My Ugly Garden

My Ugly Garden

Friday, July 30, 2010

Life in "The Ugly"

I looked out our bedroom window a few days ago to see that our resident Mourning Dove pair, whom we have dubbed Mr. and Mrs. Magorium, had built a nest on the back gate.  It was so thrilling to see mama bird sitting in her little nest while papa would bring twigs to weave into their new home.  They picked a pretty swell spot.  Hidden by the overgrown oleander bushes, near the birdbath and feeder.  Well, they stayed only a few days and then abandoned the nest.  I was so sad, I really enjoyed looking out the window first thing and seeing the Mrs. on her nest.  A closer inspection of the nest showed impressive nest building technique.  Morning Doves are notoriously bad nest builders, from what I understand.  

The pair is still close by.  I heard them cooing yesterday, so I hope they found a new nest site. 


I thought I would include a random photo of my colleagues and I performing last weekend.  I really wish I had a picture of the garden where we were playing.  The owners had a beautiful, huge vegetable garden.  Everything was growing like gangbusters.  Sigh...

That's me on the right.  I'm either way into the music, or I have a bug in my eye.  The trellis behind us had yummy looking blackberries growing on it.  There was also an apple tree and fig tree.  A lovely, shady spot to perform.  

Another working weekend for me.  Which is great, I love weddings.  Happy weekend everyone.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Freecycle Friday

The heat around these parts has sapped any motivation to get outside.  I did get a bit of a boost a couple of minutes ago, when my oldest daughter came in with a handful of cherry tomatoes.  "Mom, you gotta try these!  They are so yummy!"  Sure enough, pretty darn good.  I would share a picture, but she ate them all.  :)

On to Freecycle Friday, for which I do have a photo.  A few months ago, a friendly freecycler provided me with some succulent plants for my rock garden.  She also gave me a Bird of Paradise plant.  It was a stump of a plant with a hint of new growth.  So, I loaded it into the car and found a place by the deck.  Low and behold, I did not kill it! New leaves have finally emerged and it seems happy in its semi-shady spot.

The smaller plants surrounding the larger Bird of Paradise are unknown to me.  They were growing in pots along side some cymbidium orchids that had belonged to my grandmother.  They produce delicate purple and white blooms.  This little section of the Ugly will be nice once the plants fill out, I think.

A busy weekend ahead for me.  A wedding to attend and a wedding to perform.  Come to think of it, I'm actually performing at both weddings.  But the one, I'm a guest as well, which is fun.  It is extra special to play when you know the bride and groom.  Happy weekend.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Wanderings

This weekend, in order to escape the 90 degree temperatures here at home, we headed to one of our favorite places: Monterey Bay.  It is always nice and cool at the coast and we had a fun time running on the beach and walking around the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.  I purposely packed my camera so that I could share our trip here.  But when I whipped it out, no memory card space and no battery.  Ugh.  My husband was able to snap a couple of pictures though, so here we go:

This is lupine growing on the dunes of Asilomar State Beach.  This is one of my favorite beaches.  The conference center was designed by Julia Morgan, one of my favorite architects.  A boardwalk leads you from the conference grounds through a dune system that is under restoration.  The dunes have been planted with native grasses and flowers like this lupine.  The path leads you to a lovely wide beach and when you hit the tides right, some amazing tide pools.  We didn't hit the tides right yesterday, but we still had fun scrambling on the rocks and running on the sand. 

Carmel has so many wonderful window box plantings.  This lovely box is outside the Cottage of Sweets.  We always stop here for our afternoon snack.  I didn't post a link to their website, because, quite frankly, the site is rather lame.  The chocolate and ambiance is not lame, however, and is a must when we visit.  Love the purples violas.

It is details like this heart shaped lock, that I love.  This is the front door to the restaurant Casanova, where we ate dinner.  I just read that this is considered one of Carmel's most romantic restaurants.  Hmm, we showed up with three kids and a dog. They accommodated us nicely then.  We had the garden terrace all to ourselves, dog included.  They even brought Daisy her own water dish.  The food was amazing, the setting beautiful and the service, friendly.  The only down side was I was too full to try dessert.  Just as well, the kids were getting antsy.  Next time...

Another lovely container.  Some heuchera and sedum, I think. The contrasts here make a stunning combo.

Finally, another charming courtyard.   This one has a rather dramatic pool and fountain surrounded by more gorgeous containers. If you click on the photo you can see Daniel amidst the flowers on the right.  How would you like to have lunch on this terrace?  Well, thanks for joining me for this weeks' Weekend Wanderings.  I hope you enjoyed your visit.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I'm hoping not to jinx myself here, but there appear to be normal sized tomatoes growing in "the Ugly"!

An actual Roma tomato, my friends!  Whoo Hoo!

SQUEEE!  Real sized fruits. Ok, so there are only six of them, but a girl has got to start somewhere.  Daniel and I also planted the pumpkin seeds he started a few weeks ago.  We should be getting some pumpkins around Christmas time, I think.