Spring pics and a binding tip

Regan asked for spring pics of the yard. I walked around this morning and took a few. I stopped about every 8 feet and took a snap, so it's kind of a continuouse panorama around two sides of the back yard.

This bed has daylilies along the front and my last remaining rose. Later, it will be a mixture of vegetables and flowers. If you look between the lilies and the stepping stones, you can just barely see the green from my snowpeas. This is the first year I've started them early enough to get a good yield, so if we don't get snowpeas this year, then I don't know what to try next. See the off white pot on the right side? That's a small lemon tree as is the pot in front of the rocker. And, yes, that is a huge whole in the side of that pot. it also doesn't have a bottom. Can't remember how it originally got broken, but it's held together by glue and good wishes and somewhere in the yard is the big chunk that's missing and I do plan to glue it back in. That pot came from my Mother's house a long, long time ago and I guess I'll baby it along until it disintegrates (but it's such a sturdy pot I don't expect that for a long time.

This is the daylily bed. The lilies were about 2 inches tall and surrounded by dead foliage when I started cleaning last friday. Now, they're about 8 inches tall. I keep a lot of tropical shrubs in pots, partly because I like to be able to move them to empty spots in the beds and partly because I can't commit...and partly because the soil in our yard has so much clay that I can care for the shrubs better in pots. There are also iris and some tall grasses and cannas, just a mixture of leaf shapes and a variety of flower colors...later.

This is my sunny sitting area. I'd like to paint the glider this year and wouldn't it be nice if the table next to it was the same color? In the foreground is my large lemon tree. It is covered in purple blooms that will open in a few days. Hopefully, being outside, I'll get some pollinization this year and we'll get more than 3 lemons in December. In the background, behind the glider is the orange tree. It is also covered in blooms about to burst open. It was a hand-me-down from neighbors that moved away and was covered in fruit the first year, but I left all the citrus trees in the greenhouse too long last year and the bugs couldn't get to them. Sydney and I tried to pollinate with cotton swabs, but it just didn't work that well (but that's a great method on tomatoes). The tree trunk on the left is a crabapple and the posts near it are supporting another crabapple. I lost half of the second one last year because the tree overhead grew too large and shadowed it. I'm trying to straighten the remaining leader branch so it grows straight up...with good success so far. I've changed it about 30 degrees and every day, I go out and move the stakes a bit closer to the trunk and straighten it a bit more. Patience.

This is the fern bed. There are a few iris here, too. And, some angel statues and a few daylilies. I hope to fill it with ferns this year. I split a big one last year into 4 pots and hope to move some of them here later this year. Rob also wants a couple of them.

And, the last bed. This is the bed that Sydney and I redid last spring. It is getting established and by summer will be full of old fashioned lilies and shrimp plant and a firestalk that blooms in fall. There are also cast iron and tall grasses so that there is something green in the bed all year long.

And, this is the one lonely daffodil. A few years ago, we gave a friend a makeover of her front bed for her birthday and she had many clumps of daffs. As we were digging, I unearthed one and took it home. Only this one survived in the damp clay. Most bulbs rot if left in the ground around here over the winter because the ground doesn't freeze.

Okay, so here's my binding tip. It's about quickly folding a binding. The pad you see is an old piece of canvas and I put a safety pin in the other side of it so that exactly 1 1/8" of the pin is exposed on this side. I fold one end of my 2 1/4" binding in half and start it under the pin. As I pull, the binding is forced to fold in half. The unfolded side of the binding is on the left of the pin (I'm lefthanded) and the iron is on the right of the pin. As the binding goes through the pin, it gets folded and as it goes under the iron, that fold is pressed in. The canvas is tough enough to handle the extended heat, but I do stand the iron up several times as I go to let everything cool off. This is easier to complete with two people. One person pulls on the right side and the other makes sure that the unfolded side doesn't get all knotted up as it approaches the pin.

I have pins set for every width of binding I've needed to make since I learned this method. (please excuse the dirty ironing surface. That's my applique pressing mat under the canvas and it gets starch stained and has to be recovered every few years.

Okay, so that's what's going on with me. If you've asked for a copy of the Sailing, Sailing quilt, I am being very selfish. I want to put a picture of the finished quilt in the pattern and I'm down to the fingerwork on the binding, so if you're under a time crunch and need it right away, let me know and I'll send it sans pics and then again when mine is finished.

I'm also working on an applique quilt. A friend shared the Keepsake Quilting kit with me a couple of years ago. I am about half through with my first block, which is the pears, third row down, left side. I was going to do this as machine applique, but decided it was too pretty for that and I wanted to do hand applique. Now that I've gotten so far along, I'm not so sure that machine applique would have been any quicker for me as I would have had so much more prep for my applique pieces. I'm loving needle turn now that I'm actually doing it right. I've taken so many shortcuts when I tried in the past and ended up with such disasters that it's quite fulfilling to see it unfold when done correctly. I'll share more about that in another post.

Take care and have a great Thursday.



regan said...

Thank you, Lane! The pics of your garden are great! It's that little bit of spring I needed right now! We won't be into that process for at least another two months!

I love your binding making technique! I'm gonna try that on my next binding, which will be over 360" long! Whew.....I was really dreading that, but this will help immensely! Thanks!

Shirleymac said...

Your garden is way ahead of us here in the North. My winter Heather is blooming though which is a nice touch of colour. Glad your daffodil survived. We were supposed to have a daffodil count in Victoria, BC, this week - they're such show offs - but yesterday they got a dump of snow so they're all covered up.

Thanks for the binding tip. I'll have to try that.

Pauline said...

Love that binding method. Will definately put that into use. So simple. So many times people have a problem and never think to try to solve it, in fact, some never recognize a problem and keep doing a chore the same old way. This solution is genius! Nice to have such a pretty yard. We just have too many rocks to grow much. No dirt to speak of, in fact, we had to import dirt for a cat box. Hehehehe.

Cynthia L. said...

Your garden photos are really nice. I am so happy to see that one Daffodil survived and decided to bloom - must be a stubborn flower.

I love the applique quilt. Can't wait to see what you do with it. Will you stay with the blues in the background?

Elizabeth said...

We have really heavy clay soil here too. Had I known what I know now when I started gardening, I would have dug the clay out of all my beds and replaced it with good soil. When we moved in there were three barberry bushes and three rose bushes (all of them gone now) and that's all there was for perennials. There was a LOT of wide open gardening space, so it would have been totally do-able. I was already in several years and several hundred dollars before I realized that the soil was so bad. I got my gardening experience by trial and error, but I've found it to be a very forgiving hobby.

When you talked about having something green year-round in that bed you and Sydney did last year, I was kind of glad of winter for the few months I get off from gardening. It is nice to have a break and by the time the bulbs start blooming in the spring, I'm ready to get back at it.

Loved seeing your yard. You have a very lovely space. I especially like your sunny sitting area. I'll bet it is a lovely place to be.

Thanks for sharing.

xo -El

lw said...

I haven't seen that binding tip before, it's pretty clever-- I'll have to try it.

I used to have clay soil, but I brought in a lot of sawdust/compost/soil and amended it. Now I have neighbor's trees shading my yard, and until I get the trees cut, I won't be able to grow veggies.

Lisa said...

Hi Lane - your garden is beautiful (mine is rocks / cactus). And I too would love a copy of Sailing Sailing when you get it finished. Thanks! Lisa

Sunshine said...

Oh, that's the first grass I've seen since a while before Christmas... Thanks!

I've seen someone make bias tape using the pin method!