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Climbing Vines and Willow Furniture

I'm not crazy about hot weather. I spent too many years in Arizona enduring it. I seem to have little tolerance both emotionally and physically. One look at my fair skin and red hair and you really understand that I'm genetically predisposed to bogs or moors rather than deserts. Moving to the Pacific NorthWest had been the plan since we moved away when I was 9. I knew I wanted to live here and it only took me over 30 years to get back. I don't mind the rain and gray. Well, there is a point in the Spring when I think even the most web-footed of us are ready for some color and dry weather. Once Spring starts giving us greenery, I can forgive the rain again. Now that we are solidly ensconced in June I'm feeling Summer knocking on our door with these gorgeous peonies.

Last weekend we had two days above 80 degrees. Most Oregonians were thrilled. While I was thrilled for some dry, sunny weather, I was not thrilled for the heat. It did make everything in my garden spring to life so I sucked it up and enjoyed the beauty around me.

The honeysuckle are busting out as well as my wee Clematis. The Clematis is my new favorite vine. I have these terribly ugly metal supports for my porch. The big 70s curly-cues. I hate them and I've started trying to hide them with flowering vines. One support is completely hidden by a monster honeysuckle that may take over the entire porch. I had a jasmine that was killed off this winter by an unusually long freezing spell. I've tried Morning Glory there a few times and had no luck. A few weeks ago Trader Joe's had these lovely little Clematis plants. I couldn't resist. I love these showy, almost gaudy, vines. I know they can get enormous so I put it two supports over from the honeysuckle hoping they wouldn't fight each other. I was starting to feel sorry for myself as it just sat there. I know, logically, the roots are getting established but I admit I had high hopes for this little vine. Yesterday morning I noticed that suddenly, the Clematis has grown over a foot in a week. She is starting to shoot up and bless her little flower-heart, she has grabbed a hold of the ugly curly-cue supports herself and is twining around happily. I can't wait. She has also put out a couple buds so I'm back to singing the praises of Clematis.

I took a willow furniture making class. This was something offered by my local nursery and I thought it sounded like fun and is certainly not anything I've ever done before. So I signed up and had a really fun day! It was absolutely exhausting because my poor hands and arms are used to being at a keyboard all day making very fine movements. I'm just not used to hammering at all. It was a bit brutal to be outside building furniture in the heat but totally worth it. I'm so pleased with the final product.

One of the things I appreciated about the class was the combination of beauty and practicality. The instructors guided us in the building so everything we created is structurally sound. All the furniture has little touches like the bottom of this table. You probably wouldn't see this until you bent down and really looked at the base of the table. Adding to the strength of the piece is this lovely bit of curly willow bracing the bottom base.

I spent way too much time playing with the different woods and colors getting as much color variation as possible. I'm told these will weather to a brown but I can't believe it would all be the same brown since they are different woods. There is alder, maple, and willow here. Everything is amazingly sturdy

And finally, I'll close with the obligatory dog picture. Frankie basking in a wee patch of sun after tearing up the tidy futon to make it more comfortable. My dogs seem to be against folded blankets of any kind.


Thank you so much for your kind words today.
I LOVE your furniture! I think peonies are my favorite flower.
Beautiful pics.
Love your doggy.