Monday, March 28, 2011

Mom's rock border project

I love where I grew up. I always have and always will! One of my favorite areas to hang out was the front yard.

The huge pecan trees were so cool in the summer and the sound of the wind blowing through those trees is my idea of heaven. There was also St. Augustine grass and it was always so cool to lie on or run around bare foot on! We would turn on the sprinkler and run though it or turn the pony loose in the front yard and play cowboy and indians riding her bareback. It is my idea of the perfect childhood!

Fast forward thirty years (ouch!) and now Mom has been adding beds of roses, hibiscus, double bridal wreath, daylillies and irises. This past weekend she had stone borders installed. She had a crew go out into the pasture and bring in white limestone rock to do all of it! Quite a job!

Okay so this the only before photo I have:

Here is the front bed half way complete:
Here is the front border complete. You can see how the rock border really finishes the look!

 The trees are pomegranate trees. They are fixing to bloom into an explosion of orange blooms! I really like how they arch over the windows.
Mom and I wondered why she didn't do this years ago! The shrubs are variagated pittosporum by the way.

This is the guesthouse and Mom continued the intallation of the beds down to here. It looks a little sparse right now but variagated pittosporum and yellow roses are coming soon! I am hoping for arching yellow roses to frame the main arch entrance here. (Hint, hint Mom)

Next is the corner which had a dead palm tree stump in it that had to be removed. Now you can't even tell it was here! Go Mom!

Under the elm tree was this before:

Now there is this border.
Here is a close up of the rock border - oh, and those cute kids whose are they? Oh, I think I will claim them! Hee, hee! (That is a baby kitten by the way - not a mouse!)

More photos to come of the completed project!

Also, this post is a part of the Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday Party  and

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oaks are amazing!

Isn't this oak tree amazing? I am guessing that there was a fire which damaged the tree many years ago. Wonderful how it could heal itself with time. My grandfather (pictured) found this wonderful old live oak on his ranch in West Texas when he was cleaning out the cedar trees crowding the oak. Now the live oak will have more room to spread out!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wagon wheel whimsy

Don't you love wagon wheels? My mother had this one laying around so we found it a new home this week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kitchen Garden Progress Report #1

It has been two weeks of working during the kiddos's naps and in the evenings but we have made progress on our new kitchen garden area! I forgot to take a before photo but this is a photo in progress: 

Zach built and installed 3 6x6 raised beds. We filled them with compost from the ranch, existing soil, aged mulch and two bags of composted cotton burrs. One veggie box has been planted for a week and our lettuces, brocolli, cabbage, spinach, and herbs are all looking great! More photos to come of those. Now we have 1/2 of the kitchen garden done! Here is the pretty side:

We also planted four grapes, two blackberries, and two blueberries (in pots). Next, came the hard part - I laid down newspaper and then about four inches of mulch to eliminate the weeds in the kitchen garden. It is a lot of brown at the moment but the color will come later.

Next on the agenda is to install strawberry patches around the blueberry pots, finish the newspaper/mulching, move bricks, and install second rose cutting area. Whew! I am tired just typing. But luckily we get a little break because I am taking the the girls to my mom's for the week so I hope Zach takes excellent care of our veggies and roses while we are gone! He is great and I know he will!

So here is a photo of the unfinished side of the kitchen garden. It is NOT pretty but it will make for a good before photo later! LOL! Oh, the umbrella with sandpit is for entertainment for my girls while I dig. Obviously, it is temporary but totally necessary at the moment!

So we are half way done with the kitchen garden! Whoop! (You Aggies feel me right!) Klacey (my smallest) pauses to smile for the camera.

Oh, and here is me too! So stylish don't you think!

Kitchen Garden Plan

Forgive the sideways photo but I can't figure out how to rotate this photo. Blogger newbie! Here is my kitchen garden plan. We have lots to do!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kitchen Garden Inspiration

Kitchen Gardens! How much fun is the idea of walking out into your beautiful sunny kitchen garden and picking up something for dinner? No check out lines or plastic baggies - just peace and perfection!

I spent many hours sitting in an old apricot tree eating fresh apricots right off the tree. Simply wonderful! At the Ozona ranch, I enjoyed home grown apricots, pomegranates and grapes! Oh, and did I mention how much fun it was to eat mulberries off of the mulberry tree while on your horse on a hot Texas afternoon?

Because I want to recreate some of these memories for my girls AND create some new ones of picking fresh cut flowers for the table - we are working on our new kitchen garden this spring.

So after spending some winter hours looking for inspiration these are the top picks:

1st Inspiration: The kitchen garden at Velvet and Linen. I love the symmetry of the four vegetable beds and how organized it is! The pea gravel with herbs lining the beds is wonderful.

The use of a focal point and pots that look appealing yet functional.

Also, if you read her post here, she lists the things she has learned during the first year in her kitchen garden.

2nd Inspiration: It's Complicated (the movie)
Yes, I am another one of the Nancy Meyer's groupies! LOL!! I loved the kitchen garden featured in the movie. I remember all of the negative feedback where gardeners were critiquing the garden because it was TOO perfect! Well, I personally loved it. I am a, "Shoot for the moon, land on a star" kind of girl so I liked the inspiration! It is just a movie anyway! Notice the amazing trees in teh background! Sigh... I think I just want to walk around with one of those baskets too!

Photo Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon, Universal Studios
3rd Inspiration: The Garden at The Polished Pebble: I really enjoyed the post (here) at the Polished Pebble where Kelley says that she enjoyed the movie and the gardens and that she thinks kitchen gardens CAN be beautiful. Read the post here because it also includes the before and afters of her wonderful garden! She also has many wonderful photos of her beautiful roses and vegetables!

4th: BHG Rose Garden Planting Plan:
Finally, I love roses! My favorite are antique roses in the landscape but when it comes to having roses for the vase - I love the roses that come from hybrid teas! So I want the kitchen garden to be a place that I can feel free to buy any rose and plant. So, along the west side of the house I will have this rose garden.
Hope you enjoyed the eye candy! Next post - my kitchen garden plan.