A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Monday, July 21, 2008


Baby steps.

There has been some progress on the organization. This is my work table in my room. Where the computer monitor is now there was a small television/vhs player. My new computer will run dvds while I work on other things so I moved the tv into the "spare" room so that I can use exercise tapes in there. This computer system is my old system. I am still backing up old files (mostly my photo collection which I'm organizing onto disc) and things like my scrapbooking fonts and alphabets. As soon as I'm done with all that I will remove the hard drive and take the rest to the recycling center.

I'm really glad to have cleared at least this much of the table because now I can see out the window. This part of the sideyard I call the Faerie Garden. I guess it could be the winged garden because my focus here is providing for winged creatures. Today I planted one of these

It's a passion vine called 'Linda Escobar." I have a common vine in the front yard. I grow them because they are the host plant for the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. In the Faerie Garden I've tried more unusual varieties, but they act like annuals and die off after flowering. This plant is, apparently, a different species collected by Ms. Escobar fairly recently in Ecuador and the plant lists claim it is hardier than the similarly colored varieties. We'll see how it does.

Gulf Fritillaries are a wonderful butterfly to have in the garden. They are almost as large as a Monarch and a brighter orange. [By the way, I snagged these pictures from this site and assumed the photog credit would come with them. All the pictures were taken by Peter J. Bryant (pjbryant@uci.edu)]

They really grab your attention when they flutter by because their orange wings almost glow in the sunlight.

I like the underside of the wing as much as the tops.

Every part of its life cycle is fun to watch. They must be delicious to eat because they have very threatening caterpillars.

And when they pupate, the cocoon looks just like an old, dead leaf hanging on the vine.

I also grow aesclepias (milkweed) for Monarchs and violets for the little blues. We get a lot of cabbage whites (which feed on the mustard that grows all over the place here including volunteering in my yard every year) and the occasional Painted Lady. One year the Painted Ladies SWARMED through our county one day. That was REALLY spectacular. The huge yellow and black Swallowtail is a frequent visitor; they are probably laying eggs in the sycamores behind our house. Skippers feed on Bermuda grass which everyone grows here whether you want it or not (we're part of the not, but it's impossible to get rid of once you are surrounded by it. Blast those Spanish missionaries!)

Anyway, back to the Faerie Garden. I had to pull out all the grass, repair the drip system (I really hate drip) and then I could plant some new things. I planted some petunias (Appleblossom pink) and a viola and a couple of dark purple angelonias. Rocky Mountain Columbine. Once I had cleaned out the grass I found that the miniature roses (all salmon pink) and heliotrope had survived.

I have a small-leaved violet (dark leaves, little flowers) that is seeding itself all over the yard. I'm going to start transplanting them into this area.

The centerpiece of the garden is this fountain (which I am not using as a fountain at this time but I'm perfectly happy with her as a sculpture).

I saw her in a garden magazine years ago and spent about three years doing internet searches and searching my local garden centers trying to find her. (She's a Beckett fountain). I had pretty much given up when I went into my local Home Depot one Sunday morning and saw just the back of her head from the entrance. Talk about making a beeline! They had just gotten her in. My next stress was over price. My limit was (and had to be) $300. After all that time, what if she was out of my price range? But, this is a happy ending story. She's just made of resin (in other words, pretty cheap stuff) and so the price was only $199.99!


Here are some pictures of some of her attributes:

Top of her head with garland of flowers.

Yeah, her feet are kind of dirty but aren't they cute? And I love the movement of her skirt!

Here she is in her home spot with her wings. I thought I took a better picture than this. Guess not.

So, I got everything cleaned out, the watering system repaired and the new plants in. Between this planter and the house I laid new landscape cloth and covered it with red recycled tire 'bark' which looks great, doesn't wash away, doesn't decompose but is pretty pricey. Oh, well.

I refilled the goldfinch feeder with nyger seed and hung it on the slightly higher hook than it had been on before. My neighbor has a new cat that has made itself at home in my back yard. (I used to love cats; I don't any more, and I really resent this one using my newly mulched pathways for a litter box). I stopped feeding the birds using the lower hanger because this stupid cat is killing my bird friends. DH likes it, though, because it is keeping the squirrels out of his garden.

I think he needs to go scoop the cat poop and stand watch to keep the cat out of my Faerie Garden.

Like that's going to happen.

Baby steps.

1 comment:

Chiloe said...

I love the fountain: she's so pure. The butterfly video is amazing.

Waow, I got the easiest word verification of the day: zsssj : I feel like a winner !!! lol