Sunday, December 27, 2009

Moving into Spring

As the solstice brings longer days, my brain is moving towards seed starting, and retail displays.

Last year we loved starting the season with our Sweet on Spring celebration. Now it's a ritual. Scotty is now busy working on the main display.

One winter, about 10 years ago, we visited friends in Tucson. Scotty was so taken with the Sonoran desert that he built a 9 f00t tall metal and stucco saguaro cactus. It has lived in a corner of the shop ever since. A few weeks ago, he moved it over in front of the wood stove and began his winter art project. It is amazing!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Scotty's blog..

My muy talented husband has started a photo blog.
Mostly landscapes, amazing landscapes.
It's going to be harder to steal his photos now for my blog.....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

every good boy does fine

Scotty has been giving me music lessons on the piano. I really want to learn how to play the fiddle but I thought I would learn more about basic music theory and what all those notes are first..kinda fun!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Golden Whitman County

Here is a link to a map titled The Decline: The Geography of a Recession. It animates the unemployment rates from January 2007 to October 2009. Whitman County's unemployment rate has virtually remained unchanged. I am not suggesting that many lives have not been touched, I know they have, but we seem rather insulated from the larger picture this map is showing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Osage Orange/Hedge Apple

A thanksgiving day trip up the snake river to Heller bar revealed a tree that I've never seen these parts. Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) is a common tree on the great plains where it was historically planted as a fence row due to it's dense branching and tough thorns.
The fruit has a citrus & evergreen bough scent and a beautiful lime green color. It is common in the mid-west to bring the fruit indoors for the winter to repel spiders and insects.

I think they are beautiful lined on my kitchen window sill.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Doug Mills/The New York Times

This summer was the first time EVER honey was produced on the White House grounds. 134 pounds or roughly 11 gallons of sweet honey was produced. Charlie Brandts, a White house carpenter set up a hive where the bees could forage on the abundant flowers and tree blossoms.
The resulting linden flower honey was bottled for the first family to eat and serve at events and for Mrs Obama to give as gifts.......

Thursday, November 12, 2009

fall in the garden

It's a common question " You are only open 4 months, what do you do the rest of the year? These people have never been self employed. ha! The pat answer is I garden. The truth is I garden and work and somehow the weeks fly by.
We have had such a nice fall. Scotty and I are getting our spring clean-up work done now. It continues to amaze me just how much organic material a garden can produce. And just like a vegetable garden we harvest our display garden and the end of the season too.
After collecting and saving perennial seed, we cut back all the perennials, load the mass onto the tractor and fill our compost bin. This bin is 4 ft X 12 ft. Over winter this will compost down to half it's size and in the center will be beautiful compost that next spring we will add to our raised vegetable beds and the new garden we are creating.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Last week Scotty and I were in Seattle on a buying trip. We took our camping van but as a treat decided to eat out rather than cook in the van. We ate wonderful food, but we were blown away at the portion sizes! We split just about every meal.

I love food, and I don't like to diet or demonize certain foods. In an effort to lose weight I have been watching my portion size. If you have ever done this before, you know measuring food before it goes on your plate somehow breaks the romance of "what you are about to receive". This morning I think I found a beautiful ally. Sarah Morris of Thinnerware came up with a brilliant solution. She creates these beautiful plates that aid in the portion size dilemma. Cover the large flower and that's 1/2 cup, the small flower 1/4 and the two flowers together, that's the "proper" meat portion. The bowls have three 1/2 cup lines.

I ordered the set below. I think it's beautiful.

photos from here

Thursday, October 8, 2009

cute and soon to be hot!

We've returned from our 7 state-National Park & Monument-pick up the sauna tour. This sweet barrel was quite an ice breaker everywhere we went. It was interesting that the residents of each state has their favorite liquor fantasies for what could be held inside. In Minnesota it was whiskey, in South Dakota and Wyoming it was beer, in Montana (Missoula) it was wine.

Right now the sauna sits in our shop where it will stay until next summer when it will move, somehow?? to the back yard. The shop may not be the most romantic of settings but we WILL be able to use it this fall and winter...ahhhhhhhh

Sauna from Superior Cooperage

Scotty took some wonderful photos of our trip, I'll post them soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

National Park Tour

Badlands photo from here

We leave tomorrow to pick up our sauna and go on a National Park Tour.

I give credit to Ken Burns for making me rethink the west.

p.s. thanks to all who came out last weekend.
Scotty and I had a wonderful time seeing everyone and we had good sales too!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'd shop here...

Well I am all ready for our Open Garden Weekend, and I gotta tell ya....
"I'd shop here" It is so beautiful. I hope my amateur photos give you some idea.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Happy 50th Birthday to you, my dear Suzanne!!
And may you have many more and good health and great happiness along the way!  I treasure our friendship and the time we get to spend together is both essential and precious to me.  Thank you, thank you! 

Love and kisses........

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bring a friend!


September 10-11-12-13

For this long weekend the Studio will be filled with:
My favorite (hard to find) flower bulbs.
Big Beautiful planters and fall blooming color.
As well as my 'foodie' market finds.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tornado before the party

I know this phenomenon is not limited to me. The 2 weeks before a big event you feel the need to repaint all the exterior trim. I am now one week away from our Fall Open Garden Weekend and both french doors are off their hinges being painted and I haven't even started cleaning the gardens for visitors. Then there is new product to price, not to mention displays...there are going to be some long days around here! Oh did I mention Scotty has had a backhoe here for the last 2 days digging. He has his own big project going. But the truth is this is how we always work. We groove on this type of energy, for me no deadline is floundering. I do what my 4th grade teacher-friend calls "getting off task". Way off.

Show and Tell: I not only repainted the trim but changed colors which meant a primer coat first. I LOVE the new color. It reminds me of forest service building. I think it goes very well with my trencadis around the front door.

...more on the Open Garden Weekend tomorrow, it's going to be a blast.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

3 Ice Cubes

Today I read in Grower Talks magazine about a marketing plan by Green Circle Growers in Ohio. They have just released a line of Phalaenopsis Orchids called "Just Add Ice".


No more overwatering, you just add 3 ice cubes a week to your orchid. They slowly melt watering your plant. There seems to be another benefit from the ice, cooler temperatures help promote new flower spike production. You can even sign up for a weekly reminder.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Okay, first off we had a great time and great food on the Oregon Coast, ( hot Dungeness crab and artichoke sandwich) but the meal that made the biggest impact on me was in Portland at the Burgerville next to the convention center. At first it feels like a regular fast food joint, (we were sent there by a supplier who insisted it was good) then you notice the local in-season additions to the menu. Walla Walla onion rings, local cherry pulled pork BBQ sandwich. Fresh marionberry shakes... hmmmm. The receipt had a full nutritional analysis, don't read this before you eat, come to think of it, maybe not after you eat either. The kicker for me what at the end of the meal we bussed our table, they had a photo above the recycle garbage can for everything we had in our hands except the plastic basket. Left over food, paper, plastic cups, plastic utensils, all went into the hopper to be sent to an industrial composter leaving as soil within 90 days.
cool. way cool. I love Oregon.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

off to the ocean...

we leave today for the oregon coast.....
and 2 summer markets; one gift, one plants.
the house sitter is in place, the plants are on drip and we are gone....

Friday, August 14, 2009

One year anniversary

Today is the 1 year anniversary of our Solar Electrical Panels. They have generated 3371 KWh which covers 100% of Living in the Garden's electrical use.

In addition, this year, we have offset 2.4 tons of CO2. In Washington we have a State program that pays us .15 for each kilowatt produced by renewable energy. We receive this incentive annually in the form of a check or credit to our electrical bill. This year that incentive covered 100% of our home electrical use. YA GOTTA LOVE THAT... and we do!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

does this color make me look beautiful?

oh, I wish the colors would translate better on blogger. (or is it my photos!)
For the trim colors on the newly stained buildings I brought a few home to try out...

choosing these two....Of course they are prettier in person....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

summer work....

After a bit of a vacation and a general slacking off we are back to projects around the place.

First off, staining the studio and conservatory. We got a great deal on shingle stain from a local painter. With the money we saved Scotty opted to rent the big machine instead of going up and down ladders- very good idea, but led to a 12 hour first day as we only had the beast for 24 hours.

I had not realized (not actually true) how discolored the shingles had become. I love the color of new cedar, so at construction, we applied only a shingle oil brew we concocted so the natural color would shine. 5 years into the future, I wish I had added color the first year.... live and learn..

Right after we finished the first wall I realized that we would have to repaint the trim too.
That's the way it is with projects....

The building color reminds me of Forest Service buildings so I picked out a green color called Amazon Jungle for the trim and on my double doors a kind of adobe- orange color called Marmalade Glaze.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

end of a season

canola field outside of Troy Idaho

Spring Valley Reservoir Idaho

I have bittersweet feelings (always) when a season ends.  I am tired and happy and sad and excited all at the same time.  I have spent time getting ready for our big sale this weekend to clear out the plant material. Cleaning out storage spaces at the same time and gathering goodies for  $1.00 and $5.00 bins.  I am hot and dusty.  Yesterday Scotty surprised me by asking me if I wanted to walk Jersey around Spring Valley Reservoir.  It was a perfect morning made better by the fact that there is a cool "big city feeling" bakery/cafe in Troy!  
Once again this was a brilliant move by Scotty, now  all I want are mornings to discover what's new in our area and walk the dog by cool water...... summer here we come

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

too tired to post...

The season has caught up with me.  The last 3 days, I have been ever tired. No amount of sleep or caffeine has been able to pull me out if it.  I think it is just this very busy season catching up with me.  With just 2 weeks to go I let my guard down, my missing sleep found my body and all I can do is surrender.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Art in the Garden- images

a warm welcome:

Donna Mae in the Garden

Kat painting

Anna looking royal

Madam Chairs

Val's work

our "art" work

good folks- good energy