Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Dance: Witch Hazel & Japanese Dogwood

I love our american native dogwood, Cornus florida, but it seldom blooms this far north. So many years ago I bought a Cornus kousa, a very similar more hardy Japanese dogwood. I imagined it blooming beautifully in the spring, the centerpiece of our little wild area in front of the stone wall. And in the fall, it would have lovely red foliage. Here are the red leaves. I'm linking to Rednesday: check out other red things at Rednesday at It's a Very Cherry World.
Years passed and nothing much happened. I forgot my vision. Then a few springs ago, I discovered the dogwood blooming. But dh had planted it in back of a native witch hazel accidentally and it was almost invisible in the treeline, hidden by the not very showy Hamemalis. I was very disappointed and we talked about cutting down the witch hazel.
See the witch hazel's little stringy yellow flowers? Its blooming now when almost all the leaves are gone, including its own. But the dogwood's red leaves are still there making a terrific backdrop.
I think I'll plant another dogwood somewhere else where it is more visible and leave this one to be a pleasant surprise in spring on our path by the stone wall and fall companion to the witch hazel.
Here is the view from my pantry window. Don't they look like they are dancing together?
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Old wallpaper had to go!

I've been saving money for quite a while to fix up my "upstairs living room" which is a kind of swollen hallway that the bedrooms and bathroom open into - SIX doors counting the stairway door. It does have a nice double window and room for a seating area at one end. And we're also renovating one of the front bedrooms which had yucky paneling on the two outside walls. We took the paneling down this past winter when we augmented the old blown in insulation, so that got me planning. The picture below is what was on the one unpaneled wall in the living room. I have no idea how old it is, probably the same age as the paneling. I kind of liked it, except that it was old and dirty. I saved a piece to frame and hang in the room if I want to later.

Here are more views of that room and the wallpaper. Dd and I tried to get if off with fabric softener this spring but it took forever and was very hard. So a few weeks ago a friend and I rented a steamer - and even then it took 2 days to do the rooms.



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Here are a couple of pics of the walls in the front room. They had an interesting brown on cream botanical paper at one time. Most of it had paint on it too. Then underneath everything in both rooms was a gold paper that was often very hard to remove, though in a very few places on the green wallpapered wall it came off with all the other layers at once, easy peasy.


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I don't know why I find the old paper so interesting. Its history I guess.

The old walls in this 1920s home were in rough shape underneath, so dh insisted that we put a kind of thin fiberglass stuff that goes up like wall paper. I've been doing unskilled labor on the project before and after work, like pull out hundreds of nails from the paneling and daily clean up. I'm going to paint the rooms when ready, buy a new couch (I've picked it out: its chartreuse), make curtains, paint some of the existing furniture and keep dh, who thinks i'm out of my mind, at bay. Oh and another friend has offered me a cute little love seat which is a similar style to the new couch, but I'll need to slip cover or reupholster it.

Other than that I've been repairing wallpaper and baseboard in another bedroom where we hadn't gotten around to filling the little holes left in the aftermath of the blown in insulation. (We had to make holes from the interior since we have aluminium siding.) And putting cork on the closet walls in that room, don't ask me why - long story. Its all taken a lot longer than I thought! And I've made some new plate flowers but they aren't in the garden yet. Nothing much to show yet! But soon...


Friday, October 1, 2010

Yard Art Thursday - Faerie & flowers


I'm linking to Work of the Poet. Please check out more yard art here!

Above is a faerie from my friend Sarah's garden. I think she is my favorite garden fairy ever.
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And nature's garden art. Usually these would be long gone due to the frost. But I still have blooming begonias on my back steps this year.




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I've also been busy doing things! Will post pics when I've actually finished a project.