Monday, July 9, 2012

Drought Daylilies

It's been very dry the past few weeks. The grass crackles as I walk down to the Growlery and perennial garden. Of course I water the perennials, but they are not fooled. They know it is not rainwater and they react in kind - they grow, they bloom, but it is controlled flowering, not the freewheeling there-is-no-tomorrow lushness they have with real rain.

And thank you to Tom Gahr for stopping in for the beer, garden and Growlery tour ("It looks a lot bigger in the photos".)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Garden

The roses are just starting - a lot of hardy climbers and small shubby ones - all pink, because I think roses should be pink and a little loose in the blossom ... and it's my garden.

I tend to like small flowered Irises - referred to as "miniature tall bearded" in the trade. They are more graceful and stand up to wind and rain better. Looking at the garden the other day, I made mental note to get rid of most of the extreme patterned ones, and concentrate on the blues, purples and whites. There are also some native species and the Siberian Irises are just starting. At the bottom of the far top picture is a stunning little Iris Setosa Nana , which will stop visitors in their tracks but it really doesn't photograph well - or  I can't photograph it well.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wren House and Texture

..and a little color.

For the past three days the wrens have been complaining a lot about the state of their housing, but they tend to complain about everything, and they get it for a song. A beautiful song. There are three wren/chickadee houses in the lower garden, seemingly in similar locations. Not so. For whatever reason this is the prime spot for the wrens and after a dozen years the old house was just about gone. I picked through the old fence drop-off pile and spent one pre-aged redwood board on a new rental unit. I rolled the table saw to the open garage door and started eyeballing and whacking away anything that didn't look like a wren house. The din of a power saw always draws neighbors to kibitz. As I was trying to fit the pieces together without measuring as I went along, Christy told me his old man made birdhouses for one of the big chain stores and he had made thousands of them as a kid. He had two thoughts, pieces of advice for me:
   #1. Everybody he knew that used a table saw eventually lost a finger.
   #2. If I cut all the pieces at 90 degrees I would save a lot of time.
I told him I both had fingers and time to spare, a saw guard is a pain in the ass and square houses are boring. Then Penny came over to critique (she likes tools), Lorna came back, everyone was thirsty so we went down to the Growlery for an hour or two. I eventually finished the wren house after supper. If I were doing it again I'd change a few angles. I won't remember that 12 years from now when I make another one.

It ain't art; it's just a birdhouse.

These are about done. Even in passing they are beautiful.

8 inches across.