Monday, March 30, 2009

Purple weekend planting

I should have been pulling weeds and harvesting the last of the kale and spinach, but I took a quick trip to the nursery instead. I came back with two new purple flowers, both of which are supposed to be fairly heat and drought-tolerant once established.

I planted the three sentimental blue balloon flowers (Platycodon Sentimental Blue) near the front porch steps and the three hybrid verbenas (Verbena Donalena tm Lavender Grace) by the santolina near the front sidewalk. Aren’t they pretty?

balloon flower

hybrid verbena

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring lantana

I know some gardeners look down their noses at lantana, considering it low-brow and common, I guess. I, however, think it’s swell. Besides being hardy and drought-tolerant, it’s just plain cheery. It also grows all over Southern France, so when Austin starts getting really hot, I just look at my lantana and try to pretend I'm lounging in Nice.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My feed is working again

Apparently there was a mystery entry that showed up in my "Post Feed Redirect URL" setting, which caused my blog's outgoing RSS feed to malfunction for everyone out there who had subscribed to it.

I have now cleared the setting, and my feed update appears to be operating properly again! Sorry it took so long for me to figure it out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yogurt Shop Murders: today’s closed door hearing

Although it was listed on the docket, today’s 1:30 hearing took place entirely behind closed doors. In fact, the courtroom doors themselves remained locked while a handful of slightly frustrated reporters and I (also slightly frustrated) sat outside in the hall for over an hour waiting to hear something.

Robert Springsteen and Michael Scott were not present, but I saw their attorneys enter the side door. Scott’s pro bono attorney from New York, Robert Romano, also attended the meeting.

At 2:45, Springsteen lawyer Joe James Sawyer emerged and talked to reporters. Although he couldn’t reveal specifics about the meeting, he did say that the writ of habeas corpus hearing for Springsteen would occur within 45 days. Scott lawyer Carlos Garcia said his team would be filing a similar writ soon. When asked if the state was warming up to the idea of setting bond, Sawyer said, “No, the only thing the state is warming up to is the theory that the earth is flat.”

Regarding the newly tested unknown male DNA (that does not match any of the original four suspects) found on three of the four murdered girls, Sawyer lambasted the DAs for believing that “science means nothing” and for their “romance with confessions.” He further criticized the Travis County DA’s office for being less DNA-progressive than Harris and Dallas counties, especially in light of the Christopher Ochoa and Richard Danziger exonerations, both of whom gave coerced false confessions to APD.

Sawyer said they would meet again next Tuesday at 1. Apparently it will not be a public hearing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, a day late

cobalt salvia (salvia guaranitica cobalt) with silver ponyfoot

Hooray for some real rain last week! I couldn’t find time to post my pictures yesterday because I was outside doing more Spring veggie bed preparation while the ground was soft. Thanks again to Carol whose blog, May Dreams Gardens, shows many other garden bloggers’ blooms.

I’ve got some new-to-me blooms this month as well as some old reliables.

Spiders must like Society Garlic as much as I do.

delphinium (an annual)

Gasp--it's not all purple. Mexican honeysuckle (justicia spicigera) and Louisiana blue phlox.

"Mona lavender" (plectranthus Mona Lavender)


assorted phlox

victoria salvia (salvia farinaceae Victoria)

silver bush germander

allison mexican heather

trailing lantana

in the veggie garden: broccoli flowers

calendula, which are supposed to benefit veggie gardens

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Expanding the veggie gardens

Husband Kurt did yeoman’s work this weekend, doubling the size of one veggie garden by extending the existing beds and adding two more. I moved the flowers from inside to outside the dog fence of the other garden so Kurt could add a bed where the flowers had been.

We still need to fasten down the drip line and build some trellises for tomatoes, but overall, we now have beds waiting for the onion, tomato, cucumber, scallion, and basil seedlings that are currently lining my window sills!

The Statesman's Renee Studebaker used my photo in her blog entry today as an example of the most simple type of raised veggie bed of the three examples she featured.

Still going strong here are arugula, spinach, parsley, and one fennel. Potted dill, cilantro, thyme, basil, and oregano are doing okay, but I'll put the basil in the ground in a few weeks.

Kale, sorrel, and shallots are doing fine here. The tall yellow flowers are broccoli I'm using to attract bees and butterflies until I plant tomatoes in that row. In the very back, you can sort of see the society garlic and calendula I transplanted outside the dog fence.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mixing it up in the front yard garden

This weekend we did allot of rearranging in the front yard garden. We took out some big, old unhappy rosemary and Texas sage, opening up some crowded areas. I added some things new to me, Allison Mexican heather (cuphea hyssopifolia Allison); a salvia with blue-violet blooms, Victoria (salvia farinaceae Victoria), which is similar to indigo spires but more compact and shorter; a bit of cobalt salvia (salvia guaranitica cobalt); Mexican honeysuckle (justicia spicigera); and Louisiana blue phlox (phlox divaricata).

I even planted some wildly non-drought-tolerant annuals, a delphinium (delphinium x belladonna) and some heliotrope (heliotropium arborescens Atlantis). I now even have a porch plant for the first time in years, a Mona Lavender (plectranthus Mona Lavender). I still want to add a few more Victoria salvias and bicolor iris, then I'll post an overview photo.

potted cobalt salvia (salvia guaranitica cobalt) with Victoria salvia planted to its left

In the foreground is heliotrope(heliotropium arborescens Atlantis), directly behind it is the delphinium(delphinium x belladonna)heliotrope, and in the back is the Louisiana blue phlox (phlox divaricata). The potted beauty is a Mona Lavender (plectranthus Mona Lavender).

closer heliotrope and delphinium

east side: the carpenters took out all the old nandinas that were scraping the house, so I started adding some replacements: silverado sage, bicolor iris, phlox, Mexican heather, tiny transplanted Mexican feather grass, and variegated society garlic.

westside: same story as eastside. I moved the red pot from the front, and planted Mexican heather, phlox, and tiny transplanted society garlic.