March Madness

Apologies in advance for the horrible pun; I hate sports, but the sentiment seemed apropos.

This is a weird time of year.  Everything should be coming back to life, but the live oak is shedding all its dead leaves in copious waves of falling brown sheets.  It’s a losing battle.  Even the gnome is resigned.

gnomeI worked in the yard today, in the rain.  It was all by rote – muscle memory.  I had to get the sprinkler heads flagged before the aerator comes.  There is no longer any joy, though; it’s just the same.  But in the yard, as with life these days, there are the occasional bright spots – a newness I’ve been looking for.  So like the rose and the iris in the garden, I cherish the newly discovered and shared Syrah; the vibrant conversation; and the best sauerkraut and sausage I’ve ever had.

fairie rose

irisbush

Spring

Things are coming along in the garden.

 

 

clematis

My yearly clematis photo

 

east bed

The east bed – filled in and mulched

 

new fountain

A new fountain

 

northwest bed

The northwest bed

 

northwest corner

The northwest corner

 

passion vine

Passion Vine Flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter

This weekend has been gray and dreary – typical Winter – but not cold enough for my liking.  In mid-December, though, it got quite cold for a few days – upper 20s.  Cold enough that most of my perennials died off.  And last week, it got down to 18 degrees for a couple of nights, killing off the rest.

I took that as my cue to start afresh in 2017.  I pulled out everything from all the beds except the major architectural plants.  I’ll start amending the soil (or at least trying – it’s probably a lost cause at this point) and hopefully replanting in April after the live oak leaf drop/pollen explosion is done with.  But here’s the current state affairs…a bit bleak.

 

back-yard

The Back Yard – 15 January 2017

 

east-bed

The East Bed – waiting for vines and ground cover

 

north-bed

The North Bed – A clean slate

 

fannie

Fannie

 

mable

Mable – a bit blurry – she never sits still

 

elm-tree

The Naked Elm Tree

 

holly-tree

The Holly Tree

 

It’s July

It’s July and not much going on.  The weather continues to be unusual.  We’ve already surpassed the average rainfall that we receive in an entire year – and it keeps coming.  While I’m glad we finally have rain, the unfortunate by-product is mosquitos.  I’ve never seen them this bad; ever.  I suffer through, but fully expect to catch malaria one of these days.

I’m traveling a lot this month – next week in Chicago and back-to-back D.C. trips two weeks after that.  Probably going to try to build in a couple days vacation into the last D.C. sojourn.

Well, here are some odds-and-ends photos.

Brian’s sister Lisa made these for me.  She’s definitely the most creative person I know.

M&Ms

Stone M&Ms – Courtesy of Lisa Roberts

Brian made this Fourth-of-July cake yesterday.  Way more patience than I could ever hope to muster.

Fourth-of-July Cake Cut

Red Velvet Fourth-of-July Cake (Lots and Lots of Sprinkles)

The Black-Eyed Susan I got yesterday – it wouldn’t be summer without at least one of these.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan (July 2015)

So I’m trying a mandevilla again because Brian likes ‘showy plants.’  I’ve never had any luck with these.  Perhaps eighth time is the charm.

mandevilla

Mandevilla (July 2015)

Hope everybody’s having a great summer….

An interesting gardening accident…

So about a month ago, I got two morning glories (‘Grandpa Ott) from the Natural Gardener.  At least that’s what the pots said.  While the leaves looked exactly like morning glories, the flowers definitely were not.  Brian says they’re ‘moonflowers.’  I’d never seen these before.  They’re very interesting.  Luckily, my morning glories from last year actually re-seeded, so I have them, too.

moonflower - May 2015

Moonflower – May 2015