Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Changing Landscape

May 12, 2016

The Mama was quite proud of her lawn. Green. Manicured. Weedless.

When she no longer could take care of the lawn, she hired a lawn guy, which was a great luxury for the Mama. When that got too expensive, she sighed and accepted that the lawn would be cut during my monthly visit. Then, when the Husband and I moved in with the Mama, the lawn became the Husband's job.

As the drought became a real thing, watering the lawn was a luxury, as well as an ongoing skirmish between the Mama and me. The Husband continued watering it, but not as often or as much. The Mama took to watering it when we were gone, if she felt the lawn was fading.

I was very happy when the City finally decreed a water rationing and a $500 fine for using too much water. "You have to decide," I said to the Mama, "water for your vegetable garden or the lawn. You can't have both for now."

The lawn faded. The Mama sighed. The Mama complained. Fortunately, the lawn came back after the winter rains.

We had a steady rainy season this past winter. The lawn was thick with greenness. The Mama was very happy. "I wish the lawn would be green like this all the time," the Mama often said to us, as she looked out the window while we ate lunch.

I'm glad the lawn thrived for the Mama as her body was winding down.

Only nature has watered the lawn since the Mama has left us.

The Husband and I like a green lawn, too, but to have one when our water source is depleting is simply not a good idea. In May we planned to hire someone to pull out the lawn so that we could put in a drought-resistant landscape. This and that, and that and this, put that plan down on the list.

More than two weeks ago, on the Mama's birthday, I dug out a small portion of the lawn and planted three of the Mama's overgrown potted jade plants. Yesterday, I dug out a bit more of the lawn, which is how it will be, a little bit at a time. I've already heard other plants of the Mama's saying they'd like to hang out on her once-upon-a-time lawn.

While I was working yesterday, I saw and heard crows cawing and watching me from across the street. I like to think that the Mama's spirit was saying, "It's your lawn now. Do what you want. It looks good."

September 12, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Sunflower Grows

For the past 12 summers, a summer isn't summer without sunflowers growing somewhere in the front, back, or side of the house. I sowed the first sunflower seeds, and until this year, the Mama sowed seeds from the previous year's harvest.

I tossed the seeds about the backyard too late, meaning after the last of the rain. And, me watering sporadically and forgetting where I had tossed the seeds, not a sunflower was to be seen.

Then. Last week, I saw that spindly sunflower smiling at me as I was watering flowers.

I'll do better next year.

I'm linking up with Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by jesh stg. Click here to join in and/or to check out other blogs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Mama's Apples

Two of Mama's apple trees are producing quite a lot of fruit this year, unlike the past two or three years. Some of you already know about the story of her apple trees. So, please bear with me as I say again that the Mama's apple trees started from seeds of apples that the Mama ate about 28 years ago.

The Mama was told:

"They'll never grow into trees."

 "They'll never bear fruit."

 "You won't be around long enough for the trees to grow and bear fruit."

Ha. Ha. And, Ha!

The Mama tasted many years worth of apples from her trees.

Today begins a new round of the alphabet at ABC Wednesday, a delightful weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continuing under the administration of Roger Green and his ABCW team.  Click here to join in or to check out what bloggers are writing about the letter A.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Some Are Growing, Summer Eating

This morning I plucked the orange cherry tomatoes in the photo from the limbs of Jo. Yes, those are tiny orange tomatoes. When the first ones ripened, I wondered why they weren't getting red. It's a good thing the short-term memory box of mine kicked in before the fruits dropped off their branches.

Led Zeppelin and Valerie are producing fruit, too. Barely. They're bravely keeping their tiny fruit going. I haven't been very good about remembering to water the trio, especially during the hot days. When I do water them, I don't promise that I'll be better about the task. I hate breaking promises.

The yellow fruit in the photo are Asian pears, which are from our small tree.  It has produced a big crop this year because of the winter rains. I'm picking the fruit as they ripen. I wish the Mama was here to enjoy them.

I'm sharing today's post at Seasons, a fun weekly meme hosted by Jeanette of St Germain's Blog. Please click here to join in and/or check out the other participants.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Wagon Full of Rocks

Last week, the Husband and I rediscovered the landscaping supply store outside of town. Our original intent was to merely check out  the ground covering alternatives for a future pull-out-the-front-lawn project. When I came across the pit full of tiny rocks, I had to have some. So, I got about 5 pounds for about two dollars. What a bargain!

I went home and proceeded to quickly use them in cup planters that I was putting together. So, of course, the next day, we went back to the store and I bought 10 pounds. I went home, and, yup, within a couple of hours I was down to a small bowl full of stones. I wasn't close to potting and repotting all the Mama's plants.

To make sure I did something else the rest of the week, I didn't go to the store. Good, girl, me.

Yesterday morning, I broke down and the Husband and I drove to the store and went home with four bags full of stones for a total of 120 pounds. Ha! We'll see how long that lasts.

By the way, that's only two bags full of rocks in the red wagon.

Talk about talking about nothing, huh?

It's the letter W at ABC Wednesday. Click here to join the weekly meme or/and check out more W posts by bloggers around the world.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Various Varieties

This is what I've been doing with some of the Mama's various varieties of cups. 

This is what I've been doing with some of the Mama's various varieties of plants that need to be put into pots or repotted.

I'm having a lot of fun.

It's the letter V at ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out the other participants or to link up with the weekly meme started by Denise Nesbitt and continued today by the ABCW team headed by Roger Green.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Three Amigas

Photos for this week's Friday's Hunt, hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills, include:
• Starts with T
• Week's favorite
• Evening 

My favorite photo is of the three different types of tomato plants that are now residing together in my first veggie garden in a long time.  Meet Jo, Led Zeppelin, and Valerie, from left to right.  Jo is already sporting a tiny tomato. Yaay! Led Zeppelin is quite a survivor, having almost dried up. And, Valerie is a volunteer and quite a fuzzy gal.

The three amigas are nightshade plants. Nightshade, evening. Close enough.  

To join in on the fun and/or see what photos other participants are sharing, please click here

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Surprise: Apple Blossoms!

When Molly the Cat and I opened the curtains in the living room this morning, the first thing we noticed was the puddle of water on the patio.

"Look, Molly! It rained during the night." Noticing the white petals in the puddle, I glanced up at the apple tree. "Apple blossoms!"

Molly the Cat looked out the window, posed in her So are we going outside to explore further stance. She didn't seem as pleased about the apple blossoms as the Mama and the Husband did when I told them.

It may be a good year for apples from that tree, which the Mama planted from seeds 28 years ago.

I'm hooking up with Seasons, a new weekly meme hosted by Jeanette at St Germain's Blog. Click here to check out other participants.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Another Pruning Job

This afternoon the Husband and I pruned the Miracle Tree. Saw-saw-swear-saw. Clip-swear-clip-clip. We were three branches away from finishing when Only and Older Bionic Brother surprised us with a visit. Whooo-hooo! He came out to watch us complete our job and that brought out the Mama. The first time she set foot in the backyard since October. Whooo-hooo! 

Thankfully, it was a warm day. The Mama's eyes were good from afar. She couldn't resist. "Cut that branch." "And, that branch." I was perched on the ladder at a weird angle so it took me awhile to find "And, that branch." The Brother's eyes for pruning were still good. "You want to cut that one so it doesn't grow towards the house."

Only and older Brother stayed the afternoon. Hurrah! That also meant the Husband and I didn't have to deal with the yucky part of the pruning job—snipping, cutting, and bagging the branches, leaves, and seed pods—until tomorrow. That's okay. It was great seeing Only and Older Brother.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Jade Plants and a Rose

I didn't notice the good-luck jade plants growing next to the Mama's red rose bush by the patio until I started playing with this photo in Photoshop. Now, why did I think the jade plant in the front yard is the only one sporting white flowers? Silly me.

The red rose was what caught my eye the other morning when Molly the Cat and I went out to stalk a squirrel we saw tiptoeing along the fence. A bird distracted Molly from the squirrel. Not good hunters are we. Which is just as well. After all, what would we do with the squirrel had we caught it.  Fortunate squirrel.

From the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and Me, Su-sieee! Mac:   
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2015


The Mama's persimmon tree gave us an abundant crop this year. We're sharing the fruit on the top branches with the birds and squirrels. I told them to leave the lower branches for us. So far, so good.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Warm-hearted Rose

We've had frosty mornings for the past two weeks now. I'm pretty much used to it now. Yesterday, I noticed a rose bud waving as I was raking leaves in the backyard. Then I noticed several more here and there around the yard. They are the Mama's blooms.

Today, I'm linking up with Warm Heart Wednesday, a new meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Click here to read joyful posts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Patiently Waiting

Our original avocado tree has about 30 fruits. The Mama and I counted them a few weeks ago.

I learned that avocados start to ripen once they're picked, and the best place to store avocados are on their trees. Up until a point. And, that's when they look like they're about to shrivel, which means they'll soon fall. Those we won't want to eat. I'm sure the Mama would still say, "Nothing wrong with them." Anyway, I don't want the avocados to get to that point.

Maybe after Thanksgiving, we can pick an avocado and see if it'll ripen in two weeks. Yummmm. Knock on wood.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Mama's Happy

Today is a sunny day, but quite chilly because of the wind factor. According to the thermometer, it's about 52 degrees in the sun.

Molly the Cat came inside about 20 minutes ago. How about the Mama?

The Mama says it's colder inside, even with the heater on.

She'd come in if the garden happened to be inside.  Maybe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ten Minutes on the Ladder Today

Rattle, rattle, rattle.

"Sounds like the Mama is playing with the ladders," said the Husband. We were in our office in the front of the house. Fortunately, we can hear the rattle of ladders through the window.

I sighed. Looking away from the computer, I said, "It's time to give her medicine anyway."

* * * * *
The Mama stood holding onto the fruitless persimmon tree, the six-foot ladder propped on the ground next to her feet. She looked both guiltily and defiantly at me.

"What are you doing?"

"I need to prune the persimmon tree," she said.

"Here, take your medicine," I said, handing her a cup of water and the pill box. "Move away. Let me do it."

"I can do it," she said.

"Yes, you can. But, I'm doing it," I said, struggling to put the ladder in the narrow space.

"Just those two branches shooting straight up," she said. "Not the one with the fruit."

Climbing the ladder, I saw that she had already cut a few branches that she was able to reach from the ground or standing on her three-foot ladder. I sighed.

* * * * *
"Don't cut the branch with the persimmon."

"That's an apple," I said.

"That's a persimmon."

"No, it's an apple."



"Are you telling me that the persimmon tree now makes apples?" she asked in her you're-crazy-how-are-you-my-daughter voice.

"It's a branch from the apple tree," I said in my you're-nuts-how-are-you-my-mother voice.

"Show me the apple branch," she demanded from below.

I pulled down the persimmon branch. The apple hung clearly from its branch.

The Mama laughed.  I laughed.

"I thought the persimmon tree finally had fruit," said the Mama.

"Shall I cut off the branch?"

"Go ahead."

Altogether, it took me 10 minutes to prune the fruitless persimmon tree, which would've taken the Mama half an hour. I quite enjoyed it—the sawing, the clipping,  the precarious perch on the ladder, and the following of instructions from the Mama as she sat on her tiny green bench beneath me.

No doubt, the Mama missed that very satisfying feeling of standing on the ladder pruning away.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Mama's Vegetable Garden

Here's a treat for you and me—a photo of the Mama's vegetable garden in the late 1990s. I'd say this is probably late February or early March. Are you as surprised as I am how few fruit trees and flower bushes were back there?

The Miracle Tree, by the shed on the right, was spindly. And, the apple tree way in the corner wasn't visible. Only the lemon tree, on the left, was going strong.

The Mama's vegetable garden was much bigger back then.  She was in her mid-70s. A youngster.

Here's how her garden looked this morning.  It's smaller and much of it is not visible. The lemon tree is hidden behind the apple and avocado trees. You still can't see the apple tree in the corner, which is now very tall, because of everything else.

I can hardly wait to show the Mama the photos.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Poor Tree

The ornamental pear tree in our front yard is totally mixed up. Flowers are blooming on some of its branches. They are definitely pretty, but that's not supposed to happen in October.

Nor, for that matter in December or January. That was going on last year and earlier this year.

Some branches bloomed in mid or late Spring when they are supposed to do their thing.

I don't think it's because of the drought. This tree is said to tolerate drought conditions. I think it's the hot temperatures we've been having the last two months that's causing some flowers to bloom.

We have yet to see flowers bloom on every branch at the same time. If it did, wowza, I imagine it to look like a tree full of snow.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Peppers & Persimmons

Sounds like a nice title for something -- Peppers & Persimmons. Or, perhaps, Persimmons & Peppers. Maybe without the ampersand, and italicized: Peppers and Persimmons; or, Persimmons and Peppers.

The pepper plants have been kind to us this year. Three of four fruits every couple of weeks.

The persimmons are slowly ripening on the tree. We're going to have an extra good crop this year. 

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Four-O-Clock Flowers

Pink four-o-clock flowers have been growing crazily and happily around the front and back yards this summer. These are among the late bloomers. The flowers open up in the afternoon, hence the name. Supposedly they stay open through the night.

Four-o-clock flowers are annuals. They're also called the Marvel of Peru, where the lovely flowers originated in the Andes Mountains. Four-o-clock flower and Marvel of Peru are both very pretty names. So is it's technical name—Mirabilis jalapa.

They showed up a couple of years ago in the front yard, near the sidewalk, just on our side of the property line. Mama saved the seeds from last year's blooms and threw them along the fence in the back and north side of the house.  I tossed them in the lawn, but nothing came up. Weeds did, so maybe I threw some other seeds. I won't get it wrong for next year.  The Mama has a large bucket full of seeds already, and I collected my own small bucket of seeds to toss around. We shall see what happens next year.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Long, Lanky, and Loves Rosemary

This cute bug dropped by as I was working in the front garden this morning. I have no clue what he or she is. Nor where it came from. I suppose it flew onto the rosemary bush.

Next thing I knew the bug was chomping away on the rosemary! 

Okay, a Google search of rosemary-eating bugs showed round beetles. Nothing long and lanky as this dude or dudette.  Anyone have an idea?