Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DIY frustrations ~

I am finally getting back to the guestroom. I started this project several months ago. It's not that I didn't want to get it finished but other more important things seemed to get in the way, such as the holidays, engagement parties, annual pruning, and must needed changes in the garden related to the drought.

So far I have completed painting the room, rehung the doors on their beautiful new brass hinges, installed new ceiling moldings, and had the chandelier hung. But like all home decoration projects there have been difficulties one doesn't anticipate such as what happened today...

I have the drapery fabric, the lining, and a gorgeous trim but before I start making the drapes I have to hang the new drapery rod. You would think this would be a simple, quick affair, unfortunately NO! I discovered that putting up an eight foot drapery rod on your own is not an easy thing to do.  

I won't go into the nasty details but somehow I ended up with a rather large hole in the plaster which I made while trying to extract a molly bolt I had not positioned correctly...thank goodness for Spackle.

I was eventually able to get one...yes only one, of the brackets installed, the other will have to wait to tomorrow as I have had enough frustration for one day Now at least I have some idea what I am doing and I expect it to go better tomorrow. 

Meanwhile I want to share a close-up of my beautiful new chandelier with you.

 This is definitely the star of the room...at least until I get the drapes finished.

DIY projects are not always fun and easy.

Thank you for visiting. Remind me to tell you about the new retaining wall, another project.

PS. It is the next day and both of the brackets and the rod are up. Hooray! Now I can start sewing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Something new for something old ~

It's funny how sometimes you can see something old in a new light.
It was that way with this plant. 

I have grown Phlomis fruticosa, commonly called Jerusalem Sage, in my garden for what seems like forever.  It so interesting to look at and has the additional advantage of being very drought tolerant. When is blooms it is glorious, as you can see below. It pretty well covers itself with theses very attractive bright yellow whorls of flowers, followed by wonderful seed pods.
I think it is a great addition to any temperate garden.

Here I have it growing in the front garden with Lavender and a pink Austin rose...pretty!

But until a lovely lady in my gardening class brought in a charming bouquet containing Phlomis it had never occurred to me to use it as a cut flower.


I went online for more information about this common plant and found that not only is it an excellent cut flower but the seed heads dry well. And you know how much I like to find new kinds of things to dry for winter bouquets.

There is also a pink version which I simply must try.

 Now in my garden Phlomis has a few additional values. And I have found that there is much to learn,  even about the most ordinary plants.

Thank you Alice!

And, thank you for visiting.

I hope you are having a sunshine filled day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Alternatives ~

It's time to think about planting summer vegetables. 

I have an enclosed potager with raised beds where I usually plant vegetables but with our severe drought and watering restrictions I decided to leave it fallow this year.

As an alternative...

I am going to incorporate a few vegetables into the border below the deck. (I can't resist sowing a few of my favorite zinnia seeds too...aren't zinnias vegetables?)

Here it is last winter with lettuce but it should work well with summer vegetables too.

 The massed planting of Stock will be replaced by  pole beans, eggplants and summer squash. 

My new edging will be bush beans,

Tomatoes, I only bought determinate varieties to save space, plus one cherry tomato, will find homes
among the roses and boxwood.

The best part is this is all right outside my kitchen door, for the first time I will have a real kitchen garden!

Meanwhile I am praying mightily for rain!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A pile of junk ~

This might look like a pile of junk, and indeed it is, but it has everything I need to make something for the garden. 

I found the old mail box in the trash, a bit dented but it will be okay. My handyman Juan gave me the post holder and I had the section of post 
and the other piece of wood in the barn.

All to make another mailbox tool holder for the garden! 

I painted the mailbox my signature red, stained the post and when the paint dried I screwed it all together. Then...

I pounded the post holder in using a sledge hammer, being very careful not to do any damage to myself. Fortunately, I have very sandy soil so it went it rather easily and I didn't have to do any digging. All that was left was to slip the post in the post holder and tighten the supporting bolts.

Here you can see it better. 
 I put in the back garden near the pond and the gazebo.

Now I can stash some tools closer at hand for the  times when I go out just to wander the garden and then spot a little something I want to do, usually that means
clippers, a hand shovel, or string to tie up plants.

 Plus I love the way it looks!

Thank you for visiting. 
I hope you are having a happy day.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Last week caught me too busy to post but I wanted to make sure
 that I took the time to wish you all... 

a very joyous and happy Easter, spent with those you love.