Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Monday, May 14, 2012

This could be my garden...sort of...someday...

Disclaimer:  All of tonight's photos are of the garden of TC and Carol Fogarty, and I assume absolutely zero credit for the gorgeousness depicted, beyond my amazing ability to use the "sharpen or blur" function on my computer to bring the photos into focus.
The entrance to the woodland garden of my friends TC and Carol.
Sooo, it's gardening season once again, and Valley Garden Club had their annual plant exchange last week, up at TC and Carol Fogarty's place. Some folks grow tomatoes and peppers, some folks love their perennials, and others collect hostas. I'm the pathetic one who grows dandelions and ditch lilies. At least, that's been my reputation in previous years. This year, I finally had enough of my prized dark pink lily to share a few, and even some Stella d'Oro lilies to divide. Though probably the baby of the bunch, I feel I'm finally one of the grown-ups.

TC's new tiki torches light the way on dark evenings.  That will be the garden club's 2013 spring project.  Check back this time next year for instructions.
Actually, I do think becoming a real gardener might be a sign of a certain maturity. In previous years, I have sometimes started to tend the beds, even planted a few seedlings, but by mid-June, if not (sadly) sooner, I am sidetracked by "work that must be done", or projects that offer far more immediate gratification, and the perrenials and the pigweed are left to fight it out.

Let's face it, gardening, of the ornamental variety, rarely offers spectacular results the first few years. It takes a couple of years to find out the outcome of your efforts. Like the fact that the shrubs you laboriously transplanted hate their new surroundings, and despite your best efforts, they ever-so-slowly die, keeping you hoping to the very end, that they just might green back up. Or that the plant you thought would make great ground cover has covered all your ground and half of your neighbors', and they are threatening to have you charged with horticultural trespass. Personally, I have a hard time waiting ten minutes for cookies to emerge from the oven, so as much as I covet a charming cottage garden, I've not had the patience to get much beyond a straggly bed of zinnias, and the lilacs, ditch lilies and hydrangeas that were here when I moved in, seven years ago.

This pergola over the entrance to their fire pit was built several years ago, partially with salvaged wood.  Though TC upgraded most of the paths from mulch to cedar planks this year, the gravel that surrounds the firepit looks best extended below this structure.
This year however, I'm feeling like I might be able to honor the season, and aside from balcony trim that's peeling badly, and some lawn furniture needing a spruce-up, I may be able to leave the paint brush aside on my days off, and relax into the rhythm of summer. After some rough times and close calls, Belle looks like she'll be my home for life (confirmed by the spectacularly inverted dollar value, in the bank's eyes), so maybe it's this assurance that had me out over the weekend, wrestling lilacs that were threatening to overtake the alley, and moving them around to the front yard. Just a note:  Even a fairly short, well-established tree has a root ball heavier than the average person can lift into the wheelbarrow, and will block all commercial traffic in the alley. Beer truck drivers are not always willing garden assistants, though the slight wardrobe malfunction with the tank top snagged in the branches may have lightened the mood a tad.
These sweet windows were originally their attic windows.  They upgraded to efficient reproductions in the house, but made use of the old ones, here.  If this was a vine-covered structure, I can imagine the windows actually being functional.
This year, if the humidity doesn't turn me into a sodden mass of whininess, and the mosquitoes don't drive me into a crazed frenzy of slapping and swear words, I might be mature enough to really start the garden of my dreams. This year, I may be able to get my priorities straight, and live with the season, rather than putting the garden off for "someday when I have time; when I have money for fancy plants; when I have the income to pay a gardener to weed the thing. Oh, yeah. I forgot about the weeding. Hmm. Well, I did say maybe this is the year, didn't I?. 
This little tea house sits to one edge of the woods.  TC's granddaughter has recently informed him that the roof needs some work to be of any use at all.  Duly noted.

When not torturing neighbors with my impressive dandelion growing abilities, I try to delight clients with my painting skills.  You can see my portfolio at theartofthehome.com.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them below, or email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.  If you have an uncontrollable urge to pull weeds, you know where to find Belle Ami.

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