09 September 2008

Jason will be so proud...

Last Saturday, with a "honey-do" list longer than usual (owing to our month's absence from Katy), we set forth to do errands with many stops. The usual suspects: cleaners, lunch at Chick-fil-a, a couple of returns, the local DIY - in this case, Lowe's. I'm a "Lowe's Girl" - never find what I'm looking for in a Home Depot even though there is one around the corner and we have to drive several miles to a Lowe's.

Loyalty has it's price.

Anyway, we went to Lowe's for one reason - to get the materials to help keep an oak tree in the front yard alive. It's the "runt" of the litter and lately, whenever we have winds and storms, it literally topples over! So we decided to add more soil, stake it again and try to nudge it back to firmly being rooted.

But it's the end of the summer. And we were in the garden area. And we have a gap in one of our back beds where an Italian Cypress didn't make it two years ago. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? A 7 foot yaupon pom-pom tree - on sale (but no tiny reindeer)! We like to call yaupons "Dr. Seuss trees". You know of which I speak.

It's different from the Tasty Freeze Ice Cream trees.

spiral evergreen trees

So this tree had been $169.50 but was marked down to $42.50. A bargain. And we had a spot in the backyard with it's name on it.

Now those of you who know me well know that I could kill a silk plant. Which is already dead. I can make it deader. So to buy a living plant, one that will have to be planted by ourselves, is a great leap of faith - for both me and the tree. Would you believe me if I told you it looked at me and said, "NO! NOT YOU! ANYBODY BUT YOU! SAVE ME! SAVE ME!!"?

I didn't think so.

Mike is skeptical about buying a tree but decides to humor me. Well, I can't have just a tree - I must have further decoration around the tree! So I buy two planters of knock-out roses with sweet potato vine (also on sale - $19.99 down to $10 each!) and two large pots of yellow Ixora (not on sale but they were really pretty and different...and one MUST do one's part for the economy...).

Now, I have this brand new car. Not even one single payment made on it yet. Time to break in in...but gently. We grab a painters drop cloth (cheap plastic thingie), the stakes and soil for the aforementioned ailing oak and head to check out. The entire bill was less than the original price of the Seuss tree. I'm feeling a bit smug but Mike's mouth is a thin tight line. Out to the car we go.

I open the back hatch and unfold the painters cloth which sticks together like toilet paper on your shoe in a public restroom. Finally get it sort of open and we wrap it around the pot end of the tree. Mike starts feeding it into the Pilot while I'm at the passenger side trying to keep the paper under it while pulling it up as far as it will go.

Wouldn't you know, they WATER those things at Lowe's! Evidently, daily as well. Either that or my new tree had an incontinence problem. So I'm working to bunch up the cloth around the pot so it won't get on my new car and wishing Lowe's stocked Depends. I put my car seat up as far as it will go and we BARELY get that sucker in the back! Five bags of soil go in next to it and we stick the Ixora and roses wherever we can find space.

As we drive away, I say to Mike, "Well, I guess my car isn't "new" anymore."

We get home and lo, and behold, the painter's cloth had held and we had very little soil or water on the seats or carpet. What water escaped fell on the all weather rubber mats I'd had installed for the sake of transporting grandchildren through Chick-fil-A and Starbucks drive-thru's. I am so a bastion of efficiency.

Yeah, me!

My car is STILL new...

We unload everything and I, in true new car ownership anal-retentiveness, get out the shop-vac and immediately vacuum the car. We lug all the loot to the backyard and I start placing things where they should go.

That's when we discover - we don't even own a shovel.

Just like in the romance novels, "Our eyes met across the crowded room. The rest of the world ceased to exist as we communicated silently, 'We are so stupid'..."

Back in the car and we deigned to go to Home Depot this time. I was sure they sold shovels and quite frankly, I don't give a fig what shovel we buy. I'm picky about a lot of things but shovels and gardening implements of any sort - not really opinionated about them as long as I don't have to use them. Also, they don't come with "Gift with Purchase" bags of fun cosmetics so therefore go under my interest radar.

To make a short story long, Mike digs the holes, I use the toy shovels and hand rakes we got for the grandkids (to use at the beach) to pull the soil around the root ball and mound up the soil, and then we water them well. It is finished. We take a step back and realize, we done GOOD!

I like Ixora - and I didn't even know it! Now that's not a name you hear very often. We could have named a daughter that - Ixora Ladora.

Or maybe not. But it goes well with the whold Dr. Seuss tree thing, right?

I like looking at the house from this angle - the bench is a retirement gift to Mike from BP when we moved back. Quintessentially English Lyuten's bench. So I put on my flip-flops, get comfy in my ratty jeans and make believe I'm some English aristocrat...who desperately needs a personal stylist.

These three bears have traveled with us ever since 1994 when I bought them in Naperville, Illinois. They represent my three children and have been in our garden wherever we live. They are very well traveled bears! Don't go in for religious icons but when it comes to my kids. well...

Just wanted to make sure you got to see it from EVERY SINGLE ANGLE IN CASE YOU MISSED A LEAF OR SOMETHING!

I love wisteria and ours "goes to town". We are constantly cutting it back but I love it's fragrant purple flowers too much to ever get rid of it.

Look who came to visit and patiently waited until I got my camera out. I think he posed for me. Wait till he finds out he is NOT going to be featured in "The English Garden" magazine.

I hope he isn't best buds with a swarm of wasps.

This is what I see when I come out of the back door. When the waterfall is going, it is "auditory Prozac" - you just relax and feel yourself unwind. Seuss never had it so good.

I think he's gonna make it. Or at least die trying.


Emily said...

Your garden is so pretty. My basic gardening plan basically goes something like this:
1.Buy it
2.Plant it
3. Kill it

Colin's dream is to win yard of the month. Not as long as I'm in charge of the flowers.

Iona said...

I love your garden, so well maintained. It's funny to see your pool without a fence. In Oz we have strict regulation with regards to pool fences.
I wish your tree well.

bec said...

I love that tree! Great job Mike and Cheri!
God has given us so many wonderful things to enjoy.

Megan said...

I hope your plants enjoyed the rain and stayed firmly rooted in the ground. Bringing in a hurricane is one way to test your gardening skills. :)