Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Garden Tour

Welcome.  I am so happy that you stopped by.  My garden gate is always open for you to come in and sit and relax for a few minutes.  Today you are invited to an early summer garden tour of my small space garden located on the side of our house.  It is long and narrow and divided into small rooms and based on the small walled gardens located in the South of France that I fell in love with on a trip to France.

 We were so fortunate to have some rain early in the year and even though it was not enough to officially end our four year drought - it was enough to help our flowers and trees.  We lost  two of our large  trees and all of our hydrangeas during the height of the drought.

Bentley. my Garden Assistant, is waiting to take you on a little tour.




This corner of the garden was devastated by the drought as we lost a large tree and large blue Hydrangea bushes. The first room is all gravel in the English/French cottage style.  I moved the high back bench to the corner to give some height until the newly planted tree fills in.

We dug up most of the grass in the side garden when the drought started several years ago and love how easy it is to take care of.

I like to change the pillows around  in this corner to add even more color to make up for the loss of our large Hydrangea bushes.



Geraniums have been the mainstay flower during our drought as they are colorful and do well with limited water.  Ours are the Martha Washington variety that do well under drought conditions and like to trail when planted.








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The brick walkway leads to the front door.






Off the front door is the little sitting room that is divided from the gravel area by a little white pick fence. Flags and colorful  red and white check  pillows come out on Memorial day and stay in the garden until early Fall. The Newport Bay and Pacific ocean are just a few short miles away and the garden takes on a coastal cottage feel during the Summer months.








As an artist and flower painter I am happiest with lots of color in the garden and love creating little spots of it in the garden with  real flowers or flowers on fabric.

Joy is one of my favorite words that describes how I feel in the garden.



The "faux" stepping stones lead to the little area which is a lovely place to sit and have a cup of tea.

The mirror reflects the garden and gives the illusion of more depth.


Vintage table cloths add color and whimsy to the tea table.


"Blossom" our vintage dress form keeps watch over the garden - she is very fickle and likes to change outfits on a whim!




The Nasturtiums have taken over and  are now acting as decorations for her skirt.

She likes to wave her flag for the Fourth of July which is right around the corner!




Ladders are a great way to add height and interest in a small space garden.


Vintage galvanized rabbits add a touch of whimsy.


The Secret Garden gate leads to the kitchen garden behind the house  where herbs and flowers  are growing and winds around to the little patio off the kitchen.



Bentley loves to hang out in the kitchen garden as it is a nice sunny spot for him to nap and he also enjoys nibbling on the herbs and Nasturtium flowers.


I just replaced the old white wicker chairs with a newer Adirondack chair as the seats were getting too loose to safely sit on - they are now in a friend's garden where she used them as planters! 




The neighbors Nasturtium plant grew under our fence and up the little bird house trellis. The picket fence planter on the right was made to plant herbs in that are used for cooking.
Nasturtiums  make pretty little bouquets when mixed with other cut flowers.
They seem to grow wherever  planted - even in an old rusty funnel!



Their gardener recently  tore out the Nasturtium plants and the one growing up my trellis died. I planted one on my side of the fence and am waiting for it to start climbing. In the meantime I hung little galvanized pots with yellow flowers on the  bird house  trellis to add some color.  Just like "Blossom"  I am constantly changing around the outdoor pillows and moving furniture and pots of flowers around.


French doors in the kitchen lead out to the little kitchen garden. It is very sunny and the perfect place to sit and have a cup of morning tea. I collect vintage table cloths and enjoy using them in the garden to add color.





Thank you for stopping by.  I am in the process of changing domain carriers and my blog has been down during the past week. Hopefully it is back up now and you will be able to continue to receive my blog posts.
I sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails, comments and those who follow my blog.

Have a lovely week.   Blessings,  Erin

                      "In wisdom you have made them all: the earth is full of your creatures."  Psalm  104:24


Monday, May 30, 2016

Dahlia Inspirations

Welcome.  I am so happy that you stopped by.  Today you are invited to leave my garden and take a little field trip with me to the beautiful botanical gardens at Sherman Library and Gardens to look for Dahlia inspirations for the "Paint a Dahlia" class I am teaching there as part of their Art in The Garden series.







The Art in the Garden series is based on art lessons in the garden featuring  seasonal flowers in bloom in the garden and the month of June features Dahlia flowers.



The setting for the classes is beautiful and so inspirational.  The classes are for all levels of painters and non painters and we paint a single flower bloom on a small 4x4 canvas that is manageable for everyone taking the classes.



The art classes are held in this beautiful area.



I planted a few small Dahlias in my garden so I would have them as a reference to use in my studio.









I painted several samples and decided to use the one with the check bow to teach the class.

My paint palette was so pretty I hated to throw it away so I saved it to use for wrapping paper.




Thank you for stopping by. I sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails and comments and those who follow my blog.  Once my classes are completed I plan to get back to blogging weekly.

Have a lovely week. Blessings,  Erin

                                             "Therefore I tell you, do not worry."  Matthew 6:25