Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring has sprung!

We had a rough week with subfreezing temps and a dusting of snow, but then it warmed up until it has been in the 70's and even low 80's this week. I am pulling plants out of the house and starting to dig in the ground. It's exciting to watch what comes up around here. Like this little surprise...
There are eight to ten of these sprouting in the back bed. I may have to get more. I didn't know daffodils would grow here.

 These are the Aggie Maroon Bluebonnets I planted this fall. They made it through winter. I can hardly wait to see them bloom!
 And the little bit of Autumn Joy sedum that I brought is sprouting. This is from the plant that I bought the spring after my first granddaughter, Autumn Joy, was born. I hope to get the rest of it soon.
 One of the Sago's I brought with me and planted seems to have had a malfunction in it's frost cover. It looks like it is still alive and will sprout when it gets warm enough. It's just going to be smaller for a while.
 I don't know what that strappy green plant is. It's sprouting out front. I guess I will have to wait and see. But you can see little bits of green on the ground there...that's bluebonnet sprouts. The bluebonnets are coming up everywhere. Watch this space for some spectacular pictures next month!
 Of course, I hit a plant store or two. There are two Yews, 3 Indigo Spires, Mexican Feather grass, 3 Chinese Fringes, 2 Euryops, 2 Asparagus ferns, and a Firecracker plant, which will go into my huge Mexican pot. And the wee pots in front right are tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. I am going to grow peppers for Kim.
 On this side you can see Gazanias, Gebera's, 3 Cordylines, a Joseph's Coat, a Carolina Jessamine, and a pot of flowers that I can't recall right now what they are. I nearly always get a pot of them each year. I also bought two hanging red geraniums.
 and this is either the apricot tree in bud, or one of the peach trees. The pear tree is looking similar.
 And I leave you with a pretty pansy face, dewey with today's drizzle, and a yellow skipper happily perched on it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Snow in the Hills

It was iffy, off and on, and totally unknown as to what would happen last week. Somebody in south Texas was going to get snow...they just weren't sure who and how much. They said Houston could get a few inches. Houston got zip, except for ice. Now imagine tropical dwellers on ice. yeah, like that.
I woke up friday morning to a quarter of an inch of snow. It is a rare occurrence in this area. They shut down schools and most business....and I-35 through town. See...the snow had an ice layer underneath, and most of 35 through town is overpasses. They also shut down I-10 through San Antonio. What was really fun was that after a couple of days of subfreezing temperatures, my water froze. Somebody intelligently put the pvc pipe from the well to the house totally outside for about 2 feet. No cover or anything. I managed to thaw it out with an electric blanket and blankets on top of that. But this is what the water looked like for hours after it thawed.
Lovely. Also, since Father In Law's room is not in, no insulation, it was icy in there. For some reason his heat/ac unit wasn't putting out much heat. I got out two space heaters and got him warmed up in no time. Also put a fan between him and the house, blowing into the house, which exchanged warm air for cool....and dug up a very warm quilt. He was cozy.
So...on with snow pictures.
 Matt was able to smash the dry powdery stuff together for a tiny snowman on his truck hood.
 The backyard was a snowy wonderland.
 View out my bathroom window.
 At the road, looking up the drive toward the house.
 From the balcony, looking toward the road.
 The front yard from the balcony.
 Poor little froggy froze too. He usually spouts water. The pond froze over too, but the movement of the water from the pump and filter kept a section open for gasses to escape so the fish wouldn't be poisoned.
 The back of the house.
The front of the house. It wasn't much snow, I had almost a foot 3 years ago in Sonora, but it was just enough to satisfy a snow lover. It melted off the next day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More treehouse view

I decided that since I was doing treehouse views, I would show you how wonderful it is to sit on my upstairs balcony. Mind you, this is winter. I will have to post more pictures when spring green shows.

 From the balcony looking up the drive. Lovely curving drive to the road. I love driving home. You come around the curve and see the house through the trees. It never ceases to make my heart sigh with pleasure.
Sitting on a chair on a warm fall day. I even have a couple of plants out to get sun and warmth for the winter. You can see part of the front fence in the lower left. I love the rustic cedar branch fence. It needs to be straightened up a bit and rebuilt some, but certainly doesn't need to come down like my unimaginative hubby said. It already has a Carolina Jasmine planted by it to cover it in spring. I plan a few more summer flowering vines on it. But I will have a battle with the smilax and wild morning glory vines. The morning glory covered everything. I pulled tons of it up, but there is more to tear down and the seeds are everywhere. This may take a few years to win.

My Treehouse

 I realized this morning that it feels like I live in a treehouse. When you go upstairs, you see the tops of trees. Above is the view of the backyard from the hall window. The gazebo needs new roofing. Maybe someone will get to that this spring.
 This is what it looks like from the front balcony door looking out toward the road.
 This is the front corner of my bedroom. No, not decorated yet, but look at that view when the blinds are opened!
And this is what I see at my desk in my studio room. I love being able to look out at trees and treetops. A lot of the trees are taller than the two story house. I paid my dues spending many decades in horrible near-treeless barren wastelands. Now I reap the rewards of living where I don't have to plant a tree. I will though. I am planning on some beautiful red Japanese Maples in a part of the understory.