Yes I painted the bench

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I am well-acquainted with the painted surfaces of my house, inch by inch, inside and out. I have actually had quite enough scaping and filling and sanding and trying to remove paint from my hair. (I’ve never been able to not get paint in my hair in spite of hats and kerchiefs and ponytails.)

I will never paint again.

Of course it’s a hopeless resolution, made just this summer and broken just last week.

garden bench needing paintThere is this old wooden garden bench, home-made about fifty years ago by my children’s very dear but now-dead grandfather. It has been slowly shedding the paint he put on it, which was white like his house (and his hair, even without paint).

I would be happy with a paintless bench, but the Oregon rain would soon take it.  I don’t know if my decision shows strength or weakness, but summer has gotten hot so at least the paint dried quickly.

I thought a lot about color. I kind of wanted to make it peacock blue (like Mrs. Peacock in Clue), then I considered the dark green of the shutters. In the end I used the pale green of the house siding, I guess because it was close to the white the bench had always been. (It may evolve to blue next time.)

If I had a garden shed, which I don’t, I could store the bench in there in the winter, because if I had a garden shed, which I don’t, it would be a HUGE garden shed and would accommodate all the lawn furniture as well as the tools –and maybe a small electric car, and, during bad weather, a few miniature sheep. But I don’t have a garden shed, and in the interest of marital bliss–and armistice–I shall move beyond this subject.

Here in dappled shade we see the newly painted but still clearly rustic bench, situated in what has recently been the intense heat of August.

garden bench with new paint Somehow the light reminds me of Luncheon of the Boating Party, and really as soon as the invisible garden shed is complete we must get a river installed, not to mention a nice French restaurant. (So much to do.)

Renoir Luncheon of the Boating Party

Oh that’s my idea of a great party. I wonder if they had ice cream–the blackberries are ripe here and, once again, I made blackberry/brandy gelato

blackberry gelato cone

In garden news, the Magnolia grandiflora produced a bloom on a limb down at people level. I love the orchid-like waxiness of the big white flowers,  fragrant with a kind of fruity sweetness like they might belong in a salad but don’t.

Magnolia grandiflora bloom

More exciting was the first-ever bloom on this little mimosa tree.

mimosa treeThis Chinese tree, also called a Silk Tree, has been grown in the U.S. since the 18th century. The baby one in my garden barely towers over the ferns, and has lived here for about three years.  Finally there is one little fuzzy silky bloom, but not at all bloomlike–more like a resting fairy or something  breaking through from a parallel dimension.

mimosa tree bloom

This morning, surprise!, we have cool gray skies.

Max stayed inside and spent some quality time with his pillow.

Westie nap

About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in cooking, Max the Westie, stuff for your garden that isn't plants, trees and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Yes I painted the bench

  1. Holleygarden says:

    I’m so glad you’re taking care of the bench. To have a bench made by someone in the family is precious. I like the light green, too. That blackberry gelato looks delicious! And Max is adorable on top of his pillow!

    • linniew says:

      Hi Holley
      I actually like to leave a little seating outside in winter, for that cup-of-coffee-in-the-November-sun sort of time. This bench will be perfect for that.

  2. Another wonderfully amusing post, Linnie — thanks for brightening my day –I’m still laughing! I love the color you painted your bench. I like the color of that fabulous gelato, too. Maybe it would be a good color for the door of your shed. Dreams do come true you know! P. x

    • linniew says:

      Lovely to have you here Pam! I think your idea for the shed door matching the gelato is brilliant –I shall remember it for my future shed. Thanks for the reminder about dreams 🙂

  3. greg says:

    It’s nice to have something from grandpa.

  4. Alistair says:

    Fabulous colour is the bench Linnie, I think you have a certain fence that this lovely shade would suit. Do you not have a garden shed then? You do have a Mimosa tree though, how very special is that, would never survive over here.

    • linniew says:

      You aren’t suggesting I should paint the picket fence right? And of course I don’t have a garden shed! If I had a garden shed do you think I would have whined in that major way about not having one? Well okay I have a tiny one, but it’s really a chicken-house and so I don’t think of it as a garden shed at all–too small and full of empty pots and haunted by chicken ghosts.

  5. Bridget says:

    So nice to have something from your ancestor. I’m sure he’d approve of the colour. Nice! Max lookin so cute there, maybe he was subdued by the grey sky. Our dogs are’nt as lively if it’s a crap weather day.

  6. Grace says:

    I wonder if you’ve got room inside your house, say by the foyer or even in the dining room to place your bench for the winter. I think I hear it begging to come indoors, being a fair-weather bench and all. And I’m sure it would be honored with keeping certain derrieres comfy during French luncheons. Just a thought.

    Love the Magnolia blossom. They’re so regal and lush. Your Mimosa (Silk Tree) looks really pretty in that island bed. I just photographed and blogged about one I saw in Corvallis recently. They’re such pretty trees.

    Your Blackberry Gelato looks too pretty to eat. I think Max has the right idea when the uncharacteristic August clouds roll in.

    I have a surprise for you on my blog.

    • linniew says:

      Oh, I like French luncheons. And I will testify that the gelato is NOT too pretty to eat.

      Your blog always has great surprises Gracie! Off to see…

  7. Andrea says:

    At least you have time to paint and you’re doing a great job! I have long wanted to paint two old chairs in our house, but the weekends i am there always most of the time devoted to shoot flowers, plants and butterflies. Painting chairs which entails a long time from sanding, always take the last priority. It’s been years since i thought of doing it and till now it is still an unpainted chair!

    • linniew says:

      Hi Andrea
      I have a queue of things waiting for paint too. Most of them will continue to be ignored. Some things, like the picket fence, have no hope at all. Glad I did the bench though.

  8. b-a-g says:

    Linnie – The bench in dappled shade and ice-cream look so inviting … I remember your fern bed surrounded by rocks from a previous post. At the time, I was wondering what the mimosa tree was doing there. Now I completely understand – it’s been renamed “mimosa bed” in my head (sorry for being so fickle).

    • linniew says:

      Hi b-a-g
      I guess I think of it as the mimosa bed as well, although I remember you suggested something like Primeval Rock bed, which I also liked a lot.

      And don’t tell anyone but sometimes I call the tree Mimi.


  9. cynthia says:

    OMG, the gelatto looks fabulous. Don’t suppose you could ship some down to me? It would be so perfect for this hot Labor Day weekend – supposed to be 100 on Monday. Please?

    And the river, what a great idea. My birthday is coming up . . .

    • linniew says:

      Oh yes of course Cynthia! I have posted some ice cream to you (business envelope) — I just hope the trip doesn’t affect the quality…

      When I find a good source for rivers I will definitely let you know. In the meantime there are always sprinklers and the only firearm I like: water pistols. Happy Labor Day!

  10. Sheila Read says:

    I’ve been painting so much lately I’m thinking of it as my fall-back profession… When we were looking at houses, the first criteria for my husband was a large shed. He would call me to the computer to look at a house with wall-to-wall stained carpet and dark rooms and when I would object, he would say, “But it has a fully wired shed.”

    That is an event – a magnolia bloom within reach. I’ve never had a magnolia tree, so I’ve been known to surreptiously smell trees on the neighbors’ property and pretty much anywhere on a walk. Watch out for the mimosas – they’re a menace in the South. Kind of pretty, though, I admit.

    • linniew says:

      I do understand the yearning for a garden shed… (Is he following Fifty Sheds of Grey on Twitter maybe? :))

      My plan is to have ONE mimosa. If it tends to go otherwise then I will have none. In general it takes a tough plant to pop up in this clay soil although the cherry trees and maples manage it just fine.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, they love clay soil. Not to be a downer or anything. Just warnin’,

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