Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Good,The Bad, and The Sparkly

Yesterday, while scratching about in the garden and planting a few perenials I disturbed a very welcome garden inhabitant. All that I saw was a slight movement in the dried leave litter. Then I noticed an eye ball giving me an indignant look. I was very still and was rewarded by the emergence of a beautiful American Toad. He was a very large fellow and a bit cranky, but a very welcome sight for me.!!! A toad is a very welcome sight in an organic garden. Many gardeners often put out ocverturned pots to create homes for toads, but I ahve never had a toad take up residence in a so called Toad House. They take care of nasty crittters like slugs and grubs and other not so welcome squishy things. A toad is a wonderful indication of a healthy and well balenced environment. As I use no chemicals of any kind , he is surrounded by a bounty of goodies and is most welcome to dine on whatever he finds. If his food sources were not available he would not stick around and the use of chemicals would threaten his existence. I was one happy gardener!!!
More sorbet series pansies. I am so sorry that a dear friend who I grew up with on Cape Cod , cannot plant these beauties in their dry California gardens. I know what that feels like, having lived in the Pacific Northwest. One has to adjust to a whole new set of plants that tollerate the new environment and unfortunately pansies do not like it hot!!
My Solomon's Seal is putting on a nice showing this year and rewarding me with lots of bell shaped flowers. They love having a blanket of leaves left over them, and so do the toads.

The bees have been extra busy pollinating my old fashioned Columbine. I have a whole rainbow of color ways that are begining to pop in the garden. I adore the pinafore skirts that these gals so daintily display. ,

Now for the BAd news, SIGH!!! One of the reasons that we loved our house was the lot that it sat on. We back up on a field that is used as a large garden each year and we were assured that it would not be developed. Our lot is also graced by some beautiful large old trees. We have huge Sycamores, Pin Oaks, Red Maples, Wild Dogwoods and Tulip Poplars. Most of these trees are 31/2 to 5 feet around and tower at least 90 feet into the air.
Our Beautiful Red Maple that is thriving and has grown at least ten feet since we arrived.
We carved out this small shade garden which will soon explode with Ostrich Ferns surrounding the fountain, Fox Gloves, Daylilies, Columbine and Shade Lillies. Because of these glorious trees, we have glorious shade and a plethora of birds and other wildlife. Just this Spring I have noticed that one of the oldest Poplars was way behind in leafing out. At first glance it looked like there wer no leaves at all, but then I saw that it was valiantly trying to put out some leaves. It ahd also dropped lots of branches in our snow storms . I called on a local Arborist who had done some work for us before and he quickly determined that the tree was a goner. SO SAD!!!!! This tree is the tallest Tulip Poplar in the area and it must come down sooner rather than later.

This is one of the reasons, Borer Beetles and then some seriously compromized major roots. this root damage happened before our time here, and this weakening had caused a good deal of stress that was aggravated by drought and then the final asault of the Borer Beatles. You can see all of the holes on this shot of the trunk, there are literally hundreds of holes.

Matt of GoodFellar's told me that the tree would only be safe to climb for the next three months. He would not allow his crew to climb an unsafe tree and after that time it would have to come down by crane and would cost 5 times more than climbing and taking the tree down safely piece by piece. Besides he had no idea how we would even get a crane in there without taking down the neighbors fence and mucking up both yards. We ARE NOT GOINT THERE!!!!! So down it must come. Losing this tree will definately change the climate in the back yard. We will have much more exposure to the western sun and we will lose the wild and wonderful azaleas that surround the tree. I am not a huge fan of azaleas. In fact the only way that I like them is when they are left to grow on their own and become wild and natural within the landscape. One of the first thing that Goodfellar's did for us when we moved in, was to remove the square azalea hedge that surrounded the front porch!!! They did wonderful work for us then and they put up with my passionate organic gardening , anti-pesticide herbicide ways so They get any work that I need done!
Enough moaning about lost trees, on to something sparkly!!!!
Last week I made another batch fo fabric paper as I needed to replenish the Muse Bird stock at Liberty Town Emporium. This time I decided to add shavings of candy wrapper foils to the recipe for a bit of sparkly foiled bling.

I was quite pleased with the results till I started trying to manipulate the fabric. It seemed almost impossible to keep the foil glued down. I even added an extra coat of matte medium to the top to keep the foil affixed. I probably wont be making more of this although I do love the beads and birds (i'll share those later) that I created with the fabric/paper. Throughout the entire process I ahd to carefully reglue the foil slivers if I wnated them to stay put. AS the final step for the beads is two coats of heavy laquer, I was finally successful in literally burying the foil in the laquer shell!!!
Now to make a three strand necklace to add to my new wares to be deliverd to Liberty Town this week!!

I hope taht everyone has a great start to their work week. Thank you all so very much for all of the wonderful comments that you leave for me when you visit!!
I am of to make tassels for my new Muse Birds- you will be seeing them here, very soon!


Marilyn Rock said...

You always share so much with us Elizabeth! Thank you! The toad is awesome! Your garden is beautiful and sorry about the loss of the tree; it is sad! Love your fabric paper and beads! xxoo

Plays with Needles said...

Loved your toad, sad about your tree -- a big tulip poplar had to come down in our neighbors yard which is at the end of my yard for the same reason...I always considered it "my" tree so when it came down I was very very sad.

But, I LOVE the foil idea! Such a bummer that it was such a PITA!

xox Susan


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