Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another "Natural" evening at The Flower Tree

Michelle walked us through another creative adventure last night. There are now beautiful "Natural" wreaths gracing our front doors for the upcoming holiday. With cuttings that I took from around the nursery earlier in the day, and a few things from home and the thrift store our creations took form. It was a lovely evening, filled with the scent of the holidays, and the companionship of friends.

 milk pods and dried red roses

 lambs ear, it dries beautifully
 my favorite I think, dried artichoke flowers from Michelle's garden
 even horsetail reeds were twisted into action to make natural bows
 Jaime wrapped plastic ornaments with rope, glued it on, and then twisted strands through her wreath, beautiful and natural with the burlap bows

Monday, November 26, 2012

Daily visitors

Camouflaged into the background you will see my daily visitors to the River Garden. They stop in to eat the apples, gnaw on what is left of the giant pumpkin that we put out there for them, and visit with their stone friend. Most every afternoon will find them making their way across the river in one direction or the other. Living in the more reason I love it.

 their buddy 
 Harriet , just sitting there looking her pretty self

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Some people chase rainbows, gardeners chase sunrise'bows. It means it's time to check the birdfeeders, make sure the fountain is filled and start the the garden.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Natures Bounty Wreaths

I feel for the pumpkins in the background......their soft orange skin now faded and starting to peel, they have been thrown to the side as the aromatic and nostalgic scent of  greens fill the air with their sweet scent. It's time for the next leap on the calender page, the holiday that fill our soul and announces itself with music, cider, cookies, cedar, and pine.

This is Michelle. She has been our Creative Designer for as many years as I can remember. Now...Semi- retired, she is.....oh so very gently prodded back to assist us with classes; and the holiday ones are the most important. Nobody does wreaths, porch arrangements and yule logs like Michelle. The simple placement of an extra piece of cinnamon, dried orange or milk pod that makes all the difference in our creations. She knows her stuff. We are very lucky to have her, and I hope I tell her that enough.

The class starts outside, as the 17 that are gathered walk the nursery in search of that perfect color/texture/scent that will fill their wreath with wonderfulness to last through the upcoming season. Lavender from out by the pond. Milkweed pods that we leave for the monarchs to feast on. Mahonia, purple leaf plum, rose hips, gnarly branches, crab apples, and lambs ear ~ clippers in hand they collect what draws their eyes. Gathering back inside..... holiday music playing softly in the background, hot cider cups filled and frosted pumpkin scones sitting ready for the hungry~they begin their creations.


THIS is what concentration looks like, these ladies are focused!


Mom's and daughters

 and friends,

please don't tell the fire marshall, glue guns are a necessary evil for this type of event. (yes, we do use surge protectors and unplug when finished)


Me, Melinda and Michelle after class. Smiles all around as we watch the beautiful wreaths make their way home. It is always so amazing to me how each and every wreath starts exactly the same as the first picture at the top of this post. A 24" evergreen wreath from Oregon, with cedar, spuce, fir and pinecones...that then takes on a beauty all it's own from the addition of natures bounty of the garden, the creative eye of the women involved, and yes....... a lot of help from Michelle. See you at the next class, Tuesday Eve, November 27th.
it was a beautiful start to the season.......

Sunday, November 18, 2012


A dark and stormy sky awaited me as I made my way to the truck last night for the journey home after closing the nursery. The large cottonwood in the river garden standing out like an ink drawing against the winter sky. I try and try to get used to the time change, the fact that it is dark now when I close and lock the gate. I want to come home, change into my comfy clothes and hit the soil. Isn't that what makes the summer all the more special for us gardening folk. The fact that even if we work a ten hour day we still get our couple hours of "dirty fingernail" time. Some evenings I dig, sometimes I wander and check on the plants, and some evenings....I just sit.......and read.

I miss those. A lot.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Change of View

Sitting in my morning spot this last week, gazing around the room filled with books and plants, I realized that I was missing something. The sunrise. Late afternoon, after a full day in the garden I came back in for a drink of water and decided to change up the front room. Lucky for me the hardwood floors make everything pretty easy to move around and after about 15 minutes I sat down and relaxed for a moment. I liked the way it felt. It wasn’t until the next morning when I was greeted with this magnificent sunrise that I realized how important it is sometimes to change up our view.
I walked outside this morning to see all the leaves covering the ground that I had just raked on Monday. I got a little discouraged for not being able to keep up with my garden chores. Rethink; I will look at them as what they truly are, part of the life force of the tree that gave me such pleasure and shade all season long. Now that the leaves have fallen I can see the foundation of the tree, the strong branches, and the growth from this last year reaching towards the sky. The roses that are dry and frozen, never having reached their full beauty, but still a reminder of the sweet strong scent that greeted me each and every morning as I walked out the front door, coffee cup in hand, headed for the side courtyard.
Yes, I still have trees to plant, 3 of them…at least.....but most everything else has made it into the ground. These would have been in their new home this last week too if we (the husband and I) could just agree on where they should go.
I have more new wine barrels that are now filled with soil and waiting for next year’s salsa garden. Raised bed gardening now the only way for me. I had such nice success last year with everything, easy to control the soil and the nutrients, totally organic methods, easy to harvest and clean up…..what more could a gardener want?

And yes, I still……..have some mulching to do. But the fountain is cleaned and drained, most of the clean-up of the season is done, and the mammoth sunflower house that my grandson Cash and I enjoyed this summer is now harvested and placed where the birds will find refuge and food all winter.

My change of view, I’m kinda liking it.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting ready

Yesterday was spent in the garden at home. I have been trying to keep up with the early fall chores while the weather has been so glorious. With sunny skies, no wind,  temps in the low 70's, IN NOVEMBER,  it was one of those magical days when the garden gloves only came off a few times to refresh my body with the apple juice I made from the harvest from the apple tree out back at the nursery, or take a break with my book. I did take care of two much needed items that have been on my "gotta" list for months, and of course did some deep watering. The vegetable garden that did so well in my new raised bed area is all cleaned up and what was left is now on the compost heap. The areas I raked in the morning were covered again with leaves by the afternoon...but who cares. It was a beautiful day. The temps are supposed to drop to the high 40's by the weekend ~ Mr. Warm Sunshine, I am going to miss you.  

Chore #1 / If you have ever come into the nursery looking for an ornamental tree on the smaller size, you would know, I LOVE ORNAMENTAL CRAB APPLES. I truly feel that they are one of the best trees for our area. heat/cold tolerant, drought tolerant, soil tolerant, easy to grow...the list goes on and on. An abundance of vibrant flowers in the spring, gorgeous green all summer mixed with tiny edible (for the birds) fruit in a mixture of colors depending on the variety, and wonderful fall color. I fight tooth and nail for Robert not to prune on the seven different varieties we have until after they flower in the spring so I can enjoy all the buds and colors.........but this year....I had to do it. My lovely Prairefire (Malus 'Prairefire') in the backyard was so overdue for a pruning anyway, and then it became loaded with fruit this season. The branches hung almost to the ground and I was concerned that if I did not prune back some of them, the weight of the upcoming snow season would snap them. All the tiny little bright red crab apples are now either on the ground for the birds to find or still on the cut branches and stuffed into the pumpkin on display on the front porch. She will thank me in January for this haircut.  

 Chore #2 / I have watched this rose in my back garden go from the striking light pink blush 'Marilyn Monroe' that I planted 6 years ago, to a Dr Huey, a rootstock that is used for grafting for large scale production like the Weeks roses that we carry at the nursery. You probably either know of this rose, or have one and didn't know what it was. I know you have seen them in the older neighborhoods, or sometimes in abandoned properties, it is that hardy it will usually survive when others are long gone. Or perhaps you wondered where your lovely hybrid tea rose went? During an extremely cold winter if the graft was not protected, your hybrid tea probably died off, but Dr. Huey was strong and survived to come back from the rootstock. Dr. Huey blooms in small red flowers in the spring, only once, and then sends out very thick long strong canes throughout the summer months. It's not that I don't like it, I just don't like it HERE. I think every garden should have one actually, if you have the space. I dug it out, and am moving it. In it's place will go 'Aloha' a lovely light pink climber that will drape over the large granite boulder placed behind it. The Dr. Huey ......he is going to the side fence where he can grow and flourish all season.

This morning I slipped on my sweatshirt to walk out to the garden and take in the view and look what greeted me......ahhhhhhhh.....I don't know what could beat a Nevada sunrise, unless perhaps there was an ocean involved. 


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