Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, September 26, 2014

I Can Art

Now that the rain has made its reappearance, I've started concentrating on a few art projects for the garden. I made four cement stepping stones with colorful tiles from Bedrock Industries, a glass-recycling company in Seattle.

I set them into the gravel in front of the greenhouse, on each side of the concrete pad in front of the door. I'm planning to stencil words onto the open space on the pad.



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Oh Baby!

I also bought a ceramic baby doll head and arms when I was at JJ DeSousa's store Digs Inside and Out last time I was in Portland. I decided to paint them blue. And I bought some silly eyeballs to go with it. There's a battery-operated light inside the head that lights up the eyes at night.






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Flower Power

I made a second thrift store glass and ceramic flower, complete with a pretty stained glass butterfly, and I added a little cloisonne butterfly to the first one that I made, that has been in the garden all summer.





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Rubber Duckie, You're The One!

I bought three rubber duckies to put in the stream. I thought they might stay in the weir at the top of the falls, but the stream is too strong and keeps carrying them down to the opposite end (which is fun to watch). Except for one that the raccoons have moved around. I'm going to have to figure out a way to keep them anchored somewhere.




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The Sky's the Limit...

I bought a tall ceramic vase at the thrift store for a couple of bucks, and I'm working on painting it in bright colors for a special spot in the garden. The top is going to be a very soft sky blue.


Where the mad artist (that's me) has been working.

Now, if I can just work up the lung capacity to blow up that inflatable Tyrannosaurus that I bought...

For the origin of the phrase "I Can Art," read Frances's inspirational post at her blog Fairegarden here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

One Last Blast

All four of my Brugmansias are flowering at the same time right now. Yesterday evening when I got home from picking Nigel up at the train station, the driveway smelled like heaven, as well it should, given the common name of these plants -- Angel's Trumpet. They've each flowered off and on over the summer, but never profusely, and not all of them all at once.









It's going to be October in one more week (how did that happen?), and chances are good that we'll have our first frost some time that month. So pretty soon I'm going to have to evict my tomatoes from the greenhouse and move these big babies in. But until then, I'm going to enjoy them outside as long as possible.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Not A Child's Muddy Handprints

The raccoons that dog my attempts to grow plants in my stream have discovered the Folly in the front garden, with its fountain.

And its formerly clean off-white chaise.




Maybe, like children and Santa, I should leave them cookies and milk, or coffee and a book, to keep them entertained at night.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Foliage Followup

It's Foliage Followup!

Acaena 'Blue Haze' and Sedum 'Angelina' in the recycled concrete wall

Check out the comments here on Pam's blog Digging for more Foliage Followup posts.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, September, 2014

Happy GBBD!

Pink California poppy

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Go here for more posts.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pixie in the Shadows

The other morning while pulling weeds in the front garden I was struck by how beautiful the sun looked shining through the petals of one of my seed-grown Dahlias. I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures.





I didn't realize till I looked at them on the computer, that it looks like a wee pixie is hiding behind the flower. Doesn't that look like a pixie to you?




But of course, by the time I ran back outside to see, the pixie had flown.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Five Years of Blogging

As of last Friday, September 5, I have been blogging about my garden for 5 years. Because I started the blog when we first moved into our new house here in Washington state, after having lived in Massachusetts for all of my 50+ years, this blog has also served as a record of all the changes I've made in my garden here.

The Back Garden

When we came for the home inspection, I took photos of the back yard as it appeared when the former owners lived here. I also put this set of photos in my very first blog post, which you can read here. The pictures proceed from right to left across the back yard. Sorry about the very contrasty sun and shadows in the Now photos.

Before, taken from the back porch:


Here is that view now:



Before:


Now:



Before:



Now:



Before:


 Now:



Before:



Now:



Finally, Before:



Now:


And one more, the view taken from the gate in the photo above now, down on ground level:



Here's a panorama view of the back garden taken with my iPhone (click on it to embiggen).



The Gravel Garden

The second major overhaul we made to this garden was installing the gravel garden. When we bought it, the house had one entire side of the yard devoted to a gravel parking pad for trailers and boats, neither of which we have. I decided to put in a low berm bordered by boulders, mulched with gravel, and filled with drought-tolerant plants.

Below is a shot of the "Scorched Earth" parking area before we started working on it:



Here's a scan of the crude drawing I made showing my hardscape plans for the space:



Although work didn't start until March, 2012, I took that photo above back in August, 2011, not long after seeing Shelagh Tucker's gravel garden during the Garden Bloggers Fling in Seattle. Hers was the inspiration for mine. Also, while visiting Lorene Edwards Forkner's garden during the Fling, I saw tall gabions like I planned to use in the gravel garden. And I saw the culverts and stock tanks used as planters at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Equal Opportunity Theft here all round.

Here are some photos from today showing the gravel garden, now 2 years old.



Here below is a closer view of that first set of gabions and culvert.



Here is an iPhone panorama, distorted as if taken with a fisheye lens, of the gravel garden.



The Front Garden

For four of the five years that I've been blogging, we made very few changes to the front yard, which was primarily a large expanse of grass. In January of this year, just before we started working on it, the front looked like this:


And now, it looks like this:


From another angle:



And in the front, this is the view from the front door:



The house has one foundation bed that wraps around the southwest corner of the house. Early on in our occupation of the house, it looked like this:



And here it is today:



Here are some other views of the front. I don't have matching Before shots for these, because...well...basically just imagine grass.




And below is the front, taken with the iPhone.



That's the end of big transformative projects around here. From now on it's just tweaking.

Happy Blogaversary to me!