Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ferns, back yard to front garden

 This first group of ferns I brought up from the back yard did so well that I thought I'd move some more.
 This little urn should have a full and classic look because there are 5 individual plants in it. This photo also amuses me because it shows you how close to the street our little wildlife habitat is. Lots of things can thrive in the city....including me!
 Seeing the fern next to the birdbath gives you an idea of how tall it is and how wide it will be. I love it already.
It will be much prettier after those hosta around the tree get a bit bigger and it's even better later in the year when they flower.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The garden view from my chair

 I'm trying to get ideas for some little paintings that would help describe the things that I like about my garden.
 I was so excited when a butterfly landed on my husbands shoulder-I guess I'm not the only one that loves him in those Hawaiian shirts.
I'm planning on adding a few flowers to the ferns and need to rake around the tree but I'm pretty happy with this corner of the yard so far.


 We're new to this and aren't sure whether the birds are too fast or we're too slow with our cameras. It took 2 of us 1/2 hour just to get these photos.

A butterfly, a chickadee and me

It's partly sunny today but cold and windy in the shady areas that cover most of the garden. I was keeping warm running (more like a slow wobble) back and forth to the rain barrel to get all of my plants watered.

The butterfly was smart. It was hanging out is the sun, skipping around the warm gravel that surrounds out campfire ring.

I keep wanting to have a campfire and bought some bratwurst to cook over it but that's more fun when we have company-don't you think so?

3 great tips choosing lawn or patio furniture

1. Never buy anything your grandma couldn't move. You'll be old someday too.
We move our furniture a lot between various areas of the yard and out to the campfire ring so it pays to make it easy on ourselves.

2. Never buy chairs that can't be sat on without a cushion. It gives you more options. I know a lot of people that have furniture outdoors but seldom use it because they have to run back and forth for cushions. You can add cushions to the stuff I've got but you don't NEED them so they get a lot more use and everyone is happier for it.

3. Think about the finish and choose something that can be retouched or repainted easily. You're making an investment that you'll be living with for many years. The table in my photo is older than a lot of people I know and I still love it.(so far it's been white,yellow, camouflage, lavender,green and blue)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Plant Progress

 Here's a look at one of the roses
 This is the lilac you see in the border to the side of my green chair
 The hosta has made a good come back in that planter box we built on the side of the house last year.
This is part of the mess in the backyard but it's also my best producing raspberry bush so I'm attempting to prune it in such a way that it will send up more shoots that I can transplant to neater areas of the yard.

Front Garden Photos

 I spray painted a table to go with those blue chairs but it's not dry yet. I'm looking forward to pulling it into place in time for coffee in the morning.
 These shots should give you an idea of the placement of some of the plants that I've been writing about.

 These tulips are faded and spent but I'm waiting to cut them until I have time to work on that new tulip painting.
These pots are a mini kitchen garden. So far they've got strawberries, raspberries and radishes in them. Soon I'll be adding carrots and chives which will be handy because this area is near my front door.

A bit of gardening

The weather was beautiful here yesterday so I dug up and shared some lilies and Iris with a neighbor before putting in another section of wildflower border. This year I'm not taking any chances and mixed 2 types of store bought seed with the seed I'd gathered from my plants last season. It's got to come up full and pretty this year or I'm out of ideas and need a new plan.

I lost one of the strawberry plants I moved back in the cold weather but the rest of them seem to be doing well and I can report better than expected results with the climbing roses I put into the big planter box by the fence.

All in all I can say that the season is off to a good start. The radishes are up but not quite an inch tall. I munch on them while thinning the tiny shoots.

There are baby birds in at least one of the houses on the arbor out front and we enjoy the activity and noise of their little families so much that we barely notice the sounds of the traffic on our street. There are of course a lot of people that drive by to look and wave, it isn't often that you see a house in the city with a bird resort. After all they've got 8 houses, 4 feeders and 2 birdbaths here and many of the houses were built by my husband before I painted them with lots of bright and interesting designs...I guess we are quite a sight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Live tulips, pencil and paint

 The last of the big tulips from my garden.
 A drawing in colored pencil. Thins one was scanned into the computer.
 Here's how the drawing looked on a photograph. It always amazes me that the same piece of art work looks so different when shot in different light or with different media.
 It's also nice to see the drawing along with the flowers that inspired it.
 I started a painting too but it's far from finished at this point.

Monday, April 23, 2012

home and back on the road with flowers

 Bright colors will help them last the summer. If you use too many pale colors they'll fade too fast.
I chose summer wildflowers because they'd always lived on a farm.
 Those pots are heavy so be sure to tuck them into the seats and use the seat belts to keep them in place until until you get to your destination.

 The important thing is that your heart is in the right place. The butterflies lend a sense of lightness and love. They arrangements may not be beautiful but they are kind of sweet, aren't they?

Flowers to die for

In another year of tough times and tight finances I found myself going to a dollar store for the silk flowers to do the cemetery arrangements this year. I hate to skimp on flowers and mean no disrespect to the deceased but this is the best I can manage this year. It will be interesting to see how this project works out.
 I wasn't sure how many flowers it would take to fill those big planters so we took them along so that we could start them in the parking lot and keep running into the store until it looked like we'd have enough to fill BOTH planters.
 Believe it or not it took over 3 dozen bunches of flowers. Even using the cheapest flowers I could find they still ran 40.00 dollars.
When I actually get everything arranged and have finished with them I'll have more pictures to share with you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The last of it

Collage Crops

Shot and Hung

 I finished painting one of the new birdhouses and thought I'd shoot some pictures of it for you.
 Side view, actually each side is different but I forgot to photograph them all.
 Here's a combination view.
This birch tree is right outside our living room window so we'll be able to tell whether the birds like it or not.