Friday, May 31, 2013

Hidden Beauty ~

Some things aren't very pretty at first glance, especially a big pile of mulch in the work area. but it sure is useful. Because I use so much of it I buy it locally by the scoop: one scoop is equal to a pick-up truck full. When you bring it home it seems like a huge amount but it goes quickly. In my garden I use 5 to 6 scoops a year. At only $20.00 a scoop it is a bargain.

I use it as a top dressing to keep down the weeds, conserve water, and add a more finished look. Because it is organic it breaks down and enriches the soil. Here I have put it in an area in back of the gazebo. It is a real boon to easier maintenance and I like the way it looks.

The climbing rose is apply named Butterscotch, it is very, very, vigorous and hardly ever without bloom. Such a pretty color somewhere between yellow and orange. Warning however: do not plant this rose unless you have lots of room for it to roam!

Compost and mulch are two of the most import ingredients to a healthy and vigorous garden if you haven't incorporated them into your gardening regime I encourage you to do so.

Yesterday I had eye surgery. It went very well and I can't believe the improvement in my vision in just one day. Everything is so much clearer and brighter ~ I feel so lucky! 
Thank you for visiting ~  May your day be bright and colorful!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quelque chose de mignon ~

I thought it would be fun to share something cute with you today, so I picked this little iron frog. He is standing by the pond in the midst of some Asclepias tuberosa: Butterfly Weed, waiting for some bugs to come along.
I used to have real bull frogs in the pond but they ate up all of the goldfish! Bad boys. But this little guy wouldn't harm a fly...well maybe.
 Ribbet, Ribbet
Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a happy day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pretty Soon Tomatoes!

My potager is limited to two 4x8 foot raised beds and several large pots ~ I find that this is large enough for my needs. It is located in a reclaimed area that used to be a horse stable. This year I have planted Japanese eggplants, a couple of different types of squash, strawberries, bush beans, and several kinds of tomatoes. I also tucked in some annual herbs and sunflower seeds.
I grow the tomatoes in the pots so that I can use fresh soil...tomatoes don't like to be grown in the same location year after year.
And today, I noticed tiny little tomatoes on some of the vines ~ hooray!
The scarecrow sends his hellos, poor thing his head is an upturned pot and he has stick arms...but at least this year he is sporting a new shirt!
If you really want to see an elegant scarecrow visit Dottie at:, her Miss Addie is adorable.
Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a bountiful day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Easy and Lovely ~

Last summer I had some of the prettiest Zinnias in the garden: they were all in various pastel shades. Zinnias come in the most wonderful different colors, sizes and forms, plus they face up well to our long, increasingly hotter summer weather and are super easy to start from seed. I made the discision then that next year I would plant lots and lots of Zinnias.
 This year I was once again able to get a good selection of seeds in soft pinks, lavender, pale yellow, and   I added Envy, a beautiful chartreuse colored zinnia to the mix.

 Because I wanted a lot of plants I mixed all of the packets of seeds together and planted them in seed starting mix in a discarded flat. First I lined the flat with newspaper; I find this works well. That was two weeks ago and now you see all of my abundance of little seedlings, in a couple more weeks I can plant them out in the garden!

These are from last year, aren't they pretty ~ you can see why I love them.

  If you get a chance try planting a few Zinnia seeds, so easy and you won't be disappointed. Oh, I almost forgot.. they also make great bouquets.
Thank you for visiting I hope you have a flower filled day.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Un peu de beauté pour votre journée ~

It will come as no surprise to you who know me, but I love tools and equipment, all of those wonderful aids for sewing, gardening, painting, woodworking, and the many other endevors. I think many tools can be attractive in themselves, thus this photo of an old, very well used watering can. I have several watering cans stashed throughout the garden just in case something needs a quick watering. This one sits next to some blooming Alstromeria. I thought that I would share it with you as a little something to add beauty to your day! 
I am looking forward to be taking a photography class this coming weekend, I love my camera but I don't use it to it's potential; I hope to learn all sorts of interesting new things. Meanwhile, as far as equipment is concerned I am struggling with trying to assemble a garden cart...more of that later.
Thank you for visiting ~ Have a lovely day.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Not a Pretty Post ~

What a mess!  My poor, old 30+ year old deck is finally being rebuilt and instead of flowers, wood and tools are littering the rear garden.
All of the joists and support beams are being removed and replaced. About 75% of the flooring will be turned over and reused ~ thank goodness for the durability of redwood. It will all be sanded down, stained and sealed.

 When I see how damaged all of the old supports were I am surprised I haven't walked out and fallen through!

Lattice panels will be built for under the deck, and the flower border will be completely redesigned and replanted with an emphasis on easy care and low water usage.
Hopefully in another week all of the construction will be done, the mess cleaned up and the deck will be ready for enjoying this summer.
Thank you for visiting and Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eden ~ A Touch of Paradise

The roses have been particularly splendid this year, I don't know why, we didn't get any extra rain; perhaps it is because the winter here was so mild. 
One of the most spectacular and charming climbing roses in my garden is Climbing Eden: most aptly named for this beautiful rose is exactly what you would expect to find in paradise.
Eden is a french rose hybridized by Meilland and does extremely well in warmer climates. Although a robust climber it is restrained in growth and doesn't intrude as so many climbing roses do.  The flowers are amazing ~ multi-petaled, with a slight variation in color, globular in shape and sweet smelling. Stylistically, they fit in perfectly with David Austin and antique roses.

I am making plans to replant a large border adjacent to my deck that is currently being rebuilt and I think including another Eden to clamber over the railing is a must. What do you think...isn't she gorgeous?

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a rosy day.
This post has been linked to: http://fishtailcottage.blogspot.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

La brouette rouge ~

Some women crave jewels, candy, and luxurious lingerie, not that I don't enjoy all of these things but I also have a thing about tools and equipment, especially for the garden. And red wheelbarrows are my special weakness. So when I went to Costco last week and found that they had these beautiful  wheelbarrows well, I simply couldn't leave without one!
 It was heavy so they loaded it all in the car for me. It came in three parts: the handles, the actual metal bucket and a box full of as it turned out, lots and lots of nuts and bolts and a sheet of really bad directions.

I have never put a wheelbarrow together before and I must admit it was a bit daunting, but I got it done with everything in the right place and no leftover bits and pieces...

After I got it all assembled I put it on this cracked concrete pad adjacent to the's so shiny and new I hate to get it scratched and dirty ~ maybe I will fill it with potted plants and use it as a planter for the season.

Here she is my beautiful new brouette rouge...wheelbarrow sounds so lovely in french!

 With my new found skills I just might tackle assembling that garden cart that has been sitting boxed up in the shed for the past several years!
It's amazing what we can do when we have to.
Have a lovely day 
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