Worn.

My thumb is split and splitting more yet. My nails peel and my scalp hurts. My heart is sore, my mind spins, and old fearful aches returned home to roost.

And so I look to others to bloom.

Nasturtiums calling hello.

Volunteer mystery squash shining through.

Snow peas’ purple greeting.

Snap peas white nod has passed.

Red potatoes without red petals.

Blackberries without black blossoms.

A mess of friends of all ilk.

I’ll see if I can’t tend my soil a little more. If I can’t feed my roots a little extra. If I can’t water my leaves a little softer. I’ll see tomorrow.

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All of my sweet peas.

We had a bit of a scare this week. A third pediatrician’s appointment turned into a direct admit at the Children’s hospital. A hard three days and two nights full of only best-case-scenario outcomes and we came home yesterday.

This Christmas, I am grateful for the health of all of my sweet peas. Least of all, these ones:

Soft light covers

I didn’t sow any snow peas this year… odd.

They didn’t mind their light blanket so much as their bean neighbors did. A small final harvest, but I marvel at any bean harvest in December.

The volunteer cherry tomato plant weathered the frost, so those will not be the last winter bites of tang.

And skeptical of the forecast, my love harvested the limes. Twenty two in all and when he unwrapped Bill the next day, he was no worse for the wear…including a few incognito limes left hanging.

I do hope the butterflies will return to the lantana. There was a true kaleidoscope of them alight upon the blossoms some days.

Tis the season…

Tis the season for growing compost piles, for weeding unwanted seeds from the stockpile, for starting a wishlist for next year and reflecting on the season’s passing.

I think it may be the last year for the raised beds. And I think I’ll help them go. They harbor ants nests I can’t beat back or cajole away. They permit sweet potatoes to bunker under the walls, lessening the harvest and sowing the next generation of ground cover in the same allowance.

But to do so would require remapping the irrigation installed by our predecessors. And that is not in the time budget between now and the early sowings of spring when we’ll try for more peas and beans and carrots and things.

So perhaps another year, I’ll eke out of these tiring lengths, and perhaps next winter we’ll be moving, or the kids will be old enough to require less of my ship’s side to barnacle upon which will both ease and sadden my heart, and also increase the time budget a smidge, methinks. We shall see.

So the beds will rest, the compost will grow, and the caterpillars will continue to feast like royalty upon my cauliflower dreams.

Across April.

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“Puhpul flowers”

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“Peas? More peas?”

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“Caderperar right dere?”

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“Tomayo!” (And a sweet potato volunteer…)

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“Uh oh. It get down.” (The arbor fell in a storm.)

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“Snail! Hold it? Mama hold it?”

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“Carrots ok.” (And more sweet potato volunteers.)

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“Lello flowers.” (On a broccoli that never made broccoli but made plenty of greens and is now over six feet tall. This photo is at my eye level and it’s well over my head.)

Now, onto preparing for a little gardener’s airplane party… (“aye-plane!Noise…See it!”)

These aren’t those.

I traveled to Houston this week on business and the wild flowers called to me. They wanted to speak to y’all. They wanted to share their view of the world with each of you. I hadn’t packed my camera, nor did I schedule a spare moment to pull over to the side of the road. Boy, doesn’t that say something.

I didn’t schedule a single moment to spare.

As a result, I have blurry pictures taken through a dirty car window speeding by on a windy day. So…low resolution splotches and splashes of color. So instead, I will merely share their names with you, and within such names a link to images from others. Other people who thought to pack cameras. Other people who allowed buffer in their day. Who took the time to take pause. I hope I’ve learned my lesson. I fear I will be relearning it time and time again, the hard way, in the weeks and years to come. I won’t say that I didn’t try though. I have and I will continue to try.

Bluebonnets, that for nearly a decade I would accidentally call blue bells, carpet the roadsides. Other roadsides prefer a warmer shade of blossom in the form of Indian Paintbrush. Not to be confused with Downy Paintbrush. Then there are the Winecups and the Moss Verbena adding some purple to the scene. We can’t neglect the yellow of the Engelmann’s Daisy, the Texas Star, or the countless other yellows soon to pop. Or the white of the blackfoot daisy or the wrinkly poppy that are coming soon. The summers here may turn brown and dry and drab, but the springs contend with the best of the springs out there.

I did have my camera this morning though and there are things up and about on home turf. Stretching their arms to the sky in a morning yawn. Wriggling their toes deeper into the soil with the help of the sprinkler. Working on their tan in the sunbeams or flexing their muscles in the wind, the growth has started to outpace the pill bug population…or so I hope.

Elian the Avocado is working on his next few inches.
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An accidentally acquired navel orange is giving it a go in hopes of a bee or two.
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These leeks have an rather cumbersome bedfellow…
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The Peas That Nearly Weren’t are in need of a stick to climb.
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And it’s past time to mow thanks to the timing of the rain lately and the alignment of naps and daylight.
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Thankfully, the baby monitor that I left to fend for itself in the flood waters from the sky has miraculously recovered so I am once again free to roam about once or twice a day on weekends. Or as I say, “I’m going to go play outside now.”