Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gardening with an Un-Gardener!

I started gardening when I was about 19 years old. I remember digging out a circle about 8 feet in diameter and starting in the center, working my way out using concentric circles put seeds in the soil. It was my pride and joy! Those were the days when gardening was simple. Mostly the portulaca was the one plant to survive my little circle.

Here on the left is a path in the back part of our property with all the plants which lived here before we came, mixed in with some species I planted, either native or adapted.

I try to use plants which provide food, or shelter to the small wildlife which are displaced when they build the Walgreens and CVS stores on every corner. What's up with that, anyway? Why DO we need one of those on every corner? The other monster of displacement is Walmart. It's "their" goal to have a Walmart every two miles. Well, around here, mission almost accomplished. Then there's the Lowes/Home Depot "mine is bigger than yours" ideas.

As a result of this we have allowed our gardens to become a certified World Wildlife Foundation Backyard Habitat as well as the harder to get Texas Parks and Wildlife Backyard Habitat. Native plants must make up at least half of the plant list, but I have over half.

This year the garden is transitioning into a garden where I do not water on a regular basis. I will still water my trees because they are more valuable than the house!

This is our lap pool. It's only 50 feet long, but perfectly sized for me to swim laps and have a nice hot tub. Everything is surrounded by plants. Sometimes we go in the pool and use it as a hideout and watch the birds, and other little things living in the garden.

When we moved into this house I brought my entire garden with me from our previous house! That took up the largest covered trailer from U-Haul. Literally hundreds of plants. The previous garden was in Dallas, now in Central Texas. I'm fortunate to have very deep soil as we're half way down on a hill. The top of the hill has rocky outcrops and very thin soil, so I am very fortunate.

This pile is required for animals to have shelter. Currently, that I know of, four very young opossums live in this pile. We've had many animals living in this mess! Animals love natural piles like this. In addition to the opossums, there are mice, rats, Carolina wrens, and there has been an armadillo, but he must have moved somewhere in the front of the property. I see his little nuzzle paths in the mulch in the front garden. No harm comes to the garden other than the movement of mulch. So I move it back in place. I allow for this and it brings me great joy that wild animals like living here.

Here's what the yard looked like when we bought the house. There was on mesquite tree in the back where the brush pile is. You can't see it in this photo but it is directly left of the pool and about 30 feet away. I designed the pool so we had planter boxes to either side and a space near the steps of the pool where we could put in a small pond. At first the pond only attracted toads, but now we have bullfrogs too. I have no idea how they got here. We do live near an active creek, but it's about 2,000 feet away.

This photo shows the end of the pool with the hot tub and to the right of the square hot tub is a built in area for the pond. This photo was taken about two months after we bought the house. As you can see, there are homes in the background. I'm happy to report I can no longer see them. I've planted desert willows, vitex, palo verde, Texas mimosa, redbuds and the tree which shades the brush pile is a paulownia. In four years it is almost 30 feet tall. I'll post more photo's in the days to come.

See any neighboring houses to the left? I surrounded the pool with a natural screen. To the left of the pool seen here is where I let it go wild and where the critters have free reign.

Here you see a better photo of the
finished pond enclosure. It's hard to believe how sparse the property was eight years ago.

Here's another view of the back with the patio in view. The
shade cloth is replaced with a one piece greenhouse which fits
over the same frame I put the shade cloth onto.

I'll post more as time goes by and the garden grows. I will put just a few more photos at the bottom of the page which are plants of my passion.

Brugmansia suavolens 'Peaches and Cream'

This Brugmansia is actually a clear yellow and looks to be a 'Charles Grimaldi.' It was given to me so I am not sure of the exact identification.

Thanks for the visit! See you in the garden.


P.S. I know this page is messed up and I'll figure it out eventually!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This New Yorker I'll Miss Always

What more is there to say of this genius of himself. He is and always be the king of the comedic, long stream of consciousness. His rants using current expressions and making them look oh so silly will never be outdone by any other.

George was one of my most beloved comics. I had the honor of seeing him in Austin, Texas at the Paramount Theater some years back.

He was not from the school of "holding back," or "sugar coating it!" Topics ranged from how our country of the United States was a big sham, to the depths of people's beliefs in a man in the sky, "...and he needs MONEY!" One of the more hard to hear rants was how he felt about suicide. I remember sitting in the audience cringing for anyone who possibly had a child, spouse, parent or friend who just committed suicide and how that would not be very entertaining to them. It was not meant to be funny at all. He was rather serious about it. He took risks, big risks.

All the reports and all the hacks coming out of the woodwork on all the blather shows are saying how wonderful he was, and they're right. Bill Maher said on Larry King, "I know he died a happy man." How does he know that?

After all is said and done George Carlin was a man who grew up in my city of New York. He attended the same schools in Spanish Harlem my mother attended. They lived a few blocks from one another. There's something about home grown New Yorkers. There is an intelligence about them; maybe their ability to understand and have a wide swath of comedic prowess. One thing is for sure, we know how to laugh at ourselves and George Carlin was always there to count on that.

HBO will run all of George's HBO Specials. For a schedule see:

I will miss him...

Find a good human rebirth George!

Friday, June 13, 2008

In memory of a beautiful sentient being...

Sometimes, many times, I find it hard to breath knowing there is so much unnecessary suffering in the world.

This is a beautiful being, tall, strong, with eyes which jet into my deepest potential of a human being. His eyes penetrate and I find it hard to understand that, although this animal was treated as if he were the king of the greatest country in the still didn't last.

Barbero. Beautiful, shiny, love. I never met him, but I am plagued with this connection and truthfully unhealthy attachment to animals and their suffering.

I'm still the only person on my block who lets the rats live, the opossums nose around at night with the armadillo who roots out my prize plants. I don't care. It's theirs to have. Why is it so easy to make such offerings to animals, yet near impossible to make offerings to human beings; also suffering. I work on it and I do my best, but I still get in my own way.

I suppose this entry is coming from the contents of my mind as I watch a world in crazy ruin. I watch my own country of America becoming something I didn't sign up for. There are people starving in my country. The United States is owned by other countries, but we still have the ability to cover it up. How does that happen. Aren't we educated in this country of ours? How will the elderly people who live up in Wisconsin pay for heating oil this winter? Even more horrible, what will happen to the people who are already working three jobs get to work when they can't afford the gas to get there? Are there answers? Is this all just collective karma? Why am I seeing this before my eyes? Are you my mother?

I guess I sound depressed, but I'm not. I'm actually quite awake. When Thelma says to Louise, "L'weeze, you awake, cus I feel awake." It's that turning point, the cusp. How long do we have to marinate in our juices before we wake up? Why are there so many questions? I feel like Lucy in "I Am Sam."

We're landing on Mars, fixing toilets on space stations, rigging voting machines, hanging chad(s), creating new versions of Grand Theft Auto instead of Grand Hydrogen Auto.

So much wasted time and energy, including my own blog, of course. I think three people may read this, and two of them are my mother and husband, so feh!

Oh, and I have to get a new windshield wiper arm because a few weeks ago when I fell on concrete (!) I tried to use it as a handle and it came off. Everyone should have such problems. I pray everyone has one huge problem; that they need a new wiper blade.