Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cousin Diane's Gifts

Cousin Diane is here for a visit and like her last visit, she came bearing gifts.

Instead of catnip, it was a large rawhid bone and peanut butter dog cookies.  The bone is bigger than any bone she has ever seen!  After walking around with it for a few minutes, Stirling couldn't resist any longer:  she had to go out in the garden and bury it.  Now, it is marinating in the dirt, to be dug up in a few days and then eaten.  Delicious.  Thanks, Diane!

Friday, September 28, 2012


We have added to our circle of dog visitors: Otter.  He was here over the weekend.  He is lightening fast and loves to get Stirling (and Biscuit) running, but is deathly afraid of children.  Which is highly ironic because he is the perfect size and cuteness to attract very child within a five mile radius.  Minus his slight issue with indoor vs. outdoor plumbing, we would gladly have him back.  Stirling never slept so soundly after he went home!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Office Transformation

Since we moved back into the kitchen and Will into his office, I have been unhappy (to say the least) about how the plant shelves and stand look. While I enjoy the plants, I dislike how the shelves quickly become a dumping ground for our stuff, plant and non-plant related.

After much discussion (whining?), we had a solution and finally found a way to execute that plan.

You all know how we love our mobiles.... so, we thought: why not suspend the plants on a hanging shelf? 

We found from Pier One two pot racks that were baskets.  We purchased matching chains.  We drilled in hooks into the ceiling. We adjusted the lengths. We arranged the pots.

And viola! Suspended plant shelves!  

Barbados Cherry Bonsai

Will's Bonsai Barbados Cherry Tree has flowered!  The blooms are stunning and so delicate--and no bigger than my pinky fingernail!

The Chinese writer is enjoying his thoughts underneath the tree, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Swedish Dahlias

Last  October, Will and I went to Denmark and Sweden (for a half day).  We went to the Lund Botanical Gardens and had a lovely stroll around the place, a quick picnic lunch, and a seed "borrowing" session.  Click here to see the video of our day out in Sweden and the gardens.

When we returned home and at the right moment for seed sowing, Will tossed a few of the dahlia seeds into a patch of dirt around the front corner of the house.  We were pleasantly surprised when several sprouts pushed through the ground, though I thought that they might have been weeds.  The sprouts grew tall and started to bud.  Will, away for a week, had me tell him daily updates as we had started to suspect what type of plant is was.  When it finally burst open and it was a gorgeous  red flower, we knew that the had been successful in growing Swedish Dahlias!  It is very exciting and we hope that it will continue to propagate here in its new country.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Last of the Produce?

Though it is fall and the garden isn't producing as much, we still managed to get these perfect yellow peppers.  We have a few more tomatoes on the vine, but the basil is going to seed, the figs are finished, and the rhubarb is slowing down its stalk production.  We need to start getting the garden ready for winter-- though we might plant some winter veg: lettuce, chard, and the like.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pot of Orchids

For Will's birthday this year, I took inspiration from Bangkok at the Jim Thompson House, where we saw an ancient Chinese porcelain pot filled with the same variety of orchids.

I found a massive pot from Oriental Furnishing online-- one of the biggest pots I could find, actually: 20" diameter.

Because of its size, it was wrapped in a bedsheet--tied with a ribbon!--but Will was still able to guess what his package was.  

We finally were able to get the coconut bark and moss and transplanted at least 9 orchid plants into the container.  Over the years word has gotten out (I am not sure how.  wink, wink) that Will can make orchids rebloom.  We have been given at least 15 orchids to rebloom, rejuvenate, or return to health.  So far only 2 haven't made it and it was really because they were too far gone before we could rescue them. 

Still, Will transplanted several plants of different varieties, with one of them actually with blossoms.  The container is half filled with those shipping peanuts to help with the water (the pot doesn't have a hole in the bottom) and the rest is bark, moss, and orchids.  Several of the orchids were root-bound and we are hoping that the transplanting will not kill anything.  We bought a nice table and set the pot down--perfect window height. 

I have to say that it looks absolutely marvelous! And should the orchids rebloom, hopefully with several different flowers, it will look even more beautiful. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not Just Sour Grapes

We have successfully grown GRAPES!  I should clarify-- we have grown grapes that have managed to *ripen* on the vine instead of being a snack for every starling, catbird, or pigeon that happens by our garden.

This bunch may not be enough for our own wine, but maybe one day.... They are pretty tasty when you get a ripe one. When you get one that isn't quite ready, it is still pretty sour. 

We have a few more bunches on the vine, so we are hoping that we might have enough for a fruit salad!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Baby Birds

A grey dove is using our dining room window sill as a nesting place for her two eggs.  It is right behind the crepe myrtle in the upper garden and really a lovely place to have to sit for hours keeping her chicks warm; it has a beautiful view of the yard.  The eggs finally hatched and we have two fluffy grey baby birds now.  They wait patiently while the momma bird goes off and feasts on our fig tree (ahem) and returns to feed them (at the same time!!  It was crazy to watch two baby beaks in the momma bird's beak at the same time!).  I hope that we can watch them learn to fly... they can then eventually leave our yard and our figs.  ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brando is FOUR!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRANDO!!!!  We hope that you have a fantastic birthday!!  XXOO, Mim and Willy

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Edward!

Wishing you a Happy Birthday, dear Edward!  We hope it was a wonderful day!


Thursday, September 13, 2012


We seem to never run out of things to do at the house.  With the weather turning nicer, we can do more things outside.  Will decided that it was time to do some repointing.  Mixing the mortar, spraying the concrete, and stuffing in the mixture, Will worked his way around the house.  He dyed the mixture with mortar dye in order to better match the brick.  

 The difficulty for him really comes in with the type of brick we have: it is wire cut and therefore not a smooth face.  Once mortar got onto one of the brick grooves, it meant lots of scraping later on.  Not a job I wanted to take on, that is for sure.  Will got his wire brush and will wait until the mortar is completely dried and set before using it.  You will have to wait for that to happen before I am able to show you the finished project.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chloe Belle is 6!

My niece Chloe is 6 years old today!  She gets a hungry caterpillar party, complete with homemade cupcakes!  Wishing we were there to celebrate!  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mambo!

Happy Birthday to the best mom ever and the greatest grandmother ever-- or should that be the best Mambo ever? 

We love you!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Time to Make the Fig Jam

Upon our arrival home from visiting Kentucky, there was a great need to harvest the abundance of figs from our tree.  I was able to pick about 50-60 within the first go-around.  I had to come in because I was being eaten alive by the mosquitoes.  (Ugh they have been so terrible here!  I can hardly stand to go outside at dusk!)

The next morning, Will picked another 100 more.  With that many, I had plenty for fig jam.  I was able to make 5 jars of jam; even better I managed to give 4 away!  The next morning, we had toast with fig jam on it.  Delicious.  I do think that I can make an improvement though, and that is to make it so that it is homemade jam on homemade bread...  oh! Brilliant!: that is exactly what we will be having for breakfast when my parents come to visit in a few weeks.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

Happy Birthday older brother!  Hope it was a marvelous day and you got to make some fancy drinks to celebrate!