Introducing: Trang

I told you that I've had three projects going recently and shown you the first (Bayce), the second (my chair refurbish), and now the third: Trang!

What is it? Read on to find out what Trang is all about...


Making a funky chair fit for the garden

I was originally going to title this post "Making a funky chair better", but I'm not sure that I succeeded in that regard. "Making a funky chair different" didn't really work for me either. Regardless of what this post is called, let's see what I did.

I started with this antique mall find, an $8 chair that was attractive to me only because of its heavy metal frame.


Introducing: Bayce

I teased last week that I had a few projects in the works -- three to be exact -- and the first of them is now ready to be revealed.

As you probably know I am now creating and selling custom and semi-custom furniture through my young company Nimble Mill. Today I add my second product to the Nimble Mill lineup: Bayce.



Yesterday we took a Sunday morning drive out to see the eagles. At the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, the St. Louis area is an important overwintering site for bald eagles, and we make the 40-minute drive once every year or so.

You typically don't get to see the eagles up close, but it's still exciting and impressive to see them perched in trees or flying overhead.


What do you see?

What do you see when you look at this, the view out of our kitchen window?

Do you see a mess, left due to a lazy gardener? Do you see winter interest, beautiful seed heads and shades of brown contrasting wonderfully with the backdrop of snow? (All photos in this post were taken through window glass, some at a sharp angle -- so colors are a bit off at times)


Project previews

I've been working on a few new projects in the workshop, and since not much else is going on garden-wise I thought I'd share what I've been doing.

More details coming soon, but just a preview today.


Bamboo in the snow

Whenever snow is forecast I still get excited! I love the way everything looks under fresh snow, but I especially like bamboos in the snow.

Not the heavy, bend-bamboo-to-the-ground type, but the light, powdery stuff that lets the bamboos stay upright but frosts them in a magical way.


Looking back: ice

In going back through old posts for yesterday's long overdue favorite photos of 2012 post, I saw some things that I really liked. This blog was partially going to be a garden "diary" and it's proving its worth in that regard -- I never would have remembered when that heavy snow was, or a particular ice storm, or that exceptionally hot summer (they all blur after a few years).

Today with little time and no new photos on my camera, I thought I'd look back at one of my favorite winter posts from a few years back.


Favorite photos of 2012

It's three years late, but since in every year's "favorite photos" post -- which I did for 2015 on Friday -- I say "I didn't create a favorite photos post for 2012", I decided to do something about that.

January 2012: Yucca filamentosa curls

So I went through all of the 2012 posts this weekend and have chosen my faves. I'm assuming that what I chose now is what I would have chosen in January 2013, but maybe not. Enjoy! (Remember that these are my favorite photos, not necessarily my favorite posts, which you can browse using the "best of" buttons at the right side of the page.)


Favorite photos of 2015

Every January I like to select my favorite photos from those that I took and posted about during the previous year. So today here's my look back at 2015, and the photos that I like the best. Note that these are not necessarily my favorite posts -- I list those in March on my blog's anniversary date.

January 2015: just the right light to capture seed heads and more

If you see something that you particularly like but don't remember reading about, use the "archives" listing on the right of this blog to browse for it. Links to previous "best photo" posts at the end of this one. Enjoy!


The second capture: nothing to do with me

Yesterday I talked about catching mice. Little did I know that my post would have such far-reaching consequences, inspiring those around me to act.

I happened to glance out the window and noticed this pretty neighborhood cat that first appeared in my garden this summer. Definitely interested in something...


The first capture of the season

Yesterday I showed you my first casualty of the overwintering season: a favorite plant that appears to have died due to underwatering.

Today I show you the first capture of the season. No, it's not a makeshift hamster cage, although it looks a bit like that.


First casualty of the season

When overwintering so many plants indoors (in garage or basement), there are always some that don't make it through to spring.

My first casualty of this winter is unfortunately a plant that I was very excited about, and so was babying it quite a bit -- until I wasn't.


Winter Arrives

This weekend brought us our first real proof of winter in St. Louis, mild temperatures driven out as the Arctic air pushed in.

I did not venture outdoors into the 10ºF (-12ºC) garden, but instead chose to use the long lens to show you what these temperatures mean to me from indoors. The water barrel in the front yard has a birdbath heater in it so stays iceless -- the edge gets so frosty though!


Now available...

I'm happy to report that my Whorn stools/tables are now available for purchase!

Discounted introductory pricing applies -- more info at



We had a fantastic sunrise yesterday morning, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Not much that I need to say about it, is there?


What's going on here?

My garage floor was covered by a significant pile of sturdy leaves yesterday:

What's going on here?



One of the ways that I continue gardening over the long winter months is through cuttings. It's one of my overwintering strategies for tender plants: take cuttings and root them instead of trying to overwinter the entire (sometimes large) plant.

That's what I've been doing with this trio of cuttings from a beautiful tropical that I got on sale late this summer (Aerva sanguinolenta). Since I wasn't sure how it would fare spending the winter in the garage, I decided to see if prunings would root in water. If they did I would have a "backup" plant or two come spring.


Branches and Birds

This was going to be a photo essay on branches, the sunlight hitting them in just the right way the other morning, revealing so much texture, depth, and color.

But I have a bird feeder underneath these branches, and the birds kept getting in the way of my branch photos.


First fire means mantises

The first fireplace fire we have each year has come to mean something different to me than to most people who light the logs at this time of year.

It means an unexpected -- well, at least for the first couple of years -- chance to connect with the garden again, or at least its wildlife.


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