When we bought our house 4 years ago, there was a funny little section right in front of the living room window. It looked like this:

April 2007

It seemed like a real waste of space.  I always pictured it being a nice place to sit since it faces west and gets some good sun.  It has been a work in progress.  I pulled out those junipers pretty early on,  added a flower box to the wooden railing, and planted some brass buttons, irish moss and blue star creeper to fill in so that one day, it could be a nice little patio area.  And those $&!$ bluebells – I think I have FINALLY pulled most of those.  This is what it looked like this morning.

April 2011

I almost bought a little wicker patio set off Craigslist, but then saw some cushions at Home Depot that could work on our existing chairs. So I got with the program, bought some new plants to replace the tulips and daffodils in those boxes AND WENT TO TOWN.  Keeping it real, there was this.


And THEN there was THIS.

ta dah!

In the railing flower box, there are some herbs.


Behind the chairs are a mix of things, but I especially love the pink of the geraniums.


And here we are enjoying the fruits of our labor with a little Mexican coke and the last of Mike’s brown liquor.  Finally.

not too shabby

Looking forward to weekend morning coffee and evening cocktails in our new cozy little spot.

better late than never

Ah, my poppets, I have been a bit out of pocket the last week, fighting some bug.  Got some good drugs now so I’m on the mend.  In between my getting sick and well, it seems spring has finally arrived in these parts!  So half the peas got their trellis today and the strawberries now live in their own pot. The 3-foot-tall grass got mowed. And then we have this…

almost-popped poppy

soon-to-be blueberries



getting-ready-to-bloom prehistoric 20 foot tall rhodie tree

forget-me-not, a weed I don't mind

wish this was scratch and sniff


my camera couldn't handle the RED of this!

favorite of this batch

Today’s 70 degrees just leaves us wanting more and dreaming of summer nights and happy hour…Seattle in the summer is the best!

early bloomers

Yesterday we visited our second plant sale of the season, the Arboretum’s Early Bloomers sale.  Members donate starts from their own garden and the proceeds go to support the Arboretum.  But first – check this out.  Not raining Friday night, yet this appeared over our house.


Anyhoo.  We picked up The Lovely Miss Z to whisk her away to the sale.  This sale is the  mellowest of any we go to, which is kinda refreshing.



sunny perennials. wishful thinking, currently

They also have smaller starts down in the green house.  I was tempted by this one, just for the name.  But I restrained myself.  Barely.

loving this name


We came home with some good stuff:  Yellow Lady Bank’s Rose (a fragrant climber for the deck post), sweet box, a yellow lily, an interesting Nepal Willow, “Pleasant White” azalea, a white forsythia, and a satuki azalea.  And in news on the home front,  my peas have sprouted! The beasts did not eat them all!

pea babies

Elsewhere around the yard –

my spring favorite - smells like heaven

flowering quince - this one is practically pre-historic


And in the “best save” department, a red contorted filbert that I bought *ahem* last year and never planted is evidently still alive.  We shall see.

breathe, dammit, breathe!

Next up in the sale arena – the NW Perennial Alliance sale next Sunday. It was really excellent last year.  I need to get a wagon for this one!

spring is sprung

Yesterday the sun came out briefly for the first real day of spring, so I put some of the plants I got from Tilth’s early edible sale in the ground. Lettuces, arugula, spinach.  Also picked up some herbs for the window boxes.

Tom Thumb butter lettuce

Red sage

In mini-makeover news, this little spot in the front of our driveway by the mailbox needs some help.  There used to be a big lilac here, but in the big snow storm two years ago, some guy spun out into our mailbox and took it out, along with the lilac.  Our neighbor got money from the insurance company for a new tree, but it has yet to be planted.  So me and the Boy Child plucked out these weeds and moved a big hunk of grass from the front bed.  Before…



Not perfect, but it killed two birds with one stone – a new home for the grass ( and some new lavender scored from the Tilth sale) and this section is a wee bit less ugly.  I’ll pop some annuals in there for color later.  Most of the weeds we pulled were stinky bob babies, the bane of my existence.  They are much easier to pull early in the spring and far less stinky.  We have them EVERYWHERE.

Elsewhere in the yard, more signs of spring…

i forget what this is called - some type of euphorbia?

flowering quince (i think) - it's huge and here long before us

some sort of viburnum

I planted this last year - you'd think I'd remember the name. Spirea?


star magnolia – smells so good when it blooms!

Maybe my favorite plant in my garden is Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. I have two.  In the spring they get gnarly green leaves, but they look cool in the winter too when you can see their crazy branches and their yellow catkins.


A few weeks ago I planted a few bulbs and ranunculus by the front door.  Check out the colors on these babies!  So vivid!


hyacinth from heaven



Baby steps so far in the yard.  But there are plans afoot for a trip to Flower World and starts from Farmer Fels to go along with all the work that needs to happen in the backyard.  Now if only the sun would come and stay for awhile.  It makes margaritas in the yard so much more pleasant.