Sunday, July 14, 2013

Grow Write Guild prompt #9 : The Weird Al

Gayla Trail of is inspiring people to write creatively about gardening by starting the Grow Write Guild. Currently she's on prompt #9: Change the lyrics of a song to reflect your relationship with a particular plant or food crop.

I decided to base my song lyrics on an entire season. Since I am gardening this summer instead of waiting til cooler temperatures like I normally do. I am battling the heat and the heat is winning.

So, here is a little song to my summer Texas yard.

I can see you 
Your brown grass drying in the sun 
I'm sitting in the a/c with my 
Sunglasses on baby 
I can tell you, I'll be out there all fall long
After the heat of summer, has gone.

SAWS water coupon, in progress!

So, I probably should be posting a little bit more frequently. Now that nursing school is winding down (last day is 36 days away!)  I hope to get more time to update my blogs, for sure.

First off, I had my lawn consultation with the amazingly helpful and awesome Brad Wier, a conservation consultant for the San Antonio Water System, on July 9.

It was great to talk to someone who likes plants as much as me for awhile! He gave me a whole lot to consider about my Watersaver's coupon and actually my whole lawn.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture while he was here. :-(

Yesterday morning-ish (c'mon, it was Saturday!) I went with the help of my husband and parents and got all my plants and mulch.

Here's what the back of my Yaris looked like! I also had an Anacacho orchid tree in my front seat! Multiply that times 3  (an also-full Prius and Jetta) and you can understand the massiveness of this project.

Using my coupons, I saved $200 on $400 worth of landscaping materials.

I planted my orchid tree last night and dug some holes for the 7 indigo spires sage in front of it. I think I may have spaced them a little too close, but it was dark by the time I was digging holes.

In front of the sage will be 7 New Gold lantana. I have a big shrubby tree stump in there, too.

As of 10 AM on Sunday I have this bed 100% planted. I just need to finish covering all the lawn bits with cardboard and then smother them with the mulch. I am only concerned about 1 plant -- a sage which was really root bound and wilty by the time I got it home. I top dressed it with some extra compost and gave it some extra water.

The second bed directly juts off the side of the first. 

My original plan was to have it come off the other side, but when I brought my plants home I realized I wanted to be able to see them from my kitchen table. Especially since they were already being visited by hummingbirds.

This bed will start with 3 red yucca followed by a big purple Cenzio sage. I knew I wanted to plant one of these as soon as I could since they start blooming around the time of year we bought our house. :-)

The rest of this bed is autumn sage and will end with some rosemary. I am hoping to put a bench in there by the rosemary.

My goal is to finish planting everything tomorrow and work on the cardboard/mulch/smothering over the next week.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

SAWS Water Saver Coupon and some plants around here

 Yesterday  I got my coupon packet from SAWS (San Antonio Water System). I signed up to convert 200 square feet of my yard to drought tolerant plants and they're giving me $400 in coupons to buy the plants they recommend and mulch from a local nursery. They give you several options for the plants, but I think I have narrowed my choices down to what I want. I really like the planting diagrams.

I decided to use the back corner of my yard for this project. The reason is pretty simple: we bought an electric lawn mower and it doesn't quite make it back to the corner of the lot. That, and it seems like grass has a tough time growing there due to the partial shade and lack of water. Currently there is some grass, some lawnflower and some weeds, most frusteratingly green briar. There is also an old stump.

Here are a few things that are actually growing around here. None of which are truly mine.

These geraniums were hand-me-downed to me from my friend who was moving out of her house.

She also gave me these nifty plant stands, and the frogs in the lower picture. The plants on these stands and the ones below belong to my friend who is staying with us for the summer.
 I like this jade plant and the Egyptian lily. These are all on my shaded front porch.
 Lastly here are some marigold sprouts my friend started from some apparently really old seeds her mom collected. 

Edited to add some photos from my "real" camera after I bought some batteries today. :-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We moved! Again.

My husband and I just moved into a house we bought in San Antonio. It was time to move out of my parents' guest house!

It's pretty convenient to the things we like (H-E-B and the Leon Creek Trail) and work and stuff, and it's cute inside, but the best part is the giant yard!

I have lots of gardening planned for this yard, which is currently wretched bermuda grass in the sun and straggler's daisy or lawnflower in the shade.

Here are a few pictures. The first picture is from my old phone, which was pretty lousy but had a really nice camera. The rest are from my new phone, which apparently has a pretty lousy camera. I guess it's time to pull out the "real" camera for pictures from now on.
The front yard is tiny, which is fine by me!

 The area directly behind the house is shaded by a small stand of Chinaberry trees and one of what I think is an ash tree.
The previous owners weren't big on landscaping, but they did leave their nice birdbath. We brought the dog.

 Lawnflower after mowing at 3" four days ago.

 Long fenceline all the way to the corner of the lot.

This is the yard/side yard. And where I am hoping to put in a BIG vegetable garden this fall.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Salad 3/24/2013

Everything from the garden except the carrots. :-)

Big harvest March 23rd and recipe for Spinach Tofu Scrambler

Garden gods are shining on me this season! Those are the 10th and 11th gallon sized bags of organic field greens I've harvested this year, the 2nd huge batch of spinach (3 types), 2nd batch of radishes, the 2nd batch of off shoots of broccoli after the main heads were harvested two weeks ago, and the first handful of snow peas

Spinach Tofu Scrambler
Great for breakfast tacos with Soyrizo.

1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, drained and rinsed
2 tbs canola oil
4 tbs nutritional yeast (what the heck is nutritional yeast?)
1/2 tbs onion powder
1/2 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
several cups of fresh spinach, torn into peices

Heat the oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet on high-medium heat for a couple minutes. Add the tofu to the pan and break into tiny peices with a fork or spatula until it resembled scrambled eggs. Add 1/4 cup water if using extra firm tofu.

Add remaining ingredients and cook until tofu is hot through and yellow and the spinach is wilted. Season with other herbs and spicy as desired. I like cumin and basil.

March garden

 March 17th garden

March17 radish harvest

March 8th broccoli, soon after this picture I harvested the large heads and made 40 clove garlic roasted broccoli casserole from Appetite for Reduction.

Already harvesting tons and tons of lettuce. March 8th picture.