maandag 26 mei 2014

Beauty in unexpected places.

A home office is supposed to be a little stern, filled with high tech apparatus, built to be efficient, to promote hard work. Our computer desk sits in our living room. We don't work from the home, so it's used mainly for non-work purposes. It's an entertainment center for the whole family. We use our computer to play music or watch a movie, to play games and to read blogs. We also use it for study. Our eldest does online learning in addition to his regular school work. We are using it to motivate him to practice his multiplications. So it can be a friendly place, somewhere nice and welcoming.

Pretty desk! It feels even prettier than it looks, because the scent is so lovely.
 Today, it is decorated with peonies from my front garden. I cut out all the big blooms yesterday, in hopes of having a second flush of blooms on Thursday, for the first communion party for Pieter. The front garden is looking lovely; The willow is starting to look like a real tree, and my plan for the planting is really coming together. The pink geranium doesn't really cope well with the heat of the Southern orientation, so I'll have to find an alternative for that. I'm also going to have to remove a lot of the lilies of the valley, because they are becoming rampant.

My front garden, I'll have to get some nicer pictures soon.

A little victory this year is that I finally succeeded in starting Echinacea from seed. It's the inspiration for the color scheme in my garden, pink and orange, with a little purple for some more contrast, and I have one plant in the garden, but I need more. I've been trying everything to get the little buggers to germinate, but until now nothing worked. This year, I tried some seed I harvested from my own plant, instead of from a packet, and lo and behold: it worked! I have about 12 plant, ready to transplant! I'll be growing them in pots until they're a decent size. When I plant them in the garden I'll be protecting them from the slugs with a copper tape boundary. I have loads of slugs, and try to live with them by using plant which they don't like, or which grow too fast for them to keep up. Although I once had a patch of mint that didn't come up because it was being eaten faster than it could grow...  to give you an idea of just how bad our slug infestation is... Anyway, copper tape on a bottomless tin (from pineapple or cat food for example) is the only thing that works to keep them away from my seedlings. the tape is quite expensive, but it lasts for a few years, and as I said, it works!

Pretty bouquet, picked by Marieke. I have some sweet peas already!

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