Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chief Joseph and The Bucket List

Proud member since... yesterday!
Tomorrow, I’m off on a big adventure. Riding an Appaloosa horse, 100 miles in 5 days, through the Targhee National Forest.

My friend, Janet
Been dreaming about this since I first heard of it 4 years ago. Never really expected it to happen because the ONLY horses allowed on this special benefit trail ride are registered American Appaloosas.

But, that’s the cool thing about wishes. If you declare them to one and all. And, then talk about them incessantly to any poor friend willing to listen…

Sooner or later some wonderful person will step up and help you make this dream come true. If, for no other reason, than to achieve a little peace and quiet the next time you get together for dinner.

Brief History Lesson:
The Chief Joseph Trail Ride is so-named to honor the leader of the Nez Perce. As with most stories of Native American history, there is nothing pretty about this one. When the U.S. government tried to re-locate them - they chose, instead, to seek asylum in Canada. Traveling 1,300 miles over mountain terrain, with the U.S. Calvary in hot pursuit. They credited the athletic ability of their Appaloosa horses (a breed developed by the Nez Perce Indians in the 18th century,) for continually out-maneuvering us whities.

I don’t want to dwell on all the negative aspects of this because it was a long time ago and people back then were… well, too uneducated to know any better. ‘Nuff said.

I’d much rather glorify these stunning spotted horses.

Cutest cowgirl in our tribe.
This is Sable. On loan to me from my dear friend at Acacia Riding Adventures (Click the link! It’s a shameless plug for a horsie vacation! And, oh ~ by the way? ~ I built his website.)

My own little red mare is none too thrilled with this newcomer in her corral. Even more ticked off that I’m stepping out on her for a sweet vacation with the new gal.

Sweet and painful, I might add. 20 miles a day on a horse? Yowza! Now who wants to loan me a comfy gel saddle pad?

* It takes 13 years to complete the Chief Joseph Benefit trail ride - 100 miles each year for a total of 1300 miles. The route follows the Nez Perce flight from the US Calvary in the late 1800’s. It originates in Joseph, Oregon and ends in Bear Paw Meadow, Montana, just 40 miles shy of the Canadian border. Where I am sorry to say, Chief Joseph was forced to surrender.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays: Sky High Hollyhocks

These tall gals tower over me, stretching 6-10 feet toward the sky.

Double blossoms are hybrids. Single blossoms are heirlooms ~ if you'd like some seeds just say the word!

For more Wordless Wednesday participants click here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ditch Gardens and Deck Decorations

Nasturtiums grown from seed decorate our sunny deck.
Don't ya just love Sunday mornings? As opposed to Monday mornings when you feel obligated to attack that lengthy list of must-do's vs. wanna do's.

Sit a spell. (See close-ups below of the climbing vines.)
I cheerfully wasted the whole of a Sunday puttering about the gardens, pulling weeds, and saying thank you over and over again.

The 'thank you' part is a little bit of a blessing and way more of a curse...

Clematis climbing vines smile at you from one corner of the deck's privacy screen.
This WAS a cute little country cottage when I first bought it. But, I've gained tons of new neighbors in the last 8 years. So many that I live 'in town' again. New Town, as they call it. My quiet little old ranch road has evolved into a busy thoroughfare. And, a popular bicycle path.

At least 100 honeysuckle blossoms pretty up the other half of the privacy screen.
Now I have an audience while I'm working in the garden. (Which I'm not too thrilled about. Especially when I'm out there in my pajamas.)

I do love the fact that they're so appreciative of my efforts. Calling out: Beautiful flowers! So pretty! as they peddle by.

This used to be the weedy ditch in front of my house.
That's because I gave 'em something to take their mind off the fact that they're peddling uphill. I have the prettiest ditch on the old ranch road!

Over the last 2 years, I slowly, methodically, killed off the crabgrass and dandelions covering the steep ditch in front of my house. Then I filled it with tough as nails waterwise perennials that happily wave in the breeze.

Butterflies play there. Bees are a buzzin'. Teeny green Hummingbirds whiz past my head. It's quickly become my favorite spot in the garden. Even if I do feel compelled to comb my hair before I head out there and say hello to passers by...

PS: Welcome back from the Seattle Fling, garden blogging buddies! I pouted all weekend because I couldn't join you...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day ~ July, 2011

My most favorite summertime chore is deadheading flowers in the cool of the evening.

After dinner, a garden stroll, wielding my trusty scissors... I lop the heads off all the spent blossoms, encouraging them to smile at me all over again.

Around this joint, Columbines rule the roost. 
I just love how they cross-pollinate to deliver fun, new colors each summer.

Do you deadhead your Columbines? I've found the blue ones, in particular, will flower all summer long, if I keep torturing them with the scissors.

Bumble on the Catmint May Night Salvia (Good catch, Kim! :-)
We're receiving more rain this year than ever before. Flowers are jumping for joy. The garden is abuzz with hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

Wild Roses
Mom's wild roses pouted for several years after transplanting. With these ideal gardening conditions, they finally agreed to put down roots and embrace their new surroundings.

Mom's Legendary Day Lilies
Truth be told I'm not a fan of Day Lilies. (Lazy one day bloomers... :) But, I guess there's a legacy aspect to gardening. The Lilies, along with the wild roses and peonies, are transplants from my Mother's garden. Her Peonies are older than me.

Salvia and Yarrow
I prefer a wilder look ~ so it feels as if you're strolling through a meadow untouched by gardener's hands. (And, we all know that meadows are filled with weeds so I can pretend like I planned it that way!)

Maltese Cross
I'm doubly nuts for hot, hot colors like this Maltese Cross.

Wine Cups
But, I guess that's the beauty of gardening, isn't it?

How every yard is a reflection of who we are and ~ through our choices ~ a lovely story to tell.

Pay a visit to Carol of May Dreams Gardens ~ creator of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. From her website, you can stroll through an astonishing number of brightly blooming blogs.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays: It's a Jungle Out Here!

Primrose and Jupiter's Beard
John Cabot Roses
Perky Sue with Spirea
Valerian and Catmint
For more Wordless Wednesday participants click here!

The Impulse Garden (as in impulse purchase: one of everything I simply had to buy.)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays: The Summer Garden

Rose Campion + Geraniums
Peonies + Salvia
Evening Primrose
Poppies + Wild Roses + Catmint
The Columbine Garden

 At long last! :)

It's beginning to feel like 'summer' in the mountains!

For more Wordless Wednesday participants click here.