"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wee Wonky Sheep

I was having fun last month making my little sheep and decided to play around with making them more like my real Jacob sheep. I love the results and these little rams make me smile. I am not sure if I will make more of these to sell, but I do like having this little pair of rams on my shelf with a few Wee Spotted Sheep I've kept.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Recycled Junk for Sedum Planters

 I have a lot of poultry equipment that is too rusted out for its' original purpose - watering poultry. The hanging planters full of sedums are the lids of old chicken waterers. We drilled holes in the bottoms of the lids to string wire through them. Then I planted sedums I dug up from around our gardens and walk ways. Sedums grow very well here and bloom abundantly in the summer and fall. Our honeybees love them. The hens & chicks ( sedums below hanging planters ) are in hyper -tufa planters I made last year.

 I have 10 more poultry watering containers to turn into hanging planters. I am going to have a lot of fun ! Maybe I'll plant some hanging geraniums, or Kenilworth Ivy in a few. Those plants always do well for me.
 The days have been very warm and today the temperature was almost 80 degrees in the shade of the porch. Our porch thermometer and the weather man said so .The ducks sought shade under our hostas for their afternoon naps.
Tomorrow the weather forecast calls for temps in the 60's and a light rain so it should be a very good day to recycle a few more old poultry waterers and give them new life as planters. By the way, the bottoms of the old waterers are also great planters , click here to see them. *

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tea In The Garden Thursday ~ Garden Update

 Tea in my garden on Thursday, posted late due to computer woes. Frustrating computer woes. My husband saved the day by finally discovering the problem though. Our computer kept informing us we had NO disk space left and would not let us download any photos, even the photos we had on file for years. Turns out the people who'd "solved" previous computer problems downloaded their own help services which took up all of our disk space. Believe you me, they took up over 80% of our disk space for what ? Anyway, my husband deleted the "help" service and everything is great !

The book above with one of my favorite teacups is one I checked out of my local library. I am not usually drawn to such books , but am so glad I checked out this fictional historical book. It is NOT a Christmas story, but a Christmas quilt plays a very important part in it. It is a story that takes place during the civil war and well worth reading for all ages. I read it while sipping tea in my Blue Bottle Garden. ' A Quilt For Christmas' by Sandra Dallas will make your heart glad. It is not a sappy romance , it does have true love, family love, kindness, mercy, friendship, and yes...quilting . It is all wrapped up in good writing and the writing makes you care very much for the main characters and what becomes of them.
 So what's going on in our gardens ? Well , the plum and cherry trees are done blooming and now the apple trees in the orchard are showing off. The honeybees are sure enjoying the blossoms.
 The ajuga and bleeding hearts are spectacular and we watch the hummingbirds flit to & fro from flower to flower from our front porch.
 Lilacs we planted years ago are blooming and we can smell their sweet scent from all over Cedar Pond. Some of the lilac blooms are growing up and over our back porch and have also woven their branches and blooms throughout the Cedar trees.
 My husband's vegetable garden has begun to grow quickly due to the very nice weather. Onions, garlic, strawberries, and so much more. He loves his vegetable gardens and tends them well.
 My chickens are laying almost 2 dozen eggs a day. I never tire of collecting fresh eggs from my beloved hens and you really cannot appreciate eating eggs until you have eaten the freshly gathered eggs of hens fed well, especially fed well from greens gathered while weeding well tended herb & veggie gardens !
 This is a sweet spot to sit in the sun, under the kiwi arbor my husband built. The kiwi are not yet in full leaf, so there is plenty of sunshine here during the brisk spring days. I hope you're enjoying spring time in your neck of the country and grabbing any time you're able to sit in the sunshine and enjoy a moment in the sun. After all, soon we'll all be seeking the shade and spending a lot of time watering our parched gardens. Enjoy this season now, while it is still spring and full of possibilities !

Although this is not a linky party, please check out Judith's * blog for more gardening inspiration. * ( Thank-you Judith )

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thursday Tea In The Garden ~ Chicks & Thyme

 Spring time and I have chicks hatching out all over the place.
 Well, not really. But I have chicks whose mamas are hatching them out in the right places ( underneath their mamas ) , quite successfully.
 These two chicks were hatched out by my grandchildren using an incubator they borrowed from me. The eggs the chicks hatched from were green because they came from my Americana hens , and the rooster -father is my Black Copper Marans . I am hoping they are hens.
 I have decided to celebrate Thursday Tea In The Garden because Thursday is a wonderful day for me to take time to blog, and I really do spend all sunny days outside working in my poultry pens, my gardens, or with my sheep & dogs. I got the idea from Judith at Lavender Cottage. * I don't think this is a link-up party but she gets the credit for a Thursday celebration I am excited to celebrate in my own gardens., thank-you Judith !
 Oh, by the way, these two chicks were given names by one of my granddaughters whilst being cared for by her & her younger sister after they hatched out of the incubator. Welcome to the big wide world Albert Cheepers McNugget Featherweight Esquire the 1st  and Prudence. Just hope one is a hen & the other a rooster !
 Not to forget the garden part, yes, I did have tea in the garden, a chamomile blend, most soothing. I looked over my herb ( Blue Bottle ) garden , pondered it a bit and decided I will plant this pot of lemon thyme in the thyme bed tomorrow.
Cheepers & Prudence are safely tucked into their small brooder in our sun-room after modeling for me earlier today. They really were not too excited by my pretty Japanese tea-cup , my cheery yellow polka dotted teapot, nor my bunny planter which now holds a blooming orchid. But then, they are baby chickens and food, water, warmth, & safety are all they desire.

I hope your spring plantings are beginning to bud & your hopes and dreams are too. Happy gardening, happy tea-time. Cheep ~ cheep.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer
O God,
Early in the morning do I cry unto Thee.
Help me to pray,
And to think only of Thee.
I cannot pray alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with Thee there is light.
I am lonely, but Thou leavest me not.
I am feeble in heart, but thou leavest me not. I am restless , but with thee there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with thee there is patience;
Thy ways are past understanding, but
Thou knowest the way for me.
Oh heavenly Father,
I praise Thee and thank Thee
for the peace of the night.
I praise and thank Thee for this new day.
I praise and thank Thee for all Thy goodness
and faithfulness throughout my life.
Thou hast granted me blessings;
Now let me accept tribulation from Thy hand.
Thou wilt not lay on me more than I can bear.
Thou makest all things work together for good
for thy children.
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis. ~ To read a brief biography of him click on this link*
Photo is of  our espalier pear tree blossoms.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Fickle Spring

 It's a fickle spring we're having here in the Pacific Northwest. Days so warm we forget it is April and I begin to wear summer clothes and buy bedding plants that thrive in warm temperatures. I got the patio umbrella out for the herb garden table so I could enjoy lunch there in between spats of gardening.
 The pine siskins flock to our feeder in the herb garden, very close to the garden table. We keep the feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds. The siskins aren't shy birds, nor are the chickadees and towhees that feed there.
 The duck that was faithfully tending her eggs on the other side of the Blue Bottle Garden fence finally hatched out ducklings.
 Then fickle spring revealed herself by sending so much rain & hail that Cedar Pond appeared to have re-entered winter. The rain & hail came down accompanied by lightening & thunder. Thunder that shook our house. The hail stayed on the ground  into the next day , looking very much like snow.

 Bedding plants I just bought to plant sit in their hail-covered box.
No worries though, the sun warmed the gardens again. The Cheshire cat I painted for a tea-party a few years ago, is smiling underneath the Hostas in the Blue Bottle Garden. Fickle spring brought more rain today, then bursts of sunshine. Rain is predicted for the entire weekend with thunderstorms. A good weekend to stay home and be cozy. I have a few books to read, a rug to finish weaving, and lots of blogs to catch up on because our computer has been on the fritz and we've been off-line for awhile.

Prayers for those of you enduring the destructive and deadly storms in the mid-west.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Work & Rest ~True Gifts

 Sun dial in our Blue Bottle Garden. We bought it many years ago especially for this garden and placed it in the bed of thyme. It is surprisingly accurate if you situate it according to the compass direction of north to south and it is a sunny day.
 The garden really does look sparse after severe weeding and culling of plants, but the bare bones of the garden are pleasing to me. The white-framed window to the middle right of the photo was once our living room picture window. It was cracked from side to side after a very big earthquake we had in this area a few years ago.  After removing and replacing it into our herb garden I am still happy with it there and have my plans for it later.
 Bright green plant in the bottom center is a lilac bush.
 Blue bottle tree , blue bottle markers, blue bottles. ( I see a theme here .)
 Bronze fennel
 I ran out of scalloped bricks to line the herb bed, but the herbs in this bed ( shown above ) were all transplanted from the old beds. I did not buy any new pots of herbs because the herbs I have are doing very well, they just needed a good weeding and placing into different spots of the garden that will benefit them.
 This shows where the herb garden ( Blue Bottle Garden) is in proximity to our house. I can look out of our bedroom window and see my herb garden , a delight for me every morning.
On the other side of the hedges out of view of Blue Bottle Garden,but in full view from our living room, is the fountain with the two doves my husband & I bought to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. How appropriate for us to watch hummingbirds court and bathe in this fountain, and swallows and  sparrows check out the birdhouse above the fountain as a possible new home for them and their young. Our Blue Bottle Garden brings us much joy. We sit together in the garden and watch the parakeets in the aviary, the hummingbirds at the feeders there, enjoy the herbs in our cooking, and from our living room watch the drama of bird life . We truly believe if everyone had a small patch of land to garden and a small window to observe the everyday blessings of their endeavors, this world would be a better place. A little bit of work that satisfies the soul and also gives a weary body the need for rest and a true deep and restful sleep . Blessed and peaceful sleep , a true gift from God.