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A Moveable Feast

10 Mar

Spring waits for no man.  My vegetable seeds are calling to me from the garage, wailing “Plant me noowww“.  In my last post I mentioned I am renting a house until I find the right one to buy.  As such, I have been researching a garden bed that I can plant, tend and then pack up and take with me when it’s time to go.  It needs to be light, easy to move and extremely affordable. I thought I’d share some of the ideas I came across in my research.



Idea #1:  A Truck Garden.  Great mobility.  Maybe a bit…too much.



Part of a project by film makers
Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis.
Photo from


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Rest On One’s Oars

20 Jan

Winter comforts: a snug room, the crackle and smell of a wood fire, amber candle flames, stacks of good books to read.  While the earth sighs in winter, drawing in upon itself, it is good to “rests on one’s oars” too.

Rest on one’s oars:  To relax after strenuous exertion; to suspend one’s efforts temporarily…Often this boating phrase is extended to mean…relying on the momentum of past performance to carry one along.   Rest on one’s oars was used literally in the early 18th century, and figuratively shortly thereafter.  From Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary.

Gathered pine cones carry the seeds of the next chapter, foreshadowing spring’s fragrant new pines.

More comforts: a soft couch with plentiful pillows, thick, cozy throws, and dreaming dogs curled up fast asleep, legs twitching as they run in soft summer meadows.  Excuse me, I think I’ll curl up myself and rest on my oars for just a bit now.




A Room With A View

11 Jan

Looking for me?  I’m out here in the garden, doing what I would otherwise have been doing indoors.

Last spring as I sat working away on my computer, Beatrix the Hummingbird built a nest in the outdoor chandelier.  There we sat for weeks she and I, face-to-face some six feet apart, me sitting on my bench busy with my work, she sitting on her eggs busy with her work, the chandelier rocking gently in the wind.

One day Beatrix stopped coming.  I began to miss her so I climbed on the bench and peeked in her nest for a clue to her absence.  My heart sank.  Something had discovered her tiny perfect little eggs.  A rat perhaps? Another bird?  The baby possum I had seen running along the top of the brick wall?  There they lay as Beatrix would have found them, broken and lifeless.

Summer began to bloom so that by mid-morning it was too hot to stay outside.  Besides, computer batteries only last so long.  What I really needed was a bit of privacy, some shade and some electricity. What I really needed was an outdoor room!

The previous owners had erected a pergola that I was determined to press into service.  An electrician routed wire via an underground PVC pipe and created outlets.  Voila, electricity!  Two sides were bordered by walls so I potted Bougainvillea vines along the third and hung curtains on the fourth, which faces the street.  Voila, privacy!  Growing king and queen palms threw their leafy arms across the “ceiling”.  Voila, shade!

Next was comfy garden furniture: a coffee table to work on plus a bench, chairs and ottoman for my feet, all with apple green cushions (from Smith & Hawkin’s going-out-of business sale).

Beatrix still passes by on her morning nectar runs but now, rather than “barking” at me to claim her territory (as hummingbirds do) she just pauses curiously to look.  I like to think we’ve gotten companionably used to each other’s company.  I keep red Mandeville in flower for her breakfast, hoping she will stick around for spring and try building her nest again, this time in a better spot.