Here at Rustling Leaf Press World Headquarters we all cram into a single basement office where we run hard on our little hamster wheels bringing you the best in knitwear. Every once in a while we need a break though and when it's not a tea break or a cat-petting break, it may as well be a garden break.
In my dreams I am a great gardener. My garden looks like a cross between an English cottage garden and Hendricks park. In reality my backyard is a tangled forest of weeds, trees and shrubs that are threatening to eat my house. When we first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I didn't understand the way plants work here, I was used to Southern California where, if you ignore your garden, it shrivels up and blows away. Here, if you ignore your garden you'll be hacking through blackberries until the end of time.
When we first bought our house I thought our yard was charmingly rustic and woodsy. I didn't realize those were just high falutin' words to describe overgrown, neglected and weed-choked. My first year here I was completely overwhelmed by the garden and let it do its own thing (bad idea), the next year I tackled it with a vengeance and chopped out a metric tonne of blackberry vines. The next year there were twice as many blackberry vines, a billion dandelions, a big weedy thing called Dock (that I've decided to like so I no longer have to classify it as a weed) and some aggressive plant called Bishop's weed. I cried uncle! The faster I pulled things up the faster new weedy things filled in. Last year and this year I decided to work smart and I have focused on just one small piece of garden. I figure if I can't afford the big gardener fees and teenagers to hack blackberries back, I'll focus on something do-able. I've managed to keep one small patch relatively weed and blackberry-free and I'm slowly filling it with flowers. It's a constant experiment to see what will do in my shady tree-filled yard. Some of the flowers are leftovers from the previous owner(s).
It's always fun to see what comes up in the small magic-patch outside my office door and how it changes throughout the year. Right now we're featuring these lovely models...
These windswept beauties are some kind of curly-petaled daisies. This is the way they look when they first open up - all blowsy and voluptuous like Marilyn Monroe on the beach. They make those Shasta daisies in the perfect garden down the street look, well, garden variety.
I've got nothing against garden variety though. These are my garden-variety snapdragons. I've got them in red and pink. I've always loved snapdragons ever since my grandma (the greatest gardener of all time in my little world) showed me how to pinch open their mouths. I just love their old-fashioned charm and whimsy.
I got around a little bit of my weed anxiety by hooking up some hanging baskets. I get the beauty of flowers without the heartbreak of a losing battle weeds. Another favorite from my childhood is fuchsias. I always thought of them as little ballerinas. They do well here in my cool, shady garden so I hooked up 3 baskets of them in different colors and varieties.
Don't you love the color on these? They're some kind of salvia I think. They occupy the sunniest corner of my garden and I'm surprised to see they came back strong this year. I plant a lot of things, some make it in my shady tree-choked yard, and some do not. It's all about a battle for survival here at beebonnet manor.
And here's my other variety of curly daisy. These grow face up to the sky and have gently frilled petals hanging down like a skirt. They're kind of like a punk version of those Shasta daisies down the street. They grew up in the suburbs, but they gotta be a little bit different.
And that concludes the garden break for today. It's back to the hamster wheels for us (now where did I put that oil?....)