Monday, May 2, 2016

this and that


The sun finally came out today after an entire week of nothing but gray skies, rain showers, and temps only in the 40's. What a difference the sun makes for one's energy and attitude! I got a lot accomplished today, both inside and out.

The latest new blooms in my yard are these tiny beauties on top of the dead nettle ground cover. 

 Since the sun was out today, I was able to get some more planting done. I saved this hanging planter from last year and filled it with pansies.

 Several varieties of coleus and gerbera daisies went into this large container - which was moved into the garage tonight. Nights are still cold here!

And, I planted two containers of lettuces.

One area I want to work on improving this year is the north side of the house. See the shady area against the side of the house? We had bushes planted there and they died a couple of years ago. I'm assuming because this area doesn't get a lot of sun. I have to do some reading and research for what would do well in this area and perhaps ask for some suggestions from the experts at the garden center. 

The window you see in the photo is our bedroom window. Our view from that window is our neighbor's ugly fence. I remember Brenda from Cozy Little House saying that you should always have a pretty view out your windows. And, if you don't have a pretty view, then try to do something about it. I think I will dig up the bamboo (which I didn't know was invasive) in the butterfly garden and put in a big pot and then flank that with pots of tomatoes.
Later edit: You might notice that my lawn has dandelions. It also has wild violets and Creeping Charlie. That's because we don't use chemicals on our lawn or on any of our plants. It's not worth the health risks to ourselves, our pets or wildlife to have a weed-free lawn. Not to mention that we also have a private well, so any chemicals put on our lawn would leach down into the ground and into our well water. That's the water we drink and bathe in. No, thank you.

On Saturday when it was pouring rain and we were running errands, we ducked into one of my favorite antique shops. I couldn't resist this curved ceramic Siamese cat. It's marked on the back: @Mann. I can't find anything online about it. Anyone?

I also found this blue Red Wing piece to add to my vintage pottery collection. I told hubby that I blame Claudia for my newest obsession. ;-) I never really noticed vintage pottery or appreciated it until I started seeing photos and reading about it on Claudia's blog. Oh well, hubby is probably glad I'm not collecting birds anymore. Or owls. Or cloches. My interests come and go over the years.

Thanks for your visit ~ have a lovely week!


  1. I know you will like eating homegrown lettuce. My husband has been growing some and he's planted even more.
    I'm not a cat person but I appreciate your newest one, I've never seen one like it. Who knows, maybe it's by a famous artist and worth a million. We can hope!

  2. Melanie- you garden looks beautiful. I have issues with shade gardening and you would think that would be the easiest. I look forward to hearing your research.Happy Gardening!

  3. That Iris is so beautiful and your potted flowers are pretty. I can't wait until my Iris bloom! Nancy

  4. The sun makes a big difference. Sadly, we are without it lately...rainy, cold and gloomy. I like your flowery view a lot better! :-)

  5. Your plants all look good Melanie! Amazing how once you start liking pieces, they just pop up everywhere, don't they?


  6. I have a shady area along a fence in our backyard. It's a big area and one that is visible from the back porch where we spend a lot of time. I need to come up with a better plan, because some of the shrubs I planted aren't taking. I'm think hostas for a portion of it.

  7. Claudia is responsible for my growing love of pottery also!! I have always liked it, but now I'm really obsessed! Pretty yard also! Oh and that cat piece is really pretty! Cool find!

  8. I enjoyed seeing your plants and new antique finds, Melanie. You have a really good eye for putting together nice planter arrangements. I think your plan for the fence near your bedroom sounds nice. I'm sure it will improve your view a lot. I hope you're having a good week so far!

  9. It looks a heck of a lot greener in your neck of the woods than mine, that's for sure!! And something has been eating my pansies....little punks! Do you get enough sun on the fence for a climbing vine?

  10. You have flowers!!!! We don't yet! How wonderful that Spring has finally come for you. Good luck with your fencing. I do like how a fence can define an area.
    I am wondering if the cat was one made in a ceramic 'workshop' where each person marked their piece to know which was which after firing? The cat is cute no matter who made it. xo Diana

  11. Your garden looks as though it is coming along well. I like your new cat!

  12. I like the privacy fencing. You just need something pretty growing along it.

    No chemicals here either. Although, I'm going to have to put some slug bait in two pots with angel trumpets growing in them ans something is eating up the leaves.

    Nicely planted containers.

    Great vintage pottery.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  13. I wish I had a yard full of dandelions that were not poisoned with chemicals. I would put the leaves in my morning green juice. xo Laura

  14. Oh, Melanie, that purple-blue pansy is just gorgeous. I am with you on the organic lawns. I love the Creeping Charlie and dandelions anyway. I will never understand why people spray their world with pesticides and herbicides. There are so many things sprayed with this stuff and we don't know about it. I just read an article about those pretty and bright flowers in the grocery stores. Awful dangerous and then we bring them home and bury our faces in them. To say nothing of the women in Columbia who work with them every day without masks. I'm so glad that your voice is calling out in the desert! Thank you.

  15. We get rid of dandelions the old fashioned way..dig them up! Love you pottery, hollies do well in shade I have two on the northeast side of my house. How about growing ivy up the fence using fishing line and small nail sand create the pattern you like. Your new cat is cute!

  16. Same here with the dandelions and what is nice is that most of the neighborhood is the same...I see very little treated lawns in that respect.

  17. Hey!! I like that fence!! Smile. Anything is better than chain link! And plastic, although durable, is not on my list of faves. I have a few trellises along my back fence and I grow clematis and honeysuckle. Its very pretty.

    I've noticed a lot of lawns have dandelions this spring. All the rain? The mild winter? I totally agree with your views on pesticides...I use organic fertilizer and pull weeds but the only thing I play hardball with is grubs. They ate our entire lawn a few years ago and it took two years to reestablish it again. A lot of time and money.

    Have you ever considered the Brita water pitcher? It's not expensive, you fill it with tap water and it has a built in filter. I love it. I don't like to think of how old our pipes are!

    Thanks for your concern on the skin issues and meds. What a battle. Like you, I do my research and I did have some luck with natural soaps and creams as well as anti-inflammatory foods. In spite of the side effects of this auto immune treatment plan, I have a ll the respect in the world for my doctor. FINALLY someone who cares about people with severe eczema. He could be living on easy street if he chose to treat acne patients with his prescription pad or charge thousands of dollars for Botox or fillers. I could go on and on about him, a Harvard Medical School grad, international speaker, author of many papers and two textbooks, winner of numerous awards in his field. He's truly a pioneer. I saw him Monday and we were going to cut the meds by half. Then I told him I did that for a week when we went Canada, I didn't want to be sick and unable to leave the hotel room. Well, I broke out a bit. So that was my 'trial'. 8 more weeks.

    So...let's talk about your visit! June maybe?


  18. Melanie, I know the Claudia you are speaking about. Mockingbird hill?? She has an amazing collection. I see some of your followers are my favorites too. Blessings, xoxo, Susie
    p.s I love the cat on the shelf.

  19. Have you ever thought about buying a metal trellis, the kind you basically just stick in the ground, and put it against the fence right outside that window? Then plant morning glories or a clematis to climb up it, so you have something to look at! You'd only need a tiny patch of bare earth there to make it work. Just a thought!

  20. My sister Claudia does have quite the collection of beautiful pottery, she makes me want to collect it to!


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