Carolyn Antl

C. Antl's art and musings.

May 7, 2019
by Carolyn
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Late Spring Gardening in Northern Ohio

After mid-May in Northeast Ohio when the coast is clear of frost, I focus my gardening efforts on weed control and planting annuals.

I find the best way to remove weeds, involves manually pulling them one at a time from the soil. Grab the weed at the bottom of the stem near the soil and pull. Pull weeds after it has rained when the soil is wet and they will slip right out.

Broadleaf Perennial Prickly Weed: Thistle

Broadleaf Perennial Prickly Weed: Thistle

Once I start pulling weeds, I get on a roll. Weeds beware, not even the prickly, the stubborn, or the creeping spreading suckers are safe with me around.

If there’s a large patch of weeds I’ll use a weed killer spray first, wait a few days and then pull what’s left of them out by hand.

Weeding can be tedious work, but I enjoy the scents and sounds of spring, and the sight of perennials popping up after a long winter’s nap. Plus, clearing a garden of weeds provides great satisfaction. One can really see the difference they’ve made in the garden.

Once weed control has been set in motion, I switch gears and begin planting annuals. Around the fourth week of May I plant seeds and small plants.

My favorite annuals include basil, geraniums, marigolds, portulaca and sunflowers. They grow well in sunny spots.

Sun Annual: Portulaca

Sun Annual: Portulaca

This year I’m also planting specimens that thrive in shade including Impatiens, hostas, tropical looking ferns and colorful Coleus.

Shade perennial: Hosta

Shade perennial: Hosta

Shade Annual: Coleus

Shade Annual: Coleus

Happy gardening!

March 15, 2019
by Carolyn
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Early Spring Gardening in Northern Ohio

In Ohio from late March through mid-May, I focus on pruning, soil preparation and some planting in the garden.

First I prune trees, vines and shrubs: Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry trees, Raspberry plants, Concord grape vines, Butterfly bushes, and a Texas Quince. What a wonderful change of pace working to the sounds of songbirds after a long quiet winter.

Pruned Butterfly Bush

Pruned Butterfly Bush

Then I’ll go through and clean the beds to remove any stray leaves or weeds. I prepare the soil by sprinkling some weed and feed product to enrich the soil and make it less accommodating to the growth of new weeds. Then to further enrich the soil where annuals will be planted, I refresh the soil with some fresh peat and Miracle Grow® garden soil.

As we head into late April I enjoy planting bulbs and flowers. This is one of my favorite gardening activities. I like the exercise, the feel of dirt running through my hands and the refreshing color of flowers following a bare, neutral winter landscape.

Since it may frost into mid-May here in Ohio, it’s best to plant hardier varieties of annuals first and then the more sensitive warm loving plants later in late May or early June. In April I plant Pansies and Durango Marigolds since they both tolerate colder temperatures well.

Pansies Offer a Burst of Color

Pansies Offer a Burst of Color

Marigolds, Durango Outback Mix

Marigolds, Durango Outback Mix

These gardening tasks go through mid-May. In the next post, I’ll describe late spring gardening in Ohio.

September 7, 2017
by Carolyn
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An Ibis Bird Drawing

White Ibis Bird Drawing by Carolyn Antl

My Dad’s birthday is in August and I had wanted to give him a gift he would appreciate. As he grows, it gets harder to come up with a unique gift that will surprise and delight him; to give him something new he hasn’t already gotten himself.

I think about this throughout the year. I’m on the lookout for a special gift for him.

Last year I gave him a very old, documented shark’s tooth that I had found at a vintage shop and he appreciated it.

This year on my quest to find something rare and unique I was having trouble. I didn’t find any treasures he might enjoy.

What could I get for him that would be unique and one-of-a-kind? Then it hit me, I could make something for him! I made this one of a kind, handcrafted piece of art, the Ibis bird drawing, then framed and wrapped it.

On his birthday when he opened his gift, his eyes lit up as he smiled. He really liked the drawing and passed it around for all of us to see. Since then, he has placed it in his living room to enjoy.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a unique gift for a loved one, look no further than yourself. Be creative. Any item you make for a person is not just the final project presented to them, but more so the time, thought and effort you put into creating something for them.

Happy crafting, baking, planting or whatever you like! Make it special as only you can.