Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Deck and Dock

That's the agenda for the week ahead.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tangletown Garden and Art Tour

Tangletown Gardens is worth a trip anytime, but especially fun on the day of their annual Garden and Art Tour.

The work of one of my favorite artists, Amy Rice, was featured on the publicity postcards and posters.

Tangletown is known for their wide variety of plants and unique statuary.

Attention family - this is why I always rescue birch branches from the yardwaste dump, and why I wouldn't let you use them for your recent backyard bonfire.

"It was a lovely day, wouldn't you agree?"

"Why yes, it couldn't have been any more perfect."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Having an Earth Mother Moment

This photo jumped out at me from whip up.

Minieco, a blog from the UK tells how to dye homemade playdough with all kinds of natural stuff found around the house and the block. Beets and turmeric and raspberries for example.

Yes, it could be a vividly colored disaster waiting to happen, but it could just as well be really fun and educational. So all you earth mothers and fathers and former earth mothers and fathers now doing double duty as earth grandmas and grandpas...here's new twist on a favorite kids' activity.

As Miss Frizzle would say - "Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy."

Saturday, July 24, 2010


It's name is unknown, but it is one of the prettiest hosta in the garden.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Very Cute Hat

Remember the 2010 NDL mascot's hat?

Her farmor (Swedish granny), who made the original, encouraged me to undo the button and make a pattern from the flattened hat.

The shape is, fittingly for this blog, pretty much a big toadstool shape about 12.5 inches from front to back and 14 inches from side to side. Here it is laid out on two layers of fabric, right sides together. I cut freehand a casual quarter inch seam allowance plus an extra quarter inch to allow for the mascot's month of growing since she was last in the neighborhood. (Word has it that is she is growing like a weed.)

Sew together.

Leave an unsewn few inches for turning right side out. Iron!


Sew together with a single button through all back layers.

Eh, voila!

Ready for fun in the sun.

If you see the mascot, not a word. It's a surprise.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take a Deep Breath, Count to Ten, or...

Don't want to jinx anything, but we have had very little theft-by-humans of plants or produce at home, or at the community garden, (fortunately, the rhubarb incident on the next block appears to be an isolated incident) and although bitter complaining about bunny and chipmunk mischief is frequently heard around here, the damage they do is relatively minor. A stolen bulb here, a leaf broken off there, lots of nibbling. We can share, if we have to, I guess.

Apparently, not all gardeners are so fortunate. Checking in with a few favorite blogs, I learned of a nasty case of garden thievery. At You Grow Girl Gayla Trail reports that her curbside garden was selectively stolen from and she was, as one might expect, very disappointed and disgusted. A sympathetic friend made a sign for her which she offers at this post as a printable download. It can be cathartic to shake a fist or put up a sign for just a little while, but the best anger management often comes from extended time hanging out in our own peaceful little bit of Eden. It's hard to stay mad while gardening.

But anyway, just in case you need to vent once in a while you might want one of these tucked away in the back of the tool shed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's in the Bag

Awhile back NDL went begging for someone to model an oilcoth bag that finally made it off the unfinished sewing projects pile.

A congenial neighborlady obliged.

She was even willing to demonstrate how handy the bag could be for alley activities such as dumpster diving.

Then the alleyettes decided to get in on the action.

Once one had tried the bag on for size, they all wanted to.

Amazingly, it looks good on everybody.

The little one insisted that mom try it too. It really is one-size-fits-all.

Be that as it may, NDL thinks she will wear it in the traditional fashion when she goes to market. Better to see where one is walking that way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Garden Club Field Trip

The garden club doyenne arranged for a tour of her landscaper nephew's beautiful suburban garden. Complicated carpool plans were made, city traffic was negotiated, and as usual it was well worth the effort to reach the destination which was very deserving of, and lived up to, the proud aunt's praise and promotion. Once there, the nephew and his family treated us all as if we were beloved aunties. Refreshments were served, the garden was viewed, many questions were answered, and notes were furiously scribbled in the language of Linneaus and in common seed catalog lingo.

Afterwards, we were escorted to lunch and then to Gerten's, the biggest garden center in the universe.

Many looked for and purchased some of the plants that had received much oohing and ahing in the nephew's garden including...

Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire'

Hemerocallis 'Sunday Gloves'

Echinacea purpurea 'Coconut Lime'

...and many immediately started scheming a future trip back to this amazing, gardening mega-mecca with trailer in tow.

It was a lovely day, a good time was had by all, and yes, there were big floppy hats and iced tea involved.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh My!

Legend has it that the lady of the house went out of town and while she was gone...

...her husband arranged for a little welcome back surprise.

Initially she was bugged by the gigantic gesture, but eventually got used to the extra large critters lurking outside the windows, and the daily gawkers, and loves it.

FYI - NDL is happy with the gift of a small bouquet of aphid-free posies. Don't get any other oversized ideas.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Guess I'll Just Have to do it Myself (sigh)

Did anyone try making the Garlic Scape Pesto? I didn't think so.

Well, it was delicious.

Definitely a brush-your-teeth-twice-afterwords kind of experience. Totally worth it, but not perhaps when entertaining your corporate clients. Anybody got any of those?

Okay then, go for it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flowers to Go

Our mission was to buy and arrange flowers for a 50th anniversary party.

There was alot of pointing and smiling from passing cars as we drove home from the farmer's market with the convertible top down.

We probably left a trail of petals down the center line, and a few lilies were a bit worse for wear, but it was worth it for a beautiful Summer morning joyride with some lovely companions.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Picassos by the Pound

Aren't you constantly amazed at what great treasures a quarter or two can buy at a yard sale?

Original artwork for less than the price of a cup of coffee. Can you believe it?

The pair would make the perfect housewarming gift for dear friends, but the teen claimed both for part of his very eclectic bedroom decor as soon as he laid bedazzled eyes on them. Perhaps a tasteful, but dull, gift for the new homeowners will have to do.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sister City Garden Tour

Last year's family visit coincided with a garden tour benefitting a local food bank. Here are a few of the delightful scenes we saw that day.

An inviting pathway edged with color.

A clever idea - if the birds don't mind sharing.

The neices - fairer than any flowers in the garden.

An intriguing entrance to a tiny residence. Chez Tinkerbelle?

A familiar face in the pachysandra.