Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winter whites

IMG_3870 IMG_3948 A whooping crane near Rockport, TX from our family outing Christmas afternoon (I've got many more shots on my illustration blog). And a bulb surprise when I got back to Austin yesterday, just hanging out near the A/C unit.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beginning of a garden

IMG_3526 So, I had some help yesterday removing concrete bits and leveling the backyard topography. The goal is to put pea gravel in the path and "conversation areas," and then start planting beds in spring when I have a better idea of light and seasons at this house. My sister and I used some materials leftover from construction to make a winter veggie bed; it is a comfort to have some green in the dirt pit. And just to get a good idea of the starting point, here's a before shot of the concrete yard at the beginning of the remodel. IMG_3208 And after the Bobcat came through and foundation digging of the back apartment had started. P1020431_sm And that same area now IMG_3531 The bricks are from a planter box that ran along the edge of the concrete and iron rail fence, next to the old staircase. I don't know why, but I love the D'Hanis bricks. IMG_3528 IMG_3529 Where the bricks end here, there's going to be a terraced level (necessitated in part by the fact that a strip of concrete still runs across there...plus, I've always wanted a terraced effect in the garden). IMG_3532 And here's some inspiration from Big Red Sun, a stop on this past weekend's East Side Studio Tour. The pea gravel is what's going into the hardscape areas. But I'm also weirdly attracted to their artificial lawn...who knew? Maybe it's the softness underfoot, maybe it's the possibility of going into stage 3 watering restrictions next year. IMG_1072 IMG_1070 IMG_1071 And I think this might work to shade the parking area next summer...or maybe it's too tough looking. IMG_1074 Anyway, I'm enjoying looking at other yards for inspiration and slowly building my garden plan. And if we can get a few more good rains like the storm early this morning, that would be a cold season gift.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Foliage Follow-up: November 2011

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Some foliage, berry, and pine cone goodness from today's walk around the neighborhood and from the yard. I'm still figuring out what the new-to-me yard actually has in it, and what I want to keep. I'm not a shrubbery person, but I love the cherry laurel and the possumhaw that are both fruiting right now. And the former owners must have been big bulb planters because iris and amaryllis and daffodil-type foliage keeps springing up everywhere, despite renovation trauma to the landscape. Bulbs are serious survivors. As for the neighborhood, the crepe myrtles and tallows are all shades of amazing red! Check out more fall foliage at Pam's Foliage Follow-up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: November 2011

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We had a beautifully heavy, much needed rain this bloom day. It's been a while since I've posted for GBBD, especially since the new house landscape is more dirt pit than garden. Ah, but the possibilities...

I do love the big patch of four-o-clocks (I think?) in the front, which look a little like popcorn when they open in the afternoon. And the fact that a ladybug larvae decided to join in the photo.

Happy Bloom Day, and don't forget to check out everyone else's yards at May Dreams Gardens.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bee in the trumpet

Last night my potted brugmansia (aka angel's trumpet) bloomed for the first time in months; the scent when it first opens is amazing, but this fuzzy visitor doesn't seem to mind the morning-after pollen.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: August 2011

Not much color in the garden these days, except for green and brown; but since it's the last Bloom Day before I move, I thought I'd share a few images. From the top: rock rose, chaste tree (this has been a dependable source of nectar all summer for the bees), the front garden (the chaste tree is on the right, mountain laurel thriving on the left), basil flowers, and oregano blooms (really, these are flowers, though they look more like foliage). I know it's still a month or two away, but I'm looking forward to the end of the blazing heat. Sigh.

To see what's blooming in less fried gardens around the world, visit May Dreams Gardens where Carol hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A welcome visitor

First caterpillar (Queen) I've seen in a long time on the milkweed. And a few aphids keeping him company.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More summer blooms and a near miss

From the top: Tropicana canna, thryallis 'rain of gold', a small but happy rock rose, geraniums enjoying a new part shade spot under the bird feeder, and pride of barbados looking very hot in the midday sun.
Not sure what happened here, but these look suspiciously like cardinal feathers. Can't imagine what a cardinal would be doing that close to my back door, but I hope he or she is okay....