Monday, August 31, 2009

Progress report on my new garden

Early June 2009 I started work on my new Shade garden. Here is a slide show from the beginning up until 8/31/2009. I still have plenty more to do before it will be finished, that is, if a garden is ever complete. Us gardeners are inclined to change our minds about the location of plants, and of course we are always buying new plants to add to our gardens.

I have moved plants from the flower bed in front of the house into the shade garden, and planted quite a few hellebore which were in pots, into the terraced beds and alongside the path which leads down the incline. I am anxious to see how this is all going to look next year, after the plants have had a chance to settle in and put on a spurt of growth in the spring and summer. A friend has offered some ferns from her place so I had better get my shovel and go dig them and get them into the ground before the cool weather gets here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Makeover completed

The three pots I bought in a garage sale yesterday, (look at the previous post to see how shabby they looked) have been made over using a couple of cans of spray paint, formulated for use on plastic. Next spring I will have fun deciding what plants and the color combinations will grace these pots. Now I am thinking all my older pots are looking kinda' sad and also need a makeover. I will put that task on my to do list.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A day off for fun

This morning Mr C and I decided to go garage sale hopping, and we both found a few treasures to bring home.

I found the large flower pots, the book and the fish shaped serving (for lack of a better word) dish, at separate garage sales. The pots will get a good scrubbing, then painted using a can of the special paint made especially for plastics. I have in mind to use some nice bright colors on them so they will be a focal point in my garden. As I glanced briefly through the book before deciding to buy it, I found there was some very useful information on growing vegetables, and for a dollar I couldn't go wrong.

When I saw this fish shaped 'thing' sitting on a piece of plywood with other merchandise for sale, I was immediately intrigued. What on earth is that, I asked myself? The woman who was hosting the yard sale came by, so I asked her about this unusual 'object D' art' I was told that it came from Mexico and it was used in restaurants to hold, and keep food hot. A can of Sterno was placed inside the mouth of the fish and lit to keep the top of the server hot. H'ors deurves were then placed in the center section, while tooth picks filled the sections at either end. I don't know if I will ever use it as intended, which would certainly be a talking point at a party, or if it will end up as garden art. I nearly forgot to tell you, that I also bought a nearly new push lawnmower for $2 I have wanted one to mow the grass in front of the vegetable garden, but did not want to pay around $85 for a new one. Mr C is going to adjust the blades so it will do a better job, and I will be able to keep the grass under control. The rabbits are way too slow in doing their part to help *grin*

As we were driving down a narrow road after perusing yet another yard sale, I had Mr C stop our car, so I could snap a picture of the bird houses adorning the tops of the fence posts surrounding a garden.
That was our fun morning, and to top it off, we stopped a Dairy Queen for a Blizzard treat.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

California trip

Last .Wednesday Mr C and I flew down to Burbank CA, picked up a rental car and drove to Valencia, where we stayed until Saturday. Mr C competed in the World Steel Challenge which was held on a range about a half hour drive from the hotel, at a place called Piru.

Thursday morning Mr C was to compete, and we had to be out at the range very early, so he could register for the match as we arrived too late the night before to do so. As we drove to the range I noticed this finger of fog slowly drifting in over the hills down into the valley we were passing through.

The fog thickened as we drove along, but did not drift in over the road. It was a pretty sight indeed. This is a very dry, hot, dusty place except for the areas which are irrigated for the various crops being grown.I saw chili peppers, tomatoes, oranges, and other crops I could not name, as I saw them from our vehicle, as we drove along.

The day after Mr C Competed, we once again drove to the range to watch more of the competitors shoot. Not far from this orange grove is a fruit stand, where last year we stopped so I could buy some freshly picked oranges. I was sorely disappointed as they were not at all very sweet.

As we made the turn onto a side road which led to the range, this herd of horses came ambling towards us, so we had to stop and wait, until they passed on by.

A section of the range.

The building front you see, are set up for Cowboy action shooting, but was not part of the weeks events.

There was a Steel Challenge stage set up behind the western store fronts.

The last day on the range was quite warm, in the upper 80's, which was a whole lot better than last year when we had to suffer temperatures in the 100 degree range. The only complaint, well almost the only one, is that the wind came up whipping up the fine dust, which found its way into our eyes, down the top of our shirts sticking to our damp sweaty skin. I was very happy to arrive back at the hotel to take a nice long shower and wash all the grit off myself.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Yes, that is a sighhhh! of relief you hear.

Last night and into early this morning, we have had a good soaking rain.

The plants and critters seem happy to see this downpour.
I watched a little finch sitting on a branch in the rain, fluffing it's feathers and preening for all it's worth, and happy flocks of birds were bathing in the puddles on the driveway leading to the house.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Pictures from a road trip in New Zealand

I can't believe it is almost two years since I was back in New Zealand and I still have pictures I have not shared with you, and there will be more when I return from another visit in November. Sheesh! I had better 'get with the program'

My brother, took me for a drive up, and around the hills and country roads surrounding the city of Palmerston North where we grew up. We drove through rolling pastures dotted with sheep, through small ravines covered in beautiful lush growth, and wound around narrow country roads sometime pulling over to let a farmer driving his tractor towing a piece of farm machinery.
I have an appreciation for the stunning country I grew up in.