Friday, February 29, 2008

Blast From the Past

I was looking through some old pictures and came across some of my garden in past years. I've had my moments...


This was the side yard niche, with the old furniture. Alas, the chairs fell apart after a few years.


The rose bush is a lot bigger now, and there is a large clump of lemon grass where the red begonia was.



Ahh... those were the days. I want to get this area looking this good again. Behind the tree is where the pond and disappearing fountain were built a couple of years ago.




The side yard, where I now have the lilies. I found my little fairy girl, and alas, she has lost both wings. I'd love to find another like her.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Random Walk Through

I did a quick walk through the backyard. And I do mean quick.


My little fig tree in a pot is finally breaking dormancy. I love fresh figs.


This Pinata rose bloom was the very DICKENS to photograph today. The sun was too bright.

I put both angles up so you could see the two colors. It's even prettier in real life.


No, they ain't pretty, but they're mine. All mine.



I can' t believe how fast the lilies are growing since I divided them! The half barrel is the home of 5 new waterlilies. They won't stay there, I've got places for each of them, but I plunked them in there till I get the other homes ready. That barrel is going to have at least three other kinds of plants in it, and eventually a fish or three.




But for now, it's a waterlily nursery.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Outdoor Rooms

I have plans for the garden this summer. Or, if not this summer, then next summer. I want to get some new patio furniture, some to replace some that, after 7 years, just kinda fell apart. My back yard is pretty much divided up into areas that function very much like outdoor rooms. The eastern side yard has a niche between the monster sized split-leaved philodendron and a fence that separates the side yard from the back yard.

In deep shade during the summer, this niche is a perfect place to drink a cup of coffee, or a glass of iced tea and read, write or dream. The last two summers, though, I've had to do it in a plastic chair. I'd like something a little more substantial. I'd like something large and stout enough to let me swing my legs up and prop them while I sit.

I've got several areas that need "furnishing", but most of them are okay for now. The largest "room", the area that you enter through the gate that ends the side yard, has a metal table and two bean shaped metal chairs. I still need to make some cushions, but I'm happy with what's there. I do need another bench for an area underneath an arch that supports a ham and egg lantana. Someday, I'd like a concrete bench for there.

On the other side of a structure originally built as a way to enter an above ground pool (long since defunct, removed and replaced with the decomposed granite that makes up the "floor" of the largest area), is a wooden deck made with landscaping timbers. The timbers were scavenged from another area of the backyard in a previous incarnation. They'll need to be replaced with a more permanent decking material, someday. Not this year.

When I've gotten everything cleaned up a little, I'll take pictures of the different "rooms" with their own pocket gardens. It will take a while, but I'll get each room done a little at a time. I like my rooms. They just need refurnishing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gulp!

Y'all keep your fingers crossed for me.......depending upon who you believe... it MIGHT get down to 32 degrees F for about 15 to 30 minutes early tomorrow morning, right before dawn.

OR

It might be 34, 36 or 39.

I'm wanting to believe the upper numbers. I uncovered most of my plants. Fortunately, most everything is protected from some cold by where the plants are.

Gulp.

The Gardening Itch


I teach at a tutoring center. It's what keeps/kept me sane after I had to retire from teaching due to disability. I still think I could be a teacher, but mostly, this job satisfies my urge to really TEACH without having to deal with the increasing number of things that are getting in the way of teachers actually TEACHING in a public school.

Most of the students I teach are Korean, as is my bossman. Sometimes the communication issues are...interesting. Not so much the kids, as the boss.

Excuse the handwriting, I only have an hour at a time with these kids, and I have to get in as much as I can. This was a lesson in writing using past tense verbs. The teaching method at this center is based on reading real books and writing real responses. I'm the resident specialist on early emergent reading, as I'd been a prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade teacher for much of my 20 years of teaching.


So, this is pretty much what I accomplished for Sunday, along with some weeding, pruning, planting and pretty much making a bigger mess of things than they started out being. Sigh. Seems like my projects always go through a stage where everything you do as a precursor to the actual project results in a big mess. Still, somethings jell after a little bit.

The baskets aren't planted yet, I'll be adding some new soil to the coconut mats and planting...something. I've not decided exactly what yet. I suspect something will catch my eye and it will be just the thing I'm looking for. I know I want something that will both bloom and hang over the pot, so the planting will probably be a mixed pot.


I was right about re potting the lilies. They didn't suffer a bit and look less crowded and stressed. In a few weeks, there will be blooms. I literally have NO idea what varieties are where now, as I'm not sure what survived the snail smorgasbord last spring, and what propagated madly. I like surprises like that.


I got another citrus. The bronze colored pot has a dwarf variety of Moro Blood orange. I hope this works. The varieties we chose are small fruited ones, as both 'Pup and I are both diabetic and citrus is best in small, fresh packages.


I've been using this bed in the front yard as an herb bed for the last 3 years or so. There used to be some HUGE shrubs there, that were smothered in cross vines. I've finally gotten rid of most of the cross vines in the bed, but there are still vines going up the juniper tree behind the bed. The flowers tend to peek out of the juniper branches like unexpected and out of season Christmas ornaments.

I've a few perennials in the bed... some lime thyme that is looking a little ragged now. We've had so much rain, it's just not a happy camper. I've an English time a little farther back on the right side. It's not overly happy right now either. We'll just have to see if it can handle the spring rainy season coming up. In the back of the bed, I've some marjoram, and fennel, and some chives just springing back up. The fennel stays green all year round here. Even freezing weather doesn't bother it much. In years past I've seen swallowtails laying eggs, feeding and found the odd chrysalis hanging from the juniper tree.



The herb bed is a project I'll tackle sometime in March. I'll be sneaking in some vegetables there this year along with the basil, sage, ect.


I was a little afraid I'd lost the bat faced cuphea, but it is coming back from the roots. It's a very good neighbor to the roses I have in that bed.

Speaking of roses...


I planted a Mr. Lincoln rose there in that bed between the Peace rose and the Cherry Parfait.





On the other side of the Cherry Parfait, right next to the cuphea, I've planted a Honey Dijon Rose.



I'm looking forward to the first blooms from both.



I've got the Gardening ITCH. And it feels gooooood.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Gift

The Confabulator has a laptop that he wants to give away. He's asking that anyone who would like it, to please go to his site to see how you can ask that you be the recipient.

From his site:

"Of course with any as the saying goes “There ain’t no free lunch“, so there are some requirements to be the recipient of this laptop.
1. You must submit an email as to why you and you alone should have the laptop, it should consist of at least 200 and no more than 500 words.
2. You should include in what condition your current pc is in and how old it is , this will not to be credited towards the word count.
3. If selected you must provide your name, address and phone number.
4. You cannot submit for someone else.
5. Shipment will be paid by me.
6. Submissions accepted until 31 March 2008 or until we have 5 submissions.
The description of the Laptop is here.
After considering on who should get the laptop I have decided that after 5 people have made a submission, then I would leave it up to the results of a poll of my few readers as to is the most deserving.
In the event of a tie in the number of votes I alone will cast the tie breaking vote.
If you know of someone who is in need let them know so they can submit their reasons why.

Jerry's email address is at his site. You have to go there!

February Spring Day, Sunday

Ahhh... Spring Fever hit me and 'Pup and we went out into the garden Saturday afternoon and most of the day Sunday.

As you can see, Spring is breaking through the calendar this year. The bare branches in the foreground are budding (they were in this post , but the Ash trees on the Southeast corner of the lot have already put on their first leaves. I don't know about you, but it looks like Spring to me.

That's not to say that the weather will be perfectly warm from here on out. We're expecting lows in the mid 30's later in the week. Well, it IS still February.


The dandelions think it's Spring though.


This is one of the plants I got last weekend, but didn't have time to plant. I also needed the planter, so it wasn't a hardship to wait. I'm reusing some iron bits of some lawn furniture for the trellis. I've more of the panels and I'm planning on putting them to use here and there.




Pretty, Carolina Jessamine. It's a small vine now, but I have hopes of it getting MUCH larger.

Speaking of much larger.


Yeah, I know. This doesn't mean much to most of you. The tubers are Gloriosa Rothchildiana. I got some last spring. They've gotten larger. I lost some of the littlest ones, I think they got munched by some little critters. But, the ones I have left are very vigorous and I'll be planting them in 3 or 4 places around the yard.

One of the big jobs 'Pup and I did Sunday was to divide and re pot the Asiatic lilies. I should have done this in the fall, or at least before they started to grow...but I didn't. I don't think it will bother them too much. They were just way too crowded in the other pots and the soil level in the pots had sunk to less than half of the pots' capacities.







There were a lot of verrrrry very tiny bulbs as well. They've divided and propagated and then propagated some more. Ahhhh, flower sex... so productive and rewarding for a gardener.
Then 'Pup and I trimmed back some of the limbs from the Ash tree that had grown to shade the patch of the side yard in which I want the lilies to grow. I didn't have a big bloom last spring, and I think it was because 1) it was too shady and 2) there was a snail population explosion and lily foliage was an all you can eat buffet. I was pickin' up and chunkin' snails into... well, just about anywhere BUT the lilies. Usually it ended up badly for the snail. Even those who survived the aerial trip from my hand, ended up in a trash barrel, destined for anyplace BUT my garden.
Don't feel bad for them. I didn't make a dent in the population last year. It was so bad I had to do something I'd never done before, put out snail bait/poison. That did preserve the last of the lily leaves, and several other plants. They did get a couple of my favorite plants. I'm still hoping they will rebound a bit this spring. My hopes are getting lower though, as I've not seen any sign that it will happen.
I took one of the half barrels I got this fall (75% off!) and I'm going to recreate a water garden I had in the side yard before I put in the pond in the back. Today, I started by re potting the lilies, putting the half barrel in place and the lily pots around it. Then, I filled it with water and dropped in a water lily. I had two, but one of them needs to be exchanged for one that's, well, ALIVE. I'll be posting more about the water garden in another post.


Yes, I have more tomatoes ripening. This one needs another day, at least, before I pick it. Besides, I need to go get some bacon.





Speaking of snails, here's one of them now.

This denizen of the side yard was checking out the new water garden. I let him go around the pot, taking pictures. He was a very good model. Then, he imitated a bird and FLEW (with a little help) into the rubbish bin. I had spent too long on the lilies for him to have a free lunch. Too bad I can't play basketball with snails. I can aim those things right where I want them to go.
Ka-thunk!


Charles (aka Chuckles the Wonder Dog) was enjoying the day with us. We didn't get to the dog park this weekend, but he's forgiven us. Butch didn't mind not going. He kept looking at us like we were kinda crazy to be outside all day. Didn't we know we missed several NAP TIMES?? Butch doesn't like missing nap times.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cafe Press



Uhmm.... Hi y'all.





I've opened up a Cafe Press shop. I'd appreciate it if you'd take a look, give me some feedback....oh....and maybe............buy something?





Please?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Snow and Damn Cold Weather

With so many of my blog friends, like Livey and Leslie living with snow, snow and then more snow...I kinda feel like I want to send them some warm winds, sunny skies and some warm volcom clothing.

Y'all...you need to come on down for a visit. We're supposed to get some cooler weather, but for you, even our "cold spells" will be warmer than the ice boxes you've been living in...hell...even ice boxes don't get as cold as y'all's weather. I can't even imagine that much cold.

Even after living through one winter of it, my senior year of high school (Antioch, Illinois), I can't imagine it.

Summer

As nice as the weather has been most of this week, I've been very happy to be living in Harris County Texas. Today was sunny and bright, but we're supposed to have some drippy weather later.

Still, it will not be as pleasant in the summer here. In the summer, it just gets dang hot. Trees and shade and water are the only way to deal with it, outside of the house. Inside, Texans in July have to live more like those people who live in the snowbelt in January. We close the windows and doors and turn on the airconditioner and wait out the 100 plus degree 100 percent humidity days and nights.

Those are the days even a Texan wants to go north somewhere, to where there is surf, sand and clear water. You start dreaming about Canada, New England, the Outer Banks, ALASKA, anywhere it might be a little cooler.

Me, I'll be hanging around here in Harris County, except for a blog trip in April and one in June. I'm looking forward to both of them!

Cleaning Things Out

One of our blogging friends is going through what looks to be a pretty thorough colon cleanse. She says it's doing her some good. Sounds a little...perilous. Not to mention...a little disconcerting.

It reminds me of a story a Girl Scout leader of mine told us. See, she was a librarian and would teach some classes in the high school about how to use the card catalogue, and sometimes would get to see the class through a research project. Now, remember, this is WAAAAYY before there were computers with internet.

One of the students had a bad habit of ducking out of the class just when there would be any work assigned. For some reason, he always had to go to the bathroom. And it always took a very long time.

The last time he ever did that was the time she waited for him to get back and asked him, "Did everything COME OUT alright?" In front of the rest of the class, a class with several of the cute girls in it. Somehow.....after that......he made sure NEVER to leave the group again.

Livey, I hope everything comes out alright with you too.

Joining the Mobile Music Trend

'Pup and I found some very CHEAP mp3 players. They're not anywhere close to an IPOD, but they will play music files and I'm not even going to admit how cheap they were.

They didn't even come with headphones. I suppose, knowing how cheap the mp3 player is, we should probably just get some inexpensive headphones. 'Cause, y'all? The players were so cheap that a single pair of
Bose headphones would probably cost more than the pair of the mp3 players.

Oh well, I never had a name brand Walkman either, and I managed, somehow. At any rate, I want to wait until I can afford something more like a Palm Pilot, with the ability to read e-books and peruse the 'net.

Positive Thinking

A while back, some of the bloggers were participating in an effort to live without complaining. I was going through a little bit of a low period, and I didn't fully participate. It was and is a good idea. I just wasn't ready for it at the time.

'Course, I had a question too. What's the difference between a complaint....and an observation of fact? I mean, when if you have a toothache, and it hurts, really hurts, is it a complaint to say so? I guess I just wasn't stoic enough to have a toothache and not complain a little.

Well, it seems the idea doesn't exist in a vacuum. Like most good things, it seems that good ideas tend to occur to many people at the same time. In fact, if you click here, you'll go to an article by a Pastor that proposes that, instead of giving up things for Lent, perhaps giving up negative thoughts would be a bigger sacrifice.

He's got a point. Most of us go through life with a cloud tailing us. Sometimes that cloud is small and hardly noticeable, other times, it becomes a thundercloud that rains not just on you, but almost everyone around you.

So, here's a challenge. Try to keep your cloud of negative thoughts, memories and circumstances as small and insignificant in your life as you can. Sometimes it will be easy, others...it will be impossible.

Life isn't all sunshine, but even the rainclouds have a purpose. They make you appreciate the flowers that grow afterwards. Sometimes even the weeds that grow with them can provide you with a little exercise....

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Signs of Spring

Saturday night, we had 3 and 1/2 inches of rain. Most of it fell in a 2 hour block of time, and we didn't get all the worst of the storm line. The biggest and most intense storms were to the North and East.......and then to the South. Where we live is odd. One of the nicknames it has is "Sahara Flats"... because it is not all that unusual for the rain to come right up to about 10 miles away.....stop raining, and then restart raining about 10 miles after us.

Of course, "Sahara" is a relative term. We still got about 45 inches of rain this year. Glub, glub.

I like weeding after that much rain. Our yard has pretty good drainage in the front, so we planned to work there.

But then 'Pup had the very good idea that we should go get some things. Like mosquito dunks, and a new pair of clippers, and maybe we'd look at some plants.

*snicker* maybe? Yah, like MAYBE we'd read a blog or three later. Some things are just givens.

I've never gone through a nursery yet that I didn't find something I wanted. Usually more than one.

Actually, the Sunday trip to a nursery was the second that weekend.

On Saturday (because we knew the ground would be soft and easy to weed and dig in and plant in) we got a couple of plants. I got a Carolina Jessamine, some
(celosia)

of this (yah, I know, not my favorite plant, but) 'Pup really likes them, so they'll have a place in the garden.

And I got some of this:

Sweet Alyssium. I usually direct sow, but I wanted instant gratification. Don't hate me--besides, I've not had good luck the last two seasons because of all the rain. The tiny little seedlings get washed away or drown unexpectedly. I'm hoping the mature plants will be a little more resistant to the vagaries of weather. Plus, see, the plants we plant aren't the only things growing like weeds down here. Weeds grow faster than anything. If I want help weeding, I have to make what NOT to pull up easy to identify.

We got these and the pots to put them in as well. One Clematine satsuma and one Cleopatra mandarin.

I've been wanting some citrus trees. I love fresh fruit, and satsumas grow pretty well here. Problem is, the backyard is just too shady and technically I'm not supposed to be growing a food producing plant in my (sunny) front yard. Dang Home Owner's Association. I'm hoping that by putting them in pretty pots and keeping them small........I might get away with it. If not, then they can be moved.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It's worth a shot. Oh, (keep this quiet) I'm going to try to sneak a cucumber vine or two up the arched trellis on the front facing fence. I might even get really daring and go for a zuchinni hidden in the daylillies. Shhhhhh.

They've not objected to the herb bed in the front yard, so I'm hoping they'll not notice. Hummm. I can probably plant some radishes and carrots in the herb bed....

Then, 'Pup and I saw this. Blue Hibiscus??? Can it be true?

Okay, perhaps it's a little more purple than blue, but still pretty.


I still think the leaves look more like a geranium's leaves, but their shape makes sense for a plant that comes from a dry area. I'll keep these in pots as well, so I can control the amount of water they get. I liked them so much I got two of them.

The tomatoes are blooming, and I got a couple of cherry tomatoes. They didn't last long enough to come inside the house. I really should share one with 'Pup now and again. I really should.


But those little jewels are just so pretty...and tasty.

In other news, my lillies are coming up, but I can tell that not all of them came through this year. Or, maybe they're just slower in starting. I know one pot got drowned this summer, so I'll have to replant it. So, I bought more! Asiatic lillies are VERY hard to grow here, and I've never had any luck with them in the ground. The soil is just too heavy, and stays too damp sometimes and then a week later can be dry and hard as cement. They do quite well in pots, on the South Eastern corner of the backyard. They get some shade during the hottest part of the day, but are in complete sun in the Spring, when it's cooler.


My pink jasmine is starting to bud out. The ones at the nursery were farther along, but they'd been babied along, mine is out in the weather and survived the brief (very brief this year) bouts of below 32 degree weather.


It's been a while since I posted a picture of my monster Split Leafed Philodendron. Can you believe this 6 and 1/2 foot tall, 10 foot wide plant started as a plant in a six inch pot seven years ago?


This leaf is (no kidding) five feet long and four feet wide. Have I mentioned that Houston is kinda semi-tropical?
And finally, another harbringer of Spring in Harris County:

ICE CREAM TRUCK!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Vacation Dreams

One of the only drawbacks to working in the tutoring center is ...well...no vacation time off. We close for major holidays only because the tutors would go on strike if Bossman tried to make us work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. He learned this the hard way. No harm, no foul, but it was a tense fall.

I'm going to be taking off a couple of Saturdays, one in April to go to Austin, and one in June to go see the Blown-eyes. It will mean a three day weekend both times as my days off are Fridays and Sundays.

I don't work many hours a week, but I still miss having off an entire week or two, here and there. I'll admit it, I got spoiled by having the days off during the summer. Why sometimes, there would be a whole week I didn't have to attend a workshop or inservice!

By the way, teachers, during summer inservices, can be slightly...less than thrilled to be attending. They like it even less when the presenter is perky and assigns homework. It can get ugly.

One of the things 'Pup and I have wanted to do for the last 6 or 7 years is to go on a trip with our Hot Stuff Niece. Unfortunately, health and financial issues have kept us from doing the traveling we'd like to have done. But, someday, we're going to do it.

The second summer after we were married, 'Pup and I went on a trip to Washington D.C. It was a nice trip, but I think I'd like to go somewhere a little closer to home and not so expensive. By the way, a question that has been in my head since then: Why were steaks so expensive in D.C.? There was some sort of special tax associated with them. What is THAT about?

One of the places we've thought of going is Branson. It's actually close enough to be a 2 day lazy drive, and once we arrive, there are a bunch of things to do there. I suspect we'll probably skip the theme parks, but there are lots of shows to see. Branson has a LOT of music, everything from Andy Williams to Paul Revere and the Raiders to Dueling Elvis'.



Silver Dollar City also sounds interesting. It's got handcrafts and artisians, food and some shows there as well. Shopping and food. One of my favorite combinations!



There are lots of places to stay. When my parents went there, they stayed at a golf resort. I think it was the only way my mom got my dad to agree to go. He didn't travel easy, but for a good game of golf on a course he'd not yet played, he was willing to travel a bit. Once there, I think he enjoyed the shows as much as my mom, and they both enjoyed dancing. I suspect my mom went shopping while my dad played golf. That was the usual arrangement. They were very close, but knew enough to let the other do what made him or her happy.



I think my mom and dad went as a package tour. I've looked them up and for a place to stay and some tickets to some shows and/or coupons to restaurants... a couple can go and do for under $500 for a stay. Of course, it would be even better if I were to, say, WIN a vacation there. Woudn't it?

I Wonder If This Is How My Grandmother Felt?

When I was in college, we were ending the '70's and entering the '80's. The first home video games were out and my brother had one. I played my first game of "Pong".

I achieved an all-time low score of (well, let's just say it was embarrassingly low). Yes, I remember the number. It has come up at various times during the last thirty years and no one has offered to try to break the record. I have, however, offered to break other things...

So, my grandma comes to visit. My brother excitedly shows her the games and shows her how to play "Pong". Which, by the way, he had NOT done for me. Thus, the low number of my first game. My grandma didn't do wonderfully, but damn, her score was higher than mine.

Okay, so zoom up to now. There is this game called "Beer Pong" being played on campus', mostly in frat houses. As close as I can tell, it's played by throwing a ping pong ball into a cup partially filled with beer. I suspect there is probably a lot more beer associated with this game as well.

A LOT of beer.

Let us review: Ping Pong to "Pong", "Pong" to "Beer Pong" (using specially made beer pong tables!) and now there is a version of the same game on the Wii.

I have a feeling, that should I ever get a chance to play it, I will again be the holder of the all-time low score record.

Sigh.

Gettin' Old

This gettin' older stuff is, well, getting old. It seems like every time I turn another decade older, something on my body falls out of warranty and breaks down.

Don't believe me? When I was ten, I broke my wrist. When I was twenty, I learned that my uhmm...baby makin' stuff wasn't up to snuff. When I was thirty, I got my tonsils out and tubes put into both ears. When I was forty, the problem with the spinal stenosis started. You know, I'm not looking forward to 2010 when I turn fifty.

I already walk with a cane and ride a scooter (well the scooter's kinda fun, actually), I wear glasses thicker than most 80 year olds, my teeth are giving out, I've got diabetes...what's next? Will I be wearing some supportive undergarments to keep everything in place? Will I develop a curve to my spine and need a posture corrector? Or will 2010 be the year of the dentures?

I'm not sure I want to find out.

Y'all wake me up in 2011.

A Sinking Feeling

'Pup and I were talking about the "tax rebate" money we're supposed to get this year. We've got several things we could spend it on. First, we could get the van's window and gas gauge fixed. See, you're never sure how much gas you have, as the sensor in the tank is borked up. Cost to fix both problems: about $800.00.

Another needed fix is in the house. We need a new sink in the master bath. There's a hairline crack in it, and while it hasn't leaked --yet--, our luck can't hold out much longer. If we do get it replaced, I'd like to get something that will last and be pretty for a long time, like one of the Kohler sinks. Cost for that: Only God knows.

Somehow, I have a feeling we could do a much better job of stimulating the economy with a double rebate. I'm just sayin'....

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Gardens in February... What's Growing?

This is my first time to post on "Gardener's Bloom Blogging Day". It's promoted by a kind lady at May Dreams Garden. She includes links to other gardeners who are posting about what's going on in their gardens. Enjoy!

This is a stark picture, but one full of hope. It's an Ash tree, budding out against a dreary, rain-filled sky. Spring is on its way here.


How can things that are so beautiful close up, be such harbringers of trouble? I like snails and they need to be part of the ecosystem in the yard, but they'd best not be too busy munching on my plants this year. Last spring I lost a few plants to them as the plants were literally eaten to the ground. We'll see if the winter's dormancy has allowed the roots there to live and be ready to emerge again.


But they are pretty.

Speaking of pretty:


The lavender colored rose in the front bed has two blooms. The evening I took the picture (this evening) was dim and full of moisture. We're supposed to be getting some rain, on and off, and Saturday evening/Sunday morning is promising to be very....interesting.

As in the Chinese curse (May you live in interesting times.) interesting.


I've a few pansies and a viola blooming. I like the way the yellow viola glows in the twilight shadows.


My trusty and reliable and tough geranium is still blooming.




I was able to get a deal on some miniature roses a couple of weeks ago. They'd not looked well when I got them, after being neglected. They've ........recovered. I'll be planing these in a pot to grow in the front yard.

The pinapple sage is still blooming, though I've not seen any butterflies yet, if one should pass by, I've a waystation ready for them here.


Under the covers, this plant is doing well.

It's not hard to see why one of its common names is "Hobbit Pipe".



This was another "save me" plant, and I didn't find a tag with it. If anyone knows the name, could you tell me? It's been liking the shady, filtered light under the frost cloth, and the pink of the varigated leaves has intensified.

Another respite in waiting for a passing butterfly, the Butterfly Weed (host plant to monarchs) is ready and waiting.
Why a picture of dead leaves? I used them to mulch a raised bed. Poking up from the leaf cover are some rejuvenating Impatiens.
If you look at the center bottom of the picture, you can see a thick green stem. That's what's left of an Impatien planted last spring. It is tenaciously alive.
I went looking under other parts of the leaves and found several other of the plants had also weathered the winter, and seemed to be making plans for spring.
Oh, and yep. I got a tomato today.

It was delicious. I ate it like an apple. Yummmm

This is not a pretty picture. It's what's left of the Moonflower vines and Hyacinth bean vines. Think of it as a "before" picture. Behind it to the left is our doggy condo, big enough for both dogs and a couple of friends. Right behind the vines is a leaf pile. That's an area that hasn't been growing much, so we're trying to build a compost pile there in hopes of reviving the soil.

I'm going to have a lot of work to do.