Monday, June 27, 2016

All About the Greenhouse!

the Maker!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

As Promised...More Pics!

Replacing decades-old sword ferns was no small feat, but between Lisa and Chuck, they are gone!
Replaced with a sweet boxwood (someday) hedge and corsica mint ground cover. We chose
hellebore for the bed under the bedroom windows. We love the solar path lighting, too...
it creates starburst patterns on the sidewalk at night. Lovely!

See? That lawn has got to go! Eventually...
We call this the 'island of misfit toys' because all the plants that don't seem to work
in other places get put out here. Surprisingly, they seem to thrive! Maybe it is the
succulents cheering them on... :-)

here is a good shot of the carport, and the handsome maker :-)

the greenhouse is taking shape in the distance! In the foreground of this shot is a lovely little bed
discovered after removing the overgrown Lithodora.
I chose a variegated boxwood and Ajuga (black scallop) ground cover.
One thing I have learned is what plants the deer do not eat. 

The red maple is faring well - I was pretty nervous about the deer munching, but so far, so good!
This is the aroma-therapy garden: lavender, oregano of all sorts, lemon thyme, sage, scads of rosemary,
and oh so much mint! We have peppermint, chocolate mint, and regular mojito mint!

yeah...insetting those flagstones is no small task! So many still to go...

The bulk of our work so far this summer has been removing decades-overgrown plants, including
this pokey-plant that was close to 7 ft tall, and a barberry bush as tall as me, with barbs almost an inch long.
This space is going to be a small patio for our small firepit and benches for roasting marshmellows!

The rock garden has been transformed into our meditation garden! Removed a giant heather
and replaced it with this sweet Korean pine grown by a local organic gardener. 

I am absolutely loving playing with all the succulents in the garden. All the growing things give me hope, even in the face of national tragedies and downright depressing realizations about the reality of our culture, society, and country. Even still, the plants take the sunlight and sweet rain water and magically grow taller, stronger, and more miraculous each day. I can lose myself just walking and sitting in the garden, watching the wind play with the grasses and the birds flitting from perch to perch looking for seed. Yes...that gives me hope in tomorrow.

Back at the Beach - Summer 2016 commences!

Do you read the last chapter of a book prior to starting? Well, I am one of those infuriating souls that do just that, so I will start with this:

The bottom line: No, I cannot blog during the school year.

I know, no brainer. But my last post was August of last year! So, what have we done since that time? Well, I started school in September, attended the Celtic Music Festival (which was awesome) in October, took the mid-winter breaks down here, and also spring break. Amazingly, even during breaks, I am still reading class material and prepping for studies. Nope  - no time for blogging.

I was out of school the end of May. Then we went to Victoria BC, which was fabulous! Here is a few of the pics we snapped:

We walked, talked, laughed, shopped, stayed in a lovely B&B, had tea, tried poutine, took a harbor tour, visited the museum, bought books, checked out Craigdarroch Castle, walked through the Empress, met Roger the Marmot, were amazed at Butchart Gardens, and didn't want to come home. 

Then, we came down to the beach for the summer. And, I have to say that it has taken me a good three weeks to relax! We have been madly doing projects in the yard, but that isn't very relaxing. Satisfying, but not relaxing. Today is the first day that I am left to my own thoughts. 

The weather has been typical, so we dodge raindrops periodically. The flower beds are looking glorious, and the seagulls found another house to roost on (thankfully!). We were able to get a new roof on the house this past (late) winter, and are planning on painting later this summer. Chuck has been very busy building a carport-shelter for Taylor's trailer (which is now completed) and is diligently working on a greenhouse-potting shed. Lisa and I revamped the front beds and we have decided to asphalt the grass and gravel driveway, since the grass doesn't grow except in the gravel drive. Ugh! That expense will have to wait a bit, however, but that is the ultimate plan.

So, for the purpose of recording, here are some photos:

I am in the process of insetting these flagstones to make a path through some grass that refuses to behave.

Chuck is hard at work building a greenhouse-potting shed for our ongoing gardening endeavors - can't wait!
You can kinda see the carport at the back of the pic that he is now using for a workshop.

newest garden decor...

I love supporting the local artisans - the gentleman who makes these replicas of
pilings and seagulls is a real North Coast character!

workin' on that lavender for my dear friend Kevin

haven't grown peppers for decades - I had forgotten how much I love growing things!

More local art - you can see chainsaw bears all over the coast, but these are especially cute.
This one is showing his love of Greece!

Alyssum seeds sprouting!

flowering thyme makes me smile

And here is Jack...or is it Martha? They were pretty ticked that we replaced our
roof with material that wouldn't sustain their nest. 

One great thing about being on summer break is that I get to cook!
Trying new recipes and eating healthy is one of my favorite hobbies.
This was our lunch today - grilled teriyaki veggies (zucchini, pineapple, pepper, mushrooms, onions) on the ancient grain farro drizzled with Greek olive oil and the balsamic vinegar we brought back from abroad. So yummy!
I have more pics to share, but this post is getting really long! I'll close out for now, and share more pics of our improvements at the beach house in the next post!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Just a little 'Body and Soul'

This Saturday, since August drizzle kept me away from a beach walk, Lisa and I decided to check out the 'Body and Soul' Festival. I have never been to a psychic fair before, so this was a whole new experience for both of us!

Tarot card readers, astrologists, psychics, nameologists and experts in magic and alchemy were all well represented. I completely enjoyed the warm, welcoming, and friendly atmosphere. I can easily see why this festival has been popular for 8 years!

I learned some things from a couple of experts and indulged in this wonderful gazing ball you see in the photo. No, it is not crystal, and it is not for seeing into the future. It is for meditation and just for plain ole coolness! It is made of clear leaded glass instead of cost-prohibitive crystal. I have always been fascinated with rocks and crystals; this was a great opportunity to not only see a lot of interesting crystals, but to hear what is understood about their healing powers.

A little alchemy for the Star Child
I could say quite a bit about what I have heard about people who are interested in these types of spiritual beliefs. However, I found this festival to be lighthearted and fun. No demons or devils laying in wait here...only smiles, information, and help for those who attended.

The Oregon Coast...because.

On the deck at the Embarcadero

Chuck and I had a wonderful time enjoying the summer weather down in Newport, Oregon. Three days and two nights of sunshine, blue skies, unique shops and good food makes for a nice addition to my summer vacation!

This view is the best in Newport

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Sunday, July 26, 2015

More Summer Snaps

one of the very attentive gull parents keeping track of where we are

in remembrance of my favorite prof, Despina, who had a lovely
Greek oregano bush on her balcony in Athens

the pallet herb garden

good wishes sent out on the wind

vintage bottle mobile

re-purposing these beautiful bench armrests