This Spring marks the tenth anniversary of the purchase of our home and the beginnings of the gardens here at Wits’ End. When the house was purchased, the yard was a vertual wasteland. Weeds, an old trumpet vine, patches of Bermuda grass, and junk dominated the whole corner lot. Around the original house at the back of the lot were some wild lilac bushes and some long neglected rose bushes. But in all this disorder all I could see was potential. I was inspired by a beautiful book I had been given about the history and restoration of Claude Monet’s Garden at Giverney. I knew I wanted an informal garden one you could stroll through, that had places to sit and contemplate and was rich in color and life. So I laid out the first Garden in the front yard in a relaxed English cottage style with curving gravel paths planting roses and iris to be the “stars.” I hunted for benches and interesting bits of yard art to add structure, texture, and function.
Over the years, two solar-powered fountains were added; A tiered Mediterranean style in the front garden and a French country style in the back garden. Both provide a soothing splash of water and give a place for birds and the occasional dog a place to get a drink. The Gardens provide refuge to all sorts of birds. Colorful finches, blue jays, black birds, sparrows, and more take a pause or make a home at Wits’ End. Like life itself there have been good years and a few bad years for the garden, but it keeps on growing and changing. This spring saw many changes in my personal life that allowed me to devote much of my free time to the gardens. Going to work early and getting off in the afternoon gave me many hours to spend on the gardens. I was able to utilize our greenhouse and begin a vegetable garden this season. The extra time allowed me to continue on irrigation projects and expand the plantings in the back yard. After all these years, the gardens have taken over our entire corner lot. They are moving into the street medians with the addition of Raywood ash trees planted in celebration and memory of friends and family. Where ever we can plant and add life and color, we do! I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the last few seasons and keep will keep you updated on changes in the Garden!
Today auditions start for The Trip To Bountiful. David is directing this production and I am the producer. This is ending a chapter of our directing and producing shows for our local community theatre. As I said chapter. This does not mean we would never do another show again, but we have other things we want to focus on during our free time from work. We need to complete the renovations and remodeling on the property.
Tehachapi is experiencing a heat wave right now. We went to visit friends near Temeccula this past weekend. Labor Day is coming up this next weekend.
After living here for a few years, I realize you are not able to avoid the heat. If you do, you may end up with the blinds always closed and never leave the house. The evenings are cool and pleasant. That is currently the only truly enjoyable time outside.
The roof has been replaced on the house on Mojave Street. It will survive the coming wet season. This weekend we will begin cleaning and sorting the items stored in the house.
While it is hot outside, I have to learn to live in it. I have to get out and do more in it. It may not be during this current heat wave with temperatures near 100. That will end soon and we need to get out and do as much as we can to get things cleaned up and in as good a shape as possible. Winter is coming.
Garfield left this week. He was old. We knew he was coming to the end of his life. Yet, when he walked away on Tuesday it still hurt. It still hurts days later.
I posted about it on FB. He was over 20 years old. As a cat he had a good life. The last few months I did everything I could to make him feel safe and happy. I helped him throughout the day get on top of the dryer to his food dish. He was getting thin.
As usual, David’s alarm clock wakes me this morning. Maddie, Rupert, and Garfield begin their parade of hunger into the kitchen in front of David. I start to drift back to sleep. At times the silence is interupted by either Maddie or Rupert barking and wanting to be fed before the other one. This morning I heard Maddie cry and yelp in the backyard. I jumped out of bed. There was something in the backyard that spooked her. She wasn’t hurt or harmed and stood on the back porch barking into the cool night air with her tail wagging. It may have been a racoon.
I grab the flashlight and walk into the backyard to check things out. Maddie follows and begins barking at the old shed in back. There are ferral cats in the neighborhood and we think there are some in the old shed. Soon it will be torn down and hauled off to the dump. In the meantime, we leave the door cracked for the cats to escape when they get frightened off by Maddie. The door is not cracked wide enough for Maddie or Rupert to enter. If that happened I imagine a dirtyloud messy fight.
Now I’m wide awake at 4:30 AM. I already am planning my nap later.