Friday, January 29, 2016

The 10 Best Dallas Suburbs - Grapevine

In a tie for the #4 spot, Grapevine was recently featured as one of the 10 best Dallas suburbs to live in.  Check out the article here

As wonderful as it was that Grapevine made the top 10 list, what made it even more special is that it was a picture of my yard was chosen to represent our fair city!    How cool is that?!!!    What an honor!

Grapevine is #1 in my book :-)

Happy Gardening in 2016!

Toni :-)

P.S.  As you can tell by the date of the previous post, I've been a little absent from my blog the past year.  I've been hanging out over on Facebook, so "like" my page:  Signature Gardens

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fall is a busy time in the garden in North Texas.   

Here's the latest

with tips for your fall garden.

Happy Gardening...

Toni :-)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's Not Nice to Rhyme With Ice

Have all the poppies perished? 

Are the columbines soon to croak?

Winter became reality,
the icy forecast was no joke!

March 2nd ice accumulation at my entryway

Have the roses come to ruin?
Oh, the salvias look so bad!

Will they live to bloom another day,
when now they look so sad?

The catmint looks all crinkled

The spiraea lost its buds.

Will they have a second flush of growth,
or are they merely duds?

Triumphator Lily June 2013

Will the Triumphator lily rise again
to toot its lovely horn?

Or will this winter be its end
and leave me so forlorn

The day the icy precip fell
and temps began to drop ...

 The daffodils once stood tall and bright...

Ice Follies the day before the ice

...then froze and took a flop

The pansies and the kale in pots
I fear are finally toast.

No containers full of color this year
about which I can boast.

Colorful containers February 2013

 About right now the warmth of spring
would really hit the spot. 

I'm so ready for winter to cash it in;
I just hope my plants have not!

A few buds remain to comfort me
Maybe spring's about to start.

A little sign to bring some hope
for my winter-weary heart.

I wrote this poem to lift my spirits
after a winter filled with ice.
And even though the words may rhyme,
this winter's been all but nice! 

Take care...and stay warm!
Toni :-)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dirt: The New Prozac

In a recent Outside Magazine article entitled "The Pursuit of Happiness," I found one of the "life-improving strategies" of particular interest.  
It is simply...

Get Dirty.    

 "Dirt may be the new Prozac. Working in soil raises your spirits, in part because you pick up cheerful germs while digging. University of Colorado researcher Christopher Lowry injected mice with dirt-dwelling Mycobacterium vaccae and found increased serotonin in the critters’ prefrontal cortex. Getting your own dose is as easy as taking a walk in the wilderness or planting something. You don’t need to wait until spring: even in the dead of winter you can sprout basil seeds in a pot on your sunniest windowsill."

You know, I always say, "A day without dirt under your nails is like a day without sunshine."  Who knew what I was really saying all along was, "A day without Mycobacterium vaccae under your nails is like a day without serotonin." :-)

As we start a new year with all kinds of often unreasonable, unattainable resolutions and goals, I think this is one resolution we can actually keep.

So get out there (or in) and get some Mycobacterium vaccae under your nails, and have a...

Happy New Year!  

Toni :-)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Noel Love

"Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood mankind has bought
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel"
(The First Noel)

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Toni :-) 

Pictures from my garden...
N - flagstone path
o - birdhouse
e - wall hanging iron scroll
L - flower pot carving
o - flower pot handle
v - arbor iron scroll
e - potting bench iron scroll

created using piZap

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fall Leaves an Impression on Winter

Usually the leaves fall before the snow flies, but this year it was just the opposite.   When our weather went from balmy to brrr in just a matter of hours, the freezing rain and sleet fell before the trees had a chance to drop their leaves.

My neighbors' pretty Shumard Red Oak

At first the winter scene was rather impressive, but then in no time at all the white stuff was littered with fallen leaves.


Even though the temps remained at freezing or below for an impressive number of hours, the ice started to melt where the leaves were lying, leaving their impression in the frosty surface.

The leaves didn't make a lasting impression, because thankfully now that the temps have increased,  winter's brief presence is dwindling fast.

Now all I am left with is the carnage after the freeze.  Everywhere I look, the plants seem to be saying, "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"

My beloved giant leopard plant,
once impressing me with its large shiny leaves...
... now looks like a deflated parachute!

The elephant ears are a big pile of green mush over a big pile of ice.  
Not too impressive, huh?

I'm not too impressed with the skunk-like odor 
of the frozen society garlic either.

I am, however, very impressed by the spicy fragrance that the Mexican mint marigold gives off even in its less-than-impressive condition.

And I'm also impressed at the resilience of the little plant they call... 
...a "pansy" 

If this leaves you with the impression that I don't much care for winter, that's just about right.    On the other hand, icy cold days do force me to stay inside and at least make an attempt at getting more organized.     And any time I can get a little more organized...well, that's pretty impressive!

For a look at some other impressive foliage, 
visit Pam @ Digging for Foliage Follow-Up.

Toni :-)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Frozen in Time

In my last post I shared pictures of the icy blast that hit our area the first week of December.

I have a decorative birdhouse that sits on the top shelf of my potting bench.   As you can see, it (along with everything else in my yard) was covered with ice.

As I looked closer at the icicles hanging from the roof of the birdhouse, I was amazed to see this single droplet of water frozen in a moment of time, suspended on a single strand of silk from a spider web.

It made me think about the critical timing of all of the elements that went into creating this scene.

 The spider had to spin this strand of silk at some point before it got too cold for the spider to survive the freezing temps, yet not so long ago that the strand could have been destroyed.   And then the rain had to fall in just the right spot that it landed on this strand, and the temperature had to be just the right degree to freeze this droplet of water before it fell off the strand.

Sometimes it's the little things in life that I marvel at most.

I hope during this busy holiday season that you are not so overwhelmed by the big things that you miss the opportunity to marvel at the little things.

Toni :-)