Monday, October 27, 2008

Garden Stroll Before Glazing

I decided to take a stroll in the garden this morning before the sun came up. The lighting is really different this early in the morning. On the way to the studio, there are three maple trees. The one in the the middle of the yard is turning color much sooner than the other two. It's only the difference of 10 or 20 feet, but it seems to make a difference in when the leaves change color. The other two are closer to the house and I think its warmer there.

I have raised bins near the studio and they are usually all planted with vegetables, but this year I reserved two bins to try dahlias. If you have never grown dahlias, give them a try. They are so beautiful and they bloom all year long. Towards the end of summer they weren't looking that good, kind of sun burnt, but now they are spectacular again. They're getting taller and taller and the flowers are huge. I think dahlias like the weather a bit cooler. Heck, I do too, our summers really hot here. As the sun came up I noticed the honey bees looking for nectar on the dahlias.

I spent the good part of the weekend planting some trees at the upper part of our property. I know, I know, you're probably saying, doesn't she have enough plants. Hasn't she been complaining about all she has to take care of. Well, yes, that's all true. But in case we don't sell for awhile, I am trying to screen out some of the traffic noise from the highway.

Anyway Cupressus arizonica, Arizona Cypress, are drought tolerant and take little or no care. See, they won't be too much work at all. They make a good screen and wind break and like the heat. The foliage is fragrant and a beautiful gray-green color and the bark is reddish brown. And they grow fast into a pyramid shape. Why didn't I think of these trees sooner? The only draw back I have found so far is the foliage makes your skin itch if you rub against the foliage, which I had to do while planting them. I can't wait for these trees to screen our front yard. Next time you come to visit me in my studio take a look at our future conifer forest, even if the forest is planted neatly in a row.

I've got a ton of glazing to do today so I am off to start in.


  1. Your dahlias are gorgeous. I wish I had more sun around my house - I'd love to grow them. And I think a lot potters love to garden & cook. The three things seem to go together somehow.
    Hope you have a good glaze firing . . . .

  2. Hi Judy, you might try some dahlias, they don't need all that much sun, just don't water them too much if you have part shade.

    I hope its a good firing too. I am madly glazing everything and trying to squeeze in a few experiments at the same time - some oxide washes over matt glazes and some overlapping glazes. It seems at the college level it's hurry up and get everything done so you can get it in the kiln and it doesn't leave too much time for creativity or experimenting in glazing, but I am trying my darnest to get some of it in at each firing.

  3. Hi LInda! Wow, your place looks beautiful! I feel so fortunate to live in California. When I see the photos from all the pottery bloggers in cold, soggy, snowy locales, I just shiver.

    Where would you like to move to, when your property sells?

  4. Hi Patricia, thanks, our place is a lot of work to keep up. We want to downsize so we'll have less property to take care of. Also want to be a bit closer to a larger metropolis for shopping, culture, hospitals, etc. and so I can participate more in an art community. College towns have their advantages.

    I liked Sequim. I don't know Atlanta, but Gary says he liked that city (he hates cities - so that's unbelievable). I actually like the Bay Area, but he groew up there and doesn't like all the traffic. Just don't know - we'll head out in our motorhome and "discover" a place. We've done that four times already - hopefully this will be our last.

    Right now I belong to the Ventura Potters Guild but it is too far away to drive for meetings and the Fresno one is too - so I feel isolated, want to change that.

    I like that you said "when" we sell - hopefully it will be before next summer.

  5. I could have sworn that I already commented on this post, but apparently I became distracted, read and left.

    I love the early morning and despite trying to sleep in, I get up before the sun rises like clock work.

    Your flowers are beauties! I've never planted dahlias before, but one of my neighbors and garden buds did this year. They're fantastic.

  6. Beautiful pics. Thanks for checking out my blog. How did you find it? I hope to have a studio someday... I'm rather new at this (about 2 years). Barrel firing is way fun; as well as raku-- I actually like it all. Will keep reading yours in the days to come.

  7. Hi Cynthia, I am really enjoying the garden now that I don't have to water as much. The dahlias are so big just one is enough to fill a vase. One would be perfect in one of the vases you posted recently with the narrow opening.

  8. Hi Amy, I think I saw a post on Michael's blog that said something about barrel firing and went from there. I have only been doing ceramics for about three years myself and only have a studio as I converted another space for it. I hope to have a full fledged studio some day soon. Looking forward to reading more of your posts too.


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