September 9th, 2007
Razing the Roof

Zanthan Gardens Summer House
2007-09-09. What went up must come down.

Saturday (9/8) scores of oxblood lilies were in full bloom in the stump garden and along the south border. Last April when we started this project, I envisioned having the Austin Garden Bloggers over for an oxblood lily fest, us sitting in the garden house, sipping wine and nibbling dainties as the garden talk flowed.

Rhodophiala bifida

At the very least, I would like to have a langorous Alicia Paulson weekend, where I could soak up the end-of-summer vibe in beautiful surroundings with congenial companions.

Instead, my lot in life seems to be to spend the rest of my days in the throes of one construction project or another. Will I ever live in a house that doesn’t look like a construction zone? I think not.

AJM spent Saturday unscrewing the panels off the back roof while I carted loads of chipped bark from last week’s tree-trimming from the driveway to the back yard. Slipping the panels off the roof was a bit unwieldy but not too difficult for the two of us. It felt good to be getting on with it after spending a month mulling over what we should do. The more we uncover, the more we discover. So we have to take garden house apart somewhat to figure out how to put it back together.

Someday, someday, though, I am going to sit back an enjoy my garden. Until I see a bed that needs weeding. Or some plants drooping from the heat and crying out for water. Or the compost pile which needs turning. Or leaves that need to be skimmed off the pond. Or some seeds I bought last month that should be started in the vegetable garden. Or that plant that Pam (Annie, Julie) gave me that I haven’t transplanted yet. Or those roses that should be pruned back. Or those tomatoes that should be tied up. Or that interesting wolf spider I saw that should be photographed and blogged.

No, really. Someday I’m going to sit back and enjoy it all.

wolf spider, I think
I’m painting the front bedroom and bathroom in anticipation of Margaret’s visit in late October and this is what I found behind the CD cabinets. I think it is a wolf spider. Maybe it’s one reason we’ve hardly had any cockroaches this year. After some shrieking, I captured it and released it in the mini-woodland.

by M Sinclair Stevens

5 Responses to post “Razing the Roof”

  1. From Pam/Digging:

    We’ll take a rain check on the oxblood lily party, MSS. Maybe next spring, for a roses/Engelmann’s daisy/bluebonnet party?

    And, eeek, that is a really big spider to find in the house.

    Doesn’t speak well to my housekeeping does it? I’m just glad it wasn’t in the bedding! We’ll all have to get together again, certainly. There’s Kathy Purdy coming down, and AJM’s mom coming over from England in October. I hope we can get a little garden visiting in then. –mss

  2. From Angelina:

    I want to join the garden party, even if we have to sit in a pile of wood chips, just bring on the wine and set me in front of the lovely lilies and I won’t complain.

    I just saw a spider inside my house about that size and color and I really wish i could herd it outside. I do not like the idea of such a giant spider lurking in my house when it could be so useful in the garden.

    I’m quite scared of big spiders.

    I was scared but it was very still a non-aggressive. You should have heard me scream when the camera tipped over off the tripod and knocked the glass over which was covering the spider. I was sure it was going to leap at me. Angelina, I would love to have you visit. Austin has several places to buy quite exotic beer which we could explore. Unfortunately, it is also HOT. And I know how you hate the heat. You’d have to come sometime in mid-January on the one weekend of the year we dip below freezing for more than a couple of hours. — mss

  3. From bill:

    We had two scorpions in the house in the last month. Our cat actually found them. I don’t know if she hears them or smells them or what. She starting rattling the closet door (one of those folding kind) and when we went to investigate one of them was hiding there. I think she had already had an encounter with it though, because she has two small wounds near her mouth.

    She likes to catch the crickets too. She pulls all their legs off and leaves them lying on the floor. Such cruelty. But she won’t have anything to do with cockroaches.

    Not five minutes ago a cockroach ran across the kitchen. I hadn’t seen one since the beginning of summer. So the first thing I thought was, “Rats. This is what I get for moving the wolf spider outside.” I’ve never seen a scorpion in this house but they were everywhere in the first house I lived in, a little west of Austin. I don’t like finding them in my shoes or shower. — mss

  4. From Ki:

    The oxblood lilies look spectacular. It would have made a wonderful backdrop for your party. Unfortunate that it had to be canceled because of shoddy design and construction of a fairly simple structure.

  5. From Bonnie:

    I am a total bug wimp. Can’t even think straight when I encounter one, I just run screaming for my husband to take care of it. But since we moved to this house I have encountered 3 tarantulas, 4 scorpions and a host of others. Hasn’t diluted my wimpiness though.

    Oxbloods look awesome. Sun, shade?

    The oxblood lilies are not picky as to location but as they can stand some shade (and the flowers don’t fade as quickly), I plant mine under large cedar elms where they get filtered sunlight. The only thing they really dislike is to be planted under ivy which sucks all the moisture out of the soil. –mss