Monday, September 29, 2014


 Got pots? Proof positive that I'll have to empty out a few more pots to have any space for other plants...the succulents are SUCCING UP all the shelf space!  
 I did manage to squeeze in one geranium at the back but I really need to downsize the succulent collection. I knew this but I kept hoping that they'd all fit. Well, not so much. By the end of October we'll be setting the heater (lower left corner) on about 52 degrees to keep everything happy. 
Sonia, the garden angel is squeezed into the opposite corner where she'll be nice and cozy for winter. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014


 During the summer months, I leave the greenhouse door open. Otherwise the temps can get well in excess of 120 degrees, even with the shade cloth covering on the roof. So it gives the spiders ample time to set up housekeeping. They love it in there! But it's nothing a shop vac can't cure... 
 Since the weather has started to "turn" to fall temps, I got in there (I leave the shop vac on the outside as there isn't room for both of us inside) and suck up the bugs. Did I mention that there are always a few crickets as well? Then I get out my window washing gear, make up some ammonia solution and have at the polycarbonate panels, inside and outside. The rivers of mud runoff on the outside make me think that this should let more light in this winter. Oye. 

I also wash down the bare cedar slats on the upper shelves and this year I used some of my favorite stain (Storm in "wet sand" color) to paint the lower cedar planks and the cedar baseboard. 
That's the easy part...Stay tuned for shoe-horning in of way too many succulents that I just had to have, knowing they couldn't winter over in our climate zone. Sinners repent! will be my future lament... 

Friday, September 26, 2014


 Harvest time here at Angel Crest Manor! This is just a small part of what is to come from the potato bed. These are Kennebec potatoes that have a delicious, fluffy pure white insides when baked. Yummm! You can make a whole meal out of one.
As for the Heavenly Blues, they are taking over the north fence and making a spectacular early fall display.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Here he or she is! The wonderful praying matis that actually devours bugs, especially aphids and other small stuff. I'd almost given up hope of having any in this garden because we haven't had any aphid infestations this year. But I chanced upon it on my bush zucchini plants this morning. The mantids are on the every gardener's list of the most beneficial insects. According to Sunset the native ones are somewhat rare (you can buy Chinese mantid egg cases from a garden supply) and don't account for eating a lot of bugs but there is just something wonderful about having them. They are very gentle and will rest on your hand very lightly unless they see some bugs to eat. Then they hop off and tend to business. I think this one is young since it is smallish. Hope it's a female and she has lots of babies!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


 When I was walking the dog, I spied a huge mound of pine needles that had been blown into the street up the hill about a block away from us. I knocked on the door of the house where they came from and only 3 big dogs came to the humans. So I raced home (as fast as you can race with a terrier who has to pee on everything), got Mr. A and the Brat pickup and we scooped the needles into the truck and scurried away. The pile (about 6' long and 3' high) now resides in our side yard, awaiting the electric leaf mulcher. It makes great compost and top dressing, as the pitch in the needles inhibits weed seeds from sprouting. 
Aside from a spot of petty larceny today, I did manage to appreciate the Heavenly Blue morning glories that are just now blooming on the fence. They test my patience as they are always the last variety to bloom!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


 Jack just completed this mixed media painting (marker, gouache, ink and pencil) for a fan in South Dakota who wanted his folk's salvage business remembered along with his first car and his hometown of Webster, SD. Nowadays there isn't a car Jack hasn't drawn at some point or has photo scrap. And of course there's the Internet to help with finding hometown water towers! So we had a couple of days of motor noises emanating from the studio. The fan/customer is hoping to commission yet another painting this fall. 
Meanwhile the volunteer morning glories are taking over the greenhouse. I used a few clothespins originally to hold the first vine on to the shade cloth on the roof. Since then many more have joined it! If we have a strong fall storm at some point, I'm sure the whole thing will come down but since I don't need to close the door yet, I'm enjoying the effect! I just have to watch out for the bees buzzing about those purple blooms.