There is about a 3-4 week period in the spring where, in Austin, we experience essentially the opposite of the perfect storm:
- We enjoy moderate rainfall several times a month
- The average temperature ranges between 50 and 80 degrees
- The sun’s rays bathe the garden until around 8:30 p.m.
- The threat of a late winter freeze is virtually non existent
- Mosquitoes and other pesky insects have not yet metamorphosed from their larva state
It’s absolutely the best 3-4 weeks of the year where the temps are perfect, the insects are minimal and plant life is stunning. Without question, this is the happiest of times for man, beast and plant. I’m going to document this moment like crazy because I won’t see it again for 12 months.
All the blooms make it ideal for picking centerpiece bouquets, a hobby we can really only enjoy during this brief window of opportunity.
Whelp, the time finally came for Bro to move out of the doodle house. His departure came about a month ago, and with him went the Foosball table (at our request), which meant it was time for us to look into more sit-able table options for our newly naked back patio. Muah ha ha, another weekend project to put on the books.
I did some fact checking and number crunching and figured the best option for us would be to pick up a prefab picnic table from Lowe’s ($88) and gussy ‘er up with a bright coat of paint. It would be affordable. It would be easy. It would be done!
I chose to paint it what my pals calls “P-Terry’s blue” a sort of seafoam blue/turquoise color that is one the trademark colors of my favorite Austin hamburger chain. I’ve eaten many a meal on their blue picnic tables and it seemed as fitting a color as any to bring to the patio. Plus, I’ve gotten so accustomed to painting furniture and walls in shades of blue that not to just seemed wrong some how. You know what’s not wrong? The finished product…
In addition to prepping the picnic table, we also spent some of the weekend sprucing up the garden and freshening up things we had let go over the winter. The pallet planter got updated with some hardy succulents and we put in a handful of fast-growing, drought-tolerant natives along the back and side fence to give us some future privacy from the neighbors (and their incessantly barking schnauzers). Soon enough, I hope to have a really nice backyard space in which to romp with the doodles and host fancy pants backyard garden parties.
And, with luck, we will soon have edible goodies to fill the empty space on our PTerry’s picnic bench. Heath stayed busy by tending to the veggie garden, planting sugar snap peas, lettuce, onions, potatoes, broccoli and carrots.
I’m so excited by all that has developed in the backyard in the last two weeks with the rise in temperatures and rise in our morale. I better enjoy garden season while it lasts, because heaven knows by May the triple digit temperatures will be upon us again. Until then, who’s down for a picnic?
Usually it’s fall that has the reputation for being harvest time, but we’ve been chomping down on home grown goodies for a few weeks now. Here are updates on what’s happening in the back yard:
- Lettuce season is pretty much over.There are a few stragglers, but for the most part we’ve accepted its demise. It’s partly due to heat and partly due to some free-range chickens who developed a taste for romaine. I’m sad to see the fresh lettuce go, but I’m thrilled to have had as much quality time with it as I did. RIP lettuce season. Your memory will live on forever.
- The squash plant has started blooming. T-minus 3 weeks (?) until flower turns fruit.
- Sugar snap peas are ripe for the picking! Not only ripe but the most delicious little green thing ever to be eaten in the history of ever.
- Peppers are fruiting. They are growing slow but hopefully in two weeks we will be able to spice up a dinner or two.
- Tomatoes. Also happening.
- Onions & carrots: not close to bloomsville, but on track for harvesting by early June.
We’re pretty jazzed.
I can’t say much about the garden because it really is Heath’s thing. He has taken it upon himself to be the designated green thumb of the doodle house and it’s beyond impressive. Our coffee table and bookshelves have become overrun with books on square foot gardening, sustainable living and a load of other similar titles. He’s taken gardening to heart and it’s really beginning to show in our back yard. It’s only January, but already we are seeing sprouts in the garden and bright green accents popping up in a sea of brown leaves. I can’t wait to see how things will start to look in the spring.
Hopefully, eventually, we can get our pots to resemble some of my mother’s creations. Not just her thumb, but entire hand, is green. We’ve been inspired by some of her babies below.