Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What I've Been Up To

At last some art to share! I did this sketch at our family getaway over the weekend while my husband was doing some welding. I’ve long wanted to paint this old maple and decided to see what I could do with some pastel pencils that I keep over there. I would really like to have gotten more done on it, but the flies were driving me “buggy”, and I couldn’t find any Off to deter them. Finally, they won, and I went inside to read an art magazine.

The days and weeks have been very busy this month, mostly with gardening and two trail rides per week. My husband helped to dig out new flower beds so that we now have flower beds extending the whole length of the fence along the road. He also helped immensely by digging out a section along the fence where there had once been a driveway. It was hard-packed gravel and not suitable for planting and had been a bare spot in the flower beds for several years.

                                               Above is our new Purple Leaf SandCherry

Before planting the new perennials, I moved some of the old ones which had ended up in bad spots. It’s been a lot of trial and error as I learn the growing habits of my different plants. The catmint, for instance, spread out and up and completely took over the areas where it was planted and hid one of my cone flowers and a gayfeather. I moved my two catmints to areas where they will not cover up less boisterous plants and can live in harmony with the sweet peas and iris. Or, fight it out, as the case may be.

                                              I just love these lovely magenta Asiatic Lilies!

                                                   I couldn't resist these lovely dianthus

The final step is to mulch all the beds, and that’s what I’ve been working on lately. So far this summer, gardening has been my creative outlet. Deciding where best to plant each new perennial is definitely an exercise in good design and color balance.

Last Friday was Farrier day at the barn, a much welcome visit as Scottie’s feet had become very long. Fortunately, they stayed fairly balanced front to back so weren’t putting an added strain on his torn flexor tendon. It was a hot day, and Shelley set up the sprinkler in the arena to cool the horses. She also set up two fans for the farrier. When Scottie was all done, I turned him out in the arena, and he walked back and forth at the edge of its range getting squirted each time it went around. I think he was looking for the spot where it would spray on him continually. This is the horse who doesn’t like baths and hates being sprayed in the face! He could easily have moved out of range but clearly chose not to do so.
To my great relief, Scottie has been doing wonderfully on our trail rides and hasn’t shown any signs of lameness after the rides. He seems to enjoy them as much as I do although he definitely speeds up when he knows we’re on our way back to the barn. On one recent ride, I let him pick his own direction when we came to another trail off of the one we were on. We’ve never been on that trail before, but he seemed interested and left the other horses to find out where it went. We went quite a ways before I stopped him and turned him back. He did it again when we came to another trail. One of these days I’ll let him go and see how long it takes him to realize that he’s all by himself without the herd to protect him. I might be in for a wild ride after that!

  A new shady area plant; brunera  

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