Tag Archives: garden

June flourish

We planted a new bush out front — a Sweet Bay Magnolia– to block a fairly recently denuded corner.

And look how this new Arbor Vitae nearly completely screens out the neighbor’s car! This is the view out our living room windows, so it matters.

I succumbed to an ad inserted in my Instagram feed. Yikes! What’ll happen next? But look at the sweet solar powered bird bath bubbler I got for under $15. After just a little sun, it shoots up a five or six inch spray.

So many plants thriving, I’ll try not to get too hung up on the climbing hydrangea that died this year (another victim of the black walnut?). Out back, we splurged and planted some decent-sized birches and a lovely large pine. They’re all beautiful and functional as screening and, as it turns out, economical because I no longer feel any urgency about replacing our fence.

Ciao! Off to watch the Belmont Stakes.

A Temporary Guest

“Landscape has a secret and silent memory, a narrative of presence where nothing is ever forgotten.”  John O’Donohue (this and all following quotes from “Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom”).


According to the ancient Celts, “Landscape is not matter nor merely nature, rather it enjoys luminosity. Landscape is numinous”.

To “consider yourself as a complete stranger … who has just stepped ashore in your life” is to realize that you are not “the helpless owner of a deadened life but rather a temporary guest gifted with blessing and possibilities you could neither invent nor earn”.

Have a great weekend! I am off to the garden center with a friend and not likely to have clean fingernails for awhile.

Anam Cara is Gaelic for ‘soul friend’.

Just Tuesday

An early run to Salem meant traffic around the Turnpike exit. The usual. It baffles me every time how the left hand passing lane slows down while the middle and far right lanes do not, even though the stream of cars merging onto the highway are coming from the right. Does anybody understand that?

After a good effort with clutter, my sister and I ate subs from the corner shop. This shadow of a notice in reverse on the bench where I sit to wait for the order caught my eye. Had I sat on it before? Right after I got back to Nor’s, a front moved in, pounding the sidewalk with rain and regaling us with thunder. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that only the heavens let loose this morning, leaving human drama for another day. There’s been a little too much human drama of late. Seriously too much.The rain stopped by the time I headed out.

Do you see Finn’s nose?

The rain we got over the weekend helped the garden start its June show. I wish I had a pile of mulch on the driveway more than I wish I had a decent haircut. Enough said. 
I am enjoying the freedom to stitch whatever I want. Perhaps a male warrior standing on a distant planet is an odd choice. He caught my eye years ago and was incorporated into one of the two Sketchbook Projects that I participated in (you can see the entire Sketchbook here). For some reason I keep going back to these images — maybe because they addressed transitions in the boys’ lives and the boys’ lives are in transition again.

This Sketchbook page came with the question: “What borders will you defend?” The figure came from an ad promoting the video game “Lost Planet”.

I’ve been alternating between pinning scraps to the board and then pinning the scraps to a base cloth for sewing. Having used this method before and been frustrated when it came time to trim away the base, I’m happy I remembered to leave the edges unstitched.



I love the sky and the snow and even the figure, but wish the figure was “mine”.  Such is the life of a magazine collagist.

First Monday in August

rocks-deemallonIt was very hot here today. Fortunately, there’s been a temporary ‘fix’ to the van’s AC. Better yet, the horrible traffic that has plagued Route 128 between here and Salem all summer took a break today. Wahoo! Made it home in 50 minutes instead of the 1.5 hours that it’s taken the last four trips.

My sister and I went around North Salem to look at some of the low-income housing units that she is on the wait-list for. Before that, we sorted through some piles of things. Cleared off a few surfaces. I showed her how to use her Netti pot and took out the garbage and dusted a little. But only a little. If I get going too much, it sets her off. We went to the ‘Dairy Witch’ for soft-serve.

And now, a week with few commitments stretches ahead. AAAAAh. I hope to post about Portsmouth and the Hearts for Charleston Quilt.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from the weekend. It was a clear up, settle back, relax kind of time. Busy — but at my own pace with large swaths of quiet, so time took on an expansive quality.IMG_2244The rabbits devoured one Rose of Sharon transplant; left the other alone. I watered like mad because it’s been so dry and because the son I asked to do so in my absence did not 😦

IMG_2252 IMG_2257 IMG_2255Removed a long-useless soaker hose.
IMG_2282Pruned away most of an ailing laurel bush (something I’ve wanted to do for, oh, three years?), and used the old branches to supply support for morning glories.
IMG_2260As the years cycle by, I find that my attitude toward plants change. You know? Same plant. Different attitude. This year, the echinacea strikes me as so sturdy and pretty. And the morning glory is blowing my mind. Besides producing drop-dead beautiful flowers, the strength and delicacy of their climbing tendrils is something to behold. How can something be so strong and so delicate at the same time?!
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IMG_2163Off now. It’s “So You Think You Can Dance” night, but before I go, just wanted to follow up on last week and brag about successfully sharpening three pairs of scissors — including these two pair of Ginghers.

morning light and reading

sedum-deemallonThe air is cool today. Fresh. And mercifully, for now anyway, the clanging, metallic, thundering racket from behind the school is at a pause.
artemisia-deemallonI am going to finish “Go Down, Moses” today if it kills me. She Said. For the third day in a row.
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But now I really, really mean it, because Harper Lee’s new (old) book is available today and a good friend ordered me a copy.   I used to read six books at a time, but right now I want to finish one, put it down, and then pick up the next. A sign of sanity, perhaps?

Walking downstairs and out the back door

Before coffee.20140715-080349-29029381.jpg
One of the saved baby outfits. This one D.’s.  College-bound (the boy, not the outfit!):20140715-080445-29085704.jpg[When I was about eight months pregnant, I showed my bed-ridden mother this little vest and onesie. “You’re finding his palette,” she announced in true art teacher/mother fashion.  She would never meet him].

Speaking of palettes, on the coffee table, random partnering:20140715-080525-29125303.jpgOn the ironing board, ready for sleeving:20140715-080559-29159380.jpgBookcases. Wooden boxes from Japan. Classics, hardbound.  Some of the many new-to-us things:

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this photo taken last night; but en route to back door

A saturating rain yesterday:20140715-081058-29458791.jpg

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