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

Friday, January 4, 2013

This week in the garden - #45

Did you make any New Year's resolutions pertaining to gardening? I had plenty of time to think about it this week because I wasn't doing any actual gardening, but in the end, I didn't make any gardening pledges. I guess my only resolution would be to try to build on what I've accomplished and make the garden better this year. In short, the same resolution that I make every year.


I've spent the week doing indoor chores and reading. On January 2, I started reading Barbara Kingsolver's new novel, Flight Behavior. I'm about halfway through it, so if you've already read it, don't tell me how it ends!

If you haven't heard of it, the plot of the novel is about climate change and its effect on migratory creatures - specifically the Monarch butterfly. In the time covered by the novel, millions of the butterflies have been misdirected from their normal migration to their winter home in Mexico and have settled instead in a fir forest in the Appalachians, in Tennessee. The drama of the story is how this affects the local inhabitants, particularly once the story gets out and becomes a part of the 24-hour news cycle. Climate change and its effect on all of us is something that has concerned me for a number of years. Kingsolver has taken the story and made it understandable and personal, the mark of a very good writer.


Trying to come up with a project for the blog this year, I thought I might do something photographic. I'm considering taking a picture from a particular point of view in my garden at a specific time each month and posting it on the blog. I did something like this several years ago when we put in some new beds in the front yard and I found it enjoyable and interesting to watch how the beds evolved and matured from month to month. Now I just have to figure out my point of view and the date on which I will take the picture.


My sweet daughter knows that I like poetry and I like gardening and so today, she sent me a garden poem. Have you seen this one before?

The Garden Year
by Sara Coleridge
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

March brings breezes, loud and shrill,
To stir the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children's hands with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit;
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Fresh October brings the pheasant;
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast;
Then the leaves are whirling fast.

Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

Obviously, that garden was much farther north than mine. July brings "cooling showers"??? In my dreams! Nevertheless, it's just a reminder of how our gardens are always changing, from month to month and day to day even. That old saw about how you can't step in the same river twice could be applied to the garden, too. You can never see the same garden twice. It changes even as we look. Let us hope that we have the eyes and take the time to see that in 2013.


  1. I've enjoyed some of Kingsolver's novels. I really liked The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, and Prodigal Summer. She is a writer who feels a lot of compassion for her characters. I'll look for when I can get this new one from the library.

    1. I've read several of her books and enjoyed them, too - especially "The Bean Trees," "Poisonwood Bible," and "The Lacuna." She really is a wonderful writer, one of my favorites working today.

  2. I like your picture idea!

  3. I like your picture idea too, I have done something similar in my garden, taking photos regularly since 2005. I made a movie with all the pictures and added some music, you can see it here and perhaps get inspired :-)
    It is a great way to look back how the garden evolves!

    1. Thanks for the link, Helene. I'll take a look. I need all the inspiration I can get.

  4. The picture idea is a great one for your blog. I love the poem - would like some of those cooling showers too, lol.

    1. We seem to have nothing but cooling showers these days. But in July? Not so much!

  5. I like the saying that a garden is art that is constantly changing. The quote about not being able to step in the same river twice is the only thing that I remember from four semesters of philosophy.

    There have been so many monarchs in my yard all fall. Unfortunately, I saw one that had been killed by the colder weather. This made me think of last year. I must have found twenty butterflies in the yard. I assume the butterflies emerged on a warm day before a cold front. This leads to my question. If this happens again, do you know of someone who could use the butterflies for mounting?

    1. That's an interesting question. I don't know of such a person or organization, but, if you are in the Houston area, I would suggest you contact the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. They should be able to direct you. If you are not in this area, I can only suggest that you look for a similar resource nearer to where you are.