Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day!

April Fool's Day is long gone now but it was my 5-year blogging birthday.  Today, I hardly blog at all...I've learned that I really prefer actual gardening, rather than writing about it.  I still research things as needed but only if I have to...I prefer to learn by process, and by making mistakes.  Somehow, the lessons learned kinetically stick with me...whereas reading them, without immediate application, does not.
The photo above shows a few dependable plants of note: heart leaf skullcap, river fern and spider wort.  By the end of summer, the fence will be covered in passionflower vine.
 While in Vancouver, the arugula went to flower, along with the cilantro and cabbage.
 The Cecille Brunner in full bloom with little Dorothy Belle.
 The 300 onions we planted in January, along with oregano, tomatoes and the Peggy Martin Rose.
 Another shot of Peggy Martin with the Loquat tree to the left.

 This is a shot from under the arbor looking due East at the blackberries, roses and Loquat.
 The second Cecille Brunner, now in full sun is growing straight up!
 I was worried about this wet year, drowning the ocotillo...but she's back...and with a single bloom!
 The angry bird in the rose garden was a gift from my friend Anne Marie!  We love it!
 Randy's rose, Knock-out, Martha Gonzales and Peggy Martin, with a single stalk on the Red Yucca.
 Randy's Rose in front of Martha Gonzales.
 The year of the Loquat!  We harvested over 8 gallons...7 of which are cleaned and freezing for later projects.  We have made 3 batches of Loquat Margaritas so far this spring!  Yum!
 Cheryl's Loquat Margarita's:  1 1/4 cup of Silver Tequila, 1/3 cup of Cointreau, 1/2 tube of Limeade.  Then fill blender to the top with frozen loquats...blend.  After the loquats blend down, add ice to the top and blend again.  Garnish with sliced loquats!  Cheers!
 When we got back from our trip, the roses were still going strong!
 This is the first year that the poppies came up everywhere!  The front yard is simply beautiful right now!
 My favorite blooming tree...The Pride of Barbados is just stunning with her spitting ribbons of red!
 Gulf coast penstemon blooming in front of powess castle artemesia with the mountain laurel gone to seed.
 The first of the majestic sage to bloom out along with sunflowers and larkspur.
 Our first try at growing artichoke and cardoon.  They've simply tippled in size over past 2 weeks!
 Cardoon, oxalis, Autumn Sage, red yucca, Texas Sage, Rosemary, and that spot of red is the last bloom on the baby quince.
 I went to Kansas City at the end of March to be with my Mom through her radiation treatment...which went really well...and while there, we drove up to visit my uncle Clyde who has 2 acres just north of the city with a few dozen Black Walnut trees, a huge beautiful garden along with wild gooseberries and a giant paw-paw patch.  He dug up 5 little baby paw-paw trees for me and they sat in a bucket for the better part of a week, then in the car for the 11 hour drive, another 2 days on my front porch before I got them in the ground...2 of them have leafed out and are doing great...I'm still waiting to see how the others turn doesn't look good.
 Here they are in the ground.  As you can see from the above shot, they are connected at the root.  Paw-paws need to be planted together in a patch...I hope these two thrive and spread!
 While we were working we saw a swarm from one of the old sycamore stumps in the front yard!
 I haven't taken the time to research what they are...I hope not termites!
 The newly planted Florida King peach with fruit!
 Belinda's Dream rose, fern-leaf verbena, sage, copper canyon daisy, huisache, iris, larkspur and fig.
 We were worried about the Mollie Delicious bare root tree, but she's finally leafed out!
 This is a shot looking toward the west greens garden from off the front pergola, draped with the last of the Lady Banksia Rose.
 Blooming Red yucca and Autumn Sage, treats for the hummingbirds!
 Up close shot of the Smoke tree!  I walked the 5 block radius of my house and didn't see any.   I wanted to increase the diversity of our I put in the huisache, smoke tree and flowering quince!
 Jerusalem Sage...I love the missing petals' star shaped base!
 The West Greens Garden with roses, persimmon, fig and pomegranate trees.
 This is a rose that my mom picked up at Home Depot the year we moved in...'97.  Can anyone identify her for me?
 Pomegranate blossom
 The red Hazel is loving the sun and seems much happier after putting some cotton burr compost around her!
Rosemary, Cecille and peach tree in the back.

It's now the middle of the month, Earth Day to be exact, and these photos were shot 2 weeks ago.  We have harvested the peaches from across the street and currently have blackberries turning by the day.  Last month we lost our American Elm, and we've yet to make a decision about what to do next because I needed to go to Kansas City to be with my Mom and then my adoring spouse and I went to Vancouver for a week so I've hardly been home to either work or blog about it.  Still, so far this year we've put in 2 pawpaws (that are alive) one peach, one plum, 2 apples, a Fuji and Mollie Delicious, huisache, quince, smoke and this morning I picked up a Meyers Lemon for the front deck.  We've got 300 onions starting to fall over and still tons of arugula, Swiss chard, cilantro, and several peppers and eggplant in the garden.  We've also got 12 tomatoes and several basil...I put some in pots and scattered seeds just to see how they'd do...and they've come up.  What we didn't do is start the three sisters...corn, beans and squash and I've been trying to give away as much Mexican petunia as I can to start a yam patch...but didn't get that done in time.  Hopefully the summer won't kill my persimmons and it looks like it'll be a fabulous year for pomegranates as well!  So much to do!  I really want to have a Crestview Gardener's get together before the weather gets too hot to enjoy and the mosquitoes take over.  
I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 2 weeks ago, which has really helped to explain my general lack of energy, weight gain and constant headaches...which hasn't made me feel like socializing or writing much because who wants to share when what's on your mind is...what's wrong with me?  I will say that over the past year, the time that I've felt the very best is when I was working in the garden.  That's been April...
so far.  And phase 2 of the urban edible forest is mid-way there...or almost!

Happy Gardening! 


Linda/patchwork said... have a lot going on your garden, and your life.
Hope your health is better soon. Finally knowing what's going on should help.

Dan said...

Thanks for taking the time to post and share your garden. It's my favorite one in Austin (that I know of!) and it is a big inspiration for my wife and I as new gardeners.

Best of luck with your health issues… we're rooting for you.

Stiletto said...

What a lovely garden you have there with a bountiful harvest of fruits

walis said...

Great blog... You have done very good gardening because it is believe it is too difficult or that it involves a lot of extra work..