Yesterday we made a day trip to the lake house to turn it back into 'our place' rather than the 'kid's place'... rearranging a few things like decorative junk vs kid junk, sorting through the fridge, fluffing up the toss pillows and stuff and such... it was left in respectable condition, no easy fete and I thank them all for that.
This is not a 'House Beautiful' showplace, it's a retreat and housekeeping challenges should be kept to a minimum... that is, by design it should be furnished in an uncluttered, easy to swipe through manner... I keep telling myself. It quickly became overstuffed with anything and everything as we were anxious to make it livable in a hurry... now, especially with many guests coming and going, I realize that it's best to trim back on the fru-fru and leave room for the people!
Thanks to some good soaking rains, I was moved to take the photo above which shows a raw attempt to replay past gardening efforts. Long ago I planted a row of three lavender crepe myrtles which, after we left and in the intervening years, were captured by wild grape and honeysuckle vines. I considered them a lost cause so the tree clearing guy with his big tractor mowed them down with my approval. But... crepe myrtles consider a mowing down as a new lease on life and surged forward, blooming in bush form the first year after clearing! They are now in training to become proper multiple-trunk fine specimens as they once were.
As it happens, the ground there is mulch rich and needs only a regular dose of water to grow anything well... full afternoon sun is a plus. So I stuck in a NOLA plant that wasn't doing well at the main house... a few summer rains later and this beautiful Black and Blue Giant Salvia is a real joy! Doing even better than when in NOLA! Wish I could remember who originally gave me the cutting... I'm going to have to stake it in the future as it gets to 5 or 6 feet and begins to flop around... but it blooms on!
And I'd forgotten about this little 'weed'! It's a Summer Poinciettia or Mexican Fire Plant. I noticed it (remembering it from the past) when I was clearing out the area and repositioned the little plant to the designated 'nursery area' near the road... and how it's paid off! I'll let it go to seed and hope for more in the area next year.
So much for outdoor plants... where they live or die according more to their abilities than mine. I have determined that I will no longer try to keep live plants indoors (at the lake house.) The potted ivy was really doing nicely but it's amazing how much responsibility it demands... don't need that... so silk fake ivy is now on the shopping list. Even the dried hydrangeas gathered from the wild will be used with less abundance... they shatter at the slightest bump... don't need the added mess.
Sigh... it's a wonderful place but really is a lot of work... and expense. Exterior hasn't been painted since we did it ourselves thirty years ago so you can imagine! I'm nagging J, insisting YOU WILL NOT DO IT YOURSELF... and he just stays mum. I'm sticking to this one... a 72 yr old man should not paint a whole house himself OR run for President!
We're going to have to put in some kind of security system. A neighbor tells me that when she came home at 2am there was an unknown car in the carport, facing out. The noise of her arrival caused whoever to turn on parking lights and leave in a hurry. I always figured anyone looking for stuff to hock at our place would be sorely disappointed as we aren't into expensive gadgetry... but she reminded me that meth dealers look for unoccupied houses to cook their stuff... and it's pretty obvious that we aren't there all the time. We've alerted the local police to keep an eye out... and we've started shopping for security.
Meanwhile... back at home base... the dining room table is still full of stacks of slides and all available walls hold propped paintings ready for redistribution... and I'm apparently glued to my computer and TV chair... trying to figure out how this Sarah Palin person is going to affect my world...