Monday, June 8, 2015

I Am Not a Gardener

It is time to dig in the dirt. It’s time to get dirty and hot and sweaty and experience the “good type of” tired. I will be the first to admit – I Am Not a Gardener. Yes. I’ve tried here and there, and have had some flowerbeds [note: term used loosely], but things are going to change!

I’ve made a promise to myself and I won’t wimp out this time, God willing!

If you’ve been reading my blog, or following me on Facebook, you know I’m in Texas. “Summers” run from about mid May through October. Temps are usually in the low to high 80’s then 90’s starting in June, many times hitting low 100’s by August. Humidity is usually pretty high throughout the season/year. Our hard “winters” – snow/ice – don’t usually hit until February, then it’s gone.

For years to come, we all will remember rain we’ve received, especially during the month of May 2015. We are blessed to have finally come out of the drought that hit about five years ago. Our stock tank is up, ready for the summer. I’m so sorry so many had extremely too much rain/tornadoes and lost their homes and lives due to the excessive flooding and storm damage.

I’m not a landscape designer. I go by the seat of my pants. I’ve looked on the internet, especially Pinterest, and have walked around various nurseries in the area. I know what I like/don’t like, and I – sort of – know the look and purpose (butterflies and hummingbirds) I would like to see out my windows, or while walking around the yard.

What I’m facing (and not)…

The yard is the size of a football field with the house sitting on the 50 yard line. The house faces south. Front yard is only about 30 feet from porch to fence. Back yard is about 60 feet from extended arm of “L” shaped house to fence.

“Stuff” is over in the east yard… workshop/barn…equipment… our parking lot… needless to say, that’s “his” side!

I’m saving the back yard – north side – for last. That’s where the old “two seater” outhouse was when we bought the ranch. Bugs and rotted wood got too bad, so it had to come down. The “hole” is still there (hadn’t been used in years prior), with rocks and stuff, high grass/weeds, but it needs dirt. Anyway, what can I say – I’m not messing with it until the very last!

My focus is on the front and west yards. At least, the west side is the first folks see when they visit. But, I’m saying this… I’m doing this for me, not for anyone else, for appearances. Not for what it looks like to others. I need to do this for me.

Well, last week I had planted some Delphiniums and Achilleas next to the lavender (established years ago), up against the fence. During her visit here at the country, Momma and I had gone to Walmart and bought the lovely blooming plants. It was an easy, quick flowerbed to weed and clean up.

WRONG thing to do.

While back in Dallas with my mother, I learned the news. Our baby girl promptly broke two blooms from the delphiniums while “taking care of the cows” when they got too close to the yard fence. Well, I learned my lesson (I should have known this already!)… it’s her job… need to move the plants and forget that “flowerbed”.

She can’t just look "through" the fence…she can’t see as well…

The 25+ year old fruitless Mulberry tree finally died in the front yard. I don’t want to cut it down. I have plans for that tree – as long as it’s standing!

I did plant a yellow rose bush, in honor of our 35th wedding anniversary in April… the first of many flowers/plants I envision around the tree. Three buds are about to open up! I also transplanted a few irises around the tree. I love seeing irises bloom... it's the first sign of Spring!

Once back from Dallas yesterday, I began working more on that particular flowerbed and planted these perennials: 
Delphiniums (transplanted) and staked/protected from south winds with yard art found at Joann’s – on 60% off sale!
Achillea – yarrow (transplanted)
Hot Lips Salvia Angelonia, Summer Snapdragon
Red Yucca (not really yucca)
Autumn Joy Sedum
Knock Out Red Roses

It looks pretty yucky now because I had to space the things to allow for their individual growth. It will probably all run together eventually. However, I believe next year it will be a showcase! I already love my view from the kitchen sink window!

I read about the “Autumn Joy Sedum” and discovered deer also likes them. I’m hoping it survives until I can get to town and buy some sweet basil plants. I’ll position them among the flowering plants. The basil worked nicely keeping deer away from the vegetables in the Keyhole Garden. I would think they would work in the Dead Tree Bed.

Today, I will plant the tomatoes & jalapenos and sweet basil I did get (thinking ahead) in the Keyhole Garden. I’m so thankful I didn’t get the veggies planted before the May rains! I would have had to start all over!

Although my right elbow is a touch sore this morning (even started hurting last night) from hitting the caliche rock bed about 8” below the surface – if I was lucky it was that deep! It’s worth the effort. I’m happy. It is the dirt!

If you're looking for me... I'm at the Keyhole Garden!

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