Garden Bloggers Fling cottage-style garden of Casa Mariposa

Long, hot days and late nights aside, the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling, held two weekends ago in the Northern Virginia/DC area, had it all.  Surrounded by friends old and new, we toured botanical gardens, private gardens and the many gardens along the National Mall in D.C.

The Fling team did a fabulous job of hosting and things ran like clockwork.  Our chief organizer and hostess writes a garden blog at Casa Mariposa.  We were all excited to see her garden in person.

This quaint arbor and gate mark the entrance to the back garden.

The back garden was overflowing with a rainbow of blooms .

The back was a pollinator’s paradise,

Sweet birdhouses dotted the garden.

A collection of pots and garden art lined the back steps into the house.

A dry creek helps with drainage and provides a hardscape contrast to the delicate flowers.

The shady parts of the garden are brightened by variegated plants.

Bloggers, bloggers everywhere!

I may have to steal this clever idea.  Since dogs always want to run the fence line, we need to work with them, not against them! A cleverly concealed little fence gives the dogs room to run to their hearts’ content without tearing through the beds.

I loved all of the complimentary and contrasting colors in her garden.  I think this combination was my favorite. Opposites really do attract!

Stayed tuned for many more posts about the beautiful Fling gardens.

New pup already helping me garden…

We lost our sweet boy, Tanner, to cancer in November.

We adopted him from the Humane Society on my birthday, when he was just 8 weeks old.

Soft, cuddly and adorable, he stole our hearts.

He would have been 12 on New Year’s Day.

He was a great dog and my sweet boy. He was funny and willful and full of love. He followed me everywhere. And even at almost 12 years old, you could still bend down to his soft, fuzzy head and get a whiff of that sweet puppy smell that he never lost.

He was my Tan-man, Bubbie, Scooby, Bubs, Nudge, and Mr. Man-Man.

I had to wait this long to write this post, and it’s still making me cry with every word. He deserves a loving tribute.

I know he is lying in the sunshine, chasing squirrels, and taking long naps in doggie heaven with Sierra and Sami, and waiting for us all.

I’m not sure I will ever stop missing him.

While Dakota was enjoying being the only dog and getting lots of extra lovin’ to help me ease the hole in my heart, she didn’t want to go outside, she had no one to follow around and she seemed lonely. Happily lonely, according to my dear husband, but too solitary. (A little too much time spent in her bed!)

So, I set about looking for a friend for Dakota and another pup for which to be a forever family. After a lot of looking, Fletcher found his way into our hearts and our home. He’d been returned to a shelter by his adopted family when he was injured. (Sadly, weeks after not treating his injury) His foster family raved about him and here he is.

He’s housebroken, sits on command and has learned to play fetch and drop the ball in just a week. He’s also learned to go lie in his bed when I tell him to go away in the middle of the night. He’s a smart boy and a fast learner. (But, he’s still a puppy. I’d clearly forgotten how much work that is! I haven’t had to train a puppy since Sierra about 9-10 years ago.)

Fletcher loves to play, and despite the fact that Dakota (8) didn’t play much with Tanner because of his age, she does love to play and run (fly & leap) around the yard like a kid. She’s still a little put out at times, she gets jealous and wants to make sure she’s getting her fair share of lovin’. And she takes her responsibility as the older, alpha dog seriously. (Tanner was the alpha before.) She tells Fletcher when he’s annoying her and when he’s gotten too close. And, sadly, she’s already shown him her favorite places to dig up bulbs … sigh.

And, they play. They follow each other all around, checking out noises and people going by out front, romping around the yard, jumping and wrestling with each other. They enjoy each other. Even when they are both barking, growling, and howling at each other, those tails are wagging and they are having fun. He’s good for her. I knew he would be.

Even though I still have part of that hole in my heart, it’s good to share all that love with another homeless animal.

It’s what Tanner would have wanted.

Rest in peace, my sweet bubbie-boy.

By | 2016-04-14T02:40:02+00:00 January 13th, 2012|Blog, Dakota, digging, dogs, Fletcher, puppy, Sharing Nature's Garden, Tanner|0 Comments

Summer keeps hanging on in the garden…

It’s December 15th, and it’s not beginning to look even a little bit like Christmas here in Central Texas!

Unseasonably warm days have my garden confused.

Many summer plants are still thriving, or even putting on a second bloom.

While we’ve had a few close calls, I haven’t had a real freeze at my house yet this season.

Some plants had a few leaves turn and die but the lowest temperature I have measured is 33F.

I love living here — where we can garden almost 12 months a year. Sometimes that means the plants and I don’t get a long winter’s nap.

Having lived several times in much colder climates, I would like to see a little snow in the winter.

That’s why there are airplanes!

The dogs, Tanner (the tan one!) and Dakota, don’t mind one bit. Indian summer suits them just fine as they enjoy watching me work in the garden.

In the cutting garden, I’ve had these daisies blooming for months.

The Katy Road Carefree Beauty rose is very happy and producing wonderfully fragrant blooms.
Mexican Oregano is flourishing and has bloomed non-stop since the Spring.
The fall-blooming Mexican Mint Marigold, which began blooming in September, is also experiencing a long bloom season. I normally have fewer Fall-blooming plants in the garden, but this year, the Mexican Mint Marigold has had to compete for the spotlight.

This creeping Wegelia perennial groundcover, whose bloom is winding its way through this variegated grass, seems to come into it’s own very late in the summer and doesn’t last long. I’ve seen more growth than ever this year with these warmer days.
My Black and blue salvia was overshadowed by other growing plants this summer and had virtually died back. This brand new shoot came up from the roots a few weeks ago and burst into bloom.
Exotic red blooms cover my Bottle Brush tree, blowing in the breezes above a blue agave.
And, the ever-reliable button mums just keep coming back year after year to put on a big Fall show.

For a garden tour of what’s blooming all over the world, you can visit Carol, at May Dreams Gardens, where she hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

How to cool off in the heat wave…

The Texas heat has followed us to Indiana. The big heat wave of the Midwest has seen uncharacteristic heat indices of 105-110.

While we’re avoiding actual temps of 100 in Austin, it feels that hot or more here. But after we leave, the heat wave is expected to break and temperatures here will be in the upper 80s.

Sadly, we’ll be gone by then.

Everything is looking for a way to cool off. Yesterday we watched as hundreds of beautiful butterflies found their way to the creek to get a drink. I wish I knew what kind of butterflies these were – they were all over the white and red clover in the pasture.
These swallowtails loved wallowing in the mud.
And Ed the dog went to lie down in the creek, lapping up a nice drink of water while he cooled off.
He’s in the creek about 3-4 times a day – smart enough to know when to cool down in the heat. He showed up at the farm after a long journey last May when we were here. He was lost or abandoned. I believe he was sent as a gift — at a time when the love and companionship of a wonderful dog was the answer to a prayer.

By | 2016-04-14T02:40:14+00:00 August 11th, 2010|Blog, butterflies, creek, dogs, Ed, farm, Indiana, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments

Presents on the doorstep…

A big box from Gardener’s Supply Company arrived on my doorstep today.

I was excited and eager to learn its contents. But not as eager, it seems, as my bubbies, who stuck their big noses right into the middle of things.

They were so disappointed that there wasn’t anything in there for them — just boring old seed heat mats. (Maybe they will grow something we can eat later, they thought!)
They were only moderately interested as I modeled my new garden clogs. Not too interesting when they are on my feet.
(But Tanner was thinking…”oooh, I can snag one of those when she leaves them outside the back door and run off with it in the yard — now that might be fun!)

Silly dogs.

But I am psyched about my goodie box today.

Seed sowing soon!

Back home in Indiana

We arrived in Indiana for a family visit on Friday evening, where the weather was cold and in the 40’s, just like back at home in Austin, albeit dry.
Today, it was 58 and sunny and beautiful. We had some fun on the farm doing some chores, cutting down trees (I say we, I really mean the guys – I only watched from afar!), burning wood, taking horse photos (they breed and show Belgian Draft Horses) and watching my sister and brother-in-law’s dogs run amok around the farm. This is Chief in the photo above, who came out for an improptu photo op!
As terriers, these little dogs are always looking for something, and it was a hoot watching them try to dig their way to China in search of a mole. Here they were convinced that they had someone cornered in this hollow tree!

Not much garden news to report. I’m seeing some bulbs peeking up in the yard and grass is starting to turn green.

I’ll have a full report on Tuesday, when I’ll get a private nursery and greenhouse tour from a family friend who works there. I am hoping to get some photos to share with you.

We’ll be here until Wednesday. The rain was supposed to stop in Austin today or tomorrow — I am eager to get home and see all the growth that came as a result. I know that the radish leaves in the garden went from a few inches tall to the size of leaf lettuce in the three days of rain we had before we left — shoot, I might even be able to eat one when we get back.

By | 2016-04-14T02:44:39+00:00 March 15th, 2009|Blog, dogs, horses, Indiana, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments