Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Fabulous Bob Pool!

Bob Pool came to my house 3 years ago when we were on the Master Gardener Tour in '08...I think it was '08. Anyway, he marched up and introduced himself and his lovely wife and reminded me of our conversations over blog chatter. He's loud and boisterous and funny and off color about lots of stuff and doesn't care and, that's just part of his charm. He invited me out to visit his garden and a few months later, my old garden buddy Randy and I took the drive out to Georgetown to check it out. It IS wonderful...all of it, the log cabin that he and his wife built, the pristine land, awesome pond and of course garden. We had a great time, we went out for Mexican food, threw back a few margaritas...wait...that was me (Bob had tea...he had some welding to do that afternoon so he stays clear of mind).

Gun rack for my pellet gun. I painted them bright orange...still need to get 'em hung!

So...we became friends. But more, because he inspires me...a rare friend indeed. If you go to his blog Gardening at Draco and read his profile, he claims that folks say he's the hardest working man they've met, and I agree.

Spider web arch-way for Cecile Bruenner rose to climb.

The second time he came over, I asked him if he wouldn't mind making something for my garden, since he's a welder and makes cool garden stuff and he said "well, let me take a look and I'll see what I can do." I showed him my giant rose with no place to grow and explained that I'd like a spiderweb type arch and I scribbled the drawing on a napkin and held up my hand as to how high I'd like it to be.

Bob on the phone to a perspective client...doing the math on my stump!

With my napkin and a few measurements he was gone. A few days later, I came home and found my idea, only better...with attachments that allowed for the difficult angle of the vertical part, sitting on the front porch. A year later, the rose has jumped in a different direction and Bob did the same assessment...a few scribbles from me and he was back! The pictures don't do it justice.

Rescue bench that Bob made a stand for!

Bob loves to do this stuff, and loves a challenge! I've had him fix things and design things as well...he's wonderful! I cannot sing the praises of this man enough...I only wish he lived closer and that more people took their jobs as seriously as he.

I did make him share a beer with me when he was finished!

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Blooms of July

I just had to take a stroll this morning and catch the blossoms before they wilt n' melt in the sun!



Crown of thorns.

Not a great shot, I know, but I was trying to get several blooms in one...yellow and orange

pride of Barbados, sunflowers and majestic sage, in the shade.

Up close they look ratty, but from the road, they're cheerful as ever!

Okra! Destined to part of dinner tonight with the last of the tomatoes.

Pigeon berry...spreading from the one that remained after the garden tour 3 years ago. I had planted 6 small 4" pots that I'd found on sale...only to have them trampled by wee ones. Anyway, of the one that made it, several have sprung up!

Inland sea oats...for the birds.

Empty chilli petin caps...burdz done et 'em.

Texas Hibiscus...hummer food!

Passion flower vine...for the Fritillary butterfly.

Butterfly weed... Monarch butterfly food.

This is the Rocket Crape Myrtle that I planted across the street to replace one of the trees that didn't make it. Isn't she a lovely color?

People food...figs, arugula and persimmon...squint hard or enlarge to see.


My first cantaloupe ever!

I was unable to get a great shot of the buddleia or butterfly bush and the Chaste tree with the cantaloupe vine climbing up to the top...but you get the picture. Two truckloads of mulch has really made a difference! I hope you are out in your garden in the wee hours of the morning...the best time of the day! Plus, today I got the extra benefit of watching the purple martins do their acrobatics while petting my sweet orange porch cat Sappho Moon.

Happy Gardening!

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!