Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Suffering Lantana

What happened? My lantana used to be so pretty. Endless tiny yellow blooms loved by butterflies and hummingbirds.
July 26, 2006

Look at it now.

July 29, 2008

Waaaah! Boo!

It came back this year like it has the past two years, but this year I've got plently of lush green leaves and no blooms. What should I do? Should I cut it back? Should I start over every year with new plants? (Please, say it ain't so!) I am feeling like such a failure because I see gorgeous blooming lantana all over the place, and mine is so sad. Help!

The perennial bed is looking great this year. Such a transformation. A photo from each year, starting in 2006:

October 22, 2006

May 10, 2007

July 29, 2008

I've worked extremely hard on getting this perennial garden to look the way I want it to. So far so good! I can think of a few more things that I'd like to do:

  • The Carolina Jessamine is eating that tiny iron obelisk alive. I want something like this to replace it. I'm pretty sure my grandfather can make me one.

  • I've got some bare spots on the right side where the mimosa tree shades the perennial garden most of the day. I want to plant foxgloves. Anyone have experience growing foxgloves and advice to give me?
  • I planted four pink creeping phlox plants in the front and three of them died. Yep, I didn't plant them quickly enough after purchasing, and they just dried up. I'm going to replace them because I think they'll look fabulous in early spring.
In 2009 this perennial bed should be totally rockin and gorgeous!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

An Oxford Weekend

Please, take me home! I've been in Oxford three weekends in a row. Tomorrow I'm heading back to Clinton. I'm super excited about spending this week and weekend relaxing at home with Chip.

As many of you know, the University of Mississippi is hosting the first Presidential Debate on Friday, September 26, 2008. There is a great vibe in Oxford town lately as everyone is getting hyped up for the debate weekend. Chip and I are planning to come up that weekend for the festivities. No, we don't have tickets to the debate (as if, and I wish!), but our fourth wedding annivesary is on the 25th, and we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than by cheering on Senator Obama. Oh, and Neko Case is playing a show on the 25th, too. The town is going to be packed with journalists and out-of-towners, so both the university and the city of Oxford are undergoing major facelifts in order to be in tip-top shape.

The city is moving the electrical wires that line University Avenure underground. Sewer lines are also getting a major overhaul. I'm sure this will look great when they get done, but right now University Avenue and the streets around the Square are torn to hell.

The Courthouse is also under renovation. I took a few photos while I was on the Square today.

The clock is still missing its hands. So far, the renovation seems to be going excellently. Today as a summer thunderstorm rolled in, the courthouse seemed to gleam under the big thunderhead clouds.

Even Square Books is getting a fresh coat of paint.

With the wind picking up and lightning not far off, the painters stayed on their ladders a lot longer than I would have.

Off Square Books didn't have what I was looking for, but I always enjoy browsing their stacks.

And right before I made it to my car, the rain began. I watched it for a little while and then headed home.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fourth of July's Bounty

My House on Independence Day

I got up early on the Fourth with plans to make a Lemon Meringue Pie, then drive 80 miles to my grandparent's house for lunch. My pie was to have a homemade graham cracker crust, lemon custard filling, and a fluffy meringue. My brother was grillling ribs and BBQed chicken, and I thought Paula Deen's pie would hit the spot. The crust went OK, but I'd never made a lemon custard pie filling before. First, I had the heat up too high and cooked some of the egg whites. I strained it and started again. Then, I didn't let the mixture thicken enough. So I had to strain it again, put it back in the pot, and redo my crust. I finally got the hang of it, and I think it turned out excellent. My grandparents loved it. So did my brother. And, I must have too considering I ate three slices that day. My only complaint is that I thought my second crust was too sweet. (I was fairly frustrated at that point, and just eyed the ingredients instead of measuring.)

After lunch my grandparents and my brother helped me pick and shuck two 5-gallon buckets of corn. Once the corn was packed in the cooler for the ride home, we cracked open one of the season's first watermelons. My grandpa had picked the best looking one earlier that morning. We sat under thebig oak tree and savored our afternoon snack.

And for my blog readers, I took a photo tour of my grandparent's garden. What a garden it is! Folks, this is what I call Independence. In this garden (above) they've got purple-hull peas (my favorite), string beans, corn (lots and lots of corn), squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelons. And in this garden (below) they've got peppers, more corn, and some fruit trees. I can't remember if those are grapes or muscadines. And those are just the summer crops...And then there are the Tomatoes.

Ah, the tomatoes. All organic. Getting fat on my granny's beautiful compost. The plants are at least 6-feet tall. The fruit is divine, as perfect as you can get a tomato. My brother took my photo in front of the plants so you can see how tall they are. I'm about 5'2". Wow!

My granny sent me home with the corn I picked, some peas my brother picked for me, string beans, squash, and cucumbers. And my pawpaw put a cantaloupe in the front seat when I wasn't looking. Yum-yum.