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Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

as we begin a new month

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

“Three Things to Remember”, Mary Oliver (from A Thousand Mornings)

As long as you’re dancing, you can

break the rules.

Sometimes breaking the rules is just

extending the rules.

 

Sometimes there are no rules.

***

sunfleur
It’s a new season in my  life. “Rules” in all variations of the term, are being considered and reconsidered.

At the beginning of August we are into full Summer. The garden is producing, the bees are happy and busy of course, birds come to the feeders. Decisions are being made in the studios – both the physical space and the more important “studio between the ears”.

My sabbatical is officially over.

 

 

another poem fromMary Oliver, apt,this weekend

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
― Mary OliverNew and Selected Poems, Vol. 1

rain, on the second of October

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

“Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.”
― Mary Oliver

September ending

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Although the hollyhocks continue to be wonderful, It seems so early for the leaves to be changing colors, for the mornings to be crisp and the afternoons warm, for the exuberance from the High School football stadium 3 blocks North, to be providing the sound track for Friday evenings.

Here it is, Fall, and moving quickly toward October first (is that Monday?). Looking back it would be very easy to say “where did it go?”. Even though I have spent most of the past 16 months in a fog, I know exactly where the time went. The year was spent dealing with unfinished business, clearing out a tool shed,  de-cluttering the house (and there is so much left to put into the loop!) and getting much needed repairs handled.

 

 

Can anyone tell me why, when we get rid of a lot of STUFF, the remaining things expand to fill the available space? It’s a mystery to me. <G>.

Autumn has always been the beginning of the most productive time of year for me: gardens done for the season, school begun, time opening up, cooler weather making it easier to stay indoors, and so forth. This year, my rhythms seem reversed. It’s uncomfortable. My intention for the next week is to reverse that, to get myself back into studio mode and a daily routine that supports the creative work. Tomorrow the computer leaves the studio space, I will begin the patching of walls from water damage (now that the roof is replaced, there is no more leaking in the studio, Hooray!) and look at all my spaces with new eyes.

Questions include: what do I want to work on, what set up would be supportive, and so forth. I am determined to rid myself of more excess, thereby creating clarity and more space.

If you are in my area and want to come by to adopt stuff that is going away, email me. We’ll make a date.

for information on Private Coaching, click here.]

equinox

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Today is the Autumnal Equinox in North America. I had my week confused (imagine that!) and thought it was yesterday. Wrong. Here we are, shifting seasons. If I sent you an equinox greeting yesterday in private mail please just consider it an early greeting <G>.

The dogs and I began our day as usual, walking the Island. Gracie (above) , at 5 months, does not know she is a puppy. She acts like and thinks like the big dogs. Sometimes they have to put her in her place, but she spends a lot of energy trying to organize games and trying to keep the larger groups sorted out. It is a Border Collie’s job: herd the sheep, even if they are other dogs or cats, or whatever. It is a lot of fun having her in the household but a challenge as well. Unlike Beau (who adopted her immediately), Gracie has no “off button”. She will run and run, and then curl up on the car seat and whimper in exhaustion until we get home. Then it’s nap time – and then it’s time to play  – more- more- more.

We have our work cut out for us here. Fortunately, she’s super smart, affectionate and motivated to please – and Beau is setting limits, which is very good. Honestly, I had only intended to foster parent her, but she has won a spot in the heart of my other 4 legged housemates and in my heart as well. Who can control love?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the gardens, the drought tolerant plants are showing off. Sunflowers, Sedum, Cosmos are all in wonderful color now. The non-native trees are shifting color, the native trees and super hardy shrubs (lilacs for example) are holding their green. We’ve managed to get through this horrid hot Summer with little damage in my yard/gardens. Although I have been extremely moderate in my use of  it, I am grateful to have well water instead of using city water to keep everything alive.

OTOH, the Winter of 2010-11, with the sustained sub zero temperatures,  did in a number of shrubs, including the grapevines. There is serious pruning/removal of dead shrubs to do in a month or so. It’s an opportunity, I suppose, to reconsider the landscaping, to reinforce my belief in  xeriscaping. In the last month or so, I have put in new shrubs to provide additional privacy since the French Door went in: bottom line – everything new must be drought tolerant and hardy to 40 below.

This is the “Silver Lace Vine” a polygonum, my “living fence”.  (it separates the front yard from the North yard and gardens, providing privacy as well as a limit for Beau who can breathe himself over the front picket fence if a  squirrel shows itself.)

This vine comes into its own in the early fall with cascades of vanilla scented flowers. In years past it has climbed up the roof, but took a serious hit a few years back when someone decided to eliminate its support, cut it way back and so forth. I’ve spent quite a bit of time this year trimming and training it, and hope that next year it will fill in some privacy spaces. Braiding, twining the sprigs provides an interesting Winter texture. We’ll see how that goes.

Otherwise, it has been a quiet day. A few wonderful conversations with people near and dear to my heart, a nap (imagine that! I never have been good at naps) and a lot of list making and reassessing.

As we move into the new season, I have to consider where my time and energy are best invested. There are decisions to make, resolutions to follow through on and so forth.

Wherever you are in your life right now, I send you wishes for renewal as we move into Autumn.

please check out the coaching page, feel free to subscribe to the museletter, and remember that there are information pages in the right hand column of the blog page.

all best, laura

 

“the new normal”

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

We had a stunning walk this morning, saw white pelicans for only the second time this year. They breed on the Yellowstone but Winter on the Gulf. I have the sense (unsubstantiated) that their population was hit hard by the oils spill a couple of years ago. I know the blackbird populations were. I hope they recover. We watched a Kingfisher working a side channel. It was cool and clear, a welcome change from the unrelenting heat of the Summer.

We’ll get up to 85 this afternoon, perfect!
As a result of this lovely weather, the new shrubs are in and settling well. I chose for toughness (sub 30) and drought tolerance, as well as for height to provide privacy . The french door opens up the house in some unexpected ways. Grasses and weeds getting pulled. At some time I’ll have to tackle the inside work but am in no hurry. The studio repairs are getting worked on a little at a time. Mostly they have to wait for a helper to be available.

I am honored by the great response to my opening the Coaching Practice again and the greater interest in  the subset, “Women in Transition”.

I can only work with so many individuals at a time. If you are interested, let me know!

meanwhile, go make something, collect interesting textures or just sit in the sun, reflecting.

 

As a reminder, in my sidebar, you will find various pages with technical information. Let me know if you have questions or would like more of these pages. What materials might you be unfamiliar with but wanting to try> Perhaps i can help shed some light.

 

 

a much delayed update

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

The new roof is on, complete, lovely. It took only two and one half days, a crew of five, working 7 a.m. to 9 pm. and they were wonderful. Yes, it was a dirty, noisy and messy process, but it is finished.

It was pretty cool to see the bare bones of the house from inside the crawl space:

  The roofers took off three layers of old roofing, started from scratch and now, everything is to code. What is charming is the grace curve of the roof line, invisible with all those heavy layers. My house is breathing more easily.

 

 

 

Our weather has continued to be brutally hot with brief respites here and there. Today is in the 80s, a welcome change from triple digits. The sunflowers and cosmos, vines, weeds and grasses are thriving. My tactic this years is to let it be. I’ll water just enough to prevent crisp grasses. In the Fall, when it cools down, I will dig our the perennial beds and replant, once again thinking about xeriscaping: minimal maintenance, minimal water requirements. It seems to me that these new weather patterns will be with us a while.

Right now the goldfinches and chic-a-dees are loving the holly hocks and cosmos.

 

In other news, I am renewing my coaching practice, after a long hiatus, Details here.

Spaces are limited so don’t delay!

It is also possible that a group of “Women in Transition” will be forming soon. if this interests you, send a note.

To subscribe to my Museletter click here.

My wish for you as August matures is that you are enjoying the Summer, exercising your creativity, relaxing and making stuff!

 

Summertime!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Temperatures are projected for the high nineties all week. This means any out of doors work needs to be done in the morning and that the sun/shade patterns must be honored.  This is also the week the robins are fledging. There have been a many as 7 adult robins dive bombing my cats in the morning. The cats don’t like it, but they are confined to quarters for the next week or so. I prefer unhappy cats to dead or upset birds. Interestingly, Beau is curious but shows no sign of trying to retrieve the ones that get away. Mice on the other hand…

“Wafting in the Garden” <LOL>. Those of you who have had workshops with me know exactly what this means and does not mean. Suffice to say, the big floppy hat is in place but the long flowey skirt is not.And I am working HARD. Today I planted a twining honeysuckle to replace the dead grape vines, and a variegated dogwood in front of the South facing front windows. – behind day lilies and iris etc. I want year ’round visual interest. It seems to me another privacy screen plant would be a good idea,  but not today.

Next on my list is to procure chilled beverages and rebuild the side fence. Now that the steps are in (I did it! I got tired of waiting for other people’s schedules to clear and took matters into my own hands. I did it, all by myself.)  The steps  are level and to code but still require a railing. Designing the stone/brick foot path into the garden is an interesting process and will be fun – later.

Then the process of prepping for my “crazy woman clearing out the studio” sale begins. We’ll have an early bird reception Thursday, 3 p,m and the Public sale  Saturday. 8-3.

If you are in the Billings MT area, drop a note for the address and please, spread the word. All this stuff has to go so I can gut my studio, finally!

 

I hope you are having beach time but protecting your skin., that you are making stuff and doing well.

laura

Color!

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

In the garden:

 

This peach colored poppy bloomed yesterday. The traditional scarlet poppies are done now and my favorite, a deep blue based red did not survive the winter of 2011. On my outings today and Monday I’ll be looking for replacements but that color is not an easy one to find.

Last Fall a dear friend sent a box of treats, including this Iris. It too bloomed yesterday and is much loved. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

And in the studio/Gallery 4,  Some new work has been added and the MayDazed Sale continues. Some prices are changing today, more work will be added this afternoon and tomorrow.

This piece is part of a series where the batting is surface rather than filler. It’s wonderful to paint on, tear up and collage  with <G>.

Enjoy this wonderful Day!

laura

 

…to blog about part two!

Friday, May 18th, 2012

  Mr. Handsome and I walk every morning along the river. The water is high now  and peak run off may be about to begin. The traditional marker for this is the blooming of wild roses. They have just begun. This has been such a strange Spring, weather-wise, that who knows, anything can happen.

Watching the Osprey, Eagles and all the smaller birds is a delight. Daily, we see a huge Bull Snake. Beau is mystified when it disappears.

Here’s Beau, enjoying the view through the newly installed French Door.

 

We are moving into the very beginning of Gardening Season in my part of Montana. The weather has been alternately very hot (85), quite cool (40) or raining , as it is today. In between watering the weeds and pulling some, not much is happening in the gardens. I had intended to plant the scarlet runner beans and sunflowers today, and may yet, if the weather clears.

The primary focus  has been on the house improvements and promising myself and others, to reopen my Etsy Shop, begin the now very late MayDazed Sale and trying to maintain what passes for sanity as I move into Year Two as a person without a partner. We never quite know how much our partners actually DO until they are not doing it. <G>

Right now, all the sheet rock dust is cleaned up, the floors are mopped and the space is being restored as a place to  live and use. I love the change and am glad the work is nearing completion.

The State of the French Door:

  This is what we see (looking North East) as we come in through the South facing front door. The cats love it. The light is wonderful.

You may not be able to see the Russian Iris, 3 feet tall and purple but they are lovely and aromatic.  The arbor was originally built for privacy, for the birds and for grapes. Alas, the grapevines are dead now. I have to decide what to replace them with. This year, for quick growth and color, it will be scarlet runner beans, attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, but for the long haul, perhaps clematis.

FWIW, the blinds are “temporary shades”,  accordian folded Tyvek shades, sold at the Box Store Home Improvement places. They block heat but allow light. Thanks to Sarah and Bob for introducing me to them !

Looking South East, you can see the “living fence”: Silverlace Vine, aka Polygonum, aka  “mile-a-minute”. <G>. I am training it again this year to cover a curved arch over the side gate and will aim for all season visual interest combined with privacy. It’s a daily exercise, going out and braiding or twining the vines.

The workers, my current  heroes, will be here this weekend to finish the exterior work, weather permitting (crossed fingers for us all!).

As you can see, I am not re-painting the inside walls and ceiling yet. That can wait. My next priority is updating Gallery Four and the Etsy Shop so we can begin sending the new work into the world.

Stay tuned and thanks for visiting.