Sunday, July 28, 2013

A surprise in the garden ~

A long time ago I planted one plant of Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa in my garden for butterflies.
It reseeds itself and now comes up in the most unlikely and sometimes inconvenient places. No matter where, I allow it to be until it dies back. And although I have lots of butterflies, mostly Swallowtails and Monarchs I have never seen any sign of them in the caterpillar or chrysalis stage.
So I was very excited when I went down to the vegetable garden to pick a tomato for my dinner and saw this! 

I knew immediately what it was. Isn't he gorgeous? I went immediately and got my camera and it is a good thing that I did because by morning he was gone...safely I hope.

This brought back memories of one of my favorite children's books: Sally's Caterpillar. I read it to my children when they were young and then all the years to my students when I was teaching. 

 Gardens are such magical places, you never know what lovely things you will happen upon.

 Thank you for visiting, I hope you day is full of magical moments.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer projects ~

Now that the work on my deck is complete I am redesigning the flower border below. It had become unruly, difficult to maintain and a real water hog. I decided to cut down on its size by enlarging the adjacent grass and gravel areas.
 First I had all of the plants taken out...then we removed all of the rock edging to be repositioned.

This is the new gravel area which will serve as an enlarged walkway leading up to my back door and the deck entrance. First a weed barrier will be laid down and then covered with gravel.

I love Boxwood and decided to use them here to formalize the lines of the reconfigured border. It took 20 one gallon plants!

This looks like a mess but it is finally beginning to take shape, this is a very awkward space and it took several tries to bring it all together.

I still need to run the drip lines for the micro-sprinklers. I figure with the changes I have made I will be using half the water and half the time maintaining this area.
This is how it looks now, not exactly beautiful but the hedges are all planted and although you can't see it very well additional grass has been plugged in. I am not sure what else I will plant but I know there will be a row of pink shrub roses, definitely an Eden rose to scamper up the railing in the corner, a couple of areas to plant annuals and additional shrubs...but all of this needs to wait for cooler weather! By next spring it should be filled in nicely and I hope to come back and share it with you then.

How are you doing with your summer projects?

Friday, July 19, 2013

A view from the window ~

Like all indoor cats Miss Twiggley loves to sit in the window ledges and look at what is going on outside...this is one of her favorite spots.
What does she see, and what adventures does she image, wouldn't it be fun to know. I think that it probably has something to do with bugs, birds, and butterflies.
Sorry Miss Twiggley but you are safer inside, now lets go and play with some ping pong balls!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A bit of this and that ~

 Morning yoga excellent way to start the day.
A stop at the library on the way home. I was lucky to find some very interesting new books, including Maeve Binchy's last novel, I will miss her wonderful books they are always such a joy to read.

A quick detour to the nursery for some summer annuals to perk up the garden: Rudeckia's and a little, ground Morning Glory that charmingly trails and is wonderful for edging borders.
Then, some sewing. This dress is so easy to make and turns out so well it is almost sinful. Just four seams and some bias edging, out of knit fabric it is very comfortable in the hot weather; great to slip on while running errands.

 All in all a rather nice way to spend a day. I hope you had a productive and happy day too.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What the heat brings ~

It is hot! And one of the few positive things about the heat is the blooming of the Crepe Myrtles.

 Crepe Myrtles come in many colors, and are used in some areas of Southern California as street trees. The one you see here is a smaller variety called: Pink Pagoda, I love the fragile texture and soft color of the blooms.

I have two, the one you see here in the front and another in the rear garden next to the pond. 

The flowers are so pretty but really not good for cutting...alas, I have to enjoy them where they are. 

Although it is only July I am already longing for cooler weather and...rain! How wonderful that would be.
Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Long may it wave ~

Is there anything more beautiful than our American flag blowing freely in the wind? As many times as I have seen this symbol of our country it still never fails to bring a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

Happy Fourth of July