A Little Garden Report

There’s not a lot going on in the garden right now. But a few improvements have been made, so thought I’d share them.

This is what I see when I drive up. (It looks better in person.) Those are vanilla marigolds, with some petunias between, and sweet alyssum behind. I have enjoyed this area of the garden a lot. I am looking forward to filling it with tulips again for the spring.


Remember the patchwork pathway? Where I tried to plant plants in the six spots. Yes, that never worked. I think if I had wanted it to work, I should have pre-dug out about a foot of dirt and rocks and replaced it with good soil. So a few weeks ago I told Kevin that I wanted to get rid of the plants. We looked around our pile of unused stuff, and these light colored blocks almost fit perfectly. Except for 1/2 inch that he had to saw off of each of them… Anyway, I am very glad that I don’t have to be sad looking at the plants that don’t want to grow there.


Costco had these tall solar lights (like 5 or 6 feet tall) on sale. So I got four of them. Two are by the front fence (in the above photo) and a few days ago we put these among the Japanese maples.


This bed has gone a little wild. I planted some zinnias in there quite a while ago and they just started blooming now. Bringing a bit of cheer to the garden.


This is a dwarf abutilon that came back from last year, and is blooming like crazy. I like it better than the huge one that takes up a whole garden bed and is scarcely blooming.


And the weed/morning glories have come back after a few years off! This picture is not re-touched. They really are that brilliant in the morning. Only trouble is, I usually forget to go out and look at them in the morning πŸ™‚


Okay, unrelated to the garden. I finally started back to work on my rug hooking (this is an upside down view of a giant redwood tree.)


I glanced over to see all three girls sharing one bed. There are literally three doggie beds in this room, but I guess they all wanted to be in the bed closest to me.


And that’s about it for this week. The weather has cooled down a bit and we are having a whole week of cooler weather. So wonderful!!


I Went to Ohio!

Last fall I entered one of my rugs “He Holds All Creation Together” in a national contest called Celebrations. Rug hooking is not like quilting. There aren’t too many shows or contests. So when I was accepted into the exhibit in the Originals category, I was VERY excited. They publish a book with pictures and descriptions of all the quilts, and I have looked forward to and bought the Celebrations book each year. They also display the Celebrations rugs at a big rug event in Ohio held at Sauder Village. I’ve always wanted to go to Sauder, and so that’s how I happened to go to Ohio last week. Here I am next to my rug.


Sauder Village is a fairly large village with some authentic buildings and some reproductions. They have all kinds of demonstrations going on–spinning, weaving, even broom making! The first day I of course visited the farm, and watched a demonstration on milking a goat and making butter. I loved it! When I get tired of chickens, I will turn that into a goat house πŸ™‚

This little building and garden was just charming.


They had a museum too, which I wandered through. Isn’t this a kick? Imagine getting your mail this way. Amazon might have trouble getting your packages to you in two days.


And a wooden bike!! Can you believe it?


Now I only took a picture of this toilet because I would love to have a toilet like this πŸ™‚


Then there was a famous glass man who actually works there. I went the first day, and stared at all his beautiful glass creations and knew that I was not going to spend that much money on glass. But I was so glad I went back the second day. I watched him work on this glass for a long time. He also had a helper there that was very good at explaining what was going on.



One day I wandered the back paths of Sauder Village. There was a fur trader there. Did you know that Beaver hides were the main commodity for trading? I also visited the grist mill, where the nice man gave his whole talk just for me. So of course, I bought two pounds of corn meal… Its in the freezer. But I do like corn bread, so I might try making that soon.

I came upon this beautiful conservatory. But by that time I was too hot to even go inside. I just enjoyed the beauty from outside.


Then one day I thought I’d be more adventurous and headed out to visit a nature preserve. It was rainy, so I just drove through. Everything is so green in Ohio!



The things I noticed most about this area of Ohio were how extremely straight the roads were, corn fields everywhere, and also small cemeteries just sitting on the side of the road in between the corn fields. I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures of the corn fields, so when I saw this view with the pretty flowers in the foreground, I snapped it.


On my last day, I didn’t need to get to the airport until 3:30. I googled “things to do in Toledo.” And I saw that they had a zoo! I decided to be adventurous and visit the zoo. But I have to admit, that was a bit of a bust. I was dressed all in black (very comfortable in airports and airplanes.) But not so great for walking MILES in hot humid weather. And yes, it was so hot and humid, most of the animals were hiding…


They did have a bird aviary that you could walk through, and I really enjoyed that. I like birds. Someday maybe I’ll have some specialty finches again.


After walking all that time in the heat, I was SO HOT. I googled “frozen yogurt” and found that the only one listed was between the zoo and the airport! Perfection. This was my lunch at 2:30. No apologies for the treats on top. They actually had a yogurt that they called California Tart. How about that? Who knew it was a California thing. Its usually the only frozen yogurt that I get.


Of course, I haven’t even mentioned the rug show. I spent a great deal of time there, looking at all the rugs. Someone said there was somewhere between 300 and 800 rugs displayed. Oh, and there were vendors too πŸ™‚ If you want to read more about the rug show you can visit my other blog. I haven’t written about it yet. It’ll probably be up by Friday.

Catching Up on Garden Stuff

Its so hot here. Day after day its 95-100 degrees. Its not humid, its just hot and dry. I don’t really like working in the garden when its like this. So I just go out every morning and/or evening to sprinkle the Japanese maples and to check the pot plants and water them as needed.

Here is just a shot of part of the garden. You can see the hose that is always present, and also the weeds that I just haven’t gotten to.


Remember when I had a FOREST of these fairy impatiens? I was pretty relentless in removing them from the garden. But I was glad when one showed up here. This is a place that I have a hard time growing anything.


A really pretty begonia grew back from last year’s bulb.


I planted a “Sweet 100’s” cherry tomato. So far I’ve harvested 6 little tomatoes. But there are quite a few more growing on there. Β The other little plant is basil. It kept wanting to go to seed, so I chopped it down and gave a bunch of basil to my neighbors, and that worked. It is coming back again!


Lilies! Daylilies and Oriental lilies. They all did very well this year. But does anybody ever want to do this? I just want to tear everything out of this particular bed and re-do the whole thing. If the feeling doesn’t pass, that might be on the agenda for late fall.



This lily was hanging over into the mandevilla vine, which isn’t doing that well this year.


And I have decided that this is the best way to enjoy Gerbera Daisies. Buy a bunch at the grocery store for $3.99. They lasted two weeks in my house!


Well, that’s the garden report for this week. In other news, bears have made a large appearance in the area. Five of my neighbors have had their garbage cans (and one bee hive) attacked by bears. I stopped taking walks for now, and I look around very carefully every time I go outside of my fence. I put my garbage in my little outdoor studio room, and maybe its because Noah spends so much time outside, but so far I haven’t seen any bears at my house.

Senior Dogs

Recently I was at a Weaver’s Convention, and there was a beautiful picture book there called “Senior Dogs Across America.” Of course, I didn’t buy it then. I came home and looked for a nice used copy on Amazon and sent for it. As I looked through it at all these wonderful senior dogs, I came across a dog in Baltimore called Cecelia. She looked very familiar. She looked like the wonderful dog of an old blog buddy of mine. I wondered about it, and if you can believe it, the next night I couldn’t sleep so I was looking at Facebook. And there was my blogger friend posting, so I wrote her a note asking if that was her Cecelia. And sure enough, it was! That was so fun!

Anyway, as I looked through the book, I realized that four out of my five dogs were senior dogs. So I set out to take some nice pictures of all of them.

Here’s Zoey. Zoey recently had an allergic reaction and scratched almost all of her hair out before I could get her to the vet. Her ear hair truly reached all the way to the ground, but I had to cut it off. It was a very sad day for me. Anyway, she is a doll. I didn’t adopt her until she was nine years old. She will be 12 in November. I hope she lives a long time. Except for her allergies, she is very healthy and spry.



And Zoey sleeping on the book!


Next in age is Miss Sophie, or The Queen, as she prefers to be called. She turned 11 years old in March. She has a lot of white hair now. And she always uses the little ramp that we built for Mr. Monk for the one step in the house.


Sophie is always right next to me when I am out in the yard.


Miss Bess is next. I know the shelter guessed at her age when I got her, and I think they underestimated how old she was. So on her birthday, I have “nine or 12 years old.” She is still very feisty, but she is the most frail. She has some stiffness in her hind legs. And her nose is very short, so we watch her diet carefully so she is never overweight. Miss Bess is not the most photogenic of dogs, but she has beautiful big eyes.


I love it when she looks at me and wags her little tail.


And then there’s the big man. I don’t know why, but I call him my Fuzzy Monkey. Anyway, Noah is quite famous. Here he is–I was trying to get him napping, but he saw me and got up to patrol the yard.


This picture is a little fuzzy, but this is where he loves to take a drink–out of my mini bird bath! So I keep it filled up every day, and fortunately, the birds still get to use it in the early evening.


This is where Noah spends 90% of his time. I highly recommend these sling beds. It is comfortable and cool for him.


Noah will be nine years old in October!

I really like having senior dogs. They are for the most part very well behaved. So loving and kind, and willing to take turns getting lap time from me.


The Garden and Other Stuff

Kefir. Does anybody know about this stuff? A friend gave me some “kefir grains.” They look like gel bubbles. You just put them in milk and set it on the counter for 24 hours. Magic–kefir! It is easier than making yogurt. But the thing is, you have to keep feeding those darn kefir grains. Its too much for one person! It makes absolutely great smoothies. I think I like it better than my yogurt smoothies. Here’s a website with more than you ever wanted to know about kefir.

Here’s some of the things that are happening in the garden this week.Some yellow petunias and blue lobelia. This is the most success I have had with the lobelia.


A second bloom on my new rose bush. I really love the color and the smell of this rose.


The day lilies are having a good year! Maybe they like the watering system.


The daisies are leaning over. It looks like they are the blooms on my little azalea.


A close-up:


The hydrangeas are finally starting to bloom. It seems like they are later than usual this year. They are HUGE!


Close ups of the two types of blooms:



Did you know these common little begonias will come back year after year? I didn’t know that. Free flowers are always so fun πŸ™‚


And here’s something I do every single night–I wash all the eggs that I’ve gathered for that day. One of the fun things about having chickens is finding the occasional unusual egg. See that giant oblong egg? Yeah, that’s going into my quiche tonight πŸ™‚ And that tiny little one? I’m giving that to my friend who does the Pysanky eggs.Β 


And that’s it for another week, friends. Hope all is well with you.

Garden Events

Let’s get the unpleasantness over right away. Thursday night Noah was barking. Nothing new, right? But I went outside to hush him up, and then Chloe started barking and staring at something. YES. Another rattlesnake in my yard :(( Β The third rattlesnake in three summers. I rounded up the dogs and shut them in the house. But this time it was pretty close to the front door and the front gate. So I just stood there staring at it so it wouldn’t move. And I called my neighbors WHO ARE ALWAYS HOME and they weren’t home!! So I just kept standing there and calling them over and over, and then I called Kevin (MLG) to see if he had any good ideas about what to do. And then I thought of another friend to call to see if they could come over to shoot it. And then I thought I heard a car and hoping it was my good neighbors, I called them again, and they were home!! (they live about a mile away from me.) Anyway, Tom came over and shot that stupid snake, and I thanked him profusely, and he said it made him feel like Crocodile Dundee πŸ™‚ I must have stood out there having a stand off with that snake for over half an hour! It was a little un-nerving, and I freely admit that I had an ice cream sandwich after that. And stayed up extra late and then took TWO melatonin before I went to bed.


Alright, now to the fun stuff. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the garden this week. The weeds are growing like crazy, plus I’ve bought a few plants that needed to get into the ground. Its no good leaving little six-packs to bake in 95 degree weather.

This is another little succulent I got a while ago. Its a tiny variegated jade plant.


I’ve been collecting decorative pots, and today I replanted some of my little trees that were still in plastic containers.


I’m trying this little tree in the shade garden.


Finally having some luck with a heuchera. Aren’t the colors pretty?


And that little rose bush is going great guns!


I bought a yellow gaillardia to go with the pretty blue salvia. The dahlias are doing very well. I think I might add more of those next year!


Okay, the plant people must know that if they name something with a food name, I am immediately attracted to it. This was a Peachy lantana.


And I’ve already forgotten what this common little flower is called. But I noticed that they are producing more and more colors in this plant this year.


The roses have done well. Most of them are done, and I am waiting for them to put out a second bloom.


My honeysuckle!! I absolutely love the scent of this in the garden.


When its this hot, Noah gives up his beloved sling bed and lays in the gravel next to the house.


And a short chicken report. You can see the chickens bald spots in these pictures. So irritating. Some of them are finally growing some new feathers back. They are always moving. Going into their house or coming out. Checking out the second yard, and of course running to the gate if they think I’m bringing a treat.



This rooster is such a gentleman. Just the way roosters are supposed to be. When I give them treats, he just points out the delicacies to the girls and lets them have first chance at the food. That flat comb he has is called a rose comb. I didn’t use to like them, but I think it makes him look dignified πŸ™‚DSCN6187

And that’s it for this week’s events. I have another busy week next week. MLG will be here, so I’m sure I’ll have some new things to show you.



A Visit to Cambria

I love going to Cambria Pines Lodge for my rug hooking retreat! They have beautiful gardens surrounding the lodge. I didn’t take too many pictures, but here are a few. This beautiful arrangement was actually a garbage can topper!


My mom loves succulents so I took a couple pictures for her:


I really liked the way these were arranged into the stone wall.


And the bird houses! I took these pictures because I’m hoping I can find someone who will build a couple of bird houses like this for me πŸ™‚



When I taught my quilting class in San Luis Obispo, I met a really nice young woman there. This is the second time she has come up to Cambria to visit with me. This is her almost finished quilt from the class.


I absolutely love this saying. I know you will too!


We went out for lunch, and I had a piece of Key Lime Pie that was almost as good as Love Pies when I was visiting Shelley in Texas πŸ™‚


My rug hooking friend Mary Lynn, on the last day getting her last look at the ocean before she returned to Illinois.


When I returned home, there were an overwhelming number of eggs that had been gathered in the week I was gone!


There is a wonderful nursery across from the Lodge, and I usually pick out a few succulents for my mom. But this time, I liked them so well (and she literally has HUNDREDS of them) I kept them for myself. I just potted them up today. Fingers crossed that I can keep them alive.


Next up: a garden and chicken report πŸ™‚