Friday, August 29, 2014

Neddy The Green Man

My Toby Froud Green Man arrived a few days ago, and I was instantly smitten!  He's marked 34/50, so if you were thinking of getting one, I'd do it soon!

His spot in the house is right at the bottom of the stairs, above the silhouette of Ned and Topsy, also known as William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.  

You can see Toby's other Green Man above the front door in the above picture.

In fact, the Green Man rather reminds me of Ned, so I've decided that's his name!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Birds and Flowers

This morning I woke up to a sight that made me chuckle.  The trellis in the middle of the flower bed by the garage has two or three little metal birds in the design of it.  Well...this morning a flock of tiny birds decided it made a good perch, so there were many many more *real* birds on the same trellis. 

There were even more, but by the time I got my camera....

Our back yard has become quite the bird habitat, and I'm loving it.  We've had three bird families so far nest in our tree this year.

I got some good sweaty hard work done on pruning the raspberry bushes, and the remaining primocanes are all woven along the fenceline, which makes the garden look infinitely more neat.  And then I picked a bouquet of flowers from the garden for my Grandma, who has been recovering from a surgery.

Fern, Black Eyed Susan, Coneflower, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, and Sedum

Monday, July 7, 2014

Catty-Corner Cottage Garden Tour 2014

I had such a good time doing the video tour of the completed dining room, I thought it might be fun both for sharing and for keeping a record of do a video tour of my yard and garden this summer! 

A few screenshots from the video:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Twelve Dancing Princesses Dining Room -- DONE!

The Twelve Dancing Princesses walking in trance-like procession across all four walls of my dining room...are completed!!!  And they have been for a few months now.  But I kept hoping to get better pictures of them than the ones below...professional pictures, though I don't know how to take the best shots.  But I figured if I wait that long, everyone might have forgotten about the project before I do my "grand unveiling." 

So instead, here it is!!  Bada daaa dummmmm!!!!

I am still having an internal argument about whether or not to add a gothic arch acorn border stencil I found online below the chair line in gold and burgundy.  I vacillate almost daily over whether I should or not.  But otherwise, the room is done!

Perhaps showing the room best of all, here's a 7 minute video tour of the room from all angles and with all the princesses featured.  Video best seen expanded to full page.

And finally, once again best seen viewed in large size, here are all twelve of the princesses!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Home and Garden Update

I've been terrible at updating my blogs.  I really need to get on that, don't I?

So what have I been up to?

First, we're shopping for a new tree for the front corner of the front yard.  This is the top contender right now, a Prairie Fire Crabapple:

Just a reminder of the goal for this new plan, this time with a photo where all I changed was the new photoshopped flowerbed in the corner:

Mom helped me convert a blanket I had tucked around the window seat in the dormer window of the bedroom into an actual slipcover for the padding.  It made a huge difference:

And the garden...the flowers are better this year than they've ever been, by far.  I can't believe how happy I am with the garden.  It's hard to explain...for the first time, I am able to sit back and really enjoy how it looks at present, instead of focusing on changing or adding or making things better.  A gardener always wants to better the garden, but I feel a sense of satisfaction too.

For instance, here's my Moss Rose and Morning Glory planter a month ago:

And today.  The morning glories will climb the latticing at back:

And then there's our ....dah dah patio set!!!  After we moved into the house, the patio set we brought with us tipped over in the first windstorm and shattered into a trillion pieces.  Ever since then,  I've been looking for a good deal on a *metal* top table and chair set.  Well, we finally found the right one on Craigslist.  We still want to replace the umbrella eventually, which was from our last set.

Note also, Chimera the cat gargoyle is out in the garden for the year now.

The lilac has grown a lovely amount this year as well, and the yellow daylilies are blooming.

Here's the new part of the fenceline flower bed, you know, the one Tom dug out for me by hand a year ago for my birthday.  It's coming in so so very nicely this year!  Sedum, roses, raspberry, coneflower, foxglove, rhododendron, astilbe...

The older part of the fenceline, also looking grand! 

Down by the gate at the bottom of the garden, I repainted the wood and iron bench a neutral white, and put it next to the new planter on its plinth.  And oh I love it!!

The shade portion of the garden, with hosta, astilbe, ferns, thornless blackberry, and more!

The thornless blackberry this year looks like it's going to have the best yield yet!

The poppies and phlox are done flowering, but I put some runner beans on the lattice.

Another view of the garden with the new patio set.

More runner beans along the lattice under the deck.


A view late in the day of the fenceline.

Purple coneflowers starting to bud, surrounded by raspberry vines.  In the foreground are the love-in-a-mist I've wanted to plant for years and finally started from seed a couple of weeks ago.  Oh I so hope they grow and bloom!


The corner of the fenceline by the arbor.  Vinca vine, raspberry, coneflower, coreopsis, some buried irises.

The raspberry vines are exploding with these half formed raspberries, taunting me.

The gayfeather plant I put in last year to replace one of my coneflowers that got asters yellow.

Look at all those flowers/baby raspberries waiting to ripen and get eaten!

More red runner bean vine on the arbor, looking good!  I think this year it might grow over the top of the arch faster than any previous year.

Hollyhocks!!  This year there's far less rust on them than in any past years.  There's some, yes, but I admit I think that's inevitable now.  This year it looks like the rust will behave well enough to enjoy the blooms for a little while.  I can't wait to see more blooms in the coming weeks!

The butterfly bush my neighbor gave me, as of the end of May....

 ...and as of today.   Hooray!

The front right flower bed, looking great!  

The front left flower bed.  My only frustration is that the window box flowers aren't growing as abundantly on this side.  And honestly I just don't get it...with no tree there now, the two boxes are growing in almost identical circumstances.  

But anyway, otherwise I'm really happy with this side too.

 Back by the back yard gate again, with another rhododendron plant, some blackberry vines, and sweet little pink impatiens.

The coleus in the new planter is looking so great too!

When I'm sitting on the bench by the back gate, I look up and this is my view.  Not half bad, huh?