Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cowgirl Camp

Here's something fun to watch on this hot, hot Saturday afternoon. This video was produced by a friend of mine. And, I'm in it! Fulfilling a lifelong dream of attending Cowgirl Camp. Can you spot me in this video? :)

You are never too old to dream a new dream. ~ CS Lewis

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Re-blooming Orchid and Super Summery Toenails!
 Would you like a flower on your big toe?

That would be lovely, I mumbled. As I slipped into a happy coma at the Tip & Toe. In their cushy leather massage chair while my tootsies were tubbed and scrubbed, polished and painted, brought back to life after a solid month of heavy duty landscaping. In sandals.

Hot Cha Cha Roses
 This is all new to me. Being pretty and stuff. On my May trip to New Mexico, my girlfriends were appalled at my broken, dirty fingernails. (Hey. I work garden for a living.) And, whisked me off to USA Nails for a complete overhaul. I loved the results. First time in years I wasn't embarrassed of my hands.

Perennial Snapdragons
 When I was back down in New Mexico last week, I tried to get a touch up but nobody had time to squeeze me in. Of course, I'll never go back there now that I've discovered the Tip & Toe. Because they've got these comfy leather chairs...

 It is hot. Miserably hot. And, dry. Blustery winds batter the garden. There's a weird yellow tint to the sky, perhaps from the wildfires burning out of control a little bit south of me. The smell of smoke fills the air.

Plus, things keep going wrong.

Which is why I decided to escape for awhile. To the bliss of a nail salon where nobody speaks English. At least, not very well.

On Monday, I lost my camera. Which is never a good thing but a huge tragedy, this time, since it contained pictures of the most remarkable petroglyphs I'd ever encountered. While horseback riding in a remote back country area somewhere in the middle of New Mexico.

On Tuesday, a friend asked for a shockingly big favor. To borrow a whole bunch o' money. Has this ever happened to you? And, how do you handle it? I said no but I've felt sad and guilty ever since.

And, then! The coup de gras. Some dirty rotten scoundrel stole my scooter. Isn't that just rude? (Salt Lake City friends, please keep an eye out for my beloved Scooty. License # A54CM Honda Metro.)

But, there is an upside to every miserable situation. It's not like anything else could go wrong since everything already has. And, the temperatures are guaranteed to cool down. I mean, winter will show up at some point, won't it?

Plus, I have Tivo. And, central air. So, I could hide out, indoors, with the a/c blasting for weeks, if I wanted need to.

Here's hoping you're all having a joyfully uncomplicated week. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

C-c-c-Crazy for Columbines

* My favorite blooming time in the garden. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Bee Team

We've heard a lot of talk about bees disappearing so I'm happy to report I have the answer to this worrisome mystery.
They're hangin' out at my place!

I've seen more bees in the garden this year than ever before. From big, hairy Bumbles to smaller wild bees, they're all earning their busy reputation among my flowers.

I'm scared of bees. 
Scared of sharks, too! 
Mostly because I'm a sucker for those chiller, thriller movies.

This year, the bees are so plentiful I've had to take a deep breath and put up with them buzzing around me in order to weed the garden.

Turns out, we have a lot in common. We both have a soft spot for flat-faced, daisy-type flowers. (They like to sit on 'em while I prefer to put them in a vase.)

They think blue, purple and yellow are about the only colors worth planting in a garden. (Me, too!)

And, we both think it's down right silly to be so manic about the Dandelions. They taste great.

The Buzz:
There are honey bees and lots of wild bees, including those hairy, scary 747s, the Bumblebees. They're all very mild-mannered, thinking that flowers taste much better than you do.

All bees are after the same stuff:
* Sweet nectar: works like a Red Bull on a road trip.
* Pollen: their version of a burger (protein) and fries (fat! yum!)

I haven't a clue why bees are disappearing and while I suppose they are pretty upset about their cell phone bills (who isn't?)
I highly doubt that cellphone signals are scaring them off.

Perhaps they're not getting enough of what they came looking for...? Most hybridized flower varieties sold in the US cannot provide a decent diet of nectar or protein. Native plants, on the other hand, are like a 5 star restaurant to bees.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Water... wiser?

It's flowering tree time! A favorite time in the gardens..
 I hear them out there, talking amongst themselves, and I’m hoping what they’re discussing is how to have this mess of a good idea, all finished up... today.

Because this whole limbo thing? Well, it's making me batty.

I'm doing this for you, trees! I'm putting in a sprinkler system.
 Gardening is a passionate hobby, but it goes further than that. I work from home, in advertising, which requires a lot of creativity. I was never very good at this when they had me cooped up in a cubicle, in a great, big ad agency. Playing in the mud? Well, that seems to stimulate the cranial appendage like nobody's business!

Honeysuckles are celebrating.
 When I get stuck, can't come up with a good idea, I sit in those gardens, pull weeds in those gardens, zone out with the simplicity of happy blooming things... and, bam! The creative idea I've been searching for magically pops into my brain.

Not being able to play with my flowers, for 7 long days, has been killing me. I can't bear to go out there until this project is done.

Cutie Pie English Daisies
This summer, I made the [painful] decision to install an automatic in-ground sprinkler system. In the dryest half of the yard.

I've always been very proud of the fact that I have beautiful gardens, without wasting a drop of water, but my second passionate hobby, horses, is eating up all the free time I used to spend schlepping sprinklers to and fro.

So, I bit that proverbial bullet. Hired a sprinkler installation crew who showed up a week ago, dug massive (heartless) trenches through my garden beds and then..... disappeared.

I twiddled my thumbs for 48 hours. Tried hard to remain calm. Gave up on that idea and began leaving angry telephone messages.

(This is soooo common in Park City, Utah. Landscapers double book themselves to make as much money as they possibly can during our too-short summers. And, clearly, I fell victim to this dilemma.)

That was so yesterday dead Daffodils, orange Geum and purple Pincushion Flowers
 Yesterday I drove over to their building and scared the office manager half out of her wits.

Got the address of the 'prioritized sprinkler project' and paid my guys a visit. Talked to them, through clenched teeth, and, Hey! Whaddyaknow! They showed up, bright and early this morning, with renewed interest in finishing the job.

Oh, yeah. The bitch is back. In all honesty? She never left...

* What do you think about sprinkler systems? Are they worth it? Here, in Utah, we receive nearly all of our annual moisture in the form of snow during winter. But, we didn't get any snow this year. I'm still on the fence as to the bennies of a sprinkler system, though it is set up so I can still be a water miser. I will say I'm pretty excited about having more free time to ride horses.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Uppa Downa Season

It froze last night. 27 degrees per the outdoor thermometer I installed so I could torture myself with hard, cold facts.

Killed a whole bunch o' my bitsy baby seedlings. Including the Tiny Tim Heirloom Tomatoes, who were shivering under a blanket. And, making short work of my latest endeavor, the Surprise! It's a Big Ass Pumpkin!

Pumpkins, plural, actually. These 300 pound bruisers were destined for great things as summer biking season rolled on.

Thanks to heaps of new home construction, my country cottage now sits on a busy thoroughfare. Cars, cyclists, dogs with and without owners, plus dedicated speed walkers in all shapes and sizes.

To be clear, I have hated this change in venue. I can't ever have a moment to myself in those street gardens. But, I came up with this grand idea to plant a curiosity out there... giant pumpkins. Who, over the course of our summer, would grow to magnificent proportions. When people strolled by, they'd see the progression, from tiny to huge. All summer long, growing bigger and bigger. So big that come Halloween we'd be carving them where they rested ~ because nobody, save for the Incredible Hulk, could hoist them into a wheelbarrow.

Wouldn't that have been the coolest thing?

Ah well, onward and upward. I've no one to blame but myself. We do not appear to be having any type of predictable seasons. Just the uppa downa routine of extreme weather patterns. Two days ago, I was tugging at my weeds and melting from the heat. Now the furnace is blasting away.

I think the hardest part of this new normal is how dramatically the times of our growing season (if you can call it that) have changed. Toasty warm in November. Flowers blooming. Blasts of winter in June. RIP Pumpkins.

Is it just me? Or, is this summer totally messed up? 


* Feel like planting a show stopper? Pick up some Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin seeds. In order to grow them in the mountains, start them indoors 60 days prior to planting. These big dudes need a long growing season, in order to strut their stuff.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Monday's Walk in the Garden

Bearded Iris
Dainty Bleeding Hearts
First Geum Blossoms
Mom's Wild Roses
Fragrant Lilacs
Sweet Honeysuckles
Plus one very happy little hummingbird. )
I'm too worn out from weeding to have much to say. But, the joint is looking so pretty I just had to show it off! Happy Monday.