A Surprise in the Garden Every Day

Mr. Mouse and I embarked on our green remodeling project about a year ago. We originally planned to start in April, right after the garden tour. We finally moved most of our furniture into storage in July. Since then, we've lived in the bedroom & kitchen, enjoying a romantic bed-and-breakfast experience. For 5 months already.

After a number of mishaps, the project now seems more or less on track. But scheduled completion time is January. So, just like Gail at Clay and Limestone, who writes about her remodeling experience here, there are days when I'm not my usual cheerful self.

But then I remember what I always write on the garden description I prepare for the garden tour: There's a surprise in the garden every day!

The rhododendron next to the large fountain is putting on an unscheduled display of beautiful blossoms. The native rhododendron, Rhododendron occidentale is also showing off a few more dainty white and yellow fragrant blossoms.

Yarrow "Paprika" is pretty in pink.

The slow-growing native grape is adding some fall color to the garden.

Correa (Australian fuchsia) reliably blooms in the fall into early winter, confused, I've been told, about the seasons on this side of the equator. The hummingbirds are, of course, delighted, but I also appreciate a shot of color as other plants start to fade.

And to comfort me because I had to cut down the Abutelon, so beloved by the hummingbirds, the Salvia spatacea (hummingbird sage) is offering just a few blooms. 

 A special surprise has been Venegasia carpesiodes (Canyon sunflower), which I bought at the plant sale and lugged home in the bike pannier, and which promptly produced a 2-inch blossom.

When I see all the wonderful surprises the garden is having in store for me, I feel peaceful again and realize that it's pointless to rant and rage. Much better to have a look around and see what else is waiting to be discovered.


Susan Tomlinson said…
Hang in there! You'll love it when it's done, and love it all the more for the difficulty it involved in getting there.
I'm sure the B&B experience would be much more pleasant if their was a proprietor (not you) providing you with wonderful breakfasts and maid service. . . remodelling is no joke!

Your garden is beautiful. We just had our first killing frost last night.
I remember living through remodelling with our first house, and I remember when the romance of the idea of being squashed into a room wore off! I hope you're close to the finish line, just remember it will all be worth it!

I'm surprised at your rhodie! I love the dainty flower of the R. occidentale. I just took a propagation class for rhodies, and was looking into sourcing one of our native ones.
The flowers blooming now are so pretty. Seeing a rhodie makes me look forward to next spring even more. I love the Correa too, wonder if that would make it up here? I'll have to check it out.
Good luck with the remodeling. Just having any work done on the house no matter how big or small can be very stressful. Hopefully when it's finished it will be worth it.
ryan said…
You can't spell remodel without frustration or you can but you can't spell it without the o and the r from frustration or well anyways, you have my sympathy. That canyon sunflower is new to me. Pretty cool.
It (almost) looks like spring in your garden! I am sure it is getting on your last nerve, living in just those 2 rooms...but you have plans--and you have the right attitude. You just have to remind yourself (as you are doing) how wonderful it will be when everything is finished! I'm sure excited to see what you have in store! I like your observation that each day brings a surprise...both in the garden, and in life.
Christine said…
I'm sure one sniff of the Rhododendron occidentale and you're temporarily transported to Springtime! Hope you get your house back soonly!
Remodeling is almost a bad work for most people.You are lucky to take a moment and appreciate what is blooming so prettily in the garden. Me and my job gets me into a lot of remodeling, so it is almost second nature. But during it, I am so one tracked and the garden is plays second fiddle. Even when I have a client architectural project, my garden is like a bastard child. Then after, I come back all apologetically and caring. Keep the faith and you will be rewarded.
jeansgarden said…
Remodeling is always more pleasant after it's over! (If you're lucky, it's like childbirth and you get to enjoy the offspring without remembering all the pain.) This post brought back memories of a period in the early 1970s when my then-husband and I moved into our unfinished house to save on rent while we completed it, and lived for three months without a kitchen (just a cooler and a hotplate). I was **much** younger then, and even so, it wore thin pretty quickly. I hope your remodeling pain is over soon and you get to enjoy the pleasure of your new space. -Jean
camissonia said…
Such lovely blooms. Btw, where did you get the R. occidentale? I've never come across them in our local native plant sales and know of only one online source (Forest Farms in Oregon). I've encountered these only once in the wilds in the San Jacinto mountains. It was growing next to a creek, and I have to say I was enamored of this beauty at first sight.
rebecca sweet said…
I love your gentle reminder that there's a surprise in the garden everyday. You're absolutely right and it's a great way to start the day! I try and walk the garden, drinking my morning coffee, whenever I can. Good luck with your remodel!