Happy Halloween

Well Halloween is here and it is about 75 deg during the days and 43-48 deg at night.  Perfect weather.  Wishing all of you a safe and fun Halloween tonight.  Since this is a gardening and art blog, I thought I would share a few scary tree pics I have collected over the last several months for inspiration.  I gathered these from Google Images searching for “scary trees”.  Enjoy!

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A Garden Left Behind: Another Gardner’s Tale

This article was brought to my attention by an intelligent and discriminating reader for GardenLifeDesigns’ Blog.  Moving, I think, is especially challenging for gardeners because when you plant a garden, and I hate to be trite here, you are putting down roots – Literally! You can’t take everything with you and having a blank slate to start with knowing what you know now would make most gardeners drool like Pavlov’s dog.  The writer of this article epitomizes the motto: “Bee” Positive!

“I am about to move to a new city and leave my landscape and gardens behind. To say I have mixed emotions is definitely an understatement. As a gardener I am an eternal optimist, and while I don’t even know yet where I will be living, I can tell you for certain that my best garden yet is to come!”

For the full story, click here: http://www.garden.org/regional/report/arch/inmygarden/3938

A Gardener’s Tale

Whoever said the simplest things bring the greatest pleasure
was on to something.  Take today.  In the middle of the afternoon, I took a long  soak in a bubble bath, washed my hair, put on my pajamas and took a 2 hour nap.  The nap was not the extraordinary part of my experience.  It was the bubble bath.  You see, it’s the first bath or shower or even a good handwash that I have partaken of since Saturday night.

Here’s how this happened. Saturday I was at a craft fair selling my art pieces and when I got home I took a quick shower, ate dinner, and went to bed.  Sunday I started experimenting with some new  designs and was using enamel paint.  This
sticks to your nails like nail polish since that’s kinda what it is and I didn’t
want to use acetone to get it off since my cuticles have been very dry and it
would be a whole lotta hurt I wasn’t up for.  The best way is a long soak in hot water and rubbing it off gently.  So I went to bed promising myself I would do that in the morning and while I was at it, I could get in some much needed weeding beforehand as I don’t like to wear gloves and the dirt gets under your nails and everyone knows the best way to clean your nails is to do the dishes or wash your hair.
So I added weeding to the chore list and washing my hair to the grooming

So it rained Monday and like a big couch potato I laid around and read a book and listened to the rain and it seemed logical while I was curled up on the couch to not take a bath since I couldn’t weed in the rain and so therefore had to postpone washing my hair and so why get my nails clean anyway – and well you get the picture.  My
to-do list and the time management manipulations I had planned into the order
of tasks was holding me hostage.

Tuesday, this morning, I awoke to sunshine and a brisk wind following a 4 hour thunderstorm the night before.  Perfect. So, I got up, threw on some old clothes, weeded my grubby hands off until about 2:30 this afternoon, then came in, rinsed off, and soaked in the tub for about 45 minutes washing both my tender cuticles and lackluster hair; dried off, put on a clean pair of pajamas and took a two hour nap.  I am no longer a slave to a well laid plan but mistress of my own destiny once again!

In the days to come I will be regaling you with my weeding experiences and even have a ssssss-urprise guest to introduce.  But today’s lesson is that planning is for chumps!  So enjoy the moments of your life, don’t take yourself too seriously, and never, ever, let your well laid plans get the best of you!

Extemporaneous Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

The Oregon Desert Retreat: A Virtual Tour

I love looking at the gardens of others.  Not just for ideas and inspiration but because each is so different and personal.  Beauty comes in so many varieties – like pears.  I love the idea of a rural retreat but I have to admit this garden is a little too off the beaten path even for me:

Our weekend home and its garden are located in the high desert of central Oregon, in part of a defunct 1940s perlite-mining community called Dant that has no telephones and no cars.  The last leg of the 110-mile journey from Portland entails crossing the Deschutes River by way of an old lifeboat attached to a cable.

For the full tour click here:   http://www.gardendesign.com/places/my-garden-call-of-the-wild

Happy Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

I Love This Plant: Japanese Yew

When I first designed my shade garden, I felt that I must have a fire pit.  So I installed a round pit lined with sand and rocks and stacked pavers.  In 3 years I used it only a handful of times and mostly in the first month.  The last time I used it two years ago, a very unhappy toad hopped away not happy that his home had been transformed into the towering inferno.  So I filled in the pit with compost leaving the wood ash and sand and rocks for drainage.  I planted a Japanese Yew about 3 foot tall and surrounded it with a variety of Asian Jasmine “Salsa”.  “Salsa” is touted to be less aggressive and a variegated foliage with touches of pink and red.  This area does not receive any direct sun and often goes unwatered for weeks at a time.  This is a recent picture of this feature fire pit-turned-planter and the Japanese Yew has grown very little but stays evergreen and weathers both summer heat and the occasional ice storm in winter.  The Salsa jasmine has been sparse with very few red highlights but has also proven to be very drought tolerant.  A very satisfactory solution and good thing too because the toad I tried to cook two years ago looks very much like the toad I suspect to be the momma toad to my tadpoles who are doing very well.  I found that they don’t care for tortoise food but go crazy for goldfish food.  Well, YOU try to find tadpole food!  I wonder how long toads live anyway?


Happy Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

Olives and Roses: A Virtual Tour

This magnificent rose garden was created on the site of a family olive grove, which has been owned by the same family for half a century. Located in the San Joaquin Valley, this olive grove was originally developed by the railroads, before recently being transformed into orange groves.

For the full story click here:


Beautiful Gardening and remember to “bee” positive!

Garden Surprises

Generally I hate surprises.  Really.  I would rather know what I am getting for Christmas in October so that I can anticipate it until Christmas Day.  Even when we go out for dinner, I want to know where we are going before we leave the house.  Seriously don’t like surprises.  Strangely, I don’t mind them in the garden.  Unexpected events there are either bonuses or lessons and I am grateful for either.  That’s why these little gems were especially welcome.  I thought I had pulled out all the tomato plants I put in this spring in August when they got all brown and crispy.  But I missed this tiny plant which really didn’t amount to much this season until now.  I came across these tiny red cherry tomatoes when I was puttering in my cutting garden.  I popped them right in my mouth straight from the vine – a bonus for not using pesticides.  They were so sweet and tasted like the best part of summer.

For those of you who asked, this is a close up of my statue under my Lady Banks Rose.  She is the Blessed Virgin Mary or as I affectionately refer to her, the BVM.  It is to her that my garden is dedicated.

Happy gardening and remember to “bee” positive!