Sunday, March 18, 2012

Signs Of Spring

The temperatures have become mild and the plants in my yard have been awakened.  We have had more rain this winter than we had all of last year.  The sound of rain is still music to our ears.  Rain has always been the promise of life.  It is no different now than millions of years ago.

A stroll around my backyard this middle of March gave the eye color and life and promise.

That old rickety fence is the annual home for these day flowers or cow lilies, Ive heard them called many things.  What they are is prolific!  They appear a month before Easter and die when the temperature goes up.
Its not easy to keep their spread in check but I don't much mind if they come up in random places.  Its what they do and that's just fine with me.

Miss Jane Magnolia is loving her new home in my yard.  I saw her at the local Lowe's store and could not leave her behind.  She will continue to produce those lovely purple flowers that come with an amazing scent.

One of Miss Jane Magnolia's gifts to us.  I have always named the plants in my yard.  I found it helpful to do so that way when I am working in the yard with my son or granddaughter and need something from another part of the yard, I simply say " its over there by Jane Magnolia" and they immediately know where to look.  I was fortunate that this tree came with a very distinguished name.

This is Grandma's rose bush. No, not my grandma but the long passed grandma of a friend.  This rose was in her yard for decades before she died.  Its very hardy and blooms many times during the winter as well.  She is apparently heat tolerant. She wont bloom as much, but she continues to thrive.

As I said, they are prolific!  Yet another patch of these wild flowers that require nothing of me but my acceptance and some dedicated space for them to spread and grow.  Their life is short so I give them time to just be.

Even the clover is giving my yard color.  This perennial returns every year with the fierce determination of a warrior.  This year, the fight was easy, plenty of rain and warm weather.

Those lovely clover blossoms up close.  Nature doing what it does best.

The rose bush I planted last fall has found its footing in my flower garden amidst the Lilly day flower plants.
It has produced a rose to let us know that she has survived the winter and will be productive this spring and summer.

All in all, a wonderful start to the growing season.  Of course, true to Texas springtime, we have thunderstorms and hail possible for the next two days.  Nature is full of beauty.  It is also full of destructive fury.  Lets hope Mother Nature gives me and my yard a pass this week.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Possibility Of The Pineapple Top

It seems that in the blink of an eye, Spring has sprung.  Not only did it spring, but it came after a Winter of rains. Fall brought rainfall that restored our yard to the green of another season. 

Not long ago, I was writing several times a week about the relentless drought.  Now we have had life giving rains all winter and it was only around noon today that the sun made an appearance.  The back yard is soaked and the garden area unfit for planting.  Still I wait to plant the tomato plants and herbs I recently purchased.  Such is the life of a farmer girl in Central Texas. Its a waiting game. Waiting for the soil to dry, waiting for the temperatures to even out and waiting for more rain as the season progresses.

It wont be long and the hummingbirds will be back in my yard.  The Sun has already made it's move and no longer warms us where we sat on the back porch during the cold of Winter.

Its time to start thinking BBQ and long hot Summer days.  I dare say I do better in the Summer than the Winter.

Today I pondered the possibilities of growing the top of a Pineapple I purchased today from the store.  I did my homework, watched countless How To videos and read articles.  Once again, the depth of the Internet amazes me.  Is there nothing it can not show me how to do, how to build or how to manage?  I'm most grateful to have the resource at my fingertips.  I will be using a fresh Pineapple with my juicing today but what to do with that beautiful top?  The thought of tossing it in the trash seems harsh and cruel considering the fact that this piece of greenery can simply and easily be turned into a plant of great beauty.  They are very slow growing and they seem to be hearty, you just have to monitor watering and temperatures.  They will not do well in the Winters here in Central Texas so my Pineapple will need to be an indoor plant. 

I captured some pictures from the Internet of the lovely Pineapple both young and older.  They do get big but it doesn't seem to be something that happens overnight so I should have ample time to repot and prepare for the spread.  My thanks to those that shared their pictures with all of us as you have traveled a road I have not yet begun to walk.

This top appears to be at the one year mark and seems most manageable.  They recommended the Terra cotta planter to allow the soil to breathe and not become overly wet during waterings.

This top is obviously much older and MUCH bigger.  It is grown outdoors in a well mulched area but whether indoors or out, you can expect the plant to grow slowly.   Should you decide to tackle this lovely project, know that at some time it will grow to a size that needs to be managed and protected in Winter.

For some reason, I think we should all attempt to grow a Pineapple at some point.  To me its like celery or green onions as its yet another chance to take something we get from the store, normally discard and find a second life for it. 

I just love the idea of second lives.