Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Three Day Weekend! And a Winner...

I hope you have time this weekend, as many of us enjoy an extra day off work, to remember those who have given their lives in service of the United States. Many of us will also pause in memory of deceased loved ones or spend time with family or friends. Whatever your weekend holds, I hope it is good.

I will be spending it with my daughter and grandchildren who are visiting for a few days...a Nonna fix is always fun for me! We will miss their dad who had to stay home in southern California to work and send thanks to him for sharing. I'm hoping, though, that my other daughter and her husband will make it up for a visit and that, since my son lives in town, most of us be together at least for a while.

I am getting lots of gardening help and we have big plans to do more in the next few days. Beans and squash of varying kinds are just now popping up and they are helping me make sure nothing dries out at this delicate stage.

I would also like to announce the winner of  Handmade Garden Projects. Using a random number calculator the winner chosen from those who left comments on the original post is Ann ter Haar! Ann will be receiving a copy courtesy of Timber Press. Thank you to Timber Press and to all who left comments!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garden Blogger Bloom Day May 2012

It's May, it's May the lusty month of May...and there are many new blooms in the garden and even more continuing blooms. They are so very cute in their over-the-top exuberance! Anyway...someone goofed and started too many gardening projects, therefore things are busy here in the garden. So there will be very little talk and just a few photos, starting now!

Alstroemeria Regina is a wonderful bloomer, spreading all over the fountain bed.

Lavender trumpet vine, Clytostoma callistegioides took over the bloom job from the Lady Banks rose on the fence...they grow tangled together.

Passion flower, passiflora is such a wild bloom! Dad always liked them but I have only recently been converted. I used to think they looked I can't stop appreciating them.

Nigella damascena is delicate, fancy and scares me. I worry it has plans to take over. I, however, plan to limit the seed scattering to a reasonable amount.

A passalong poppy. I will be very careful with the seed...I have many fewer this year than I did last. None of the seeds grew except the ones in pots.

This bee is thoroughly enjoying the Campanula poscharskyana.

Other May blooms include salvias, roses, pelargoniums, lavenders, columbine, carnations, begonias, solanum jasminoides, abutilons, brunsfelsia, cranesbill, foxgloves, and scabiosa.

May is also the favorite month over at May Dreams Gardens where our loyal leader Carol invites everyone to share their blooms each month. Head over there to see what's blooming around the world!

And if you are interested in winning a copy of Lorene Edwards Forkner's Handmade Garden Projects go here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Handmade Garden Projects

Last summer I was lucky enough to visit the Seattle garden of Lorene Edwards Forkner. It was an eye-opener to me; full of wonderfully handcrafted unique features, this garden was a treasure trove of ideas and I didn't know where to look first. Lorene's self-described 'urban hillbilly chic' was right up my alley garden path.

I was truly excited when I heard that many of the projects were going to be included in her soon-to-be released book Handmade Garden Projects, published by Timber Press. I ordered a copy as soon as I could and found even more than I hoped for. Directions for making things ranging from a gabion style cocktail table (made in the same style as the tower seen in her front garden, at top) to the mosaic patio accent circles, seen in the upper part of her back garden, were explained in detail. I love to put old items, be they vintage or simply old, to good use in my garden and this book motivated me to start actually doing something with all the 'good stuff' I had backing up in the garage.

One of the best parts was seeing that many of the projects could be done quickly and didn't require lots of experience, although there are some more difficult construction items too. And, a really big plus for me, many of the projects don't take a large amount of space, but supply clever personal touches that can be tucked into an already crowded small space. The practicality of things like the hose guide topped by a vintage glass doorknob had me running to find the couple I had tucked away. All the ideas are great jumping off points for making your garden truly yours. Great style, eco-friendly, and easy on the budget, leaving that much more money for plants!

Now you can own a copy of this book too. Just leave a comment here by Sunday, May 20, and I will use a random number generator to choose one person to receive a copy, courtesy of Timber Press.  Share on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+,  leave a comment here letting me know that you did, and you'll get another chance to win...up to four chances if you share on all three. Pretty soon you'll be clearing out that cache of 'must be good for something' stuff and your garden will be showing off your personal style!