Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Advantages of Bad Design

I'm not much of a garden designer.  Ha.  I'm not a garden designer at all.  However, in years of hanging around gardens and gardeners and reading garden design books, I have learned a few things.
The big one, the one that I not only advise others to do, but also actually follow myself, is to plant things where you will see and enjoy them. My ever expanding cottage garden, for  instance, is located out my front door, where I see it every morning when I get the paper, most evenings when I walk home from work, and an increasing number of evenings when I swing on the porch swing.  The prairie garden is next to the driveway and out the kitchen window, so we see it when we drive or wash dishes.
Previous owners, however, either didn't heed this basic advice or had very different life patterns than I do. With the layout of the house on the corner lot, there are very few spots not visible from either street, the front door (north side), the garage door (east side), or the back patio (SW corner).  The existing iris, peonies, roses and mock orange were tucked into the few places that I just never see.
While I missed the first day of the roses (I think the west side roses started Wednesday) and never did see all of the irises, this poor design does have one advantage.
I don't feel guilty in the least when I cut the flowers.
[Envision a picture of a gorgeous iris peony bouquet until I figure out how to post it while on the road]

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Yosemite Vegas Reading and Fitness Plan

Next month, the Mister and I are hitting Yosemite, a place I love and look forward to returning to, and Las Vegas, a place I have never been and am prejudiced against, on the same trip.*

Besides general proximity, what do these places have in common?
I need to be ready for them, that's what!
I plan on being in Half Dome Hiking shape and of a shape in which I can wear a little dress to dinner at a Thomas Keller restaurant.
I also plan on reading or viewing your favorite Yosemite, Las Vegas, or Utah outdoors books and movies to mentally prepare myself.  John Muir.  Hunter S. Thompson.  Anthony Bourdain.  Who else?

So, for my birthday (Sunday, May 19th. I am totally shameless with the reminders), I want fitness or diet suggestions (crazy accepted, although I probably won't follow them) and Yosemite Vegas suggestions.
Viva Le Cirque de Sierra!

*Thanks to generosity and craziness of parents, Dianthus and Aster will be riding the train from Denver to Yosemite while the Mister and I drive via Vegas.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Iris, Peonies and the Buttons of the Unwed

This image from April 2, 2012.
Our front (north facing) cottage garden is overrun with bachelor buttons at the moment.  The last tulip there is fading, the irises opened this morning and some cool alliums are in full bloom.Iris along the east facing wall started blooming Monday, almost a full week after the iris along the south facing wall started blooming.  Our first peony opened along the south facing wall yesterday (May 7).  In the north cottage garden, no peonies will bloom this year, but nine (yes NINE) peony plants are up.*

*I purchased bare root peonies several times last year, along with transplanting fragments of an unhappy plant, all with no apparent success.  So I planted more.  It turns out the smart plants were just waiting for it not to be last year.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kites and Crocus

Happy May Day!
The kites rode the hot winds back to town yesterday, just in time to feel the colds winds blowing today and the potential freeze tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the second wave of tulips just lost their petals in the hot wind, the north side lilac never bloomed, the south-facing bearded iris are blooming, we planted vegetables and a peach over the weekend, and I'm getting around to posting a crocus image from early March.