Friday, July 30, 2010

You Just Wait.

Have I told you how much I love the fence around my house that Jackdaddy built? 
I do love it so. 
Have I told you how much I love my dogs, but how I can't possibly plant anything around the fence line because they run it up and down, and back and forth, and forwards and backwards 456,988 times a day? 
They live for two things and two things only: food and terrorizing passers-by. 
Unless, of course, you bring treats. 
In that case, they will start wagging and twirling and pacing when they see you coming down the sidewalk. (Thanks to Yolanda - the treat lady and to our mail lady - the wise treat-bearing post woman for all the many, many bags of treats you must have purchased just for us.)

What was I saying? 

OH! I know, the fence. 
Well, it suddenly dawned on me (4 years later) that I could plant outside the fence line. 
Imagine that. 
Clever me. 
(Slow, but clever.) 
Once I decided I would plant, I had to decide what to plant. 
I really like the look of a single species along a fence line so that narrowed things down. 
What else? Drought tolerant - a must. 
Something tallish to match the fence and soften it a bit. Something cheap would be excellent. 
Invasive Opportunistic would be a good thing in this case. Something that can handle sun and shade. 
I'd like purple to play off the dark stain. 
Then, one morning while I was out walking, I found the answer. Ruellia! Mexican Petunia. Katy Ruellia. 
Call it what you will, but this stuff is perfect for my needs. 
And the best thing? 
Everybody, but everybody wants the stuff dug out of their yard! It's very aggressive. As in, very
I hopped on my neighborhood garden club message board and before the day was over, I had tons. (Gratzi, Karen!) 
So, here's the fence line with trash growing:

Here's how it looks after I de-trashed and planted the Ruellia:

Looks kinda worse to me. 
I mean, it does look worse, but not for long. 
This stuff will, God willin' and the crick don't rise (as we say in Texas), take off like gangbusters and look like this in no time:

Purty, huh? I'll keep you posted. 

(Here's the UPDATE on this project!)

Speaking of purty...

Just look at my beautiful butterfly door knocker. 
Yet another lovely thing I got from Ellen's yard sale. 
Oh my goodness, I just love it soooo much.

More purty for you ...

I cannot resist the lure of the ubiquitous caterpillar picture.

Nor the lure of the ubiquitous Echinacea picture.
Nor the lure of the weekend! 
Hope you have a great one. I really, really do.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy #10 (Double Whammy)

We got new goldfish for our front stock tank. AND a lily bloomed for the first time! Amazing!

Someone stuck these plush babies in our fence. We. LOVE. this. kind of stuff. Whoever you are, we had hours of fun with this. Thank you ever so much!
I hope your day is this much fun!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Am I simply mad?

Am I the only one who gardens in the heat of the day in the prime of the summer? If I have a project, I simply cannot stop myself. It's madness, I tell you, pure madness! I do know I'm not the only one though. I see others in my hood doing the same thing. This gardening's an obsession, no doubt. Actually, most of what I did yesterday wasn't ever gardening, per say. It was more like, oh, makingthingsbearableing. We have this spot. Oh, this spot is the bane of my existence. It's just a small space, but one that we tramp through all. the. time. After we put the BD fence in, this spot was left ravaged. Eventually (and I use this term loosely), the opener for the gate will go there and it will look more official. Regardless of that, its still a major thoroughfare as it connects us from the breezeway to the backyard on that side. It needed help. A lot of help. It was all chunks of dirt and full of rocks and all uneven with a treacherous hole where the pad for the opener is gonna go.

Ugly, ugly. My poor little pondlette looks so sad and lonely there. I'm really liking that pondlette, weird as it may be. Jackdaddy is not so enthused. He keeps asking me what it is.

Here's the view from the other side.
I dug out about 473 wheelbarrows of dirt, and hauled them to the compost. Then I raked and leveled and raked and leveled and raked and leveled. Then I filled the wheelbarrow with decomposed granite. Then the wheelbarrow fell over from too much weight. Then I shoveled the granite back into the wheelbarrow. Then I unloaded the granite into said area. Then I smoothed and leveled and smoothed and leveled. Then I did the last two parts all over again, including the part where the *%&#^@ wheelbarrow falls over. That was a 2 Tylenol night, my friends.
Now, here's the depressing part. After all that work, the damn thing doesn't look much different than it did. Oh, I mean, it's a clean and tidy and there are no holes or booby traps, but, to anyone but me, it just looks kinda like it did. See?

Sigh. So, you know me, I'm gonna have to gussy it up some. I've got a silhouette idea for that metal wall and I'm having a bit of fun with empty IZZE bottles. (OMG, have you had an IZZE drink? Girl, girl, girl.)
There is some serious kitsch starting to happen around here. Not sure why. Is kitsch a byproduct of being southern? Maybe it's a byproduct of middle age. Now, if you stop by the yard and you see one of those wooden cut-outs of a lady leaning over with her bloomers showing, you feel free to do an intervention. That kinda crap sneaks up on ya', I know it does. I don't know if IZZE bottles are as "bad" as big butted lady cut-outs, but I'm keeping an eye on it all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy # 9

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! am I ever happy. Can you believe the cuteness of this kitsch? Do you know what that planter was? Uh-huh, a bbq grill! Holy Moly is that freakishly retro- modern deliciousness, or whut? One of my favorite blogs is The Grackle, and that is where I got, nay, stole the idea. Ever since I saw his post, I've been waiting for Bulk Pick-up Day because I always, but always see these poor, rejected grills on the side of the road. Sho nuff, I was out walking with Cheryl of Conscious Gardening when I spotted it. I brought that sucka home, spray painted it ORANGE, and started succulenting it. (I'm still looking for a big one for my backyard so keep your scavenger eyes peeled, OK?)
What's that you say? Oh, the owl? Oh, that old thing? Again, my lovelies, free, free, free from the beautiful Ellen. Ellen of the fantastically amazing Optic Waste, gave it to me. (She actually gave me 2 of them, but my BFF Jessie saw them and, well, what could I do? She's a fellow owl lover as well as a fabulouso gift-giver so I just had to let her have the other one. She's given me so many lovely things that it was only right and good that I did.) Anyhoo, Ellen is the most incredible artist and former New Orlean and a most intriguing woman. She's leaving my hood (boo hoo) which makes me sad. BUT, she had a yard sale and oh, that made me happy (and poorer). I bought a bunch of delicious stuff, but the owls were free. (I'll show you some more of the Ellen goodness soon. There's a ceramic cow that I'm crazy for.)
Thank you, Ellen. We'll miss you so.
Thank you, Lee, for the inspiration.
La, la, la, thank
you for reading!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On Wabi-Sabi Pond. dear, dear, dear friend, Stacy Lynn, gave me a pond. One of those black plastic pond thingees. Isn't that so sweet? She is just so sweet and generous. The pond is just one of many delicious things she has given me over the years. It sat in the side yard, oh, forever until I finally got my hooha together and made a plan. Here's how it looked for about 2, uh, um, years. (Really.)

Then, when we had some hardscaping done, we paid the nice guys to dig the hole. I was really, really holding out for paying somebody to dig that hole. I'm not much on hole digging. Maybe that's why my plant collection is so ... um... minimal. I hate to dig holes. It's too hard. I'm too short. The shovels are too big. Whine whine. It was fun to finally have it done. We filled it up right away just to see what would happen.

Ta-da and Ha-ha. It became a kiddie and doggy pool almost immediately. I've been messing with it ever since. I feel like I've made huge progress on it, but now that I look at the (current) final picture, it looks kinda crappy. Sigh. It does look better in real life than it does here...not sure why it looks so ... I dunno, kind of forlorn in this picture.

I do love the little (free!) bridge. Lordy, that suuuucked messing around with that thing. I moved it and tweaked it and lifted it and pushed it and kicked it and slid it every which way to finally decide it looked fine there. I think I just need a lot more plants in the front, but the children love to climb all over it so I want to keep it accessible. Maybe I'll just get some pretty mulch and see if that helps make it looked more finished. I'll tell you one thing, that pond is working. Whatever I did by total accident made for a very efficient system. The pond is so clear that you can see every damn thing in there all the way to the (very shallow) bottom. I'm told this is good. I would prefer a bit more muck as now you can see all the pots and bricks and pump crap. My fish are also very, very happy. We started with 3. We now have about 40 or so. We also have tons of tadpoles in various stages. We also have a resident dragonfly couple. We have actually witnessed the mama dragonfly laying eggs...twice! It is really cool to see her do that. She hovers over the the top of the water and flicks her tail over and over again like she's trying to get something wet. We haven't been able to actually find the eggs, but I know they're there cuz we have tons of baby dragonflies. They are beyond cute! We've got lots of toads, and damselflies, and butterflies as well. It's really hopping out there. I could just sit out there all day and watch the fun. Alas, the humans call and I'm back to being mama. Fortunately, we're all enthralled with the pond and I can almost always bribe FinnigantheCurious to come with me by letting him over feed the fish. Fun, fun, fun.


Oh my gosh... I just cannot believe it's been over a week since I posted. Boo hiss and shame on me.
We had some serious losses around here last week, and I had to do a lot of soothing, recovering, and regrouping.
Grab your hankie and join me for the head count...

We had six chikkins, now we have four. That damn stray cat next door stole one right under my nose! I mean it... I was not more than a few feet away. Sigh. Sigh. So, no more free-range unless one of us is actually sitting right there the whole time. Sitting there being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Or eaten alive by DEET, depending on who's out there. That's one area in which I am a tried and true chemical girl. I grew up chasing the malathion truck through my neighborhood. I figure why stop now? So, poor chikkins, but lucky starving stray cat. She has a baby with her these days so I just can't get myself too upset. I'd kill to feed my baby too if I had to. Sniff. I think she ate Little Peep, but I didn't have the heart to tell FinnigantheCurious. I told him it was Henri. We loved Henri, but not like we loved Little Peep. Killing and lying...that's what mama's do sometimes, right?

Our teen cat, Tibbs, delivered this little dovelette to my feet one evening whilst I sat trying to work on the computer. The dove was shrieking, the cat was growling, I was screaming, the boys were WHAT?WHAT?ing. What a big mess. I kept it inside overnight so that it could try and recover. It was alive and alert the next morning so, I put it back out in a safe place. It seemed to have a hurt foot, not a hurt wing as we thought. I have no idea if it survived - I just couldn't do much more for it. I hope it did. Y'all send a little prayer to it, OK? That kind of stuff just wrecks me for days. I dunno why...heart of Jello, I suppose.
Now for the BIG loss...

Isn't that just the finest lost tooth spot you ever saw? I'm tellin' ya...the first tooth is a BIG deal. HUGE. I swear that one day it was not wiggly, and the next day it was about to fall out of his head. We were all absolutely obsessed with it the entire day and night. Interestingly, FinnigantheCurious was not quite sure how he felt about losing it. The wiggly night brought on some mixed feelings and even tears. He can be quite introspective about this kind of stuff.

Sho nuff, it popped out the next day while he was swimming with friends. I got a call from the mama on duty and she said he said, "Call my mama NOW. I want to go home." I raced up there and found him sitting in the grass all solo. He saw me and burst into tears. Poor little button. He later told me that he liked losing the tooth, but he just didn't feel like himself anymore. I know that feeling. It's like when you cut your hair; you might like, but, boyohboy, you feel different.
All-righty. Well, I'm back in the saddle, I think. I redid the pond, did I tell you that? I found the sweetest little bridge on Bulk Pickup Day - can you imagine? I put it on the edge of the pond. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'll show you tomorrow and you can see what you think.
Hope I didn't lose you by being gone so long!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Number 8!

Is that worth a smile, or whut? That fly stayed there for so long, I can only assume he was posing. Doesn't the rooster look like he knows the fly is there? Hope your Monday is happy!