Sunday, November 12, 2017

2016 – OCTOBER KARLA’S GARDEN DAY


This post 2016 October – Karla’s Garden Day was written by Annie in Austin/ Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt blog Divasofthedirt.blogspot.com

October had not brought cooler weather for Karla’s garden day, but the Divas of the Dirt can take some heat if they get the chance to be together. Sugar, Glinda and Sophia were unable to be there but Buffy, Annie, Mattie, Mindy and Karla got a lot done.

Karla had warned her friends in an email to “bring your tools for cleaning up - bulldozer comes to mind when I look at the yard!”

Well maybe not a bulldozer, but something stronger than a trowel was needed for the corner patio bed – but careful, Divas – that’s Karla’s precious Anacacho Orchid tree in the center!

St. Augustine grass had sent runners all through the Purple Heart/Tradescantia in the entrance border, just inside the gate.


Karla likes Ruellia, but it had gone a little wild in the back border. 


The iris in the bed under the Crepe myrtle will do better once that bed is cleaned up… maybe a little compost and mulch, too? 


Divas Buffy, Karla and Annie survey the entrance border – they know just what to do!


It took awhile, but that back border is much improved!


Sometimes the plants in pots need help, too. Here is Diva Annie with assistant Barbie. 


The table is in lovely Autumn Harvest mode. Karla’s menu thumbed its nose at the warm weather and celebrated fall – soups from an Austin favorite - The Soup Peddler.


Karla sent out a thank you note, “The best thing ever about opening the blinds this morning was NO RUELLIA in sight!! The next was seeing all the cleaned up beds looking like they were ready for a new start!”

This post 2016 October – Karla’s Garden Day was written by Annie in Austin/ Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt blog Divasofthedirt.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

2016 – SEPTEMBER BUFFY’S GARDEN DAY



This post, “2016 – September Buffy’s Garden Day”, was written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog at DivasoftheDirt.blogspot.com

All eight Divas of the Dirt made it to Buffy’s garden day in September – although both Glinda and Mindy were a little late to the taco-fest breakfast.

Buffy had hired professionals for a few really big jobs and her garden was a different place.

New block edging defined the back corner of the garden


Some of Buffy’s plants were in full glory – especially the plants that were in shade. Isn’t this begonia beautiful?


Where uneven ground was once responsible for trips and tumbles, a new decomposed granite path was level and attractive. 


This bed was once stuffed with shrubs of Indian Hawthorn/ Rhaphiolepsis indica. When they were young and the yard was sunnier, these shrubs stayed more compact and bloomed well. But as they aged and surrounding trees grew taller, the hawthorns lost leaves, grew leggy and no longer worked in this space so Buffy had them removed. Oh, boy – a cleared bed, ready for Divas to plant! 


The dappled shade in the middle of the yard suits the St. Augustine grass, and the layers of surrounding trees, shrubs, plants and borders make Buffy’s garden feel like a peaceful haven. 


Out near the front door, more overgrown Indian Hawthorns had been removed, making a another space for the Divas to plant. Buffy’s other wish was for help with composting and mulching.


What a good start to fall!

This post, “2016 – September Buffy’s Garden Day”, was written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog at DivasoftheDirt.blogspot.com

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Mess of a Summer 2016


This post, A Mess of a Summer 2016, was written by Annie in Austin/ Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog.

When June began, it was amazing to see the reports on how much water was in the Highland Lakes, the reservoir lakes that are not only a focus for recreation and nature but the source of the water for homes and businesses.


A couple of years ago, boating was restricted because the water had retreated so far from the shores… now it was temporarily halted because the water was too high! [Information via https://hydromet.lcra.org/riverreport/ ]


Moisture-loving flowers like Amarcrinum didn’t mind having a wet June – they responded with big, beautiful blooms. 


Everything from the storms, health issues, travel and sad family events kept the Divas of the Dirt from meeting in June. Then all rain stopped, intense heat moved in and attempts to reschedule for July were a failure.

By mid-August the dry weeks meant the lake levels had moderated, but a new wave of rain was poised to move in. 


People with pecan trees had mixed feelings – the good news was that the crop was huge and even Austin squirrels couldn’t snag all the nuts.
The bad news was that the boughs were so laden down that they were cracking and hitting roofs. 


Maybe we’d finally get to meet again in September 2016!

This post, A Mess of a Summer 2016, was written by Annie in Austin/ Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog.

Friday, October 06, 2017

2016, May 14 - Sophia’s Garden Day


2016, May 14 - Sophia’s Garden Day was written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog

With the ground softened by rain a few days earlier, six Divas of the Dirt met at Sophia’s house, hoping to get some weeding, clipping and planting done for our friend. Sugar and Mattie were both out of town with family.

Assorted health issues meant our group was kind of wobbly (Buffy was using a cane after leg surgery) but we’d do our best.
 


Sophia’s table was festive but not fussy… ready for a wonderful meal. Since this was Sophia – even breakfast had an appetizer. Apple strudel appeared while she worked on the main breakfast recipe.

The recipe was “Nonna’s Eggs”, a special dish that had been handed down from Sophia’s grandmother. Eggs were separated and the egg whites beaten into peaks. The whites were piled onto toast arranged on a baking sheet, then a little hollow was made in the center so a yolk could be slipped in. After a sprinkle of salt and pepper, they were baked in the oven.


Simple ingredients somehow combined into unexpected textures with great flavor.


Strawberries, blueberries, grapes and bananas made a delicious salad.


Here is the fruit salad, fried potatoes and Nonna’s Eggs – oops – didn’t get a photo of the chicken breakfast sausage.


 Out in the front garden we noticed the native Inland Sea Oats were doing extremely well. Sophia’s Shell Ginger/Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata' looked bouncy, too. Obviously she had remembered to bring it into shelter last winter.


Eight months previously the Divas had helped Sophia and Roger with a sod-laying project. The replaced lawn looks as if it has settled in well.


Under the large Cedar Elms the Cast Iron Plant reigns. In some years it needs a lot of snipping by Divas, but it looked pretty good today.


The parkway did need Diva help – it was full of grassy weeds and cedar elm seedlings, and some plants had bailed from too much rain.


We Divas of the Dirt like to share so Annie brought Salvia ‘Black & Blue’, Obedient plant/ Physostegia virgiania and some fall aster AKA Symphyotrichum oblongifolium. I brought the yellow-flowering Salvia madrensis. Karla decided that we could use more of that useful fall aster and zipped over to her house to dig more. 

Things moved along pretty well – that’s fall aster wrapped in newspaper, ready to plant. We got everything going pretty well.


The bed along the driveway need some weeding too –but who even sees weeds when a beautiful small native tree like Golden Leadball Tree is in bloom? ( Call it Leucaena retusa if you want to be precise.) 


Drizzle started up and we ignored it at first, but a crack of thunder with lightning sent us inside for a while.

Not long after we went back out there was a surprise. As if hosting a garden day was not exciting enough,  that afternoon was also New Pre-Owned Car day for Roger & Sophia –  this gleaming auto arrived like a kiss of sunshine. Wow! It was gorgeous.


The rain held off long enough for us to weed and clip the front groundcovers area but we didn’t get to finish the job. Heavy rain drove us back into the house in mid-afternoon. (Total rain for this weekend “event” was about 4 inches.)


Before quitting, Mindy insisted on making sure the parkway and front edge of the main yard got mulched.

Sophia served a feast for our late lunch: Salad of mini kale, spinach and chard with Feta cheese, grape tomatoes and artichoke hearts, Greek olives and ginger dressing.


Sophia let Costco make the Chicken Alfredo  -  I don’t want to sound like an ad, but it was really good! 


The dessert was also a Costco treat – have you ever seen such an enormous Cherry Pie?


We hadn’t really done enough garden work to deserve those lovely meals, but that is the chance we take in Central Texas. Unpredictable weather is always lurking, ready to sneak in and spoil the most well-made plans.

2016, May 14 - Sophia’s Garden Day was written by Annie in Austin/Diva Glinda for the Divas of the Dirt Blog