Spooky Action Ranch Report: Week Fifteen 2015

Spring in the Hill Country

This is the height of spring in the Hill Country of Texas.  Everything is in bloom, from fields of bluebonnets to fruit trees.  Even our pecan tree is dangling its pollen clusters.  In the garden, our herb and wildflower corner is in full swing.  We have daisies, poppies, irises, the mint is spreading, our thyme is nearly three times the size it was last year and covered in tiny purple flowers.  Our grapevines are blooming, the pears and peaches are starting to form fruit, and the figs are leafing out.   The back hillside is covered in purple verbena.

Of course, all of this amazing growth means that all the weeds and grasses are growing fast too.  Paths are disappearing under a sea of green which encroaches on the garden from all directions.  The last of the winter crops are quickly going to seed.  (Funny that phrase, ‘gone to seed.’  One might use it to mean, ‘not looking one’s best’,  ‘Past one’s prime’  The thing is, when a plant actually goes to seed, that is being pregnant, bringing new life.  That’s not ‘past one’s prime, its a glorious and amazing miracle.  Yet our fear of death and worship of youth leads us to denigrate the whole idea and turn it into an insult.  Too bad we can’t praise the whole cycle of life).

With the winter garden providing a fruitful harvest, it is now time to start planting the seeds of spring.  We will have a garden full of cowpeas, okra, peppers, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.  Its going to be a tasty season!

In the meantime, here are some images of the garden and ranch from this beautiful week.

Verbena

The whole hillside is filled with these lovelies, Verbena.

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I have not yet identified this tree, does anyone recognize it?

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These are out little baby peaches. I hope we get to eat some of them this year!

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Winecups growing in the path. If we have to have a weedy path, at least they are pretty!

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One of many flowers blooming in the herb garden. These lovely flowers open in the daylight and curl back together when the sun sets. Isn’t nature amazing?

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I’ve lost the name of this one, anyone recognize it?

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Mint! It sure makes the garden smell divine.

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Daisy. Do you see the bug on there? Anyone know who he is? I am pretty sure that is a larval stage

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Thyme in full bloom.

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Here is a closer look at those tiny thyme flowers.

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The potatoes have popped up inside their cages. I have already put one layer of mulch and compost on this, and will keep adding as they continue to grow.

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The roses are quite lovely this year, although the bushes are getting out of hand. Its time to try some summer pruning.

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Pear blossoms.

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We already have a dozen tomato plants growing in the garden. Some of them have already begun to bloom. I hope we get tomatoes soon!

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River is supervising as I rinse the lettuce for lunch. I doubt I could manage it without her guidance.

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I couldn’t help but bring a little of the spring inside.

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