"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Sunday, June 17, 2018

She did not start her work until she was 64........

and for 45 years, Ruth Bancroft had been enjoying and growing
her beautiful gardens up to the age
of 109.  She passed away November 2017
She did not start growing her cactus and succulents to become famous......no,
she simply loved these drought tolerant plants and created a lovely space
for all of them to grow. As the years went by, she drew attraction from the public
which, turned her gardens into a conservatory and nursery for all to enjoy.
You can find out more by researching Ruth Bancroft garden.
She has given me much inspiration for my own dry and drought ridden area.

For years I have been clearing and making paths and garden spaces in 
the mesquite woods surrounding our home. Everything I plant
and try to grow there either gets eaten or suffers from the extreme heat
and dry conditions. 

(photo borrowed from the internet)
I have been chopping down the only thing that seems to do well......
cactus.......because as you can see in the photo above.......
it can be very invasive and can take over the land........
which I do not want. 

However, I do love the way the cactus grows into large bushes

and how it blooms it's lovely flowers. 

I have been leaving a few bushes to grow

and creating a garden around them.  When I discovered Ruth Bancroft, 
I was thrilled to know that this could all one day, turn out to be beautiful as well.

I have a few small gardens growing along the walkway of the house as well.......

So far, everything seems to be very happy where I decide to plant it.
Now that I have found something that "works" without a lot of loss and 
a lot of watering..........I will continue working and creating new spaces.

A new batch of tiny chicks arrived a few weeks ago

and are quickly growing.  These are bantams......which will
be very small and hopefully be company for my very small
roosters, Tex and Gus.
The temperature here has been in the 100s,
and we have had a lot of visitors come for water
in our front yard

in our back yard

to hang out in the cool shade of the trees

or in the wet leaves of the flowers.
We did get a nice rain last night and into the early morning today and
it really helped to cool things down.
Now.........tell me...........
what do you find easiest to grow in your gardens or area?
Are you suffering from heat..........or are you getting good rain?
I would love to hear!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A worn out, metal tub has been hanging against

the outside wall of my vintage shop for years. No longer useful,
or so I thought..........but full of rustic patina. 

This week, I have noticed a large billed bird........who 
always sings a lovely song........
flying in and out of this worn out container. 
After she flew off for a few moments.......I took a closer
look .....to find that she has stuffed it  very full of twigs and sticks
and  has made herself a comfy nest.
She reminds me so much of how I felt about
our little house in town when we were first married.
It was on a corner lot..........on a busy street that 
growled and grumbled all day.........and all night
with traffic and scary neighborhood noises.
It was in an "extreme fixer up" state with 
much needed attention......which we never seemed to 
have enough money, enough time and never enough know how 
to be able to fix.
Still.........it was our first home.........and 
all of our children spent a large part of their childhood
The floors were crawled on,  ran on, stomped on, and spilt on.
The worn out screen door was slammed in times of hurriedness,
in times of stormy weather and in times of upset.
The walls heard our laughter.......our worries, our prayers.

As worn out as it was...........with a little stick here,
and a little fluff there..........
it was home.
We had a happy, sweet life in it. 
When we moved out here to our country home
I felt as if we were abandoning an old friend when
we left the little house on the corner lot in town.
How about you?
What was your first home like?
I would love to hear!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In the early morning, I noticed a shadowy form

in the backyard pine tree.

I quietly walk up and realize it is a large screech owl......
very tired from a busy night. 

as I get closer, I talk to it...........as you can see, 
it wanted me to quit my chatter and to let it go back to sleep. (just look at that face)
As soon as I finished taking it's photo, I heard a baby 
rabbit squealing nearby and I see "mother rabbit" running.

I hurry over and .........I find a baby bunny with a coachwhip snake
curled around it. I run up to the snake, yelling at it.........
it drops the baby and, terrified of me,  scurries up a small mesquite tree......

and also not very happy for me to show up this early morning, 
for I ruined it's chance for bunny breakfast. (just look at that face)

The baby bunny ran so fast, I did not get it's photo,
but "mother rabbit" is very happy that I showed up so 
early in the morning. 

Some of you have asked about the little trees from Arbor Day Foundation and 
about the rose cuttings I was trying to sprout with potatoes.
As you can see the trees are growing well 

and putting on leaves.  The rose cuttings did not sprout.
I think it was too cold and I may have watered them too much.
I am going to try one more time with them. 

Also in the greenhouse my Devil's Claw cactus are all doing well 

and blooming.  I love these beautiful round cactus.  Ranchers do 
not like them because they are bad for cattle and horses to step on.
I have a small garden of ones that I have found in the woods, dug up 
and re planted.  These in the photo are in large containers,  which they do well in.  .I dig them up, especially when they are in the yard
because my husband mows over them causing great damage to them.
I want to keep them safe. 

At this time, the prairie and the fields are full of wildflowers

giving me much inspiration for my embroidery work

It is also a time  for long walks and hand picked bouquets with the 
one I love.
So tell me..........
what is hanging around your backyard?.....
Any wildflowers making their appearance? 
What is your favorite?
I would love to hear!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spring has come to us.......with no rain

and very hot days, 
but making my work outside along the "woods gardens"
a lot easier.  

Everything is dry and easy to break and rake up and to keep
clear and clean. 

The days are still cool enough to enjoy sitting out

or to work on outside projects.
You might remember I made this little cement rain catcher
for the wild birds and other critters  to be able to come and get a drink.
On dry days, I hose a little water into it.

With everything clear and done, I am able to sit out
with my coffee and enjoy watching 

the wild birds in their water

a wasp enjoying the pond water

amd wildlife scurrying here and there.

The usual spring flowers have started showing themselves 
in the gardens that run along side of the house.
The purple stock flower with it's heavy fragrance, comes
back every year........rain or not.

And the cheerful vinca stays green all year and blooms
it's light blue flowers in spring. 

The past few days the hen house has had 
this visitor.

A harmless coachwhip snake loves the warmth of the sun in
this spot.

However, I need to find a way to persuade it to leave
as I get the coop ready for chicks to arrive in May.

Through all of the dry and brittle terrain, 
nature still finds her way and shows herself in many ways.
And no matter how hard I work at raking and scraping the 
dry land.......rain or not, it will all turn 
wild again.
I know that many of you are still getting out from under ice and snow.
Maybe some of you are enjoying spring weather?
So I leave you with this thought in the above photo and 
wish for you pretty spring days ahead!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I heard the sweet voice of a robin..............,

 High up in the maple tree,
      Joyously, singing his happy song
      To his feathered mate, in glee!...
If we could be like this tiny bird,
      Just living from day to day,
      Holding no bitterness in our hearts
      For those we meet on our way...
Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, 
"Heaven on Earth" (1940s)
Wishing you a happy day with birds singing! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

An elderly friend once told me that when it lightnings and sleets in February,

it is  sure to snow in April!
Early in the morning hours........it did just that,
 along with much needed rain.
Not sure if this..snow...... actually might happen........
but did you know....
Easter falls on April Fools  Day ( April 1st) this year??
It would not be good to get snow!

My bare bones garden at the moment, lies in frozen
wait......as I plan the plots and spaces for flowers......
and for this year a small variety of vegetables.  
The roses in the large back corner container are doing well,
even with sleet on them.  I pruned them a few days back
and new growth has already sprung forth!

I read on the internet, how to take rose cuttings

with potatoes......to make new rose bushes.  
So with the 
pruned stems,
I pushed each one into a potato, 

then planted that into a container/pot

Have you heard of this method?

I now have 8 hopeful new rose bushes

It showed to place a clear soda bottle over the stem,
however, I don't drink soda, so, I placed them into seal
plastic bags......leaving the seal slightly open to prevent mold,
and then placed the pots inside......in indirect light.
I so hope.......they will sprout!

You may also remember that I  posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2018
(link here    trees)
about the small Arbor Day trees and Bonsai trees I planted. 

The Arbor Day trees  are still in my shop, doing well,
and to my delight.......one of the Bonsai tree pots 
have sprouted!  I hope the remaining pots will do the same!
We had gotten so used to the days here being in the 60s and up into the high 70s
and today.........in the 30s
everyone is enjoying the comfort of their beds

and blankets.  
Tomorrow.......and the rest of the week.....
in the 50s, 60s and 70s.......
Have you sprouted any kind of flower using the potato method?
If so, how long did it take to grow roots and sprout leaves?
I cannot find this information anywhere.
How is the weather in your area.........is your garden calling to you?
I would love to hear!