I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order to make something grow; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark. Through gardening, we feel whole as we make our personal work of art upon our land.
~ Julie Moir Messervy, The Inward Garden
I am betting that yesterday’s Silent Sunday post was a little confusing. I thought it might be when I posted it, especially if you haven’t been around for all of the renovations we’ve been doing here on the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. It has been slow, but sure, work. (If you’re new here and curious, you can read my first post about the house here.) This weekend M and I got a start on the guest bath which we often refer to as the Duck Dynasty bathroom due to all the ducks used in decorating it. Unfortunately, we had already started on the room before I thought to take a few photos so you’re missing out on some of the ducks (such as the duck towel holders).
You can’t tell from the pictures, but no amount of scrubbing has done much to make this bathroom look clean. It was pretty disgusting when we bought the place. For example, after I cleaned the toilet seat, M said (in shocked tones) that he didn’t realize it was supposed to be white. Yeah, I know. Makes me shudder, too.
It is not a large bathroom, but it’s not tiny, either. There is a lack of storage because the hot water heater is taking up most of the closet space. There is no tub, just a shower that’s fairly large with a bench to sit on. It is one of those fitted surrounds made so that one can easily step into it. I would love to tile it eventually, but suspect that won’t happen since what is currently there is functional, we were able to clean it up, and we still have a lot of other renovations to do.
Yesterday morning I steamed off the wallpaper (which is what you saw in yesterday’s Silent Sunday photo). I am becoming an expert at removing wallpaper and wallpaper borders. I am also almost finished with wallpaper removal, hopefully for the rest of my life. The foyer of the house will be my last wallpaper removal project. There is a border in the master bedroom, but we have decided to work around it since neither M nor I find it objectionable.
To be honest, the ducks in the bathroom weren’t so bad, but cleaning them up was impossible so they had to go. The colors were all wrong, too, since I’ve been going with a cool color palette.
I have also spent a little time in the scrounger’s garden this weekend, and since some of you are curious, I took a few photos along the way.
This is my first flower garden. This is also the first time I have put a lot of time and effort into gardening if you don’t count the asparagus bed I established in Ohio years ago. I don’t count it because it was easy, and once I learned that the asparagus couldn’t care less about the weeds, it didn’t require much maintenance.
I tried to find a few good “before” pictures. What you really can’t see in the above photograph is the mess of mint and multi-flora roses that were growing out there. There was an old truck bed full of trash (and snakes) sitting in the midst of it all, and the usual assortment of trash scattered around in the weeds and filling up the greenhouse.
There was no path, and if there had been organization, I had a difficult time finding it.
As you can see, a lot of work has been done out there in the past two years.
For those wondering, the reason I call it the scrounger’s garden is because most of the items (and some of the plants) have been scrounged up from around here. I have been wanting to establish a scrounger’s garden of some sort ever since I visited the scrounger’s garden at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. (Lest you get confused, that link takes you to my old blog, Life in the Bogs.)
I am a disorganized gardener. All of my plans are in my head. I tried drawing out what I had in mind, but I am not much of a sketch artist (or painter, for that matter, as you can tell from the sieve I painted). Hopefully things will come together as I envision them, but if they don’t, that’s okay, too.
There are fairies and gnomes in the scrounger’s garden. There are also butterflies, bees, and toads. Yesterday I was buzzed by a hummingbird (who whispered a reminder to put up the hummingbird feeder), and saw a baby praying mantis. There is also a mockingbird who stops by occasionally. Birdsong and chatter float out from the woods behind the garden, and I often hear the Green Herons squawking near the pond.
I am thinking about building a bottle tree to accommodate the deer fly traps. To make a deer fly trap, paint a bottle blue, spray it with sticky stuff, and then attach it to something taller than you. Deer flies are attracted to the color blue and usually go for the head so if you carry it higher than your head, it is likely they will land on it (where they are trapped and die). The traps work and cut down on our fly population.
I have plans to expand the garden, starting with a few more beds. Do you see the tall grasses over to the left in the above photo? That’s where the irises are currently located. There are three beds of them, one under the pergola. That will be my fall project. In the meantime, I have a pile of pots and pans I want to paint and stick in the ground, and I have plates and cups we found in the trailer to use as edging for the new beds once I get those dug up. I also have a pile of rocks and stepping stones to place.
If you stand on the path, you’ll catch the scent of chocolate from the cocoa mulch. Mint keeps pushing its way up along the pathway so if you happen to step on that, it changes to chocolate-mint. Or mint-chocolate. The pink roses in the background also lend their perfume to the scents in the garden. I noticed yesterday that the sage, rosemary, and lavender are doing really well. I will have blooms on the lavender this year.
Maurice and Margaret, the scrounger’s garden rabbits, have been munching on my zinnias so I put up a small fence that is not going to keep them out if they are determined, but I’m hoping they aren’t determined since there are plenty of other things for them to eat. Clover, which they seem to love, grows like crazy in that area and I leave a patch unmowed just for them. Last year I planted chili peppers and that kept them out. If the fencing doesn’t deter Maurice and Margaret, I’ll plant some peppers.
Well, this has been a LONG post. Sorry about that. The next few posts should be short as I will be taking up the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. If I work up the nerve to do it, I’m going to try something different and delve into short (very short!) fiction for my stories. I’ve always said I’m not good at fiction because I don’t think I have the imagination for it, but realized the other day that my mind tells me stories all the time. Why not channel that talent in a creative way?
Thank you so much for dropping in and visiting the garden (and the loo) with me.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂