Saturday, January 31, 2015

Good thoughts ~

I wonder what she's thinking...

...probably about birds, bugs and other very important cat things.

And what am I thinking about...


Sundial parterre in rear garden

It's that time of year again. I feel somewhat restrained because of the drought but with all of the other changes I have made in the garden this past year to cut down on water I think I can reward myself by planting a few new roses.

So I am compiling my list which will mostly consist of old rose varieties, in particular Climbing Pinkie, which I love and maybe one or two new David Austin roses.

Meanwhile there is lots of garden clean-up to do!

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Les charmantes petites fleurs ~

I think one of the nicest things about gardening is the surprise. Every year throughout the seasons one never knows what will appear, plants, bulbs and seeds that one has planted, forgotten...and then regularly come back, bloom, and delight. Many of these in my garden are supplied by what I call the petites fleurs.

Such are Violets.

I forget all about them and then one day I go out in the garden and find these exquisite little flowers. 

Here they are growing in the back garden next to the pond...

...and another grouping tucked up under the river rock wall in the front garden. 

My mother loved them and I always took her a little bouquet when they appeared. Today, in her memory In picked a few and placed them in a tiny, crystal antique toothpick container and put them on my dressing table.

The fragrance is remarkable and the charm immeasurable.

A perfect example of a lovely petite fleur.

Thank you for visiting. I hope your day is full of beautiful blooms.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Salad days ~

For the last year I have been trying to redesign my garden, mainly to reduce my water usage but also to lower maintenance. Sometimes it takes me a few tries to get it right, as in this area under the rear deck off of the kitchen. On the first attempt I reduced the flower border, enlarged the gravel area and added some grass. This time around all of the grass has been removed and I have created another little rondel, no grass, just mulch, edged in boxwood, which once established is quite drought tolerant and a newly planted weeping cherry in the center.


. left me with a strip along the brick pathway that needed something.

So, I planted a little salad garden! There was also enough room for some stock, a flower I love, it has the most wonderful fragrance and some herbs: parsley, chives and winter savory.


 On the other side of the path I put in strawberries, which I know I am going to fight the resident Blue Jays over.

Now, right outside my back door I can just step down and pick lettuce for a salad, or cut some herbs for cooking whilst enjoying the lovely scent of stock and later I might even be able to beat the birds for a few strawberries.

Lucky, lucky me!

Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I missed you ~

Most people think that only dogs miss their owners when they are away, but in my experience cats do too, they just express it is a different way...otherwise no barking, jumping, or tail wagging upon return.

And although Miss Twiggley had wonderful caregivers while I was away I could tell she was delighted when I walked in the door. She has hardly left my side since I came back from my trip.

She sleeps at the foot of my bed and my first night back she kept getting up and lying next to me, purring. It was as if she was trying to say, "Please don't go away again I missed you!"

Well Miss Twiggley, although I had a very good time, I missed you too!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A touch of beauty ~

In my last post I shared with you my trip to the nearby bridle path for eucalyptus cuttings
and promised to show one of the ways I used them.


I have a fairly long interior hallway in my house, at one end I have a large mirror and antique hall tree.
Usually I put an orchid here but I wanted to try something different, so I made this rather opulent bouquet of dried flowers and eucalyptus. 


I am loving it! 

If you have been following my blog for a while you might notice I included Gomphrenas, a new plant for me and one I did a post on last spring. I was thrilled how well they retained their form and color when dried. They are the pink powder-puff like flowers in the bouquet.

This photo reminds me of a old Dutch Master floral painting.

The nice thing is that this will last for months and months, really until I tire of them and want to try something new. But for now I am very pleased. It really adds a touch of beauty to what is a long, dark, and relatively uninteresting space.

Now I need to decide what to do with all of the rest of the flowers I dried last summer and the remaining eucalyptus...a rather nice challenge!

I am taking a little blog break.
 I am driving up to the Monterey Peninsula to visit my sister, I hope to share some of my adventures with you next week when I get back.

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Quest ~

I went out this morning with my pole pruner on a quest.

Down to the local bridle path on a hunt to seek the elusive...


Eucalyptus cuttings are great to use either massed together as in this Moroccan urn, or as a filler in dried flower arrangements.
as a bonus, bringing them inside also makes the house smell wonderful, and once dried they seem to last forever.

As you can see, I was successful in my adventure, but did notice that the lack of rain water from our current drought has taken a dramatic toll on the trees. I salvaged all of this from a branch that had recently broken off.

In my next post I will show you one of the things I did with this bounty.

So come back soon for the next installment...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wall decor ~

In a previous post I mentioned that my daughter had recently redecorated her both her dining room and front room, using soft shades of grey on the walls, accents of gold and brass and on the new round ottoman, a marvelous leopard print.

She was searching for a painting for one wall that would help pull it all together...something very loose, impressionistic in style and not terribly expensive. Otherwise a  difficult thing to find.

So...although I haven't painted in a while I thought is would be fun to try; if she liked it okay, if not no loss and into the dumpster it would go.

I ended up sitting on the kitchen floor to paint as this was the only place big enough for the large canvas. 

I worked on it on and off for a couple of days and this is what I ended up with. (I laughingly call it my two day masterpiece).
she liked it! 

 I tried to include all of the colors of the other elements in the room...basically a palette of greys and various earth tones. 

(I just realized that these are also Miss Twiggley colors)

It seems to work and it does help tie it all together. 

I love it when a project goes well!

Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The best spot ~

It has been quite least for us...the past week. Frost is on the roof every morning and I have been bundling up to go walking. Meanwhile Miss Twiggley has found a soft, cushy place to take her morning nap where she can be gently warmed by the sun.

Cats really know how to find the best spots!

I hope that your new year is off to a good start.

Thursday, January 1, 2015