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Peeling Wallpaper, Dragon Fruit, and Blooming Flowers

Posted by mrssmythe on May 14, 2018 in Garden, House, Seasons, Week in Review |

Things are hopping here on the home front. Inside, I’ve decided to (finally) tackle the kitchen walls. These should have been painted years ago, but I’ve put off the job because it wasn’t a matter of mere paint. There’s wallpaper under all that paint, and it needed to be stripped before any more paint was applied. Not an easy job. Last week I took a deep breath and got started. Here you see Ginger at work. (She’s a great helper with projects of this sort – and she was also thoroughly tired of that orange paint!)

The first layer of wallpaper came off relatively easily. The next layer has been harder to remove.

Judging from the colors and prints we’re seeing, I’d say both layers were applied sometime in the 80’s. I explained to Pepper (who was aghast at the prints we uncovered) that powder blue and dusty rose were popular colors in that decade.

I can’t imagine how long this project is going to take. I managed to get most of two walls done this past week, but what remains will be difficult to reach. I may have to slow down a bit as I negotiate corners and areas above and beneath cupboards. Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide which white paint to use when I finally get the walls clean. I had no idea white came in so many shades.

In other news, Ginger has been experimenting with unusual foods. In the last couple of weeks, she’s tried seaweed, sushi, and sugar cane. Most recently, she brought home a dragon fruit. It had a nice, mild, sweet taste, but the most impressive thing, I think, was the way it looked when we cut into it:

In the yard, things are finally in full swing. The violets are out in force, both on the front lawn…

…and the back.

Elsewhere in the yard, the ground ivy is out:

It’s tricky to mow around, but pretty and attracts a large number of bees.

Several of our shrubs are blooming: the lilac, the honeysuckle, and this flowering almond:

And we have trees in bloom, too, including this apple:

The Creeping Phlox is putting on a good show, blooming around the perimeter of the fish pond.

And the Bleeding Heart (really my favorite spring bloomer) is enormous and loaded with blossoms.

CPT A jokes that it must be eating small animals to have attained its massive size (waist high and five feet across), but I’m convinced it’s vigor is due more to the fact that the dogs relieve themselves nearby before we head off on our morning walks each day. Whatever the reason, it’s obviously very happy.

From the dining room table, with two trees to plant this afternoon,

Mrs. Smythe

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6 Comments

  • Jenn M says:

    Oh my, that is a lot of work! You will be so happy once it’s done though, and if you ever want to repaint, it will be quick and easy!
    Love your spring flowers too.
    Jenn

    • mrssmythe says:

      That’s what I keep telling myself – that it will be so much better in the long run. And, I’m learning some tricks as I go, so it isn’t as tedious as it was. Still – what a job!

  • Grandma Marian says:

    Really admiring your knowledge of everything growing in your yard area. I just enjoy the flowers. And Ilove bleeding hearts. Ours is 5ft across also, but is already finished blooming. The white one planted last year is still pretty small. The big rhododendron bloomed almost without my seeing this year. Don’t know how I missed it, but it’s now down to the sticky things that fall off when it blooms and the purple one beside it is blooming.

    • mrssmythe says:

      Working in the yard over the years has definitely increased my knowledge of plants. I knew so little before we moved here – and I still learns new things every year. And, we’re definitely behind you in the growing season – our rhododendrons haven’t even started blooming yet.

  • TeaLady says:

    Ugh! Taking off wallpaper! I can’t imagine having to take off 3 layers! I’m glad you have a helper.

    • mrssmythe says:

      Thankfully, I found a great tool that pierces the wallpaper and helps dissolve the glue underneath, so it isn’t as tedious as it was…The downside is the tool sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

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