Saturday, July 6, 2013

Perennial Border in July

I know, I know; it's been a month since I was here.  A lot has happened since then.  We were so busy getting ready for the Enumclaw Garden tour that there was little time for self indulgence.  They sold over 700 tickets.  Crazy day that was!
If you have seen the blog before you know what the border looked like in early spring.  Silly me!  I thought it was pretty THEN.  This is it today.  Something new opens every day.  Truth be told, I will be doing some serious thinning in the fall.  For now?  over the top is just fine.
Ross is working like a mad man on the monument for the college.  It's in the clay stage right now.  I'll see if he's okay with me posting images.   It seems the college has plans for a lot of publicity so it may be hush, hush for now. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

An Excuse for Art

Believe it or not, I have been IN the garden.  Yesterday was rain, break, rain, break, RAIN, no break.  We just trudged on.  I must admit, some of it was selfish on my part.  My husband was home and I really wanted to take advantage of his help.  He ran the chipper shredder while I hoed, weeded, trimmed and cleaned the ponds (yuk!).  It's amazing how a very large pile of debris can shred into such a little, tiny usable mound.  However, when there has been time I've been in the studio stacking glass and ceramics.  It has become an all consuming urge.  There isn't a Goodwill within 30 miles that I haven't visited.  The big (BIG) question is "how good are today's adhesives?"  Time will tell.  Some of the tauted ones have too much flex for the mid section. There have been some casualties.  Learning curve.  You also have to ask yourself when do you have too many.  Clusters may be the answer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Forgive me if you see this twice.  I just finished writing about it but everything disappeared.  I think I'm starting over...
This is a coupling we planted last fall.  You never know how things will come up.  Correction:  WE never know.  I have friends who would plant with abundant confidence.  In any event, this seems quite pleasing.
No gardening today.  The weather is pretty stormy and unusually cold.  Fun day in the studio but now I have to go try and get super glue off my hands.

Monday, May 20, 2013

New border

This is our new perennial border.  Things are just beginning to open.  Next year we will be pre-emptive and add some supports before things grow.  There's a lovely duo of poppy and delphenium that will be a collapsed blob once we have rain.  "The man" on TV says that's tomorrow.  I tried a wire cage today but I think I made it too short.  After wrestling it into  place it is unlikely it's coming back out.
We had 40 people here Saturday and another 20 or so on Sunday.  The first group were all here for a sculpture bronze pour.  The second group were photographers.  It was odd to be in the garden with folks that weren't interested in discussing plants and/or plantings.  To think, I was once one of them.  Oh how things change.

Friday, May 10, 2013

some art...

Now for some of the art side.  This is the view from the #1 tee box at the Enumclaw golf course.  I have since made some modifications so you may have to see it again.  It's about 20x30".  We were there one sunny morning about 6:45AM and the view was like magic.  Can't say the same for my golf.  That's why we go so early.  Bad golfers (me) slow down the golfers behind them.  Didn't matter that day.  I was thrilled that this captured what we saw.
Today started with assembling of a crazy cake I'm attempting.  Once Ross falls out of bed we're going to attack the course again, then a visit to a new gallery in town that opens tomorrow followed by time in the garden...again.  It's endless.  That said, it is really quite beautiful this time of year.  Once Ross has time to edge I'll start posting images.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Garden Equipment

Equipment!  the bane of a gardener's existence.  With a map of the day you strike out with monumental plans.  What's that?  the weed eater won't start?  That's okay.  You own TWO.  Ahhh, the old one starts right up....and runs for about 10 minutes then, with no warning just murmurs down to nothing.  At the exact same moment your spouse is standing behind you with the other gas tool, the one that was working perfectly fine 15 minutes ago, and it won't start.  You realize how wonderful tools are that depend on nothing more than your body movement and willingness to use them.  Shovels, rakes, hoes; they all fall into that category.  Unfortunately there isn't enough time in one summer to attend to all the maintenance if you resort to that (like your old body would hold up!).  What to do?!?  Right!  remove one glove, throw it to the ground, utter some juvenile expletive and begin the daunting task of figuring out the proper offering to the Tool God to make them work again.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Monument

He came through!  This is the model for the Veteran's Monument.  The center basalt stone is 4 feet high and about 30 inches across so that gives you some idea of the scale.  Ross keeps saying "they are size 24 boots".  Not.  They are approximately 24" soles I believe.  Each facet of the stone will have a branch of the service sandblasted on it.  There will also be some little surprises but I'm not going to tell you what they are just yet.  The photos will reveal them as the project moves forward.

Creek Side

There was no post yesterday.  Not because I forgot, got lazy or anything else under my control.  I was waiting for Ross to send images of the model for the Veteran's Memorial so it could be included.  He not only did not send them he didn't bring the college laptop home.  There you have it.  Blame transferred.  Like I said:  not under my control, aka Ross Brown.
The Pacific Northwest is such an interesting environment for gardening.  Yesterday was April 29th on our calendar and it burst into frozen white pellets on more than one occasion.  This morning at 5AM it was snowing.  Seriously! how can anyone plan?  While I was visiting with insomnia last night planting tomatoes SOON seemecd reasonable.  After all, its been a realatively mild spring...what's that sound?!?!? oh; Mother Nature laughing.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

So it was beautiful in Enumclaw, Washington Monday-Friday last week and I worked my tail off in the garden.  Saturday comes and my husband is on board to throw in a helping hand.  A couple of hours into it the rain starts.  What's with that?  The focus was on the area that is reserved for vegetable planting.  Folks around here don't usually risk that until around Memorial Day.  However, we are having a particularly warm (as in no freezing)  spring.  I'd like a chance to take a risk but unless we get it cleaned that won't happen.
There's a real challenge with a horsetail infestation.  I've been told the only hope (and it's slim) is to snip each one off at the ground with the intention of doing it over and over until they give up.  They conduct themselves like Catholic rabbits so that is a bit daunting, not to mention hard on the back.  Time will tell.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Special Vision, a Special Man

There really should be a different image accompanying this post.  I just don't have one yet.  Yesterday we spent the better part of the day at the stone yard making arrangements for the primary basalt pieces to be used in the Veteran's Memorial at Bellevue College that Ross has undertaken.  It's been quite the experience watching this evolve.  Ross was originally approached by a veteran that works on campus with the idea of a memorial.  He knew of Ross and felt strongly that he was the one person who could get it done.  After a slug of introductions and even more meetings approval has been given, a site procured and money allocated.  Ross is not a vet himself but he's one of those special individuals that gives deep thought and contemplation to things he feels are important.  He is very emotionally attached to this project.  There is a model in his studio that gives the overall feel.  I will certainly get images of that for a later update.  This memorial is so unlike Ross' art work.  That makes it even more surprising the zeal with which he is going into it.
Oh! if you are curious about the above image, the "X" piece was the primary piece when Ross showed at OK Harris in NY city.  It is sandblasted marbel and fabricated aluminum along with computer components.  The large sand area with mammoth terrazzo balls is Ross crazy.

Friday, April 26, 2013

It occurred to me yesterday as I was "putting in my time" that readers might get the wrong idea and think I know something about gardening.  Time to get that out of the way.  I can mow, I can weed and I dig a mean hole.  It doesn't go much further than that.  I rely heavily on friends with legitimate skills.  Gardeners are a generous lot.  They are more than glad to share what they know.  Sometimes they speak in a foreign language but that's okay!  It narrows down how much I have to retain.
Do you think it's a sign of fatigue when your eyes spy a dandelion, your trowel darts under a foxglove and it flies our before your screaming brain can stop it?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This is one of two side by side Monoliths that Ross build and are installed on the hillside behind that wall posted yesterday.  The second fellow is headless as of now so he didn't make the shot.  He has a's just sitting on the ground next to him.  They are probably about 9' tall with cast bronze heads and cast terrazzo bodies.  I'll post again when they are complete and in all their glory.
Now! about yesterday's time in the garden. Close your eyes.  Imagine RED.  Just the color.  That was my knee caps when I went in to bathe.  It hurt to shave over them!  That might suggest a bit too much time kneeling down, weeding.  What, might you ask, is in store today.  Yep.  More weeding.  With a little luck 4 more days should finish the back.  Then there's the vegetable garden and the front.  Living in a warehouse before this was so easy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

in the beginning.....

Well! this is the first day of our new blog site.  My painting site has been up and running for several years but it seemed like we had more we wanted to share than just what comes out of my studio.  There is art all through our garden thanks to my husband, Ross Brown, and several artist friends that have had their work here for a while.  Couple that with the myriad of adventures offered up by playing in the garden itself and there feels like ample to share.  We didn't set out to have a "garden".  We just wanted a place to put in a foundry for Ross' work.  Once we started digging holes and ripping up sod it took on a life of its own.  Since neither of us is known for self control (or looking before we leap) it quickly began to spiral out of control.  In recent years we have begun to entertain visits from garden groups wanting to "tour".  Since it's just the two of us it seemed a bit selfish to say no.  Mother Nature has done wondrous things on our little plot of ground.  People should come to see it.  As those of you I call friends know I'm also a bit of a foodie so we are now offering to provide meals to the tour groups.  It affords opportunity to cook wonderful things and not indulge to the point of bulbous bliss.
Down to business!  I'm going to try to post often with pictures to chronicle the art we do coupled with the blunders that pseudo gardeners make.  There are lots of them!  5 acres makes for many chances.
The picture here is a concrete wall that Ross constructed last year.  The light gray in the forground is part of our driveway.  We needed to enlarge the area you see because some of our friends were having difficulty getting their RVs out of the back 40 after parties.  Yes....some stay over.  Our parties are not for wimps.  The morning after our niece's wedding we counted about 40.  Tents and motor homes abounded.
Off to weed.  We have a public tour (fund raiser for the local healthcare van) and a private group all coming in June.  Oh! and we just filmed a small segment for an Art in the Garden episode of a new TV garden show, DigIn.  Sunday mornings, channel 10 at 7:30.  Sorry.  Seattle area only.