March 9, 2011

vine o mine

In preparation for this summer when I won't be doing a whole lot more than nursing a baby, I have been doing research on what flowering vine I should grow up our pergola (new as of last summer). Lucky for me, I work at a Library and can just head downstairs on my lunch hour for some inspiration.

Of all the books I checked out, these three were the most helpful:

Tim Wood, Alison Beck
This one keeps it simple and keeps it local for sure success. If you're one who easily overwhelmed by too many options this would be a good choice. As for myself, I had to know about all those other vines too!

Armitage's Vines and Climbers: A Gardener's Guide to the Best Vertical Plants
Allan M. Armitage
This one was very amusing! I loved the author's humorous descriptions. One vine was wryly described in this way "once you plant this vine, you will probably always have this vine." Good to know! Lots of great photos too.

Ortho's All About Vines and Climbers
Equally as extensive and photo-filled as the above book, very useful as a guide.

My first leanings were toward Clematis and I even had a personal recommendation for the Snowdrift variety which blooms in the fall. However, after consulting with my dear husband, I think we have settled on Honeysuckle. There are a bunch of different varieties, lots of reds and yellows and some whites I think. I want to do a red and a yellow and I want to make sure they bloom at different times so I have flowers more of the season. They are supposed to attract hummingbirds, which is a lovely bonus!

Any vine stories to share out there? What grew for you?

March 8, 2011

Are you ready for fall?

Apparently Pantone is! They've got the color forecast out already. I especially like the peacock. It's a darker form of the teal that graces my home… probably easier for people to imagine decorating with! And now that I think about it, I have been seeing more clothing in this color lately.

March 7, 2011

I heart this heart

A few weekends ago we squeezed in a visit to the Meijer Gardens before closing time.

[My apologies to anyone who gets tired of my posts on the Gardens but a membership means I go there often and the art and nature found there tends to be inspiring to me!]

Anyway, the current sculpture exhibit is showcasing the work of Jim Dine. When I saw some photos of the pieces ahead of time, I found a few of them to be rather odd. But seeing them in person was an entirely different experience. The large scale of these pieces is really an essential part of their impact. That parrot just towers of you!

My favorite has to be this heart though. I love the colors. I love the assembled bits, each with a meaning or story left to be interpreted. And I love the simplicity of sculpting a very recognizable symbol. I think that would be an interesting approach to creating some art of my own – choosing a symbol or image that interests you and exploring all the ways it can be interpreted or expressed.