Friday, June 21, 2013

Hello, Cowgirl in The Tub ... *

For several years now, I've been talking about getting a galvanized steel stock tank to use as a cowgirl bathtub outside.  Last week I finally stopped talking and took action.  I hopped into FloraBob, my little green truck, and we headed south to American Fence & Supply Company in League City, which had the style of stock tank I wanted: a 2 foot wide, 1 foot deep, 6 foot long tank with ribbed sides.  AFS employees loaded it into the truck bed and away I went! 

Since I was already so far south, I headed over to Bacliff to pick up some sculptures from nurseryman/artist Mark Fox (more on those in a future post).  From there I headed over to Seabrook, home to Maas Nursery. On the way, there I was happily surprised to discover a place from my past: Casa Mare, a Girl Scout camp on Galveston Bay where my troop spent many happy hours.  I doubt there's ever been another camp house like it and it was bittersweet to see conventional single story dorms standing in the spot where a grand mansion once reigned.  Take a look at this photograph and then read this article by freelance writer Susan Perry Benson, and you'll understand my feelings.

I continued on to Maas Nursery and despite my promise to the Head Gardener that I wouldn't do any planting within 2 weeks of the Garden Bloggers' Fling in San Francisco, I left Maas with a summer phlox and an orange echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'.  And because I was feeling more than little peckish, I drove on over to Galveston and picked up a shrimp po-boy at Shrimp N Stuff.  I drove along the seawall, munching my sandwich and enjoying the view of the ocean.  It was a great way to spend my day.  As for the reason for the trip, I don't know why I didn't treat myself to a cowgirl swimming pool years ago!  It makes gardening in the heat and humidity much more bearable!

*I've been listening to a lot of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on Pandora lately ... apologies to Neil Young for messing with his lyrics.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Where We've Been & Where We're Going: 2013

I did take a couple of days off to visit my sister in Austin and thought I'd
share some pictures from that trip here.  This is a planting in the parking lot of
a shopping center on Lamar Road in Austin.
A friend asked me recently if I'd stopped blogging.   It's understandable that she and other readers might wonder.  May and June are always hectic here on my corner of Katy and the Head Gardener is a hard taskmistress.  She maintains the attitude that she's in a frantic race with Mother Nature to accomplish all the garden tasks the HG deems not merely necessary, but imperative.  She has me out there until I'm ready to drop, readying the gardens for the onslaught of The Awful.*  

I passed this INCREDIBLE Texas Olive (Cordia bossier) as I was driving 
through an Austin neighborhood.

This means that every year I have to listen to her telling me how we are going to reduce the number of container plantings OR replant those containers with water-wise plants  in order to minimize the amount of quality time we spend with the hose.  I'm also familiar with her decided opinion (and she is unanimous in that) that no perennial plants, shrubs, or trees should be purchased after May 15th because the risk of losing them to heat stress is too great.   Do I listen? Of course not.  I bought a summer phlox and an orange echinacea on Tuesday last at Maas Nursery in Seabrook.  And there are 2 pink skullcaps awaiting planting too.  As I tell the HG and my friends, I don't gamble at casinos ... I do it at nurseries.  I especially like to gamble at nurseries in different planting zones ... in 2011, I brought home plants from Seattle and in 2012, from Asheville.  I'm sure 2013 will be no different and I'll return from San Francisco with more than a few plants.  
A pond and sculpture at East Austin Succulents/Tillery Street Plant Company.
Yes, in less than 2 weeks, I'm headed to San Francisco to meet up with other garden bloggers for the 6th annual Garden Bloggers Fling. This is my first visit to the City by the Bay and I'm not sure what has me the most excited: the city itself, the awesome gardens the Fling committee has chosen for us to see, the cooler weather, or spending time catching up with old friends and making new ones!  

This blog has enriched my life immeasurably and the Flings are a huge part of that.  So, no, I'm not giving up on blogging ... I may be even more sporadic than I have been in the past or I may get some serious blogging mojo back.  The Head Gardener, for all her quirks and eccentricities, always has my back (and I hers) and she's unanimous in her belief that I should keep on keeping on.