Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

Great, Mark!!

14 Aug '07 7:56 pm
Hey, I just discovered this adorable thread!! Mark, what a lovely , hard, good taste work!! And SO beautifully captured by your photos!!I loved that cute window photo, AND the window itself, of course!
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
User avatar
Kent, England

14 Aug '07 9:13 pm
Mark, I agree with Liza, you've done some great work and I'm sure you'll reap the rewards very soon! That window is so sweet too :D
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

Journal

15 Aug '07 4:26 am
Mark, I was disappointed to read that you don't intend to write additional chapters for your journal. I really enjoyed the start. It is fascinating to me how others came to be infected with the gardening bug.

I also found it a little amusing that you started out caring for birds and this led to caring for plants. For me it was reversed. I have been gardening for more than forty years (even if it was only a small flower bed outside the door to an apartment). My interest in gardening led me to an interest in birds. Wherever I have lived for the past twenty-five years I have worked to create a bird habitat within my gardens. Now I have jumped into the care and feeding of waterfowl with my young Mallards. They mostly live on the pond now, but still come up morning and evening expecting to be fed. Between them and the wild birds devouring up to fifty pounds of sunflower seed a month and the hummingbirds drinking gallons of sugar water, I seem to be always feeding some sort of bird. Then add in four horses, one dog and a cat and you pretty will could summarize my life as a caretaker of critters. I must be insane!

Please write more in your journal.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Dixie
garden enthusiast
User avatar
Waikato-New Zealand

God's creatures.

15 Aug '07 6:30 am
No it's not you who is insane,Faith...it's everyone else !(except us at Mooseys)
Dixie.

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Oops!

15 Aug '07 6:56 am
I may have given the false impression that all these projects were done just yesterday. I'm afraid that was the list for the whole summer. I know, much less impressive, but if I come through with a finished pond I think I'll give myself an A grade anyhow. I have the feeling that my first pond isn't going to be something I can get completely right on the first try. I've been waiting years for a more complete vision of how I want it to be. I know I want to work in another kind of larger rock but I think that will have to be done after I do the flagstones so I can see how the general shape of the pond fits in the area. Sometimes one can only see so many steps down the path one wants to take, and if we don't take those we'll never see what's around the next bend. So I've taken some first steps and I'll just have to be patient to see where it takes me.

Actually, the storage shed was begun last winter but doors made and hung and the interior organized this summer. I've been buying alot of pots (CHEAP!) and potting some new plants, potting other things up, and planting out other things that had been waiting for me to make up my mind where in the garden they should go. This has pretty drastically changed the look around the blue fountain. Oh, and I replaced a fallen section of old fence beside the area where the new 'wndow' went in and have started to place potted plants and a birdbath there.

I've just shot a bunch of photos this morning and here are some that show these parts of the garden.
gravelentrygarden.JPG
View to left as you enter the garden includes the blue fountain and pots, the bed infront of the greenhouse and through the arch to the circle lawn and two new pots.
Bluefountainpots.JPG
Newly arranged pots near the blue fountain including the usual suspects (Ponytail Palm, black Taro and a pelargonium in the ground) as well as a few newbies like this blue Blue Princess flower (Tichouchina).
bluefountaindetail.JPG
Detail of the Princess Flower.
copperypotsnearcirclelawn.JPG
Two new pots near the circle lawn, below the quaking aspens and next to the shade structure.
newpotscoppery.JPG
The new pots have the same shape but one has a coppery glaze on the rim only and the other a coppery glaze on the pot up to but not one the rim. This is a new succulent I picked up at a nursery in Santa Cruz. It has doubled flowers that look to me like
newpotdetail.JPG
This is another new pot with a cactus I got this last spring. Its been blooming its head off for weeks now.
newpondfrombelowbirch.JPG
The new pond so far from below the birch trees in the corner.
newpondfromoppositeside.JPG
The pond from the otherside, the side nearest the backdoor. [Gordon, do you see your bagged seeds?]
newpondfrombackpath.JPG
Approaching the pond from the backpath the first sight of it will be from between the branches of this dark aeonium.
newbirdbathsideview.JPG
The parts to this jerryrigged birdbath are all discount bits totalling $29. This is the view from near the new window in the fence by the begonia wall.
birdbathwithmess.JPG
This shows the desolation left when I removed the vegetable garden. Killing off the blackberries in this area is an ongoing job. Then will come the fun of a blank canvas for designing.
birdbatharea.JPG
The general area around the new birdbath.
lowerbegoniawall.JPG
The lower portion of the begonia wall includes a lot of newly potted or repotted plants.
newvineflower.JPG
First flowers of a vine I just got this summer growing in a pot in the corner above and to the left of the new window. [I bought it because the description reminded me of one described by Gordon.]
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

Flattery will get you everywhere!!

15 Aug '07 4:29 pm
Hi, Mark!

Well, I'm so flattered that you actually bought a vine because of my description of one!! Somebody actually listened to me! :roll:

Yup, I noticed the seed bag - it certainly looks odd when you do that, doesn't it, but it works, and the seeds don't mould inside a paper bag! Now I'm waiting excitedly for the seeds to arrive in the mail so I can get them planted!

Loved the picture of the entrance to your garden; it certainly gives the impression of much more to see as one moves further in! Ah, California mornings. . . brings back memories of Pasadena in the morning with coffee, kumquats and sunshine!

Didn't do much today except to take Joey and his friend, Bella for a swim at one of the local rivers. On the way there, I discovered a most wonderful fungus on a tree trunk. It's one of those hard, shelf-like ones that are usually greyish-white. But this one is a wonderful shade of green, and, while hard as usual, it is covered with velvet resembling the outside of young deer antlers. I'm going back tomorrow with the camera to get a picture of it to show you.

Well, that's all for now. Wish some of you folks were here so I could give away some of the many extra primula seedlings that I have. I guess they'll end up in the compost!

Cheers!

gordonf

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Howdy Gordon,

15 Aug '07 5:24 pm
Sorry we can't be there to relieve you of your excess primula seed, but perhaps it is better to have sown and composted than to never have sown at all? The vine you had described sounded like just the color range I like so much. Can you tell if it is the same one from the flowers? Fletcher and Sophie had to wait until almost dark for their walk tonight. Toward the end Fletcher started sitting in my lap while I was working and nipping my feet to herd me toward the truck when I got up. He can be a pain in the behind when he gets this way so I made him wait in the house until I was done. We took a quick loop around the dog park near the bay beneith the thinnest sliver of a moon.

I delayed work on the pond until after 3 pm today. Shooting photos, playiing on the internet and working through a pot of tea while reading the paper takes longer than your might think. Then Lia and I played card games over both breakfast and lunch. She has been dominating me lately. Finally I did get to it. I moved in four wheelbarrows of sand to level the area around the pond. I trimmed the liner and set the flagstone where they'll go but tomorrow I'll need to lift and level some of them. Then I'll fill the cracks with decomposed granite. I might move a couple of Mexican weeping grass seedlings into a couple pockets to give it a more aged look. Ultimately I know I'll want to work in some larger stones and make it look more natural but this will do as a start.

Good night,

Mark
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

Vine - What Vine??

15 Aug '07 6:01 pm
Hi again, Mark;

You know, even though I was flattered, I can't remember my description of that vine! I'll have to look back on my posts to see what it was.

I just returned from taking Joey for his last walk of the night down at the waterfront at the beach. It's a lovely, warm evening here with almost no wind, so there were a couple of beach parties down there. Just quiet ones, so it was nice, as there are no street lights there, although all the landing lights at the helicopter base were on and they must have been working on a helicopter, as it kept revving up the engine but just when I expected it to take off, they'd turn it off again.

I managed to find the embers of an abandoned fire so I sat beside it for a bit of added warmth while Joey went exploring in the dark. I lost him for a while, and he took his own good time in answering my calls and whistles. But I learned something about the new car: once you unlock it, if you wait too long before opening the door, it relocks itself!

Anyway, I'm back home for the night now with my hot chocolate and a good book, so it's off to bed I go!

Good night!

gordonf

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

What a lovely description of your night promenade!!

15 Aug '07 11:29 pm
Gordon!! You just made us all come with you, by the beach!! See with your eyes, feel with your heart, hear with your eyes!! Please, tell me something : and the sky?? Was it full starry??? Cause , your description reminded me of the night family walks by the beach, with our younger children; we were lying down on the sand -- the four of us-- and were watching a magnificent! starry sky!! And he/she, who was catching the most stars..."falling", was the winner of the night!! Oh, dear God! Thank YOU , for those lovely nights! And thank you, Gordon, cause I remembered...
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

Cheap pots

16 Aug '07 4:32 am
Wow Mark, I wish I had a nearby source for "cheap" pots like yours. They are really nice. I also loved your little tibouchina. I have one that I have kept in a pot for over nine years but mine hasn't started blooming yet this season. That usually happens in mid September to October for me. I can't put mine in the ground because it is tropical and wouldn't survive our winters, but I have seen huge ones in gardens around San Francisco. Are you keeping it in a pot just to restrain it's growth or so it can be moved around the garden? By the way, they are extremely easy to propagate by cuttings. I have probably 12 baby ones in pots now and have given away six or seven.

Your gardens look so pleasant and I know you are enjoying your summer freedom to work on all you great projects.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

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