The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- April 2004

Last Update: April 27

The raised bed surrounding our conversation room with lavender, dianthus, bulbine, bluebonnets, an agave, and more.

April 4 - afternoon

A busy gardening weekend spent digging in the dirt and waiting for a much hyped rain event... so far just a few drops but the weather radar is looking semi-promising. I am a bit too tired to offer much in the way of inspirational thought, but here are a few more pictures to show you the progress of our spring...

St. Francis goes to Mardi Gras (and brings some purple ground orchids along for the ride. ) That is Yucca 'color guard'  in the pot.

 

A wider view of the conversation room bed with our Anacacho orchid tree blooming in the background.

 

Basho and Issa taking a brotherly siesta.

April 7 - morning

I have just completed my first inspection tour of the garden for the day and I am genuinely thrilled but what I have seen... we received over two inches of rain yesterday morning followed by bright sunshine in the afternoon. I love the way the garden looks after one of our Texas downpours - it seems scrubbed down and plumped up, as if it had been touched by the hand of God. And, in a sense, I guess it has.

Last year, at this time, the weather turned dry on us, so yesterday's rain was a great relief. There is the promise of more rain to come and moderate temperatures - it looks as if this Central Texas springtime may actually last through April and maybe even into May. I am crossing my fingers. Any delay of the summertime heat is greatly appreciated in Austin.

Despite our dread of the heat, the first really warm day can bring its own rewards. Here is a remembrance from last Saturday, the first day where there was a hint of summer:

Red Tail Hawks

Head down - hands in the
soil, lost in the summery
warmth of an April
afternoon. The first sweat of
the season shaking from my
hair, my arms moving
like pistons reaching for the
next weed, propelling
my grand plans for the garden .
Then, from far above, beyond
the greening limbs of
the trees, comes the sharp needle
keeer-r-r cry of a red
tail hawk and its mate’s more distant
reply. Glancing upwards I
am drawn into their
soaring circles, and out of
my own: Remember the joy
of wind under motionless
wings. Remember the first warm
hours of this still young
spring. Remember to let your
flesh love what it is
called to love. Remember to
listen when called from above.

by Tom Spencer (with apologies and a lasting debt to Mary Oliver.)

April 13 - evening

A Louisiana Iris from our garden.

It is getting late, but I thought I'd share a few new pictures...

 

Another form of Louisiana Iris.

 

Evening light at the back of the garden.

April 16 - morning

Our garden has been literally exploding after the generous rains and gentle temperatures of the past few weeks. Right now, our Louisiana irises are really putting on a show and our roses, daffodils, amaryllis and many other plants are blooming away. This may be the most beautiful spring we have enjoyed in over ten years. I just hope that we continue to get the occasional downpour to sustain all of this new growth. Here are some pictures taken yesterday morning....

Morning dew on a Lousiana Iris.

 

Looking back towards the house over the iris.

 

Morning light on another iris.

 

Beautiful light!

 

One of our English roses: 'Pat Austin.'

 

Daffodil 'Ice Follies.'

 

One of our 'Circle' beds with Agaves bracteosa, weberii, and americana "baby blue."

April 25 - morning

It is a quiet, rainy Sunday. My Mother-in-law has been visiting from Mexico and we have had a wonderful few days showing her around Austin and visiting my family in Houston. When we were in Houston, we visited several museums including the  Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum that is a part of the  Menil Museum complex. The presentation of the frescoes is absolutely brilliant. It is one of my favorite places anywhere. Austinites tend to look down our noses at Houston, and I must admit that it is not on my list of great world cities. However,  their museums are outstanding. At present, we have nothing that compares. (Though, The Galleries at the Ransom Center and Blanton Museum are beginning to change that!)

In the garden, the rain and relatively cool temperatures has kept everything looking amazing. The roses, in particular are looking great. Here is the latest picture from our conversation room beds....

Guadalupe and her roses.

April 27 - morning

Victor's Mom is now flying back to Mexico. Yesterday, we spent some time at the Zilker Botanical Gardens enjoying the beautiful Spring weather.

Here are a few pictures from our visit...

The Taniguchi Oriental Gardens.

 

The waterfall in the Hartman Prehistoric Gardens.

 

Another scene from the Oriental Gardens.

 

Victor and his Mom.

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