Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OOoo, I want this. OOoo, I want that. (Round One)

My neighborhood's second garden tour, which feels like it was 4,000 years ago, was just this past Sunday. I had excellent intentions of riding my bike to the houses and having a healthy and leisurely morning. That was the plan. Course, seeing as how I had a filthy house, a play to be in later that day, and a wrap party to throw after that, well, I carpooled. It was still the cat's meow, even though I was somewhat fried. I'm gonna show you two gardens today and then two more tomorrow. The first is Anne-Charlotte's house and oh, I just loved it. I already knew this house because of the GINOURMOUS century plant in her front yard. I have driven by that house many times over the years and exclaimed from the privacy of my car: "Holy $*$&^#! Look at the size of that *%&^$ thing!" Now that I know it's A-C's house I can say it to her face, and, man, did I ever! Look at this!
She's a lucky duck because the previous owners were gardeners with a capitol G. Just the loveliest beds of natives all grown up a little wild which is exactly how I like them. I really think that is my favorite garden look - planned, but wild and natural looking. She also has a lot of climbing fig vine in the front and I just adore that look too. I'm dying for some to grow up on a semi-ugly fence that we have. I figure (pun!) if I plant 42 of them along a 15' fence, they might have it looking good in, oh, 10 years or so. Unless they eat the fence up first; it's wooden. If you click on the picture below to enlarge it, you can see the juxtaposition of the St. Francis statue with the Halloween skull heads. I dig that.

In the back we found this swanky rusty box spring thing. It's going to hold a climbing vine once the damn thing gets to climbing (the vine, not the box spring). I can't remember what plant she was talking about trying to grow because I was too enthralled with the springs. I was plotting and planning on how to get one into my garden without Jackdaddy knowing about it. I think I'd like to figure out some kind of arbor situation for one. If I bring one more crazy thing into this yard, Jackdaddy is gonna have me sleeping on it as opposed to decorating with it, if you know what I mean, and I'm sure you do.

Moving on over across the street to the house where the boys are encouraged to pee in the yard. My kinda house. Let me explain... Danielle and Kyle murdered some hackberrys. The hackberrys staged a major revolt and returned with a vengeance. So, Danielle has embarked upon a science experiment, of sorts. Well, not of sorts - it's a controlled experiment, for real. She took four different hacks and is treating them with four different products to see which one works the best. Isn't that cool? As we have some mutinous hackberrys over here as well, I'm really looking forward to see what transpires with all this bruhahack.
Number 1 is the dreaded Eraser. Not Schwarzenegger's new movie, but glyphosate, N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine, in the form of its isopropylamine salt. (Yes, I did google that.)

Number 2 is acetic acid. It's an organic acid which gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell. (Wikipedia, smartypants.) I was told this stuff would kill the invincible succulents planted around my oak trees. Didn't work here. I'm waiting to see what happens with this hack. I might try again if it works for her.

My personal (and the crowd) favorite: the PEE REMEDY! I could go on and on with the puns for this one, but then you'll find out just how immature I am and we can't have that, can we? Basically, they throw their kitchen scraps in this bucket and then pee on it. Man, I hope this one is the winner. Jackdaddy and FinnigantheCurious will be sooo happy. You can even see the evidence down the side of the tub. And, woah, would my dogs ever be happy too! Does dog pee have nitrogen in it?

And number four is the sugar drowning. She poured Coke and sugar and something and something on it and then wrapped it up tight. I think she said this one is coming back. I can't remember for sure which one had shoots coming back. Finniganthecurious is always jonesing for sodee pop so, I know he's hoping this one proves to actually increase growth and vigor. All the better to support his argument in favor of the stuff. I'm gonna have to spout off with the old, "If all the deadish hackberry trees are drinking Cokes, does that mean you would drink Cokes too?" Doesn't have quite the same umphf as the jumping off the bridge lecture, does it?
And lastee, but not leastee, are their new solar panels! Ta da! They got in while the city still had some rebate moola too. I'd like to tell you how much their utility bills were this summer, but you'd spit up your beer coffee just like I did when I heard. It was low. Very, very low. I think they look just marvelous. The added benefit of them is that they turned this way sunny little spot off her office into a cool shade spot that they all love. It's worked out so well that they're putting a deck right off the front and making it official. They actually have a lot of really fabulous environmentally cool stuff happening in this yard. Mucho rain water harvesting, greywater set-up, rain garden, tons of food growing, etc., etc. I'm looking forward to seeing this yard in a few years as it's gonna be bitchin'.
Next up I'll show you Emily's uber cool place with that amazing Alamo vine I was telling you about. Then, oh, then comes my personal coup de grace (which, in French, literally means a death blow of mercy). This last yard is my dream yard of all time bar none times a million plus infinity forever and ever and it would be best to just kill me now and put me out of my misery for lack of having it. You're gonna love it, I just know it.


  1. I can't imagine how much love and dedication went into these gardens.
    Keep us posted on how the hackberry tree experiment turns out.
    PS It takes me quite a while to figure out those letters below. I wonder why you have to do that?

  2. Thanks for the tour. BTW, if you really want creeping fig for your fence, you can come over and dig out all you want. We have it growing up our house and trees and want to get rid of it. We've tried to kill it a couple of times, but it keeps coming back. Why is it we're always trying to get rid of the toughest plants (see Hackberry)?

  3. My favorite are those amazing solar panels! And the rain barrel system, and the square foot gardening...and...and...and...kat

  4. We are truly grateful to have had your presence and feedback at our wabi-sabi work in progress. You gave us great perspective on our intentions and efforts at sustainability. Thank you! -Kyle

  5. Me too Me too. I needed my wabi fix but I knew you were recouperating (?) no not really. You were busy bringing us these great posts about the wonderful gardens in your neighborhood. So cool. Never mind the neglected plants..if everything we planted grew for us, we'd be in a heap o' trouble.
    Ms. Muddyhands

  6. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Now I want to go out scouring for rusty mattress springs all my own....

    Looking forward to more posts.

  7. If I ever get rid of the springs I sleep on that support my 1950's mattress (no joke), I'll give them to you.

    I love these neighborhood tours. It's fun to see what others are doing.

    Can't wait to see what you post tomorrow as well. Laura

  8. Ooo, may I really have some fig from you Pam?

    Laura, I do think it's time, my dear. Now that you know someone will take the springs, surely you should get a new one. Hee hee.

    Weren't those yards great? SO many lovely and interesting gardens in this hood.


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