If you garden, you'll understand what I mean when I call myself a Horthead. When I first started gardening on this corner of Katy, I had no clue where it would lead me. But down the garden path I went. Almost 11 years later, what started out as a fairly typical suburban landscape is now anything but (the yard police have not always been tolerant but they appear to have thrown up their hands and resigned themselves in recent years).
There's more garden than grass to be found here on my corner lot. In my saner moments, I wonder what in the HECK possessed me to create so many planting areas ... then there are moments when the urge to expand hits me and at the end of the day, there's a little less lawn than there was at the beginning. I could argue that those fits of lawn reduction are actually an altruistic act of marital devotion. Since my spouse (to whom I refer as my executive producer) complains about having to lift the mower up and down because there are 3 separate areas of grass in the front/side yards, I'm working on eliminating one of those areas, thus sparing him the arduous effort of hauling the mower from the north 20 to the south 20. This corner bed is in between the north 40 and north 20.
I call mine a Texas cottage garden: there's nothing highly structured or formal about any of the areas. There's no grass at all in the back yard: just garden beds and paths. The picture to your right is the view as you enter the back 40 from the driveway. As you might suspect, I'm aiming for a look of controlled chaos. Wildscaping and habitat gardening are big interests, so I plant a lot of flowers for the birds, bees, and butterflies. As in traditional English cottage gardens (or my perception of them), plants are allowed to reseed themselves freely so that it's never the same from one year to the next. I like change ... although I have been told that my plants should have wheels because I move them so often. I consider it an exercise in stretching myself as a gardener.
We gardeners have a highly personal relationship with weather: here in South Central Texas, most of us both bemoan and bless the fact that we can garden year-round. Some of us develop strange one-sided relationships with the TV weather forecasters. A friend of mine falls into a funk each time her favored forecaster departs Houston for another station: mere days later, she has transferred her affections to the replacement, despite my warnings that it can only end in heartbreak. I myself have what I know to be an unreasonable animus for Dr. Neil Frank ever since Hurricane Rita didn't hit us. That's probably because I spent a good two days needlessly hauling in plants and yard art in anticipation of the havoc they could wreak when hurled about by hurricane force winds. I blame Dr. Neil for all the time I lost, both moving things in and then back out again. I refuse to watch him on the news and have been known to hurl insults if he appears during commercials. Yet I continue to read his forecast in the paper each day, because I'm a gardener and I feel the need to know what my gardens and I can expect in the days to come. This frequently results in muttered imprecations on my part and the shaking of heads on that of my family. I don't expect them to understand ... they don't garden.
I'd been unable to do much gardening myself for the past 3 weeks, owing to an unexpected surgical adventure. It's been difficult to stay out of the garden at this time of year, when much of it is at its peak. Blogging about the garden has been a good way to keep myself inside and away from the temptation to do too much digging, pruning, planting, weeding, etc. Although I joined the blogging world back in December when I started a garden blog on the Houston Chronicle's reader blogsite, the problems some readers have had linking to that site have led me to Blogger, where I set up this blog and Carpe Rutila (where I installed Twitter so I can keep track of my gardening activities, bloom dates, etc). Right now I'm thinking I'll use Carpe Rutila as more of a garden journal ... but I'm looking forward to talking about it with fellow bloggers at the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling this coming weekend. For those who'd like to read my past posts on my original blog, here's the link: From My Corner of Katy. (This post is an amended version of my first post there.)