The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- March 2004

Last Update: March 30

In this unusually mild spring our water lilies are already blooming.

March 7 - afternoon

Spring has arrived, our first Bluebonnet of the season makes it official (never mind the 70 degree temperatures!) I have spent the better part of the day our in the garden attending to small chores. What a pleasure to have those few hours weeding and wandering during this very hectic time in my life. Our Bald Cypress trees are leafing out, the Peaches and Redbuds are about to bloom, the Columbines are looking spectacular, and our Giant Hesperaloes are sending up their enormous bloom spikes. The true explosion of our Central Texas Spring is underway. I am afraid to look at the long term weather forecast fearful that a strong cold front may bring winter back for one more vengeful blast.

I just saw a Lesser Goldfinch  visiting our thistle seed feeders along with some of the American Goldfinches that have been our winter-long guests. One of our Bengals, Maya, who was out sunning on our catporch helped me spot the new arrival...

Maya on the look-out.

I hope that you enjoyed your weekend in the garden, where ever that may be in your life. Here are a few more pictures from ours...

One of the circle gardens in our front yard with Agaves ( lophantha and weberii,) Yucca pallida, and Angelita daisy (Hymenoxys acaulis.)


Agave bovicornuta with Bulbine in foreground.


A small Agave bed in our backyard with Agave havardiana (crossed with another unknown species?) and Agave schindigera in foreground with Giant Hesperaloe in background.

Guadalupe in the Bluebonnet labyrinth. Should look pretty spectacular in a few days.

March 17 -evening

St. Patrick's Day... it has been four years since the Daily Muse, my on-line journal was born. A new garden has taken shape and the journey continues. As the Irish are fond of saying, the road still "rises up" to greet  me. (But, in this case, it would be more appropriate to say the "path" rises up.) Here is some pink to warm up the green of the day...

Our 'Red Baron' peaches are in full bloom.

The first Bluebonnets of the season with Yucca baccata, Boxwood, and Nolina.

A wider view of the peaches.

March 21 - afternoon

Well, yesterday was the first day of spring and I marked the occassion with an all-out frenzy of activity. It had been many weeks since I had a full day to spend in the garden and  I attacked it with a vengeance... I must have pulled thousands of weeds and, with Victor's help, I moved all of our container plants back out into the garden. By the end of the day I stepped back with great satisfaction, I felt as if my garden had been restored to me. Neighbors stopped by throughout the day asking for tours and I delighted in showing them our peaches, redbud, buckeye, and more. Here are a few pics...


Our Hinckley  Columbine in full flower.


The  biggest of our circle beds.


A wide view of our Red Baron peaches.

Columbines with Leucojum.


Hybrid Agave and Bulbine.


A view across the raised beds of our conversation room towards the Bluebonnet labyrinth (with lavender, bulbine, dianthus, bluebonnets, and boxwood.)


Wow! The Red Baron peaches doing their Cherry Blossoms imitation.


Guadalupe in the Bluebonnets.

March 27 - evening

I spent most of the last week leading a retreat at The Crossings. It was a beautiful experience for me, and I hope for my small class. We were focusing on the spiritual component of gardening and the importance of attention filled communion with creation. By the end of the week, our little group felt like a family and it was sad for me to take my leave. It is comforting, however, to know that The Crossings will be there for us in the future.

On Friday, just before our last class, I returned to my room to find a Luna Moth resting on my door way. It was one of those "Mary Oliver Moments" - a little flash of beauty that calls you to attention. I took it both as a sign and as the everyday gift that it was. My thanks to my wonderful class  for thier attention and companionship and to The Crossings for offering me the opportunity to spend a week on their grace-filled campus.

The Luna Moth


My class on a field trip to my garden.


Sunrise at The Crossings.


A resident lizard.


Another sunrise view.


A guest lodge at The Crossings.


A moss covered cedar trunk along one of the trails.


A place for communion.



March 30 - morning

It is a brilliant cool morning and the garden is entering its second spring time phase. The first flush of color is fading: the peaches, redbud, and buckeye are shedding their blooms and the Anacaho orchid tree is beginning to open its delicate white blossoms. The bluebonnets are at the height of their beauty and have completely choked our labyrinth area... instead of forty-eight steps of quiet mediation it now takes about three or four brisk hops to make it through the labyrinth space. This past weekend, we set out our heirloom tomatoes, onions, and seasonal herbs. I can almost taste the heirloom tomato tart already!

The American Goldfinches have almost completed their springtime transformation as well. The males are nearing their splendor with their bright yellow feathers. This morning we had Purple Finches, Lesser Goldfinches, and American Goldfinches feeding from our thistle sock. As I made my morning rounds, I startled a momma possum who was loaded down with babies that were riding on her back. The little ones were clinging to momma with a wide eyed tenacity. As ugly as those critters are, you could recognize the tender bond between the mother and her youngsters. When momma sensed my approach she beat a wobbly retreat weighed down by her little family.

Our cats are enjoying the fine weather too and are out on their cat porch checking out the birds and taking in the fresh air. I wish I could stay with them and spend the day working in the garden- but alas, duty calls. My few moments in the garden have already brightened my day - I hope that you will let this changing season sink in enough to transform your day too.

Continue to April 2004

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