Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Garden Conundrum

Oh, yes, I am planning a garden, a small one and of course, ornamental. No useful gardens here! ;) But here's the rub, it has to be deer proof and fire resistant. Those two things seem to be almost mutually exclusive of each other and since this is all going right by the big wood deck, both attributes are important. Deer resistant plants are often the ones with heavy aromatic oils. Those same oils make a plant a poor choice for fire suppression so close to a house structure. It's quite the dilemma. Then lets add in the hot full sun location of a good portion of the front, the poor soil composition (which of course, can be amended), and the wish to have it fairly thrifty in the watering department. Not a good candidate for small trees that like wet feet like birches and aspens. Oh and the slope. We need a fairly aggressive root system on some of this to hold as much amended soil as possible. Shrubs need to be no bigger upon maturity than say 6 feet and it's best that they lose their leaves due to our winter snow loads. Trees no taller than 20 feet max, ground covers hardy and durable to foot traffic be it human or otherwise. And no poisonous or highly invasive plants.  And to top it all off, the elevation. Not all plants like being up this high for one reason or another. So, I'm starting my list and hoping I can find someone locally well versed in something other than what thrives in the valley. On it so far; redbud, native dogwood for the shadier side, bamboo, lavender, germander, jasmine, hawthorn and mock orange. It's woefully short and of course, not all of the plants meet all of the criteria but it's a start.

In the sewing closet, it's been a lot of organizing and not so much sewing.

I did manage to start and complete two corduroy shirts which were at the top of my list. I love corduroy and this is the perfect time of year for it. I'm not a fan of flannel so this fabric fills my need for soft, warm and washable! No new ground covered here. I used two TNT patterns (tried and true), Sewing Workshops Zig Zag top and Butterick's Connie Crawford blouse pattern which I never tire of making or wearing.

  In process is a new pattern to me, an OOP Vogue for spring/summer wear in a lovely silk matka.

 I did manage to do a quick muslin of the Decades of Style Salon pant and it looks like with very few modifications it will work. It's a fun pattern, unusual style and seems like it will be quite comfortable. I'm going to try it in a nice ponte knit.

I purchased my plane ticket for the annual trek to New England. Dates about the same as previous years, end of April to just before Memorial Day. For those planning trips, airfares are on the rise. The fare was about $60.00 higher than last year and I'm not counting bag fees.

In farm news, the pesky black tomcat has been back around. And Sunday, Gene got my feeding route well plowed out, enough to have a go with Bob the tractor. That was until we got a foot of snow Sunday night into yesterday and it's still snowing.  Given the slippery nature of the snow, the crazy grading that happened with the first plowing by the log skidder and now non-existent turnaround, I'm going to stick with the hand carry. I tried Bob yesterday afternoon. It was not fun, but he needed to be started and run and we managed to stage two bales of hay up by the donkeys. The backing back down towards the barn was interesting and something I won't be repeating in the morning dark any time soon.

Parting shot: Smoochie, our optimum napper.


  1. Alas, I am not a gardener although I love gardens. I can't wait to see what you come up with. The blouses are so nice, corduroy is one of my favs too. Goes with cowboy boots right? I especially like the floral!

  2. Smoochie, look at your dear little face. So contented and so comfortable.

  3. Looking forward to seeing you tonight at "Swig", that little Smoochie sure has the right idea, found a cozy spot too...


  4. I was going to suggest redbud, lavender and rosemary – which is surprisingly hardy and can reach 6', but you'll have to check whether or not it will work up there on the mountain. Rhodies are out? Nandina is another deer-resistant ornamental I like; not invasive like true bamboo. And forsythia.

  5. My only suggestion would be to contact your extension agent in your area and ask for suggestions for your elevation. Love your new duds....looks great!

  6. I have one suggestion for a shrub called a Buffalo Currant has yellow blooms in early sprin that smell heavenly like ground cloves or Old Spice. Loses leaves in fall. I live in western NY and it does great and no care except a little trim now and then after blooming. Love all your dogs but especially Jack.

  7. Check out High Country Gardens - they have lots of deer and rabbit resistant plants/shrubs. I used to get their stuff when I lived in Reno, and was very impressed.

  8. Great post - love hearing about your garden plans. I wondered what you would put around the super deck.

  9. kinnickkinnick, or low growing manzanita might be a good ground cover. Thyme is nice also and very hardy. Your blog is full of beautiful photos of animals, sewig and nature. Miss you!!!!

  10. Love your new CC blouse! Nice colors and floral accent for the new dress too. How exciting for you to start making plans for your trip back East...time to send a warning to those lobsters...Theresa is coming and she is hungry!

  11. mrsmole, Thank you! Yep, those lobsters better scurry and hide!

    Mary, so good to hear from you!How is it all going? I haven't made it out to KF with all the snow, but maybe soon. I'll add your suggestions to the plant list.

    Coco, We're all wondering what that deck will get! :)

    Laura, I have and hopefully will get some good suggestions from them. A large local nursery was less than helpful to an inquiry I made.

    Lily, Thank you, I'll check it out and I'll let Jack know he's got a fan. He is such an expressive dog.

    LA, I have contacted via e-mail the "master" gardners they have at the county extension. No word yet...

    Michelle, I love forsythia and I was also thinking witch hazel. Thanks for the rosemary suggestion.

    Anna, well we know how that went don't we? Glad you got the yarn though and I am so sorry I missed it. It sounded like lots of fun.

    LOTL, Corduroy goes with everything, but especially cowboy boots!