suburb city country

Howdy, friends. It’s been a very long while… Since I last posted we’ve been transplanted – twice! Once from our suburban Texas garden to the bustling city of Washington, DC for a year sabbatical; and then back to Texas, but this time to a new place in the country. Of course I’m wishing now that I had kept a running log of all the things that happened in that time frame here on the blog, but regrettably I didn’t. Instead, I used Instagram, the “micro-blogging” platform to post about #allthethings (okay, maybe just some of the things) going on in the garden of my life. Feel free to peruse my feed @grwhryrpltd if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to lately. I hope to write more about our next chapter in life once we get a bit more rooted into our new digs.

Our former suburban home and garden 2008-2016
Our former entry garden. Sadly the awesome Opuntia is no longer there… 
…nor is Mz. Audrey (I refused to remove her as the realtor implied, but I’m pretty sure the new homeowners eventually did). She would’ve been eight years old.
Our tiny Capitol Hill East garden in DC… all I planted there were the two African Blue Basil plants along the sidewalk and a small herb bed in back. The bees and butterflies loved them. We didn’t really love residing in 700 SF, but relocating to our nation’s capitol was an overall enjoyable, if not eye-opening, experience in living for a year (2016-2017).
Grayson and Dude share a tiny spec of potted earth on our back urban patio. Learning to walk with leashes was so much fun and most entertaining for passersby.
Lots of space to set roots in our homestead in the country. Welcome to #fieldtripfarm


PDX here we come

No, we’re not up and moving again, though I may wish that to be the case by the end of the weekend. Time to head to Portland, Oregon for the 2014 Garden Bloggers’ Fling

GDN BLGR_PDX_badgeYes, it’s been ages since I’ve last blogged… Yes, I’ve had lots of intentions to update this space with goings on in the garden for oh, what seems like two years now (could it be…? yikes, sorry guys) I never got around to posting anything about the Asheville Fling or even last year’s San Fransico Fling (that I helped coordinate from afar), let alone the garden events that occurred in between or since then. My bad… I blame it on Instagram making it too darn easy to upload a photo with a simple caption, have a “conversation” with friends and complete strangers (much like I did here), and move on to the next thing. At least you could’ve been following along with my Instagram and Twitter feeds located in the sidebars here on the blog. Oh well, in my mind’s eye, I tried.

I’ve often thought of re-designing the format here, I just haven’t found one that I like. I’ve even thought of completely overhauling it into a website. I guess in not taking the time to read other blogs consistently, I haven’t dedicated the time to updating or learning how to customize mine. I’ll get around to it. One of these days…?

I took a look at who’s coming to the Portland Fling, and while I’m only half-way through the list I’m impressed with the content I’ve seen so far. Others are obviously finding the time to blog, so maybe I should too. If nothing else, I look forward to sharing time with fellow gardenerds visiting public and private gardens, nurseries, independent garden centers and the like. I’m sure there will be lots of conversation about the state of the garden blog, and what’s coming at us next along the garden path.

See you in PDX!


pardon the break in holiday greens coverage (what was i thinking… a daily post? moi? we’ll see how long this lasts…), today’s images are from the second annual brazos valley pulletpalooza in bryan/college station. six chicken coops graciously opened their gates for touring, chicken fancying and coop construction contemplation. since two of the sites were on last year’s tour, we started with the ones we hadn’t yet seen. since we got a bit of a late start we were only able to visit three, but we know where the others are when we get to the point of wanting chicks of our own…

first up, jeremiah’s chickens on leonard road:

eggs for sale
a cluck of hens and a mild-mannered rooster
reused book shelves make nice nesting boxes

second up, stephanie and her daughter joy’s chichens at bait barn fisheries on highway 21:

former horse stables turned into a comfy but secure chicken coop
on guard
nesting boxes
proud joy's ameraucana egg

third stop, lamar’s chickens on silver maple lane:

a large chicken enclosure, constructed from reused materials by the big event volunteers
a sturdy construction of recycled pallets & brick, bird netting and chicken wire - whatever it takes to keep marauding critters out
a chick settles in to roost for the evening

we wish we could’ve made it to all the coops today, but daylight was waning and time ran out. thanks to everyone who participated. next time we’ll plan ahead and bring our empty egg cartons to share. a meager token from chicken owner wannabes.

assignment: bloedel cover story

when i was in seattle just a few weeks ago, our last day was spent at bloedel reserve, the emerald treasure on bainbridge island. by far it was the garden blogger’s favorite day of #seattlefling, not only because rain shrouded the reserve in a magical mist, but that david perry, photographer extraordinaire treated us to an on-site workshop. as an aside, he was the judge for the january 2011 gardening gone wild picture this contest i entered, where he gave me the “making gourmet lemonade out of sour lemons award” for making the best of a broken mason jar. while his seattle sessions covered tips and tricks of shooting in less than ideal conditions, gratis, he didn’t let us go without an assignment: photograph a cover story of bloedel for the high-end magazine [insert your blog name here]. items to include: a cover shot, two-page photo spread and detail shots, perhaps one showing people interacting with the space. compose the photos into a magazine layout once you get home and post it to your blog and on the garden blogger’s facebook page. anxious to get to work, david reminded the group of the photographic tip he holds closest to his heart: that the secret, most magical element your pictures is missing is you. tell your story.

there was a lot of ground to cover at bloedel, so we all set off in directions that intrigued us. i had studied the bloedel meadow and moss garden as precedent studies for my graduate thesis work seven years ago, and was grateful that i was finally able to experience it in person. i recalled a bit of writing or conversation i had with my thesis advisor, leonard newcomb, that you never see the entirety of where you’re going at bloedel. walking through the moss garden, the japanese garden, the woodland edge and finally, the meadow, i was able to understand exactly what that meant. i should’ve taken leonard’s advice by dropping all my other graduate school responsibilities, maxing out my credit card, and otherwise risking a trip to seattle just to experience the space for myself. who knows how that would’ve affected my thesis work, but had i done that, i wouldn’t have had the accumulative, meaningful experience this time around. life works in peculiar ways sometimes, and i guess that’s why it brought tears to my eyes.

here’s the layout i came up with for the july|august 2011 issue of grwhryrpltd. let me know what you think. i haven’t had a good crit in a while…

for better views of the images, take a look at the bloedel reserve set on my flickr stream here.

refreshed by the PNW

view from gas works park across lake union

i’ve returned from the garden blogger’s annual meetup in seattle, refreshed from the cooler temperatures, views of tall coniferous trees and vast expanses of deep, dark water. it was a wonderful trip of garden touring and catching up with friends both old and new. over four days we visited an array of private and public gardens, retail plant nurseries, a sculpture park and a farmers’ market. knowing how long it can take me to go through all the photos (1028 on the camera, plus several on the phone – but that doesn’t even come close to those who shot over 2000 photos…), i thought i’d post a few to pique your interest until i can spend more time on a post for each tour stop.

pre-seattlefling day 0:

gas works park

apld & gwa regional meetup, that graciously invited garden bloggers to attend:

barbara lycett's garden, host of the apld & gwa regional meetup

seattlefling day 1:

a comfortable respite in the garden of suzette & jim birrell
summer's view from the garden of shelagh tucker
lunch time gathering at the historic dunn gardens (designed by the olmsted brothers)
soest garden at the university of washington's center for urban horticulture
entrance to elizabeth c. miller library at the center for urban horticulture

seattlefling day 2:

lower view of the epping home & garden
filtered-light entry to the lane home & garden
waterwise vegetable & compost garden at the bellevue botanic garden
richard serra "wake" sculpture at SAM olympic sculpture park

seattlefling day 3:

west seattle farmers' market
home & garden of lorene edwards forkner, one of our fabulous seattlefling organizers and timber press author of the forthcoming book, handmade garden projects
garden shed of plantswoman and designer kate farley
interior canopy view of Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia) at south seattle community college's arboretum and coenosium rock garden

gloriously rain kissed seattlefling day 4 on bainbridge island:

bloedel reserve
a mossy gradation
the etheral reflection pool at bloedel reserve
raindrops falling on the pond near bloedel's japanese garden
west meadow path toward bloedel's storage barns
plant shopping at dragonfly farms & nursery
danielle ernest of proven winners hosted the "punch drunk in love with the PNW" cocktail party for our final soiree. lorene is enjoying a well-deserved beverage.

i hope that gives you a taste of what we saw during the seattlefling! more images and descriptions of my favorite stops to follow. thanks again to EVERYONE who organized, sponsored and participated this year! it was great to get to know you and spend some quality time together, enjoying the things we love.

andrea fox @grwhryrpltd (thanks for the photo kelly @floradoragal!)

it’s a seattle fling

2011 garden blogger's meetup

tomorrow i’m heading to the pacific northwest for the garden blogger’s annual meetup. last year we were in the happenin’ garden metropolis of buffalo, ny, made popular by the twitter hashtag #buffa10. this year we’ll be in the cool climes of seattle, wa. surprisingly, i’ll be one of the rare bloggers without a laptop, netbook or tablet, as all i have is an android phone. i’ve blogged from it before, but i have to admit it’s a pain in the arse. i’ll post a photo here and there, but you’ll have to wait for a full report upon my return. until then, follow us at #seattlefling. i’m looking forward to some respite from the texas heat, tours of fabulous garden estates like bloedel reserve, knitting on the water taxi to bainbridge island, and catching up with my fellow gardenerds. i’ll also get to see a dear aunt of mine, so this trip is packed full of purpose, connection and inspiration.