Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just A Little Gardening

"She who  loves a garden
knows it's only hers
to borrow.....
that the tender care
she puts into the soil.....
helps the children 
of tomorrow carry on
what she has started.....
giving strength
and lasting value
to her toil."
-Mary Engelbreit

The weather has been incredible for the past week or so. Every morning I can't wait for the sun to rise so I can get outside in the gardens. It's like I am a child again and it's Summer Vacation, I have always been a very early riser. I've been digging in the earth, cultivating, planting and weeding. 

I've been one Busy Bee for the past several days. 

I'll share some pictures of the Little Garden.
I call it the "Little Garden" because it's the only contained, with a little fence, garden I have on the 3 acres. In addition it keeps my dog out, so I can plant more delicate plants inside.
 When we first lived out here we used this area as the vegetable garden. WOW- have we ever outgrown this area for our vegetable garden we currently plant. 
 Above is Irish Shamrock beside a bark pathway. I spreads like crazy, and I love it. It dies back in the late Summer, but comes again in early Spring. I used to have it planted in a bird cage but it wasn't very happy, so I tossed the soil, along with the plant, out of the cage and into the garden soil, I thought it was dead for sure. That was at the end of one Summer, then I noticed a small patch of it came back the following Spring. It appears it came back happy as ever.
 I have one wooden raised bed, I used to use it for Herbs. Now it's home to a assortment of Heuchera (one of my favorites), Sweet Pea Bush, Poppy's, Bleeding Hearts, California Fushia, and some other things I cannot think of at the moment.
This is Chester, he guards the bed and eats all the bad bugs.
OK- not really, but he's cute. 
 A bed of Alyssum and Johnny Jump Ups. Last year I had Nasturtium (another real favorite) planted, and it went crazy out of control. You couldn't even see the bed frame. I like to plant in odd things, like bird cages and real bed frames. I'm always on the look out for unusual things like that.

There is a bench between the Honey Suckle and the Spirea, to rest in the shade. 
Delphinium blooming
Alyssum on the Front Porch
I bought 2 more Lilac plants.
 I planted 3 last Fall, but 2 died. I think I had them planted it too wet of a spot. 
I'll be picking a new spot for these ones. 
I got the Lilacs at the Butte College Plant sale on Saturday. The Horticulture department has a plant sale twice a year, in Spring and Fall. 
I love going there. The prices are great, the students are super helpful, and the funds are used to support the Horticulture department. 

Also on Saturday Beth, Kristina and I went to a Barn Sale. I saw some pictures on the internet showing some of the items they would be offering for sale, but when I got there the items I had really wanted were already gone. I even got there early too. I missed out on some old metal signs, wash boards, watering cans, and several other things. 

 I came across some good things too. 
A Hot Water handle. I need a few more and I can make a rack for hanging, using them for the hooks. 
I had gotten the old door hinges a while ago from Beth's shed. 
 I bought a jar with old wooden spools of thread.

We also picked up our tomatoes for this years garden. I bought them earlier than usual, so I could put them up in the Green House. My hope is to give them a head start, being bigger when we transfer them to the garden, to have tomatoes a little earlier than last year. This is a first attempt at trying this method, so we'll see what happens. I got Eisley Pepper plants too. For years and years my father in law grew them in his garden, so we always had them available. But after he passed away there was a very, very long time that I couldn't find that type of pepper plant. Finally a couple of years ago I found them at the Plant Barn in Chico. 
Speaking of which, the Plant barn is my favorite nursery. They have a great variety, very healthy plants, and wonderful people who work there. They also have a great vintage shop with unique items for sale. 

This is what the inside of the Green House looks like now.

 It smells so much like dirt in there, it's amazing.

I've got errands to run in town, so off I go.
The Girasole Lady

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vintage Egg Basket

Roses & Rust Vintage Market was lots of fun. Beth and I had a wonderful time, browsing and dreaming, through all the beautiful booths.

I managed to picked up a few items to bring home. 

I love old milk jars, it must have began in my early childhood I suppose, living on a Dairy Farm in Valley Ford, CA. Most of my milk bottles are used as vases for garden flowers.
I also spotted a ceramic bowl, and a small blue enamel ware pitcher.
Oddly enough, I really do use all my old things, like bowls and pitchers.
From time to time, I use my milk jars for serving milk at the table. 
They're not just for looks. Of what use is an item, if not to be used and enjoyed?
I would rather use it, and take the small risk of damaging it, rather than leave it upon the shelves collecting dust.
I haven't decided where to set them in my home, yet. Usually, I  look at them for a while, and try them out here or there before they find a good resting spot.
The dish towel on my table is one my Dad embroidered when he was a young boy, living in Point Reyes Station, CA.  The fabric is from an old feed sack. My Dad's family owned a dairy farm, and farmed for many years out on the Pacific Coast. I'm guessing he stitched this in the 1940's sometime. My Dad was born at the Ranch in Point Reyes Station in 1935. Later, when I was a child, he farmed in Valley Ford, CA.  Unfortunately, he passed away in 1992, at the age of 56. He suffered a heart attack, which claimed his life.  

Inspiration was ten fold at the Vintage Market. 
I saw several vendors with vintage egg baskets, which then reminded me that I had three of them at home myself!  I retrieved them years ago out at the ranch where my husband grew up, just right down the road from where we live now. 

I dug the egg baskets out of the barn this morning and decided to plant some Alyssum and Johnnie Jump 
Ups in one of them.
(Do you see that planter to the left... it's the inside tub of washing machine.)
I lined the bottom with some newspaper, and laid some Alyssum around through the holes of the egg basket.
Filled in with some dirt. 
Layered some more, repeating the same process, mixing up the varieties of Alyssum and Johnnie Jump Ups. 
(Which I have been informed are called Pansies) All my life I've called them Johnnie Jump Ups.

I put a strip of brown paper bag around the top edge to hold in the soil, and also help to retain moisture. 
I use old newspaper and brown bags a lot in my gardening projects, it makes a great weed barrier and moisture holder. 
When I took this picture I thought to myself, "why is it these projects always look just sorta yucky to me when they are first finished?". I know, in time, it will fill in, and spring up, and cover up the yukiness, and then I'll be sure to take a picture again when it looks much better. 
Really, it's quite ugly.
So until next time, I hope everyone is enjoying their piece of garden.
Where ever that may be. 
The Girasole Lady

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Roses and Rust Vintage Market

This morning Beth and I are headed to Redding to Roses and Rust Vintage Market.

"Awarded the honor of being one of the Top 10 Romantic Flea Markets in the Nation by
Romantic Homes Magazine in August 2011, we are even more inspired to create an event that showcases businesses and provides beauty and inspiration to all who attend.
What you will find is fabulous treasures for your home and garden from French Chic to Rustic Farm Chic, Up-cycled, Salvaged and Re-Purposed goods, plus hand-crafted jewelry, food, music, and more!

We both have been looking forward to this event for weeks, and are so excited to be going. I'm hoping to bring home lots of inspiration, along with a good find or two for my home.
The Girasole Lady