A little discovery

I've had these little bistro tables for years. You may know that I've recently been taking a closer look at them -- I've had to while adding the wooden top.

I noticed something else about them recently too: the ring connecting the legs. They could do more than just add rigidity to the table.


Another project: Bench!

Last weekend was the planter box. The weekend before that was this bench.

I wanted to post about it immediately, but I hadn't stained it yet and I don't like posting images of projects that are not finished -- I did that with the screen and wish I had waited. Anyway, let's see the bench...


Those darn animals!

One of the disadvantages of having a garden full of wildlife is the "wild" part. They just don't seem to understand the limits that I have set for them.

Take for instance the raccoons, who have revealed to me the one drawback of using Milorganite to fertilize -- but I'll get to that in a minute.


New planter box!

You know how I've been making a lot of things out of wood (and some other materials) lately? Well, my goal is to make something new every weekend. Since I haven't posted a project for a couple of weeks, that means that I've got a couple of projects to post about this week.

I'm starting with the newest, the one that I created this past weekend. I was hoping for a dry, sunny evening in which to take photos, but I had to settle for a wet, overcast one.


Young visitor

I've seen plenty of young rabbits this year, and had some experience with baby deer too. I've seen baby mice, watched tiny toads emerge from the pond, heard lots of baby birds -- the house wrens just raised another brood in the wren house under the deck -- but one thing I don't get too see too often is young turtles.

I did the other day though!


What I love: bugs!

One of the things that I love about having a garden is the amount of tiny wildlife it attracts. I've found so many fascinating and beautiful insects and arachnids out there, sometimes I just have to share.

Take a look with me?



If you've been following me for a while, you have heard me talk about weeding, planting, pruning, raking, mole and mouse removal -- pretty much anything having to do with gardening. What you don't read about too often is spraying, because I rarely do it.

So when a company contacted me a month ago about their plant sprayer, my first thought was to ignore (delete) their message. My second thought though was about my broken pump sprayer and the fact that powdery mildew will soon be here, so I replied instead. A couple of weeks ago I gave their product a try.


Tropical visitor?

Along with the tropical plants that I recently added to my collection came a bonus...

...of sorts. It's a snail! Why do I use an exclamation point when I write that? Surely I'm not a fan of these vegetation munching pests, am I?


New Plants?

Although I haven't shown it to you this year, my driveway behind the house is where I keep all of the plants that I intend to plant or pot up. Sometimes these are propagated plants: seedlings, cuttings, divisions. Sometimes these are plants that I purchased that have been languishing in their tiny nursery pots for months, waiting to go into the ground or a container.

In any case, I have many of these plants this year -- a couple dozen at least -- even though I gave away quite a few plants to garden visitors. So why did I stop at Greenscape Gardens last Friday and buy new plants? It's an even mix of obsession and bargain hunting I think, and I got a couple of great deals! The first is shown above next to the dark-leaved Pennisetum 'Vertigo'.



A bit how I feel this Monday morning, but more about noticing the fuzziness in the garden.

The Pennisetum are all coming into their own, their inflorescences making the garden such a fun place.


Guess what I found?

A package arrived yesterday containing something great. Here's what it looks like after I took it out of the box:

Can you guess what it is?


Foliage Follow-Up

After Bloomday we have Foliage Follow-Up. If you thought I had a lot of blooms to show yesterday, I have even more going on today!

I'll jump right in with Perilla, sort of a weed in my garden this year. It's so pretty when grown in quantity though, its dark ruffled leaves adding not only color but interesting texture.


Bloomday, July 2015

It's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, when we show you what's currently blooming in our gardens. I usually miss this, or only remember in months when nothing is really in flower. Luckily neither of those is the case this month, and there's lots to show.

Starting with Agastache foeniculum and Agastache rugosa -- they're mixed together in my garden and are just past their peak but will still be going for a few weeks or longer.


Long-awaited project: Screen

I've been thinking about doing this project for years, and since woodworking is becoming a bigger thing for me recently I decided last weekend that it was time to act.

So what can you do with an old glass shower door? (Besides store it in your garage for years I mean)


Bird planter(s) project

Remember my terra cotta bird planter?

It's lived on my deck for the past five years or longer, holding cold-hardy succulents while braving the heat of direct sunlight on the deck and below-zero temperatures each winter. When I first put it out here I thought it was weird and it didn't really fit my gardening style, so didn't care how long it lasted.


Gerhard's Potting Bench, other projects

More "furniture" projects that I've been working on lately, the first of which has been a long time coming. Back in 2011 (the "old days" when both of us were bamboo crazy) my friend-found-through-gardening Gerhard mentioned that he wanted to build a potting bench that incorporated a soapstone sink:

That sink had been sitting in his garden (taking up valuable planting space I'm sure) for a while, and he wanted to utilize it. "Hey!" I said, "I love designing furniture! I can design something that you'd be able to build!". And that's pretty much where we left it, except that once a year or so I'd say "I'm still thinking about that potting bench design..." and he'd reply "No hurry, I don't have time to build it right now!" or "No hurry, I have lots of other projects going on!"

So I didn't hurry, but I did finally get the job done.


Looking again

A month ago on a morning walk to the nearby supermarket I noticed that the wild hill next to the highway -- where I've released many a captured mouse and mole -- looked quite beautiful. Great texture and color as there were large swathes of blooms. So nice!

I only had my phone with me but snapped some photos anyway. Needless to say that the images captured did not impress me, and I left them to be forgotten. Today though I took another look, processed the heck out of them to try and restore some of the "magic" that I saw that morning, and am now sharing with you.


The future of hummingbird feeders?

Who doesn't like seeing hummingbirds in the garden? I know I do, and besides planting lots of hummer-attracting plants (Agastaches and Salvias for a start), I've been hanging hummingbird feeders for as long as I can remember.

Back in May I had the opportunity to review a new type of feeder, and today's post is my experience with it so far. As you can see from the box, this thing must be HUGE!


A peek at some projects

Not much time to write anything today, so I thought I'd give you a peek at a couple of projects that I've been working on.

I'll start with the patio chair refurbishing, which I posted about earlier. I've done another chair and a table as you can see...


Accidentally color-savy

I noticed the other day that the side garden -- where the new dry creek bed runs -- is looking quite nice:

More to the point, it's somehow become color coordinated, not a mashup of crazy colors. It's become a gradient of purples and pinks and blues, with some white mixed in there.


Working on shade: new plants!

Coming back from a physical therapy session (pesky shoulder pain!) I drove past SummerWinds nursery and decided to stop. As I said when I posted about this nursery, I don't get out here too often so I took advantage of the situation. The nearly-empty parking lot said I was going to have the place to myself on this drizzly day.

My goal was to find shade-loving plants that would help me continue my work on the bed under the maple. I've placed the plants in the photo above -- did you notice?


It's pollinator time!

The peak pollinator time in my garden is here, and although it will last for a couple of months I want to show you some of the main players now.

Polanisia dodecandra (red-whisker clammyweed) attracts smaller bees, although I didn't see any at the time of day that I took this photo. Such a nice little native annual when planted in drifts.


Questions and observations

This is going to be one of those posts that jumps all over the place. Let's start with a question...

What plant is this? It grows at the border of my neighbor's yard and he says that it looks like "wild rhubarb". I'm usually pretty good at finding plant IDs online, but haven't had much luck with this one.


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