Saturday, May 25, 2013

~Three-Day Weekend Garden Update~

 It's a three day weekend here in the U.S. and our little patch of Pacific Northwest has actually been clear, dry and- dare I say it?- sunny today! After a week of sudden torrential downpours (our gutter actually fell off the house!) constant sprinkles, all out rain, or even a bit of hail we woke in surprise this morning to see the road and sidewalks actually dry. Dry! A dry Saturday and therefore a gardening day! Woohoo! Okay- it's only me who was excited. The three men in the family were not quite as enthusiastic.

But excited or not, we got down to business and took care of things. Husband and sons got the gutters back on the house and cleared the sidewalk parking strip in preparation for a future project. I finished up a section of garden I've been working on by getting it mulched and swept (more on that in a bit). And Husband and I saved the overgrown, droopy climbing rose that was falling off the chimney by a spot of pruning and then stringing up some twine for it to climb along. All in all, a good day's work. 

We finished the day off with hot dogs roasted over the open fire and later, Reeces' Peanut Butter Cup S'more's for desert. OH, yum!

 So it's been a good day and I will share a little more of what I was able to finish in the garden, but before I do I need to go back awhile. Mid-April to be specific. It was then that Husband and I finally took care of a little project that has been needing doing for the last three years.

Look closely at the picture below. Notice anything? (well yes, there is a cute feline rolling around on the sidewalk, but besides that)

Here's another look:

That beautiful but gangly looking plant alongside the fence is actually a 'cecil brunner' rosebush. A climbing rose. And what exactly is it climbing? Well, . . . nothing. That's the problem. It was a Mother's Day gift three years ago and when I planted it I envisioned a lovely trellis/arbor thingy arching over the gateway for it to climb over and spread it's leaves and delicate pink roses everywhere. Very romantic stuff really, and a far cry from the ugly chainlink fence I am stuck with. However- as you can see, my dream never became reality and we have spent a good couple of years ducking and dodging it's thorny branches as it has taken over the entire entryway into the garden.

Our biggest problem with putting in the lovely, imaginary trellis/arbor thingy is that the entry space is not 'standard' and was much too narrow for a store-bought archway. We tried. It failed. And our financial reality said we could not in fact have one custom made, while our skill-set/tool ownership reality said we could not build it ourselves. So you can see why we ended up just 'ducking and dodging' for so long.

Until . . .
(Perhaps you can see where this is going)
yours truly had a little brainstorm!

I spied seven-foot, pre-made trellises at our local home improvement store. And I suddenly pictured two of them standing across from each other while a section of a third trellis lay across the top like a bridge . . . a bridge for roses!

And so you can see from the picture above, that's exactly what we did. I admit it was much more complicated than my little vision had let on, but in the end (after much sawing, hammering, gluing, measuring) we managed to put together our very own, custom made rose arbor!

And here it is!

Isn't that a huge improvement?!

No more ducking and dodging every time we go in or out of the garden! It's been a month and a half and I am still so thrilled to be able to walk under my roses instead of into them!

But it gets better, because then . . .

they bloomed!

and they bloomed . . .

and bloomed . . .

and bloomed!

Aren't they just the loveliest, most delicate little roses?
And their scent is fantastic, too! Every time you pass under, you get a sweet whiff of perfume . . .
pretty romantic for a chainlink fence, I'd say. ;)

They've been blooming since the beginning of May and I know they are thanking me for the arbor by putting out far more roses than ever before. I'm glad they approve.

And now, back to today and the little area I got all spruced up. It's really been in honor of the roses that I took time to clean this spot all up. See how it all sort of makes it's way out to the arbor? I wish I had thought to take a 'before' shot, but trust me- it was overgrown and weedy.

And here's the view looking back down the path. 
My poppies are all over like little drunken sailors. Too much rain. 
I love it. :)

And here is the latest newcomer to the garden . . . my Spanish lavender. You can see all the little petals from the roses scattered all around. I tucked her into a bed of rocks and with all the sun she'll get here, I think she'll be twice as big this time next year. She came home with us from Elk Rock Garden . . . but more on that next time!

Thanks for stopping by to visit-
Have a lovely weekend!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

~Last Weekend~

 The house was cleaned from bottom to top.

And decorations were hung.

Back in '99 The Husband, myself and The Oldest (in utero) moved here to our present city of residence for the sole purpose of furthering The Husband's education. But, as it so often does, life took over . . .

Now fourteen years, two children, two homes and multiple jobs later, he has finally finished his four year degree. 
He now has his Bachelor of Science Degree. 
His B.S. 
And let me tell you, this man is full of it. ;)

But seriously, there is so much to be said for finishing- Though, I am convinced that no kid four years out of high school with the same degree has an education equal to that of a grown man with half-grown children and life experience on his side. There is so much richness added with every passing year. And that richness doesn't come from text books. 

We spent the weekend partying hard! There was a graduation ceremony we all tried to stay awake through. A late late night with friends and family at a local Portland pub. And lots of time spent with the Husband's side of the family. . .

 Our niece. (crunching the Oldest in a bear hug- LOVE this picture!)

His dad.

His sister.

And his mom. (pictured here with our smirky Youngest)
They all came to stay and celebrate with us.

We spent the rest of the weekend out and about . . . visited the farmer's market in town, went out to lunch at Red Robin, played frisbee in the park, had ice cream at Dairy Queen and drank amazing home-made margaritas.

And this cutie and her Aunt Jennie had lots of fun together as well!
There was swinging in the garden, reading Brambly Hedge cozy on the the couch and lots of 'My Little Pony' make-overs and matrimony. A crash course in life with a six-year-old girl and I loved every minute of it!

It was a fun but very packed weekend- I've spent all this past week just trying to recover from it. But we memorialized something important to our family and that was worth every second!


Monday, May 6, 2013

~Posy Play Commences~

 Everyday something new is in bloom. 
A perfect excuse to arrange little bouquets throughout the house.

And, more importantly, the perfect excuse to put off the overwhelming 'to do' list for this week.

Friday the husband graduates from college. 
Friday his commencement celebration commences. 
Friday we party late into the night. 
Friday- we have five house guests staying with us. 
Friday. This Friday. 

Am I ready? 
House clean? 
Not even close. 
Bedding at least washed? 
Menu planned? 
Any idea of where everyone is sleeping? 

So. . . I arrange my garden bounty into posies, spread them throughout my messy house and take lots of pictures.

Isn't that what you would do?


Friday, May 3, 2013

~All Sorts of Good Things~

Busy week. 
Blessed week.

Sweet treasure from Germany came to my door.

Including a hand-soldered arrow.

Intricate die-cuts-

and a beautiful soldered heart charm.

Poppies . . .

have been popping up.

And my orchid is bursting into bloom.

 Family walks have been taken.

This particular walk was taken last Sunday along Salmon Creek.
Isn't it a beautiful spot? I feel so fortunate to live in such a gorgeous area. . . it's like having Hobbiton in our backyard.

And then the Youngest snatched my camera . . .
  as usual. 
These are the best of the photos he took . . . out of many. MANY!

I'll spare us all the close-up he took of my zit.
He thinks it's hilarious that I get them. And he wants to document it.
Ha. Ha. Just you wait.

And there's the culprit below.

 Other good things . . .

Flowers from the Husband.

Lots of help with the ironing pile.

And always time for cuddling.
And just yesterday an unexpected package came with a new top (among other goodies) from my Grammie.

The week was also full of other good things . . . a night out with friends, time in the garden, some painting, embroidering and watching my Oldest son in the school play.

Yes indeed- another week to count my blessings.