Archives for category: Landscaping

Dandelions in all their glory, but I love the sight and smell of new cut grass.

As if I didn’t have enough digging to do, I dig a pool by hand, or should I say by foot.

I started this project about 10 years ago, but since we have gotten an unlimited supply of farm water we don’t really need it for that, so it’s been at a stand still for a few years. Now with plenty of time on hand, I am back into it again. More as a landscape feature (garden art) now.

The spiral down-ramp is taking form, but there is quite a bit more to do.

The dirt mound grows.

When the digging is done, the mound will be shaped and planted with grass.

We took a little road trip to Värmland – to explore some of the places where my grandparents family came from. Alas, we stopped mostly and took pictures at artsy places.

Like Lars Lerins museum,

Finnskogs Centrum for a look and a concert of finnskogs music and tales,

Birch bark shoes,

Could be grandmas grandma,

Alma Löv Museum,

Värmlands Museum in Karlstad,

We did, of course, travel through lots of beautiful scenery and landscapes (some in sunshine, some in rain), but it was just too beautiful to take pictures of.

Nice clouds too.

For the big garden party today.

Fleamarket

Some are expecting rain

Our food tent

Another food tent

Many artists are already here to set up their projects

My own project – The Zen Dirt Garden

Carefully weeded and cultivated!

Barriers – keeping things in and others out – never work very well. However, they can look nice and facilitate mowing and digging. Doing stone work can be good excercise, if it doesn’t ruin my back.

I love stones and enjoy the work, and effect.

I was raking leaves around the big oak tree next to our house yesterday and discovered that it has taken some wind in the last storm.

It’s been leaning for many years because it is situated up against bed rock, so it doesn’t have any deep roots on one side. We’ve been watching it the last couple of years. Now Alfrida (the storm) has loosened it even more.

It seems a little too precarious now, so we have decided it has to come down soon in a controlled manner.

This will leave a big hole in the landscape and in our hearts. A tragedy.

In the meantime Farmer Ericsson and neighbors have been here and stabilized it with heavyduty chains to a nearby tree, because a new storm is brewing, until a tree doctor can come and take it down gracefully.

The big melt is on.

We still have cold nights, but the days are warm and longer. It’s melting fast and there’s lots of standing water that doesn’t drain well in the frozen ground.

I do what I can to make some temporary shallow ditches.

And get more water over to the ‘lake’ for quicker run off into the drainage system.

For the last several days it’s been below freezing, and it looks like it’s going the stay cold for the rest of winter.

I’m not quite done with the garden digging, but I’ll have to call it quits now. I lost ten days travelling to Japan and have almost gotten caught up, so I’m satisfied.

I even got all the raking done, leaf coverings on all the dug up areas, hedge trees planted and another bed of garlic in before the ground got frozen hard. This year it’s later than usual but more done.

Now all I need is a bunch of snow for skiing.

One of the most famous and photographed and visited places in Kyoto i the buddhist temple Kiyumizu dera. We went there again today too. We just can’t get enough. And it’s not the last time I hope. 


It was labor day in Japan, so the crowds were big. 


Alot of the buildings were covered in shrowd because they are being repaired. It was the same three years ago it seems but different buildings, so we didn’t go out on the famous balcony for pictures, but got some good ones anyway.

Wisteria in winter covers.


We had a fika break with amazake and warabi mochi. 


And some water from a mountain spring. 


We were there till dark, but didn’t stay for the light show. We walked down to the kamo river and got a river stone for and old friend. Then ended the day with dinner at the vegan restaurant Veg Out – brown rice with a view of the river. 


  

We like Kobe too. 


It’s a nice town on the coast of the Pacific Ocean – a bit cheaper and more funky than Kyoto. We can stay here and still get to Kyoto easy and fast by train with a Japan Railways Pass. The best, tho, is that we have made some good friends here.
Our favorite place to stay, the Yume Nomad Hostel is here. We are now nested in here for the rest of our stay. 

It is inexpensive, quiet, artsy, and a great gathering place where you can meet like-minded travelers and locals in a laid-back and cozy atmosphere.

Our hosts (and old friends)


Then there is the traditional market Higashiyama Shotengai nearby to get lost in and find just about any thing under the sun, such as traditional japanese underware, an extra suitcase or tofu or lunch. 

Grilled mochi balls

Kabocha pumpkins
We buy our supplies for cooking meals at the hostel here. The best place to buy miso and pickled vegetables was still there, of course. And the family that runs the stall was so glad to see us again. 

Three years ago we met Bun, the coffee enthusiast, at Yume Nomad. Since then he has established himself in the business and moved to a new shop in down town Kobe near Sannomiya station. We got a great cup of ethiopian coffee and spent some time talking about coffee and old times. 


The Ikuta Jinga Shinto Temple was almost next door and demanded a visit. History has it that it was establised around 200 AD. It has been burnt down and destroyed in wars and natural disasters many times but always rebuilt. 


Now it still stands majestic amoung the high rise.