Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Day After

I barely slept last night. I had to get up and have a bath in the middle of the night to try and help me relax...I'm still buzzing this morning. The last two days have been magical. It was a shear delight to have so many people in my garden, gardeners...most of them, taking the kind of time I had intended visitors to take. The grass this morning looks pretty trampled, but nothing a little seaweed treatment plus rain can't cure...and the only thing lost are the hundreds of names and faces flitting in and out of my consciousness. I've been fighting off a cold or allergies or both for the past week or so, that plus hubby's home brew have helped amalgamate the dream-state I'm in.

The Datura pods are all gone now, but dozens remain on the two volunteer moon flowers left in the yard.
Leah, my newly acquired Americana Chicken gave us a scare on Friday and we spent the better part of an hour with friends hunting her down. We found her hiding behind the Rooster mural in the coop. She stayed there all day Saturday, and is still there this morning. It's been
a very hard week for her, clearly she's exceptionally shy. Last week I had two Road Island Reds removed to the country. I'm going on 5 years with my coop and I'm still learning about the girls and their nature. The Red's were my first 'adult' purchase. All the other birds I've had came to me as pullets from friends, or I raised them from day old chicks. The Red's I got from Callahan's. They've been trouble from the beginning. They bonded and began pecking each other, then everyone else. Over the summer, they pecked two little Japanese Silkies to death. The little white one I have left, Blanca, had been in shock, brooding since then. When the Red's left, she got down on the ground and started right in on a dirt bath and gorged herself. She hadn't forgotten how to be a bird, nor had she forgotten what she'd seen them do, apparently.

A few years ago I heard Ira Glass's interview on "This American Life" about the chicken lady that invited him to her home because of a "bird-brained" comment he'd made on the air. She challenged him to stay with her and spend some time with her birds to dispel his 'ignorance.' He went, and shortly after the visit, became a vegetarian. I'm currently not a vegetarian, since July...but have given up meat more times in my life to count and was able to do the vegan plan for just under 2 years, before my girls were born. Dorothy, my Boston Terrorist killing machine was the impetus for the last time...I figured if I stopped eating chicken (and all other meat) I could sort of make up for her terrier nature. I couldn't bring the girls back, but between my abstinence and our aggressive tactics I was attempting to balance the scales...don't ask me why I engage in such frivolous mental gymnastics...what else am I to do while working hours at a time in total silence involved in the sometimes numbing monotony of pruning and weeding? I digress, back to Leah, and what I've learned...they are all unique. Each bread and each bird. The reason I got a Road Island Red is because of a friend who went to School in Providence insisted that they are the coolest, and without checking...because I hadn't had a mean bird yet, got the first one that came my way...then what the heck? Got her a friend to boot! The young boy of 10 that took them is in 4-H, he has 40 hens, 3 roosters, ducks, turkey's and Guinea fowl. He assured me that Reggie, his big Road Island Red Rooster, would straighten my girls out. His mother blushed, and we all knew what that meant. I'm an urban hobby-farm girl, I could learn a lot from this young man. I wonder if he'd like a 44 year old apprentice?

The Beer Garden survived the hoards of fondlers, I was genuinely afraid that one of the bottle-cap snakes would come down on someones the wind will sometimes cut one loose and crush a tender green below. But nay, all went well. Whew.

The little hub-cap caterpillar on the fence isn't' as long as I had hoped it would be, but I only started collecting them road-side a year ago...hopefully she'll stretch the length of the cyclone fence one day.

This is the gateway to my Visual Playground, where I allow my inner child to romp and giggle. Most of the folks I spoke to enjoyed this area the do I.
This is the only shot I got at the beginning of the no time were there less than 50-60 folks in the garden! I wish my girls would have been home to see it, people loving the yard that exasperates them. I guess it's my fault for assigning 'poop-patrol' and 'compost duty' though occasionally they'll come out to have hot-chocolate and sit by the fire.
Randy had the forethought to print out a 'before' shot of his garden for folks to see. Well, here's mine. The wee girl with the pink hat now towers over me and I'm pretty sure those who came can see the difference Conscious Gardening, for 13 years now has made.
Okay, I'm going to grab a mimosa and head out to harvest my garden...there is pesto to be made, beans to be snapped, jalapenos to be pickled and a new winter plan to undertake!
A million thanks to the visitors and especially the Travis County Master Gardeners awesome group of Volunteers for helping me pull this gig off!

Happy Gardening!


Linda/patchwork said...

My daughter-in-law and I did the tour, and we both agreed, your garden was our favorite. So many colorful touches. The artist in you certainly shows.
I'm sorry we didn't get to thank you personally for letting us visit. You were SO busy. Thanks again for opening your garden for us all to enjoy.

Lancashire rose said...

Oh Cheryl! I know exactly how you were feeling after everybody left. We were just the same. Wasn't it the most wonderful experience? It was nice to finally meet you and after looking at your photographs I need to come back and see the things I missed. Maybe the bloggers can come over in the spring. Thanks also for the little babies of mother of thousands. I have potted them up and hope they came through spending all that time in the truck. My post is up and although I took loads of photos at your garden I had to limit my post because it takes me ages to do and I must get out in my own garden before the rain comes. Thank you so much. It was wonderful.

Annie in Austin said...

The garden was packed when we were there, Cheryl! No wonder your head is still was so much fun to see your creation and to meet you.

So the beer caps are supposed to be snakes? That's what my husband called them, but to me they suggested a tree wearing Bob Marley's dreadlocks. Fun!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Lori said...

Sorry I didn't track you down yesterday, Cheryl! I had my eye out but didn't see you and assumed you were swamped since it was so busy.

Thanks for the details on the can ornaments. I was thinking that it might be fun to do something similar with the cans angled a bit more so I could just water with a hose, and maybe fill the cans with sweet alyssum or something else that smells amazing. I'm curious to see how your cans fare through the winter, because I think alyssum would only work in the winter here but you're probably right about the metal getting too cold and killing the roots. But considering how many cans of soup I've eaten since it cooled off outside, I certainly have the raw materials for an experiment! :D

P.S. Annie, I love your Bob Marley dreadlock description!

Pam/Digging said...

Thanks for the tour, Cheryl. Your garden is so much fun--did you see my post yet?

And I second Lancashire Rose's suggestion that the bloggers meet up in your garden in the spring. I'd love to see it again in a new season.

Bob said...

It was really nice to meet you. I could tell you were a nervous wreck but there was no need. Every thing looked great and I enjoyed it immencely. I hope to get together again soon, Bob

Meredith said...

It was a glorious day, and your garden was the icing on the cake. Your virtual garden really spoke to the inner child in all of us, and there were so many hidden wonders that I'm sure I missed a lot! Even though I didn't post many pictures, I took a lot, and looking through them I'm amazed at all the artful gems I didn't notice at the time we were there. Well done, Cheryl -- colorful, fun, and happy. What a great place to be.

CSAustin said...


I really enjoyed visiting your garden. My friend and I didn't want to leave. We went through one way and then decided to go through again in the opposite direction to see what we missed. Thank you so much for opening it and sharing with everyone. Sorry it kept you awake.


Cheryl said...

Thank you for coming bloggers! Yes, let's meet up in my garden this Spring...we can burn some lavender, drink tea...homebrew, vino...enjoy the lovely weather! I had a blast Jenny, I hope the afterglo will last.
Annie, the beer snakes are actually part of a reverse line graph we started after a huge party we had a few years back. There is one point in the garden where you can see the 'party-graph' clearly, I'll show you next time! Dreadlocks is much 'artsier' I am married to a mathmatician...brewer, so the snakes are getting less and less.
Pam, I checked your blog this morning! Thank you, Thank you...a wonderful post as always...I like your pictures of my garden better than my own!
I will be on the Funky Chicken tour in April...I'm not sure when the blogger meet-up happens, so I'm looking forward to hearing about that! Have a wonderful rainy day you all! And, again thank you for your kind words and for coming to my little slice of heaven=)

SomeLikeItHot said...

Thanks for sharing your garden with us. It is such a magical place. If it was my garden I'd be too busy enjoying it to ever get anything done. I loved the beer snakes, the bowling balls and the mushroom stools, so many ideas to steal :)


Nell Jean said...

I was entranced by the posts by Austin bloggers who visited your garden, not dreaming I'd get to read about it from the owner!

The only thing better would be visiting in person, but I loved this.

The Curious Holts said...

OMG that is YOUR yard when y'all moved in???? my lordy, it CAN be done. Oh girl, YOUR garden was THE cat's meow of them all. I heard EVERYONE saying so. You did SO good. I am proud to call you neighbor and friend. (my word verification is cryno and I swear it thought it said wyno)

Lindsay said...

It was so wonderful to visit your garden last weekend, after looking at all your photos and wondering how it is all put together. The entire effect is more than I could have imagined. I keep trying to describe your garden to others and find myself unable to fully express how beautiful and creative it is, and how much I really, really, really liked it.

You've provided much inspiration for my own garden, and I am very excited about the prospect of collaborating with you on a guerrilla garden.

-Lindsay of the Garden Posse

Cat said...

I went to an OC Master Gardeners event the other week and it was fabbidoo!
Our garden is coming along slowly not sure what to put in for the winter here, Our tomatoes are still going full on and some say just to leave them, but they are a mess. We will see.
As for being a vegetarian, I am with the exception of illness (where upon meat, like caffeine, becomes a medicine).