gbbd, such as it is

Kalanchloe fedtschenkoi

Kalanchloe fedtschenkoi

I see others coming up with blooms in their gardens, look around mine and sigh…maybe next month. The above kalanchloe fedtschenkoi is the closest thing to a bloom I could find and it is indoors…and not quite blooming yet.

hothouse Cyclamen

hothouse Cyclamen

Since I’ve moved indoors, I’m sure you will forgive me for including this Cyclamen left over from Christmas. The little stoneware bird watching over it sits atop a stoneware book whose spine reads “Silent Spring” and its color matches that of the cachepot holding the cyclamen (once in a while everything comes together this way). For the real deal Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, go to (May Dreams Gardens)

pane relief

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My latest plan is to use Thursdays to pitch our window cling silhouettes. I hope you won’t mind. The latest, for sale (HERE), came to be because Richard was fascinated by the bronze cat statuettes (circa 600 BC) he found in a book about Egypt. We went back and forth, refining the design so that it would read as a silhouette.

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Birds aren’t the only birdbrains out there. Plenty of humans have mistaken a sliding glass door (at least one in the home of a fastidious housekeeper) for an open portal to the great outdoors. One of these guys, applied at eye level, could prevent a serious headache, or worse.

in a vase

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A trip to the Goodwill Store yielded a couple of small vases perfect for this time of year, when the pickins are slim. I cut a few stems of Hebe ‘Quicksilver’ and one of Senecio greyii to pick up the blue tones of the stoneware vase.

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Small hips shading from red to deep plum are from Rosa ‘Dortmund’ while the large orange hips are from a NOID red rose.

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There was a spot of sunshine in the back yard so I took a chair out there to showcase my little bouquet.

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This last photo is to show you what a difference lighting can make. Here, it was coming from behind. My eye sees the color as somewhere between that shown in the two settings. For me, this is one of the major frustrations of photography. Oh, well…like gardening, it is one of those things that I will continue to enjoy but never master. Could that actually be part of its appeal? Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) provides a portal to a wide range of vases from clever bloggers, many of whom even found flowers for their posies in the dead of winter.

an outdoor vase

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I left the soil in the wall pocket outside our front door, got it nice and damp and poked branches in there. They are: Ilex berries, Pinus ‘Thunderhead’ and one cedar branch.

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A few more branches went into a basket of cones, including a bare branch encrusted with lichen. The orange pot holds bird seed, keeping it handy for filling feeders.

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Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) hosts In a Vase on Monday every week.

wednesday vignette & a thanksgiving trip

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Anna (Flutter and Hum) hosts every Wednesday with eye-opening observations of a visual and often philosophical bent. This week she confronts dark times with thoughts that put them in perspective. By contrast, my vignette features a world glittering with a dusting of snow and hoarfrost. We were driving to Idaho for Thanksgiving and the road between Walla Walla and Lewiston, all sensual rolling hills, was bespangled under a blue sky.

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In Waitsburg, a charming little town along the way, we veered from the main road and stopped to capture this scene.

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These charming refugees from the chopping block were quite chatty. Their mistress assured us that they enjoy pet status…no ovens in their future.

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After an eight hour drive, we reached our destination: Kathryn & John’s spread overlooking the Clearwater River in Idaho. Sami traveled with us. Call me crazy, but she’s old in cat years and clingier than she used to be. I got her a harness and a leash and steeled myself for a challenging trip. As it was, she settled in my lap and alternated between snoozing and watching the world go by.

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The Idaho deer make ours look like pikers. Of course K & J feed and coddle them, so they are fearless in their foraging. Just look at that pile of rocks! That’s what came out of the ground creating the fenced veggie garden. Looks like the start of a swell crevice garden to me, so I’m forwarding to them Loree’s post on that subject appearing today in (Plant Lust).

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The birds get plenty of TLC too.

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Another large fenced area (with an equally huge pile of rocks) protects a small orchard.

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And we thought Portland was cold! Blue skies and sunshine beckoned so we bundled up and traipsed around.

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Still frosty on the drive home. To my eye, the wind farms fit right into this landscape. How do you feel about them?

in a vase, somberly

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After a week of killing frost, followed by torrential rains, it’s time to dip into my stash of dried stuff. That means I can use the carved wooden vase without hunting for some sort of liner to hold water (the good news). Gloomy days make finding adequate light elusive (the bad).

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Not that that is necessarily such a bad thing. I love the moody tones of the Hydrangeas and Allium.

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Since these are colors I gravitate to, it wasn’t hard to find a cloth to complete the picture. Find many more vases by visiting Cathy (Rambling in the Garden). Any Monday, she’ll be there with a vase of her own and links to a growing number of others.

a new window cling for cat lovers

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I’m back to cutting new silhouettes by hand until we see which designs earn their way to being printed in quantity. This is a new material that I found. It still has a backing sheet and comes in a sleeve for easy storage when not in use. The difference is that the dark, smoky vinyl is translucent. If you look closely, you can see the scenery beyond the window showing through ever so slightly. We started making these silhouettes to deter birds from flying into windows but they could as easily be seen as purely decorative. If you are intrigued and would like to order or learn more, please visit my Etsy Shop.

gbbd & ffu in a vase

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This dark and gloomy day made photographing this week’s vase challenging. Oh, well…must soldier on. Gathering tax records led to a swamping out of areas where all sorts of things had been gathering dust. Hence the tall vase, which I had completely forgotten about.

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The bright red leaves are from the sourwood tree, or Oxydendrum arboretum. Dark leaves come from Weigelia ‘Wine and Roses’. The dark red snapdragons are the last flowers to keep going strong and have earned a repeat and increased numbers for next year (I hardly expected such productivity from a humble six-pack). The last hot pink Zinnia is hiding in there somewhere too.

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One branch of Cornus kousa ‘China Girl’ completes the picture.

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That girl from China has been putting on a show, what with one thing after another, since early spring. She deserves a rest after this last glorious aria. This 3-in-one post links to (May Dreams Gardens) for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, (Rambling in the Garden) for In a Vase on Monday, and (Digging) for Foliage Follow Up.

birds flying into windows?

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Let’s see if we can’t fix that! When we first heard that sickening thump and found a dead bird beneath the window, I rushed to make a cut paper owl to put in the window.

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Here’s that owl, hand cut from heavy black paper and stuck to the window with double-stick tape. It seemed to work. Several friends asked for some and they seemed to work for them too. Cutting them out by hand with an Xacto knife was giving me cramps and calusses. We went in search of a less labor-intensive production method.

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After much research and experimentation, we have a superior product that employs static-cling vinyl. These guys can be repositioned or removed entirely and stored for future use.

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Simply peel the silhouette from the backing sheet and apply it to the inside of the window, smoothing out air bubbles with your hand.

One of the problems cited for window decals has been that the birds soon catch on that the birds in flight are not moving. Our birds are at rest, ready to swoop down on prey. We have no scientific proof, but that may be why they seem to be effective. Want to try some on your own killer windows? Go to my Etsy Shop to place an order.