Wednesday, September 26, 2012

garden inspiration

 I have always loved gardens.  From as far back as I can remember, I would plan and think about garden designs.  Growing up in Chicago, I remember going to my great-aunt's home for family parties.  Your typical Chicago bungalow filled with lively Italians and FOOD!  What struck me when I was a child was Aunt Tina's garden.  With a cannoli in hand, I followed my cousins out the back door and was mesmerized by what I saw.  Tall brick walls inclosed the small Chicago lot.  Beautiful vines creeping up the old brick and large statues throughout the garden surrounded by flowers and greenery.  A formal design with many of the same characteristics as the garden below.

I knew at that moment, that I wanted an enchanted garden when I grew up.  

Sawyer/Berson Architecture & Landscape Architecture








Tuesday, September 25, 2012

decorating for our fall bash

We are having a fall party to celebrate our kids' birthdays before the baby comes.  I think that it's fun and important for kids to see their artwork throughout their home.  The same thing was true for my art students.  They had a hand in creating our art room which, gave them ownership and confidence in the work that they produced in the space.


Fall leaves for our chandelier...

with a sharpie draw leaves on wax paper




mix one part water and one part glue in a bowl







cut tissue paper into small squares and paint them on the wax paper















The food...

 pumpkin cake for the kids

witch hat cookies that my daughter helped me make


scarecrow cupcakes



The stairs...



For our stairs I grabbed some pinecones from outside and tied them up with some burlap and branches.



Our fall mantel...  

Our mantel is an odd shape.  We have a soffit that runs above it so we are limited with height.  Challenges aside I like simple design.  I look for photos and artwork that have sentimental value.  Here I layered a Cezanne print with a fall photo of one of my beans.  The pumpkins are sitting on my grandmother's silver candlestick holders.





Happy Autumn!












Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

we have white flies and it ain't pretty

For a couple of years I have been trying to get my shade garden rocking under our two honeysuckle shrubs.  It is the first view you see when looking out our back door and it looks like crap!


Last year I was laxed about this area and did not address some of the leaf damage on some of my plants.  BAD IDEA!  This spring and summer I was determined to get some sort of vignette going in this bed.  I added about 10 hostas ( 3 different varieties) a lungwort and some lily of the valley.  The lungwort and 2 hostas were the only survivors.




SO what happened....

I thought we had the honeysuckle aphid which would maybe explain why all the plants below were suffering.  I had the tree doc look at the honeysuckles but he said they were fine.  
After doing my research I found that we have white flies.      

I'm not sure if it's the hormones from being 9 months pregnant or just pure frustration but I ripped everything out except the healthy guys.  I know I could have tried to work with some of them but my patience was thin and I needed a clean slate.



Before I started up again I cleared out the bed and trimmed up the honeysuckles.  I also found a couple of helpful articles that I hope will help me in the future.  
http://hortchat.com/info/white-fly
http://www.bugspray.com/article/whiteflies.html  


I will not give up!



Some combos to get me going.....


Plants to get me back on track....hydrangea, goatsbeard, and existing hosta "Francee"


source unknown

adding rocks throughout



Some nice combinations for shade at the link below...

Hydrangea-Blushing Bride
Lungwort 
Japanese Forest Grass
Creeping Jenny
Beautyberry 
Hostas
Toad Lily

In the spring I will assess what plants need to be added as well as moving some of my many rocks in to this bed.




I'm feeling better already!









































Tuesday, September 11, 2012

some fall trimmings

I am trying to do fall around here on a budget.  It is important when you have to buy diapers and fall shoes that you think of ways to make it beautiful yet practical.  So here is my attempt...
  


We don't get any sun on our front porch so I used willow branches that I had from Michaels to add height to this planter. 

I dug up some ivy from the side yard to add some draping.

To add color I used a coupon to purchase two shade perennials that I can plant in the yard before it gets too cold.  




Our side yard is a shared and loved space with my garden buddy Sue.  Her pines are dropping an insane amount of pinecones this year which seems odd considering how dry and hot it was.  Whatever the reason, we are taking advantage of it by making stuff!


The kids and I made pinecone garland for our fence.....





So far so good!  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

what sparks you to create

There are things that I see and hear that spark my soul to create.  You know, they are those things that give you a RUSH of inspiration.  When you have encountered it, you suddenly feel that you can do anything.  My brother is one of my sparks.  He reminds me of what it means to be a fearless artist in this day and age of labeling and categorizing.  John works endlessly at his craft and it is 100% his own.  It would be easy for him to take the safe route with his music.  Cover songs and create songs that the "general" public would relate to.  But he won't.  He won't because he is the epitome of what a real artist is.   

My advice to myself and others is to remember your sparks and keep on creating.  It's what makes the world a beautiful place!