Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Tacoma Home and Garden Show Part 1 - Garden Stuff

The Tacoma HOME and garden  show took place from January 24 - 26.  There were still a few gardens put together by landscape companies but no plant sale area this year.  January is a difficult time to sell plants as so many things are dormant and sales can be slow.  Also, the Seattle Show is only a month later.  However  Mak Lilies & Perennials was still a vendor as was a new Seattle business called Viridescence, specializing in house plants.  Also new this year was a workshop area where a few folks were dyeing fabric.

First the gardens:

Nature Perfect Landscaping 

For those interested in a relatively low-maintenance garden wthat looks pretty much this way year round, this is perfect

This floriferous Garrya in a shiny ceramic pot was a great draw at Olympic Landscapes'  garden.

Speaking of eye catching, catch this fabulous iron moon gate.  (Made by Bare Ornamental Iron)

Echoing the moon gate shape are these two smaller versions.

Another shot of the moon gate.  If only I had space for this in my garden. 

Father Nature Landscapes has had small displays at this show for several years but this year they really upped their game and created this much larger garden.  So much to love here and while I'll never understand the allure of having a television outside, I like the way they've incorporated this in the wall.  (How to keep the plants watered and keep the T.V. dry?)

Totally enamored of this table with a rill flowing through it. 

The Plant Vendors:
Mak Lilies and Perennials had lots of great offerings.

"Plants can't solve all problems, but they're a great start."  A new business in the horticultural world is always a reason for hope I wish  the charming young businesswomen who've opened Viridescence all the luck in the world.  They'll also be at the Seattle Flower and Garden Show. 

Blackwaters Metals will also be at the Seattle Show.  I must find space for one of these dinosaurs!

Cool stuff but I didn't get the name of this vendor. 

The dyeing workshop.

Stay tuned for part two.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wednesday Vignette - Different Views

I guess it's all in how you look at things.

Or if you use a polarizing filter on your camera' lens or not.  Through what filters do we observe the world?  

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see more. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tell the Truth Tuesday - Orchids

On Tuesdays, Alison at Bonney Lassie invites us to share parts of our gardens that are less than perfect.  Today, instead of sharing photos of my incredibly messy winter garden, I'm posting a confession of sorts.

I've spent a lot of time resisting orchids.  The blooms are pretty enough but the plant itself doesn't thrill me.  Last May, I received a white cymbidium orchid in bloom as a teacher appreciation gift.  It lived on top of my file cabinet at work until the end of the school year at which time it came home and continued blooming for a couple more months.  The longevity of bloom was remarkable.  Since it didn't die, I repotted it recently and it's putting on growth.  Hmm.  Certainly this plant that's notoriously finicky would have died under my care but it seems to be thriving.  You know how success leads to further experimentation, right? 

At Lowe's picking up supplies for a class, I checked out the plant section.  The fragrance and form of this Cattleya caught my attention and somehow hopped into my cart.  When I think of orchids, this form is what comes to mind, perhaps because these were once very popular corsage flowers. 

This flower is beginning to fade a bit but they're only supposed to last for three or four weeks.

Another visit led to this one  hitching a ride in the cart.  Who could resist such a warm color in the winter.  It's softer, more subtle with more pronounced venation in real life, like a tropical sunset. 

Watson's indoor plant sale included their orchids.  This tiny one, stuffed into a 2" pot seemed innocent enough.  Now that it's home, a second flower spike is emerging. 
The last two are both cymbidiums and if they bloom as long as my first, there will be blooms until the end of the school year.    So, there you have it, the orchid collection now numbers four.  Plants grown exclusively for flowers with no foliar interest at all.  It's a slippery slope toward the world of flower flooziness.   They may end up as compost but even if they do, they will have provided cheerful flowers for a long period of time at a cost less than buying cut flowers every week for three months, right?  (Not that I often buy cut flowers, just saying is all.)

What's your Tuesday Truth? 

Monday, January 28, 2019

In a Vase on Monday - Frozen?

Many areas of the northern world are in the icy grip of the polar vortex while here in the Pacific Northwest, we're experiencing the warmest January on record.  At longitude 47.26 north, we are north of Illinois, Wisconsin, even Maine.  The warming effect of the Japanese current usually keeps us warmer than those areas but this year even more so.  The winter bloomers are starting but some of the herbaceous plants are still green.   Today's vase combines some evergreens, winter-blooming Helleborus argutifolius and Euphorbia wulfenii and the usually dormant Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon.'

All are stuffed into a crystal vase and joined by some glass ice cubes, a nod to those of you currently experiencing freezing temperatures.

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to see her vase and to find links to those of other participating bloggers.   Keep warm everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Super Blood Wolf Moon from Tacoma

Like many folks, we went outside on Sunday night to see the Lunar eclipse.   Here are a few shots from the back porch

 Is that a Jack-O-Lantern in the sky?

 For more about the eclipse and the reason of it's name click here

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Well, It's Done - Sort Of

A couple of Thursdays ago, I came home from work and decided to solder the latest project.  I thought that solder and putty would take about three hours.  (It took 4.)  Tom said, "Why don't you wait until Saturday when you'll be rested and have a whole day to work?  You'll make mistakes if your tired."  I should have listened as now I can only see the blaring mistakes in the panel.  "She's a very expressive musician; too bad she can't sing in tune."  Fortunately, the panel can be pulled apart, the mistakes corrected.  Finally this weekend, I was home when it was light outside, hung the window and took a few pictures.

There are a few things that I love about the panel.  The glass selection and use of different lead profiles is lovely. (One can't really see the lead profiles with the light shining through. 

The front entry is fun. The little lights on either side of the door are jewels that Florence gave me for my 40th birthday.  Originally the backs were silvered as they were meant for use in jewelry when they were made 100 years ago.  An overnight soak in muriatic acid removed that.  The front door and oval window are tiny jewels that Florence gave me just for this project.

I've been told not to point out mistakes so I won't but the panel is now back down in the basement waiting to be fixed.
Oh well, I learned some valuable lessons in doing this so quickly. 

By the way, that vertical black streak in the sky is a bit of exterior paint from a paint job  before we moved into the house and seems impervious to razor blade, pressure washing, and everything else I've tried to remove it.

It's always interesting to see how windows change throughout the day with different light.