Friday, September 28, 2012

Texas Trees, Recycling Wood & Progress

Dear friends,

It saddens me to hear that we lost so many trees during this recent drought here in Texas.  Something like half a BILLION trees have been lost.  There's just no way to get our heads around those kinds of numbers. All we can do is plant more, and urge others to do the same.  Today I planted my second oak tree here on this property--a nice Shumard oak.  Previously I'd planted a Monterey Oak, also known as Mexican White Oak, depending on who you ask.

Last week, I planted two Mexican  buckeyes in the yard, and put two more seedlings into larger pots.  Those I grew from seeds I snatched  harvested responsibly from the trees at the Barnes and Noble at Lakeline in Austin.  They've been growing in a large pot now for a couple of years. It wasn't difficult to get them to sprout.

If you look closely, you can see it, just to the right of the yellow blooms of the Esperanza/Yellow Bells. I told you it was small. :-)  But I've been told they grow fast.  The other one is at the corner of the new patio.

You can also see my creative bean trellis on the old clothesline pole.  I wired the old greenhouse roof support wrought iron around it.

I'm going out of my way to nurture the seedlings that pop up here and there. I know I can never replace all we've lost, but I can do my little bit to make sure that this property, at least, has as many trees, bushes, perennials, flowers, herbs and natives as possible.

And speaking of trees, and wood---I'm a wood hoarder.  I admit it.  I'll save the tiniest piece of wood if I can. Husband Rudy, however, has a rule--it has to be at least a foot long before he'll save it. That's why, when we tore down my former greenhouse, we tried to recycle the wood from it.  We were able to Freecycle some of it as well as some of the old vinyl siding to a fellow building a chicken coop (YAY), and got a dozen wonderful home-laid eggs in exchange.  Such a nice surprise!

I'm finally over the mourning period--I think.  I'm really enjoying the patio that was the greenhouse floor, and after today, it looks much better.  Take a look!

Left hand side is the cottage.  It will be yellow and blue.  Right hand side is the edge of the garage and former greenhouse.
 Notice how different the siding is on the left side, and the right side.  There's a difference of about 30 years between them--something like that?  We think the garage was built when the house was--in the 1930's.  Then the cottage was added on later, in the 1950's. 

Here's a relic we found last week in the top of the garage--a label on an old pair of venetian blinds.  Check out the three digit phone number!  LOL

The right hand side showing the now patio/former floor of the greenhouse
 A color called "Clove Bud" and some kind of blue remind me of the New Mexican casitas I've swooned over for years. The other end, which will become either an art studio, writing retreat, guesthouse, etc., will be yellow and blue.  Also in the plans are a new metal roof, a simple trellis made of natural logs and twigs, a privacy fence thingy at the end made of cattle panel and wood (for vines), and maybe Mexican tile or a scored and stained floor.

 We were able to save all the original pine ship-lap siding from the outside of the greenhouse and are planning on using it on a "new" one at some future time.

So, although we did fill a huge trailer with rotted wood, old insulation and such and paid some nice fellow to take it to the dump for us, we were able to save quite a bit of wood from this project.  And that's all we can do, right?  A little here, and a little there.

Happy trails!

bobbi c.

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