Most of my life I worked on my art as family and my career allowed.  Now that I am retired from a rewarding career in IT I am blessed to be able to work on my art, and now also my writing, for three or so hours every day.

 

I live on ten beautiful acres in the northern California foothills with my sister who is also my best friend.  We are surrounded by the beauty and drama of nature and wildlife.  We also enjoy our numerous animal family members – two rats, two guinea pigs, one chicken, four ducks, six cats, two dogs, and a horse.  They are a constant source of love and learning, and often amusement.

I also enjoy gardening.  I have a large garden with raised beds that’s fenced from the deer.  The ducks and chicken each have their own houses in the garden.  I’ve grown roses in most of the garden for several years now.  A few years ago we had a large arbor installed and two rambling kiwi vines grow over it creating a shady oasis.  With that addition, the garden became a destination for conversation and relaxation, and not just a place to work.

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What's happening in the

garden -

the heat's putting everything and everyone under stress, and it shows!

Fiona loves to be outside with me, but suffers from the heat. These days, we're only out about two hours a day, and she's more than ready to come back inside.

Here's the view of the garden from the gate. Anything that's green is because of drip irrigation, as there hasn't been a drop of rain for nearly four months!

And here are the few roses that are blooming at the moment, with a view of the parched un-irrigated earth beyond. I just dead-headed and fed the roses, so they should be blooming again in about six weeks. But, for now, they get a rest.

The fairy gardens on my deck provide a nice spot of green and an illusion of cool. There are small Japanese maples and - my favorite tree of all - beeches growing in these boxes.

I'm standing under the arbor covered with our kiwi vines. It's deep shade and deep green and is a wonderful sanctuary.

I appreciate the crape myrtles almost as much as the bees do. This small tree is like a cloud of lavendar - heavenly!

background image courtesy of Nathan Anderson from unsplash.com

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