Saturday, May 31, 2014

The maligned Ditch Lily ~

These day lilies have been in the garden for a long time, I remember them when playing here as a child and I always liked them. It was only much later that I realized they were commonly called, Ditch Lilies", because they are found growing wild in so many places along road side ditches where water collects.

They surely must be one of the hardiest plants but are looked down upon by many gardeners, mostly I think because of their strident color. But I like them here in the far back reaches of the garden in a rather shady area where they are pretty much alone; there are old fashion Granny Purple iris here too but they bloom earlier in the year. 

Every year at this time they add a nice burst of color at the end of the path. Up close the flowers are beautiful and complex. I like the more refined day lilies but these common and somewhat maligned ditch lilies give me the most spectacular blooms.

I have a theory: that in my warm climate, plants with stronger colored flowers perform better.  I really wanted a pastel themed garden but over the years I have added more and more yellow and orange to the garden pallet. Not exactly what I set out to do but what Mother Nature seems to demand.

Rather pretty aren't they.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a flower-filled day!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A New Project ~

With a very serious drought in California and the rising scarcity and cost of water I have been trying to think of ways to cut down on irrigation. Most of my garden is already on various drip systems but with a lawn that is extremely difficult to do and Rainbird sprinkers use lots and lots of water. So...I decided to take out the front lawn.

Here is one view of the old lawn

And here it is after...bare dirt and not very pretty!

The rocks are laying out the basic pattern for the  paths and the roundel, the shovel is standing in for a fountain.

I had two challenges in the new design: low water usage and low maintenance, lawns might use a lot of water, but they look lovely and are generally easy to maintain.

I have decided to go with a combination of gravel and mulch for the hardscape, the planting materials will consist of boxwood hedges, a Western Redbud tree, five pink  roses, and  various drougnt tolerent plants in a few places to soften the effect. One of the greatest things about drip systems is that you can water one plant and not the whole surrounding area.

Here is Juan installing the new water lines for the drip system and running the electricity for the fountain.

This all looks pretty awful right now but I have high hopes that it will all turn out nicely and even look better than before.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you are having a happy and constructive day! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Un peu de beauté pour la journée ~

I love gravel, I love the crunchy noise it makes when trod upon, the most wonderful alarm system, it gives a much softer and more organic look than concrete or asphalt, fitting so well in the garden.

. Here it is in what I grandly call my "mews", a large area at the end of the driveway in front of the garage. The gravel was installed here after a trip to England and a stay at a charming bed and breakfast, the Old Parsonage in the Cotswolds, where it was used in much the same fashion. We came home, and ordered it delivered the week after our return, it covers a very old, very ugly asphalt slab.

I have since used gravel in other ways throughout the garden and will be using it again in a new area I am designing, of which I hope to share with you later...

Thank you for visiting
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Des morceaux d'un jour ~

 Bits and pieces of a day...

when I woke up Miss Twiggley was sitting in the window waiting for me...she gave me this look which means, when do we eat?

Inspired by the very nice blogger, Hostess of the Humble Bungalow I repainted this little stand to hold  some pretty china tea cups that have been sitting unused in a cupboard, now they will be handy to use on a daily basis...will they make my tea taste better? I don't know but I will definitely feel more elegant.

I finished reading this book by Anna Quindlen, a new author for me, I really enjoyed it and now I am listening to a sound recording of another of her books, Blessing. It's always a treat to find an author that you like.

I put the final details on a new dress I have been making, I love the fabric, a jersey knit that I purchased online from It will be cool and comfortable for our hot summer weather. I already had the necklace which is a perfect match.

Lastly, ever since I read that the BBC was remaking one of the first of the Masterpiece Theater series, Poldark, I have wanted to watch the original shows, so I ordered the DVDs from Netflix. They have held up remarkable well and if you like "swashbuckling period romances" you will love this. I can hardly wait to view the new series when it is aired.

All in all a pretty successful day, now if our weather would just cool off a bit, for the past week we have had unseasonably hot, hot, weather, I am afraid that it means a very warm summer ahead which will make me and the garden quite unhappy.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Un petit quelque chose ~

Do you ever find yourself with a long to-do list and end up spending time doing something completely frivolous instead of what you should be doing?

I think, for me anyway, this is a coping mechanism.  Last week I had a whole list of things that needed to be done..and what did I find myself doing. Creating a market display in my kitchen! Totally for my own amusement and because it will be fun to look at.

After Easter I really hated the thought of putting these wonderful cabbages away for another year, so I decided to add a few things and enjoy them for a bit longer.

I created the little chalkboard out of an old plaque I bought a long time ago at Michaels and never used; it is always handy to have a can of chalkboard paint in the garage. It's just the right size to hang, as I did here, or perhaps I will  use it later on an easel. is my little Market and just like I thought I am enjoying it thoroughly

Now I suppose I must go back and spend some time addressing those items on that to-do list, not near as much fun, but alas, necessary.

I hope that you have a wonderful carefree day!
This post has been linked to:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Another way to use roses ~

I have been very busy lately and haven't had much time to post. The good thing is that I have gotten quite a bit done...the tree trimmers have been here, I have installed a drip system in the new border under the deck.


In the powder room I have finished hanging the wall paper and putting the molding on the doors, now all that remains it to install the new knobs hanging the little chandelier, making a skirt to go under the basin,
 some decorative details...and I will be done!

Today I leave you with another way to use roses, on a whim I scattered these petals around this large container on my dining room table and let them dry, in a few days I will probably whisk them away but until then....well, I think they look rather pretty.

Have a wonderful, wonderful day!