Sunday, July 31, 2016

What the What?

 Last weekend I spent hours dragging the hoses around the garden, slowly providing what Mother Nature had not.  The plants were on the ropes from too many days in the upper 90's with unrelenting sun.  Fast forward a week and the rain gauge has 4" from the last few days, with more falling as I type and even more predicted today and tomorrow.  

As gardeners we learn to adapt to the feast or famine cycle.  I'm so grateful to not be lugging hoses this weekend.  

The path past the garage is reaching its late summer overgrown best.  Each wet plant that escapes its stake and teeters into the pathway soaks my pants legs as I walk through, but I don't care.

The bed just behind the house has good things going on: perennial sunflowers, grasses, eupatorium, solidago, and monarda, but you wouldn't know it, as I never had the heart to pull the self-sown sunflowers at the front of the bed.  I hope the goldfinches appreciate them.  

I'm sure we'll be back to hot, dry summer soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sometimes I Make Things Other Than Troughs

I made this little wall shelf during the winter.  When it's too snowy and cold to be on my bike, in the garden, or casting troughs, I need an outlet for my busy hands.  The shelf is about 14" wide and 6" high, perfect for working on at the table while I drink coffee watch it snow outside.

The shelf started with a wooden armature, a few layers of 2" blue foam board (not visible), and Apoxy, a two-part epoxy clay (the gray part in the photos).  I form the detail by hand over a few hours.  The Apoxy is hard enough to carve, file or sand after it cures for 24 hours.  

Once I was happy with the final form, I painted it with a light tan acrylic paint, then glazed it with burnt umber and mica dust, which gives it depth and sparkle.

I've always admired the basket-weave form of early Christian capitals.  Above and below are photos from The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval museum in the Bronx.

I like these two a lot.  Maybe next winter...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Random Summer Bits

Like the bees on the magnolia flowers, we've been busy.

I took the kids to the Cloisters in upper Manhattan.  It was their first visit (I know, what took me so long?) and I was excited to show them my favorite museum.  Plants and medieval art and architecture...what could be better? Maybe tacos....?

We took a few days vacation and drove up to see friends in Vermont.  Above is photo from the top of Mount Greylock in North Adams, MA.  We drove to the top to show the kids the (imaginary) location of the American version of Hogwarts.  We spent the day at MassMOCA, another great museum.

Quarry near Dorset, VT.  

I stopped by the side of the road while I was cycling near Pawlet, VT for this photo.  This Iowa boy was so happy to see and smell cows again.

One of eight pizzas I made for dinner with our friends.  This one is local Vermont cheese, tomatoes, garlic scape pesto, grilled new onions, bacon and an egg.  

My garden at work survived nearly three weeks without substantial rain.  There's no water nearby so whatever lives, I plant more of the next year.

This opuntia at work could care less about being dry.

Our front yard is doing its English Border Thing.  I went for interesting color and texture in choosing the plants for the flower boxes this year and kind of regret that they're not more showy right now.  Lablab beans will soon cover the trellis by the door. Yes, I planted the hellstrip too.  Couldn't stand mowing ANYTHING out front.

I have lots of empty troughs for sale for the first time in awhile..

...even curvy ones.

And it's cherry season!