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, June 25, 2012

Garden pets? What? Pests? What pests?

This afternoon, I belatedly discovered that despite all the rain the past week, the garden expects water this week.  I am not a good gardener.  In fact, I am a shamefully neglectful plant mama.  Just as the three Roma tomato plants, potted and placed high out of reach of slugs in my back garden, had set beautiful little grape-sized fruit, I got in the habit of parking my van in front of the house, and completely forgot to water the back garden.  Out of sight out of mind.  And people wonder why I never had kids...at least I don't remember ever having any...
Luckily, the perennials, like my favorite-ever lily, don't require much care, though this one has become so shaded by the neighbor's trees, it's in need of transplanting this fall.  That's okay.  If I forget to park in the driveway the week it blooms, I can miss the whole show, so I think I'll move it to the front.  So glad it waited until after last week's wind and hail to bloom!

There are fastidious gardeners, and there are folks like me.  Okay, actually there is a very wide range of decent gardeners in-between, but we'll skip right over them, tra-la!  I'm not very good at remembering the fine details of watering schedules and soil testing, or little things like weeding, and in fact I'm regularly delighted to discover some new thing has wandered in and taken root when I wasn't looking.  The monarchs will find several milkweed plants in the back garden this year. 

I like the idea of the monarchs making a home in my garden.  They'll be in good company.  Being a rather unstructured gardener (that has a comfortable ring to it, don't you think?), I often find critters have moved in.  I'm not sure how many rabbits actually live in my yard.  I only ever see one adult at a time, but if so, she has two homes... 
I could replace the broken lattice below the front porch, but nobody sees it from the street, and Rabbit has been seen slipping through it in the evening.  I'm used to her at my back door in the mornings, and it delighted me to meet her in front on Friday night, though in the dark, we gave each other quite a start!

This wicker table was ready for the burn pile two years ago, but I left it too long by the back gate, and Rabbit moved in.  She's often under here in the mornings, unseen by the alley cats that hunt birds below my lilacs.  Though of no use to me, it's not really bothering anything, and being in a commercial district, it's not as if I've got the ugliest back entry, so the table will stay.
Having wild house guests actually saves me a bit of work.  When I left the winter light cover up on my front porch too late one spring, finches moved in.  I quickly installed a hook and moved it to a corner of the porch, to avoid accidentally cooking baby finch.  Now, when I'm ready to plug in my twinkle lights for the winter holidays, I simply dump the abandoned nest, and move the wreath-encircled winter cover back in place.  Much easier than hunting for it in the basement, and it's charming entertainment every spring.
A glass light cover, tucked into a wreath for a winter porch light cover, became a favorite nesting site for finches in the spring.  A hook in the corner of the porch allows it to be moved away from the light, avoiding the accidental cooking of small birds.
Sometimes, my wild friends require a little extra work, but that's okay.  One spring day, last year, I unloaded the work van, and left a step ladder leaning by the basement door.  The next morning, I discovered a Robin starting to build a nest atop it.  I had previously removed the screens from the front porch that had supported their nest every year, and was wondering where they would move to.  My ladder wasn't an option, but with a basement full of scrap wood and miscellaneous hardware, popping a shelf up in it's place took only a few minutes.  Though they were wary at first, the robins resumed building later in the day, and they returned again this year.  I love seeing them flit past the kitchen window, and finding an occasional piece of eggshell of that inimitable blue, makes it totally worth the effort.
It's not a beautiful birdhouse, but at some point I'll paint the robins' nesting shelf to blend in.  I just have to remember to do it when they aren't in residence.  Angry birds are dangerous!
I guess it's a case of "You can take the girl out of the mountains, but you can't take the mountains out of the girl."  I know the locals think my wildish yard a bit unkempt, and I do try to keep it from getting too witchy, but sharing the quiet morning hours (before the humans venture out) with the wild creatures, is way more important to me than pleasing those who would try to keep nature in neat rows, and beaten back, with vile chemicals and hours of tedious plucking.  Their flowers are beautiful, but their stern looks and furrowed brows, as they stalk the weeds and invading critters...well, like Mama said, "If you keep that up, your face will stick that way."  I'm not shirking work.  I'm avoiding wrinkles.

...except for laugh lines.

Part of the reason my yard is so untidy, is that I am far more willing to work long and hard when it comes to painting beautiful spaces, for delightful clients.  Check out my portfolio at theartofthehome.com.

Feel free to comment below, or email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.  You can give me gardening advice if you like, but I'd be much more grateful if you would just wander through my yard mid-week, and water things.

P.S.  This post was inspired in a very round-about way by the gals responsible for the beautiful "Murmuration" video many have seen on facebook.  If you haven't seen it, or if you want to see it again, click here, to visit their website:  islandsandrivers.com.  Oh, and watch for an article by them in an upcoming issue of the soon-to-debut magazine, 365 Being!

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