Archives for posts with tag: Topiary

Rainy days in Seattle. 







We followed the sun westward.

The trip went very well (Icelandair is the best), and landed in a dark and rainy Seattle. After a fairly good nights sleep, and fighting off wakefullness, I got up early and took a walk in the darkness of Ballard. The sidewalk gardens were striking in the street lighting. 

An ancient cherry tree 
A birch 
Now for a cup of java at my favorite oasis in Ballard – Caffe Fiore! 

While the winter is still in the process of ending here in Sweden, I can reminisce about my two weeks in Seattle. It was spring, the early flowers where in full bloom, and because of the coastal climate, many vegetables can thrive all winter.

Curbside Gardening

Waking early due to jet lag, I took many long walks veiwing front yards and curbside gardens etc, getting more
and more enthused by the mini vegetable gardens.




And flowers

Notice the rosmary bush under the magnolia in the picture above. There seems to be more and more edibles in the front yards and curbside gardens than before.

Peas already coming up.

This kale was bundled up for the winter – probably unnecessarily. I also saw plenty of chard, broccoli, parsley etc that seemed to have weathered the winter very nicely.

Back in Sweden we have about 4 or 5 months of non growing season, when we have to rely on our root cellar, pickles, preserves and store bought, imported ‘fresh’ vegetables.

Making garden art is another way to stay fit and active outdoors during the otherwise dormant months of winter.

Ever wonder what to do with all those logs left after the sick elms are cut down? You can use them for fuel, but some of the logs are too big to cut up easily. I love topiary, but it takes many years to sculpt a large one, so I’ve come upon a relatively instant way to do it.

My son started chipping away at this log a few years ago but didn’t get very far. It was taking up a lot of space in the workshop, so I got the chain saw out and made this, inspired by pictures of topiary in the english gardening magazines.

Simple geometrical forms suit me and the garden fine.

After forming them with the chainsaw and carving tools, I paint them with pine tar, giving them a beautiful brown black finish that smells of old time wooden fishing boats. Tar is an excellent wood preservative for boats and docks, etc.

I buy tar that is made in a natural process. It is produced by the destructive distillation of the wood and roots of pine. Some day I will try to make my own at home. It’s not too difficult if you do it small scale.

This is made from a birch log – not at all as good as elm.