Front door fuscia

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stepping Stones in Garden

As promised, here are pictures of the paths I started creating in early summer, which are now completed in October. Edging is river stone and small bark. The garden looks bare in spots because the California poppies have finished blooming. About all the color now is yellow alstromeria, purple penstemen, lavender, and a few white Shasta daisies (not in pictures). The first two pictures show the red cigarette plant on the left side. Paul dug up some clumps of this to take home to Marin for his two front planters. The yellow and white petunias under the front window are in their second blooming after being cut way back.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Glenn's 80th Birthday in the Garden

Glenn turned 80 on July 11, 2011, and son Paul turned 60 a week earlier on July 4. Here we all are in the garden. Back row: son Mark, grandkids Shelby and Cameron in front of their dad, Paul; daughter-in-law Dustin next to her honey, son Glenn Jr. No need to name the long-time couple seated. In front is our grand-dog Tucker, guardian of son Glenn. Missing are our Washington State grandson, Nicholas and his two sons, Weston and Cooper.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bat Guano for Mothers Day

"I beg  your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden."

That's how one of my favorite country songs goes.

When Mothers Day comes around each year, these lyrics run through my head. In some ways, having children is like planting a garden. Lots of work for magical results; long hours of back-breaking work; some failures and many, many successes; the failures are not really failures, but ill-chosen choices -- like the decision to plant root vegetables in stony soil -- when all along the climate and soil conditions are best suited for above-ground  crops. Forced cultivation never works. The gardener does not really have full authority over the crop -- full authority ceases after planting -- and after that, when the crop takes on a life of its own, vining and spreading and needful -- that's when the real work begins.

Where this extended metaphor ends is at the point when children become adults. Nothing in the gardening process is equivalent to the letting-go phase of parenting.

What prompted this line of thought -- the rose garden analogy -- is a gift I received this year from my middle son this year on Mothers Day. A potted Gerbera plant for my garden -- and a bottle of bat guano and live earthworm extrusions to fertilize my garden. That guy really knows my heart. Bat guano. And Earthworm extrusions.


Today I went to McShane's and bought stepping stones for the front garden. I'll post a picture when I make some progress in installation. I'm learning as I'm doing. This project will provide me with lots of exercise, that's fer shure. I'm starting with about two dozen and will go back for more. Giant's are having their second game in Chicago today around 3:00 so I'll do indoor housework while the game is on. I hope they do better than they did  yesterday. There is something to a home-field-advantage. Our guys are just not used to that Wrigley Field wind and ivy-covered brick wall. Or maybe the Cubs are just better, huh?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Read "pages" for essays

See the "Pages" heading in the right-hand margin? I've used this feature to write essays. The posts are great for daily thoughts and events, but I prefer "Pages" for long musings that won't get lost in the reverse chronology of the posts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Raised beds in backyard

One holiday when our three sons were visiting we had them build two raised planting beds along our back fence. The original intent was to use these for flowers, but after the first planting of tulips and pansies was destroyed by our pet chickens, we gave up on that idea. We then raised a crop of corn in one of the beds. Now the beds are used as part of our composting process.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Glenn's Screen House

Exteriour, 2007
Glenn built the screen house at the end of our back yard to protect the tomatoes from birds, chickens and white fly. Our sons helped put up the frame over a weekend in 2006, then Glenn and I applied the fine mesh screen to the top and sides.