The other night there were EIGHT raccoons in the yard at around midnight or so. They were all over my bird feeders, climbing on my pots and plants and generally making a nuisance of themselves. I chased them off several times, but the little critters would just go into the shadows and wait til I went into the house and then they'd come right back.
So now I'm not feeding the birds for a while. And I guess that might work because my daytime visiting raccoon just showed up, he checked out the entire yard and then left cause there's nothing there for him. Yippee! But my poor birdies are confused. They will be fine though - it won't hurt them in the least for my feeders to be empty for a little while. Especially at this time of year - there's plenty of natural food sources for them.
Last night my sweet hubby filled all my hummingbird feeders for me - he is so sweet. Then when I went to put the extra nectar away in the refrigerator, I spilled it and it went all over the entire insie of the refrigerator. So then we had to clean the entire 'fridge at 10:00 o'clock at night. And he helped me even though it was entirely my fault. I truly love that man,he is so good to me.
I'm trying not to notice that the garden is winding down. But yesterday at Walmart they had all the fall mums on display. They were pretty, but I'm just not ready for fall yet.
Last weekend, my friend, Sharon, who lives in Oklahoma City, came down for a visit with her husband. She brought me a gift: all the planters I gave her when we both lived in Washington State. So those planters traveled from me to her in Washington, then she took them with her when she moved to OKC and then she brought them back to me in Texas - those things have moved around. But I was really glad o get them. I want to plant some crape myrtles and I want really big pots for them as I don't want to plant them in the ground since this isn't my house.
Then my other friend, Ann, gave me some really nice gardening gloves. I told her I don't wear gloves when I garden, so I guess she thought I needed some. They are really pretty, but I just can't wear gloves to garden. I may start out wearing them, but pretty soon they come off and I'm digging in the dirt bare handed. There's just something about it. She told me I need to wear them to protect my nails and cuticles - it's a little late for that - I'm 59 years old and have never been able to wear gloves, so it's a little late to try to change now! I think the damage is already done!
For the most part, my gardening is done in containers right now. That's because we live in a rental house and our future has been somewhat uncertain. But now we have decided that we are going to just stay here in this rental house for a couple of years and so now the real planning can begin. That is, I can begin to plan some flower beds and start this fall to get them ready for planting next spring.
I have to plan ahead! I already have plans in my head of where I would like flower beds. I've been watching over the past year where are the shady and sunny parts of the yard. And with 14 pecan trees, there is lots and lots of shade. But there is one area right along the front walkway that is nice and sunny almost all day long and then gets shady later in the afternoon. That is where I have all my container plants right now and they love it there. All the plants that were doing poorly perked up tremendously once I moved them to this "container" garden. It's now my favorite little spot in my garden and I enjoy walking through and touching each of my pretty plants and talking to them and encouraging them to grow.
So this is going to become one of my flower beds. Another area that I want to turn into a flower bed is along the west side of our carport. It gets late afternoon sun and kind of dappled sun/shade the rest of the day. I can see it in my mind's eye what I want to do here, but hubby and I have some differences to work out first. He always worries about things like traffic patterns and will he be able to get the lawnmower in there and will he be able to drive #1 son's truck out of the back yard if I build a flower bed there. All good questions, but not ones I concern myself with (know what I mean?).
And then at the very east end of the house is just crying out for a flower bed and it gets direct sun all day long - so a sun-lover's flower bed. I grew sunflowers there this year, but they are all done already and so there is nothing there now and that is not good - I don't like that at all.
And then there is the back yard - That is a south facing area with no trees, no vegetation of any kind. It has one of those little cement patios that you find all over Texas, a clothesline and a pump house. It's just awful and seems way, way too overwhelming to try and tackle in the few years that I may live here. I don't know - I might give it a try - but for right now - my mind is teeming with what I want to do with all these other flower beds I am planning.
We gardeners are a funny bunch, never satisfied with what we have this year, always planning for what we want next year!
I saw this plant stand in a little town in South Texas - I want it.
I saw this plant stand in the yard of an old and apparently abanded house in Southeast Arkansas. I want it.
I have looked everywhere I can think of to find a plant stand/plant hanger like the ones above. But no luck - and I have looked everywhere: on the Internet, in all my gardening supply catalogs, all my seed catalogs, all my "Carol Wright" type catalogs, Collections, etc. type magazines. Garden shops, just about anywhere I could think of. But no luck. I tried every search term I could think of, still no luck. Then my God-daughter does one search onthe Internet for umbrella plant hanger and finds this right off the bat - first try:
Now it's a very tiny picture and the details on the site are very limited - but it looks pretty close to what I am looking for. Yet I am hesitant to order it - it just doesn't seem to have the same appeal to me that the ones I saw in person did - maybe it's just me.
I took a walk through the cow pasture to my neighbors garden to take a look-see. It's pretty overgrown with weeds, but I could see she had watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, peas (I think purple hull), bell pppers, jalapeno peppers, and a whole row of okra. At first I didn't know what the okra was cause it had these beautiful flowers that looked sort of like a hibiscus. I didn't have my camera with me to take a picture, but then on closer inspection, I realized it was okra and it was growing very nicely, but I never knew t had such a pretty, pretty flower. It could almost be grown just for the flowers!
Just sent hubby off to work and we have a nice little thunder and lightning storm going on. Pouring down rain, too. I don't mind, it's been hot and humid for the past week, so we can stand a little rain, but I'm glad we got the grass all mowed yesterday. I haven't been posting much lately - but that doesn't mean there hasn't been a lot going on - just too busy to write.
Over the weekend we went to the Hope, Arkansas Watermelon Festival, home of the world's largest watermelon. It was extremely hot and very crowded, but we had a great time and I got a lovely little hummingbird wind thingee for my garden. I love little things for my garden, especially if it's a hummingbird!
I also got some new plant stands - not at the watermelon festival, but one at Lowes and one at Big Lots. All the stores are putting their lawn and garden things on sale and so this is when I shop for bargains. The plant stand at Lowes was 50% off - what a deal and the cute little tricycle planter at Big Lots, I've been watching all season for that to go on sale - it wasn't 50% off, but it was marked way down and I snapped it up. And hubby put it together for me - he's so good to me. And I just love it - I already put plants in it and set it up - it's adorable.
We have also been very busy rearranging birdfeeders and raccoon-proofing them. That is a lot of work and a lot of juggling and changing things around to see how everything works together. I think we've got it just about right now. All the birds are getting used to the new set-up - it takes a while for them to get used to the new locations and some new feeders. I had to replace some old worn out feeders - might as well do that while we're making all these changes. It's hard for me to give up a feeder though, so I have hubby smash them and throw them in the trash, otherwise they would end up in storage and I'd save them cause you never know when you might need another feeder, right?
Been busy with family issues, too. Had a new baby boy born on my side of the family and now today a new one due on hubby's side of the family. They are going to induce labor at 9:00 a.m. this morning. My sister-in-law's granddaughter having her first - she's only 18 - a baby having a baby, but everyone is very excited and oh my gosh there are going to be so many people there for the birth - this baby is going to be very well loved.
Well that's the report from NE Texas for today - things are going well, the garden's doing well, hubby's off to work and great-grandbaby's due today. All is well!
One day last week, when it wasn't raining, I strolled through Lowes garden section an looked at each and every plant there and read the tags to see what the plants were, what kind of lght (sun, sun/shade, or shade), whether annual/perennial, and water requirements. There are so many plants that I am unfamiliar with. I really got a good education and after my stint last week with gardening books and the internet, I feel as if I am really getting a feel for what and how to plant here.
Then yesterday I went to visit my friend Ann - she is the one who loves flowers and calls flowers her hobby. She and her husband own a small subdivision of what they call "patio homes" here. I had never heard that term before, but to me they are just duplexes or townhomes. But Ann does all the landscaping and gardening herself. Each Unit has one flower bed in front and then there's a gazebo where they hold weddings and parties and there are several flower beds there. I would guess she has about 14 flower beds she tends.
I've never really taken a close look at them all before - they always look nice and she always has something in bloom. So yesterday we strolled through and looked at all the flower beds and I took pictures. I leaned sooooo much! Many of the plants that I saw in Lowes that are marked as "annuals" Ann tells me will come back here year after year. And some of the tropicals she just plants in her flower beds and they do fine, unles it's a hard winter. She leaves her geraniums in the ground all year and she said they do just fine. So I just learned so much - I didn't take notes, but I took pictures!
Then after we visited Ann, hubby and I came home to "raccoon-proof" my birdfeeders. We put all the feeders on poles rather than just scattered around the yard and we put baffles on each pole. Now he can't get to the feeders - or so we thought. Well at 3:30 this morning that little devil woke me up - knocked over one of my potted plants again, looking for handouts. He couldn't get to the feeders, so he was checking out all my flower pots. I went out to chase him away and he was not the least bit afraid of me. In fact he sat up on his hind legs begging. I tried to shoo him away and he started walking toward me thinking I had something for him. I picked up a rock and threw it at hime - not to hit him but to just scare him - he thought it was something to eat and went and picked it up. I could not get rid of the little rascal. Finally I just had enough and I yelled at him go away and ran after him and he ran off.
But this morning, when I went to fill my birdfeeders, I can see that he was trying his darnedest to get to the bird feeders last night. He had been digging all around the poles that the feeders are hanging on. They are secured in the ground with cross pieces, so he couldn't have dug them up I don't believe, but he sure was trying. Don't know what we are going to do about this guy.