Thursday, March 29, 2007


That's what they said last evening, but it was a rather shocking surprise this morning to find that 4-6 inches had sneakily fallen overnight. Even the weather man was surprised.
When I got home from work this afternoon I had to check on the new bulb bed I planted last fall under the little amur maple. No sign of the daffodils that had been perky the day before but I can see the hyacinths are tucked in nicely, and even a tulip or two.
Off the back patio everything is sporting a crown of snow. You can see from the flagstones that the snow didn't stick to surfaces that had been warmed considerably by our 60-plus degree days we've enjoyed recently. The guy that aerates the lawn was supposed to come today. He's rescheduled for next Monday but the forecast is...cloudy with a chance of showers.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Back to reality

I knew I should have put this pot away last fall. Not sure why I didn't.

This one is history too.

I should have put away the garden hoses also. I can barely see them under all the pods from the Honey Locust tree.

The wood pile is falling over, the snow blasted the green paint off that wicker chair, and yes, more seed pods all over the lower patio.

Hmm, last fall this was a twig settee, now it's a pile of sticks with an upside down birdhouse (the raccoons did it) smack in the middle of it. Okay, I'm not really very sad about all this. The blue pot was a garage sale purchase a few years ago and it came complete with a crack. I always positioned it on the pedestal with the damage toward the back. Its demise was only a matter of time. Same for the twig settee, it's been "planted" in a flower bed for 15 years, ever since it got too unstable to sit on. As for the clay pot, I do that every year, no surprises there. And the darn pods...actually I wouldn't have had the heart to post these pictures if I hadn't already started cleaning them up. The trash man took away 8 of the 55-gallon-size leaf bags full of them this morning.

Being a lazy gardener I never clean up in the fall. It's just my nature. All the grasses and plants wither away wherever they happen to grow and die. And come spring it makes for the most desolate-looking landscape. So when I get started in the garden the change is utterly amazing and I feel like I really accomplished something!

The thrill of seeing green growing things again makes it all worthwhile. This pussywillow languished in an unsuitable location for a few years and never grew more than a couple feet tall until I finally moved it to a better spot near my kitchen window. Now it's one of the first things to bud in Spring and has become a tall tree.

So back to reality, and that means back to the garden!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Home again, home again...

And suddenly it's spring at home! After warming my tootsies in sunny Mexico for a few weeks I came home to find that all the huge snow mounds had melted, my street was no longer a one-lane plowed track, and the tulips and daffodils were poking up. I swear I brought the warm weather home with me. Also lots of memories of Mexico. And a new life bird.

I'd stopped to admire this Royal Poinciana tree on the way to breakfast one morning. This is not something I ever see at home. I thought the flowers looked like tulips until I looked at it closely. The individual blossoms are actually orchid-shaped but they grow in large clusters. While I was taking it all in, this guy landed.

This is a Golden-Cheeked Woodpecker. Wow, what a bird! As soon as I spotted the red and yellow head I knew it was a life bird for me. And since I've misplaced my Mexican bird book somewhere I had to immediately head off to the American Book Store and look it up in their Mexican field guide. Such excitement. I treated myself to this great Pina Colada for breakfast.

And then I had the entree. I did gain six pounds while I was gone. I made sure to eat a lot of fish for dinner but I think that was probably offset by the lovely breakfasts like this, and perhaps the Pina Coladas.

Mostly, I hung out on the balcony and watched the ocean and the people on the beach, and read books. I brought nine along and had to scrounge a few more left behind by departing tourists.

I did get up occasionally and move around. On one of those occasions I visited a new botanical gardens which was started two years ago. Look at all those bouganvilleas. They make the lone plant that I winter over look pathetic. The hacienda below is the main building for the gardens. It not only houses an impressive collection of botanical books to peruse but also a restaurant and a gift shop (they didn't take credit cards which is probably a good thing for me). The owners live in half of the second floor. Nice set-up.

There's something about gauze curtains blowing in the breeze that speaks to me. Add flowers, birds, the ocean, and warm weather and I'm in tropical heaven.

So, back to reality. It's a good thing we now have an extra hour of daylight so now that I'm finally caught up at work, I can spend some time in my shattered garden in the evenings. Then catch up on all your blogs. And dream of lazy days in Mexico!