Sunday, May 29, 2011

garden serenity in the midst of the city

yesterday i enjoyed a "wow" garden moment
at max and steve's house in LA. 

ryan knows them from beekeeping activities, 
and we stopped by so ryan could wax his new 
bee frames (his hive is thriving, so much so that he is adding in another box).

we were led through a garden gate, 
and the sound of rushing water filled my ears. 
the view in front of me was so inspiring -
a delightful stream tumbling into a beautiful koi-filled pond. 

my pics don't do their place justice, 
but trust me, 
entering the garden is like being transplanted 
to a different place. 
hard to believe we were in LA. 

those beautiful fish caught the eyes of 
neighborhood raccoons and herons, 
so to keep them out, 
max and steve devised this clever
structure that surrounds the pond. 

one section of the structure is easily removed
so you can look out over the pond
without seeing the screening. 
kitties and bees drink the water. 
steve said the pond is fairly easy to maintain. 
it seems big enough to swim in. 

i'm still fantasizing about lazy afternoons in the hammock, 
reading books and listening to the water flow. 

i was charmed by this sweet, simple
broken concrete pathway to the raised vegetable bed. 
note the bee boxes over to the right. 
they even painted their bee boxes
super cute colors! 

i think what i love most about their garden, 
is that it is a working garden. 
it is enchanting, 
and it shows the efforts
of two people who work really hard
creating a space that matters. 

they've planted a row of fruit trees, 
and have veggies growing in the sunny areas. 

max is a crafty lady, 
and yesterday i didn't get to go inside the house
though i am dying to (hint hint),
b/c I hear it is something to behold. 

as i was oohing and aahing
and generally falling all over myself
with love for their garden, 
steve gently reminded me how much
work it entails. 

and with that in mind, 
i go out now to wrangle
a little bit more of our western side yard. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

incredible mosaic blog

photo from jeffrey bale's blog

even if i didn't read any posts on 
the header image alone would make me happy enough. 

i read about his blog on root simple
thanks for the introduction! 

jeffrey has beautiful photos of his mosaics and garden designs, 
and gorgeous images of the inspirations behind them, 
both natural and human made. 

photo from jeffrey bale's blog

above is an example of a parking strip he made for one family. 
does someone really park on that? 

the flagstone path i had in mind 
for the western side yard feels really boring now. 

and root simple has a mosaic of their own. 

image from root simple blog

thank you, creative and fun people of the world,
for posting your works of art on the internet, 
so i can look and dream. 

parkway plantings

the parkway in front of our house 
left a lot to be desired. 
in the spring, the grass had to be managed, 
and in the summer, it was a dry, 
brown mess. 

ryan, bless his heart and strong arms,
got out there with a pickaxe
and removed all the grass and top layer of clay dirt. 

we decided on a mix of california poppies, lavenders, and artichokes. 
we wanted to keep with the theme of our edible landscape, 
and also wanted easy to care for summer color. 

we love artichokes - the big gorgeous leaves, 
the dramatic look of the bud, 
and eating the buds when they are ready. 
we also thought this edible would be safe
from dogs passing by.

a couple of years ago, ryan planted sapote fruit trees in the parkway. 

they were so spindly at first, 
but now after 2.5 years they are filling in really nicely. 

we still have more to do out there. 
i'll put in hot pink yarrow. 
(orange + purple + pink = LOVE!)
next year we should have more poppies. 
it will fill in more. 
but i'm super happy with the way it looks in its first year. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

under the magnolia tree

when we first saw this house in april 2008, 
i immediately fell in love with the large, shady magnolia tree
in front of the house.  

it reminded me of arkansas, where i'm from. 
in terms of landscaping, we didn't want any grass in the yard, 
and our goal is an edible landscape. 

so i wondered what to do underneath the magnolia tree, 
which sits at the entrance to our home. 

i was thumbing through the book, Landscaping with Fruit by Lee Reich, 
and got inspired to do alpine strawberries. 

so here it is, Mat 2010, right after I planted the alpine strawberries. 

ryan had scored some free bales of hay, 
and i was using that as a mulch. 

and here it is, one year later. 

i love the trailing nasturtium growing around the magnolia tree. 

and the nasturtium draping over the fence. 

but the best is going out to garden 
and picking tiny, sweet alpine strawberries to snack on. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

space between beds

we have raised garden beds in our front yard, 
where we grow our veggies. 
who is featured in the june 2011 issue of sunset magazine! 

i added in a round stone bed, 
followed by another square one made by ryan, 
using our friend denise's old fence. 

i haven't been able to decide what to do in between the beds. 
mulch? straw? decomposed granite? stones? gravel? 

so as you can see, it's been a little bit of mulch and a little bit of weeds. 

i finally decided on stones, 
set in decomposed granite with thyme growing around them. 

we already had the stones in the back,
and we have a pile of decomposed granite. 
all i had to buy was flowering thyme. 
a couple of hours of digging dirt, 
hauling stone, 
shoveling d.g.,
planting the thyme,
and i was done! 

two more spaces between beds to go. 
but i feel better knowing what will go there. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

malted waffles

i'm so impressed with people who blog regularly - how do you do it? 
this was a waffle morning - the recipe is from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. 

this was my first time using malted barley as a sweetener. 
it's pretty mellow - the waffles aren't overpoweringly sweet. 
they cook up a beautiful golden brown color. 

ryan served up these with almond yogurt 
and organic strawberries from the farmer's market.