Thursday, April 30, 2015

Random Photos of Things that Make Me Happy

I almost always have some device on hand that can snap a quick photo, and I take a LOT of photos.  It's a rare day when I haven't snapped at least one photo of something.  Here is an assortment of little moments that I have captured during the past week.  

Dorothy loves to be close to me, but she usually prefers to be beside my lap instead of on it.  This is where she can be found almost every evening.

Ruby is such a silly girl ... the other morning, she was cock-roaching in the sunshine ... not a care in the world.

I walked into the dining room and caught Maggie killing one of Ruby's dog toys.  When she realized that I saw what she was doing, she pretended that it hadn't happened and she calmly walked out of the room.

It's the time of year when my pick-up truck gets a lot of use.  Right now, it is full of a brand new load of two yards of mulch.  I think every woman should have her own truck.

There is such a strong bond between Alice and Dorothy ... sister kitties who recently turned five, who have never known life without each other.

... and Winnie, on the kitchen rug waiting for her supper.  What else can I possibly say about this adorable little dog ... she is absolutely perfect.

Right now, sweet Winnie is sitting in my lap with the tail of my sweatshirt folded over her, sound asleep despite my typing.  Such a happy girl.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Snapshot ... Not Such a Bird Brain After All

Turns out, the Mourning Doves that were in my greenhouse last weekend weren't stuck in there after all.  (That post is HERE.)

They have built a nest in there, on top of one of the salvaged columns that I have leaning into one of the corners, way up near the ceiling.  He/She is up there, keeping an eye on me as I try to get a decent photo without frightening him/her.

The two of them have been easily spooked.  When they panic, they get disoriented and don't fly right out the open door like they should.  That's what must have happened last weekend, when it appeared that the one bird was stuck.  My only worry at this point is for when the babies are ready to fledge in a few weeks ... will the parents know well enough by then where the door is and how to reliably get out?  I guess we will see how it goes when that time comes.

Sunday Snapshots are posts that are devoted to a moment in time that represents a slice of life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Favorite Photo from Yesterday

Saw this fuzzy fella at one of the properties that my husband and I toured yesterday, while on the Fredericksburg Garden Week tour.

I think that this sweet-faced Highland bull may soon find himself immortalized on canvas in oil paint ... hint, hint to my dear husband.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Upcoming Spring Rose and Garden Events in Virginia

At this time of year, there are SO many choices of things for rose and garden lovers to do in Virginia.  (For those of you in other parts of the country, I'm sure that there is plenty of stuff for you, too, wherever you are.)  Below, you will find the events that I plan to attend ... I will be enjoying these as a plain old attendee at each of them but one.

Virginia Garden Week
April 19 - 25, 2015
There's nothing like Virginia Garden Week anywhere else in the country.  Home and garden tours are scheduled in many locations throughout the state.  I'm touring Fredericksburg on Tuesday, Warrenton on Wednesday, and Middle Peninsula on Friday.
Click HERE to go to the Garden Week web site for schedule and details.

Azaleas in full bloom in Fredericksburg for Garden Tour.

I will be speaking at the April meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Garden Club, delivering my program "Documenting and Preserving the Roses at Hollywood Cemetery"
Festival Hall, Reedville, Virginia
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm

A beautiful example of statuary, and 'Safrano', at Hollywood Cemetery

Lynchburg Old City Cemetery Antique Rose Festival
Featured guest and speaker is my friend, Rev. Douglas Seidel
Heritage roses propagated from the cemetery's collection will be available for sale.
May 8-10, 2015  
Schedule of activities at the cemetery's web site HERE.  

'Dortmund' climbing on the porch of one of the museum buildings at the Old City Cemetery.

Sunday Picnic at Hollywood Cemetery
Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and relax to sounds of great entertainment.  As an added bonus, I expect the roses at the cemetery to be putting on quite a show.
May 3, 2015, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Details on the cemetery web site HERE.

Unknown red China rose, on the Dorsey Cosby lot at Hollywood Cemetery

Monticello’s Tufton Farm Wine and Roses Open House
Featured speaker is Peggy Cornett, Curator of Plants at Monticello
May 30, 2015 10:00 am – 2:00 pm  
Details are HERE, at the Monticello web site.

'Baltimore Belle' blooming in the garden at Tufton Farm.

Hartwood Roses Open Garden Day
Date to be determined, as soon as the roses in my garden let me know when full bloom time will be.
Details will be posted here, on the Hartwood Roses Facebook page, and on the Hartwood Roses web site as soon as I have them. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Snapshot ... What a Bird Brain!

I went outside early this morning to work in the garden.  As I walked past the greenhouse, I heard some commotion inside.  A Mourning Dove was stuck in there, flapping against the glass, stuck behind a cabinet on one of the benches, trying to get out.

He/She was easy to catch, and he/she didn't struggle when I pinned him/her into place and scooped him/her up ... didn't even flinch when I took my phone out of my pocket to capture a couple of images to record the rescue.  Then I opened my hand and he/she flew away.

He/She probably would have eventually figured out how to get out of the greenhouse on his/her own.  I wasn't taking a chance, choosing the direct rescue route to make sure that he/she would be okay.

(By the way, the gardens are beginning to look totally fabulous, and I can't wait to share them with you in a few weeks.)

Sunday Snapshots are posts that are devoted to a moment in time that represents a slice of life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Saint Francis Without His Head

Did you notice the statue in this photo of the front Rose Border from my post earlier this week?

It is one of my very favorite things in the garden ... a little unexpected bit of perverse whimsy.

It belonged to the prior owners of our house, and it may have even belonged to the owners before them, too.  They told me that they would get rid of it before they moved out, because it was broken.  (St. Francis's head was laying on the ground beside him at the time.)  I scooped it up right then and there, and I told them that I loved it exactly the way it was ... broken head, chippy paint, and all.

At first, I put the head onto his little bird-feeder dish so it wouldn't get lost before I could repair it.  It kinda grew on me like this, though, and I decided to leave it.  Now, I can't imagine him any other way.

edited on 4/17/15 to add:  A kind reader left the following message on the Hartwood Roses Facebook page a little while ago.  "Your headless statue - what a hoot.  I think he's St. Fiacre, patron saint of the garden.  He's carrying a basket.  No animals are on him, as would be for St. Francis Gail."  

He's right ... carrying a basket ... no animals ... Saint Fiacre it is!  I'm really glad to know this, because I have been keeping an eye out for a St. Fiacre statue for a while now ... haven't seen one that I like yet.  Who would have thought that I already had one that I love so much.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Reading the Clues

I keep my knitting/crocheting projects in this vintage milk crate between the leather chairs in our family room. 

Evidence suggests that Maggie walked by it and brushed past the crochet hook at some point during the day on Tuesday.  

Don't have to be a trained detective to figure out clues in this mystery.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Spring has definitely arrived.  Garden work has become Job One, as I weed and prune and mulch.  It feels wonderful to have my hands in the earth again, after what seemed like a never-ending winter trapped indoors.

Waterlogue image of a clump of heirloom daffodils our the front yard rose border.

The Rose Border in our front yard is the first rose garden that I designed and built after we moved here in 2007.  It contains about forty roses, a mix of Noisettes, Chinas, Hybrid Musks, Hybrid Perpetuals, and a few shrubs thrown in for good measure.  It has never been right, as weeds took over quickly, roses outgrew their spots, and deferred maintenance let little problems turn into big ones.  I tell folks that I have learned a lot about gardening in this old farm soil since I did this garden.

This is an early photo that I took with the roses in full bloom, young and still looking nice.  It wasn't this way for long.

I don't have any true 'Before' photos, before I started this renovation last week.  I was more interested in getting things done, instead of documenting the horror to blog about it.   The best I can do is to show you the mat of weeds and the stumps of seedling trees (that were taller than I am).  The weeds are now pulled, and the tree stumps have been dealt with.  Multiply this by ten or more, and you have an idea of how awful it was.

It was SO much worse than this, as the roses were suffocating with weeds that were taller than they were.

Most of the weeds are pulled at this point.

Just a little clump of crawly weeds left to go in this section.

Much better!

Originally, the front edging of this garden was a single row of bricks laid on the ground, and there was no barrier at the fence line between the garden and the pasture beyond, which let Bermuda Grass and all sorts of other creepy weeds in.  The new front edging is made of concrete paver stones, and I laid the curve of the bed a bit wider than it was before.  The back of the bed is defined with 4x4 timbers from our stash of salvaged fence posts.

Landscape fabric is next.  Landscape fabric underneath the mulch has been VERY successful at keeping weeds at bay in the other places where I have used it.  (See the installation in the front Hybrid Tea garden HERE and the English Garden HERE.)

It takes a while to mark and cut holes for the existing roses and clumps of daffodils.

There are 75 pieces of edging at the front of this garden.  It's going to take a while to trench and set all of them.

With the landscape fabric going down,  the blank background made it easy to see the solution to the problem of the rose spacing.  I am moving the front few roses forward about two feet, and it's looking a lot better already.

The arrows show the patched holes where the roses were, and the dotted lines lead to where the roses are now.

I also see where there are a few places in the back of the garden where I can fill in with some roses out of my pot ghetto.

I'm running new irrigation line, too, because the old one was damaged in too many places.

Even though I still have a long way to go before I can say that I'm finished with this, it feels really good to step back and see the amazing improvement that has already been accomplished.

My husband helped for most of the day on Saturday, clearing weeds and vines and trees to free this Crape Myrtle, on the left.  He also limbed up the oak tree, on the right, to give the garden underneath of it more sunshine.

This is the part that's finished except for mulch.

This shows that's there's still more left to be done ... but it's looking amazing so far!

I took those last two photos before supper this evening, while standing in the yard admiring my work (with a glass of wine in my hand).  I can't wait till May and June ... THAT'S when the real reward will come!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Something New in the Family Room

I just took this photo with my iPad.  It's the unstaged view that I see right now from where I'm sitting in my chair here in the family room.

Ruby and Winnie ... I can always count on finding them right there.

The sofa is covered with a new quilt that I got on clearance at Ikea on Monday.  The colors aren't exactly right for this room, but it is a linen/cotton blend (so it will wear well), it didn't cost a fortune, it has roses on it, and I like it a lot.  Maggie has clawed the crap out of the arms and corners of this sofa, and the dogs nap on it almost all day ... I find that keeping it covered with something that I can wash is easiest.

This room is starting to remind me of a boho hippie hang out ... with its mix of flowered fabrics and oriental rugs.  Now that I think of it, this probably fits my personality perfectly.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

I took this photo of Daniel for Easter 2013.  He's been gone for almost two years now, and I long ago reached the point where I smile when I see photos of him ... remembering circumstances or events with him makes me happy.

I hope a silly photo of his sweet self wearing bunny ears makes you happy, too.

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