Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another bloom in the neighborhood

Yesterday's neighborhood concert featuring Luka Bloom was phenomenal. His voice and guitar skills were matched only by the beautiful lyrics and his Irish charm. It was almost as good to hear Bloom play in our friends' living room as it was to see the host and hostess' faces as they listened - truly rapturous. I ended up buying his decade-old "Keeper of the Flame," an album of covers written by everyone from Johnny Cash to Abba and including...drum roll...Throw Your Arms Around Me, a favorite Neil Finn live performance. If you don't know Luka Bloom, seek out some of his music and you won't be sorry.

But there is another bloom I wanted to report on today. A few months ago I blogged about bartering to get through this fun Great Recession. One of my friends took it to heart and offered to landscape one of my garden beds if I will teach her to sew. It's been an ongoing process requiring much study over Friday afternoon garden cocktails and a few trips to the garden stores around town, but the whole thing was done right before my birthday. Now that it's filling in a bit, I wanted to post before and after shots.

Here's what it looked like after I'd ripped out everything but the day lilies on the right and the sticky monkey flower on the left - that one's a native and I really wanted to hang on to it.

And here it is a few weeks later, starting to fill in. I particularly like the "New Zealand Flax," the reddish grassy looking plant on the front and back borders. My Kiwi Diary had a big section describing how important this plant is to Maori culture and how to cut and weave this plant following Maori tradition, so every time I look out my front window I can take a tiny trip back to NZ.

I guess the next set of pictures will be of whatever my friend creates after her as-yet-unscheduled sewing lessons!

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