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The Gardens are Growing

I can’t believe that it is 95 degrees F here today. The lettuce, chard, and other cool weather crops are really struggling on these hot, dry days. The wind has also been pretty relentless for much of the spring as well, which takes it toll on the seedlings and transplants in the gardens. But, despite […]

Sizzling Summer in Austin

Every summer for the past ten or so I have said to myself, surely this summer won’t be as hot and dry as last summer, but unfortunately that just hasn’t turned out to be the case. According to Jim Spencer at KXAN, the summer of 2009 has already been the hottest summer on record so far, with more than 30 days over 100 degrees F. Add to that the fact that we have also had almost no rain for the past six weeks (see the drought map below), we remain in the worst drought that we have seen here for years. All in all, this makes for some terribly challenging growing and gardening conditions.

Trellis Bed Tree and Vine Planting Completed

We finished installing the trees and vines in the beds at the base of the new trellis yesterday, and now I am praying that we don’t have a hard freeze tonight or tomorrow night. That would be unfortunate. We don’t usually get hard freezes here after March 15, so it would be kind of unusual, but the weather has become reliably unpredictable the past few years. I’m thinking about wrapping the vines and small trees in row cover just in case.

Trellis Project is Complete

Trellis construction is now complete and it looks really good. We found some copper covered post caps which tie in with the copper roofs of the bird houses that are mounted on the taller posts on either side of the stairs that lead to the lower garden. In keeping with the copper accents, I found some string lights with copper shades which I may purchase to string under the trellis, but I haven’t made up my mind on that purchase yet.

Trellis Header Up and Rafters In Progress

Trellis construction has been slow, but steady. With every additional element the structure looks better and better. The header boards are completed and the posts have been cut to length, and the structure balances well with the size and scale of the retaining wall below.

Construction of the Retaining Wall Trellis Begins

Ron has over half of the trellis posts constructed and the effect of the structure on the overall courtyard design is starting to emerge. The posts will ultimately be shortened by a couple of feet so they are a bit tall right now, but I like the thickness (5″ X 5″) we chose. I think the scale and balance of the structure to the courtyard area and the retaining wall are definitely going to work. Ron says he feels like he is building the Parthenon. Ha.

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