A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Unseasonably Cool

I'm not complaining.

I don't ever remember a summer so downright chilly. Here along the California coast June Gloom is the norm, but we often have years where the late June summer temps have been in the high 90s and 100s for weeks. The recent temps have been hovering in the low 70s.

It's just delightful.

I've been working away in the garden.

This bed was knee high in spring grass and dandelions (the tortoises like the dandelions). I cleared it out and planted lisianthus and gerbera daisies. I clearly need more flowers here and will probably add some violas in the fall. The Snowball bush (viburnum) in the corner (barely showing in the picture) is doing great! It will probably be huge next year.

I had a great bed of sweet peas this year and they are going to seed. They were all advertised as self-sowing so I'm hopeful that I'll get some of the same back next year. The one on the end was my favorite (I think it was called Strawberry Sundae but I've lost the label).

I am absolutely thrilled by the performance of the three brugmansias I ordered last year from Kartuz Greenhouses. They arrived as 6-inch rooted sticks. After just a few weeks they were about a foot tall. And now, about a year later, they are three feet tall and have been blooming all season. I'm enjoying all of them (plus the pink that has been in the yard for several years) but this one is my favorite. It's called 'Creamsicle'. The bloom (some are double) starts out pure white, then as it ages it develops this lovely peachy mottling, just like when we would mix vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet and kind of stir it up as it melted. What a yummy flower.

You can see the flower of one of my hydrangeas in this picture. This year I added aluminum sulfate to the water once to try to bring on the blue. Then my dad got sick and with one thing and another I missed adding the stuff in subsequent waterings. I ended up with this strange but quite lovely mix of colors. This is a lacecap. The flowers are a strong blue, but the bracts around the edge are a mix of pink and purple. I kind of like it.

In other news, my oldest and his wife are on their way to Japan and are staying with us for a few weeks. Their lease was up on their apartment June 30 and they fly out the end of July. My room is back to looking the way it did before my grand remodel. It's OK, I know it's just for a few days really and I will be so sad to see them go. My DIL is having a rough time deciding what to keep and what to trash as she goes through the last of her boxes. They can't take much (will have to pay to ship anything) so they gave away their furniture and kitchen equipment. They already sold one car and still have the other to sell as well as a computer. Some of their stuff I will store in my storage unit. I made it as clear as I knew how to communicate, though, that nothing was to be left in the house.

If that wasn't enough, my younger son decided to honor his grandpa's memory by returning to music. I'm thrilled to death, but he's a drummer and drums take lots of space. For now he is confined to his room, but I told him that when the other two leave, we will convert the spare room into a shared space so that he can have his drums in there and get his bed back.

In personal news, I shared with a friend that I was enjoying The Imagineering Workout, a delightful little book I bought at Disneyland. Disney Imagineers share their advice for igniting creativity. I've mentioned to him before that I'm worried about making it through the next few years of teaching and was hoping this book would give me some new approach. He then told me that he had worked The Artist's Way program by Julia Cameron and that it had a huge positive impact for him. Since he is rarely wrong, I decided to go for it. I'm just finishing my second week. There is a lot of writing and a handful of "assignments" each week (including a weekly solo "artist's date"). Already I'm noticing some significant changes in my attitude about myself and what I do. I still don't know about the next school year but am feeling some confidence that I'll get it together.

Finally, we are all getting our wits about us again after my dad's short but intense passing with cancer. Mom seems to be doing well. Last Sunday I threw a party at her house to belatedly celebrate my BIL's birthday, my oldest son's birthday and my birthday. As always, everyone asked what we all wanted for our birthdays. I replied that I had decided to buy myself an IPOD Touch and asked for Best Buy gift cards. I am overwhelmed by their generosity. Between them my family gave me enough cards to just about pay for the device I wanted (I ended up paying just the tax and for a service contract. Oh, yes, and a really cool pink protective cover). Anyway, here's my new treasure toy.

32 gb 3 gen. I've managed to connect to my facebook account, rip over some favorite movies, transfer my favorite music and load in a DMC floss inventory app, a mah jong game and three Disneyland line time trackers. Now, if I can just find wifi wherever I go I'll be in good shape.

Actually, most of what I wanted it for I don't need wifi, but being able to satisfy my facebook addiction from time to time would be nice.


Chiloe said...

I love your gerberas ! Still my favorite flowers. I wonder if I could grow some here. I bought myself a potted one yesterday ( and thought about you ;-) )

Love your new toy ( I love so much that picture you put on it ).

Let me know how this attitude change attempt is working ( I need to change mine but I'm stuck with all my fears .... )

Hugs ♥

Ann Flowers said...

You have got a nice garden out there. I think a connection with plants means a connection with the nature itself.