Cat in the Buttercups

It’s been yet another busy couple of weeks. We had our 15 year wedding anniversary (20 years together) and had a lovely couple of days with a dinner at home with the girls on our actual anniversary and a night out in San Antonio the next night just the two of us. It is my very favorite combination of doing something special while at the same time it being as amazingly enjoyable as all our other days together. Plus gifts.

Forget following the traditional gift schedule (15 is crystal) I got my husband a new watch (which I realize HAS a crystal and all… but wasn’t the reason) and a new set of Chacos, and he got me a heavy bag (punching bag) and hog panels for growing vines on. Also a couples massage, because he always finds a way to win the gift giving competition, that one.

He knows me so well… I love these! Vines get big here in Texas, those dinky trellises at garden centers do not cut it.

We also went to a garden center in San Antonio and got a King’s Mantle Thunbergia and tomatoes. Fannick’s Garden Center in San Antonio gets a two thumbs up from me. Excellent tomato selection, lots of plants that were new to me (love that) and a huge rose selection. Let me talk about roses for a sec, actually. Turns out a rose by any other name DOESN’T smell as sweet, because this one:

Petals were red on one side and yellow on the reverse… absolutely STUNNING

What did someone name this beauty? The Ketchup and Mustard rose.

I mean god damn it, you ruined the whole thing.

So I didn’t get any roses that day. There was a purple one I was SORELY tempted by though, called Twilight Zone… but again. Modern roses and their stupid names…. give me old roses like Velichenbleau, Madame Alfred Carrier, Souvenir de la Malmaisson, etc.

Will someone ever have a Ketchup and Mustard rose in their garden and the name evoke a feeling of nostalgia for times past and their lovely grandmother? I really god damn doubt it, unless said grandmother was most memorable for her slightly too short cut off shorts and I think that’s fine and all, but I’m hoping for my legacy to have a slightly different tone and timber, myself.

Anywoo, in other news…

New garden beds!

Shade garden by the side gate.

That new bed in the picture above is one we’ve sorely wanted for the longest time- that part of the yard was just a dumping ground for branches or buckets or a random table, and was just an eyesore.

It also is the shadiest part of the yard, so was unique and worthy of some effort. This bed was filled with almost no new plants. It has a Japanese maple, chrysanthemum, spider lily, ajuga, spiderworts, clematis, etc. We’re filling the spaces with mostly what we have at the moment. The clematis in the large pot still needs to go in the ground. The King’s Mantle we just got will go in a pot on the far right side.

Lord the sun vs shadow this time of day makes picture taking difficult…
Another shot of the other new bed. This is the same fence line as the shade garden, just not under the pecan trees, so is full sun.

This section has the needle palm we planted last year and the thryallis we transplanted earlier this year. It also, though I realize these pictures make it impossible to see, has three Ballerina roses, 3 Adagio miscanthus grasses, some pink horsemint, 25 gladiolus corms, and a whole bunch of zinnia seedlings that are already coming up. We’re planning on collecting some rocks for the borders this weekend, so that will definitely help with setting these off better.

Ugh… time for the kale to go- it’s TOMATO TIME- they’ll go in today!

In the rest of the yard:

Coreopsis… one of my favorite nooks of the yard currently
Finally a purple in the back yard! Also, the pink is beautiful… but it ain’t no purple.

I’ve finally figured out how to solve the “pink larkspur problem.” That problem is that I truly deeply love the purple and lavender larkspur and don’t want the pink to reseed. But we all remember that time I couldn’t even bring myself to kill a whole slew of tomato  tobacco hornworms, here, so there was no way I was going to be pulling out beautiful and floriferous pink larkspur plants just because they’re my least favorite color variety. But I don’t want them to reseed!! What to do?

Hello cut flower solution!

So I figure if I cut the majority of the pink larkspur only, and deadhead to prevent seeds, the pink larkspurs will slowly reduce over time. Plus I enjoy them more inside as cut flowers where they aren’t contrasted to beds of the purple ones I prefer.

My Favorites!

I think it’s a matter of contrast. It isn’t that I dislike the color pink in flowers, it is in fact my very favorite rose color. And snapdragon color. But you need other colors to set off the pink of those flowers… something about the pink larkspur just upsets the color balance in the yard, so it must be solved. I’m hoping my solution is edging more Gregor Mendel and less eugenics…

In the rest of the garden, the wildflowers are coming up.


Now, I realize most normal people would use this opportunity to take pictures of their children sitting in the flowers, but instead I did this:

Wally- my 14 year old buddy
Such a good cat and with quite a lot of patience…
But it isn’t infinite

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