Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mid July Garden Update

 Green Zebra, Red Zebra, cherry, yellow pear, and German wandering tomato on our raised bed.
 Everyone has them, but I've always loved black eyed susans.
 Pam's Choice foxglove that was started from seed.
 The pathway bed gearing up for summer. 
 This weekend's haul so far. 
 Indigo Rose blue tomatoes ripening.
A very lumpy German wandering tomato. We tried the first runty one and to me it was nice and sour, but I find that the first tomatoes that ripen aren't always the best examples of what you're going to get, I'll wait to see if the rest aren't mealy. Great taste, bad texture. Not bad for a tomato most people thing are disgusting.

Idaho Botanical Garden Private Garden Tour: House VI

I should have gotten a shot of the front of this house, but it was the last garden of the day and it was rather unassuming. We walked through a breezeway and found this:
There was a LOT going on in this garden. Kyle remarked that the facades reminded him of Knott's Berry Farm. We wandered around getting lost with all the little details. The gardeners had collected a lot of old local signs. Kyle even found one he remembered as a kid, up on one of the walls. I'll let you wander with my photos through the garden...

I think the Koppel's sign was the one Kyle remembered.
This really was an antique pickup parked behind one of the facades. It sure added some depth and mystery to the garden.
The little building facades all hid "utilitarian" areas, such as this produce garden.
A water meter cover pathway.
There was storage back here.

Tomatoes behind the facades.
Potting shed looking into the garden.

This garden kept the eyes moving for sure. 

Well, that's the end of my photos for the 2014 Private Garden Tour, thanks for coming by!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


The raised garden beds took forever. There weren't any good plans we could find online, so we made our own. We loved the galvanized steel and redwood look and also wanted to build very sturdy beds. The main beds have been in place for a while, but the caps on the top that we can sit on or set gardening tools on while tending garden took forever. We aren't carpenters, but I think we did a good job. We also got them mostly hooked up with drip irrigation today and will finish that project tomorrow. Phew, what a pain in the behind job this was. We still haven't put the weed barrier on the ground or mulched yet. All in good time. 
 Our main problem was attention to detail.
 Our super boring suburban house (less and less to us these days) has a few octagonal air vents and a window. We couldn't find octagonal lag screws, but we thought the hexagonal ones would reflect that detail.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pond Visitors

It isn't the most spectacular dragonfly I've ever seen, but there are two of these visiting the fountains. I love this lens.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Idaho Botanical Garden Private Garden Tour: Houses IV & V

I've been slacking, (more like spending all my off time working on our garden) so this post will go over two of the gardens. One of them was in it's first year, so there is a lot less to discuss.  House IV is the last of the Boise's North End, and eclectic neighborhood know for all sorts of historic houses, smatterings of guerrilla architecture, and lots of gardens. Some well kept, others long into disrepair. Most folks that move to the North End pay a premium to live in a neighborhood chock full of character.  
House IV had so many different plants. Again this house is on a smaller lot, but it seemed expansive with all that was going on.  
 I don't think I saw a blade of grass in the front or side yards. 
 When you enter that back yard, a beautiful, colorful garden welcomes you in. 
 It was an explosion of color and texture. 
 It was like a living fireworks show, and it was so very lush.
 I liked this old watering can trellis.
 One of the features of this property is an irrigation ditch or lateral that runs along the inside of the back fence. Instant water feature. I also spied a pump hooked up for irrigation. If it's like the rest of Boise, the water runs from early April to October on a good year. 
 The water is very cold and works a bit like outdoor air conditioning. O.K., on to house V.

 The garden volunteers at this house told us that it had been purchased early this spring, renovated and a new garden planted. The plants are still young and will take a few years to establish and take off.
 This house is on the Boise Bench, it runs south and west of downtown on a terrace of land above the river. While there are many historic homes, you can see that Boise began to grow here in the 50's to around the 70's. Fans of mid-century architecture can find some real gems in the Bench.  This house got a nice updated finish.
You can't throw a stone in Boise without hitting tons of river cobbles and gravel. Most people don't like the look of it, but this dry creek bed works well. 
 On the side of the house behind the white fence are some raised vegetable beds. Then further around and past the side driveway and garage you entered the back yard with the most inviting pool and wonderful waterfalls. It was hot out and after 3+ hours of tour, I was ready to jump in. I now want a pool at our place. 
 Behind the falls looking toward the large shaded patio. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

First Harvest 2014

Just a few red Cherry 100's and a couple yellow pears. There are loads on the vines getting ready to ripen.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Idaho Botanical Garden Private Garden Tour: House III

From what I understand, the first house we visited was designed by the owners, one of whom is some sort of designer. It showed, that stone and paving were beautiful. This third house was designed by Madeline George Nursery. Some before photos show a completely blank dirt yard, I don't know if the house went through a remodel or not. While both houses have relatively small yards, they made great use of the space they had. This third house, based on the layout of structures, had some built in nooks and crannies that begged to be made into secluded garden rooms- a concept I am trying to wrap my mind around for our garden.
This garden was designed by Madeline George Nursery here in Eagle. This was the most involved thought out garden we toured.  The garden was expertly designed to draw you and and then surprise you. The front plantings really balance with the size of the house. So many foundation plantings are too narrow.
As you walk to the garden gate a lush and varied garden keeps your interest.
The stark sunlight really did this photo little justice. Upon entering the gate, a cool little entry welcomes you in. The little fox plaque added a lot of visual interest while remaining understated.
Then you get pulled further back by the weeping evergreen.
To find a pretty little seating area with a fire pit. The rock landscaping gave it the feel of a mountain forest campsite. I have a feeling they'll end us adding some more comfortable seating to this area for more use.
You definitely never felt like you were in a standard rectangle fenced in yard. This garden also felt very private. The first thing I noticed when I was processing my photos was that there were power lines overhead the back of the garden. I never noticed them when we were there. We have the same eyesore along the side of ours. The taller trees break up the lines and make them less noticeable. The art of "deception" comes in handy in gardening I'm learning.
I really liked the dining area.
The trickle of the water feature compels one to admire the greenery behind it from the dining area.
Another nook hides a private hot tub spot. The bamboo made it feel like there wasn't a fence there. The original plan for the garden was in the entryway and it showed a mirror on the fence behind the bamboo to give the feel of more depth. Now that is down-right sneaky. I love it. I went back and checked behind the bamboo-no mirror. More than one change and omission occurred during the construction of the garden, so some things were either put off due to budget, or all-together abandoned. 
I really liked this trellis on the outside of the fence. I love organic design. This garden was pretty amazing and I learned a few tricks. My garden will have more flowers. I like my flowers, especially unusual ones. I really want one of these plants somewhere in our garden.