Monday, March 24, 2008

The Gardening Bug!

It is time for a new garden! When we put the addition on to our master bedroom, it created an area that is shady all day! I am thrilled! Now, I can have a few plants that were never going to make it through the summer in our sometimes scorching heat!

The space is right outside the guest bedroom windows. Which by the way, I have decided would be a wonderful place for French doors. What a lovely thing for my guests, a “secret garden” to enjoy!

Above, is Japanese Maple "Corallinum". What you see in the picture is its spring foliage. It then turns to green in summer & crimson in fall! I'll be looking for this one!

I am envisioning a Japanese maple, hostas & ferns, and maybe even lily of the valley & English violas. It will be a cooler, shady retreat from the high summer sun. We even have a pond form just waiting to go into the ground. Could there be some Koi in my future? I certainly know our resident frogs will enjoy it!

I don't know the name of this pink Lily of the Valley. I had the photo saved in a "favorites" folder. I hope to find it too!

This English Viola is called "Etain" and it is gorgeous. It is available from a local nursery, so I should have no trouble getting my hand on it!

Hopefully, this beautiful hosta, named "American Icon" will find a place in the garden too!

We’ll have to fence it since the deer will dine on the hostas and the critters that prowl around at night will be after any fish in the pond. For that matter, we may need to put a net over it. The egrets & herons will be eyeing the fish too! Okay, maybe fish aren’t a good idea…I still like the idea of bamboo or reed fencing. It will suit the style I have in mind AND serve to discourage unwanted visitors.

Then there’s the matter of the big, ugly air conditioner condenser that sits against the wall. When I mentioned to my husband that we should move it, I got a sideways glance. I think it is going to stay, so I’d better be thinking of some kind of screen!

I am going to measure & lay out the space on graph paper and start planning today! More “adventures in the dirt” to follow soon!

Cheers! Chris

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Days

Although today we are supposed to have showers, the weather in Northern California has been beautiful for the last week! The temps have been in the uppers 60's to 70 degrees, and that is just fine with me! Just about perfect I'd say.

Last weekend I was in my frame/craft shop making cards. The soft and warm spring-like weather inspired me to make this little banner with the leftover scraps. It is hanging above my computer monitor to remind me that even if Spring isn't officially here yet, it is just around the corner!

After speaking to my cousin Terri in Columbus, Ohio, I think I need to send her one that says "Hurry Spring!". They have been dealing with the "100-year Snowfall" and I don't envy them one bit!

Also responding to the spring weather are the Spanish Lavender and Freesias. When I planted the lavender, I moved some freesia bulbs. Obviously, I didn't get them all! I love the way the bright yellow blooms are entwined with the lavender. It really is time to get out into the garden and get my hands dirty! The storms in January blew mulch and weed block fabric out of place. I have weeds in places they've never been! I'd better get at 'em before they take over...

Now where are my gardening tools?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Snow" Covered Trees

In my part of northern California, we see snow very rarely. I can't say that I miss the frigid cold, inconvenience or dangers that accompany a huge snowfall. But I will admit, that when family or friends share their winter pictures, the sight of a snow covered landscape can be so beautiful...especially the trees!

Here on our property, we have our own version of a early spring snowfall. We are blessed to have 40 almond trees. Very old trees, that are the remnants of an orchard planted at least three generations ago. Until we moved here here in 2003, it hadn't been cared for in at least 30 years. Truth be told, all we have had to do is some pruning. They are so deeply rooted that we don't even have to water them, despite our long, rainless summers! And every year, they faithfully produce enough almonds for our needs, and for the squirrels & crows to have their fair share as well.

February brings brings the blossoms and the bees! You can walk by a tree and it will be "singing" with bees busily doing their most important work! The fragrance is so sweet - strangely, this allergy-prone family doesn't react to the trees at all? The sight of 40 trees, covered in snow white blossoms can take your breath away! It is the closest I care to come to snow covered trees! *Ü*

I am sharing a few photos to remind all of us that spring is really just around the corner! The first three photos below are the trees right off our back deck and off to the west of the house. The last one is a plum tree that the birds "planted" across the irrigation ditch!

Enjoy! ~Chris~