Archive for the ‘nature’ Category


Adventuring

Posted: October 17, 2011 in family and friends, nature, texas
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To me, even the littlest step into nature can provide an escape… but in the eyes of children, you can bet that it provides a grand adventure.
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I need to stay away from the clearance bins at big-box garden centers… I have this burning desire to scoop up all the poor mistreated half-dead specimens in no-plants-land (aka the clearance-cart), nurture them back to pristine health, and then brag about how I resurrected each unique diamond-in-the-rough back to health. This is a very dangerous addiction though… Plants that have been banished to the clearance cart are usually in really bad shape and more susceptible to bugs and diseases, that can, if not properly addressed, infect your snuggly safe collection of plants at home. 

PhotobucketBut when I see a HUGE bucket of Gollum Jade marked HALF OFF… I am absolutely compelled to save it!  I LOVE unusual plants… the weirder it is the more I want it!  And I had searched 3 Home Depots and 2 Lowes for a “Gollum” jade that was in decent shape. Everything out there was overpriced and ratty looking. And then at the last Lowes in my area I see this giant Gollum marked half off because of OBVIOUS neglect.  I HAD to buy it! 

Succulents are tricky to read and die easily from over watering… but given it’s symptoms (bone dry soil, sitting with the cacti in full sun, wrinkled faded foliage, 115 degree high temp days) I deduced that it might just need a giant drink of water.   PhotobucketAfter 2 good soaks, I let it sit for for almost 3 weeks.  And then I divided the jade trunks, ripped off the pot bound roots, and placed them in five planters of orchid bark, fine gravel, perlite, and river stone top dressing.

PhotobucketToday ‘MY Precious’ is almost completely wrinkle free and very vibrant green.  I just love taking pictures of it’s long slender fingers. Do I sound disturbing?  Yes, I realize I’m in love with my plants.  Don’t judge me.

I’ve already started 4 or five leaf cuttings, as well!  Baby Gollums for ALL…  (If I can bring myself to part with them!)  Now I just need to find a clearance bin Hobbit to complete my weirdo Lord of the Rings jade-plant collection.  😉

My latest find was a $1.25 “Voodoo” Aeonium.  Who could resist a plant with a name like that?!?  It’s still in terrible shape… and I have NO idea how to take care of it.  Apparently they are dormant in the summer and require little to NO water during this time.  The soil medium in the plastic pot was moist and looked to be a peat mixture… (not good.)  So I decided to immediately tamp off as much of the old soil from the roots as possible, dip them in superthrive (probably not the greatest idea to re-wet them), then I changed the soil to my new “crunchy” mix… , and now I just have to play the waiting game until I see new leaves forming.  Hope they make it!
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I also have a cute little Crassula muscosa “Lizard’s Tail”  that seems to be doing well in my little succulent/cacti dish.  I LOVE it’s name, too!

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PS. I will also accept any plant that you are ill equiped and unable to care for/keep alive… as long as it is weird.

I have developed a seedy new habit… Whenever I see a robust and bustling garden, I have an insatiable desire to loot it.  Always begging for seeds and offspring plants at any opportunity presented.

In my third year of gardening, I can say that my style has been largely inspired by my Aunt Pam’s “tough and adaptable, natural and Texas native” planting creed.

This au naturel style is abundantly clear when meandering down her thyme covered stone steps… the entrance to her whimsical, butterfly-peppered sanctuary… filled with patches of periwinkle Plumbago, pungent Spearmint, and happy little clumps of Blackfoot Daisies. Continue walking, and the crunch of the crushed rock underfoot will fill your ears as you explore the P-shaped path of her little prairie garden… Strange old world herbs, utilized by long ago pioneers, bushing to the right… trailing Vinca (occasionally blooming with bell-shaped lilac flowers) ever so slightly grappling up the wall of her house for more space than the floor of the garden will allow it… Autumn Sage and Turk’s Cap to satisfy the greedy hummingbirds buzzing around them, all held ransom by a border of redbud trees and tall red yuccas (that always seem to be blooming with their ferocious crimson spires reaching towards the sky.)

Even in negligence, this garden would survive. In fact, without the dutiful hand of a keeper, the “daughter plants”, as my aunt would say, and “grand-daughters” …would pop up wherever the breeze or birds directed them to take hold.

I'm obsessed with my little rock garden, filled with different types of Sedum, Iceplants, Torch Cactus, Salvia, and Skullcap

This lovey Rock Rose seems to be doing well in my West facing garden of fire… for now.

This is what I want to emulate in my own garden. NATURE’S beauty. Not the fake, pointy, manicured nail of perfection. While cookie-cutter gardens are very beautiful, the maintenance involved seems tortured and insincere. I don’t need voluptuous ‘Knockout Roses’ and begonias to be satisfied with myself, er uh, I mean… my garden. 😉 It sometimes feels like I am surrounded by prisons of conformity and compliance.

                

 

But I also know, that when my garden is lush and thriving… I would do the same for my friends and family. Share in the joy of gardening.  Let the grand daughters go play in someone elses yard! 

I have also taken to collecting seeds from my own plants, and I relish discussing each variety. So far I have Salvia greggii, ‘Winecup’, ‘Nana’ Coreopsis, two types of ‘Rock Rose’, and I even took seed from my ‘Batface’.

Rock Rose and the White Crab Spider

Citronella Plant and the Lynx Spider

Will I ever have daughter, even grand-daughter plants in my garden?! I certainly hope so.

3 year old Salvia greggii ~ one of my FAVORITES

 

Goodbye, Old Friend

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Little Texas Garden, nature, texas

I’m sad to tell you all that I have decided to remove my sweet Yucca that has become infested with Yucca bugs, as she has been suffering a slow painful death while the little fiends suck the life blood from her soft spikes. 

I’ve attacked the bugs with organic pest repelents to get rid of them… but they came back anyway.  And I’ve tried non-organic pest killers… which just made things worse for my beauty by affecting the weak foliage.  I really don’t feel like war-ing with the bugs anymore… so I am accepting defeat.  I’m so sorry my old friend.

Hopefully I will not get too beat up removing her.  And in her place I needed some sort of small tree or shrub… so I’ve picked up an unusual yellow flowering shrub called: Genista racemosa… A desert/tropical that will not burst into flames in my west facing front garden.  And I’m hoping it might even provide a little shade for the smaller girls in the garden.  BUT I have a creeping feeling that I may get a caterpillar infestation to defoliate the newbie… because, well, it’s me.  Very hesitant and nervous.


 

(Mine is about 1/3 this size right now)

PS: My Little Texas Garden – Spring 2011 coming SOON!

Quiet, Strong, and Proud

Posted: February 28, 2011 in nature, texas
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If you would know strength and patience,
welcome the company of trees.
~Hal Borland


Trees are so beautiful.  Barren and desolate in the winter… Reborn, neon, and untainted in the Spring.

Like a long lonely stream
I keep runnin’ towards a dream
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like a branch on a tree
I keep reachin’ to be free
Movin’ on, movin’ on

‘Cause there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

Like an old dusty road
I get weary from the load
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like this tired troubled earth
I’ve been rollin’ since my birth
Movin’ on, movin’ on

There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

You know when times are bad
And you’re feeling sad
I want you to always remember

Yes, there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone…

~Stevie Wonder