The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- October 2003

Last Update: October 28

October 5 - morning

It has been a very hectic time and I have much to do today... just thought I'd add a few pictures to let everyone know I am still here. Hope to add some actual musings this evening...

Lavender  with dianthus, bulbine,  and agave.

October 6 - evening

Well, things got a little too busy yesterday for me to recount all of the goings-on... safe to say it has been an intensely busy time. I have been working on a major documentary piece for Austin Now, the program that I produce and host for KLRU. And that has exhausted almost all of my reserve energy. However, I have really enjoyed the time I have been able to spend in the garden.

I can't wait to get some nice wide shots of the garden to show you all of the changes that we have made, but, for the time being, you'll just have to believe me - there have been many. This has been one of the gentlest starts to autumn that I can remember - the weather has been perfect for gardening: cool and dry. We have had a few showers in the past day or so, but that has only helped to water in the newly planted bulbs (oxblood lilies and summer snowflakes.) I am hoping that the early turn to autumnal weather means that we will have a good year for fall color.

Here's to the change of seasons! More soon...

One of our David Austin "English" roses, this one is "Jude the Obscure."

October 12 - evening

We have enjoyed a quiet rainy weekend, and for the first time in many months, I have spent a day doing as little as possible. It is funny how uncomfortable that can make someone like me feel. All morning long I tried to rouse myself for some major project, feeling that I ought to be doing something. There certainly was no shortage of weeds to pull or leaves to rake. However, my recessive survival gene must have kicked in and a long nap ended up being my project for the day. I dozed for hours and woke up surrounded by equally well rested cats who were piled up around me. The really good news is that I am still sleepy and I am looking forward to crawling into bed early .

Before I do that... I want to send a kudo to the Artistic Director and performers of the Austin Civic Chorus. Last night we attended their production of Mozart's Requiem, one of my absolute favorite pieces of music, and we were greatly impressed by the quality of the musicians, soloists, and choir. We will be sure to attend more of their performances in the future. Bravo!

October 24 - morning

This is the first day in over a week that I haven't had a production to attend to at KLRU or KLBJ and I intend to spend a little time in the garden before heading off to work.

Even though hot weather has returned over the course of the past few days, autumn is definitely making its presence felt - the mornings have been delightful and many plants are beginning to show signs of shedding their leaves. Soon, our Japanese and big tooth maples, bald cypresses, and lacey oak will provide their display of autumn color. A cold front is expected to bring us the coolest weather of the season tomorrow and I can't wait. We will be making our annual pilgrimage to Lost Maples soon. I can't wait to get out on the canyon trails and to see the night time sky far from the city lights.

Wide shot of our back yard from the roof.

October 27 - morning

A strong cold front blew through this weekend and there was an almost wintry feel to the garden yesterday. My "second cup of coffee" morning tour of the garden was a little uncomfortable in shorts and a T-shirt! A change in uniform is defintely called for. I spent almost the entire day outside cleaning up several of our beds and dealing with the huge amount of leaves that were falling. A couple of our bald cypress and big tooth maples are beginning to take on their fall colors... a sure sign of the times. We spent a good part of the afternoon cleaning leaves and twigs off of our roof and out of our gutters - not a fun job. At least I was able to snap a few wide shots of the garden while I was up there. The shot above shows our new stepping stone path that leads to the conversation room.

I taught a landscape design class for the Austin Museum of Art on Saturday and brought my students back to the garden for a little show and tell. As we walked through the arbor pictured below, we saw a butterfly that had just emerged from its chrysalis. There are dozens of gulf fritillary caterpillars eating the passionvine that covers our arbor. The butterfly was spectacular. Yesterday, I saw it hiding in one of our bald cypress trees, I guess it is waiting for the sun to come out so that it gather up its energy for the migration ahead. Another gift of the season!

A slightly wider view. The arbor is on the left.

October 28 - morning

It is a gorgeous crystalline morning... cool, bright, and crisp. As I was touring the garden this morning, I noticed that the cats were out enjoying the first warming rays of light on their cat-porch and couldn't resist taking a few pictures...

This is a straight-on view of the cat-porch. Notice their sisal-wrapped climbing post and the "cat-house" made by my Dad. That is Luna up on the walk way and Xoxo on the platform.

A little closer in. Maya, Fez and Rufous have joined the fun.

Issa (aka Lard Butt) taking advantage of the morning sun inside the house.

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