Tree Carnage

A storm on June 2nd twisted and snapped two of our trees. A mesquite tree out front.

And a flameleaf sumac in back.

Which meant we got to go the nursery to buy more trees!

I’ll admit I was a little sad. That mesquite was growing in the grass when we ripped it out and so we let it grow. Here it is back in 2012.

We’re replacing it with a Retama. We also decided to add a Fragrant Mimosa to the front yard.

In the back the Flameleaf Sumac had tons of suckers so I just picked one and trimmed it up.

We also lost a rather large apricot tree this year. It bloomed this spring and then… nothing. So I’m replacing that with two huisaches.

Gardening is nothing if not change…

Composting

People are always saying I should compost my food scraps. “It’s really easy to keep your dogs out”, they say. Then I’m weeding and look up to this…

Junie checking out the compost.

Today’s weeding was the annual “try to get rid of all the bedstraw and wild carrot before it goes to seed and the dogs come in covered in them”.

Goodbye old friend

If you’ve visited my house one of the first things that greeted you was a giant prickly pear. When we sold our old house in 2007 I took two paddles and put them in a pot with some dirt. They sat on my Mom and Dad’s back porch for 4 months, then spent an entire winter shoved into the back of our new shed. I planted it sometime that summer.

To say it thrived was an understatement. It grew into a lovely specimen.

2011 xeriscaping

But then it kept growing. It started making it difficult to get into the house and needed constant pruning. It was like a friend who was clingy, always wanting to play with your hair.

2014 yard remodel

It was impressive in a “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a prickly pear that tall before” way. But not in a “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a prickly pear that beautiful before”. So Julie and I decided today that the time had come. As part of our spring cleaning we took it out.

It has provided some lovely landscaping beams, however.

So what next? We don’t know. I’d love to hear any and all ideas.

Butterflies and Immigration

I try to keep my ranting in other blogs. But every piece of gardening feels like such a political activity that I don’t really know why I try. Here’s a great thread from Austin City Council Member Gregorio Casar on the intersection of immigration and Monarch butterflies.

Bloom Day – January 2018

So here we are on a very bizarre Bloom Day. First off – the blooms!

We had a couple Bluebonnets.

And I found a lone verbena.

But the fear of tomorrows high in the 20s couldn’t keep us inside on this lovely day in the high 60s. So off to the Ladybird Wildflower Center we went.

We improperly operate exercise machines.

Found a sculpture that in other seasons is hidden in tall grass, much like the birds it portrays .

Built a shelter of dubious quality.

And sat on a bench trying to decide where in our yard could accommodate this lovely tree (or three).

The school hasn’t called yet, but it’s looking like we’ll be stuck inside for at least a day this week. But it was nice to get out while we can.

 

Christmas at Big Bend

We had a fantastic opportunity drop into our lap. A friend had 3 days reserved at the Chisos Mountain Lodge. So off to Big Bend we went for Christmas. I, of course, drove my family a bit batty taking pictures of plants. It was an amazing trip and I was shocked by the amount of variety. The Pine Woods and Guadalupe River were so different from the more expected desert areas.

I’ve labeled most of what I can. If you know a plant or I’ve mislabeled please leave me a comment!