Garden & Perone Hive Update 6.10.15 (and Mom’s nature notebook too)

OK, so these next three shots could be connected to give you the big picture, but I don’t know how to do that fancy photo stuff. You’ll have to photoshop it in your mind.


We start with the nitrogen-fixing Autumn Olive on the left of the garage (above) and the Russian Pomegranate in the alcove on the right of the garage. I have comfrey and yarrow in with the pomegranate to feed the fruit tree. The alcove used to have a stacked stone retaining wall, but I didn’t have any more and I wanted it to match the one I added on the right, so I replaced it with brick (leftover from the palette we bought for the herb spiral). It sort of matches the brick stairs (OK, not really, but what can I do?).



And here’s the rest of the front yard (above) with the herb spiral, cherry tree, Adele’s garden, and a front border.

In case you can’t quite picture it, here’s a map I made for my nature notebook:


In the bed in front of the stairs, WAIT a minute – remember when we had boring, overgrown bushes here?


Now we have a stacked brick retaining wall (because our driveway used to get covered with mud after every rain), three blueberry bushes, a plum tree, a fig tree, a raspberry cane, and three tomato plants here – with the slippery elm that I heavily pruned to get more light for my blueberries.


About that border (below). Remember when I was building the herb spiral and my neighbor told me that they were widening the road? So I didn’t want to plant the peach tree along the road if they were going to widen it in a few months. So, based on the plans that he showed me, I planted the tree just inside my best guess of where the new edge of our yard will be. Then I mulched and made a border which ended with the existing crepe myrtle.


I edged the border bed with the stones I removed from the pomegranate alcove wall. Starting on the right, we have a lilac tree, peony, a perennial flower I can’t remember the name of, Flat Wonderful peach tree, another peony, and a few pots (tomatoes, peas, tomatoes), mini pansies (violas?), and then the crepe myrtle.


This (above) is the whole front yard from the street. I have another grouping of potted veggies right up at the edge next to the street, because it gets the most sun.

Herb spiral: (starting in the middle and traveling clockwise) rosemary, lemongrass, thyme, lemon thyme, pineapple sage, horseradish, cilantro (from seed), oregano, parsley, then lettuces start in to the end, but there’s also basil, Thai basil, lavender, and tarragon.



Above you can see the bean teepee near the mailbox. We have watermelon, summer squash, and butternut squash there too.


And here’s Adele’s garden (above) with a bunch of stuff around in pots (clockwise: tomatoes at 2:00, strawberries, peas, more strawberries, more peas, lettuces, cucumbers, peppers). You can’t really tell in any of these pictures, but I planted nasturtiums in almost all of my veggie containers. They aren’t quite there yet, but the idea is for them to be spilling out with flowers (like the “spiller” in flower containers).



And here are five jasmine vines I planted at the front of our side fence (where there is the most sun).

Now for the backyard:

First an overview from my nature notebook:


Before we get started let’s remember what this backyard looked like for the first year we lived here (and don’t forget that all those vines are poison ivy, OK?).




Lots of activity outside the beehive!


And lots inside too! I’m thinking the light-colored comb is all new!


Below is some ruby bells coral bells I planted behind the beehive.


I planted some perennial shade-tolerant flowers back here along the fence (R to left: bee balm, helebores, bee balm, helebores, and another bee balm).

These little tiny green things probably don’t look like much to anyone but me,  but I dumped a ton of seed back there and it is just so amazing that it is actually growing!!!



Above is a pic of the back corner of our property. The existing tree is (I think) a boxelder. I painted it in my nature notebook a few days ago.


Eleanor’s Quilt – finally DONE!

I can hardly believe it, but I really and truly finally finished Eleanor’s quilt. Ahhhhh!

For you quilt enthusiasts . . .

The fabrics are a mix of quilting cottons and linens and I really love each one! The back is pure linen background with various scraps (from this quilt) for the applique. I used wool batting. I got the idea for the applique from a Mini Boden T-shirt. I pieced the hexagons on the machine and I quilted by hand. I tried to keep the palette (for this quilt and also for her bedroom) very muted – a big change from Adele’s bold quilt and room decor. Since Eleanor is past the blanket stage of babyhood,  I made the quilt to fit her crib mattress with a five inch drop on three sides. Which means that she can use this in her crib and also as a comforter on a toddler bed – perhaps in Adele’s room – once she moves out of the crib.




Some close-up shots:



I tried to have a photo shoot of Eleanor with her new quilt, but she didn’t really understand the concept.


Memorial Day Retreat 2015

On Friday, I drove the kids from Phoenix to Ramona, the site of my San Diego church’s Memorial Day Retreat. It took the same amount of time as flying and it was waaaaaaaaay easier than flying with them.  I loved seeing the changing desert scenery. I was listening to podcasts and the kids were happy in their seats. A win-win! I may just be a fan of road trips after all.


The retreat was just so wonderful for me. I saw lots of dear friends that I hadn’t seen since our wedding eight years ago. Some of them made sure to find the best online paper writing service to complete their tasks so that they had an opportunity to spend time with us.

Adele (clearly inspired by our gardening adventures at home) decided to make a garden in the middle of the sand volleyball court. She transplanted some desert plants from the nearby landscaping. I hope they were rescued before they died.


Adele with her friend A.


And, Eleanor was reunited with S, her roommate from the Living Education Retreat in Minnesota last August.


I was pretty busy taking care of the kids so I guess that’s why I didn’t take any pics. =( But it was really the most wonderful, nourishing time for me. I can’t wait to go again next year!

Arizona ~ May 2015

Prepare yourself for an onslought of pictorial evidence from our recent travels. Feel free to skip if you aren’t related to me. =) I promise I won’t be offended.

Kent had his final Medical Acupuncture class in Phoenix, so we tagged along and turned it into a family vacation.

We were completely packed the night before, all we had to do was load up the luggage and the kids in the morning and go. The airport is less than an hour from our house, we didn’t hit any traffic, as soon as we parked in long-term parking and unloaded everything, the bus showed up. It seemed like things were going perfectly. But when we arrived at the ticketing area, with about an hour and a half before boarding, the line was really long. And the line at security was really long too. We arrived at our gate with just a few minutes until the boarding time and they had already given our seats away. Kent got on the next flight (he had to be at his class), but the kids and I we unable to get on the next two flights (it’s hard to get three standby seats on the same flight!). After that, I was pretty much wrecked. The kids had been screaming for a while, I had run out of food for Everett, and I was ready to give up on the whole trip and head home. But then I realized that my carseats were in Phoenix- with my husband and the rest of our luggage. The baggage claim department wouldn’t give me loaner seats because that wasn’t my “final destination” and they couldn’t get my carseats sent back until 11pm that night or maybe even the next morning. So we tried for the 10:45 pm flight into Denver with a two hour layover then another flight into Phoenix. We made it! I had to wear both Ergo baby carriers to get my two non-walkers on and off the plane by myself. Like so:


I texted that pic to Kent and he says (while relaxing and drinking wine in Phoenix): “nice face”


Here’s Everett asleep in my arms while at a restaurant in the Denver airport. This boy only rarely falls asleep when not in his bed. You can tell he was desperately tired!


I texted Kent the following: “There is no part of me that is even remotely interested in flying with any children ever again. Seriously. Italy is out.”

Well, the journey out to Phoenix was certainly rough, but we actually had a wonderful trip and I am so glad we went. Parts of it were hard, but the other parts were totally worth it.


Since Kent read American Pie by Peter Reinhart, we had to check out the wood-fired pizza at Pizzeria Bianco while we were in Phoenix. We took Adele out on a date with us (she was our photographer) while Gary and Nancy watched the littles (who were sleeping).



Kent’s sister had a Hawaiian luau at her house in Phoenix and Kent’s parents were there too. And, our friends the B family drove down from Prescott. We had such fun! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures! =(