For the Birds

We live in times that should be making us think about our water use. Climate issues are very complex and can leave us feeling overwhelmed. It is very hard for a gardener who wants what is best for the plants to also have to conserve and be water-wise. A simple way for a gardener to help is to learn about the native plants in your region and include them in your home garden. Once established, native plants need less irrigation and do more to support the wildlife in your area. It’s like killing two birds with one stone…or wait, no…

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Sleepy Summer Daze

 The forecast said it would be hot this weekend

I’m keeping things well watered, but that’s it! I’ve been putting in very long work days and then spending weekends in my own yard trying to catch up on pruning and weeding. Last weekend I finished with the mulching and can now (in theory) spend the summer just watering and relaxing.

Work has been very busy. This seems to be a summer full of special events that I’m helping my clients get ready for; garden tours, visiting family and a backyard wedding(!!!). I’ve been putting in extra hours daily to try to meet all of the deadlines. It a good thing it’s summer and the days are long…

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A Fire in the Belly

Just when we thought it was safe to go outside again

along comes February to remind us that winter is not done with us yet. Most of the country has been hit by some seriously cold, wintry weather. It’s hard to compare to places that are experiencing subzero temperatures but, even here on the Olympic Peninsula, we’re feeling the freeze.

 

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Spring-a-Ding-Ding!

•Ding!•

A bell tolls for spring

We’ve been stuck in a rain cycle for a while now. This week’s forecast was for rain every day, so I was prepared for another rough one. I’m use to the rain routine at work; get on my rain gear, keep tools tucked away and then spray mud off of everything, including myself, when I get home. I still managed to work a full week, but it hasn’t been easy: rain, wind, sun (kind of?) and then a cloudburst or two. We have definitely been swept up by the full swing of spring!

 

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Clip and Tuck

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is all of the decorations.

The only problem is that I’m not very good at it. My best excuse is to start with my lack of know-how, briskly mix in a short attention span and then I always like to add a few dashes of embarrassment when it looks like I tried too hard.

The tree is up, lit and decorated

and most years that is all I do. One year I made a bunch of garlands that I draped over the doorways, but that year was an anomaly that has never been repeated. I was encouraged by Martha Stewart showing how easy it was. I have to admit that her technique of building a rope from fir cuttings and then attaching the rest of the greens to the “rope” with wire worked really well and made for some very sturdy garlands. Click on the pictures to see and read more.

They made it through the season completely intact! If I’m remembering it correctly, that year the windstorms in November left huge amounts of windfall from the evergreen trees, and the timing was perfect! I went for many walks around the neighborhood collecting as much as I could carry. It was mostly fir and cedar, which was great, but the pine turned out to be my favorite. Unfortunately, pine is very messy to work with because of the tree’s resin, but because it smells heavenly, it’s definitely worth the sticky bother. Also, I love the fine, grass-like texture of the needles.

 

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The Green Man-Child

So much of what I have is broken

but, since I grew up with Bob Ross, I’ve come to see these imperfections as “happy accidents”. The fact that most people do not want broken things is what usually brings these pieces into my life.

This is how the mask of a child came to me.

This story extends from a previous post about Kuan Yin, Bring Her In . My clients were moving away and I was helping to get their garden ready for viewing.  They had some very nice pieces of garden art, but had decided to not take it with them to their new home in New Mexico. The feeling and style of their new home was too different from that of a Pacific Northwest shady bluff garden. Most pieces were being given to friends. The ones they saw as needing repair were headed to the curb to be put out with the trash. That is how I got Kuan Yin. When Teresa saw how happy I was with a statue that needed repair, she asked me if I might want a hanging pot that had broken as well. She just needed to dig it out of the garage and find all of the pieces.

 

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Look Away

The solar eclipse has swung into reverse.

As I write, the sun’s light is beginning to fuse back together within the shadows. Here in Port Townsend, we were able to view 90% of the eclipse, but I didn’t see it at all. Without the glasses I couldn’t look up; I just had to be in it. The air became cool and the kids worried about the cats, What if they look up?  They’d been looking at the NASA website. Kittymeow was in a panic to get outside so I let her out and the other cats followed. Outside, my neighbor and her friend were out in the road with colanders looking at the crescents holes that were being cast upon the ground. They wanted to show me more of the shadows in the garden and studio. So, we walked through the garden, with the cats as our companions, finding more crescent shadows. The days had started out sunny and warm but, now it was getting dark and chilly. The shadows lost definition and blurred around the edges. The effect was like your eyes couldn’t properly focus. We had to keep reminding ourselves to not look up. So instead we looked to the shadows.

Click on an image to see and read more!

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So, I Got Bored With My Hedge…(Reprise)

Gardenkeeping.com completes its first trip around the sun!

This has been such an unexpected pleasure for me. Originally I just wanted a website for my garden maintenance business but, then I got bitten by the blogging bug. Read about it at my post WHAT’S MY SIGN! The learning curve was a bit long (and grueling) but now, one year in and 42 posts later, I’m still excited to sit and write about my plant-life. A big thank-you to everyone who has checked out my blog and decided to follow it. You’ve really cheered me up!

In this world you can’t rest on your laurels.

 

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Shadow Light

Shadow light /shadow play /this is what I’ll do today!

I haven’t been getting into my garden to do much work. I can’t believe it’s not making me sad. I must’ve needed a break. The wind been blowin’ and the ground’s been frozen. Some days all day, which is unusual around here. I assume the ground needed a break as well.

The angle of the winter sun has made for some fun with shadows.

I love it. It can be mid-day and your shadows stay long. The sun does a little jump over the horizon and then it sinks down again. Another day that barely happened. So, yeah, I’m not getting much done. I blame the sun.

I had some camera fun with the slanted light of the New Year before the clouds came and muted the light.

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