Friday, April 16, 2010

Poppies Bloom Day

Beginning on March 23, my garden has exploded in blooms like it has never seen before. The biggest stars have been the poppies, both red and pink. I love all stages of the poppies: from bud to seed head.This pink one grew from seeds that Joan Hilbig, a Green Corn Project gardener, gave to me and to CTG producer Linda Lehmuvistra. Joan wanted her pink poppies to spread all over Austin. I didn't have very many blooms last year so I didn't have many seeds to pass along. This year I've had a lot more blooms and hope to fulfill Joan's goal.The red poppies came from several sources: Patty Leander, Boggy Creek Farm, and the Natural Gardener. I might have also snagged a few seed heads while walking in my neighborhood, but in case you live in my neighborhood I don't want to out myself as a seed head rustler. I know what can happen to rustlers.I love how this poppy grew up perfectly in the middle of this iron bird. (In case you're wondering, I bought the iron bird and the dragonfly below, from a vendor at Wimberly Market Days, which, for the uninformed like me, is not a farmers' market. I kept asking where the vegetables were, but alas there weren't any.)

I do have some other flowers blooming, like these bluebonnets surrounded by volunteer clover: but the standouts remain the poppies: I love looking out the kitchen window to see this stand. From the changing table in the nursery, I can see another field of them.

Even though my backyard has never looked more flower-ific, the blooms are still just a wonderful backdrop for the cutest bloom in my life: Who knew becoming a mother could turn me into such a cheeseball?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Strawberry Surprise

Over the years my garden has provided me with innumerable surprises--from the pounds of rusted nails and broken glass that initially constituted my soil to the vegetables that actually grew and fed me.

I still see each flower as a surprise.

I've also found some more unusual "gifts" in my garden. During the summer of 2007 when it rained and rained here and my chard grew to beanstalk height, I found a bird egg resting in the stems. It never opened.

Then there was the time I unearthed a coin commemorating Eisenhower's second inauguration in 1956. I was so excited that I immediately ran into the house and looked online to see how much I could sell it for. I had visions of redoing the entire backyard, even the entire house.

I found a similar coin, in mint condition, for sale on Ebay. For $3.00.

And then are the gifts that are more canine in nature. No, no, no, not that. This: the infamous tomato/fish head debacle:
Then there's the mystery items that shouldn't have been a mystery at all. Last fall when I was prepping my vegetable garden, I dug up a large animal skull. I wondered if a squirrel had been using my bed as a burial ground but thought little of it until the next day,When I found another skull and then another. I got a little freaked out and tweeted about it asking for advice on these gruesome surprises.

About 10 minutes later I realized the skulls were the remains of the fish head debacle and sheepishly had to admit that on Twitter. What I didn't mention then because it was too early (even though Jenny of Rock Rose had already figured it out) was that I was pregnant and therefore had somewhat of an excuse for my brain lapse.

In addition to digging things up, the dog also likes to bury things in the yard, like this toy (can you find it in the picture at the top of the post?), which has probably been buried at various times in every inch of the yard.Here she is last night, plotting her next burial:This morning's garden surprise, however, is guaranteed to be the most unusual one. Look what I found when I went to check on my strawberries:Based on the stork bite on the back of his neck, I know how he arrived. I can only guess that the stork placed him in the strawberry patch because I don't have a cabbage patch.

As he's already showing a proclivity toward weeding, I think we'll keep him.

And in family naming tradition (the dog's name is Pear), we'll call him Strawberry.

As if I need to tell you, April Fool's. Believe it or not, the baby didn't arrive via the strawberry patch. He is, however, a wonderful surprise. And yes, I've done this before: 2008 and 2009.