27 April 2008

Spring has Sprung

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At my daughter's school, they raise money for their senior prom by selling spring flowers.  Even though she's only a sophomore, they've already begun the fund raising.  It must be one hell of a prom to need three years to raise money for, but whatever.   This year I was shamed into buying my spring flowers from her school.  When I picked them up a few weeks ago they were itty bitty things in itty bitty pots.  Today, I noticed that - boy! they have really gotten huge!  And so pretty!   Spring is definitely here in Houston.  Sunday it was 80 degrees outside and such a gorgeous day that I just had to show you pictures of my garden: 

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Pots of spring flowers courtesy of the prom fund raiser. 

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My back yard patio.  Our house is in a neighborhood in flux.  Half of the houses are newer and half were built for WWII veterans.  The lots are tiny -  50 x 100 is standard.  That doesn't leave much left out back for anything other than a courtyard.  Which is fine, I guess, as long as your neighbors are friendly and you don't like to sunbathe in the nude. (I don't, don't worry.)

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Pottery Barn pillows, Pier I chairs, Urban Outfitters rug, Wisteria blue and white garden seat (one of three that I own.)

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In case you are wondering what's with all the concrete bunnies and squirrels, etc.   -  I don't know either.  Ask my husband.   For a few years every Mother's Day he went to the Garden Gate and bought me some animal.  I would probably have hundreds by now if I hadn't of threatened to throw the next one he gave me through the window.       My sister (you remember her house, right?) gave me this garden bench and the pedestals and antique urns (hard to see the urns through the luscious plants)  when she moved to a high rise a few years ago.  Now that she's back on the ground, I've offered to return this vignette to her (half-heartedly really - I very lamely offered to give it back.)  So far, thankfully, she has refused my most generous offer. 

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Come to think of it, she gave me this too when she moved (God, I'm such a mooch! And Cathy - I am not giving this back!) - an antique wire plant stand.   Last year I decided to try all green plants on the stand, no more flowers.  Not a great look - I need to freshen these pots up.  Blue and white pot from Wisteria, not Cathy.

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Last year I planted caladiums (well the garden man planted them - I ordered them - he even got that wrong since I ordered  green and white caladiums and got pink and green instead.)   Surprisingly, the caladiums are back this spring!  So exciting to get something for nothing!   Do you see a theme here?    And, for added fun, you can play a  game:  "find the poop" - I just noticed that little Sammie Jo has left a package on the gravel.    First one to find the poop - wins it!!!!  Shipping included, free.

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Oh Sammie Jo - you're such a bad girl! 

And psst. you need to go on a diet, too!   

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Looking towards the right of the courtyard.   

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Same angle, just a wider shot of the patio to the right.  You can see the columns on the right side - those used to have evergreen wisteria growing on them - which we trained patiently for 14 years.  This spring we removed all the vines after we noticed that the only thing nesting in them were rodents.  Yes.  Lovely,  I know.  But true.  And don't judge me until you've gone out in your back yard late at night.  Trust me, you have them too.

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And a view to the left.  Here you can see the beautiful antique urns next to the bench.

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This cute planter with the fleur de lis was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law, Michelle.  Not sure if I ever thanked you - but thanks, Michelle!  I love it,  as you can see.  Michelle has a new blog here.  Check it out - it's great! 

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My office!  And that Starbucks is NOT a styling prop!  Table and chairs from Wisteria.

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The hydrangeas in the front yard are starting to come to life.  You can just see the buds of the flowers in the center.    Can't wait for those.

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Just underneath our address plaque, you can make out the Star of Texas brass plate that my other sister-in-law Shannon (remember her house?) gave me for Christmas one year.   Ben and I like to pretend it's actually a State of Texas Historical Marker, such jokesters.

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My window box in the front yard.   This actually looks pretty good for once.  I've contemplated just putting fake ivy and flowers in here - it's so hard to keep this box looking pretty all year long.

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Our front yard tree.  It's just now getting it's leaves back after winter.  That's the top of my two story roof on the left.  The tree is an old water oak and it's the reason we bought this particular lot to begin with.   It's a huge responsibility to have a tree this old and large.    Each spring we have a tree professional come trim it and feed it.    We have another, smaller water oak on our lot that grew from an acorn dropped off  from the older tree.  And when we tore down the house on this lot to build our home, my mother-in-law salvaged a lot of the plants.  One thing she took was a tiny plant that grew from an acorn from this tree.  She planted it in her back yard and 17 years later, her water oak is quite tall.  The tree is called "Elisabeth's Tree" after my daughter who just turned 17 the other day.  Happy Birthday to Lizzy and her tree!