Thursday, July 17, 2014

This makes me exceedingly happy

Rose steps in Tehran, Iran
Can we have more fine art graffiti artists?  Like Renaissance master type shit, Dutch still life, Flemish Baroque, etc.  Would people like Brutalism better if there was a bouquet of dead flowers and a freshly-murdered rabbit painted on them?  

Can I maybe paint a mural on the side of my house INSTEAD of landscaping?  I don't know if you guys know but growing things is hard.  I don't know which is harder: growing things in the summer in Tennessee or imitating Old World painting techniques on mint green vinyl siding?

Regardless of your mural talents, I'm also getting a Tupac's 'The Rose That Grew From Concrete' vibe from this and I approve.  Here's a refresher of the poem if you are needing to get something tattooed on you this weekend.  

Honestly, I'm just using it as landscaping inspiration because it's dry as fuck around here and my lawn might as well be concrete and it's not even August yet.  I also don't know how it could be so desert-like right now and yet I'm having allergies...?  That's some Biblical apocalyptic shit, right there.  Thanks, Obama.

And speaking of life-changing musical artists, I went to see my Queen, Beyonce, Tuesday so please suffer through a concert overview next week.  It would have been today but honestly I've spent two days rewatching the concert through every terrible vine, gif, blurry iphone video uploaded to youtube so I've been busy.  

But it was worth it.  

The vines and the concert.


  1. it may be dry *for tennessee* but i lived in nashville for 5 years and i remember all it did was rain, and it rained a lot off and on in the summer, like, at least once a week and never less frequently than once a month (leading to lots of lovely sticky humid days). now i live in los angeles and we're lucky if we get even a handful of rains in a year. i think we've gotten only two rains so far in 2014. we're smack dab in the middle of a horrible drought right now. and people here still have gardens, even some of us who refuse to do sprinklers because that's wasteful of water. i know you can make it happen there.

    if you're a fan of rosemary, that is a really good choice. it's vigorous and doesn't mind WIDE fluctuations in how much water it receives.

    forget what people say about lavender being drought tolerant---it's not drought tolerant so much as it just needs very little water (but still needs it on a regular basis)---so if you don't remember to take care of it, you will kill it and it'll make you really sad. i've killed quite a few lavenders myself. keeping the current two alive now with a drip line.

    and wisteria is awesome and will happily chug right along even during dry spells and it grows SO fast so if you ignore it for about a year or two, and pretend you didn't plant it, then it will accelerate growth after that and from there on out, it's like instant gratification (2 years delayed).

    there are some daisy-looking flowers called "osteospermum" that are fabulous at ignoring a lack of water, and they come in some really great colors like this plum-tinged peach with dark centers, or white with dark purple centers, with purple on the back side of the white petals. just google image search "osteospermum" and you'll see there are a lot of choices. they won't survive NO water, but if they get even the tiniest bit of water every couple of weeks, they're fine.

    and if you can handle the thorns, you can always go with a bougainvillea. height & lots of color in a dense area. those are just a few things to start with. if you plant these and then pick out a bunch of stuff that's even prettier, in the end, the prettier stuff will die, and the ones i mentioned will stick around. i have plants that i plant that last a while, but then die, but these ones i listed are the ones that have held on through periods of neglect, scorching dry heat with no rain for months upon months, and just an occasional dousing with the garden hose.

    well, that's my advice, if you want plants that are low-maintenance but still kinda pretty (or nice-smelling, in the case of the rosemary). and there are of course certain succulent type plants, but i would talk to nursery folks there to find out how they'll do there where you have a lot less sunshine and a lot more rain than we do (they might need to live in pots and come in during severe cold, too).

    1. Wow, thanks for all the info, Jamie! That's really cool that you lived near Nashville - I think you must have been there during the floods?! ; ) It seems the problem is my area is that we have weeks of drought followed by weeks of rain so plants that work in one don't work in the other. Doh!

      I've planted rosemary and it did really well! However, it died during our winter but I think I'm going to plant it again because I think/HOPE that the Polar Vortex was an anomaly! I JUST planted lavender this summer and it's doing really well so yay me! Good call!

      I've been contemplating planting some wisteria around my carport (to cover the roof) but honestly a little afraid that it will take over my house - ha! You're right, it does really well here.

      I definitely need to check out the osteopermum - the peach/plum color combo is something I've been investigating for my yard anyway so thank you!

      Unfortunately, succulents and bougainvillea don't survive the winters here so all succulents are mostly inside. I wonder if bougainvillea can overwinter inside...? They're sold as annuals here but may be worth investigating...

      Anyway, thanks for all the good advice! I love soaking up as much info as possible from other gardeners!

  2. the plants i mentioned, i'm pretty sure will fare well in TN. bougainvillea is native to florida (thought FL is warmer, not sure if you might need to do a potted version and put it in the barn in winter), and wisteria loves the southeast even more than here, so you're definitely good on that one. and a quick search for "osteospermum tennessee" tells me that those will do well out there, too (at the very least, they're cheap and you can grow them as annuals that will last AND bloom much longer than most annuals). depending how cold it gets where you are, you might have to do a cold hardy version of rosemary.

    ok, hopefully you figure something out. and make sure you take pictures whenever the garden is looking its most beautiful, and hang onto those pictures, b/c honestly, garden beauty is fleeting and always changing and some stuff just doesn't bloom very long. if anyone wants to know how your garden looks, you show them those pictures, and if they see it in person, you just explain that it's in transition and it'll look amazing like the photos again next year. hahaha. and you have to remind/convince yourself of this, too!

    1. Haha I love the idea of taking pictures - I'll probably post them here so I can make sure everyone knows that hey, ONE time my yard looked pretty. I'll need the self-esteem boost anyway! ; )

      Thanks again for all your help - very nice of you.