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Snap Shots

January 24, 2011

Slow going

By my calculations (actually by my colleague Judy’s calculations), I have about nine weekends to go before the garden tour in April — nine weekends in which I can work on the Rancho, making sure it’s presentable for the tour.  So, I’ve been devoting my every spare moment to working and reworking areas in the garden and surrounding areas, trying new things, adding and subtracting plants, pots and objects, and my favorite: setting up vignettes. This post will present some new and old set-ups, as they stood this weekend … they may stay as they are or I could change my mind — again. First up: the area outside my office. I bought this great traffic sign at my fave antique mall, Treasures’n’Junk in Ontario, and thought it would make a great graphic focal point in this little transition area. I’ve added a collection of metal and concrete containers, succulents and cacti, as well as a contrast-y Mexican mask and some metal sign letters from a SHELL gas station … I bought them minus the ‘S’, so the remaining letters relate nicely to the mask. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve switched things out here … a real time-gobbler this one!

Tubs of fun

This vignette is all about mixed up foliage and diverse containers, including old metal tubs and trash cans. In the top spot is an enameled washing machine tub planted with a great aloe plicatilis. Some of my most prized concrete pots are here, including a deceptively heavy faux bois example and a river rock encrusted version. An old metate rests in the foreground … I love the exploding grass-like restio in the old column-like trash can!

Sun, shine

I’ve always had the Rancho logo sun in this area, but for this iteration I’ve added a recently-acquired flea market sun made of rebar and welded steel. A shapely metal urn sports an equally shapely aloe, a tangle of uncharacteristically subdued sticks of fire sits in an old metal tire wash tub, and a formerly yellow — now green — jade plant tops a terra-cotta pot in a wire metal stand. Just for fun, a carved stone sculpture of overlapping feet sits on a concrete brick. This little sculpture tickles me, as on the back is a heartfelt dedication to a doctor and his wife. I’m thinking the medico was a podiatrist and a grateful hammertoe-afflicted patient gifted this to him.

Fountain head

I moved some euphorbias from a container into this bed and I love how their vibrant green relates to the painting I have hanging over the area. In a container fountain, the water bubbles out of this little folk art ceramic head. Aloes, senecios and sedums contrast brightly against the mostly-reddish river rocks.

Tangled cherubs

I haven’t done anything new with the focal point of the temple area, but I had to show how the fishhook succulents have grown since the rainy season. They’re now so long they almost touch the ground, and they almost cover up the seemingly salacious acrobatic cherubs of the central concrete pot.

Succulent Eden

If St. Francis were to visit the Garden of Eden, it might look like this. I really cleaned up this area and it now shows off the succulents with their amazingly diverse colors and textures. Some recently added aloes trees lend a sinuous energy at eye level.

Weekend's over

It’s Sunday, late afternoon and I’m wiped out … for all intents and purposes, the weekend has ended. I didn’t do all of this, this weekend … but it feels like I have. I’m pretty proud of myself, and grateful for Paul’s help moving things around; without it, I’d probably be back at the hernia ward. I’ll use the week to think about what I want to do next, as there’s still tons to get done. My goal is to ensure that April’s garden tourists see a garden unlike any they’ve ever seen in Riverside … and I’m starting to think it will be unlike any I’ve ever seen before, too!


13 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave in Toronto permalink
    January 24, 2011 1:30 pm

    wow, you are so good at those vignettes. I think you will inspire me — once the snow melts here!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 24, 2011 4:33 pm

      You can do it, Dave!

  2. Guida Quon permalink
    January 24, 2011 2:46 pm

    Loving your place…loving your vignettes………I too have a temple…….thank you for the inspiration.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 24, 2011 4:34 pm

      Thanks, Guida .. I’d love to see what you come up with

  3. January 24, 2011 6:25 pm

    Ah I wish I could take this tour! Your garden just keeps getting more and more fabulous! So is this event raising money for a good cause? How many other gardens are on the tour? And will they be handing out awards? (sorry if you already shared this information back when you announced that you were part of the tour).

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 25, 2011 4:53 am

      Thanks, Loree, the proceeds from garden tour ticket sales will go to the organization, which is a not-for-profit. There are usually about 6 homes on the tour and as far as I know there are no awards (other than the gasps of wonderment over my junk collecting)… further info will be available next month; the tour’s website is being renovated at the moment, sadly.

  4. January 24, 2011 7:18 pm

    Fabulous vignette constructions, and the temple really impresses with a monolithic feel, especially from that huge base on which the cherubs cavort. The succulent garden and pathway is a nice, relatively unstructured contrast to the vignettes.

  5. January 24, 2011 8:15 pm

    wow, i never knew i wanted a temple before now! my friend and i would love to go on your garden tour. do you have details yet?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 25, 2011 3:58 am

      Hi, unfortunately the garden tour’s organizer’s are renovating the garden tour’s website at the moment … so, I can’t direct you to the information at the moment. But here’s what I can share: the tour itself will be Saturday and Sunday, April 9th and 10th; 10am to 4pm each day. Tickets and other info will be available next month, I was told by one of the organizer’s today … but I can’t tell you exactly when. Needless to say I will post the info here when it becomes available!

  6. January 27, 2011 2:38 am

    Looks wonderful! You have a great eye for design.


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