Friday, May 6, 2011


Yes, it's Friday!  And we are having picture perfect weather here in Dallas.  Considering several of "my people" in Minnesota had snow this week, I am grateful for our warm, sunny days.

If I had my way, these are the things that I would like to do in my backyard this weekend:

1)  Complete the culvert project.  Remember this?

2)  Get a truck load of crushed granite, and spread it out over the muddy areas.  Super excited about this idea that is a result of a home tour I went on last weekend.

3)  Build the raised bed for my 20 asparagus crowns that arrived 2 weeks ago and are patiently waiting in cardboard box in my fridge for their new home...

4)  Feed my vegetable seedlings, and weed my raspberries.  (Somehow the only bed that really needs weeding...)

5)  Scrub down to clean, and then seal the wooden planks on my new back steps.

6)  Tackle moving the dirt around under my new backsteps; affix the final few planks, and begin prepping the area for planting.

Alas.... I was ultra graceful on a dog walk Monday evening and tumbled down a curb, and badly sprained my ankle!  It's positively huge and it's talking to me.  So, I'm currently paired with a pair of crutches.  I'd say its a good bet that my wish list will remain untouched.  Waaah.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a favorite photo of mine:

Tie-dyed shirts I dyed for my group of friends
 at Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity (2009)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Separation of Space

I went on a home tour this weekend and saw these two methods of separation of space:

 I just love this simple doorway to the garden.  Clean, simple and purposeful, using 4"x4" cedar beams.  I may do this as an entrance to my yoga platforms.  With some plantings to go along with it, it could be visually transformed into a yoga room.  I think this would look so great in front of the garden my friend has in Minnesota!  Kel, what do you think?

And then check this out:

Again -- simple, clean.  It's rebar.  In a box of rocks.  But I love it!  I might paint them... but then, I may not and leave them plain and organic.  I can't think of a space I have for these anywhere, but I've tucked it into my outdoor idea file.  Although, I suppose if you had a house larger than mine, you may need space divided inside as well!

Some folks are so creative and talented... I'd like to give credit where credit is due -- architect neighbor -- but I also like to remain somewhat anonymous on this blog.  Thank you, neighbor!

Front Butterfly Garden

Everything in front is growing like mad.  I've had to cut back the artesmisia twice already so that it doesn't crowd the rest of the plants.  I also planted a couple of different types of thyme in that narrow area between the sidewalk and the stones.  That area always gets full of pecan shells, twigs, leaves, and mulch so I thought I'd try to prevent that.  I'm hoping that it will hang over onto my sidewalk...

I was so pleased to remember to get supports around the Russian Sage and butterfly bush early this year!
The little orange flowers are the seeds neighbor Judy gave me last year on a dog walk - remember?  There are a slew of seedlings behind it, about 4" tall.  Excellent....

These are the added caterpillar food plants I planted this year.  Left to right are fennel (mostly over shadowed by a volunteer pumpkin plant... rotted jack o'lantern...) parsley and dill.  I need to give the dill a support and it would be 2 feet tall.  The fennel and parsely are each about 12' across.  No caterpillars lately...

My faithful garden companion.  Despite her huge feet, she rarely tramples my plants...

Hummingbird Domain

Soon this Turk's Cap will be as tall if not taller than the hummingbird feeder:

I put my hummingbird feeder out last week, and I have already had to refill it once.  I'm not sure if the hummingbirds are really here -- I haven't seen any yet -- or if the feeder is leaking...!  I read that the hummingbirds were migrating, and that they were in San Antonio in April, so they could definitely be here.  The food in the feeder is red; it's a trick of sunlight this morning that it appears yellow in this photo.

This is a huge bed of Turk's Cap, and it is spreading down my sideyard.  I purposely planted it at the last place I lived, but wasn't totally in love with it because it looks a little bit weed-like.  But this planting was here when I moved in, and when it's in blossom, it really does attract a ton of hummingbirds, so I will leave it.  I wish it didn't totally die back in the Winter, but hey, you can't have everything, right?  It will probably get even more widespread in this bed this year, because I pulled out a couple of shrubs -- now it has even more room!  It wasn't the reason for pulling shrubs -- but it's a by-benefit I guess.

Backyard Herbs...

Marjoram and Greek Oregano - about 2 feet across and a foot high

French Lavender by the yoga platforms

Bay Laurel -- it dropped all the freeze damaged leaves and is thriving - yay!
I didn't take photos of the 2 groupings of salvia and thyme ... mostly I forgot, but only one area has really grown since I planted, so I'll cover by saying, "oh, not much to see there..."  :::grin::::

Yum, Raspberries!

Two days last week I got to pick and eat a few fresh raspberries.  They were every bit as good off the vine and I remember.  And so far, the birds haven't found them.  Score one for me...

These are what remains of the first 24 canes I planted.  I lost several -- too much sun last year I think, and not enough water -- but they are spreading like mad, which is great.  I guess my constant babying is paying off.  Love when that happens!

I took a photo of the larger bed of my second planting, but the light was crummy and it didn't turn out.  They are much smaller than these canes.

Backyard Perennials...

On the left, Natchez Mock Orange, on the right American Beauty Berry.
They are both about 18" tall, but not yet blooming.

Hydrangea!  Love all the blossoms!

Vegetable Garden Walk

Here's what's the vegetable boxes look like these days:

Box 1:  Beets, cucumbers and radishes

Box 2:  Kale, yellow squash, marigolds

Box 3:  Sweet basil, tomatoes, zucchini (?)

Box 4:
Poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, parsley and sweet bell peppers. 
(Somehow I didn't get a photo of that box this morning...)

Box 5:  Birdhouse gourds, zucchini, Sugar Baby Watermelon, sugar snap peas, scallions

Backyard Overview...

And then there is this, which popped up back where my neighbors gardened last year.  I think it's spinach, but I have to say I am not sure... I need to taste it...

First Sunflower

Happy, isn't it?  It's one of the plants that I started indoors from seed.

Here are it's siblings along the driveway...

Soon I'll have to give them some supports...