Thursday, January 1, 2015

Outtakes for 2014 Year in Review

Year-end posts are a challenge, especially for 2014 which started off slowly for the blog.  Call it my third-year slump, the posts just didn't flow as freely.  But I didn't stop taking photos which means plenty of interesting things didn't get posted.  So instead of featuring my favorite photos from the blog for 2014, I'm featuring those I didn't post.  Some of these are from previous years and a few were in mini posts.  So call this my random collection of photos and thoughts from the unpublished archives.

My garden club toured the Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard on a cold, windy day in November of 2013 the lunch was wonderful but I didn't get a lot of good photos.

The sun appeared long enough for a Texas Longhorn encounter, the camera is over the fence and he's not too sure about this.  Olive trees on the rolling hill beyond add a spot of silvery green.



A solitary live oak framed by a pasture is always beautiful to a Texan.  That's all the fence there was between me and that ornery looking beast above.


Similarly, in March 2014 the garden club went to Fredericksburg Herb Farm on a cold, windy day. Our lunch in the old stone house was excellent but an unusually cold spring meant the gardens were still mostly dormant.  The upright cut stone around the herb garden is an idea for the file and a reminder to check these gardens out later in the spring or fall when they are at their best.


Tamales and breakfast tacos were two foods I missed most when we lived on the East Coast for a while.  It's not easy to find good tamales in Boston or Washington.  And breakfast Tacos were non-existent.  When I saw these two booths side by side at the Pearl Farmer's Market I just had to snap a shot of this San Antonio scene even though vegan and vegetarian tamales are a new innovation.


A few minutes later I visited the butterfly garden planted along the nearby Museum Reach on the River Walk and was encouraged by the sight of hundreds of endangered Monarchs enjoying tropical milkweed.  Capturing the real experience in a photo was challenging.


Random blooms from my garden missed out on posts this year.  When I visited my friend Melody's garden I shared a photo of her Japanese Lantern Hibiscus. Melody gifted me with a rooted cutting and mine produced two of these delicate, fascinating blooms in October before going dormant.



 This pretty Amaranth 'Hopi Red' seed head was later snapped off by deer so the rest of the plants were subsequently relocated behind the fence.  They grow easily from seed and with more seedheads from the transplants I have plenty for a nice massing of these next summer.


Dewberries bring back childhood summer memories as quickly as anything.  These grow wild along the creek, but the ongoing drought means there's never enough for a cobbler.  We do get to taste a few before the local wildlife finish them off.  We've had some good rain early this winter which looks promising for spring berries.


Crinum bulbs (L) were shared with me several years ago and have begun blooming regularly this year.  They are so easy and love our climate.  I added Texas Star Hibiscus, both red and white, to the gardens this past summer and they bloomed within a few weeks.


The cactus on the left belongs to a neighbor and I've posted on it in the past.  Fortunately it's right by a stop sign since I snapped this photo from the car.  Right side, back in my garden an Opuntia santa-rita is covered in blooms and Opuntia 'Luther Burbank' behind Grandma's Yellow Rose.


Alton Fischer volunteers with me at the Warrior and Family Support Center gardens.  It was getting dark fast when I arrived at the garden happy hour he hosted for the Gardening Volunteers of South Texas in October.  Bright Plumerias greeted us at the gate and his desert rose plants were in full bloom beside the greenhouse.


Alton learned to grow Plumeria while living in Hawaii.


Desert Rose


Alton's Mexican Beautyberry with its darker fruits was another eye-catching plant that has me thinking I really should find a place for one soon.


When I posted on the Lego exhibit at the San Antonio Botanical Garden I somehow missed this photo of sisters enjoying the lily pond backed by silvery palms.  It adds a sense of fun and scale to the scene.


These painted branches were part of an additional art exhibit in the garden.  I focused on the Legos but also got a shot of these for my idea file.


The Healing and Therapy Gardens at The Warrior and Family Support Center is where I spend most Tuesday mornings.  The Celosia planted from seed shared by a volunteer was gorgeous this year.


Since I am there to work and my help is needed I don't post many photos of the gardens.  Looking back at photos like these of bulbs blooming in the spring remind me I should post about these beautiful gardens more often.  New Year's resolutions aren't my style but I'll post more about these gardens in the future.


Going back through my photographs from 2014 has been a fun exercise and I see plenty of potential posts remaining in there, but I'll reserve the rest for future, if somewhat related posts.

18 comments:

  1. I always take loads of blog-worthy photos that somehow never get used. Thanks for sharing yours! Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year too Alison.

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  2. This is a great idea. I tried to sneak a few in my end-of-year post, too, but the idea of making that the theme is a creative one. I noticed the Mexican Beautyberry--it's gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your photos and your stories. Happy New Year!

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    1. Readers have seen most of my photos so I thought I would do something different.

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  3. Happy New Year! I would have never guessed that last year started with a blog slump. I think it gets better all the time.

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    1. Thank you Michael, I truly appreciate your thoughts.

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  4. Your round up has shown how busy you are with your blog and it was fun following your adventures. Happy New Year!

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    1. Interesting take on it, I have been much busier and it is mostly due to starting this blog.

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  5. Shirley, how fun to see the year in review! What fun memories and a reminder of what gardens looked like when it was warm and sunny! I'm looking forward to seeing your blog post in 2015 and the spectacular spring flowers that we will have from all of this wonderful rain. Have fun with your new camera lens!

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  6. [Lady, if this year is you slumping I can NOT wait to see what a non-slumped 2015 will bring.] Featuring photos that never made it online previously? A great idea from one of our area's wisest chroniclers of all things green and growing. Those singleton blooms often escape a spot in our regular posts but they are certainly all deserving of our appreciation, aren't they? Thanks for sharing yours!

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  7. These are wonderful photos - all blog-worthy, Shirley! I'm bowled over by the scrumptious (not a word I usually use but the only one I could think of that was appropriate) Hibiscus.

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  8. A great post full of great photos! Love that hibiscus! Happy 2015, Shirley!

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  9. Hi again Shirley. I wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for a Liebster award. If you choose to accept, you'll find more information, including a list of questions to respond to in a post of your own, here: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2015/01/liebster-award.html

    Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you Kris, I'll check it out.

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  10. Happy New Year, Shirley. I`ll be looking forward to your posts in `15.

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  11. That hibiscus is amazing! Love it! So awesome that you're a volunteer at the healing garden. Sounds like a wonderful place. :o)

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    1. It is a place I look forward to each week.

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  12. Thank you all so much for your good wishes!

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