Archive for February, 2010

Serious Snow*

February 25, 2010

Snowfall, let alone any accumulation, is a very rare sight indeed in Austin. The poor pup isn’t quite sure what to make of it.

The cabbage is snug under a peaceful white blanket.

I really can’t believe how much snow we had. I was at work during the snowfall so I didn’t get to see the garden in person. My nice boyfriend took these pictures after being sent home from the office at 10AM due to the weather! C’mon Austinites, it’s not that much snow!

* this snowfall happened on Tuesday, February 23. I’m not really into a posting groove yet so I’m a little delayed.

Belated Bloom Day

February 18, 2010

I know I’m a little behind the times here, but I was out in New Mexico for business on the actual Bloom Day. I got home after sunset last night and was so excited to see these Mexican plum (I think) blossoms on the little tree we inherited from the previous owners when I took the dog out early this morning. I love pink and these blossoms are fantastic! Yay, spring is HERE!!

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have some foliage shots 🙂

Afraid of the dirt

February 13, 2010

Yes, I am afraid of the dirt. Or, more specifically, I am afraid of messing up the dirt. And not just the dirt, but the plants, animals, bacteria, and everything else that makes dirt so wonderfully dirt-y. If you’ve seen any earlier posts you’ll know that I’ve barely conquered this fear and merely covered it over with cardboard to wait out what is turning into the longest, coldest and most uncool Austin winter yet. But I must get back to my point here. Gardening can be very scary when you’ve never really grown anything at all and then find yourself the owner of a big wonderful space where you can finally grow your own organic vegetables but haven’t the slightest idea of what to do. And that is why I urge all of you to make friends with a garden designer or someone who can help you measure and PLAN.

This blog is quite truthfully an homage to dear Chloe who braved the Texas heat in August to measure, draw, discuss and dream up the current plan. And this brings me back to the importance of a good plan that reflects the garden you want to spend the sweaty hours making into something that might be considered more than just a patch of weeds.

Not too long ago I spent my lunch hour reading garden blogs and came across this post at J Peterson Garden Design that highlighted Rachel Mathews, a British garden designer, who has an awesome blog and newsletter you can sign up for all about garden design. The most recent email I received is all about how the interested novice can design a fabulous garden (and perhaps make it better than a professional could) and it reminded me of my fading fear.

Chloe and I spent the week and half she was here looking through gardening magazines, websites, blogs, and books. (We also ate tons of Texas barbecue and Mexican food, saw the bats and enjoyed other Austin highlights. I’m not a terrible hostess!) We stood in the yard at all times of the day to see the shadows and walk our imaginary paths to get a feel for the structure we had sketched on paper. And we discussed the virtues of geometric shapes over organic free form and I argued for circles instead of a series of rectangles. (Chloe is an architect by training and she put her foot down when it came to aemoba-shaped beds. She simply could not make her pencil draw those forms.) We had a ball. If you’ve read Rachel’s post you’ll see this the advantage novices have over hired professionals.

After Chloe went back to her more temperate northeast life and it cooled down to the mid-nineties in Austin, I decided to tackle the garden. Part of my strategy involved contacting Jeremy who owns BioGardener for some pint-sized help. Maybe he thought I was a bit nuts. I showed him the plan Chloe and I had made along with a long list of carefully research perennials for the butterfly/hummer corner and he looked me in the eye and asked me what I thought he could do to help me. Secretly I was hoping he would look at the plan and my list of carefully (obsessively) researched plants and tell me he could whip the whole garden into shape for a little bit of money and we’d be finished. Ah, silly girl, a garden is never finished. Instead, he affirmed that the shade-less area was indeed full sun, had great dirt, and I should get some plants into it posthaste.

I’m working on it and will someday have all the beds outlined, seasonally planned and planted, and include those fun sculptural accents and other touches that personalize one’s outdoor space.

Alliumlicious!

February 2, 2010

I recently planted the onions and leeks I ordered from Dixondale Farms back in November. I hope I didn’t plant them too late in the season to get a good harvest. Here’s  a pic of the garlic planted back in November over by the roses along the deck. It’s growing quite well although I’m not sure the garlic harvest will be very delish as I just used grocery store garlic. At least the roses will get some benefit from sharing a bed with garlic.

I scratched some garlic chive seeds into the soil at some point in the past couple of months. Here is the progress so far.

They are only a few inches tall but quite strong. I’m sure they’ll grow up into fine specimens.