Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ecology class visit

This morning, Blanco Middle School teacher Pam Meier and her ecology class walked over to visit the Meadow and our gardens. I talked about how I'm trying to preserve native species in our neighborhood by reseeding them in the Meadow. We also looked at the different milkweed species that grow on our property, including antelope horns, purple milkweed vine and green (pearl) milkweed vine. 

(I took an extra shot to get the bashful young man in the far right side in the photo.) Thank you for coming over. Come back soon, guys! 

Wedding celebration and garden gala

The weather last Saturday was absolutely PERFECT for our 10th anniversary celebration and garden tours. Around 60 or so friends and family dropped by to give us hugs and see our gardens. I wore my wedding dress, and James color coordinated, as you can see. Thank you, everyone, for sharing a very special occasion with us!

Bobby signing our guest book
Daughter Lindsey (far left) came, and Susan and Randy from San Antonio surprised me. I haven't seen them in years!

Butch, Bobby and Dayna (James is visiting with Linda)
Steve and Cheryl 
 Stephen, Ron and James
My Uncle Dudley and Aunt Saza and my mother Marcelle (far right) came, too.
Hi, Linda!

Paul, Kee, Nelda and Buddy    
Me and Shena
My cousin Hudson surprised us and brought Aunt Jeanette (far right)
Mom and Aunt Jeanette
Bobby, Dayna and Butch
Me, David and Shena
Kenneth and Diana
Janie and Cordelia
Carolyn (right) and her friend
Gabby, Lindsey, me and James
A BRIDE AND GROOM attended–Travis and LynEll.

David, Wayne and Martha in the Meadow
Jack and Shirley
Cordelia, Marian, Shena and Linda

Cheryl and Doris

Barbara and Joe
Kenneth and Mom (isn't she beautiful?)

Sue and Larry
Betty and Kip
Our parking engineers, Luke and Peyton
Nelda, Buddy and Kee
Linda and Jerry
Melody and blogger Shirley, who both came from San Antonio! I was so honored.
A glorious time was had by all. Thank you again for coming!         

Thursday, April 28, 2016

We're on Central Texas Gardener!

It's official! Our segment on Central Texas Gardener is on the air! Online, check out our segment, "Blanco Native Plant Garden and Pocket Prairie." We're so honored to be featured! 

Here's a YouTube link to the same segment: "Blanco native plant garden and pocket meadow: Sheryl Smith-Rodgers and James Hearn."

As a side note, they filmed our gardens in late June after our horrendous Memorial Day Weekend 2015 floods. That very day, Linda Lehmusvirta, Central Texas Gardener producer, and her crew came to our home, we had heavy rains and even a tornado warning. Which is why we had to come inside for our sit-down interview.

Plant marker refurb project

As you can see, my plant tags are wearing out and not looking so good. In preparation for our anniversary celebration/garden tours Saturday, I'm refurbishing as many as I can. Last week, Diane, a Master Gardener from Horseshoe Bay, told I needed to get a "P-Touch" so I could label my markers.

A WHAT? I had no clue what she was talking about.

Then I got online and found some on good ol' Amazon. Sheryl ordered a P-Touch PT-D400, and she's been a labeling fool ever since. (Thanks, Diane!) Don't they look nice? Oh, yes, it's a bit of work. I round up yucky ones in our garden, take them apart and clean them up. (I use an old toothbrush to brush off debris and reform their shapes.) Then I type out labels and apply them right on the old tag. We'll see how long the tags last out in the weather. But I love how I can reuse zinc markers that I was no longer able to write on. Yee haw!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Plant signs & an anniversary celebration!

Next week is our 10th anniversary! On May 2, 2006, James and I married in our back yard with Rev. Wally Hiller as our officiating minister. Mr. Hiller, as I always called him, left for heaven in January 2015, but I KNOW he'll be with us to celebrate. God willing (referring to the chances of rain), James and I are going to host an anniversary celebration and garden tour this Saturday, April 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. 

As part of  our efforts to educate, I've made plant markers (from a recycled campaign sign and skewer sticks) that I'm going to primarily set out along the Ninth Street easement on our Meadow. (The QR codes on the tags link to plant species accounts on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website.) We have some really cool native plants that grow there, and I'm hoping to tell people in a positive way that I'd rather they not park there. We'll have plenty of other places to put cars. 

Please drop by and sign our guest book! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A spongy mystery

James took these photos for me several days ago. He spotted these spongy things attached to the stems of a Russian sage in the front yard.  I have no clue what they are, but I think they showed up after some heavy rains we had a couple of weeks ago. New to me! I can't remember ever seeing something like this in our gardens. I'm checking around, trying to figure out what they are but no luck yet. Mushrooms? Fungus? Help?

UPDATE APRIL 27, 2016–Carroll, a friend on Facebook, suggested that this might be a slime mold. I think she's right. I found a blog post about dog vomit slime molds, taxonomically called Fuligo septica. Our slime mold, if that's was this was, sure picked an odd place to happen.