Monday, July 18, 2011

Home again...

Where to begin? I've spent most of the summer on the road with one or the other of my daughters, traveling to see 6 National Parks, family in 3 different states and several friends from all over. My loving spouse has done a great job keeping things alive and I'm having a hard time feeling motivated to get out there and continue moving the mountain of mulch...which still sits in my driveway (I'm sure my neighbors are less than thrilled.)

This past week I was in Kansas City, via Stillwater, Oklahoma to see my wonderful friends, the Homer's at their homestead...21 acres of wild native plants, chickens, bees, a fabulous garden and a wonderful blog...Meadow Sage. We had a fantastic time on all of the travels.

While I was gone though, I lost my beloved cat, Man. This morning was the first day I woke up before dawn on my own...which is my normal rhythm, but I've been so "off" due to traveling that it hit me hard. Man was part of my morning meditation, a big part. I'd make the coffee and sit down to check the computer and pet him. Quiet, cool mornings with my loud mewing Man-cat, no more. He was my oldest pet, the sweetest and most social, without being aggressively so. Before I left last Friday the vet assured me that he was on the mend and delivered, what we thought was the immediate bad news, that our other cat Sappho Moon is dying of cancer and most likely won't make it through the year. Then, the day after I left, Man took a sharp turn.
I miss him dearly.

"The Man" (Rasputin Swirl) 1999-2011

I'm ready for 2011 to be over. I'm ready for fall and the excitement of cool weather and planting season...I'm not going to bother with summer's just too cruel out there. So, what to do? I need to finish the mulching, dig the swales (I'll document that) which involves a lot of rock hauling...gotta get these girls moving, and break down the spring flowers and disperse what's left of the seeds. I've already said goodbye to half of my peach tree that bifurcated on my first trip...that tree was the first thing we planted when we bought this house, my mother and I...while each of us was recovering from our own divorces. Mom left Austin 5 years in a way it's fitting. She's the one who wanted the peach tree in the first place. It's been the center of my culinary garden for years and the new view is still shocking. On a brighter side, we've got cantaloupe, beans, figs and eggplant still producing...and a few struggling tomatoes. The figs are perfect...just a few a day, makes for a lovely snack! The greens garden is doing great, the Malabar spinach is all over the place and the okra has topped the vines and is covered in flowers and bees! Yea!

I've missed the last two months of Bloom Day but here is the unofficial tally today:


Mexican Oregano

cone flower

passion flower vine

butterfly weed

black and blue sage

Autumn Sage

Texas hibiscus

butterfly bush

Chaste tree

pink and purple ruellia

Gregg's mistflower

dwarf pomegranate

shrimp plant

Mexican hibiscus

Indian blanket


Turk's cap

trailing purple lantana

tick weed

cedar sage


also, the loufa, pumpkin, beans and cantaloupe are flowering!

I'm most excited about the figs and the Texas Hibiscus because we've still got our male and female black chinned, and male ruby throated hummingbirds around!

It's good to be home, even if it's too hot to be outside.

Happy Gardening!


Alma Delia said...

Hi, First, I am very sorry to hear about your cat. I have loved and lost a pet for over a decade and know how devastating it can be. Secondly, How far apart did you plant your okra and how tall do they get for you?

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks AD, um the okra is currently over my head...I'm 5'2...almost 5'3". My husband planted them, and too close 3 inches or so. He can't make himself thin, so they're just a jungle...they'd be stronger and produce more if they were farther apart though...