Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

House Hunting Season...

Here we are....another week closer to Spring.  And, the House Hunting has begun.  

This Wren house, had been occupied every spring, since we've been here.  

This Gourd house, has been Sparrows...year round, since we hung it up.
It's full.  You can see nesting material all the way up to the door.  
Not sure how we'd clean it out.  But, there's a family living there now.

This is the newest house in our 'neck of the woods'.
I think it's a Bluebird house.  And, Mr. P said he saw some blue-ish bird over there.

But, a Wren family has been busy moving in.

Has House Hunting started in your neighborhood?  It's fun to watch.

Happy Gardening...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ode to a Garden Cart....

My Dear Garden Cart....

You've been with me, through many years.
Years of hauling dirt.
Years of hauling compost and mulch.

Years of hauling big rocks and little rocks.

I've loved your design.  Your depth and breadth....
your great handle....and the fact that you can be pushed AND pulled.
Your little well, for tools and gloves and...whatever.

I'm not sure why your great design is nowhere out there to be found again.

But, there comes a day, when we all need to step aside.  A day when we need to rest.

You've given me years of loyal support. 

Now, it's time for you to rest.

And, let the new kid on the block, take over the heavy lifting.

You'll stay around...just in case you're needed again.  But, enjoy your retirement.

Thank you, Dear Garden Cart.  Thank you.

Have a Great Weekend...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Plants...Again...

So, we're working on a redecorating job, and I needed something that I couldn't find at the local hardware stores.  
A trip to the nearest Big Box store was in order.  

The closest entrance is through the garden center.
It would be rude to ignore all the beautiful, colorful things they have lined up, inside and out...right?
I try never to be rude.

So, I got this strawberry.  Three, actually.  I've never grown strawberries. 
It's labeled 'Strawberry quinault'.
I did some research online.  ALL of the things I found said strawberries have small WHITE flowers and red berries.  

But, look at that beautiful deep rose bloom.  And, those dark green, glossy leaves.
Even if I hadn't been inspired by Diana at Sharing Nature's Garden, to get some strawberries, I would NEED this plant.
I even think I'm going to plant it in a flower bed, inside the Fenced Yard.

Would that work?  Do any of you have strawberries with red-ish blooms?

Willow, of course, had to come over to see if he approved.
I'm going to pot up those tomatoes, in bigger pots, to give them a head start on the season.
That means moving them in and out when the nights are too cold.

I suppose Willow approved.  He'll probably be right there with Maggie, helping me plant.

Oh...I also got some more Mexican Feather Grass for the new Driveway Bed.  And, some Ruby Chrystal Grass.
They had a good price on those...better than when I bought them before.
They have an orange logo.

The day is going to be gorgeous.  Clear, sunny and maybe 80 degrees!
Painting bathroom cabinet doors, just might have to wait.

Happy Gardening...

Monday, February 20, 2012


We finally got to work on the Front Driveway Bed.

This is the way it looked last August.  Dead grass...awful railroad ties.  You can see the lovely view of the power boxes...ugh!

When we redid the Island Bed, we had chopped limestone left over.
We weren't going to use that on this side.  But, it worked out well.

So, here's where we are now.

We worked fast, between rains.

We dug out weeds and grass and lined the whole thing with limestone.

We ran out of the new stone.  So, we just borrowed from the other side of the house.
That makes the stones along the driveway sort of match...they're the same age.
Of course, now we have to replace those stones on the side of the house.

I moved this pot in, to 'stretch' the bricks.  But, it adds some interest.

A lot of the plants are from other areas.  In front of the pot are transplanted red Autumn Sage.

I moved an Artimesia Powis Castle.  Looks sad now, but will perk up with some pruning.
That's a new Society Garlic in the corner.

At the other end are three new Mexican Feather Grasses.  I think there needs to be two more.
In the back corner is the Unknown Agave.

It was moved from The Rock Bed.   Elli says it'll get shredded....but, I hope not.
It'll have plenty of room here.  If it does get huge, we can make the bed larger.

In the center is the new Yucca...which may be 'Bright Edge'.

We need to add more rocks...and, maybe more plants.  I don't want it too full.
And, of course, there needs to be mulch.
But, for now, it looks pretty good.

What do you think?

Happy Gardening...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nature is Not Always Pretty....

Things happen in Nature that make us happy.  
Then, there are things that happen in Nature that make us sad.

Yesterday, I noticed a large number of Black Vultures, in the thicket on the other side of Elli's meadow.  
I knew there must be a deer there.

These birds are very efficient in their job.  
It's not pretty, but their job is to clean up when an animal dies.

From the time I saw them around noon, until about 6:00 PM...
they had pretty much finished the job.

We think it might have been I-lean.  I-lean was the doe with the bad leg.  
She'd become one of our favorites.  

I-lean made it through the hard summer.  There were a lot who didn't.
But, although she'd put back on some weight,  she was having a harder time getting around. 
A harder time getting to food....a harder time getting up from the ground. 
That bad leg was taking it's toll.  

We're not sure it was her.  There's another doe around, with a bent leg.  
Not as bad as I-lean's, though.

I know you hear me complain about the deer....a lot.  
But, they're part of what made this place special to us.

It's sad....but, that's the way of Nature.
And, you have to take the unpretty things, with the pretty ones.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Foliage Follow-Up....February, 2012

Agave Lophantha

Yesterday, I showed you the meager blooms we have here at 
Patchwork Garden.

Today, we join Pam, over at Digging, for 
Foliage Follow-Up.

You've seen a lot of these many times before.
I'm loving the Mexican Feathergrass, Nasella tenuissima.  That plant above performed well all during the 
awful summer we had...with a good drink about once a month.
Who wouldn't love that.  Freezes don't seem to bother it, either.

Lamb's Ear, Stachys byzantina, is always a good foliage plant.
That fuzzy leaf is not tasty to the deer.

The same goes for Jerusalem Sage, Phlomis fruitcosa.  
Although, I have seen the deer chomp on the blooms.  Not often, though.

They never touch the Rosemary.  
This is also in the same bed as the feathergrass...watered once a month or so last summer.  

I've never seen the deer mess with Dusty Miller, Senecio cineraria.

Or, this Artemisia 'Powis Castle'.

This Squid Agave, Agave bracteosa, is doing well.
There are two of these, in containers by the front porch...inspired by Pam's culvert planters.

We're still not sure what this agave is.  A friend of my daughter-in-law gave her two pups.  She shared one with us.  It's grown a lot.  I'm protecting from the deer, with my homemade screen....a cut down tomato cage, covered with deer mesh.
Anybody know what kind it is?

We have a new Yucca.  I need to do some research on what kind it is.  
The label was discriptive....'yucca'.  
It's pretty, huh?

There's pretty foliage in the Veggie Garden.
This Brussels Sprout is looking good.  Not sure we'll get sprouts, though.
I don't seem to be too good at growing Brussels Sprouts.  But, the leaves are pretty.

The Swiss Chard, 'Bright Lights', looks good, too.  These look good, even in the flower garden.

Oops!  How'd this bloom get in here?
I missed it yesterday.  It's on the Sugar Snap Peas.  Again, not many came up.  
I don't seem to have much luck with these, either.

OK...back to our regularly scheduled foliage report.

Cilantro...I planted one little pot of this, late last spring.  It didn't last long.  The heat set in early.
This year, there are several that just appeared.  They make a pretty plant.  And, of course, they're good to use in lots of dishes.

Last, but nowhere least....Celery.
Remember when I told you that Ally @ Garden Ally had shown how you can grow celery from the root end? worked...and, in no time.  I just set this on top of the soil, about a week ago.
This fuzzy picture shows you what's happening.  How cool!

OK...I've shown you some of what I've got.
Head over to Pam's, and see what else is out there.

Happy Foliage Follow-Up...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 2012 Bloomday...I Got Nothin'.....

Well....nothin' but pansies.

And, I've already shown you these.

They're still going strong.  They like these warm days and cool nights.

There were some blooms on some new Autumn Sage, salvia greggii, 
that was newly planted in the Island Bed.  
But, the deer ate them.  Yes, deer will eat Autumn Sage blooms.

So, that's it.

Oh, wait!

The Primrose Jasmine is blooming....all over the neighborhood. 
Much more blooms than last year.

We have lots of green, though.  Rain makes such a big difference, this year.

What's blooming for you?

Happy Bloomday...

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Finally Saw Her.....

Our neighbor, Elli, had told us she had seen a 'new deer in the neighborhood'.
She took a picture to show me, and we both did some research.

I hadn't seen her until this morning.  There she was...having some breakfast in
Elli's Meadow.

She's an Axis Deer.
 According to All About Exotics, these deer were introduced into Texas, back in the 1930s,
 for those special 'hunting ranches'.
Seems some escaped.  I've seen some up in our son's area, too.

She's sturdier looking than the White Tails...the ones who are some prominent here.

Isn't she pretty?

And, the article says they eat GRASS!  Maybe that means NOT landscapes.

  source: All About Exotics

I'd love to see a buck.  Look at those antlers!

I love this place...

Happy Gardening...