I am loving working out in the yard more than ever — now that there is tons of work ‘inside’ the house.
Pulling weeds this week was heaven. I loved every single minute of it.
I guess I was so far into the details I didn’t notice the back part of the yard is resembling the Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. (Thanks Kyle — my lovely realtor friend — for pointing this out.)
Meanwhile, the new addition to the front yard is a succulent garden bordered in metal edging.
Last summer I tried to de-weed the monster, but I was no match. They came back fierce…so I was out there yesterday fighting ant piles and those nasty weed runners.
I love love love this time of year — especially now that I am seeing the result of hours and hours of labor we put into the backyard last summer.
Yesterday we had construction workers in and out of the house all day — so it gave me a good excuse to spend a few hours just weeding the backyard — and this, I found, is my joyful place, where I ZEN OUT — and plan the next round of gardening improvements.
Buds are popping from the Crepe Myrtles too.
Did I tell you I am starting a love affair with Texas Redbud — I just can’t resist the color and shape — how beautiful!!
By the way…I wanted to share with you my favorite gardening blogger in Austin, Texas … Ms. Pam Penick… her blog is ‘Digging.’
Pam has taken me on a wonderful journey with her pictures of gardens around the world. And her own garden is such a work of art — I am grateful she has shared.
AUSTIN, TEXAS — There’s no breaking of old tile in the kitchen YET — or ‘saw zaws’ roaring through ‘the-ugly-pony-wall-sheetrock’ — I guess you could say we are still in the ‘pre-pre-planning phase.’
I’m finding that in a 1,100 square foot house, the loss of kitchen space during a remodel pushes burden on every other inch — to double in functionality and storage.
In my younger days (tee hee) I would have sledgehammered everything already, stood there in the debris and had an ‘o SH***TTTT moment,’ realizing I had just created double the work for myself.
Now, as a highly refined and well-schooled-mature-adult (tee hee), I know that the more planning, the better.
What’s that saying? … ‘Piss poor planning makes for poor performance?’
Now, in the back of my head I hear a voice that says ‘Alright already, you’ve had plenty of time to plan. What’s up?’
And then, I reflect on the heat of August — in Austin, Texas.
Dear Reader…if you live here YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. The world stopped. We stayed inside for the ENTIRE DAY with our AIR CONDITIONER on the FROSTIEST level possible.
So, that’s what happened, all work outside, including the lean-to-shed construction, just STOPPED. Nada. Nothing.
(Plus, I was at a stand-off with the shed, not knowing how I was gonna do the rafters…silly me decided to build a 2X7 instead of a standard 2X8.)
Then, as soon as the hottest days passed, my neighbors Teri and Ron came to the rescue.
They helped me figure out the best way to build the roof and what material to use.
Plus, Teri being a ‘bad-ass do-it-yourselfer’ pulled out the tools and cut the polycarbonate roof sheeting in two — just to the size I needed.
You could say they really helped get things moving again (y’all — it does ‘take a village.’)
That must have been a week in Sept.
So, here we are at the end of October and I find myself needing to feel like there has been progress…so I offer the following:
Things that have happened:
1.) Cookware, bakeware, glasses and dishes (for keeps) moved to mom’s.
2.) Items not keeping sold in garage sale / donated.
3.) Set-up consolidated ‘appliance garage’ — holds microwave, cuisinart, coffee station, etc.
4.) Measured walls and floors and graphed on paper (working model).
Things that have to happen soon:
1.) Sell Ikea desk in guest bedroom.
2.) Move dining room glass table to guest bedroom — which will turn into my desk.)
3.) Move bistro table in kitchen closer to living room.
4.) Clear any existing furniture out of ‘construction area.’
5.) Tap neighborhood group for contractor recs.
6.) Set up organized system in Rubber maid shed.
7.) Purchase tool hangers/shelves for Rubber maid shed.
8.) Finish out last of siding/trim for lean-to shed.
9.) Seal shed with paint/clear coat.
10.) Contact neighbor’s carpenter — to install shelves in guest bedroom ‘behind-the-door’ alcove. (guest bedroom needed for kitchen storage).
11.) Determine needs for a ‘temp-kitchen’ — and its location.
— ha….I’m sure that’s not even the half of it…but a good start. —
Lady Bug Brand Compost blend Natural Gardener, native Texas garden landscape consultant, native Texas gardening Austin Texas, Natural Gardener Austin Texas Colleen Dieter, organic gardening Austin Texas Colleen Dieter, Red Wheelbarrow landscape garden consultant Colleen Dieter, The Natural Gardener Lady Bug revitalizer
Colleen Dieter IS A FORCE.
What strikes me is her ability to field any question about native Texas gardening/landscape with an immediate and educated answer — out of what’s in her head. Question after question.
She’s really got this encyclopedic knowledge, folks. Unbelievable!
I first met Colleen about a year ago. She was an incredible host of my good friend B’s baby shower. She had selected these wonderful native Blackfoot Daisies for table decorations — and the best part — we got to take them home. (btw…mine is still thriving!!)
I had to know this woman!!
So, fast forward to last week. I asked her to please come over because I seriously needed her help with the front/back yards.
(There’s just too much going on with a kitchen remodel and shed build — and I’m not THAT CRAZY!!)
PRIMARY QUESTIONS I asked COLLEEN:
– What is the fertilization schedule during FALL/WINTER?
– What brand should I use? (I have an assortment of succulents, shrubs and newly planted trees.)
– My peach tree has never fruited but it appears so healthy … Is it the correct variety to have planted here in Austin?
– Is this the right variety for this particular spot along the backyard pathway?
– That front bed full of clay, how should I amend for that particular plot?
Y’all — I pummeled Colleen with questions for two hours — and could have kept going. Colleen maintained her professional demeanor and provided SMART answers to every question.
(What I loved most — every thought of hers comes from a place of loving the earth in the most organic way.)
And then we decided she would craft a plan — a kind of to-do list for each month, tailored for our particular soil, our individual plots, taking weather patterns/seasons into consideration.
Awwww….the HEAVENS PARTED. I’VE BEEN SAVED!! Can I get an AMEN??
Colleen is so wonderful with her time. Her speaking engagements on a wide variety of gardening topics can be found here on her website.
We are so busy with projects in the front and back yards (plus thinkin about the kitchen remodel) we haven’t had time to upload many photos. Sorry 😦
Hope to get around to more posting this week. (We had the rock place deliver a mega load — please see photo above — to finish off the dry creek bed in back — plus refresh areas in front.)
I’m starting to think I’m a mule carting a wheelbarrow back and forth. Someone get me a saddle blanket …lol!!