The Daily Muse

Thoughts from an Austin Garden  -- April 2008


Last update: April 29


The long view over the pond.


April 6 - evening


More garden frenzy! On Friday, we taped my garden for Central Texas Gardener - it was funny, the crew pulled into my drive-way and it began to hail! But the black clouds passed and it lightened up just enough for us to proceed. I'll let you know when the piece will run. Also, on Saturday I spent a good part of the day with a wonderful group of garden bloggers from around the country during a "spring fling" organized by Pam Pennick from "Digging." After I gave a talk over lunch, we toured The Natural Gardener and James David's beautiful private garden - I think the bloggers left Austin impressed by the depth of our gardening culture.


For those who missed the invitation last week, I would like to personally invite you all to the Austin Area Interreligious Ministries (AAIM) annual Hope Awards this Thursday, April 10. As you are aware, I am now the CEO of AAIM. The Hope Awards event is our biggest annual fundraiser and it crucial to the success of our organization. Among our Honorees this year are Rabbi Steven Folberg and Congregation Beth Israel who graciously opened their doors to AAIM's Thanksgiving Celebration last year after another venue was denied to us because of the participation of Muslims in this interfaith celebration. We will also be honoring the United Methodist Women of Austin for their long history of dedicated social service. Pat Hayes, the Former President of St. Edwards University will be our Emcee, Sara Hickman will be performing her wonderful music, and I will be delivering the keynote address. Please support AAIM by participating in this important fundraising event! To register or learn more visit the AAIM website.


Here are a few of the many pictures I took this week-end. More from the "spring fling" soon!


The pond looking colorful.




Close-up of a Louisiana iris in the pond.




Red Amaryllis.



The garden wide.




Prayer flags.



Horse crippler cactus in bloom.




Giraffe Amaryllis in our parterre.




A little closer.



Firewitch Dianthus in blue pot.








The allee.



Tangerine Beauty crossvine.



Victor with his mother and father.



In "Possumhaw Hollow."


April 8 - evening


Our recently completed Japanese style "screen" that blocks the view to our tool shed.


More pictures from last weekend. Hope you enjoy! (More to come.)



Our back patio's dining area.



Along the edge of our patio.






























Potted Cosmos.






Buddha in the labyrinth at The Natural Gardener.



Poppies at The Natural Gardener.


April 10 - morning


The front garden at James David's house.


More pictures from the past weekend! These are from the Garden Bloggers tour of the home of James David and Gary Pease, who have created one of the finest private gardens in Texas. I think our out-of-town bloggers were impressed - I am every time I visit the incredible space.



The back garden with bloggers soaking it all in.



An Italianate section of the garden.



Point - counter-point.



Clever prunery!



The studio / garage designed by my friend Mel Lawrence. The coolest modern structure in Austin (in my book.)



Cactus blooms.



Amazing geometry (from The Natural Gardener.)


April 15 - morning


Agave  (hybrid) and Bluebonnet from our "Conversation Room."


I just returned from my cup of coffee meditation walk through the garden and I am pleased to report my first hummingbird communion of the season... the hummer was visiting our Manfredas which are approaching full bloom and it seemed very tolerant of my proximity. It is a cool morning and perhaps she was willing to share her space with me out of a pressing need for more fuel. Whatever the reason, I am glad she allowed me to spend some time with her.


Things have been so busy at work that I have had little time to really share much here in the way of thoughts and reflections - I am hoping to catch my breath soon. In the meantime, pictures will have to do. Here is the latest crop:



Faux Chickadee.



Bath's Pink Dianthus.




Pat Austin rose.



A wider view.



Opuntia "Santa Rita" about to bloom.



Bluish leaves and rounded lobes of our Lacey oak.



Orange Amaryllis.



Pink Amaryllis.


April 23 - morning


It is a gray, overcast morning here in Austin. Following the pattern of the past few days, I expect the clouds will burn off and we will be facing another hot summery day. I was just taking a spin around the garden and the air was filled with birdsong. There were so many different songs being sung it was hard to discern them all - some sounded very unusual and I suspect there are still a large number of migrants hanging around. Maybe I will get lucky and see a couple of Painted Buntings before they move north!


Meanwhile, our late-spring flowers are beginning o come on - the day lilies, purple coneflowers, and more. I'll be posting new images soon.


Speaking of birdsong - there will be a day long conference at UT's Thompson Center this weekend that will explore the poetry and spirituality of Rumi the much-revered Sufi mystic and poet. If you are interested in participating in what sounds like a wonderful event you can find more information at the website of the Institute for Interfaith Dailogue.


Birdsong brings relief

to my longing.


I am just as ecstatic as they are,

but with nothing to say!


Please, universal soul, practice   
some song, or something, through me!


- Rumi (from Birdsong - translated by Coleman Barks)


April 29 - morning


Pat Austin rose in the morning light.


Rain and roses! What a beautiful way to end April! Enjoy...



A fully open Pat Austin rose.



The rose wide.



A small cluster of roses.


And another.



The parterre in the morning light with mist flower and cosmos in bloom.



A little wider.



Manfreda bloom stalk close-up.



Santa Rita Opuntia blooms.


Continue to May 2008

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