This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Plant a tree, a bush, or a shrub" (Lady Bird Johnson)

It has been almost three weeks since my last post, my only post during the month of September actually, and just in case anybody missed me, I'm still alive. My time has been dominated by moving into our new house. It's only about a five minute drive from the old house so we have made an untold number of trips hauling "stuff" to the new house. We have a six-passenger Chevy Traverse that we have been using like a truck. With the back four seats laid down to make a cargo bed you would be surprised what one can haul in that vehicle. Sam, my son-in-law, used his construction trailer to haul some of the big stuff and we hired a local mover to move the "precious" things (great grandma's "antiques"). All of the little stuff is being moved in our car. It is a bit frustrating when after umpteen trips the new house is filling up and we seem to have made only a dent in the old house! From 4,800 square feet to 2,600 square feet is challenging. What to take, what to throw away, and what to sell. There is enough furniture left in the old house to "stage" the house, in hopes that doing so will help sell the house. Once it is sold we will have a humonguous "We Ain't Dead Yet" estate sale.

Time not spent totin' stuff has been spent working on the landscaping of the new house. I'm trying to get a lot done before winter in order to have a head start once spring arrives. I have sowed (or sown?) the front yard with annual winter ryegrass seed, which should hold the soil in place and give me a rich green lawn this winter (I wonder what it's like to mow grass in the winter?). I will plant a more permanent kind of grass in the spring. The back yard is quite small and we have covered it and the side yard in something like pea gravel, but a tad larger. Much of my time has been spent building flower beds and planting all sorts of plants. I visited a wholesale nursery and went a little crazy. I must not have been thinking about having to dig a hole for each plant I bought.  I purchased just a few each of bottlebrush, dwarf fountain grass, rosemary, nandina, and Texas sage, to name a few. But I bought thirty-five crapemyrtles (Red Rocket), twenty-eight jasmine (a mix of Carolina and Confederate), a dozen spirea (Bumalda and Prunifolia), and fourteen red yuccas. I also bought a red oak, three Japanese maples, and three Chinese Pistache trees. All in all, about one-hundred and twenty plants (I still have about twenty left to plant). I have moved many wheelbarrow loads of dirt and shoveled a mountain of mulch (I had ten cubic yards delivered). Each day I spend about an hour watering the plants to keep the Texas sun and drought from killing everything. I have installed a drip irrigation system in one of the completed beds and plan on doing so in the other beds before I'm finished. This is all rather new to me as I have never enjoyed working in the yard. Strangely though, I have found that I am actually enjoying the work now and am rather proud to state that so far I have lost only one plant out of the entire lot.

The Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), located here in Nacogdoches, is home to the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, which will have its annual fall plant sale this Saturday. I know I shouldn't, but I plan to be there when the doors open.


Croft Randle said...

Lady Bird would be proud of you! Picking plants that will survive drought conditions must be challenging. We live in a damp area and hardly ever have watering restrictions but I keep thinking I should figure out a way to be able to use the water from the small stream that runs down the slope behind the house to feed a hose for the lawns and plants.

Robert & Carol Ann Martin said...

Could you use a small solar powered pump? A drip system only requires 25 psi.

Croft Randle said...

I could use gravity, I can access the stream where it is about ten feet higher than the lawn. It would not be a complicated job, just to get the water line and figure out a route to get to the front of the house. If they ever install the water meter they are threatening us with, I will get it done.