Friday, July 3, 2009


the perennials in this container have been in there for about 3 years now. the container goes in the garage in nov until late april early may. last year the japanese painted fern was huge! this year the golden bleeding heart is, the roma masterwort well, has a lot to compete with and you can just see the flowers if you look hard enough, best to click on the image to enlarge it, but the dark green leaves i think look great too.
a container renovation may be in order at the end of the summer season, which... comes with some decisions. do i put new plants in the container? only leave the painted fern in there for next year, put the others in the garden? new beds would have to be dug other plants to be moved....which made me remember a post on garden rant that i read a little while ago...'Put down the god-damned shovel and stop moving the perennials around on every whim!'...hmm. maybe i should just leave it for one more year the reason, they are doing so well is, i haven't touched them for 3 whole years.....unusual for me, not much is left alone in my garden for long. why you ask? i have cgps, chronic gardening puttering syndrome. it goes like this... 'this would look better here, against that, with that, more sun, less sun' the big one 'i just want to go look'....a garden nursery visit sets my shovel on fire with excitement, it knows, she's weak she'll buy something and have to move 3 other plants along the way.
gosh, i love that feeling of shovel in hand, thrusting it into the dirt, then inspecting that dirt which in many places now is lovely, lovely soil if i do say so myself. before the abscence of worms now the proliferation, and some good big ones too boot! see how i instantly succumb? i just went into a complete state thinking and writing about it...

yes i have cgps, i am a chronic garden putterer.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

just start...

[axonometric; series of parallel lines; projection technique to create a drawing of an object by rotating it on an this case a landscape design. allows you to 'feel' what it might be like to be 'in' the garden]

hand drawing is possibly becoming a lost art in the world of design with the intro of auto cad computer programs. I think it also maybe something some of us take for granted, i know i did. my mind didn't easily make the leap from one dimensional corporate worker girl to tools in hand 3-d drawing very easily, and i definitely have a long way to go. i usually sat staring at the assignments a.k.a blank piece of trace or vellum for well...let's say, thank goodness the office and 30 rock run back to back. i know no t.v. while doing homework!

a few of us were offered an opportunity to take some semi private classes lead by the instructor from this class, she's an amazing landscape designer and i am so grateful to be a part of this learning process. Most interesting is she confessed to going through much of the same process, staring, internal chatter 'i can't do this, i can't think of anything'...last night she put us to the 'be loose' test.

[drawing a cross-section from plan; analyze views, vertical and hidden elements and internal structures just some of the benefits. placing people allows a person to relate to the design]

3 house styles, 30 minutes - design 3 relevant fence AND details, 10 minutes per fence. let it flow, connect the pencil to the paper then move it, don't think. i think most of us felt sick, oh my gosh why am i here, i can't do the end we all came up with great designs. all different, all our own style and all of us loved it.
when i look at these assignments, i still wonder... how did i ended up doing these again? did i really draw these? where the heck would i start if i had to do them again? just starting is half the battle...the best lesson i seem to keep learning :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

what a day!

Gillenia (Porteranthus) stipulata so willowy swaying softly in the breeze

Lavandula dentata candicans, spanish grey lavender with its little forget me not flowers and whorling petals puffing out from the top planted in a pot on the front porch

French breakfast radish harvested from the raised beds, washed with the greens left on for easy dipping in sea salt

Digitalis purpurea 'Camelot cream' flush with blooms now done for the season.

what an absolutely stunning day it is here...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the dirt on blogging

landscape archictecture magazine 6/2009 issue - a good read this month...

i know some people think blogging is a waste of time, don't see the point, too busy, etc etc etc.
part of the courage i get to continue the pursuit of landscape design definitely comes because of the blog sphere i've recently jumped into. of course i get lots of love and support from the people who are closest to me however, i find i'm fueled and able to gain great knowledge by reading about others who live, gardening, design, sustainable living, handmade, home cooked life and all the other ideas, values, and great pictures! that may come along with that. being surrounded by like minds is important to challenge and affirm. yeah sure, some the blogs i read, well have nothing related to any of those things but i appreciate the glimpse into the joys, sorrows, simple days, pursuits, thoughts or just funny stories that are put out there.
it also allows respite from the 9-5 world we may live in that may not necessarily be inspiring our souls but allow us to fund the passions that we do blog about. how blissful is it for those of you who have achieved the live, blog, work, live life!
i guess this is partially why i call it notebook, an online version that helps me live, embrace and move with the core parts that well make me, me. and to the blogs, people out there who do the same thank you for taking the time to share part of you!

It's never too late to be who you might have been.
George Eliot

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

mustard greens anyone?

yep we've been eating A LOT of mustard greens lately. i planted them in 2 containers and i swear its like a Mary Poppins bag, never ending. i have never eaten them before, they are a very refreshing change from the tiring mesclun mix available in groceries stores. But alas, i think they have to come out by their roots soon, one last feast (need to look up few recipes, i think you can saute it) and on to the next, a seeding of green lights swiss chard, a mini variety.

ah french breakfast radish, they look ready, its been a long while since i've grown radishes, let alone eat them. think i will wait til the weekend and pick a few choice looking ones, with a bit of salt or dip, yum. funny, i look at bunches of radishes in the grocer or at the market but never think of buying them, and i can't say that i've seen other people reach for them either, i do like to look at what people buy...bit of grocery cart snoop i guess.
there's something about growing your own food, it just seems to taste better.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

i must need a nap...

I’m not a good do it all person, definitely not a type A, if there’s a type Z I think I’m it. I mean I get things done, mostly, not without help, usually just in the nick of time. I like to putter, usually under the pretence that I’m actually accomplishing something. I would rather nap, that’s the Zzzz part, but usually I feel guilty so don’t. I don’t think Coal feels guilty, I’m sure he doesn’t always want to nap but seems to embrace it if he must.

He’s definitely a type A when the leash is pulled out, around his flying squirrel frisbee, and hunting down flies in the house, if he hears a buzz, he won't even eat (yes he is a lab), must get the buzz. Not sure if I have type A ‘things’, I definitely need more type A things... probably, well one would be good. I am sure the husband would put grocery shopping on my type A list. I seem to be particular about the amount of fruit and veggies we eat, writing here though it only sounds motherish, not type A. Sometimes, I wish I was more type A about like oh, career advancement, money or gosh darn it at least about what I profess to LOVE! But boy oh boy, there’s that relaxing and dreaming to do.

Coal needs to have a good ‘squeak’ with his squeaker toy every so often too, not sure if this is a type A characteristic or because his little peanut is left of centre… crazy little creatures. I am sure many dog owners know the popularity of the ‘squeak’ with dogs. I can see all the heads tipping to one side wondering where that glorious noise came from, love it. The husband and I revel in the simple joy he gets from a good squeak session; he’ll just lie in his bed squeak, squeak, squeaking away, when you look at him, he’ll look back and thump his tail, happy as can be, nutty guy. He used to tear out the squeaker with a type A focus, lucky if that 10$ toy lasted an hour, but this last little character we got him, well he just wants to plain’ol squeak it, not all the time just sometimes. We often get sucked into that joyful moment, when it happens, laughing wondering ‘what the heck does he get out of that?’ Grabbing, it squeaking it ourselves, it does feel good, then he's off to have a nap. Yes, back to the nap ….but I think I need to think about what's in that 'squeak' a little more.

the 'squeaker'...

Friday, June 5, 2009

under its spell

i think this is stunning. when i first noticed it i didn't quite understand, i go over and stare at it almost every day now, locked in spell. i just LOVE looking at it, absorbing it. Red Snakeroot, its common name, beautiful, well for some reason i think it is.
my mind just empties, pure meditation, i just keep that rude?
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