Saturday, March 28, 2009

Paula's garden

There's something so beautiful about the Winter garden just as it's about to burst into Spring. Sometimes there's very little evidence from afar that Spring is coming except the angle of the sun and the smell and feeling in the air.

.....the anticipation of what is to come..... That was what I felt as I walked into Paula's garden.

I had been in her garden many times before when the trees were full and casting shade ....and though there is always plenty of light I was taken by how bright and open it was. The beauty of the bear branches against the chipped weather painted wood and rusted metal.

I know it will be beautiful when the green comes but I still love the neutral palette just as much and the calm feeling it gives.....much like an old b/w photograph.

A gracious white picket gate welcomes you as you approach the front door

Hens and Chicks nestled in the crevice of a large outcropping in the lawn

This is the architectural piece Paula named "Sputnik" because it resembles part of crashed spaceship. I remember her telling me about it a few years ago. She had spotted it in Vermont or New Hampshire and waited for a dealer to sell it to her and when he finally did, had to drive 2 hrs in an old pickup truck to pick it up. But she knew exactly where she wanted to go. It's perfect for this sundial garden outlined with cobblestones.

An old chicken coop that was original on the property. For years it just housed old tool and garden supplies until she spruced it up. Now it's the Bird Nest Inn. Friends tease her about renting it by the night in the Summer. She always giggles and says "Well, there is a bed in there I suppose I could???".
We'll have to come back then so I can show you the charming interior.

OOPs! Yes that's me in the corner trying to take a picture all professional-like??? from overhead, but I just love this old table and chairs I had to show it.

Best view of the garden from a small powder room upstairs

Hens and Chickens again but in an old pot on a wall

Thank you Paula for a lovely time. It's always such a treat to come visit .....and I still have so much more to share with everyone. Can't wait to show the wonderful interior of your house in an upcoming post. Laura and I feel soooo lucky to call you our friend...XXXOOO

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Detours

Just a week ago when we had one of the most beautiful days of the year I started off just taking a few pictures of our yard. I couldn't show you the real yard... that's still full of leaves and perennials that haven't been cut down yet. Maybe by late summer I'll have it presentable enough to give you a view, but for now the birdhouses are all I can show. You know the saying "The cobbler children have no shoes" This applies to us too.

The grass planted by this birdhouse stayed short enough for the first couple of years but now it almost completely covers it in the summer. I thought I'd move it when it got too big which I knew it would evidentually but now I kind of like the way it looks and hopefully the birds do too and feel more protected.

This is a birdhouse that a friend of mine gave me. I was thrilled when I got it. I'd always wanted one like it. It was made by a local person that had donated it for an silent auction. I just painted it white.

This is one that is unfortunately started to show a little wear. Needs a little tlc before the roof caves in but it looks good from this angle.

I took a small detour and was taking pictures while driving down the road with my camera out the window. Most pictures didn't come out. Way too blurry....This house I actually slowed down for. I love the flowers on the front door. The couple who live here are retired and sell flowers by the side of the road. She ran a flower shop for years and makes the most beautiful arrangements and sells them for a song...well money actually... not a song. They were working in the front yard cleaning up when I was there so we had a little conversation about her orchid plant and then I was on my way.

When I got back to work I had to drop off my husband at the garage to pick up his van so on the way back decided to make another detour to see one of my customers gardens. Last year she had wanted me to come see the spring bulbs that I've been planting for her every fall for the past 3 yrs. but I couldn't find the time. So I figured this was a good time to see her snowdrops that she loves so much.

They are planted by her front door so she can enjoy them as much as possible. I've planted a lot more daffodils in her yard that I'll have to come back to photograph for her.

Til then enjoy the day. This was a nice start to Spring. Hopefully the rest of it will be as nice as this day was.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beautiful Sunny Day

What a beautiful day it was today. Sunny and not too cold. Great day to have a tag sale. Usually I don't get much time to tag sale since they are usually more in the Summer when we're working so I was thrilled to run across one this early.
I love anything I can put a plant in. Some of the containers I've picked up in the past have been a bit small but now I know I can usually plant a succulent and it will stay alive and as long as there's drainage. That' s why I love finding colanders....built-in holes!!! The silver bowl will have to hold a removable pot. NO HoLeS!!! the pencil box is just that...I'm not going to try to do anything with that but just enjoy it for what it is.

Hen and Rooster salt and pepper shakers, too cute!!!set of metal salt shakers I plan on making little paper banners to stick inside the holes....I think?? Love the little lock.

Now looking at this picture all I can think of is Christmas!!! Red, white and green, but the inside of the tin box really is pale yellow. Not sure what I want to do with the laddles yet. I could try bending them and make a candle holder but that would ruin them and I have way too many candle holders anyways. Oh I just thought of'll have to check back and see what I come up with.
Well enjoy the rest of the weekend.......I have to go plant something.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Customer Appreciation Day

Happy Spring Everyone!!!!

Yesterday we went to visit a greenhouse for a customer appreciation day up in Cheshire Ct. ( they call it the bedding capitol of Connecticut) Bedding coming from "bedding" plants of course~ as if everyone knows what that means anymore??? We arrived late of course but just in time for Lunch!!! This was your first time there. They had a speaker that was giving a talk on biological pest control which we've been wanted to explore. It's a more "green" method using preditory bugs to get rid of your bad bugs. I won't bore you with all the details. I actually don't understand how it all works yet but we're willing to give it a try. Seems that in Europe they've been doing this for almost 30 yrs. and we're just starting to see it in our industry though vegetable farmers have been using it for awhile. OK. I said I wasn't going to bore you with it and here I am doing just that. Well on to the pretty flowers....

Poppies of course. I'm pretty sure Icelandic variety. I love poppies and the burst of color they give after the long winter months. It was a rainy day so the colors in pictures are not as bright as if it was sunny.

These are some of their Easter plants forced ahead just for the open house. Easter is still 3 weeks away but it was great to see such pretty colors

Now we're back to the techie part. I thought maybe you'd like to see what a large commercial greenhouse looks like. This is a gutter connected house which is also seen in garden centers but without the hanging basket all the way up to the top. They also water the plants on the ground with a boom that works it's way down the whole house.

These are geraniums grown in flood benches. They fill the bench with water and then flood out the excess. That way the foliage doesn't get wet and develop mildew.
This is an automated transplanter which is what most big operations use though it isn't perfect, someone still has to be on the other end fixing the machines mistakes. They cost about $100,000+ so we're not about to get one anytime soon, plus we don't need it we don't do that kind of volume anyways. So it's just the old manual way for us still.
I promise I won't be doing that many posts on this kind of thing. I find these wholesale places fascinating..... Plant factories I guess you could call them. It makes our place seem so antiquated but I guess that's part of the charm of it. Though we do water our hanging baskets with drip tubes. Saves sooo much time!!! A garden center near us put up a new greenhouse last year. I asked our customers if they had been there and their response surprised me. They thought it reminded them of the big box stores and thought it felt cold.
My husband has been wanting to build a new gutter connected greenhouse for a few years and now it makes me wonder if it would be a good idea. Well for now we'll have to be happy with what we have.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nature Walk

Last Saturday or maybe it was Sunday George my husband asked me if I wanted to take a walk by the pond which is right along the greenhouse and the old house that belonged to his grandmother. It seemed like a nice break from our routine so I thought why not. I also thought how romantic of him to think of it. He decided to bring an old pot and I soon realized that his motivation for going there was to retrieve all the golf balls he had been hitting over to the other side of the pond all winter long. I laughed and thought I'd bring my camera and enjoy the walk, anyways his cousin had mentioned that they had seen 2 otters at the far end of the pond and thought maybe we'd be lucky enough to spot them.

The pond was once a blueberry bog and dredged out for peat about 20+/- yrs ago. His uncle Ledge had cows that would graze along there from Spring to Fall up until late last year. They got to be too much work for him so he sent them up to his sons farm in upstate N.Y. I'll miss seeing them everyday especially the little calves.

Well at least the ducks are still there....

This is probably about half way down the pond. You can see the back of the greenhouses from here.

Ancient ruins or septic cover?

The big score. It was like an Easter hunt but with golf balls.

My prize was the sunset and the scenery. It was a nice little break from the work day and it's was right there in our backyard...Oh, we never did see the otters...maybe next time....and maybe next time I won't run out of battery while downloading and lose most of my other pics too.....DARN!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tweety love

It's no secret that I love birds, nests and eggs. I seem to have them all over the house. There's something so precious about them. The small delicate home that a mother bird makes for her young. I take such pleasure watching them make their nests one little piece at a time. Actually birds are something my husband and I both love. He amazes me by knowing most of the names of them. I just know the common ones like robins, bluebirds, finches and mourning doves. We've had mourning doves on our deck the last few mornings. I wish I had taken pictures of them now. I'll have to remember next time. They say that they get attacked by cats a lot because they're always on the ground feeding and don't have the reaction time other birds do. I read once that they wanted to make people keep their cats inside and not let them out because the mourning dove population was dwindling. Kind of hard to do and what are you suppose to do with all the farrel cats out there? I just try to keep Nigella inside when I know they're out there. Though most times she barely notices them. Since we keep her well fed she probably thinks ~ why bother... This is a nest I bought at Ginny's store quite a few years back. The moss has gotten a little brown but I think I like it better.

Some postcards from Cavellini

Some marble eggs bought at an estate sale