Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cactus and another day in TYFH...

Texas State University takes immaculate care of the landscaping. During Spring break (which I had to work through), I noticed this cactus in front of my building. I don't know much about cactus, but I figured those red things had to be future flowers. They stayed this way for about a month and a half.

Then they changed to this.

And then to this just last week. It is hard to believe that such an ugly plant can create such a beautiful flower. I'm curious to see whether they will open even more.

Here is another one. Look at all those pricklies. Amazing. They look like a million little white spiders. And this one's ready to bloom as well. I will keep tabs on it.

For your information, "TYFH" in my title stands for "The Yard From Hell." I worked in TYFH today from noon until 6 p.m. Went up to Lowe's this morning and their flowers were all on sale. Oh, yeah. I worked on a project today. This is what's left over from the mulberry tree that used to tower over my yard. (FYI, never think of planting a mulberry tree. They're a mess and you can't really use the berries and all you end up doing is tracking them inside the house on the bottom of your shoes.)

I kept putting off getting the stump removed because I just didn't feel like spending the money on it. I know you can drill holes in it and pour these little beads in which will rot it so that you can chop it up. We tried that but it didn't work. So at my rummage sale, I was talking to one of my customers (a landscaper) about it and I asked him how much he thought it would cost to take the stump out. He said it wasn't worth spending the money and that I should make a planter out of it. What a coinkydink!! I had been thinking the same thing! So this is what I came up with.

Now come on and tell me you can still see a stump there. Ha! Ha! Okay, I know it still looks like a stump, but that planter on the top is fast-growing and viney, so I'm hoping it will eventually drape down and cover the stump. And that the plants around it will grow up and hide it as well.
Just don't even remind me that these are annuals and that they will go away in the winter and we'll still be able to see the damn stump. Maybe someone has some helpful stump-hiding suggestions??

Other than that, I cut down a big bush that was right outside my doorway that had gotten out of control. I moved my Hibiscus to that spot so you can see it from the street.

While I was at Lowe's, I looked in the ceramic tile section for some kind of solution that will brighten up tile. I did the tile work in the photo above when I first moved here in 2004 and it's looking kind of dull. Lowe's had some, but it was $32.00 for a little pint-sized bottle!!! No freakin' way, Jose! Does anyone else know of any (cheaper) ways to brighten up tile??

Ahhh...finally time to relax. The Sol was good, but my photo just didn't cut it as a substitution for the real thing. **sigh**


Life's a Beach! said...

Deb, looks like we were up to the same thing today. I hit Home Depot and bought some vinca and groundcover to plant in some of the spots where other stuff died!

It's all lookin' good! And I like the stump idea. In the winter, you could always put a large Christmas decoration on it! : ) And I have no clue how to brighten up tile, but I'm with you on not buying the $30 bottle. I bet there's a simple chemical that will do the trick.

Jamqueen said...

I think everone has the same idea! I went out yesterday & bought a few new plants--it's very slow to warm up here--80's this weekend, but dropping back to the 60's during the week! I'm itching to plant my vegetable garden, but won't until late May!

Vee said...

Deb, I totally agree about the messy mulberries. The birds love them, but they will remind you how much on your car. We had to chop down a cedar tree in 1994 that was too close to the house. We put a bird bath on top of it. ItThe stump finally rotted away year before last. Cedar lasts a long time! But you could consider a bird bath or feeder atop your stump. Your yard is looking great!

Vee said...

Sorry about the typos...We put the bird bath on top of the cedar stump, and the stump lasted for a dozen years.