Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's Time to Say Goodbye

I said goodbye to the garden today. Tomorrow morning we depart on our nine month adventure to Greece. It is very hard to leave the plants, especially as they are struggling so much in the heat. Another surprise showed up in the form of this yellow wildflower (or weed), which I know I didn't plant, but which decided to join the garden somehow.
Before we left, I did an final mowing and weeding and watering, and the garden looked so serene in the early morning light.
I hope the young trees survive. The fig has completely leafed out again, and so has the pecan.
I keep telling myself that even if it gets totally over grown, or sun burnt and dry, I can't possibly have to start back at square one. Right? Right?? Surely not.
So now, while we are away, I will be using this blog to write about Greek gardens that we encounter during our stay. Stay Tuned! (For more of the day to day adventures of settling in to a life in Athens you can visit austintoathens.blogspot.com)
See Ya.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In Memoriam

On Sunday morning I went out to admire the garden in the early morning light, and was amazed to see that the whole garden had burst into bloom. Plants that had been struggling were now flowering. It was an amazing and beautiful sight and it filled me with awe and wonder. I found out shortly after that stroll that my father had died the evening before. I would like to dedicate these blooms to him, because certainly their colour and beauty will always remind me of him.
The Rock Rose was covered!

How splendid she looks!
Blue salvia,
Red salvia
and the longed for Pride of Barbadoes....

A surprising cluster of Blue Sky,
and the promise of more to come.
Even the seed pods of the Mimosa looked fabulous as they caught the early morning rays.
Forever in my heart, my dear old curmudgeon of the hills. xoxoxo

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm On My Way...

I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today... uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, uh huh...
Oh yeah, oh yeah! I know you aren't supposed to count your chickens before they hatch...BUT, I am pretty sure that I am going to get some Pride of Barbados flowers soon. Please, PLEASE let them bloom before we leave!

Ruellia Bouquet

Nothing like a cluster of blossoms to cheer one up.
Ruellia blossoms are so chubby and cute and crinkly, and purple. And they are darker purple in the center.
From behind, the light shows us all the little veins and creases. The delight is in the detail.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Out of the depths of the drought...

When I first returned from Canada, I was distressed to see that parts of the garden looked like the deep mid-winter in July, Texas style. Our baby pecan tree had dropped its leaves onto the burnt grass, and so had the poor little fig tree.
But, these plants are INTREPID, and after some babying and A LOT of water for their parched little roots, they are gamely putting out new foliage. You Go little trees!!
See? Isn't that festive?
Happy days are here again.

Cavorting Cacti

I was out in the garden today, and I saw that the cacti are involved in a very elegant dance together.
I saw the prickly pear leaning in to ask the young tree cholla cactus if he could have the next dance. See how he asks with such a debonair nod in her direction.
I can understand the Prickly Pear's interest because most certainly the tree cholla was looking very willowy and beautiful. When I gaze at her, I want to join in the dance too. She is also very clever, because her original stem leaned quite dramatically to the left, so to compensate she has put out all her new growth to the right. Isn't she gracious? However, gallant as is his request, her reply to the Prickly Pear is a polite decline today. She is already engaged in the current dance with the Bamboo Muhli.The Bamboo Muhli grasps her spiny arms with the most delicate, green, lacy fronds. Of course Cholla said yes to the Muhli!
Prickly Pear is a good sport and bides his time. "I'll just do my impersonation of an elephant while I wait," he says.
The dance in the miniature zen garden is nothing if not charming and refined. As I walked and watched, I realized that just as with people, plants have very different ideas about what type of dance they prefer:
Umm. All I can say about this dance is it must be a Rave. Hey! Who's in charge here!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One of the Plagues of Egypt??

I think one of the ten plagues of Egypt was drought, or if it wasn't it should have been. Well, actually, come to think of it, drought was probably just normal weather. HOWEVER, I DO know that there was a plague of locusts, and when I saw this GIANT, and I do mean giant, grasshopper on our patio (3 1/2 inches long)(with wings), I was sure we were seeing something of biblical portent.... dun, dun, dun, dun.....
watch out ya'll. (Enlarge for the full, horrific effect!)