Getting Grounded 101

My first Gardening Blog! I want to first thank all of you Austin Garden Divas for your inspirational Blogs and for keeping me company late at night; take your well-deserved bows. I read with envy about the Spring Fling and the Garden Tour, and finally decided to join you on the web, even though right now you have no idea that I even exist!

Pam at DiggingAnnie at Transplantable Rose and MSS at Zantham inspired me frequently. While I have definite ideas about the mood and feel for my garden, I’m trying to avoid creating too much maintenance for myself (hah!), and also desire blooms in varying seasons. It seems so easy to find spring blooming plants here for Central Texas, but getting a little summer color too can be challenging in our heat. You ladies are rabid, I mean avid, gardeners, and I seriously doubt I will ever have the stamina to play in the dirt as much as you. But learning from what is blooming in your gardens over the years helped me a lot with my choices. Carol at May Dreams inspired me to want to participate in Bloom Day each month, which got me reconnected to my old passion of photography. I dusted off the old camera, then finally succumbed to the new digital, and went out to play.

A brief history of the saga of my yard/garden…I grew up with a dad who was always a farmer in his heart, even when he had to work a “real job” to support his family. He would plant 5 acres of vegetables every year when I was small, then it became grasses for hay as I got older and got horses. So I always had dirt and plants around me, and I’ve always had a curiousity that I got from him about knowing the names of what I see.

My mother was always digging in the dirt – roses, iris, tulips and more iris are what I remember; my grandmother always had the most beautiful Iris in town, she was a natural born gardener. So this wasn’t an unfamiliar thing to me, I just spent more time doing other things besides gardening and thought that I really didn’t like it that much. A few container pots, some annuals every year, make it look nice…

As I enter into those years of a “woman of a certain age”, I find that the Grounded Energy that I get from digging in the dirt and talking to those beautiful plants and flowers renews my spirit every time now. A water baby at heart (oh give me a home, where the turquoise waters roam, and the sky is filled with salt air), I’m apparently opening up to the earth signs in my astrological charts, of which I have plenty.

And since I was building a new fence, I knew I needed some repairs on my sprinkler system as well.  I wanted it to run more efficiently to comply with our mandatory watering schedules here and conserve as much as possible. Since I plant natives and adapted natives as much as I can, and I mulch twice a year, and I’m as organic as possible, that seemed reasonable. $2000 and two months later, the sprinkler system appears to be finally repaired…sigh.

So now I have a new fence and new sprinkler updates to go with my wonderful new beds that will accompany the existing pond…except that NOW, the pond has sprung an unfixable leak. So far, 2 Pond Builders have refused the project, saying it needs to be scrapped and started anew. Since a friend and I built the awesome limestone waterfall, I’m emotionally attached to keeping that part of it. This is the ongoing saga of the POND, that I’ll share more with you later.

Right now, then, I have this gorgeous new landscaping, with flowers finally blooming, a brand new, desperately needed fence, and a gaping almost dry hole in the middle of it that right now is the biggest mosquito factory in town.



One thought on “Getting Grounded 101

  1. Robin: On your pond problem, I may be able to give you some help if you want to try fixing it your self. I’m not an expert but have been into ponds longer than most. What kind of liner do you have, or is it a molded form.

    The hardest part of fixing it is to find the leak. If you can find it,you can fix it. If it’s a rubber liner you will need to get the patch tape at a pond place. After letting the liner dry out well, clean it like you mean it, I mean really clean. Then go over it with fine sand paper and put the patch on. If it’s a molded pond you do the same cleaning and sanding but use Seal-All glue. You can get it at the Depot. There is very little water pressure at the bottom of a pond. In my 4′ deep pond it would be less than 2# PSI. Getting good adhesion is all you need to worry about. If you want to try this your self feel free to E-mail me with any questions.

    P.S. I think the pond guys wanted to go for the big bucks instead of the fixit price. Bob

    Bob, you are so right about those pond guys. I’ve spent 8 years working with this pond, so much so that it has become an “issue” in my home. Because it was originally a homemade pond from previous owners (soft rubber lining, not hard plastic) and huge, there aren’t the professional amenities like a leaf skimmer, or easy access cleaning for the pump, etc. I live near Emerald Gardens and they know me by name because of that pond. I’ve decided to make it smaller now and not purchase any more expensive fish. I just need some good labor to help me – I can’t do the rockwork and lifting it’s going to take.
    Thanks for your info; I actually have done some patching myself over the years, but the liner has worn out its welcome in too many places and it’s just too large to deal with. (About 14′ long, 5′ wide at its widest point, 2.5′ deep).
    I welcome any more pond input! It’s becoming a bane rather than a joy.

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