Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gardening on a Larger Scale

Design - "Shabby Chick"
Designer - Meme's Quilts
Fabric - 32 count R & R 18th Century Brown
Fibers - DMC
Started - 23 May 2011 
Completed - 27 May 2011

Every once in a while, I find an older chart that I think has stood the test of time.  Such is the case with "Shabby Chick".  I know that back-stitching is no longer in vogue, but it does make the design "pop"! 

It's time for the Tuesday Garden Party so I'm going to share some photos of the farms in the Willamette Valley.  It can be said that farming is gardening on a LARGE scale.  

Monday was an overcast day - the clouds draped the Coburg Hills. 

I love the architecture of farm buildings - especially barns. 

Round silos and rectangular barns.

A vineyard near Salem, OR

A blurry picture of world famous Schreiner's Iris Gardens.
My photo does not begin to do it justice.  Check out the link above.

Saddleback Ridge in the Coburg Hills. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Peonies, lilies, snowball bush, and lilacs...

Daisies and delphiniums...

Iris, tulips, more lilies, lilacs, and peonies...

Charles H. Cookson 1897-1976
World War I Veteran

I hope you take a moment to remember loved ones this Memorial Day .

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday at the Market

How does a Sausage and Onion Hash with Field Fresh Egg and Polenta Toast sound?  I thought it sounded wonderful...and warm.  So that's what I had for breakfast at the Market.

Another cold and gray day - 50F this morning - but no rain while we ate and shopped. 

With this one of the coldest springs in memory, my Contrarian Sister was inspired to buy a couple of Peppers and a Sweet Potato plant.

Lots of fresh wonderful smelling Basil...

And Carrots and Beets...

And Broccoli Florets...

And all kinds of vegetable starts too.
I bought two lovely bouquets for Memorial Weekend.  
I'll share photos of the flowers on Monday. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Birds Birds Birds and Yet More Birds

All that's left with "Shabby Chick" is the back stitching, and that ought to go along quickly. 
The weather this weekend is supposed to be mostly gray and rainy...not great gardening weather, but good stitching weather.  I hope to make it to the Farmers' Market later this morning - I need to purchase a couple of bouquets for Memorial Weekend.  I will go to local cemeteries with my sister, mother, and aunts on Sunday afternoon.  That is, after all, what this weekend is all about - not grilling on the barbecue!     

What do you see?

Darned sunflower-eating birds!  Everywhere!

A House Finch...

A Goldfinch

A Black Headed Grosbeak

A Steller's Jay

Evening Grosbeaks
We only have four pairs thus far - far fewer than we usually have.  I'm hoping yet more will show up as the month ends. 

California Quail

Thank goodness for the Barn Swallows!
They do not eat sunflower seeds!

Nor does the Rufous Hummingbird.

Friday, May 27, 2011

An Extravagance of Larkspur

Here's the latest on "Cluck Cluck".

About a mile west of our house my Mother spied...

(The big fat leaves belong to Mules' Ears - they'll bloom in mid-June.)

Along a rundown fence in an open west-facing meadow, she found a large patch of Larkspur.

They resemble mini-delphiniums.

These are a strong royal purple with a much lighter eye.

Wildflowers are an unexpected delight! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's An Amethyst, Blue-Violet, Lavender, Lilac, Mauve, Periwinkle, Violet Day

I worked on "Shabby Chick" last night.  I got the branch finished, and made a good start on the "Chick".  As this is an older chart, there is quite a bit of back stitching to do as well.

I'm going to subject you to entertain you with further Iris tenax photos...
If you stay with the program there is a surprise at the end!

Amazing profusion and array of shades...

Mother Nature is a Master Gardener!
Here's the surprise...
Look closely...

A small clump of pure white iris amongst all the lavender!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Wildflower Walk

It's beginning to look alot (okay, a little) like a chicken!

"Cluck Cluck", says the hen.  I've discovered that one of the two hearts on the upper right corner should be orange, not yellow, so I have some frogging ahead of me.  Mistakes like that keep me very humble!     

Tuesday was an exceptionally lovely day.  Here are some photos from my early evening walk. 

I've been waiting and waiting, finally the Larkspur are blooming.  We have maybe a dozen small Larkspur plants - Menzies' Larkspur (Coastal Larkspur) - Delphinium menziesii.  As a teaser, I should say that we've found an amazing patch of Larkspur about a mile away - I'll post photos of the azure marvel later in the week.

Yes, I know, Blackberries - technically not a wildflower - technically it is an "invasive"!  We have about three different kinds on the property.  This is the Trailing Blackberry - (Pacific Blackberry) - Rubus ursinus.  It is evergreen and low growing - cavorting and twisting along the ground.  

Another wildflower, I've been impatiently waiting for!  Cat's Ears - Calochortus elegans. I think this is the sweetest of wildflowers and so well named!  It grows on an innocuous blade of grass-like stem, and is easily overlooked until it comes into bloom.   

I like Cat's Ears so much, I am posting two photos!

When ever I see American Vetch - Vicia americana I am reminded of my pony, Shadow.  She loved to munch on Vetch.  This pea-like plant twists and climbs on grasses and other small plants and trees. 

Sorry, I could not resist - the Blue Iris - Iris tenax  are still in bloom after all!

In the ditches along our driveway, I found some Swamp Buttercups - Ranunculus orthorhynchus.  

The bloom of the Cow Parsnip - Heracleum maximum is quite pretty.  In the late summer my brother and I used to cut down the tall hollow stems of the Cow Parsnip.  They made pretty good, strong swords and we would whack away at the forest and each other.  My Mom could usually tell what we'd been up to, as Cow Parsnip has a very strong odor that permeated us and our clothing. 

Last, but not least, dotted in the meadows are the Mallows. Common Mallow is also called Cheeseweed or Buttonweed - Malva neglecta.  It is a quiet pink plant about 8"-12" - it was introduced from Europe and has spread from coast to coast.
I hope you are able to get outside (it's pouring rain here) and enjoy the day!