There's no real rhyme or reason to today's post ... it's just a random collection of recollections, thoughts & musings about what's been going on with me since my last post. Last weekend, as seen in the picture, I wasn't home to post OR to work in the gardens. I woke early this morning, so I donned my gardening togs and headed out to the corner bed, thinking I'd get some weeding and clean-up done before the sun made it to that spot. I had such grandiose plans: once I'd cleaned up that bed and moved rocks around, I'd make a trip to the soil yard for more mulch, then come back & spread it where needed. Having spent most of yesterday afternoon in and around that corner bed, it didn't seem overly optimistic of me to think I could do this. What I hadn't factored into the agenda was the oppressive level of humidity. Evidently yesterday's unseasonably dry air was the result of an all too short-lived cool front. So I hung up my long-handled Cobrahead and came inside to have my first cup of coffee and read the paper. I did venture back out to water a few containers, at which time I was also seized by the need to pull up and pot a Brugmansia that's been languishing in the south bed. I couldn't look at it in that spot another day ... so now I'm looking at it in another spot.The Brug is not as ugly, however, as this poor pitiful Clematis texensis 'Gravetye Beauty'. Is it afflicted by the dreaded Clematis wilt or is it merely (!) a victim of drought? The posting of this picture may cause my readers to question my talents (or lack thereof) as a gardener, which I quite reasonably wonder about myself. Anyway, after some judicious pruning and a thorough watering, I chose to be optimistic that the plant would begin to perk up. I will NOT post a picture in illustration of its failure to do so. Poor pitiful thing, it doesn't like our heat and humidity any better than I do.
Let's turn our attention to happier things. This is a partial view of an area in the back 40 which I reworked in late spring. See that rock on the ground in front of the birdbath? That's Smithley Rock, a new addition to the garden. We spent this past weekend at Inks Lake in Burnet, Texas, enjoying a getaway with longtime friends. We took a small hike up a mountainside to check out the view on one couple's retirement property, and I caused a great deal of comment and merriment with my exclamations over the geological wonders of the hillside. Shoot, I thought I was quite restrained in my collection efforts: I only picked up five rocks out of the thousands to be found there. Later on that day, as three of the guys in our group were traversing country roads, they found themselves unable to resist the impulse to wrestle a large boulder into the truck in 90+ degree heat and bring it back for me. Of course, they probably considered it an added pleasure to picture my spouse's reaction to their placement of this boulder in the trunk of his car. (That made me laugh, too.) In their honor, I christened this beauteous boulder John Smithley Rock and it will be a happy reminder of my fellow Inksters whenever I see it.
In keeping with my fondness for mysteries, I'm not going to say much about the other garden treasure I found at a little antiques & gift shop in Burnet. It was leaning against the side of the building and it called my name as we were leaving. When something speaks to me, I've learned to listen ... I'd have had to turn a deaf ear this time if there hadn't been a truck in which to bring it home! Y'all are curious now, aren't you? All I'll say is that it's green but it's not living. I'll unveil it in a later post.
Back to rocks, aren't these two cool? A friend's daughter found them in Santa Barbara and brought them back for me. I have some very generous and indulgent friends and I love them dearly, not because they bring me things but because of the spirit prompting those gifts. It's a blessing to be understood and loved for your eccentricities as well as indulged in them.
That reminded me that I've never shown y'all a picture of a Mother's Day present from my sister, who is the most generous and indulgent of friends and someone for whom I am thankful on a daily basis. This is Leon, who's named after Houston Chronicle columnist Leon Hale. I realize some people might consider it a dubious honor to have an armadillo named after them but I hope Mr. Hale isn't one of them.
I didn't spot any live armadillos over the weekend but we did see deer grazing on the golf course across the lake. There were vultures soaring and purple martins swooping, and a heron sailed across the lake to land in the shallows Saturday evening when the boat traffic had died down. What a treat it was to sit out on the patio at night and listen to the lake lapping at the shore as we stared up into the skies. The stars at night really are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas! Saturday night we also watched lightning over the hills in the distance and hoped that rain was falling somewhere. It was surprisingly windy so we had to forego our plans for a fire in the firepit. We were all too full from dinner to eat somemores anyway!
As we drove up into the hills, we saw native Texas Prairie Bluebells along the roads and in fields, thriving in the heat and drought, and I had one of those "ah-ha!" moments. Finally I understand why I have such trouble growing Lisianthus/Eustoma in my garden beds: the soil is nothing like that in the Texas Hill Country. Obviously these plants like it lean and mean ... I've been killing them with kindness. I have to say that the weekend really brought home to me the difference between too little rain and real drought. The only green plants to be seen were the omnipresent cedar (the overabundance of which explains why Hill Country residents who suffer from cedar fever are so miserable when it's pollinating).
I'll close for today with a picture of the summer's first plumeria blooms. I don't know if this one is a named variety or a seedling plant, I just know that it came from my friend in Corpus Christi. I wish I could send the fragrance into cyberspace so y'all could enjoy it, too!