Smelly Photo Props Make Me Happy

Smelly Photo Props


It’s blooming outside and at Mireio. Which, isn’t news really; Mireio has always been place full of flowers. But the winter garden is devoid of photo prop material and so the listings in the store reflect that.  It’s been a LONG season of product shots without flowers. Sometimes I buy a few blooms to use, but I’ll confess I prefer what’s growing in my garden. (or the garden of the corner dahlia sellers) 

This fabric reminds me of Rainbow Sherbert. Dreamy Buckwheat Hull Pillow at Mireio. 


So, you know when it was time to photograph this pillow I went and cut a bunch of my newest obsession. Cecil Brunner’s are really small roses. Even smaller than spray roses. But for their size, they are fragrant, in that soft musky way tiny roses can be. Cut a bunch of them and they can rival any David Austen

We planted these roses 3 years ago when we put in the arbor and fence in the yard. But this is the first year they’ve run amok like this. Where they’ve put off enough roses I feel like I can cut a bunch without stripping the hedges bare. Which has me scheming. Rose water tonic? Rose tea? Rose petal cupcakes?

The possibilities are endless. But for today, at least, I’m content with my smelly photo props. 


What makes YOU happy? 


I figured you might be tired of looking at my wild-eyed mug! Happy Memorial Day–I’m back this week… I promise! 

The Potential

Almost there. . . (nelly  moser clematis) 


The fair weather has escaped us, once again. This is May’s (and June’s and often July’s) pattern. . . swathes of sunlight, enough to fool you into skirts and sandals only to need your slicker one more time.  We’re settling into a week of rain. With sunshine promised for the weekend. Potential on the horizon, but not quite here yet.

It’s an apt metaphor for my life at the moment. 

In the meantime, I’m holding on to the potential. Hundreds of Cecile Brunner roses just waiting for one more day of sunshine to open up. It looks like the clematis and roses have timed their entrance, and it’s going to be glorious. I’ve waited 3 years for this. It’s this potential, that sweeps away every gardener, every artist, every lover. The “what could be” of it all. 

When it finally happens, it’s amazing.

But it’s never easy and it requires large stretches of holding on to the potential. Faith in what you cannot see. Hope for what is just about to happen. Grace in the moment to notice and live the experience. And patience. Lots and lots of patience.

I’m not sure what all that means for me. I’m just looking at all this rain in the forecast and wondering, will I get to Friday’s sunshine? And I’m holding on to the potential that I will. 


What is on your horizon? What potential are you holding?  

Filling Holes

The new Cherry tree in the Azalea garden. It blooms a very pretty pink. 


Monday posts always remind me of going back to school and writing the “What I did on my summer vacation” essay. Right? That little ritual of remembering and sharing. . . and each Monday I face this blog and think, “What DID I do this weekend?”

Usually, whatever it is I’m doing, I forget to bring the camera along. But today there are a few photos of my finished work. We’ve had astounding weather (perfection for the opening day of the Astoria Sunday Market) and we spent the majority of time working in the yard. 

I attempted to pull grass out of the azalea beds. No easy task, friends. Grass, while I can never get it grow like it should in my lawn, thrives where it is unwanted! And removing it is a beastly job. I wish I had some clever trick to tell you how to do it best, but honestly, it’s just hard labor. Lots and lots of pulling.

We also removed a dying azalea from the garden. I say, we, because I supervised. IZ decided it left too much of hole in the front planter, so we went in search of the perfect replacement. It’s not an easy task, when the other plants in the garden are so well established. Most azaleas sold in these parts are in small gallon containers, and it will be an easy 5-10 years before they mature to the size of the rest of the stand. So, we opted to put in something different.

Besides, does the Pacific Northwest need ONE more azalea bush? I don’t think so.

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Earth Day Project: Tea Tin Herb Garden

My Earth Day Project: Filling these stunning tea tins with fresh herbs. (Tins from Harney and Sons, Mint from Brim’s)


This weekend delivered the most beautiful weather to the coast. Not just one day, either… but 3 glorious days of  much needed sunshine.  Lawn mowers hummed, neighbors chatted in their yards; with a collective sigh, we cleared out the cobwebs of winter and ventured outside. Our street looked like a tv ad for Home Depot. 

Some of us even got a touch of a sunburn. (time to buy more sunscreen!)


IZ and I spent the better part of the weekend, like our neighbors, reclaiming our yard and porch. In our case, there was such a huge build-up of construction debris on the porch, we decided to empty it and give it a good scrub down. Hours of elbow grease later it’s gleaming out there. “If you squint your eyes, it looks like we just painted!” (if you don’t look down at the floor) Or so my industrious husband would have me believe. 

The porch truly is beautiful, even with the chippy paint. We had our first out-door brunch of the season (which we were too busy eating to even think about photographing) and we got so excited about the lovely weather we even put up the bunting early. 

We also did a little gardening. In my case, clearing out the shade bed and replanting the holes that didn’t make it through this very weird winter.  And I planted this adorable Herb Garden in Tea Tins.

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages with all my left over Harney’s tins.  I have lots of them, since I’m such a huge fanatic and it’s hard to throw them away, they’re so pretty. An herb garden seemed like a great use for a few of them. I’ve posted the short tutorial below the fold; it’s super easy to do and bonus, you get to use a power tool! 

I think the little garden turned out beautifully. The perfect project for Earth Day.  Directions under the jump! 

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