feels that way to you.

You amassed an amazing amount or rock. I am pretty sure you will be able to build that cottage and then go onto a Wisconsin Stonehenge.

Carolyn ♥ said...

I love your wall. Plant some roses in there and you have a lovely rose garden. :)

Tootsie said...

we still have a lot of snow too...each day is a little progress tho!!!