I rarely go to bookstores anymore. I would if it was easier, but they are all at least a 20 minute drive from my home, so sadly, online resources tend to prevail. What I miss most about bookstores though is the joy of wandering in – perhaps looking for one thing – but wandering out with something entirely different. I miss perusing and discovering readings that I never even knew I wanted.
Working with Lowes on this series has put me in my local hardware store a lot more than I would have otherwise visited, and there have been side effects. Namely new discoveries in the book and magazine realm (Lowes has a well stocked, all-DIY and gardening bookshelf). You may not think of Lowes as a good book resource, but I assure you there are some real treasures to be discovered in the selection that is sold there. It may not be a full on coffee swilling library type experience, but I nonetheless discovered two items there that are informing my spring planting plans.
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You might remember this post that I wrote last fall, which featured a gorgeous pergola addition to a North Carolina mountainside backyard. Well, last week I ended up finding my way back to Penny’s blog The Comforts of Home, and this time I discovered a really great project that involved adding a path. When Penny and her husband went to see this house for the first time, they were a little confused about where the front door was. Once they realized it was nothing more than a careless weedy dirt path that would take them there, they knew that adding a proper pathway was at the top of their list.
After a few truckloads of dirt were hauled in to help raise the slanted side yard, a path made of pavers was installed. Ferns, evergreens, and other perennials were added, and a charming iron archway was put up. The surrounding area was finished with a lovely chunky mulch, and the results are fantastic! I would love to have a side yard like this, but we haul a trailer through our yard on a pretty regular basis, so for now I will just swoon over Penny’s impressive yard. -erin
If you have a great Before & After project that you’d like to share with the Studio ‘g’ community, send us an email along with some photos!
Images from: The Comforts of Home
It’s time for my annual proclamation that this is the year we will get the woodchuck problem in the garden under control. This time I really mean it.
I know you have heard it before, but this year I am taking matters out of my own hands and putting them squarely in the hands of professionals. My hired assassin even comes with a 5 year guarantee to keep sons and daughters, cousins and distant relatives from coming to move into the particularly extensive abode that stretches from my chicken coop to my barn (easily 50 feet).
Over the years I’ve tried traps, poison, smoke bombs (which worked until they didn’t and I nearly burned down the barn), getting a terrier, throwing rocks at them, and running like a crazy woman (who screams while waving her hands over her head) out of the house at them — nothing has made a lasting difference and I think the ‘chucks have come to feel that I’m not serious.
Last year I over-confidently thought that I had at least banished them from the vegetable garden (where they pose, all cute-like, in front of my game camera while mowing down anything even remotely related to a cabbage). I was convinced my fence fortress was impermeable, but within days of planting a brand new Goji Berry Plant – it was gone. I guess they were tired of the Brassicas and found this to be a real treat – especially after having pushed the gate backwards on its hinges just enough to get in.
I’d really like to try out Goji berries. (Have you had them?) I’ve never bought them in the store, but they are purported to be quite healthy. And if I can achieve cascades of pretty red berries covering branches that are trained nicely into a pretty cone form I could even be happy not to eat them and just look at them.
So, is this possible?
It’s March; anything seems possible. And if the chucks are gone and I try planting it in a container, I think I might have sporting chance.
Images: courtesy of Proven winners and woodchuck via creative commons Carly and Art
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Proven Winners. I am not an employee of Proven Winners and all opinions are my own. See the other posts in this series.
I am deep in the throes of a design maelstrom. New planting designs are flying at me from every direction like the tornado in the Wizard of Oz.
Front entrance walk redesign to our visitor center – done.
Northern bed along our Great Lawn – done.
Rainbow Terrace in the Alfond Children’s Garden – done.
Once the designs are done, then comes the time to measure the planting bed shapes (thank goodness for those two semesters of college calculus!) and source the plants to fill out the designs. Our theme this summer at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is about pollinators and pollinator plants. I am on the docket to teach a course on butterfly garden design at CMBG in August so I thought that this year’s designs would be a great laboratory for the session. Thinking along the lines of butterflies and hummingbirds, most of our plants will be reds, yellows, and oranges. Agastache, Salvia, and Asclepias are just a few of the pollinator attractors scheduled for our summer planting palette. After specifying over 2,000 new and unusual plants for these pollinator planting plans, I came across one last area in the gardens that needed some new ideas. Read the full post
I came across this image this morning over on Old House Gardens’ page about forcing bulbs. I’ve never seen such wonderful forcing pots and I would love to find something as charming as that hedgehog crocus pot for some late winter fun (but I’d be thrilled to have any of them!).
A quick eBay search turned up absolutely nothing. Has anyone ever seen something like this? Know a source? Or perhaps you know someone who is making modern day versions? Do share – I would be so grateful.
image from Old House Gardens — originally sourced from Peter Henderson Catalog NYC, 1900.
It’s funny to me how some things become so much more interesting when they are scaled down. Bigger is not always better and less is certainly more. I find that particularly true when considering these diminutive firebowls by Ponkk.
This little guy (known as the Frog King) is only 9 inches wide and just a bit over a foot tall. It burns briquets and small sticks and would be perfect for an outdoor party (where I think a bubbling pot of fondue sitting on top would be an excellent addition).
Slightly bigger (but still quite tailored) is the ‘Bud’ pit (modeled after a budding flower). I imagine a pair of these on plinths framing a path or at the corners of a patio.
But I think my most favorite is this little princess pit (which, for obvious reasons is called the Crown). It is a foot wide and just barely over a foot tall. Perfect for the center of a table and easy to move around to where ever you might want a sweet little flame.
Ponkk has some other interesting fire features that are well worth checking out. All are handmade, quite reasonably priced, and each expresses a unique charm.
images from Ponkk.
I am sorry to be getting this up late, but I have been stumbling around trying to sort out all the things that have to be done between this Tuesday and the following Wednesday and so that I can get them done early. I’ve been put on notice that a package will arrive on Tuesday with all the first draft pages of my book, and I have 8 days to write captions, edit everything, and put together the photo credits. It a whole lot of stuff that has to get done in a very short time. As Julie, my editor, advised I am freezing meals, plotting out places for the kids to be and generally trying to clear the deck in preparation. The irony is that my industriousness to get things done ahead of schedule has put me behind on the current things. Such is life right? Anyway – happy Sunday morning to you… I hope you can enjoy some of these links over a nice hot drink.
p.s. That top picture – me, playing around – pretending I am Cyndi Lauper (al la 1985) – I was actually in a recording studio making the voice over for a book trailer that will be out in a couple of weeks. Just so you know – I seriously don’t sing.