"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!


Pam Jackson said...

Hi...thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. I love what you are doing with letting some cactus grow. In my area I can pretty much grow anything but if I want it to make it I am pretty sure a cactus could not withstand our cold here in TN. 109 yrs old...amazing! And look what she did at an older age! Great job, thanks for sharing.

Granny Marigold said...

Wow! Ruth Bancroft certainly is ( was) an inspiration to gardeners in every situation.
We have a moderate climate but these last years the summers have been hotter and drier than before. Since we pay for our water this is a concern.

I love all your wild visitors and the chicks are cute too. I'm surprised the roosters get along. I've always been told 2 roosters will always fight.

lil red hen said...

We have the cactus with yellow flowers here. I've always thought they were so pretty but didn't want the spikes in my flower beds. I have the best luck with irises in the spring and day lilies and coneflowers later. Deer sometimes eat on the lilies. I think the last rain we had was in May so things are beginning to suffer from lack of water and also the heat (98* I believe is about the highest it's been here.) I'm trying to grow some things in containers this year in order to keep them watered better.

Nancy J said...

We had torrential rain this afternoon, ponds suddenly arrived in the lawn and driveway, the small stream behind us is a raging torrent. Gardening, what a remarkable lady Ruth was, and her inspiration will be with you and your dry land, your Cactus or Cacti are thriving.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

109 ~ From where I am at the moment, that is 40 more years. Amazing that Miss Ruth had a long life like that doing something she loved. Maybe that was part of her longevity.

I like your little cactus bed with the little river bed going away from it. As gardeners, we hopefully learn sooner rather than later, what grows well in our area.

Happy Gardening ~ We've had 5 weeks of rain, looks like more will happen today.


Sally said...

Ms Bancroft? An inspiration to all of us, goodness gracious she was quite a woman.

It's hot here but not like where you are. Your cactus are doing very well! And, the visitors to your place are amazing. :)

With the grasshopper situation here, it's been difficult to grow many flowers. However, I keep trying. LOL

Debra said...

Wow-I do love cactus and I'd love to see Bancroft's garden in person. I actually can't imagine a place where cacti grow everywhere. I would be in awe for some time if I lived in your area. It's a different kind of beauty, but very lovely still.
We have been getting regular rains, but now it's pretty hot-in the 90's today. But that's probably cool compared to many places.
When I look out my windows I see GREEN. Everything is green. My antique roses are blooming now-I do get excited over them because each one has such a different and wonderful scent.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I had to laugh out loud when I read the question asking what grows best in my garden. We are having unseasonably hot and humid weather in Northern Indiana so my answer right now is WEEDS!! I had no idea Cactus are invasive or that they grew into large bushes. If I lived where you do, I would definitely embrace them. i love cactus.
xx, Carol

happyone said...

Wow, lots of great pictures. Ruth Bancroft is an inspiration to all gardeners and for all ages.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What an amazing woman, Ruth Bancroft was to have started cactus gardening later in her life and then to have lived so many years afterwards. I can imagine how difficult weeding invasive cacti must be and much more than the wedding we used to do in our former VA garden. I didn't know they could be so invasive, so you have taught me something, Kathleen. The baby chicks are really cuties and glad to see this photo of them. I hope the heat isn't too much for them and you! The only things we are growing here is a bamboo plant that has really sprouted up in the vase of water where it's been since I bought it nearly a year and a half ago. And, now we have a basil plant on the windowsill so we can have some fresh basil for our tomato salad. But, alas the tomatoes will be store or farm market bought and not from our garden.

Prims By The Water said...

Cute chicks. We had chicks each year on the farm. dragonflies. I saw a baby one the other day. Good luck with your gardening. PS living out there I would be afraid of the snakes. Janice

Connie said...

Ruth Bancroft did some amazing work! I do love those lovely cactus flowers, and I'm glad you are able to work with them. I enjoyed seeing the photos of all your creatures there, too.

Chip Butter said...

Growing native plants makes sense, for sure. A lot of gardening problems arise when one steps out of that box. I admire many of the succulents and have always loved them in container or rock gardens. We are quite dry here now, so my morning chores always include watering plants.

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

I think, Kathleen, that you are doing a marvelous job of growing things suited to your area. It has been a challenge to grow lots of things. Some do and some don't, and lots of times, you just don't know until your try. I'm very happy to have a big fig tree that is loaded with fruit. Not much success with other fruit, but I keep trying.
So glad, too, to see you have chicks!!! Ours are all grown ladies now, but I still love them. I'm watching them outside my window right now scratching around in the yard and having a wonderful time!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Ruth was an outstanding lady. She did some amazing work. I love your cactus plants and the chickens. You have a lovely place.

Lady Jane said...

A dry climate is indeed a challenge but you seem to have managed it well. I love your container gardening and your cactus are lovely. Right now I am challenged with moles and voles. They are wrecking havoc over my grounds. Wish me luck. hugs, lj

CIELO said...

What a life of courage and perseverance that of Ruth Bancroft... what an example to all! Love this post!

Oh oh, and your garden is as lovely.... keep up the good work!