29 July 2009

niece on the high line

Our niece visited a few weeks ago. The evening she arrived was so glorious, we took her for a walk on the High Line. Here she is in front of some very sympathetic liatris. There’s some nice purple action going on there!

More information on this wonderful park: www.thehighline.org

28 July 2009

north hill: triptych of trees

More inspiration from our trip to North Hill in June. Beautiful combinations of form, color, and habit. I love, particularly, the fringetree petals falling on the potted plant below, the chartreuse locust (?) tree against its dark green neighbors, and the repetition of the tapering evergreens in the distance in contrast to the solitary, spreading broad-leaved tree in front.

book weight

I was making a pan of brownies (best brownies ever) for Saturday afternoon dessert and needed to keep the book open so that I could read the recipe. So I grabbed the most logical book weight I could find close at hand, and B laughed and said I should take a picture.

Seriously: best brownies ever.

misty morning

B is up earlier than I these days. He took this shot down the driveway the other morning after it had rained all night. I think we live in just about the prettiest place on earth.

27 July 2009

new paint!

We loved the color of our house when we bought it: not white, not cream, but something soft and in between. A nice gentle color. We wanted to match it as closely as possible when we chose the paint this year, because we didn’t want to fool with something we think is pretty wonderful.

But see here: the color we eventually settled on (and who imagined there were so many different kinds of white) is quite different! You can see the difference on the top three clapboards between the door and window of the garage (new white) as compared to the old-color clapboards lower down. The old white is warmer and grayer than the new, we think. We’ve realized the new color will look beautiful against the snow come winter (the old always looked a little dingy). A very subtle switch, for sure, but a definite improvement.

“empress of india” nasturtiums

What a glorious red, and look at those leaves (those leaves!)! They actually have a thin indigo margin on the edges, and the cool blue-green plays so wonderfully against the flowers. And I love how the flowers are tucked among the leaves, rather than setting above them.

I bought six little plants in May and put them in the herb garden. Normally, I avoid nasturtiums because I have it in my head that they attract aphids, and who wants to attract aphids? But this year I figured what the heck. The cool, rainy weather certainly hasn’t hurt these guys at all.

25 July 2009

dahlia photos 2009: it begins

Resistance is futile.


“Little Beeswings”:

24 July 2009

lovely lovely . . .


Went out to J and R down on Park Row this afternoon and bought a new digital camera,because the old one has been acting up for over a year (I know, I know) and finally bit the dust last weekend.

This means that I can take photographs of beautiful “Winsome” dahlia tomorrow morning, the second dahlia to bloom on Pleasant Hill in 2009!

I can also post a photograph of our freshly painted front door this evening. Painting the house: a long time in coming. Happy day!

21 July 2009

hosta effect at north hill

Kim asked for a photograph of the effect I described in a post I wrote about Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd’s garden at North Hill. Hostas in front and vinca in the back, which had the effect of lightening up the distance rather than closing it in with taller and taller plants. Not the best ever photograph, but it does give an idea of the effect.

first dahlia blossom of 2009

For the record: “Little Beeswings” wins! The first bloom was opening as of Saturday, 18 July 2009. Last year, “Bloodstone” was the first, on 14 July.

So here’s how it has played out this year:
  • 5 May 2009: Planted dahlia tubers
  • 18 June 2009: Planted dahlias outside
  • 10 July 2009: First buds on dahlias
  • 18 July 2009: First bloom—“Little Beeswings”
And last year:
  • 22 April 2008: Planted dahlia tubers
  • 1 June 2008: Planted dahlias outside
  • 28 June 2008: First buds on dahlias
  • 14 July 2008: First bloom—“Bloodstone”

13 July 2009

first buds on dahlias 2009

The dahlias are all still pretty short (not short enough that they don’t need staking, however), but with all the rain and clouds, they just haven’t grown so much yet. BUT . . . I noticed the first buds on them this weekend, specifically Friday evening, 10 July. This is a exactly a week later than last year, in spite of the fact that I potted up the tubers approximately two weeks later this year than last (22 April 2008 vs. 5 May 2009). The first dahlia last year was “Bloodstone” on 14 July. I wonder how much later the first bloom will be this year.

Alan tells me that the dahlias he planted on his roof are lots and lots of leaves, but no buds yet. I bet he just hasn’t looked hard enough.

I am, as always, very excited.

Also to note: Some bird ate the melon plants I put at the end of the dahlia bed, so I divided and planted two cannas from last year (“Madame Angele Martin”), three gladiolus corms (“Atom”) that Old House Gardens sent to me to give away and that I selfishly kept and then forgot about, and some cerinthe seeds that I meant to plant weeks ago. If they don’t bloom, so be it, but the leaves should be pretty.

It has been such a rainy, cold summer so far that I am still in spring mode. We’ll see how these new plantings go.