Back from the Dead

Three years ago, when the neighbors put in their pool, something went awry with my yard; all the grass eventually died. After several attempts to spot treat, I went ahead and had the whole thing re-sodded in March. Finally, it’s coming back into its own.

I’m also happy with what’s going on in the front.

I stripped the deck, got a new rug, and fixed the outdoor lights. Now if I could only get rid of the mosquitos.

Mabel and Fannie are quite happy with their resurrected yard.

Fannie and Mable – Finally, grass!

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



Things are coming along in the garden.




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










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.



The Back Yard – 15 January 2017



The East Bed – waiting for vines and ground cover



The North Bed – A clean slate






Mable – a bit blurry – she never sits still



The Naked Elm 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.


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 (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

The Dog Days

So, this has been an unusually mild summer, but the heat has hit.  Can’t really complain though – a couple of 100F/38C-degree days in a row which is normal for August in Central Texas.

Not much going on…still going to Abilene about every week so not much new in the garden, but I thought these two photos were nice.  Hope everybody is having a good summer so far!

crepe myrtle Aug 14

Crepe Myrtle Bark Shedding

urn - Aug 2014

Purslane in an Urn