11 April 2009

A Project

Not too long ago my sibling gave me a bamboo bench (something I had been wanting for our Japanese-style garden for a long time). As they put it "it's going to be a lot of work". And it will be but I was very excited to get it nevertheless because the 'skeleton' is intact and strong!

To repair and refinish the bench we'll have to replace the seat and back, sand and then shellac it (possibly stain it too if the shellac doesn't change the color enough). FYI: originally the bench was the golden color we're all accustomed to seeing. Finally I will make or buy a pad for the bench's seat and back; possibly some pillows too.

SO sometime in the near or distant future I'll be posting a "real" done photo....but until then here is the look I'm after in terms of the seat and back of the bench.

Blessings, aimee

Edible Landscaping

I'm a big fan of edible landscaping--that is incorporating fruit trees and plants into garden beds along with strictly ornamental ones.

In our developed garden beds some of the edibles we've included are: 4 blueberry plants, 2 evergreen huckleberries, 3 lingonberries, 1 rhubarb, 2 gooseberries, several fruit trees (apple, Asian pear, pear and fig), kiwi, Oregon grape, salal and mint. These edibles grow near or alongside plants that you would expect to see in a NW garden--lilacs, irises, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, etc and they're not ugly or strange looking at all!In fact they are quite beautiful as you can see from the photo above.


Other edibles you can include in your landscaped areas are the many herbs -- just make sure you note carefully their requirements for light, size, moisture and soil preference (in other words don't put a herb that likes to be kept on the dry side next to strawberries which require more water).


If you are dealing with a small space (like an urban garden), it is good to know that many fruit trees are available in dwarf and semi-dwarf sizes. These can be planted closer together then your standard fruit trees and you will still have sizable harvests! This is what we mostly have here--even our mini orchard which has 13 more fruit and nut trees is made up of these (well except for one but more about that later). By pruning these trees we've been able to keep them all at reasonable sizes---this makes it easier to care for them, pick their fruit and conserves space as I've noted. The only exception for us has been our 4-way sweet cherry which, even though it was marked as being a smaller tree, just keeps growing up, and up... and up! We think it is most likely a standard. The 4 way cherry brings me to another point--there are 4 different varieties of cherries that grow on this one tree! This can be a space saver you might be interested in too :)


Edible landscaping works for us--and will also work for those of you who dwell in urban areas (albeit on a smaller scale then we have here). I invite you to do a 'google' search for this term if you are interested in learning more, or leave me a comment. One word of warning---for those with small children. If you are including edible plants with ornamental, poisonous plants (such as rhodies) you will obviously have to teach your children what can be eaten and what can't (but then you already knew that one:) )

Blessings, Aimee


Note: Please forgive me if this post sounds odd; it's really early in the AM here and I think well past the time I should have gone to bed:) I will include some photos of our edible landscaped areas in time but right now we're working on them to get them back in shape (and I hate showing the world my weeds; it's just too embarrassing)!


Here is one site that looked interesting. Out of Ohio....


There are also good books available on this subject. This author's book was the one that really helped me get into this type of gardening. The link above is to her website which looks as it might be worth spending a lot of time at :)


Photo: evergreen huckleberry (we have had one of these in our Japanese-style garden for years; this is a new one)

10 April 2009

Peace in the Garden

Recently the old hymn "In the Garden" has been going through my mind and occasionally I find myself humming this tune.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have Christ come to our garden here -- to stroll with Him amidst the trees of our small orchard or to sit with the Son of God beside the still waters of one of the ponds.

When I think of sitting down and talking with Christ, as His Disciples once did, I feel great peace and deep joy ... imagine what it will be like when we're in His presence daily in heaven?

Wishing you a Blessed Easter season!


Photo: Japanese lantern and magnolia blossoms.

Before and After

after, but not quite done yet.
White and blue pansies added to basin of our once working, but now leaking, Japanese Lady fountain (too early for impatiens yet per my gardening expert), some weeding done (but spearmint left in bed and some grass still needing to be removed) and camellia Japonica fully in bloom-but in need of fertilizer.
May your spring be filled with flowers and your days filled with blessings.
Photos: as described above.

08 April 2009

In the Garden

Being out in the gardens recently has been such a pleasure; everywhere I look buds and blossoms are evident. The plum fruit trees have, of course, been blooming for awhile. Soon the blossoms of the pear trees will join them and not too long after that--the Asian pear will bloom too.



Other blossoms include the camellia which is now covered with beautiful flowers, Oregon grape, viburnum, candytuft, trillium and columbine (the latter two bought at a nursery recently) and many, many more...
What is blooming in your garden?
Blessings, Aimee
  • Daffodils--these were the last of our daffodils to bloom
  • Plum Fruit Tree blossoms (this is either the Shiro or Satsuma Blood plum)
  • Trillium (one of my favorite flowers)
  • Columbine (also a favorite; I love native wildflowers)
  • Candytuft (I find the center of the bloom interesting)
  • Oregon Grape (love the yellow of this one)
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