Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Grandparenting a Strong Willed Child

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words....

Careful, cousin, she bites!
Careful Bella, she bites!
Sorry Walter, she thinks you are a pony.

If the box fits, wear it!

If you have a strong willed grandchild, chances are you have already raised a strong willed child or you were one yourself!  Try to remember what worked or did not work back then.

Some things that help.  

Establish consistent rules and don't waver!  Parents' rules may differ, but even very young children understand that rules in one house may be different in another.  If they are at your house, your rules apply.  If at their house, find out what the parents allow, or don't, and follow their rules.

Give only two choices!  Children are confused by more.  (Shhh! don't tell the kids! Young children usually choose the last thing they hear, so you might be able to influence their choice.) 

Give lots of hugs and remember that this child, who can be a challenge now, will turn into a very successful adult.  That is all....  

WHAT?  NO MORE ADVICE?  If you are involved in your grandchild's life, that means you must have done a pretty good job raising his/her parents.  Just relax into what you already know.

And when these strong willed children are good, they are very, very good!

Helping pick Chanterelles for dinner
Enjoying the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens
Helping Dad cook breakfast...as you can see her hair has a mind of its own as well!

Painting like "G" "G"
Taking walks with a friend.
Helping feed a baby.
Hanging out with Mom

A sense of humor doesn't hurt either!

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Mexico Silk Painters Guild Show

The Sacred Arts Gallery at St. Mark's Episcopal church is hosting a show by the New Mexico Silk Painters Guild.  If you have not yet visited, you have time still to see this vivid show which will hang through October.  But in case you cannot get by the church at 431 Richmond NE from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:00 a.m to noon on Sundays, here are some images of the show...

 There are lots more fabulous pieces in the this show, but my camera work is not as wonderful and some of the photos did not do the work justice.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Behind The Garden Gate

In my last post I showed you a typical garden gate protecting a New Mexico courtyard.  One of my first memories of visits to Santa Fe as a child included walking from a very hot dry dusty lane that was Canyon Road in those days through a gate into a very different world, lush with tree, flowers and a burbling fountain.  Today folks landscape a little outside their gates, but in those days, it was blank adobe walls with colorful gates that you only wished you could see behind! Here a few glimpses...

Photograph by Kim Ashley
Painting by Mary Giacomini

Image Via
Photo by MarkStudio

Susan Blevens Garden - Taos - Photograph by Charles Mann

New Mexico Colors by D Neely
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A patio garden at a John Gaw Meem designed house on the 2012 tour, photo/Steve Collins

Kathryn and David Blog

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Through the Garden Gate in New Mexico

New Mexico's climate is harsh with high winds, strong sunlight, and drought being the norm rather than the exception.  When the early Spaniards came to New Mexico they built houses with courtyards enclosed by heavy gates and high walls to mitigate this extreme climate.  (Well, and to be honest, to protect themselves from the irate Native Americans who did not appreciate their hospitality being violated by being enslaved.)  This tradition is still followed today, although folks generally don't have to worry about keeping out hostiles.  Indeed, all three cultures, Native American, Anglo's and Hispanics that live in New Mexico get along rather well.  The courtyards, however, survive as we struggle to grow gardens in the increasingly arid desert.

Francesca and Ralph's new house has a courtyard garden that needed some help.  And while we are a long way from finished, it is looking a bit better.  

First time visitor to this blog?  Click here to see the before photos.

The new pathway that leads more directly to the front door is laid.  Gravel mulch will keep the weeds down.  
Hens and Chicks are planted alongside the stepping stones.  Eventually they will spread and bring in some much needed green.  To the left are planting spaces awaiting herbs, which we hope will be brought as shower gifts. 
The soil is inhospitable to all but the most hardy wildflowers, so will be amended with compost to keep the clay from choking baby roots.  Lavenders will provide year-round interest.  The purple mums are place holders for Jupiter's Beard (Centranthus) which are still rooting in the flat to the right.  Several pots of flowers add temporary color until the new plantings get established.  The tree is an existing desert willow which we trimmed quite a lot because it was blocking the views.

Borrowed pots of flowers will be replaced after the wedding shower with rose bushes and Thymus "Pink Chintz" as a ground cover.  Ralph will choose the roses since that is his area of expertise. 

Here you can see the sculpture that we think we might move when we can figure out how to do so without breaking it.  Behind the scupture is a Spanish broom which blooms bright yellow in the spring and has a heavenly scent.  Doesn't look as though this one has bloomed in several years. With a little water and a touch of fertilizer, the bees will be in heaven next spring.  To the left of the blue pot of geraniums is an Autumn Sage which should look like this... 

Autumn Sage

And several Russian Sages which look like this when they get a tiny bit of water.
Succulents will be used as centerpieces on the tables for the party and then planted here and there.

This arched gate is just crying out for a climbing rose, don't you think?

Just because I love them, in my next post, we will look at some other New Mexico Gates.....

Monday, September 8, 2014

Evolution of a courtyard

Recently I shared some inspiration photos for a courtyard I am helping to design for friends in Placitas, New Mexico.  You can re-visit that post here.  Based on a sketch I did, we have made a little progress.

I had not placed the existing Desert Willow in its actual location, so we will not have room for the small patio table to the right of the gate.  First design change!



My second site visit- you can see the gate is leaning on its side having sagged to the point of no longer closing.  Ralph has now re-hung it.
Establishing the curve of the new pathway with the old concrete pavers.  A friend of Ralph's gifted him with a potted cactus which we have placed temporarily in front of that ugly power pole. The artist that lived here previously left some artwork, the "Enchiladas" sign on the front porch, the metal sun lantern you see below and an interesting (somewhat disturbing with horns) clay sculpture not pictured.  The sculpture may be moved to another spot if we can figure out how to pick it up without breaking it.
Just in the nick of time, before we added too many rocks, Francesca and I realized we needed another design change.  We really did not like the pavers as edging and decided to go with large rocks instead.  We will lay the pavers instead as stepping stones through the center of the path somewhat like this...

Drop by tomorrow to see more photos of the "after"