Archive for August, 2012

Maine Botanical Garden Rocks

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

I have lots of rocks to work with here in Kansas so I am always looking for ideas. Maine has lots of rocks too but they are sure bigger than ours!

This rock wall appears to have been built around a huge rock.

Here is an interesting path that must have involved some shaping of the stones. Just look at the luxurious plantings!

There were two walking mazes. The other one was a spiral that was meant to be walked barefoot. The outer edge had large pebbles embedded and they gradually got smaller as you got to the center.

This waterfall is huge! There are 4 tiers and it appears that some of the rock was naturally there and some was artistically placed to look as though it may have always been there.

The uppermost part consists of an enormous rock that was hollowed out to be a basin at the top.

I suggested to my husband that he might do that for our waterfall as it looks watertight,  because here at home we have our own waterfall problems! He was not receptive!  Just minutes before we had to leave for the airport we discovered that we had a leak. We did a temporary fix with a black plastic leaf bag and it worked great. After we got back home we tore it apart and laid in some new rubber liner. The can of foam that we had for sealing in the rocks didn’t last long so we were at a standstill until we could get some more. Then the rain came so now we have to wait for things to completely dry before we can proceed with the foam and the rocks to finish the job.

We got 3.5 ” of rain last night and almost an inch the day before!!  It appears that most of it has soaked in so this should help a lot! The well that we use for filling the watergarden/fish pond had gone dry so we have had to use city water and treat it for chlorine, what a pain!

Maine Botanical Garden Art

Friday, August 24th, 2012

As amazing as the plants and flowers were, the art scattered through out the garden were equally wonderful.

As you enter, these life sized animals greet you; there was a pair of wolves and a pair of deer made of rebar and smaller rods. So very realistic!

This over-sized chair made from driftwood looks almost like the skeleton of something that once lived! It was in the children’s garden and I’ll bet it offers an amazing photo-op.

This wonderful pair of wire birds stood out against the huge blooms.

On the wooded trail this glass orb literally glowed against the dark foliage. It is made from what looked like small pieces of broken glass, maybe windshield glass I think.

This life sized Heron near the waterfall seems poised to nab the real frog that cooperated in my photography composition.

These were only a few of the many artworks to be seen in the gardens. If I lived there I’d be a member for sure, and visit often.

Here on the home-front we are getting RAIN!!!  Yesterday morning I continued my garden renovations and dug out 125 (yes, I counted) Surprise Lily bulbs from just one bed. Now there’s a plant that likes Kansas but even it is not blooming well this year.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

One of the things we did in Maine was to visit the Botanical Gardens. 248 acres of beauty that opened to the public in 2007. Only 5 years ago!!!

While I thoroughly enjoyed it, I couldn’t help feeling guilty at subjecting my own plants to the inhospitable conditions in Kansas where they languish or die. Seeing how they look when they are happy, makes me rethink my gardening here.

I have this variety of Hosta; it has about 6 puny brown edged leaves but at least it is still alive. Most of my Hostas died this summer. And I do water but apparently not enough.

Likewise the Japanese Painted Fern, the only fern I have been able to grow here. Mine do NOT look like this!

Remember how excited I was when I discovered the Hot Papaya Coneflowers a couple of years ago? Since then, I’ve killed three. Here’s how they should look, I feel like a monster.

These are so lush they can’t stand up! In the background the Russian Sage is only a little bigger than mine, so that is a keeper for here. The day was in the low 70’s’ overcast and foggy. There is more moisture in the air than we’ve had in Kansas all summer probably. No wonder the plants are happy!

The Rose Hips look like tomatoes!

Since coming home, the weather has cooled somewhat and I have been spending 2-3 hours a morning digging up the gardens because frankly there is not much out there to be disturbed right now. With the tops died back it’s not easy to see where things are, so I have unearthed clumps of daylily roots that I’ve separated and replanted as well as lots of Surprise Lilies that didn’t bloom this year and spring bulbs that needed to be thinned. I’m pulling out some plants that don’t work and when I shop the fall sales I will be looking for things that have proven they can deal with Kansas.

In the springtime when the rain is adequate and everything is thriving it is easy to get tricked into adding more “stuff”. Then along comes July and August to flip the switch, turn off the water, add the heat and remind you that you live in Kansas. I’m going to really try to stop trying to grow things just because I like them. Even native wild-growing trees are dying this year.


Monday, August 20th, 2012

With Kansas so hot and dry this year it was wonderful to take a quick get-away to the lake cottage in Maine owned by our daughter’s husbands family. It was SO cool and quiet there. A blessed relief from the summer we were experiencing at home! There is more moisture in the air here than we have had all summer at home!

The first morning there this was our view from the edge of the foggy lake – what a way to enjoy the morning coffee. No sounds except an occasional Loon call.

Later in the morning the fog lifted and we went to Pemaquid Point to see the lighthouse. So picturesque! Sitting on the rocks amid the swirling seagulls I snapped this view of the crashing waves. Doesn’t it look just like a painting? I’m sure this trip will give me ideas for new work.

My lens jammed when I tried to zoom in on the rocks and then the camera would do NOTHING! No seagull pictures, no lighthouse pictures, no response from the camera to any commands. Luckily when we got back and plugged it into the charger everything cleared up and worked fine for the rest of the trip, so I will share more photos later.


Catch Up

Monday, August 6th, 2012

As much as I hate doing it, I am making good progress getting the books caught up. There is always such a feeling of satisfaction, mixed with chagrin at having let it slide once again.

I’m disappointed at not being able to see very much of the equestrian events in the Olympics this year. Well that is not a surprise as they don’t usually cover it very well, but it does leave me plenty of time to work on those books!

This is McLain Ward of the US Team, I believe.  My internet coverage timed out before the event finished so I don’t know how it ended. How unsatisfying!

The highest I personally have jumped a horse is 3.5 ft and it felt like flying. I can only imagine how this must feel!

When I shopped on Friday in two different shops, I found three possibilities for the sky binding on the Turbine piece one of which just might work! I have sticker shock at the current prices of fabric and am glad to have a huge stash to rely on most of the time. Neither shop had the fabric that I was looking for for the Ks scene so I ordered that online.  The shipping was more than the fabric which was pretty expensive already – as much for a half yard as what I paid for a whole yard when I started on this crazy quilting path!

Olympics, etc.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

My favorite summer Olympic event is Equestrian and it is sadly overlooked by the TV coverage. We don’t get the sports channel that is carrying it so I’m getting some on-line but my service is not of a level that makes that very satisfactory. I can get news and action clips that are better than nothing though. I also like Gymnastics and that IS well covered so I have been enjoying that this year. How about that team gold for the ladies!!

On the sewing front, I am at a standstill. I finished the Kansas scene, but I’m thinking that I might add some borders.

I need some more fabric if I do that though, so I’ve set it aside for now.

For the Turbine piece, I wanted to bind it in fabrics to match the sky and the prairie, but I have only a tiny piece of the sky fabric left and it is a one of a kind hand dyed shibouri. So I went for the black but it is too confining; it sort of fights the feel of the wide open spaces of the prairie.

Right now the binding is sewn to the front but only pinned on the back. I thought I would live with it awhile and try to like it, but it is not working.

Friday I am meeting friends for our annual trip to a fabric store and lunch out. I will look for fabrics suitable for these two projects, so everything is on hold now for a few days.

Meanwhile I will work on the books and listen to the Olympics.