Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Freddy The Frog

A close up of the new pond mascot.
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But of course the weather got hot again!

The little plastic "pond" seemed to be drying up every day instead of every few days so I figured it must have a crack in it somewhere and time had arrived to replace it. Being cheap, paying $8.99 for something I'd be able to find for $5.00 or less in another month, wasn't an option. (yes, I can be frugal. Then again, I can go broke saving money too..) Besides, that blue was getting on my nerves. The weather had been in the very tolerable 80°range for the past week or ten days so I decided I didn't really need to have my own personal pool in Phoebe's yard anymore.
My own personal pool.
It quickly got drained and rolled into the front yard. While filling, it was "fitted" with various lengths of old drain pipe, and then with the water loving plants. oh, and the duck decoys. (Much less messy than the real thing and never molested by marauding raccoons.)
And THEN, I found this fabulous bejeweled frog-on-a-reed (not to be confused with the interesting things-on-a-stick found in China) on sale at Pier 1. Believe it or not, I'm not usually into quirky frogs but this one is absolutely perfect.

Of course you know the tempertures shot right back into the 90°'s the very moment the pool became a pond. And as you must see, there is no room for an over-heated human amid the plants.

Must go play in the sprinklers now.......
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Aint it the truth!

Rather than throw away a small piece of chicken wire I decided to attempt to copy Angela's "chair basket" yesterday. And voila!

This particular thyme plant has been surviving against all odds in a hanging basket, hidden behind a fluffy, leafy branch of lilac in Phoebe's yard. The secret to its survival, it seems, is that I'd planted it in a plastic bag last year so it held the moisture I'd infrequently remembered to give it. Hopefully the deer won't dine on it now that its within their probing, hungry, chomping parts. The fawns seem to have to taste quite a bit of something before they decide its not palatable.

And then, of course, a rock had to be found for the profound thought...
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Phoebe's phlowers

A couple things happened. One, I'm not moving to Oregon any time soon so all those things in pots voted to be planted in the ground. Two, I just finished Willie Nelson's book "The Tao of Willie" which was a great reminder to live every day NOW. Interesting; I've always liked Willie's music and now I find that we agree on politics and religion too. Who'da guessed.

Phoebe's yard has been mostly a patch of Bermuda grass and a lot of pots. That is changing now. Not to mention that her yard is safe from the herd of deer! Woo-Hoo!! The dog's yard is also about 25' x 45' so there's plenty of room to put stuff. Somebody does need to come prune the dickens out of the olive tree/jasmine/trumpet vine tower. (beware of vines. They can and do get away from domestic behavior and turn rapidly feral!) and just how they will do that remains to be seen. Perhaps a couple of monkeys with saws? There is no access for a "cherry picker" to get into that yard and close to the tree cum vine tower.
Though Phoebe still behaves with puppy-like enthusiasm she does not tear up flower beds (watch me eat those words) nor does she have the habit of sprawling her body on/in them. Sprawl on the couch, the bed, the lawn, the gravel driveway, any available lap, yes. On flowers and shrubs, no.

The fun thing about this bed, along with being able to stick things in the ground instead of pots, is that it just keeps growing! What started out as a 6' x 3' bed is now about a 15" x 3' bed and it will probably continue to expand. It gets sun most of the day in the summer months. Not sure how things will enjoy a totally shady winter but figure they'll deal with it.
Another fun thing is finding neglected plants in the big yard that can be transplanted into the little yard at no cost. Hmmm...I could move some Chinese ground orchids into this bed as well. And what about those overgrown and ceder needle covered Queens Tears? Yeah!

It will never be "done" and that's one of the great things about gardening. There's always an excuse for playing in the dirt... I was playing in this very dirt 60 years ago...and it is just as much fun now as it was then. 63 going on 3. Whoopie!!

The drawback to this project is realizing that Phoebe can't have doggie friends over for awhile lest they play tag in the middle of all this lushness. Maybe I can figure out a temporary fence should impending canine company be on the schedule.

Among other things, planted here are Campanula pyramidalis (white) that had been in a pot and which had been constantly pruned by the deer. This morning I can see the white of the impending flowers! Also, Ecballium elaterum "Squirting cucumber" which was not bothered by the deer but which was not doing much, certainly not squirting, in a pot. There Are Angelonias, Love-In-A-mist "African Bride", Cuphea cyanea "Caribbean Sunset", Lisianthus "Echo pink Picotee", Salvia "hummingbird coral", Salvia splendens "Sparkler purple", Gerber daisy, pinks, basil, and "Black Lace" elderberry...Santa Barbara daisies...the list goes on...

I'd rather be gardening but must get ready for my real job in the real world.
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