Thursday, August 19, 2010

gardening with junk

This post really doesn't have much to do with junk, unless you count the weeds in my flower bed and the junk that I add to the garden to make up for the lack of color. This series of pictures is our back yard. We bought a brand new home, something I thought we weren't going to do until we got here and looked at what was available. So I had to start from scratch to make a flower bed along the back fence. Months of digging, spreading mulch, getting bricks out of the construction trash and some plants. Viola! We have a garden!
The shed is on the far left of the back yard. I have window frames from Germany hanging on it. The wooden crate thing on legs I call a deer feeder. I found it in the trash in Germany and came home with it tied to the top of the van. My husband thought I was crazy until I mentioned that it would look good on a front porch filled with firewood. That's when he really knew I was even crazier than he ever imagined because that meant we were moving this piece of junk back to the USA. And he nearly had me committed when I told him of course it is going with us, all the junk I have been collecting is going with us. No front porch here so it is relegated to the back garden where I still think it looks really neat!
Note the very edge of the white shutter on the right side of the picture and then look below at the white shutter to mentally attach these pictures to get a continuing view.
All the bird houses have come from yard sales and thrift shops except for one mosaic one that was a gift in a Christmas gift exchange several years ago. That big giant rock is one I dug out of the yard when I was digging the garden. Gotta love the central TX terrain! The metal things hanging on the fence I bought at a yard sale in TX. They make great trellises but then the beauty of the metal scroll work gets covered.
This circle usually looks less lopsided but our daughter relaid the bricks the last time I mowed and edged and let's just say that her attention to detail when it comes to something important to MOM is less than stellar. Those little wispy green things in the circle are some sort of weed that grows right up thru the weed cloth. darn weeds!
Before I had any garden at all I had this shelf on the fence with all the watering cans sitting on it and one hanging from it. But they fell down every time the wind blew (which is everyday sometimes in central TX) so I put most of them on the ground, scattered among the flowers and left two hanging on the shelf brackets. Tomato plants grow under the shelf. That is TWO plants that are huge, have tons of flowers and have produced 2 small tomatoes so far with 3 green ones on the plants.
One of my pride and German hay wagon. I wanted one of these in the worst way when we lived in Germany. I finally went to a floh markt (flea market) and paid real money for it. It as wooden wheels with rubber tires. Most of them have plastic or metal wheels from bicycles as the wooden wheels have long ago rotted away. I love this thing.
One very lonely little bee balm plant to the right of the wagon. It was planted late in June this year and sort of died off. I clipped it pretty close to the ground and it has started to come back. Looking forward to some flowers next summer.
My helper!
OK, time for plant identification folks. The one on the left is a butterfly bush that is blooming in a sickly looking white. I think the strong sun could be bleaching the flowers. The bigger one on the right is????? A real plant or a weed? Anybody?
This is a close up of the vine that is growing to the right of the circle of bricks. Is it sweet potato vine? I wasn't sure for along time if it was a weed or not. But I put up a rope for it to climb on and enjoyed that it GREW. Now that it has started to bloom I know it is one I planted from seed from my mom, but the name of it??? I call it the dark green vine with the lilac flowers.
OK this one is to the left of the above vine. It is right under the two metal trellis looking things hanging on the fence. I know I planted seeds here but I thought they didn't come up for a good 6 weeks or more. Then one day as I was watering I saw little seedlings pushing their way up. Kept watering it and now I have this. It has buds on it so we will see if it is something real or a weed. No matter to me for now. It fills the space!
I think this vine is called cypress vine. It looks better in person than in this picture. You don't see the dead, yellow so much as it is the under layer. It is very very full at the top and gets just a few red trumpet shape flowers. It doesn't get loads of flowers on it so the color isn't very bright or full, but the feathery greenery is great. It is climbing up the one and only real trellis I had. Everything else is growing up clothes line rope that I tied to the fence. Why? Because that is what I had so I didn't have to spend any money on trellises.
This IS a weed, I know. But it grows like crazy. Reminds me a little bit of wandering jew, a houseplant my mom always had. It grows so fast and so thick I am thinking I should let it be a ground cover in the flower bed instead of fighting it and ripping it out all the time.
This little fellow, who isn't so little, has the coolest web. He, or a relative of his (hers?) was on the other side of the garden in June and now he is on the other side. They both had these extensive webs that are about 24" across and then in the center is this weaving that goes side to side on two strands of the web. Only this side to side part is white. Don't know the name of this. Don't know if it is poison but I do like the bright colors he has and the cool looking web.
There are a ton of grasshoppers this year. Didn't see a one of them last year. These aren't the cute "Jiminy Cricket" green grasshoppers that I knew growing up in southern IL. These are the large, mean yellow and tan ones that you see in all the movies where the pioneers' fields are eaten completely in a day or two right before harvest. The newspapers say that what the grasshoppers aren't getting this year the army worms are. Fat, juicy, Caterpiller looking worms that look like they are wearing camouflage. Bet that's how they got their name, huh?

OK, anybody want to help with names of plants/weeds/spiders???

1 comment:

  1. love all the junk in the backyard cindy!!!!!! looks so like something you would do!! i miss looking at the wall of junk together in germany at your house....those were the good ole junkin days for sure.
    that feathery vine is gorgeous!!! the garden spider is awesome. their webs look like zig zag sewing seams. that is a female....the male is like 1/50 of her size or something. it's nuts!!
    peter is adorable and all grown up. i just can't believe it! love the silly bandzs.
    so...enjoy that garden and those HOA people can't say squat, right? what do they know about junk style anyway....
    just stay away from those fat army worms....eeeewww.
    take care