It’s been just over 15 months since my last post to this little gardening blog. I originally planned to blog for a year, then petered out and lost interest. Mostly I stopped because I was busy with other things. Many other things. Fifteen months of “magical thinking,” paraphrasing writer Joan Didion. Busy with life and the stuff that happens. So, to the small cadre of readers who followed “My Gardener Says…” , I disappeared.
In that fifteen months, I buried my father-in-law.
I endured a fire in my back garden and fence caused by strong, dry Texas winter winds and errant branches flaming against electric wires and an Austin Fire Department, who, stretched too thin that evening, arrived late.
We were fortunate: no one was hurt and our damage was minimal and fixable.
I developed ligament problems in one foot and then fell and broke the other.
I left a job I enjoyed, but had fulfilled.
I graduated my surviving child from high school, gloried in his summer antics between childhood and the college road to adulthood.
I became an Empty Nester when I moved him across the country to begin his new life.
I witnessed more water move through our property during the Halloween Flood of 2013 than anytime in our 28 years here. The next day I saw that our dining room ceiling sustained water damage.
After investigation, we realized that four juvenile raccoons, who had briefly moved into the space between the solar panels and roof weeks before the flood, had eaten through the shingles on the roof. The heavy rain poured through the newly made raccoon hole and into the attic. Although slowed by attic insulation, the water leaked through the ceiling. Our damage was nothing compared to folks who live in far southeast Austin, but still, who knew that raccoons would eat shingles on a roof? Turns out, raccoons are expensive visitors.
I ended 2013 with a diagnosis of an invasive form of skin cancer. Happy 2014 to me. Nothing too bad. Nothing that a little surgery won’t fix. Just call me Scarface. Gardeners: wear your hats and sunscreen.
Oh yeah and I adopted a new kitten.
And I got a new dryer. Whoop!
In all of that and the other life stuff that happened, I gardened.
I redesigned and replanted the fire damaged garden.
I started to build (and haven’t finished) a Green Tower, for vertical veggie/herb planting.
I figured out two new places for blackberry vines (so I can grow enough blackberries to bake cobbler and pie and still have plenty to eat from the vine).
I began a new perennial garden space, with an accompanying walkway in what was formerly a storage area.
It’s not finished yet.
I tweaked established gardens, always wondering: “why didn’t I think of that before??”
This winter has been a good winter for us: blasts of Arctic air, mingled with balmy days. Plants, abnormally evergreen for most winters of the past decade or two, are dormant now, behaving like the herbaceous perennials they are. I’ve pruned more this year than in a long time and that feels good.
Going forward, I plan to chronicle my garden adventures more regularly. It’s a new year.