Saturday, February 27, 2010

Correction on Rose Count!

I don't know why I thought I had a hundred roses. I do remember when I went over the 100 mark in my last house. My husband informed me one day as he was apparently keeping track.  He just thought I should know. (wink)  This time I was going to limit myself to 50.   We were down sizing right?  When my cousin came to visit this summer he said I had a hundred roses. Oh no how did that happen. Surely it couldn't be true. It really worried had I gone so far over my limit. I immediately went out to count my roses.  I came up with a number around 70 ish and felt slightly better about it....sort of :/  So that must have been where my brain was at.  Anyways...I have spent sometime this week writing down and marking out on paper my entire rose garden. I came up with 73.  Lengthy explanation for my exaggeration :>

As of this weekend I have now pruned 31 roses and  have 42 to go. 
Again...confession is good for the soul, I do have to purchase a few more roses.  I have some gaps to fill in, and a few I have to shovel prune.  They are just not working for me.  So I am very busy trying to decide.  (happy dance)  

I think I am going to be able to stay at 75 though...really I think I can!

Update:  In reading Judy's comment I thought I would share my answer to her with all of you.

haha Judy...I do seem a little ambitious in the rose department.  Here is the deal, I should explain to folks, because we live in such a arid region...I virtually have no diseases to contend with.  None...none that I fuss with.  My roses are easy because of that reason and because I buy high rated ones to boot that would thrive with any kind of care. If they are fussy I shovel prune them.  There are roses that will suit certain climates.  I choose ones that like the heat and can take the wind.  The key to growing roses is to buying the right kind for your climate.  

So the real deal is that I grow them because they give me the most bang for the buck, and the least amount of effort in the long run.  If I had to contend with beetles, mildew, black spot, and such, I would stick to a few hardy souls and grow something else suited to the climate.

Maybe I will post on growing tips for roses, after I get them all pruned. After this big job, I don't really fuss with them much, except enjoying them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Let the season begin!

It was cold, it was dark, my husband was home from work, he opened up the kitchen window to hand me the phone. My sister is on the line. I have eight holes dug and I must get these lilies in the ground tonight :)  I am a bit of an insane woman you see when it comes to the garden.  Yes I did clip on a few roses where I was planting on my north side yard.  You see earlier in the day my plan was to paint in the morning with a friend, run into Home Depot and look at some paint chips for my sis, then get home in the afternoon for some gardening.  I get stuck in the entrance of Home Depot with two greeters standing there trying to greet me.  I give them a shallow wave with out eye contact. I feel my body turning left as my eyes are drawn like a homing device to the early spring bulb display.  Hmmm dahlias, yes!  Do they have that dark fuschia pink I am wanting to complement the light pink/orange dahlias I bought yesterday at Lowe's?

This week it has officially begun.  Any excuse on the planet to drop by any nursury department for my spring fling, garden orgy, what ever you want to call it. The call to mecca for me.  I also...confession is good for the soul, bought two bags of lilies ,Stargazer and Acapulco. I can remember when these bulbs (years ago) cost me 3-5 dollars a piece.  Today I purchased bags of eight for nine dollars. For that price I can chuck them in garden anywhere just to use for cutting flowers.  I am a happy girl tonight :)
Of coarse it didn't help that I had just finished reading  this charming book called Elizabeth and her German Garden.  A story about another lady a little captivated by her garden. All serious gardeners will love the tales of her mad planting and wild dreaming about her glorious garden.

Here is an on line version if you can stand to read it that way.

Come to find out this author has written quite a few books...and this one is a bit on the autobiographical vein.

Writing was the refuge for Arnim in her, what turned out to be, incompatible marriage. They were now living on the vast and somewhat neglected von Arnim estate, Nassenheide, in Pomerania. Their children's tutors included Hugh Walpole and friend of Arnim's nephew, E.M. Forster. Arnim’s husband had increasing debts and was eventually sent to prison for fraud. This was when she created her pen name `Elizabeth' and launched her career as a writer by anonymously publishing her semi-autobiographical, brooding yet satirical Elizabeth and her German Garden.

You may actually know this author by the movie made from one of her books, Enchanted April.

The Enchanted April (1922) again contains themes of feminine protest and male tyranny. Four women leave gloomy London to embark on a rejuvenating trip to sunny southern Italy. There was also a movie based on it. 

Hmmm trying to figure out how I can stuff more dahlias into my garden.  They are such a worthy flower in the late summer garden.  Let's see, I haven't checked out Fred Meyer's offerings yet :)

Update:  Here is what I found at Fred's :)
To all my friends in the middle of all these horrific winter storms...I am so sorry...I hope the sun will come out soon, and spring be on its way!!!

This is truly the first time our weather has been spring like.  Today it is back to rain and wind, but I am ordering new roses to keep my thoughts on spring and to give my aching muscles a break ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quiet Weekend :)

This weekend was just the opposite of last week.  Nice and easy. Mostly hanging out and watching the Olympic Games.

 How is my rose pruning going you are all wondering ...ha or not.  Bleak, I must say bleak. I have just this week left to get my lazy self out there and get cracking. I did manage the front courtyard last week...but I have a long ways to go.  I spent the afternoon with P.T. today and she helped me plant some primroses in the cleaned up pots out front.  Off tomorrow to find some pansies, do some painting with a friend, and prune those roses.

Meg is doing more pictures for her esty friends business. Dolce Vita Mia  (the head bands)  So more pictures of P.T.and little miss Sweet Pea who is getting so big.

Check out her blog to see the rest  Photographybymeg

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Busy but Fun Weekend!

We had company this weekend, very good friends from Portland, and Jenna dear from Seattle. Friday night Jenna came home and we had a bit of a chat. On Saturday we did a wine tasting at Barnard Griffin, and Saturday night had dinner for nine at my house.  Sunday was a Valentine Day lunch at Tagaris, and our second viewing of Avatar with our friends. They hadn't seen it, and were thinking they might not...that had to be remedied. Meanwhile Meg and Jenna did a photo shoot. That night we took Jenna out to her favorite Mexican restaurant.  Monday was breakfast at our house with my girls and Dan. (Megan and babies, & Jenna) Then Jenna and I went off shopping, and finished the weekend with pedicures...woooooh.  I managed to squeeze in a lot of weekend. It was so much fun.  Now off to my week of gardening. The interns are in Africa for two weeks and  I have 100 roses to I will keep you all updated ;)

Here is a preview of the photo can go to Photographybymeg to see the rest. My girls both amaze me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am still here =>

(If you have dropped by from Vee's follow this link for the lesson and directions to Nita's Link  )
I am still here reading your blogs.  I just haven't had a chance to post anything interesting.  Here are a few of my students first watercolor assignments.  They were to experiment with color and then try to find a picture in the random color blobs.  I normally teach them technical drawing skills.  This was so out of all of our comfort zones. In the next few weeks we are attempting landscapes.  If we are all still freaking out, I might have to let them do a portrait without watercolors...hahaha.

I vote this one the most creative.Done by a boy. He was so out of his comfort zone.  I gave him a hint when I saw him struggling...think Avatar. At least he didn't give up as some of the guys did!

I have company coming in this weekend, plus Jenna is coming home for a long 4 day weekend!  She told me she needs some peace and quiet and just wants to come home and rest...this is a first!  Usually she is completely bored when back home in the good old Tri Cities.

I let you know how it goes ;)

Oh this is kinda of is her latest facebook entry

You know uv become ur mother ur room becomes a three hour project includin wiping down the molding in ur room #whodoesthat?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lady Grey on Trial

our B & B in the Cotswolds 13th century parsons house
On a trip long ago...for our 25th Wedding Anniversary I discovered at a quaint B&B in the Cotswolds a new tea that I had never tried.

Since that marvelous day I have enjoyed the delights of drinking Lady Grey. I had always loved Earl Grey.  A strong robust tea with a hint of Bergamont, that needed a touch of cream and sugar. Lady Grey is a kinder gentler version, which is lovely to drink with out the sugar and cream.  I made sure I purchased some of this fine tea from Twinnings before I left for home, only to find out it was indeed available in the states.  At  World Mart one day I discovered the decaf version.  Which for years now has been my favorite cuppa before bedtime.  Especially while reading an English novel by my current favorite English author Elizabeth Goudge =]

Lately I have been checking out some of the fancy tea shops that have been sprouting up around here, even in our malls.  It is like they are trying to compete in the P.N.W. with coffee shops...hmmm, I don't think that will ever happen.  Consequently I have sniffed and purchased a few new versions of Lady Grey.  Today as I was brewing a pot of tea, I decided I should see which one of these new Lady Grey teas I preferred.  So I did a taste test.  I brewed both pots of tea with the fancy new loose teas and then tasted. Oh dear, I was not so impressed with either one.

The tea on the left which I purchased in a mom and pop shop in town had a different taste...too floral...not sure...sniffed the tea again. Do I smell vanilla?  A terrible thing to do to Lady Grey.  The second tea purchased in a new chain store called Teavana at a mall, had a underlying smoky flavor.  Now I am confused.

 I decided to brew a third pot of tea.  You guessed it, the Twinnings original Lady Grey in a tea bag no less.

                            Ahhh that's it!  That slight hint of Bergamont which gives a lovely hit of citrus.

Well...anybody interested in my other two teas? I will gladly ship them to you for free.  They are just not my cup of tea =]

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Random Things in my Week

I bought my husband his own blue gloves =]

A few days of temperate weather again had me heading out for a moment here and there to prune a rose bush or two.  It is rather funny to me knowing that this is hardly anyone else's idea of a good time, but it is really one of my favorite things to do.  I  love shaping and training new growth in just the direction I think it should grow. Whether it is a rose bush or a tree,I just love to prune.
pruned rose bush on the left...a thing of beauty
 Yesterday after class I stopped by Big Lots to see if they had their spring garden supplies in.  I had so much fun buying these simple garden  basics for my up and coming spring fling with mother nature.  I know some women are ecstatic about buying new shoes or perhaps a new bag.  Not me...I have pink garden gloves and brand new doesn't get much better than this for me in the area of simple pleasures =]

This is another funny thing that happened this week.  I received a watercolor pan paint in the mail that had been back ordered with my original order.  This is how it was delivered to me...
What was in the BIG box...the little water color pan paint on the right =]
A padded envelope would have been over the top for me.  What could possibly be going through peoples heads?  I would like to tell the owners of this business that they could save a bit of money by a small adjustment to their shipping methods, never mind the environment for crying out loud.
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