A View of My Garden in a Mirror 2010

Friday, January 21, 2011

#8 of 10 Things I Love in No Particular Order


There was a bit of a delay since my last post. I was side tracked looking at photo's from past vacations. I found it very hard to narrow it down to just a few. With the digital age of photography we no longer have to worry about developing film so we just keep clicking away! I am not sure if this is a bad thing or a good thing. Sometimes its overwhelming having so many pictures! But it is fun to have all the memories of great times.

Anyway.....back to traveling...

Who doesn't love to travel? Of course it is not always easy to get away when there are other priorities, like work, gardening, etc. But I love it when we have the opportunity. I definitely gain inspiration from gardens and architecture in far away places. Well, sort of far. Mexico is about the longest journey and also our favorite place to travel. Here are some highlights.

I love this!
I want to do this some day in part of my back yard. 
What a great idea. And it doesn't look terribly difficult. 
Famous last words. 

 Look at this one real close. Can you guess what this is on the left? It looks like a fountain right? Nope! It's a urinal in the Men's restroom at a restaurant outside of Puerta Vallarta, Mexico! At least I hope so since my husband has been peeing in it every time we go there. And no, I didn't take this picture. He tried to get me to go in and look at it and when I refused he took a picture so I could see it. What a guy! I won't be stealing this decorating idea but if I did for some reason have to put a urinal in my house I would make it look like a fountain too!  
It is so much better than white porcelain!

This is a little village at the end of the bus route going south from Puerta Vallarta. It is rustic but absolutely beautiful. It is called Boca de Tamatlan.

 This one is for Grace and her tarp of the month club. 
They even have tarps in the middle of paradise!  
This is the same palapa that you can see in the picture above. 
Of course when you are in the palapa you have no idea there is a tarp on the roof and you don't care!

And this is one of the reasons we love to go to this little town. There are dogs roaming the streets that are oh so grateful when you give them a little food. This poor dog name Sorr'e had an infected ear a few months before so we returned to see how she was doing. Luckily a Veterinarian from PV had visited the street dogs and gave her antibiotics so she was fine by the time we returned. She even let me scratch her behind the ears! She was a sweetie.

 This unique hairless dog was named Elephante'.  I can see why!

Look at those feet! Isn't that cute??

We love to try interesting places to eat when we are vacationing. The majority of the time it is not this upscale. But while I am sitting at the table drooling and waiting to eat Keith is snapping pictures of the presentation. 
It looks almost too good to eat! I hope the cook used some kind of utensil to make that "swoosh". It almost looks like a finger. Eewwww! I ate it anyway!

Here I am again, sitting there waiting to eat again while Keith is taking a picture of the beautiful presentation! This one really is too pretty to eat!
After we get home I feel inspired and may try to put a little presentation into our meals. Of course it doesn't last long and I usually go back to slopping it on the plate again. Maybe I should just get some colorful decorative plates instead?

 This just cracked me up! It is good they have power since a lot of places in the world don't even have electricity. But I would hate to be the one to have to figure this out if there was a problem! Eeek!

This made me snicker. Someone has a sense of humor! 

 The vegetation in Mexico is absolutely gorgeous!

The bougainvillea grows wild like a weed here. I am so jealous! Every spring I give in and buy another bougainvillea and fantasize that it will grow up and over our patio. It is just a fantasy and as soon as the temperature goes below 40 degrees. Ffffffft, another dead plant. You would think I would learn but I can't seem to give up on that fantasy! One year I tried bringing it inside the house to winter over. The shock was too much for it and it never recovered. 
I confess that I will probably buy another one in the spring so I can keep up the fantasy!

 More amazing vegetation colors.

 It is so unusual and beautiful it looks plastic! But it's real!

I love this pony tail palm in a simple pot on top of a log.

I love the vibrant colors. They add so much.

 The next time I see an old chiminea at a garage sale I'm going to buy it, paint it a bright color and stick a plant in it! I love this!

Agave! The plant that turns into tequila! We visited a tequila factory for a tour. The word "factory" is a stretch. It conjures up the image of a big manufacturing plant with nasty smoke coming out the top. But this was definitely a different image. It was a quaint brick building out in the middle of the countryside. And this perky tour guide showed us how tequila was made from agave. I admit, I thought the whole process of sticking the agave plant in the ground and waiting for it to ferment was a bit, well, icky! But I guess if you drink enough tequila you really don't care! I am not a tequila drinker but I did try a sip of the chocolate tequila and it was yummy!

The ambiance in the restaurants are just wonderful. If you want to get away and forget everything this is the place to be!

I love the festive colors.

OK, the waiter was cute but it was his guacamole that I was eyeballing!
I really wasn't on this vacation alone. 
Keith is just the one who is always taking the pictures.

If anyone knows what this cute little animal is let me know. 
It ventured inside the restaurant and we gave it table scraps. 
Hey, kind of like home except it is usually a dog.

Here is a picture of Keith so I can prove I wasn't alone!

And what is one of the greatest things about vacationing? 
Enjoying the amazing sunsets! 
Here are a few.



The very last sunset of our trip.
This is from the window of our airplane on the way home.
Keith took this shot while I was napping. 
I'm glad he woke me up to see it. 
What a perfect end to a great vacation.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#7 of 10 Things I Love in No Particular Order


You are probably thinking, well duh! This used to be a gardening blog after all. She must love gardening. And I do love gardening! These are things I love most about gardening:

Gardening is like "infinite decorating". I love interior decorating but one can only re-arrange and re-vamp a room so often without becoming obnoxious to those around you. Everyone wants to have their "spot" to relax and if you keep moving it around they get a little cranky! Gardening on the other hand is different. If you don't like where a plant is sitting, yank it up and plop it in the ground somewhere else! My favorite thing to do lately is re-vamping different areas in our yard so they are lower maintenance which gives me time for other things like enjoying the garden!

I re-vamped this area last year. Before this all the plants seemed to dry up in the hot sun. So why fight it? I added a dry bed and plants that don't require much water. Now I just ignore it and it's still happy.

 Another view of the dry bed re-vamp. 
These rocks were much cheaper than a new couch!

Gardening is full of surprises.  Sometimes that can be a good thing, sometimes it's not good or bad, just interesting.

Believe it or not this green flower is an Amaranth "Love Lies Bleeding". I grew it from a seed packet that has a red flower. It never turned red, it stayed green just like you see. Surprise!  

I planted this hardy hibiscus seven years ago and the blooms are the size of dinner plates. They are like this every year but when they actually bloom and I see them again it always surprises me how big they really are! I love them!

If you look close you can see a dragon fly trying to blend into this rock. Surprise!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

#6 of 10 Things I Love in No Particular Order


I love to read a good book. Fiction and non-fiction. I don't have time to read as much as I would like to but when I do here are some of the books I enjoyed.

 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson,
followed by the other two books in the series.
A thriller and a half, I couldn't put them down. 

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
An amazing story of several characters in India.
The characters could all be considered "misfits" and 
they are together out of poverty and end up creating
their own little family. It will make you 
appreciate your own life.

The Intimate Garden by Brian D. Coleman
This is probably more of a coffee table type book, 
but the pictures and ideas are wonderful.
Check out one of the houses featured in the book, 
the garden is jaw dropping beautiful.

 The Ultimate Plant Book, by Kate Bryant and Tony Rodd
This book is about 4 inches thick and has detailed information about every plant or tree you can imagine. It also has great pictures! 
I use mine so much it is starting to wear out. 
One of the best impulse buys I have ever made at Costco.

Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design
By Nancy J. Ondra (author) and Saxton Holt (photographer)
I found this book in the gift shop at the Oregon Garden.
Many plant books are limited on the information for grasses
and this fills in the blanks of my gardening book collection
Great pictures and great detail of common and exotic types of grasses.

For The Love Of A Dog by Patricia McConnell
This is non-fiction by a wonderful animal behavioralist.
Keith and I were lucky to be able to attend one of her seminars 
when she was in our area. We have read many of her books she 
opens up a whole new perspective on dog behavior.

  The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein
This book is written from the perspective of the dog. 
You will laugh, cry and never forget it.

Stress Less, by Thea Singer
I am only 3/4 of the way through this book but I think it is worth mentioning. I read a review in the newspaper about it and asked Santa to give it to me for Christmas and he did! It is much more about science and research and the damage that chronic stress does to our bodies and to the very core of our DNA rather than how to go about reducing stress. It will scare you into exercising, eating right and de-stressing! Now I'm stressed! Eeek! The good news is it may not be too late to reverse some of the damage of stress. A very interesting read.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

#5 of 10 Things I Love in No Particular Order


I recently cleared out our guest room and made it into a craft room. I don't call what I do art because I don't think my work is quite on the level of an "artist" so I will call it crafts for now. I don't sell anything, I just make things for myself and sometimes for friends and family. If I did sell my crafts I am afraid after expenses it would probably net at about $2 an hour and take the joy out of the creative process. I know it's just for so me so who cares if I try a new technique and it doesn't work or if the glue doesn't hold and it falls over. I just start over or glue it back together and move on. Here are a few items I have enjoyed making.

Happy New Year!

 I have glued this piece together 3 times! 
I found this jar at an antique store and thought it would make a good lamp.
So I decided to cover it was glass mosaic and light it up.

A mosaic sun on a very big pot

Now here is some REAL art. We call this SHEET ART by Miss Peaches. When we first brought Peaches home we confined her to a crate in the garage when we had to leave the house. We put a sheet over the crate to keep it dark and calm. When we came home each time she had created a new art project with the sheet. So we called it SHEET ART and took a picture. I know, it's kind of stupid, but it amused us!

 Take a bow!