Thursday, April 10, 2014

Yard Design

So back when my parents moved into their house, they were given the option of either paying for the building company to design and install their yard, or they could do it themselves (or hire someone).  They decided that since going with option A also meant that they had no choice, or even veto power, on any plant that was planted, that they were just going to have me do it.  Of course, that also would have meant that I would have been digging holes and what have you - all on top of my normal yard work that I need to do, and all the shelter work on the weekends, and it was just pretty obvious that it was going to be bad for all parties involved.

But, I did offer to come up with a plan, or review any plan they got from the landscaping company. 

In the end, the plan they're using is one that is a modification of the plan that the landscaping company based on my original plan.

The final plan:

1. Big Muhly
2. Paleleaf Yucca
3. Purple skullcap
4. Beautyberry
5. Cast Iron Plant
6. Green Cloud Texas Sage
7. Blackfoot Daisy
8. Possumhaw Holly
9. Butterfly Iris
10. Bearded Iris
11. Gulf Muhly
12. Autumn Sage
13. Desert Wilow
14. Trailing Rosemary
15. Mexican Mint Marigold
16. Mexican Oregano
17. various Culinary Herbs
18. Gregg's Mistflower
19. Shrubby Boneset
20. Mexican Bush Sage
21. Conflower
22. Texas Ash
23. Red Oak
24. Lavender Crepe Myrtles
25. Esperanza
26. Plumbago

Monday, April 7, 2014

ArtHaus Ceramics Pots

Fact:  My cousin and his wife are ceramicists. (you can see their store here)

Fact: They make a bunch of cool stuff, but none of those things were flower pots.

Fact:  They do custom orders

Fact:  I bought $60 worth of succulents from East Side Succulents

I think you can see where I'm going with this...

And this is how it came to pass that I emailed my cousin's wife and asked her to make me some succulent flower pots.  When asking for custom stuff, I usually give some ideas and try to get out of the kitchen - I figure I'm paying these people for their expertise - that's how it is when I order stuff from Bob at Draco, that's how it is when I get artwork from my friend Laurie, and apparently, how I also order pots from my cousins.  I would recommend that if you're going to put in your own order for a custom pot, that you also specify what type of holes you want in the bottom - many small ones or one dime sized one.

I told Danyelle that I had a pitcher and a bowl that she made, but I didn't have anything that Jared had made so at least one item had to be made by him (and that if maybe, just maybe he would be kind enough to include a baby-head, that would be great), we usually go for things in the cool color range because it's so blame hot down here, and that I loved her hooter mugs so I NEEDED at least a few of those (in pot form, mind you).

A few weeks later, this is what I received:

The owls (hooters) were made by Danyelle and the other items were made by Jared.  These are all small items - the two pots in the background are the largest of the five, and they're roughly a 4" pot size.

It took me a few weeks, but I finally managed to plant some of my succulents in the pots (keeping in mind, of course, that I decided all of the succulents I'd bought just wouldn't do and I needed MORE succulents so I went to Red Barn and HEB and got even MORE plants; and wouldn't some portulaca just look stunning?)

So far I haven't even used any of the plants I got from East Side.  And rather than leave them in my backyard where I'll see them every once in a while, I'm taking them to work where they will make me even happier (plus they're less likely to get damaged there, I hope).

And without further ado - Voila!  (I'm thinking that the doll head ones would look pretty awesome painted up for Dia De Los Muertos, or even just little skulls instead of heads...uh oh, I think I feel another custom order coming on).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Foliage Followup March 2014

On the 16th of every month, Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Followup - a time for all of us to showcase the foliage in our yard that holds the design together.

This time, my iris bed looks a little sad because of the stupid cold weather which fried the iris blooms, so the best looking foliage I have in my yard is the Mull-Shay bed.  The Betony (which is covered by the pile of leaves) was doing so well, but again, the stupid cold snap fried it.  The yarrow (forefront), the liriope (the grassy stuff), and the cast iron plant (the leafy stuff) all sailed through the freeze with flying colors.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Bloom Day 2014

Even with the terribly nasty weather (which fried my iris blooms, and the bush germander blooms - BOOOOOO!!!), some things are still blooming.

These things, naturally, are weeds.  The henbit is going crazy right now in my yard.  And that's fine - the nectar-drinking insects appreciate it, and as long as I get it removed before it goes to seed, it's not a big deal.  I've also got some tiny-flowered itty bitty plant that's blooming and is ALL over my hell strip - I really need to figure out what it is so I can determine if it's friend or foe.

I do have 2 other plants that are blooming now - Baby Blue Eyes and Verbena.

Baby Blue Eyes


Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting bloom day on the 15th of each month.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mulish & Co

On the day of the Sunshine Community Garden Sale, I hung out at Roberta's house for a little while afterwards in order to get some photos of her chickens for my sister who bailed on us at the last minute (and I had been so excited about her meeting Roberta and seeing all the chickens).

The morning of the sale, Roberta had some delicious mushroom and asparagus quiche as well as some cranberry scones.  Jiminny Crickets, I'm going to be having dreams of that food - Roberta is an AMAZING cook.

Arrow and Lily were the welcoming crew (as they always are), Baby came by later, but opted not to follow us outside for the photo op.  Michael had gone for a run so he wasn't around for the photo op, either.

Lily - aka Beagle

Arrow - aka the dog most likely to be able to convince my husband we need a dog.


Roberta with Chicken


Guinea - La Bete

Chicken.  Rooster, actually - Agnew

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sunshine Community Garden Sale

The first Saturday of each March, the Sunshine Community Garden has a fundraiser sale.  They sell 4" pots of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and herbs for $2 a pop. 

I went with my friend and fellow garden blogger, Roberta.  My sister (whom you can see in my March Wide Angles Post) was supposed to go with us, but bailed the night before because she didn't want to get up at 7 in the morning.  To be fair, she only was going to have to get up that early because she was staying with my parents in Georgetown and they wanted to have breakfast together at Kerbey Lane before the sale.

Anyway, the sale - we arrived probably around 10am, it was a relatively warm day, albeit muggy and yet windy.  By the time we arrived, there was only a line to go into the herb shed

But since we were there for the big guns (aka tomatoes), we bypassed the herbs.
The tomato tent.  They must have made an extra big order or tomatoes this year because there were still PLENTY available by the time we got there.

I managed to not buy any peppers - and that's mostly only because I have a gazillion that I dug up in the fall and have managed to keep them alive over the winter so I'll be transplanting them after this crazy cold snap.  After picking up our tomatoes, peppers and eggplants (and of course buying twice the tomatoes that we actually have room for), we were happy and content -

And then we decided to go look at some of the gardens.  One of the plots has a 3-year-old Collard Greens plant which has a trunk as thick as my arm - like seriously, that's impressive man!

My purchases:
Tomato "Blue Berries":  Specialty - Very dark purple color. At maturity they turn deep red where the fruit was shaded and almost black where it's been in full sun. Elongated clusters that look beautiful. Indeterminate. 75 days.

Tomato "Cherokee Purple": Heirloom - Dusky rose, purple fruit, large 10-12 oz, heavy producer. Very popular tomato from Tennessee. Sweet rich flavor. Indeterminate. 80 days. [some day I'll try to grow both Black Krim and Cherokee Purple at the same time so I can do taste tests]

Tomato "Chico III": Paste - Very early, oblong tomato developed in California. Wonderful disease resistance. Many consider this to be superior to Roma, as it is much earlier and a touch sweeter. Determinate. 70 days.

Tomato "Dwarf Arctic Rose":  Container - A 2012 release by the Dwarf Tomato Project. Topping out at about 3 feet, this is the shortest of the project releases to date. Determinate. 70 days.

Tomato "Japanese Black Trifele":  Heirloom - Potato leaf foliage. Black, pear-shaped tomato that looks like a little eggplant on the vine. It's a commercially grown tomato in Russia. Complex, rich sweet flavor. Determinate. 80 days.

Eggplant "Fairy Tale":  Early harvests of elongated lavender fruit with white stripes. Best picked when about 4X1 3/4 inches while the skin is still shiny. Plants are ideal for containers. 50 days.

Eggplant "Machiaw":  Pale lavender skin, 9-12" long. Mild tasting white flesh. 65 days.