Friday, August 15, 2014


We had an early morning business meeting in San Antonio yesterday, which is just an hour away from our place. Actually, we were supposed to have three back-to-back appointments, but two fell through. So, when you finish your business within thirty minutes, after driving all that way, what's a person to do? Well, first you go to the nearest groovy art supply store, which happens to be Herweck's, down on Broadway at Third. Then you go splorin', that's what you do! Since we were so close, we decided to check out the new section of the riverwalk that branches off and takes you over to the old Pearl Brewery complex, which is gradually becoming a bit of a foodie mecca, what with it's yummy restaurants, a farmers' market each weekend, a wonderful cookery supply shop, and if I'm not mistaken, there's even a cooking school there.

So, if you head eight or ten blocks north on Broadway after leaving Herweck's, back towards I-35, you will come to Jones Ave. Turn left there and you will come to this.

Since it was mid-week and there wasn't much traffic, we were able to park right there on the bridge and head down to the riverwalk.

I can't believe how much construction is going on in this area. They're throwing up condos right and left. I guess it would be a pretty good place to live if you wanted to be close to downtown, but away from all the tourists.

Everything in San Antonio is so much more lush than where we live.  Both of us are in the Texas Hill Country, but I guess they are just a little further south and get a little more rain and a little less hard freezing. It's like a tropical paradise compared to Wimberley!

If you aren't in the mood for walking, you can always take one of the water taxis up and down the riverwalk. I think they will take you the full length, both old and new sections.

The main reason we came down to this area was to try out a new lunch spot that Outdoor Woman has been raving about -- the one called Luxury that you see there in the top photo. It's directly across the river from the back of the art museum, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to get all the juicy details!

As we passed the rear of the museum I noticed this sign.

Matisse? I love Matisse! We decided to go check it out. Unfortunately, it was a special traveling exhibit, which would have cost us an extra twenty bucks each, on top of the twenty it cost just to get in, and I'm so chinchy I balked.

I've been regretting it ever since!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


If you love people-watching even half as much as I do, there is no better place to be than a farmers' market.

Finally finishing up the projects from week two of my Farmers' Market "food & art" class...

and feeling kinda sad that week three will be the last.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Texans do not give tours of their gardens in August. You'd have to be bonkers to show them off during their worst decline, right? On the other hand, it is the very best time to see who the real workhorses are, and who just isn't worth their water.

There are a couple of plants that I feel are worth putting in each year -- even though they won't survive our winters -- for they look great from early spring until late fall, and add so much color to the hot summer drabness. But only a couple, for I become less and less willing to start from scratch each spring.  One I have mentioned before is the Magilla Perilla above, which still looks fabulous, even in the dead of summer.

I love that Haight Ashbury hibiscus in the metal pot in the front corner, with its copper and coral mottled leaves. However, if I plant it again, I will have to find a shadier spot. It thrives in morning sun, but goes completely limp if any afternoon sun touches it.

I got fed up with having to replace all my purple ornamental grasses every spring -- even the new variety that was supposedly more cold tolerant than Purple Fountain grass. But boy-oh-boy, am I ever lovin' this zebra grass, especially now that I've underplanted it with these precious little Dahlberg daisies. It comes back bigger and better each year, even after a winter filled with hard freezes.

I adored all my succulents, but I was using them in way too many places, and either had to pot them up and bring them indoors for the winter, or start over from scratch each spring. One day I noticed that this one little coral-edged trailing sedum, which hubby had in one of his pots, disappeared over the winter, but came back in spring and took off like gangbusters! So instead of buying all new succulents for my two concrete urns, I planted a red yucca in each and surrounded them with the trailing sedum. Love it!

Then I remembered another sedum that comes back reliably year after year -- sedum Autumn Joy.

My new plants are just beginning to show signs of their dusky coral fall color, which will look fantastic against my Turks Cap with the little coral blooms.

Perhaps I need to add some of the trailing sedum to that grouping as well.

Hubby gets extreme kudos for finally discovering a couple of deer-resistant plants that are managing to hold their own in the extremely dry shade under our oak tree clusters -- Firecracker Fern and Inland Sea Oats. Their lime green foliage really pops in the shade, and the drooping seed heads on the Inland Sea Oats are about to turn the same dusky coral as the sedums. Another possible pairing?

Hubby's designer pot trio is still looking fabulous. The deer did ravish his purple Sweet Potato Vine, but he just replaced it with some purple basil, which I thought was a brilliant move on his part!

Last, but certainly not least, there's nothing like the amazing Yellow Bells to beat the Texas heat, and add a little cheer to the summer garden.

So, that's what's going on in my hotter 'n hell garden. What's goin' on in yours?

Sunday, August 10, 2014


So, who wants to go to Scotland? No? Then I'm guessing you didn't watch the premier episode of the new STARZ network series, Outlander. If not, why not? It'd be worth it for the music and scenery alone. But the story? Oh my, the story!

The series is based on the books of  Diana Gabaldon, the first of which came out more than twenty years ago, which is when I started reading them. I must admit, after reading that first one? I don't think I've ever been so anxious for a sequel to come out in my life! Well, maybe the final Harry Potter book, but I'm not even certain about that.

I am ever so glad that I didn't go back and re-read them right before this series came out. If I had, then I probably would have spent too much time thinking about what was different in the film version, or what they left out, instead of letting myself get caught up in the magic. In fact, I envy those of you who don't know the story at all, and are experiencing it all for the first time! Fortunately, I don't really remember the details. I just remember the way it made me feel as I was reading it, which is pretty much the way I felt last night when watching that scene where the village women sneak out in the middle of the night, on the Scottish version of Halloween, and dance around the ancient stones to hauntingly beautiful music. It took my breath away -- even watching it on my little 12" screen upstairs!

Which is why I'm doing something I never, ever do. I scrolled through the TV guide and found where they are showing it again today, and set it to record. Why? Just so I can see what it's like to watch it on the BIGASSTV downstairs in the Man Cave. If you don't get STARZ at your house, you are more than welcome to join me!

P.S. My TV upstairs is not really 12". Actually, it's more like 12x20, but you'd never know it from the reactions we get whenever someone of the male persuasion walks through the front door. Usually they stand there looking around for a bit, then say something like "So where's your real TV?"