Monday, May 28, 2012

Garden for Sale or How to Grow On

I returned home the other night from a 6-mile walk to find Maurice waiting for me on the porch. I've been avoiding him—living my busier and healthier life—and I've been trying really hard not to think about what I am going to have to do soon.

Since my health is of the utmost importance, I've decided it's best to sell the house during the divorce process. This means that my garden will go too. When I first moved in, I always used to joke that the house just happened to be in my garden. I wish I could separate the two, but that's not possible. The garden will go with me in other ways. 

So now begins the difficult process of choosing what I cannot leave behind and it is so odd to pick what seem like favorites—but they really aren't. It feels more like I am picking the plants that define my garden style, and I'm finding that quite interesting. Many of the plants I want to take with me in containers are not at all the showiest things. But maybe that's because as a seed hoarder, I know the potential of little tiny seeds and something tells me that if I work hard enough I will have a larger blank canvas waiting for me in my future. 

So let me know, what plant would you take with you and why? I am actually really curious, and to be honest, it would be nice to hear from others right now...
Damask rose. I will be taking one of these with me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The House & Garden of My Childhood

Penny the guard dog.
Mom the Estate Gardener working hard to finish her latest project—a tile deck.
If interested in how she did it check out: 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Handmade Garden Projects

Last week my 20-year-old niece came over to visit me in the garden and as soon as she arrived I put down my review copy of Handmade Garden Projects. She immediately grabbed it though and after a few minutes of flipping thorough it blurted, "Wow Annie, these are really cool projects! I want to make something now. Like right now!"

And this is exactly how Handmade Garden Projects will make you feel too. Yes, there are instructions for the different projects, but there are also extra tidbits that will help with your overall funky garden design. Somehow, between the pages, the book gives off the creative energy of its author and creator too—Lorene Edwards Forkner. We could all use a little bit of personality sometimes and I think many gardening books lack it. This is not one of those books. 

Like others, I too had the pleasure to see Lorene's garden during the Seattle Garden Blogger's Fling in 2011. It was absolutely a high point during the trip. I too like to repurpose and recycle old things in the garden and I love how it continually changes how I see things. I am often in awe of those like Loree who are able to push the simplest and sometimes most inelegant of objects into things of beauty. It truly is an art to understand how to place found objects. 

There is nothing quite like the chance encounter in a garden for the viewer. So often it's where we've come to expect the expected. When we don't find it—at least for me—it can be exhilarating. Just when you become blasé about something like this, it often takes the talent of someone like Lorene to open up your eyes all over again.  

Here are just a few of the projects included in the book that I captured during that tour. Have a look through and at the end of this post simply leave a comment to win your very own copy of Handmade Garden Projects! (Deadline Friday May 25th at noon PST.)

Welded Gabion Column (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Outdoor Terrarium (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Cocktail Table. (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Wire Plant Support (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
Shutter Storage Space (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
Bamboo Obelisk (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Old World Water Fountain (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
Sleek Succulent Gutter (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
There were so many amazing things I had to leave a few more funky pictures.
So please don't forget to leave a comment to win your very own copy of Handmade Garden Projects.

Here is your prompt: Have you repurposed or recycled something in your garden that you're really proud of or do you have plans to do so this summer? Let us all know and good luck! (Deadline Friday May 25th at noon PST.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Let's Get this Party Started

Clematis 'Lincoln Star'.
Clematis 'Josephine'. 
Columbine sampler. 
Iris x hollandica.
Iris tenax.
Buddleja globosa.
My first Lithops.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My 9 Silly Things I Couldn't Garden Without

1.) Lemonade. But it must be sweetened with honey and I insist that it have a splash of rose water (or orange blossom water). This is not for everyone, but for this gardener, it's key to my overall happiness. (Oh, and if you're wondering, yes, it might smell like to soap.) 
2.) Gluten-free snack with Oregon marionberry seedless preserves. It is a type of blackberry but it tastes about 1000x better.
3.) Inexpensive headphones and my loud Indie music. This is so that I don't have to listen to the sounds of the city: public buses, barking dogs, ambulances, police flying by on their way to some other part of Portland, and the random drunk walking down Burnside. (I live one house in from this very busy street and it is sadly still quite loud.)
4.) Heart. Yes, I like to garden with heart. (Since my mother is going to read this, yes, "Happy Mother's Day Mom," I am just going to remind her that I garden with a lot of heart. (It's not intended to be an inside joke, but I guess it might be...)
5.) A place to crash. For years I'd avoided using this amazing vintage chaise but as a converted chronically ill gardener—who is currently in much better health—I plan to use it more now than ever because I'd like to continue being happy and healthy. 
6.) Bling. This goes in my hair so that if no one hears from me for a day or two they'll find me in the garden more easily. (I suppose the same goes too if I'm just ignoring your phone calls or email messages.)
7.) Nail polish. I simply cannot say enough about how much better I feel when I'm a complete and total dirtball, with crisp and dry hands, and then I look down and I think, "Damn, those look nice at least."
8.) Furry companions. For Mother's Day they posed for this group picture. Trust me, this is not something they like to do everyday.

9.) iPhone. I love it because it plays music while I Google plants. Need I say more? (Note the MacBook in the reflection. I love it too but I did hate bringing it outside so often.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Language in the Garden (How it's Difficult to Make Ikebana Arrangements Right Now)

I've been writing a lot recently but it hasn't been here on my blog. So many words now fill up my time and space that I'm seeking out the garden more as I continue to pick up the pieces and move on with my life. Removing the weeds, editing the garden spaces, and tossing out plants that have not been successful has never felt so good, but I am finding it difficult to speak with flowers.

A Year of Ikebana is the blog I started last September just after my Grandma Virginia passed away. At the time my marriage was already being examined under a microscope and it was clear that something in that relationship had to change. As this blog had been so successful for me, I thought that actually trying to practice Ikebana on a daily basis—much as I used to exercise—could somehow calm me enough to get through whatever stormy waters I'd have to face in the coming months.

I wanted to feel beautiful again since that had been lost in my marriage and I wanted to make beautiful things. There was that need to build something as something else was falling apart around me. But I never had any idea how deeply those little arrangements would work their magic on me, and in time, I've sat in awe at the power the practice of Ikebana can have since it has the ability to transform something hidden inside of all of us.

Yes, it is said to be a therapeutic and spiritual practice. The life energy of the plants flow through you just as your emotions touch them. Sometimes you can speak through one another, and sometimes it just doesn't click. It's a marriage and a relationship that means a lot more to me than I'd ever thought it would and when I was confronted with the separation and then divorce from my soon-to-be ex-husband my arms became heavy.

They were so heavy when I went to think about Ikebana that I couldn't lift them. My arms refused to move and my hands were conspirators. They are slowly coming back now though, but it's been in jumps and starts. I'm seeing too how my arms need to be held and coaxed into the practice again, cherished in the way they always should have been I suppose since I use them, along with my hands, to speak. They're part of this instrument called voice too.

The image above is a recent effort and I was deeply touched by it when it came together. A lot of what's going on inside of me came out and I'm sad that my arms have become heavy again but tomorrow that might change.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...