Garden, Sew, Repeat

It’s that time of the year when gardening competes with sewing. Or as we refer to it, “forestry management”. We have 2 1/2 acres, much of it heavily wooded, with two “garden” areas. We grow only deer resistant shrubs, trees and flowers as the deer quickly eat anything resembling a vegetable. My vegetable spot consists of a barrel of herbs and a couple potted tomatoes on our deck, which is 20 feet higher than a deer could reach. Garden here involves a lot of pruning, massive amounts of weed pulling, and a constant battle with blackberry canes which grow like dandelions here. Hubby has already burned 3, 10″ piles of canes.

Our Rhododendrons are a bit late blooming this year, but they are starting their fantastical show of glory. How many do we have? I wonder about that, but I have never counted them. Rhodies grow abundantly here in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, even in the wild.

The tiny perwinkle Rhododendron is a favorite, a mini-variety that languished in the garden, overwhelmed by competing salal, oregon grape and weeds for a couple years. Gingerly, we moved it into a large pot and now, after 2 patient years, she is in full glorious bloom. An early variety, she sometimes throws out a second, less profuse round of blooms in October or early November if the weather is mild. The leaves are only 1/4-1/2″ long, compared to her neighboring Rhodie, whose leaves are 4″ long.

This pink one was probably planted in the mid- 70’s when the house was built and is about 12′ tall.

The red maple behind really sets of the Rhodie.
Another vintage Rhodie, most likely a Nancy Evans variety.

This is a one of our newer Rhodies.

Oh yes, there is sewing! First up is block 3 of the new Queen’s garden that I am working on for a friend. Here is the new one, with the three together. And I could not resist a flourish of FMQ in the center of the giant flower. I am enjoying this pattern even more the second time through!

Red Delicious is now under my Tiara needle. The individual blocks are now quilted. Next up is stitching those tiny red sashing strips and the borders. I should finish up this week.

Happy sewing & gardening!



  1. Oh Lennea what a wonderful walk around your garden, I have a dear friend in NZ who has a similar garden about the same size block of land and covered also in Rhodies and Azalies. His garden was started by his mum so has some of the lovely old ones too. I was lucky enough to visit the northern part of Japan and as we drove over the mountains they were in full bloom plus the azaleas what a sight???? Hills side just a mass of colours. You sure on a roll keeping up quilting your tops, I wish I was brave enough to do the same. Cheers Glenda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FMQ takes a LOT of practice. Which means it takes time and you are so very busy with your Esther and other quilts. Fortunately, I did not discover Esther until I had been FMQ for a couple years.


    2. We have big chunk of evergreen treed property, but the rhodies in our front garden are just spectacular. Many were planted in the 70’s and have grown huge! And we have added more the past 8 years. They are just wonderful. Glad you enjoyed them.


  2. Hi, love to read your blog, your garden flowers are beautiful. Must be a pleasure to sit on the decking and just survey. Your sewing as normal is beautiful. Over the few years I have known you you have come on leaps and bounds. Glad yo call you my friend. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, love to read your blog, your garden flowers are beautiful. Must be a pleasure to sit on the decking and just survey. Your sewing as normal is beautiful. Over the few years I have known you you have come on leaps and bounds. Glad t
    to call you my friend. ♥️


  4. Right now, “Garden, sew, repeat” is my life as well. I also talk about the competition between gardening/yard work and my sewing. We generally don’t have a deer issue so we can have a huge vegetable garden and an orchard; also grapes, blackberries and chickens on our 3 acres. Some flower gardens around the house and pool area and then I have two herb gardens. I always joke that I could work out there all day/every day and never be DONE. I do love working out there when the weather is nice but by every fall, I’m very ready to say goodbye to it for a few months of rest and uninterrupted quilting!


    1. We have deer wandering, so unless you have a fenced area, you have to be very careful what you plant. But they don’t bother the Rhodies!

      We laughingly call it “forestry management”. And yes, it is never Done!


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