Non-Garden Project Post #7

Note the clouds visible in the sky
Last week was a three day work week for the remodel due to the New Year holiday.  While the pros were gone I painted the bathroom ceiling and skylight area a pale blue called 'Ice Sculpture'.  Light level, reflection, and direction make a difference.  The color created unexpected effects:  the skylight area from some angles looks bright blue, while some parts of the ceiling look white. 
 Other parts of the ceiling look pale blue because of the light from the windows.  (It's more blue in the photo than it is in person.) 
I'm mulling over figuring out how to paint some puffy clouds in the skylight area, to mimic clouds that can be seen through the skylight on those rare days we have clouds in the sky.  That would be a fun touch.  

Also painted, the toilet closet walls.  I'm unsure about the wall color--maybe it should be very slightly darker.  More thought required.  
This weekend, I painted the ceiling in the closet a blue-white called 'Maui Mist'.  (Another ceiling.  Oww!) 
We're getting close to both closet cabinet installation and counter installation.  The manufactured counter slabs have been completed, so I went to have a look at them.  Not the pattern I thought, but I had not paid attention.  Beloved and the designer picked it.  I was decision-ed-out that day, and happy to have them choose it.  
 The counter guys came out to our house with a bunch of wood strips and made an exact model of the spaces that are to be cut from the slabs.  They lay out the models on the slab and decide what looks best.  These are the two pieces of what will go around the bathtub.  The counter guy was deciding which area of the slab to use.  I left him and the designer to decide.  They knew best. 
In a week or so, they will be installed, after they are to size and the edges are shaped.  I think we simply asked for the most durable shape, rather than agonizing over deep ogee, full bullnose, inverted extreme bevel...  Don't.  Care. 
The shower walls, which have taken weeks to do, are finally near completion.  
Just a few more tiles to go up there...
It's a somewhat complicated shower to tile.  The curve of the arches will take additional time to tile.  After that, the bathroom and closet floor, and wall wainscoting around the bathtub, will be done in just a few days, since they involve far fewer tile cuts.   
The accent tile for the back wall arched area won't arrive until the 14th, so that will be the last tile installed.  It's really cool, being a leaf pattern.  (You know, plants!)  It was the only material I had my heart set on.  Beloved and the designer, (the ones with design sense), decided on most everything else, (with my complete agreement) but the leaves are mine.

There's the manufacturer's image of the accent tile:
For the rest of the weekend: another coat on the closet ceiling, closet walls not holding cabinets to be painted.  Some areas in the bathroom to be primed.  A slightly darker wall color to be sought.

Before and after painting there was time for some rose pruning and turning the Christmas tree into mulch.  The mulch went down in the gully garden, where it will become part of the garden, eventually feeding a new tree, a baby oak, perhaps.  A whole different way of celebrating, after the holiday celebrating is complete.  Far better than being dumped into a landfill.

A few roses still blooming.  
'Brass Band'
 'Old Port', which far prefers winter weather to summer (so do I). It's been blooming generously since October. 
 And Aloes in flower, too.   
A. hardyi x A. cameronii
 A. thraskii, mobbed by the bees, pulled apart by warblers.   


  1. The leaf-pattern tile will be excellent: something plant-y for you but subtle enough not to be unobtrusively so. Any pattern at all will be accentuated by those main tiles, whose size intensifies their smoothness.

    Your roses are truly ready for their close-up! The photo of 'Tamora' made a deep impact on me in J&P's ad introducing it some years ago; I remember fighting down the impulse to reach for the phone and credit card by reminding myself that it wouldn't ever really look like that. Well, danged if it doesn't -- at least in your garden.

    1. The leaf tiles pattern seems graceful, as if designed by someone who likes leaves. (Imagine that!)

      'Tamora' is a long time favorite, planted in this garden back in 2000. It had terrible Chili Thrips damage all of last summer, so happy to once again see how lovely it can be.

  2. On further study, I'm probably remembering a White Flower Farm catalog of the early 1990s. J&P were likely not the firm that first offered it in the U.S.

    1. One of my rose photos (of 'Belindas Dream') was used in a WFF catalog one year. They paid me for it. It may come as a surprise, but I spent the money on plants. ;^)

  3. Everything about that hybrid aloe makes it a lovely visual companion to 'Tamora' -- color echoes in the bloom and the peachy-dusky stems, contrast of form. Have you seen many other examples of the hardyi - cameronii cross, and if so is there a lot of variability in the progeny?

    The A. thraskii picture warms me in body, heart, and soul. The incoming bees echo the blooms' intense gold color (possibly due to pollen?) that perfectly complements the blue of the sky.
    Ages ago, sorting out the daylilies inherited in my father's garden, I took against that gold color because it was hard to combine with many others. However, the sheer quantity of gold cultivars and the fine qualities of the best (in form, floriferousness, health) made evicting them all a non-starter. So I set about finding out what color would make the most pleasing combination; the answer is the blue of the sky. (Warning: There cannot be even a tiny trace of pink in this blue, which rules out many flowers that appear true blue when combined with rose/pink & white. Veering in the other direction, toward turquoise, is also right out. Spectrum blue altered only by white is what you're after. What works: Allium caeruleum, Salvia azurea & S. patens, chicory, some varieties of Echinops and Eryngium. The small florets and metallic glint of several of these make a nice contrast to the matte mass of daylily blooms.)

    1. The hardyi-cameronii cross came up in my garden. Have never seen it elsewhere. I got one seed pod from hardyi quite a few years ago, and planted the seeds under a shrub (shade, moist) and one plant came up.

      The gold is an intense one and a favorite color. It's mostly surrounded by coral, red, and orange, and that seems to work fine. Interesting about the pink, thanks!

    2. Wow, that's a great result to get as the lone lucky result of one pod! I'd be giving it a garden name.
      Most daylily seedlings here (all spontaneous) get weeded out; few even come close to the quality of their parents. But I've got an interest in late-blooming cv's, and a higher proportion of them than most daylily-rich gardens. To my delight, a bee cross of two late-season hems, 'Olallie Cheryl' and 'Lady Liz', produced a nice-looking big peachy pink flower that opens even later than either parent. I call it "Rhapsody Has Two Mommies", after a scene in the movie Best in Show.
      Impressed by WFF photo. Also completely unsurprised to learn you spent the proceeds on plants. Great painting tips, too; you're a woman of many parts!

  4. HUGE respect for your mammoth painting sessions. Wow!

    1. Dad was a contractor so I grew up painting and paid for college with it. Happy to have chosen another profession, though!

  5. I LOVE that accent tile! I love the blue ceiling with the skylight too. I already feel like you do on some of the decisions required by our remodel - and we haven't even started demolition yet. Heck, we don't even have a date for demolition yet.

    Your roses are glorious. I don't have a single one at the moment. We did get rain, though - about 1/3rd of an inch. And there's more rain predicted for tomorrow. AccuWeather says there's 100% chance, which I find hard to believe. (Weather Underground says 50%.)

    1. It's great to have an eye for detail and all that, but going nuts over every choice...not worth it. The best things come via serendipity (just like in a garden).

      So enjoyed listening to the rain last night, and seeing everything washed clean this morning.

  6. Your remodel is coming along. I like the idea of clouds in the sky light hole. Those spaces are always so "empty" except during the day when you get a glimpse of a cloud. It is all going to be so lovely when finished, especially that wall with the leaves. This gives me ideas for when we have our bathroom remodeled. Of course our bathroom would fit in one of your closets. ha... I be I could still find a space large enough to have leaves on it. I have a rather large fern wall paper on the walls now.
    The roses are so pretty. When I see your
    pictures of them I crave a shrub or two. I just don't seem to have luck with them.
    Don't you just love that fresh smell/feeling after a rain. I hope you get plenty more.

  7. We designed and built our home seven years ago (brother-in-law is architect), so I am MORE than familiar with tedious design decisions. I found that certain things I was adamant about (like your fabulous leaf tile), and other decisions were left in the hands of the tradesmen. I am sure they all thought I was looney by the end.

    I love the idea of the pale blue skylight. I have just order some cabinetry for my downstairs laundry room, and I have been toying with the idea of painting the ceiling sky blue, so, a few questions: did you use a tall ladder, super-long roller handle, scaffolding like Michaelangelo? The physics of painting a ceiling make me nervous.

    Your roses are gorgeous! Plus we have the same taste for apricots and magenta. I am enjoying them even more that my garden is now officially frost-bitten.

    Happy 2019!

    1. Building an entire home is light years ahead of a bath remodel in which the basic configuration remains the same. You must have learned a lot.

      Used a 15' extension ladder and short roller pole for the skylight area; rest of ceiling was fine with a roller pole. I'm very, very careful on a ladder and the skylight area took more time than the rest of the room will take altogether.

      Extension ladder placement safety tips: angle of ladder: place tips of toes at feet of ladder. Stand straight: extend arms straight forward. Finger tips should just touch the ladder. Ladder angle too upright: ladder will tip backwards. Ladder angle too large: ladder will slide out from under occupant. Rubber grip feet not a bad idea. Or heavy weights behind ladder feet to prevent sliding. Or a "buddy" to hold ladder.

      The "Frankenstein Rock" technique for rolling a ceiling: start by rolling with generous paint amount east to west, keeping unbending knees and slowly rocking back and forth advancing forward slowly; then go back and cross roll north to south to even out the paint and catch any missed spots. Very effective, plus it is fun to pretend to be Frankenstein.

      Apricot and magenta look very good together, too!

    2. Thanks you for those tips! I broke my back almost 5 years ago, so I have a profound respect for ladders. I think I'd better go with the buddy system and get my basketball player son involved...


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