Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Next Big Thing

As you may have guessed by now, there hasn't been much gardening, per say, around here. There has been a lot of hardscaping and mulching and making things look pretty. I have put in 3 beds, all of them filled with (mostly) gifted plants of a boring nature and then filled in with gravel and edged with brown, metal trim. Nothing fancy, just neat and clean like this one. This photo was taken pretty early on. It's much fuller now and the mulch is down all around the edges and the path is in, but you get the idea. It's pretty, but tres plain Jane. (I do so love the name Jane, btw.)

So, now that most of the hardscaping is done (they don't call it hard for nothin', believe you me), I'm about ready to tackle my first big landscaping project. Pam Penick over at Digging posted THIS one day about the southwest greenway at the Mueller complex. FinnigantheCurious and I had been to Mueller mucho times, but never over to this leg of the woods. Yowza! Wowza! That's what I want y'all. I do, I do. I want a "Blackland prairie meets modern gravel path" area where our outdoor shower and tub are. Here's what I'm starting with:
Nice, huh? Did you feel faint? I can "one up" that even. Look at this "soil."

I know what you're thinking. Holy %&*$, that woman is insane. Tis true, tis true. You'll see though, I am gonna do it. I might be out there with the walker and the nursemaid, but I'm gonna do it. Here's Jackdaddy putting in the lines for the hot water going out to the shower and the stock tank tub. That's progress, right?

Now you can see the post is up for the shower and the pads are poured. The pads are now large circle shapes. They got revamped when we put in the driveway. I have no idea why, you'd have to ask Jack. I do love the big round shapes better than the small square shapes though. The very first thing people ask when they come in the backyard is, "What are those big round things?" We're going to mosaic them. Someday. I need to rephrase that. Someday, Jackdaddy says that he wants to mosaic the pads for the shower and the tub. I'm staying out of that one. Tiling is not my forte. Someday I'll show you the foot wash I made and you'll know why I no longer have the tiling itch. I am a slop it on and hope it sticks kinda girl. Jackdaddy? The exact opposite. It takes him 47 minutes to hang a frame on the wall cuz he's got to level and relevel and put in anchors and whatnot. I stick a thumbtack in and hope it doesn't fall right when a child happens to be under it. I digress. Here's how it looks now (from the back of the yard looking towards the house). If you're brave enough, you could click on it for a better look.
Overwhelming, huh? Now, here is a teeny, tiny beginning of what I hope this really, really challenging area looks like in a few years:
My girlfriend and Finn and I all went to the cemetery and got lots of these lovely rocks. They're just stacked up any old way right now as I had to get them out of the truck before you-know-who got all huffy. That Miscanthus against the stone against the gravel - I really like that look. (Please ignore elephant ear....long story.) Right now, because the area is sooooo dead and brutal and awful and uneven and whacked out and full of rocks and hard as nails, all I am willing to do is to lay down tons of cardboard, top it with mulch, and wait. There's really nothing else to do right now. "Winter" is coming up and the holidays and we'll be traveling and I'm kinda burned out on the yard now anyway so, I'm just gonna slop on the lazy man's grass killer and let her sit and get good and ready for when it's time. It's gonna kill me to have that big chunk of my yard be all gross and hackberry mulchy, but in a year or so I'll be able to start planting some grasses and some single specimen natives (I stole that phrase from Pam just in case you thought I was sounding fancy). I really like it when there are a bunch of one kind of plant all bunched up against big rocks with gravel nearby. My garden is all hot colors, but I'm gonna tell ya one thing for sure - I am gonna have some kidneywood trees (Eysenhardtia texana) out there because the smell is enough to drive you mad with olfactory pleasure. The ones at Mueller are white, I'll have to see if they come in other colors. Now if I just had a sculpture by Chris Levack. I'll put that on my lottery list. I want that same "Wigwam" one. Pleeeeeeeeease let me win the lottery. I'll buy you one too...promise.
I just need to say one little thing about Mueller before I pass out from lack of sleep. I saw that Pam says it's pronounced Miller and not Mewller. So, I decided I was gonna say it right from now on, but here's the conversation that I have had now oh, about 15 times, at least:

Have you been to the southwest greenway at Mueller (Miller) and seen those cool sculptures?
The Other Person (TOP): Where?
The Mueller (Miller) Complex, where the old airport was.
Oh, you mean Mewller.
Uh, well, I heard and then looked it up and it's actually pronounced, Miller.
Well, I say Mewller.
This is the exact conversation I have
every, single time, bar none. I'm just gonna say the old airport from now on and let TOP wrestle with the "M" word. Thanks for the clarification though, Pam.


  1. You are a hoot.

    I think your plans sound spot on--it will be a stunning garden. Keep us posted.

  2. Try using the word dour and pronouncing it correctly: doer ( the ou as the oo in tool) and seeing the look on people's faces as they thye say smugly , "Oh, do you mean DOWER?"
    In my head I say, "NO I DO NOT!!!" but really say nothing.
    Your yard is going to be the bestest in the world.

  3. I am not as smug as I thought. I had a typo on "they". It should be "they" not "thye". Ooops.


  4. Miller, Mewler, PedeRnales, PERdenales, we have all sorts of name whackery going on in Central Texas. What is important is that you have a plan!

    A plan which sounds ever so fabulous. It will be worth both the wait and the work, I am certain of that. Just promise you'll blog it all please and you can call it whatever you want!

  5. Mr. Harry hangs picture exactly the same way as Jackdaddy and you KNOW I'm the "stickthepinin" and really, they never fall down. Also, I have places that need a cardboard-newspaper treatment so I can plant some more half-off really cheap plants I find at Loews at the very back of the nursery there.

  6. Need a home for your Elephant Ear? I'll adopt him. By the way, I'm sitting here drinking a Mewller High that's livin.'

  7. Kat - Mewller High Life...hahahah omg. That's great.

    Deb - I said Purdanales when I first moved here. Now I say PEDernales, but when you call up there, THEY say PURdanales. Hilarious.

    Susan - you said "spot on." I LOVE that.

    Merrymerry and Mz. Muddy Hands - all 3 of us are "stick it on the wall and hope for the best" girls, aren't we? I love y'all!

  8. I think all our different pronunciations are part of what keeps Austin weird and fun! Gwadaloop, Purdinalez, etc., etc. Mewller/Miller fits right in with the rest.

    Good idea to let that cardboard and mulch do the hard work of grass-killing and soil-replenishing while you enjoy the holidays.

  9. I hate to be the pronunciation nerd, but Mueller is actually pronounced more like mew-ler than miller if you are using the german pronunciation. That's really consistent with other pronunciations around central texas, where the spanish words are almost always mispronounced, but the german words (kay-nig, mew-ler, ber-ne) are almost always pronounced as they are intended to be pronounced in the native language.

    Anglocentrism. Gotta love it. hahaha.


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