Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A gardener's week - #22

This gardener's week has been spent mostly inside. My only forays into the garden have been to feed the fish in the pond and net out the leaves and debris, to refill the birdfeeders, and to assess damage from the couple of nights of below freezing weather that we had.

The fish appear to be handling winter. I actually put a heater into the water to give them one area with a little bit of extra warmth, and I often find them swimming in that part of the pond.

The birds are thriving and emptying my birdfeeders on a regular basis.

The garden itself seems to be holding up. I could not detect much additional freeze damage this week. Many of the perennials are sending up green leaves from their roots already. I counted seven bluebonnets in the wildflower bed, and, well, you already know about the poppies. Spring indeed is coming. It might not be evident on these cold, gray days, but stop and look just a little closer and you will see it. All it will take is a few days of sunshine and daytime temperatures in the 60s and it will begin to break the iron grip of winter.

Most of my "gardening" this week has been of the daydreaming variety, and instead of digging in the dirt, I've spent most of my days digging into books.

I finished reading Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas. This is a warmly humorous and loving series of essays detailing the author's family's experiences upon coming to America just before the Iranian Revolution and the taking of the American hostages in Tehran. It is a reminder to us of just how lucky our country has been to attract the best the world has to offer in immigrants.

I also read A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. This is a wonderful book to read when it is cold because it takes place in the cold, cold winters of Wisconsin in 1907 and 1908. It's a terrific book - a kind of gothic bodice-ripper/psychological thriller. It might remind you, as it did me, of Daphne du Maurier and the Bronte' sisters.

And now, to finish out the week, I'm reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. I started reading all of Austen's major works last year and this is the last one. I think it may be one of my favorites, though I doubt it will top Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice.

And speaking of Pride and Prejudice reminds me that I also saw a wonderful movie this week - The King's Speech starring Colin Firth. I freely admit that I have been madly in love with Colin Firth since I first saw him play Mr. Darcy in the A&E series production of P&P many years ago. I also freely admit that I own the DVDs and that, periodically, my daughter and I sit down and watch them and swoon all over again. I was delighted to see that the actress who played Elizabeth Bennett to Firth's Darcy in that series was also in The King's Speech - Jennifer Ehle. She played Geoffrey Rush's wife. If you haven't seen this movie yet, do it!

And other than that, well, I've been sitting around watching my indoor garden grow this week. Here it is:

I'm always reluctant to use live plants in my aquarium because I've had bad experiences with snails brought in on the plants, but PetSmart guaranteed these were snail-free and so I decided to try them. They've been in the aquarium several weeks now and no snails have shown up and, so far, the fish haven't eaten them.

That's my week. Will next week bring more spring-like weather and will I actually get to play in my garden? Tune in next Friday and see.

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