August 21, 2014

Make Believe

Sometimes adults too need to engage in their own game of Make Believe.  I am currently trying to make believe that late summer, i.e. August, in Oklahoma IS FUN!  Like the magazines and Pinterest pages, cooking shows and blogs (like this one...) would have us believe. Full of warm laughter and the Hamptons and ice cream cones and alfresco dining and tomato tarts. All served up on a red and white checked tablecloth of course, with the scent of BBQ ribs filling the air.

Truth be told, I loathe late summer...a character flaw I am not ashamed to admit. For reasons both personal and horticultural I would gladly remove late July, the entirety of August, and the first weeks of September from the calendar. (with all due respect to anyone born during this time...). 

So I will comfort and content myself, I guess, with envisioning how the new bed extension in the front will look in the future...when late summer and its scourge is in the rear view mirror.  Some details are already in place:

Some years ago I installed a brick run down the length of my very narrow driveway...for practical and pretty purposes. Until recently it stopped at the street curb, just before turning the front corner.

Now it rounds the corner and continues in a straight line bordering the curb of the street...where it again turns, in a curve mirroring that by the drive. This turn then becomes the

the new brick and stone border of the new
bed line....

which extends the sweep of the existing garden border...

 thusly. (Did that make one iota of sense?)

I believe I have reason to be optimistic that it will turn out beautifully when it is all said and done. Just over a year ago, I did the same along my driveway...transforming the image on the left (in a matter of weeks) into the image on the right.

...and ultimately creating an effect with which I was most pleased. So I feel justified in being hopeful that my changes will prove to be handsome indeed.

 Do you agree?

To come:  what I planted in the new bed... AND...please do join LC and me tomorrow on 4 YOUR GARDEN at 4:30.  

We'll be cooking up something delicious with all of those jalopenos from the garden.

August 20, 2014

Lawn...on the side, please.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Albert Einstein

 A much over-used phrase, but still


MY stupid thing...okay, one of many....that I do over and over again... is to try
and grow grass in my front yard... 

in July and August...  (winter, spring, problemo).

I don't think it is because I am particularly turf challenged, or have inordinately high expectations of a green lawn in hot as the dickens, OKC. Rather, as is so often the case in life, I am trying to have (err, grow) my cake and eat it too...wanting a lush green carpet in ALL seasons, not just fall and spring...all the while growing under the watchful, voracious, all-consuming, (but handsome and much-loved) canopy of my almost 100 year old oak tree...

AND with a south facing exposure that goes from full shade to full sun, literally...

in a matter of days as the sun moves lower in the southern sky... as summer progresses and my heretofore shaded grass now singes and burns, blinking against sudden strong sun, harsh angles, and brutal heat.

I've consulted with every turf expert, done all the things one is supposed to do to encourage warm season grasses:  fertilized organically, pruned my trees high to maximize light, watered less frequently and deeply, never water in the evening (as to minimize fungal nemesis ever since I moved here)...and tried every variety of seed and sod and fescue and bermuda and rye on the planet. 

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you've shared my trials and experiments with turf, most recently Bent Grass last fall.
But this year, I am employing a different strategy...

(I do love having a strategy over an intractable problem, don't you?...even if the strategy proves unsound, it gives me hope and confidence and a sense of empowerment in the short term..).

Any how, my strategy this year is....!!!


(She said meekly...)

This area just doesn't want to play host to turf in the summer. So I will take out as much of it as possible...convert the area to an extension of and addition to the existing beds... 

(as seamlessly as possible with no hint that it was not a part of the design all along),

add some hardscaping embellishments, follow the same curves and sweeps and contours of the existing bed lines...

and, in general, start treating the grass as if it were just a side dish,
and not the entree to my front garden. More vegetables, and less meat, as it were.

So as to minimize, if not save, what brown, summer stressed turf there is.

So, my friends, if you are among the many who have driven by wondering

"What the hell is she doing NOW?"

This is what I have been doing. With much more fine tuning to come as temperatures become more tolerable...and in preparation for the OHS Garden Tour on October 4.

Tomorrow: more detail on the changes.  Until then, watch this video I made last year for Lowe' retrospect, foreshadowing of what was to come. (Don't see it?  Go here)

Didn't see last Friday's KFOR 4 Your Garden segment?  Go here.

August 17, 2014

Back Friendly Gardening

Quantum physics has nothing on the higher math it requires to calculate an answer to the question...

"Just how much time DO you spend in the garden?"

The calculus in this formula involves so many complex variables, so many quantifiers and metrics...(and additions and subtractions of...)

 + actual physical activity while sporting official garden attire, i.e. boots and        gloves and hat

-   morning and evening garden ROUNDS, coffee or wine in hand

 + any accidental weed-pulling or deadheading during said rounds

-  visiting with garden curious passers-by while watering

 + greater or lesser % of sum based on season, climate, precipitation, weather disasters... 

-  hours spent photographing and entertaining and musing and whining 

divided by the square root of energy, upcoming hort tours or imminent magazine shoots...

and last but not least...the state of my lower back after tearing a disc way back in 2000.

To avoid your own injury in this gardening equation, follow these BACK FRIENDLY GARDENING tips LC and I demonstrated yesterday on 4 YOUR GARDEN.

August 2, 2014

After the Rain To Do List

My, it was a lovely rain, wasn't it? But after a luxurious week of moisture and cool temps, it's time we don our mud boots and tackle the
aftermath of all that water in our gardens.

(Don't expect any help from this guy... )

For a quick TO DO list watch this 4 Your Garden segment from yesterday.  (Doesn't appear? Go here).

(If you'd like to order one of the nifty WORX battery powered blowers we talked about, order one here.)

July 31, 2014

In Lace and Pearls

As if...


in late July...

 were not



the garden

is now




almost drowning

in lace and pearls.