"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves"...Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Looking ahead ~

I went out into the garden today and cut this big bouquet of Statice. It might seem strange to think about winter in the midst of spring but this is when I start collecting flowers to dry for winter bouquets and right now these are at their peak of bloom and at the perfect stage for cutting.

I planted them from a pony pack last year and this week at my local garden center I found a few more to plant...Statice sinuata, Pastel Shades, you can see they come in various hues of purple and pink, mixed in with white buds.

Like all of the Statices, they are very easy to grow and they dry perfectly, with a papery texture, retaining their full color. They are wonderful as fillers in large bouquets but also pretty on their own. 

You can see that a little friend came to help and advise me. Shame on you Miss Twiggley kitties are not supposed to be up here! Silly me, shouldn't I know by now who is the queen of the castle!

Thank you for visiting,
 I hope you have some beauty in your day.

P.S. Miss Twiggley says, "meow".

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A surprise ~

This morning when I went into the kitchen I found a big surprise!

The bunnies had come in during the night and set up shop.

They have been working very hard, especially moma bunny with her wheelbarrow full of fancy Easter eggs. Poppa bunny is busy too, but I think he is more interested in the cabbages and carrots!

I hope they stay for a while, it's fun eating breakfast with them...even if they are extremely busy.

And, I might add...Miss Twiggley is being very good, she has only knocked down one egg trying to catch a little lizard outside the window.

A very joyous and happy Easter to you all.
This post has been linked to: http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fairy tale flowers ~

As much as I love roses, the flowers that really started my interest in gardening were Foxgloves.

I knew nothing about gardening when first saw them growing outside of a very charming, local restaurant and they completely captivated me. My garden today stems from the small space I initially created to grow Foxgloves and other annuals.

Since then, this wonderful plant has become readily available at local gardening centers, but it is still impossible to find the bigger, biennial varieties, those I must grow from seed.

The ones you see here are the shorter, Foxy, which blooms the first year. I planted several dozen of them throughout the garden late last fall and they have just started to bloom

In some areas Foxgloves are perennials and reseed lavishly, here our summers are too hot and they are treated as annuals although when planted in partial shade I have occasionally had them summer over.

For some reason I think of these as, "fairy tale" flowers, there is something so magical about them. They remind me of garden gnomes, sprites, and children's tea parties in a time long ago gone by.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a magical day.
This post has been linked to: http://www.adelightsomelife.com/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Celebration ~

You might be wondering why I am standing here with a bottle of champagne.

I am celebrating!!!

After quite a bit of time and an enormous amount of effort I finally finished building this arbor. It is an exact duplicate of the previous one, built by my father, that was here before. 

That one was destroyed by a storm and since all of the arbors in the garden match the only way to replace it was to build one. I thought that I could do it...but it was a challenge.  The most difficult part was cutting all of the angled pieces in the top, or bonnet. I am fortunate to have a compound miter saw. Once that was done I knew I could get it finished.

It is made out of redwood and will eventually fade to a silver color. There is a Climbing Aloha rose planted next to it that was pruned back severely when the arbor was cemented in, by next year it should be covering the top again.

All the while I was working on this I thought of both my father and husband looking down at me and thinking, what on earth is she doing! But then smiling and being very, very proud knowing I could get it done all along.

So this is a toast to both of them and all that they taught me.

à votre santé Daddy and Raleigh...I did it!

I would also like to thank two other people who loaned me tools and gave me the benefit of their expertise on this project, my son-in-law Ward and my friend Larry.

Thank you for visiting, have a great day.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Crabapple allée ~

Every year when the trees in my Crabapple allée start to bloom I try to get a good picture of them...which so far hasn't happened.

This year was no different, I just can't seem to capture how pretty they look, especially in the morning when the sun is coming up. This is the closest I have come...

There are four trees is a row along side the driveway. A curved gravel path winds through them with the pink, old china rose Hermosa planted at intervals between each tree.

At the base of each tree I have planted Santa Barbara daisies and a very vigorous  pink geranium that I don't remember the name of. Clipped Boxwoods frame both the beginning and the end of the path.

Crabapples are lovely little trees offering something to enjoy year around: spring boom; summer foliage; color in the fall, and in winter, fruit for the birds. Because their branches are so malleable I often cut them to make wreaths.

 Before the path starts to the right of the picture above, under a Crepe Myrtle tree that provides summer color I have this grouping of birdhouses.

Can you ever have enough birdhouses in a garden? As soon as I finish the powder room project I want to build a couple of new birdhouses. I have never made them before but I think it would be fun to try.

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring wreath ~

Although we are (finally) having a bit of rain today full fledged Spring has definitely arrived. The rain only makes things better and the garden absolutely loves it...I hope we get more.

 I couldn't work in the garden, it was too wet, but I could add a little floral interest to the front porch...

I made a new spring wreath for the front door. I love to make wreaths they are so easy and I like to have something pretty on the porch to greet visitors.

My front door is unique in that it has a little glass door set in. I can peek out at visitors and I can also open it...I think a wreath frames it nicely.

I put this one together by wrapping it with a garland and then adding a few accents. The little watering cans were actually bought as Christmas decorations, but I like them better used this way.

I store my wreaths in oversized trash bags, it works out well, they can either be hung or laid flat.

What about a summer wreath? I am thinking of using little birdhouses, that might be fun.

Thank you for visiting, come back soon

This post has been linked to: http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/ and 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Le Printemps ~

Spring is here!

So much to see in the garden and so much to do...mulch to spread, time to fertilize and lots of new plantings to put in. Everything seems to be blooming at once; such a glorious time of the year.

I hope that your day is full of wonder and beauty.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Charming Charmain ~

In the street side garden at the front of the house grows the lovely David Austin rose: Charmain. I first saw it when on a garden tour that was sponsored yearly by the wonderful nursery woman, Mary Lou Heard.  It was so beautiful that I had to include it in my garden, thus, there are two of them, one at each end of the stone wall, both trained as climbers. It is one of the first and last roses to bloom.

Sadly, this rose has become difficult to find, passed up most likely by the newer David Austin offerings. 
It has a lovely fragrance like many of the Austin's and a beautiful, full, elegant flower. This morning I cut a few blooms to bring into the house...they are exquisite; the first of this season.

As you can see they are very happy, full of buds and ready to enchant, accompanied by this little iron ant walking across the top of the wall. He seems to like them too!

Speaking of insects, I found this book at the library, it sounded fascinating. Although I like insects, especially good bugs in the garden I really don't think they will appear in my diet soon. 

How about you are you up to a snack of edible insects? Or would you rather enjoy a rose? Of course you could always do both.

Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you have a beautiful day.