It’s over. The big event of the year is done. They came. They ate. They left. I am going to relax for a bit. But before I nod off, would you like to see just a little of it? ~ There were gifts for the visitors, including these small Gold Crest Monterey Cypress trees in lovely metal pots. Hardy in zones 7-9, we are on the northern edge of being able to grow them, but even as a small houseplant, they add cheer and greenery with a yellow tinge. Growing outside to fifteen feet tall in a conical form with a width of half that, even small gardens could find a spot for one. Found at the grocer’s for $6, a bargain.Leaf castings were made late last summer from squash leaves and a single calla leaf to give to the clan also. The mixture is mortar mixed with enough concrete bonding agent to form a thick oatmeal consistency, spread over a face down leaf in a pile of sand to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Allow to dry and set, a few days should do it. Paint to your liking with craft paint and seal with polyurethane. These were a big hit. The little bowl in the upper right was formed with the leftover mix for fun. I am keeping that for it is pitiful.For the place cards this year we chose to make these bread stick dough wreaths as seen in the November issue of Martha Stewart magazine.A package of bread stick dough in a tube of twelve was opened and each stick rolled out to the width of the bread board covered in non stick foil, about twenty two inches long and flattened.Using a pizza cutter, that length was cut into four pieces. It is important to make them of even thickness for easier braiding.Pinch together the four ends and begin braiding by taking the left piece and going over, under, over the other three strands. Tighten the braid gently as you braid down, keeping the pieces in the center of the board. When you get to the end, squeeze the tips together and make a wreath shape on a parchment lined baking sheet. Follow the heat and cooking time on the package but keep checking so they don’t get too dark.An embroidery needle was used to make a hole for a name tag to be added after baking. Use the needle as soon as they come out of the oven to remake the hole. Just a note, due to the excessive handling of the dough, rather than light and tender, these wreaths reminded one of beef jerky. Amazingly some of the clan actually ate them.A favorite activity after the meal is sitting around the fire pit. The men like to stay out there chatting until the wee hours of the night. Firewood and kindling are gathered all year for this one time fire event, stored and dried under the deck. The ashes are spread on the garden plants that benefit from it including rosemary, lavender, lilacs, dianthus and peonies. We will begin saving wood for next year now, a little at a time as branches are cut and scraps from projects are picked up.There is a treasure hunt for the three offspring of the offspring each year. The boys really like to run around on the paths in the garden with list in hand of where to go and find an object to place in their bag. Other years small toys and prizes have been hidden for them, but this year they selected something from each location on their own. Smallest of the boys, little LTB, not LBJ, felt compelled to give us a hug mid hunt. It’s moments like these that make life worth living. Added: this gravel path was inspired by Nan Ondra’s post on Gardening Gone Wild’s design workshop about Paths and Walkways. Click here to read her step by step instructions.Compulsory wrestling is another much anticipated part of the fun. Some of us are onlookers only while many jump in for tag team heaps o’ humans, like The Financier. Sheer bulk does overpower nimble energy so far. Yes, that is older brother choking younger brother, as per usual.The official family portrait, this time with the Canon since no one else remembered their cameras, using the newly discovered self timer by reading the owner’s manual, was taken out in the garden. After several takes, the clan was asked to turn with their backsides to the camera for a photo for the blog. Snide remarks were uttered by a couple of people about the absurdity of this pose, but some got into the spirit by covering their backsides, not realizing that this draws attention to rather than covers that area. Back row from left, Mr. Semi, Mr. Chickenpoet, The Financier. Second row from left, Brokenbeat, Mrs. Brokenbeat, Aunt Lynn, Chickenpoet, Semi, Gardoctor. Front row, me, GA (Chickenpoet’s), LTB (Semi’s), MA, (Chickenpoet’s) with the wad of his beloved yellow (at one time) knitted baby blanket. Aren’t they an attractive group?! We do love them all.
We hope to return to regular garden programming soon.
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. I am now gardening in USDA Zone 7a east Tennessee. From 2000 to 2014 I was gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about my gardens since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
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