Category Archives: Gardening


I went and interviewed the president of the local iris society today and took pictures of his beautiful flowers. He has about 150 different varieties of iris. Only a few of them were blooming, although a lot of them had buds on them. They were absolutely stunning. After the story runs, I’ll post pictures here.

I need to get some rhizomes and plant some irises around the pond. They’d be pretty there. I keep promising myself I’ll plant irises and tulips and daffodils in our yard, but I never seem to get to it. Maybe this year….



I spent this afternoon in the garden. We aren’t planting yet (we’re still six days from last frost), but I wanted to get the garden laid out and the paths and planting beds all mapped out in advance so we could spend next weekend actually getting the garden in the ground.

Today’s project involved installing some low fencing to mark off planting beds. We found some little wire fence material that looks sort of like a miniature version of the garden fence. We bought 100 feet, which wasn’t nearly enough, so I’m going to the hardware store later to pick up more fencing and more stakes to keep it stable. Hopefully I can find shorter T-posts. I used what I had in the garage, but they were too tall. I think it still looks pretty good, though. Here’s one of the beds:


Hope your Sunday afternoon was productive.


Awwwww …

As I was coming out of church tonight, I could hear all these little frogs singing in the distance. I am SO glad it finally rained enough and got warm enough for the frogs to come out and sing to me. (OK, OK, so they’re just singing to each other … but I love to listen in.)

I spent part of my evening helping Ron wrestle hay bales from the driveway to the area behind the back fence. Ron cut down all the trash-tree saplings and catbrier vines, painted them with stump killer, and covered the area behind the fence with mulch cloth the other day. We put 29 hay bales on top of the mulch cloth today. We are going to saturate them with water and plant tomatoes and watermelons and eggplant and stuff in them. I’m planning to buy 16 different kinds of tomatoes — two of each kind — so we’ll plant half of them in the hay and half in the garden and see which works better. I read somewhere that New Yorkers grow tomatoes in bales of hay on rooftops because they don’t have any land for gardening, and it works just fine. We’ll see.


Trout Fishing in Oklahoma

Coleman Theatre Beautiful

Sorry today’s post is so late. Ron and I went over to Miami this evening to catch a Trout Fishing in America concert at the Coleman Theatre Beautiful on Route 66. It was a general admission show, and somehow, despite showing up about five minutes before the show was supposed to start, we managed to score front-row seats. (I seem to have good luck at folk concerts lately….) Cameras were allowed, so Ron ran out to the car and got mine for me.

I posted pictures and a full report over at Ron’s blog.

Meanwhile, back in Red Fork …


One of my hostas is coming up next to the pond. Hopefully I can plant something over there to shade it before the sun gets too intense. When I planted last year, we still had the boxelder shading the pond. Now it gets full sun. We’re starting to get problems with filamentous algae; as soon as the last frost date is past, I’m going to do a partial water change and cover the entire surface of the water with hyacinths.


The girls apparently kicked a lazy drone out of the hive today. I saw this guy crawling around on the ground in front of the hive. I watch our workers a lot, and I once saw a queen in her little wire-and-wood cage before we installed her in a new hive, but I’ve never seen a drone before.

False garlic

The false garlic is taking over the yard. You can’t believe how much of this stuff we’ve got growing in the back yard. I don’t mind. I think it’s pretty. And if you look closely, you’ll see that little pollinators apparently like it.

Ground Ivy

Our next-door neighbor has a profusion of ground ivy growing between his house and our driveway, just under his flowering almond bush. It’s putting out tons of gorgeous little blue blossoms.

Hope your day was good.


No limits.

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”
— Richard Bach

“We are all capable of more than we do.”
— Mary Baker Eddy

I joined the Fleet Feet group for a 20-mile training run this morning. I had done very little physical preparation ahead of the run, but I tuned out the aggressive mental suggestions that kept telling me all the reasons I couldn’t finish and kept up a pretty strong run for probably 18.5 miles. I walked a lot of the last mile and a half, but as coach Paul Cox pointed out, “You’re still standing, and that’s all that matters.”

I was more than standing. I mustered all my strength so I could have a strong finish. I stretched out with the group, downed some Gatorade and Carb-Boom, and came home to take a shower. Very few things in life feel better than a shower after 20 miles.

I’m tired after all that, but I feel great. No pain. I don’t do pain any more. It’s against my religion.

We ran the Utica loop, which took us through some GORGEOUS neighborhoods in Midtown. I’m not into big, expensive houses, but I’m all about swiping ideas from people who hire professional landscape artists to install azaleas and dogwoods in front of their big, expensive houses. My little Red Fork cottage is going to be irresistibly charming when I get done implementing all the ideas I’ve stolen from Tulsa and Oklahoma City’s upper class during runs through expensive neighborhoods. If you are reading this, and you occupy a high tax bracket and a fancy house with a fancy yard somewhere in Tulsa or OKC … thanks! You’ve probably helped make my yard cuter. 🙂

Running through upscale neighborhoods, we saw every imaginable shade of azalea, redbuds (some with pink blossoms and some with white), a rainbow of tulips and pansies, some jonquils, wisteria, dogwoods, and I don’t remember what all else. It was beautiful.

Our route took us through downtown, where I marveled again at how blessed I am to live in a city full of such gorgeous Art Deco buildings, and on to the river trail, where I saw plenty of geese and ducks. Mockingbirds were playing in the trees over in the arbor garden. They were really cute.

Quite a way to spend four hours on a Saturday morning.


P.S.: If you’re thinking about giving yourself a marathon finisher’s medal this year, and you happen to live in Tulsa, I cannot say enough good things about the Fleet Feet marathon training program. I signed up for it last fall, and it really helped keep me focused as I trained for the now-defunct Oklahoma Marathon. I’d have signed up again this spring if I’d known I was going to want to run OKC, but I didn’t remember I was a runner until last Monday. (Typical.) I’ll be training with them for the Route 66 Marathon this fall, anyhow.

Worms and weather

It’s cold out this evening. It’s been cold and gray since we got back from Austin, but we needed the rain so much that I’m not going to grumble about the cold front that brought it.

We finally got enough moisture that they lifted the burn ban. Hopefully this will help Grumpy’s Garden. Shawn couldn’t fire up her chimineas while the ban was in place. The chimineas are the mainstay of her business during the winter, and the pinon smoke billowing from them helps attract the attention of passers-by and makes the neighborhood smell like New Mexico all year.

My worm bin is thriving. The worms have zillions of babies in there — tiny things, an inch long and maybe a millimeter across, squirming and wiggling in the soft compost — and egg capsules everywhere.

Not much else going on this week. Too cold to see much activity outdoors, which is OK, because I’m too busy to spend much time out there enjoying it anyway; my boss is on vacation, and I’m trying to hold down the fort for him at work.



Flowering almond

My neighbor’s flowering almond is just covered in blooms.


The hyacinths have opened the rest of the way.

Grape hyacinth

Grape hyacinths are blooming along the fence.

Salad bowl

I picked up this cute “salad bowl” of mixed lettuce at Grumpy’s Garden the other day. Isn’t it pretty? I’m looking forward to harvesting some of the leaves for lunch tomorrow.

Hope your day was full of beauty.


Head over heels

“Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”
— Ann Richards

“Yeah, but could she turn compost in ’em?”
— Red Fork Hippie



Note to Brad: Tell Heels I triple-dog-dare her to one-up that. 😉

as ladylike as you’d expect …

Hyacinths and friends


Not a great shot, because it was getting dark when I noticed them, but these are the hyacinths in my front yard.

I had an interesting day today. Songdog and I went for a jog at a park not far from here. On the way back, I met someone who has been exchanging e-mail messages with me since she found my blog. She lives not far from me and had sent me a picture of her very distinctive car.

We’d been discussing the possibility of meeting for lunch somewhere and solving all the world’s problems (or at least all of Red Fork’s problems). Lo and behold, as Song and I were coming back from the park, I looked up and saw my new friend and her husband standing next to her car in a nearby driveway.

I pulled up, rolled down the window, and introduced myself. We had a brief but very pleasant chat, during which we discovered some more things we have in common (including a fondness for old-fashioned wire fencing).

As I pulled away, I got to thinking about this strange world we live in. This woman and her husband live maybe a mile from me, yet we probably never would have met if not for this blog — the very same blog that allows me to communicate with people as far away as India and Vietnam.

There’s something very Six Degrees of Separation about the idea of meeting a sort-of neighbor through the World Wide Web, as opposed to, say, bumping into her at Crow’s Drive-In or crossing paths with her at the park.

Speaking of the park, I was proud of Songdog today. He and I have been having a disagreement about his behavior lately, and after much soul-searching about the way to deal with it, I have come to the conclusion that he just needs more attention, more training, and more love … so I am making a concerted effort to provide all three.

It seems to be paying off: While we were at the park today, several people commented on how obedient and well-mannered he was. He’s getting very good at sitting and staying on command, and he’s learning to heel better. He’s becoming an excellent running companion. I’m glad. I’d had high hopes of that when he came to us, and he is really living up to my expectations now that I’m giving him a chance to show me what he can do.


Update, rain, etc.

It rained last night and this morning. We really needed it. A cold front moved in, so it’s pretty chilly now, but I’ll put up with the cold if I can have the rain.

Here are all the places I shopped today in my relentless pursuit of Anything That Isn’t Corporate:

1. Tie-Dyes of Tulsa. I bought one T-shirt and ordered another.
2. S&S Market. I bought gas and a whole bill of groceries in less than 30 minutes, for less than $50. Once I get to know the store’s layout and stock a little better, I’ll be able to get in and out even faster.
3. Pakistani grocery store.
4. Korean grocery store.
5. Mexican grocery store.

I will admit to having an ulterior motive in this quest to avoid chains: Denying myself access to the convenience of the McFranchises will force me into new places and new experiences. I think the payoff will be well worth the trouble … sort of like when you go vegetarian, and it’s a big hassle at first, but it forces you to break out of your routine and try new things, so what started out as a limitation actually winds up expanding your options.


P.S.: Here’s something cute I shot the other day when the weather was so warm: