Thursday, January 23, 2014

Out Front

... as in gardening, not politically or issue driven.  Titles are funny things, sometimes.

On the other hand, I do feel as if I am standing in front of an army of readers like theoretically-Anonymous, who are watching the snow fall while wrapped in blankets, frozen hands gradually un-thawing after shoveling snow. TBG and I decided long ago that we were too old for frigid winters, no matter how many family and friends we left behind.  Days like today reinforce the rightness of that choice. It's sixteen and seventeen degrees in Chicago and Foxboro as I type in shorts and a t-shirt... I'm just sayin'.....

Once again, I implore you not to hate me.  
When I left you yesterday, I was exhausted from improving the back patio.  The following afternoon, my belly full of cheesy pizza, I tackled the front courtyard.  Bending and grease are unfortunate companions; I did a lot of stretching and belching. 

This is what was left 
after I removed these
 and these.
The copper bucket was a gift from TBG's parents to my parents on the occasion of our wedding.
I decide to rescue it from oblivion in a corner of the library and put it to good use.
All four of our parents are nodding their approval .... from the great beyond.

There's a lot of time to think when you're gardening.
It's a time for communing, especially when the tools I use came from my dad's shed.
They speak very clearly, sometimes.

I moved on to the spikier cacti,
ones with milky sap... annoying.... allergenic... glove requiring milky sap
and ones which wrap around others, leaving glochids and spines where they are least expected.
I spent the better part of the evening trying to remove invisible prickers from my fingers.

After that, it was time for some softer beauty, so I added some purple pansies to get this
with the fervent hope that the marigolds will do more than they have shown over the past fourmonths.  Yes, they were Halloween plants.

This stem should turn into a hibiscus; the roots are firmly embedded in the old soil.  I removed it carefully, adding new Black-Gold-cum-perlite to fill in the holes.  If it does come back, I'll be sure to show it to you.  For now, we'll just have to turn this side to the wall.
The other containers in the front were amended to enhance the other marigolds which did nothing
and the amaryllis bulbs which are now looking like Easter visitors, rather than December or Valentines as I had hoped.  The little orange violas will more than make up for their tardiness.

My respite over, it was time to install the ouchie transplants.
Back into my gloves went my hands, as I scraped stones and troweled dirt and spread roots liberally doused with hormones to enhance their experience in a hole filled with back fill and just enough new fill to remind them of life in the container.  Otherwise, I fear, the shock would be just too much to bear.  
These seem to be taking their time adjusting to their new environs.
It's a cruel hard world here in the desert Southwest.
Only the tough survive.

Volunteers like these blue bells, are happy and littering my yard with their foliage. 
I admired them as I stared at the next project - gladiolus bulbs.
They will grow 48"-60" tall, too much for a container.
The nursery insists they will do well in the ground.
All I have to do is excavate the packed dirt to a depth of 5".
Easier said than done, and a project for another day.


  1. Jealous of shorts and a t-shirt! It was 12 this morning. It's so darn cold, my kids don't even want to go out and play in the snow. Love all the greenery in the pictures. It makes me long for spring. I am back at the office today; from being home the past three days. Kids are mega excited about snow days. Usually, I like them, but after a holiday (Monday) and snow days on Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm happy to be at the office. My two older ones are at home trying to not provoke each other and my little one is at his school (which is open today).

    Thanks for the lovely pictures! :)

    Megan xxx

  2. Yes that was me commenting on your gardening weather, I select the anonymous profile because I am unable to figure out how to use my name as profile name. I can email and text and respond to your blog, but the host of profile choices confuses me so I select the easiest. Sorry! FAMBB.
    I bet you miss the cold, hahhaahaha.

  3. Oh also, I thought it was a "funny" comment, obviously did not translate as that. Only love.

    1. Of course it was full of love and humor..... nuance is hard .... but I love you right back!


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