Friday, July 30, 2010

amber waves of grain

growing up in cali, i saw a lot of stuff growing, but not wheat: berkeley is too foggy for grains. but many years back, my design firm was hired to design the new offices of the national feed & grain association in downtown dc., and they had these amazing victorian-era gold-plated wheat sconces that i have never forgotten...these adjustable glass wheat fronds are a modern riff on this historic icon. not for my place, but cool, nonetheless.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

urban farm guide

from austin to washington dc, urban farms are producing good stuff! one of my fav blogs, apartment therapy, produced this u.s. city guide to your urban farm. to your health!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the wild bunch

the other morning i saw something darting erratically back and forth across the creek: it was a baby mallard duck who must have been separated from his family during the previous night's storm. george-i named him after george washington, who was born nearby-quickly adapted to his new environment in my hand, and took a nap. the dog was curious until george nipped his nose, then he became suspicious...and looked to me for some kind of explanation as to why this beast was in the house with us.
i wanted to reunite george with his family, but hadnt seen any mallards close by in a few weeks...i resigned to keep him! i had a duck for a few weeks when i was a kid-aristotle-so i have duck experience. unfortunately, the mister had a different idea and forced me to call a wild animal rescue, the wild bunch. reluctantly, i agreed and we drove to the shelter that evening. i handed over george to the volunteer who promptly placed him in a terrarium, where he peeped to return to the warmth of my palm: i was sad.
there were many other animals-especially babies- at this facility near the rappahanock river. 
the baby grey foxes were cute and this one growled under his breath as i dropped my hand to take it's photo: adorable!
i loved the possums! hard to tell if they are dead or just messing with you, though!

there were a lot of birds of prey at the wild bunch: barred owls, great horned owls and osprey...they released an eagle last week. these juvenile osprey were rescued from the water after a storm. love osprey: they are my favorite bird.
the baby raccoon just wanted to have fun!
so, anyway...i felt like george was in good hands despite there not being any other ducklings there, because singles tend to hang around longer at their adoptive house. then yesterday i saw her in the creek: the mother duck with three ducklings.
poor george: all alone in that terrarium.

Monday, July 26, 2010

poseidon down

today was bright and sunny and perfect...
yesterday: not so much. it was over 100° and super cell storms cruised through about 3-ish. we were under a tornado warning- which is fairly normal these days-but it was more like straight line winds at 75 mph- that tore the locust trees to bits. a medium size branch fell into the back corner of my yard and destroyed my lovely fountain and birdbath.
poseidon's head ended up about 20 feet from the rest of the pile.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

amber's garden

amber's garden sells these great pre-seeded vegetable garden mats that make gardening simple for everyone: i think they will make great gifts for gardeners and non gardeners alike. there are lots of fun choices, too, like a salsa garden or an asian garden. very great idea! i might actually get something to grow this year if i start one of the summer crop mats right now.

Friday, July 23, 2010

saturday garden events

•stay calm and carry on at the stoney hollow lavender harvest
•support your local economy by attending the wallingford gardener's market
• dc-ists: head to eastern market: the indoor part-none of the outdoor vendors will be there today because of the heat. i'm buying raviolis:every flavor...sunflowers...maybe some fresh fish and herbs...definately some baked goods.
•walk at the linn county gardeners walk and check out six different gardens that offer ideas for your own. 10-4
•self guide yourself through 340+ gardens at buffalo garden walk, the largest garden tour of it's kind in the country today and sunday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

pileated woodpeckers

i love the pileated woodpecker: they are so big and prehistoric looking! i am fortunate to see them fairly often and hear them more than that, but this is the first time i have seen one of their rectangular chipped holes made while foraging:
good job!

Monday, July 19, 2010

garden fantasy: smashed!

well, my vegetable garden in the field is becoming a worse failure than last year's epic one, and here is the pepper pic to prove it. i dont even know what happened to them, but the deer have neatly trimmed all tomato foliage and fruit above the cages...and the corn too is nibbled down low...the onions have disappeared...i saw the bugs that ate the cantaloupe and pumpkin vines...the sweet potatoes melted...this field sucks! i used weed barriers everywhere, but no poisons. ugh! i have seedlings ready to go in, but i am rethinking it. i hate giving in, but i might have too. the sad part is i would starve if i were dependent on this garden for actual food! luckily, my square foot garden, raised beds and planter boxes seem to be doing well: onion, arugula, flat leaf parsley and mixed greens are producing well...i collected squash blossoms the other day and a couple of yellow crooknecks today...the first yellow pear mini tomatoes are ready and the larger varieties are growing (no color yet, though). i have yellow beans! and basil! so, that is sort of a happy ending, right?

Friday, July 16, 2010

gardening calendar

its the weekend...and its hot!
forget your chores and go check out someone else's hard work.
•shop local at the wallingford gardeners market held at the railroad station on the green 9-12 through september 25th.
•show yourself around mason city during the mercy ambassador's summer garden tour.
•see pretty pictures in qualicum beach at milner gardens art and photography show held in the artist's garden 10-5 both today and tomorrow.
•dance the tonight away at fullerton arboretum's annual midsummer night in the garden party
•be beneficial by attending the 16th annual west seattle garden tour
•walk around 20 gardens at the dearborn garden walk

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

gardens of the smithsonian castle

the other day i met some friends downtown to check out the brian jungen exhibit at the national museum of the american indian, which none of us had been to yet.  the three previous days were over a 100°, but this day was a gorgeous 89° with low humidity and a nice breeze.
we took metro to the smithsonian stop so we had to walk a few blocks to our destination, but it was a lovely stroll on the national mall! the plantings at the smithsonian castle were a major highlight! 

 beautiful color combinations ...petunias with roses...coleus edgings ...old time-y blooms like four o'clocks...
every thing was just sparkling.
the water feature in front of the american indian museum was quite cooling!
the exhibit at the museum was wild...and inspiring.

we absorbed the entire experience-along with a few ginger martinis-at hotel monaco:
sweet ending!