Sunday, March 27, 2011

Raging at the Rebounder

Why, oh why, oh why? What was I thinking?! There I sat, on a peaceful, sunny, late afternoon, on my back patio, talking to a friend on the phone. Can you picture it? The light is most beautiful at that time of day. Suddenly, the quiet and serenity cast by the lengthening shadows evaporates, when out of the house bounds The Child With Unlimited Energy. He begins a world cup battle for which a crushing defeat of the opponent is the only acceptable result. The semi-deflated soccer ball is kicked relentlessly against the rebounder, and imaginary saves are enacted with incredible drama. Wait a minute! It looks like the Good Guys are about to make what could be the winning goal. Yes! The ball soars OVER the rebounder and CRASHES into the Lady Banks Rose, sending up a shower of yellow blossoms. The petals fill the air like confetti thrown in jubliation. Nooooooooo! Not the Lady Banks!! I leap from my seat on the patio, and yell in my most high-pitched, terroristic voice, "I keell you. I KEELL you!!! You monster!" (I may have damaged the ear drums of the poor person I was speaking to.) The game was over, I made sure of THAT. But he didn't care, because he'd won. Damn that rebounder. My horrible son says I brought this on myself. Well. I think it'll be books for Christmas from now on.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Garbage Can Tree

It's not a garbage can tree, silly, it's a Red Bud. But we planted it round the side of the house by the garbage can, after the neighbors decided to remove the ginormous bush that wasn't beautiful but provided quite a bit of shade and hid their house somewhat.
So, a friend didn't want this city-provided red bud, and although they really aren't my favourite tree by any stretch of the imagination, we thought we'd give it a go.
The poor thing is probably very lonely, and is certainly ignored, so I thought it deserved to be featured because despite being forgotton most of the time, it has valiantly put out some spring plumage and seems to be giving another year a go. Hang in there little Red Bud!

Speaking of tiny insects, isn't this my friend from the red rose? What a lucky guy!!! Who says life isn't a bed of roses?? Cause it certainly is for him.

Gazanian Glory

The petals of the Gazania draw you in, willingly or unwillingly, until you are saturated with the intensity of the central yellow core. It feels a bit like looking at a molten sun. Better squint.
Can you imagine if this was bigger than you?
I can totally understand the attraction felt by insects.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Twilight Zone Blogging...

O.k. this is a weird post, but I had a dream that both the red and the green grape vine had grown to the size of live oaks, and both were covered in more grapes than anyone could really deal with. And I had to harvest as many as I could with the help of some unwilling children before some dramatic and possibly dangerous something-or-other took place.... nee-noo-nee-noo, nee-noo-nee-noo.
Yes, it IS far too late to be posting on a gardening blog.
And yes, it is TOTALLY wishful thinking on my part.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Overview... Still pretty rough looking.

Stepping back for the bigger picture, for those getting tired of the 'super-close-up' setting.

First Red Rose

Look at this adorable little guy. He is checking out the first rose and keeping a beady little eye on me at the same time. He decides not to be friends, and away he goes about his business.

Lady Bank's Explosion

I am sorry that some of you will not be able to see this in person. You'll just have to enjoy vicariously from these pictures. It is pretty darn splendid, I must say.

Do Gardeners Make Good Babysitters?

I am afraid there were some questionable babysitting techniques being displayed that day.

But then, I was busy, he was busy. We were both happy. And I am a firm believer of independence and experimentation from an early age. Can't you just see the cogs turning?

"Hmmm, let's see what is under this table. Oof, I think I can just reach this spray bottle. Yup. I got it. Check it out, gardening lady. Now let's see, can I get the top off?? No problem there either. What's in this bottle, gardening lady?"

Ooh, and here's an old Raid can! Cool! I hope I can play at THIS house again. At my house they keep all the cupboards locked, and the good stuff out of reach.

Yeah. Go on. Just try and take my spray can from me! Yeah, two can play this game, gardening lady.....


Just wanted to share this pretty Columbine with you. I had to get it because I hadn't seen such a sweet shade of lavender...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Desert Pea

Here is a shot of the Desert Pea. Cool pod, eh? I like the pinkish translucence and the puffy papery texture. I am very curious to see a bloom!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brief Update

Did some aerating to try and save the soccer trammelled grass.
Bagged up 10 bags of compost at the Natural Gardener, (Very unhappy back!)
Bought a Desert Pea! Looks very sweet. Photos will come.
Bought another Confederate Jasmine to help in the fence coverage project.
Glenn stole more stones for me, but I am going to have to get busy on the flat stone variety. My path is pathetically small at this point!

First LB blooms

And the prize goes to this lovely bloom for being the first to grace the yard with her tiny, yellow beauty.

A close second is awarded to this bud that will be bursting open momentarily.
I thought we wouldn't see many blooms for a couple of weeks, but it looks like the Lady Bank's party is coming sooner than I expected.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I found some fennel at the Barton Springs Nursery, which by the way, I like a lot (the nursery that is), because as well as having interesting things on sale pretty regularly, they also sell lots of small, (and therefore less expensive), pots of things, so you can buy more than one without feeling terribly guilty.
I am VERY excited about the fennel because we have been wanting to grow the bulbs, (and I hope to God they are the bulbs and not the seed/herbs) because in case you haven't noticed, they are BLOODY EXPENSIVE if you want to buy them in the store.
Anyway, we'll see how they do. I got SIX. Which is pretty radical, but as I have only ever seen the seed variety, I thought I better go for it. I hope they are right about them being the vegetable.
We also planted some green pepper and tomatoes.

Welcome back!

Good to see YOU again you gorgeous, fantastic thing with the ridiculous name.

Grape Vine

And I am not talking about the exercise. The newness, the crinkly, shiny, almost fake look of the grape leaves is pretty cool against the gnarled and dead-looking stem.
The question is, will we get any grapes this year? Last year, in keeping with my usual garden proliferation, we saw ONE bunch. (And of course they were doll sized. Very cute, yes, but needless to say we weren't making wine).
This year I am shooting for the moon, and hoping for two whole bunches to appear!! Keep your fingers crossed.

Can't Get Enough

Sorry to bore you, but I just have to keep putting up these pictures. Is your mouth just hanging open in wonder? What is it about transparent delicate pink that delights me so?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

O.K. Enough of Houston

Back to where it really matters: first of all, the Lady Banks Rose has not only leafed out like a crazy thing, but it is COVERED, and I mean COVERED by these tiny little buds....

I may just have to have a Lady Banks party when they burst open!

And, I was wondering how the Bamboo Muhli was going to get green again after its brown winter, and guess what, the green just magically appears all over its stems. What a clever plant!

Still in Houston: Other assorted Images...

First, the tiniest, tiniest maple key ever...which of course you can't really tell because it is super-close-up.

Second, WHAT are these in this sago palm???

And third, WHY, WHY, WHY do people do this to the Crape Myrtles? I don't get it. It seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me, akin to docking the ears and tails of dogs...
Nope, I don't get it and I don't like it.

Phew! That's One Fugly Duck

There's no happy ending here folks. He's going to stay this way I fear. Seemed a little out of place amidst such delicate surroundings, but maybe he was there for contrast?

Bamboo Water Feature

Water trickles in until the bamboo pole is full and then it tips up and the water flows out and it
clunks back down and starts over again.... pretty cool, eh?

Sea Anemone or flowers?

These were quite remarkable. VERY tiny, and looked like something you would find under the sea rather than in a Japanese garden. I don't know what it is. Do you?


A mist of white spread on the trees. Now sigh gently. That is what it was like.

Heaven on Earth?

While in Houston this past weekend I went to the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park... and yes, I wondered if I had arrived in Heaven. So go ahead, enlarge the pictures, thrust yourself through the screen and wallow in these blossoms the way I did (figuratively speaking, o.k., I didn't make a spectacle of myself, and neither should you.)

There were so many different plants and shrubs and trees in bloom, it was well worth dying for and visiting the promised land. But it was a brief stay, and then I came thudding back down to earth, and returned to my more humdrum, and far less ethereal existence...

When I arrived back home, I went out to check on my much more slowly burgeoning garden, only to find these exquisite specimens turning their faces to the sun. So eat your heart out Japanese Garden! I have my own tiny glimpse of heaven right here in my
back yard.
Really now, have you EVER seen anything as beautiful as these peach blossoms?