Good Bones

This week has been super fun in the garden. Of course it helps that we are having a lovely early spring, which has been warm enough to make things pop out all over, but still cool enough that blooms will last longer than usual.

I got a few plants, and had a few ideas, and when MLG got here, I asked him if we could try them, and then he had ideas to embellish my ideas. So fun!! I feel like we are actually getting a good form for the garden now–“good bones” as they say.

This was a huge chore that actually got done several weeks ago. This was my last  (and oldest) lace leaf Japanese maple that was still in a pot. I bought it 30 years ago when I first moved here! We had discussed getting it into the ground, and since we had such good rain, the time came to do it. MLG cut the pot, just like the one he did last year, so that is only the rim of the pot in the ground. It was terribly heavy, and MLG took the tree in and out of the hole several times to get it in just the right direction and at just the right height. And then he brought over these old railroad ties, and used them to make a border around it. And found some leftover bricks to make a nice platform for the dogs’ water bowl.


I was enchanted by the look of the railroad ties, and I asked him if he could use some to make a border along one of the stone paths. Yay! More places to plant stuff 🙂


And then he surprised me by putting the railroad ties along the back of the Camperdown elm. You can see we are not done with the rock work here, but we have a plan. Just have to go get the rocks…


Over by the fence by the road, he planted another spirea (I call it bridal wreath) next to the forsythia, and I got another honeysuckle, which he planted next to the fence. I love the pink honeysuckle that I have, but it has no smell, and I missed that.


This is just a view from the backside of the front corner beds. Its kind of a miracle that the tulips did not get covered over by that brick path!


So I saw this ivy at the nursery and was just charmed by it–a pale tricolor leaf. And I wanted to keep it in a container and put it up high, so it could trail down. My neighbor had had a pine tree cut down, and she offered me some of the wood. So MLG brought this stump over, and spent some time making sure it was “level” (these are the things I would never bother to do, but they add a lot to the overall soundness and structure of the garden.)


I had been thinking about moving this “fairy garden” out by the studio door. This way I could have some color out there, and the deer would not be able to get to it. But it needed a perch. So MLG went and got another bigger stump, and went through the same leveling work, and gouged some holes in it so I can try to grow some little hanging plants in there!


On the other side of the door, I have my planters all cleaned up and ready for some geraniums, as soon as all danger of frost is past. The deer didn’t seem too interested in geraniums last year.


Here is one of the maples called Peaches and Cream–a good name for it, don’t you think? It gets more green as the season goes along, but this is how it starts out.


And this is just a view of the shade garden. I love that that fern comes back every year in the spring. It was the very first thing I planted in the very first bed that MLG built for me.



In the back of the garden, more exciting things are happening. MLG mentioned quaking aspens last week, and I do love them. The aspens grow naturally up the hill from us (at a much higher elevation), on the way to Lake Tahoe. I checked with our local nursery, and she said that they would grow here, as long as they were somewhat shaded and in a protected area. Well, it just so happens that we had the perfect spot for them. I bought two of them. They literally look like two very tall sticks, so not very impressive in a picture. And another maple in the ground in front of them. Hopefully I’ll have some good shots to show you later in the year.

I really feel like this year we have made some great progress in making a cohesive garden, and I have thought more about what I really enjoy, and less about what is the “right” thing to do. I’m leaving room for some colorful annuals, and I even bought some peat pots to try to get some of my seeds started, since we can have frost up until May 1st here.

Have a good weekend, and buy yourself a plant. Plants are one of the great bargain pleasures in this world. $2.50 for a 6 pack of petunias can brighten your life for a long time!


12 thoughts on “Good Bones

  1. *sigh* I just love your garden. I should probably do a post on my flower bed since everything is finally blooming and since my very own MLG works so hard to make sure it looks nice. 🙂

    The Laceleaf Maple looks so good!! I love how he cut the pot – that adds a lot of character to the whole bed. 🙂

  2. Oh dear, I’m such not a gardener that I didn’t even realize there are right things to do. I have always picked just what I like.

    The railroad ties are adding a certain je ne sai quoi that is sort of pulling your beds together. I like it!

    I just don’t think of where you live as being able to have any more frost this year, so that surprises me! Our garden centers have started putting out things like pansy bowls, etc. and with the 60-ish degree weather we’ve had the last couple days, it’s so enticing. Last night as I walked by a display I thought, “you know better, don’t buy it.” Thank goodness because we’re getting snow and 20 degree windchills by Sunday.

  3. We’re at 2500 foot elevation. One year, on May 1, I traded in my 4 wheel drive, bought a sedan, and drove it home, very carefully, in the snow!

    Well, you know, that “right” thing was not so much about being a gardener as it was about the restrictions we put on ourselves sometimes.

  4. I could spend hours in your yard and probably still not see everything – you have so many layers of interest there! Love what you and MLG are doing; the creativity is so fun to watch happen…the tree stumps! The railroad ties! The stones! Not to mention, the tulips look perfectly planted next to the brick path. You couldn’t have planned that better if you’d tried!

  5. I would so love to see your garden! Could you imagine how long we would be talking? LOL

    Gardens that grow organically are the best ones. Plans are great and all that, but even once a plan is executed, nature has a way of telling you what it wants and how it should be.

    Your garden is so neat and tidy for spring. I’m embarrassed about mine now.

    • Also, GMTA, I also picked a spot for a fairy garden, which I was going to talk about. I love that birdcage!

    • We would have a lot to talk about, but I bet it would be more than gardening 🙂

      Thanks for saying my garden is neat and tidy. I go out almost every day and fill one bucket with weeds. When MLG was here Tuesday, I spent almost 6 hours working in the yard. I was T-I-R-E-D !

      • Haha – when you see the pics I am posting today, you will see how neat and tidy yours looks.

  6. Eureka! I have a huge dead pine in my front yard. My neighbor said he’d bring it down for me, but I have been contemplating what to do with the stump. I’ve thought about having him leave it fairly high for a birdhouse or other decoration. I think a plant stand is better! And pocket holes. I think I might be able to come up with something that will work with my plain house and yard. Thanks!

    Your house and yard are anything but plain, it’s so nice to see so much going on as pickings are pretty sparse here yet. I do have one daffodil that opened.

  7. Glad to be of help! One daffodil! But just think, you get to look forward to them, and mine are just about all gone for the year.

  8. Pingback: What’s Blooming! | Finding Radiance

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