Monday, October 31, 2011

One Last Warm Day

Today I got off a bit early from work. It's so nice to be home when the sun is still up, but today it was warm too. What a blessing! This time of year as the garden dies down, the countryside greens up; the opposite of Summer. It's a comfortable back and forth partnership. My attention now is so much more on the natural countryside because it's so beautiful. Plus, my garden needs work and I just don't feel like it. I'd like you all to know what it's like to really be here, so, in keeping with Town Mouse's idea, let's take a long view.

If you were to come for a visit here in Bootjack, you would drive several miles down a dirt road. If you were a skillful enough navigator, you might find our driveway. You might not.

Looking to the left, Oak Woodland.

Keep going and looking left and there's our little house sunk in a cut in the hillside.

Look down the hill left  again and you see into a tangled and beautiful wood.

Look up the hill and you see old, hollow, bat filled trees.

And "Manboob Rock". Christened by my daughters long ago for obvious reasons.

Left again, our house sits cozy in the hillside.

Left again and you meet the Fearsome Four. Why is there a thriving garden here smack in the middle of deer country? These girls, that's why.

To the right now is the vegetable garden. I've lost control of the situation here. That's okay. It's going to freeze hard Thursday. I'll bring in as many tomatoes and peppers as I can save.

A view of the house from behind the vegetable garden standing at the top of the back slope. The pomegranate grew like crazy this year.

To the right again from the very utilitarian and frugal gravel pathway, my bed of roses! This is their best season. In the Spring they're encrusted with aphids and in the Summer they are fried to a crisp.

Looking straight out the back, catalpa trees and the perennial border from seed. Everything knitted together for the first time this year. What a pleasure not to weed.

Same border looking North.

My Swamp Magnolia grew 3 feet this year! This is in a North/West facing corner that is under water half the year and hotter than Hades the other. Could this be an underused tree?

Continuing on counter-clockwise, the back slope becomes shady and there is a thriving berry patch.

Look down the hillside and there are so many distinguished old trees. It's humbling.

Around the house and left again, here's the front bed all cut back for the Winter. This is the one thing I've done so far. Good start!

Now right. Back at the bat tree.

Right now along the front walkway. This is right outside the big front window.

I walked to the end of the pathway and turned around to get a photo of the Fall roses as you walk in the gate. I started these from cuttings.

Walk down the path and to the left, the front garden is going to seed. I love the black Rudbeckia seed heads, the blooming grass, and the red maples. My old, cheap camera really doesn't do this justice.

Look right. The hydrangea blooms are the most vivid pink. See the twisted trunk?

It's a bay tree!

Happy Halloween!


  1. What a nice private property. Everything is lovely. Your garden beds are wonderful and I love your Rose bed. Loved seeing the photos of the dogs.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. It's beautiful Katie! I feel like I just came for a visit. Love you! Your Sis

  3. Katie! What a fantastic post.What a treat to get a full tour of the garden...I think if I visited you everything would seem very familiar. I love your trees and roses! You're certainly right about this being a good season for them.

    Our house is also down the hill and hoidden from view, in fact I should put a 'Welcome' sign up or something as our son says "Mom, your driveway looks like an ax murderer lives down there"
    I saw recently a Halloween kissing booth set up and the kissers? They were all dogs like yours! What sweeties they are to provide some 'protection'.

    Thanks to Mouse who thought up this idea! ;-)

  4. Hi Cher!
    As always, thank you for the kind words! The thing I love most about our place is how secluded it is. I hope it can always stay that way. One of these days I'll write all about the dogs so you can get your fill of hound dog love.

  5. Love you too Sis, however, you will not get off that easily. Your actual presence is required so we can swill some wine and giggle a bit.

  6. Hi Sue!
    So glad you enjoyed the tour! You are welcome to visit any time, of course. That's funny about your driveway! It's just one more thing we have in common. A Bloodhound kissing booth? That's hilarious! I bet the participants were swimming in slobber. I'm a big fan of Town Mouse and Country Mouse's blog. What a wonderful source of information about growing CA native plants! Seeing gardens as they really are is a great idea. Thanks from me too, Mouse! If I wanted to see a fantasy garden, I'd go buy a magazine.

  7. Thanks for the tour of your neck of the woods. You live in a very beautiful spot. I particularly like the old trees and lush landscape. Your house seems to be so perfectly situated among all this beauty.

  8. You're welcome Sage Butterfly! I sure enjoyed walking through your woods yesterday. Your photography is something I always look forward to.

  9. Loved the tour! How great to have a nice bit of land with some old trees with lots of character!

    Your roses are beautiful. I had to click on your photos to get a good look at your other flower borders. They are really pretty. I'm starting my gardens from scratch, so I'm waiting for the day when the fill in like that :)

    The bay tree is so cool looking!

  10. Thanks Indie!
    I've got tons of seed if you need any for your borders. It's been such a challenge to get those borders going, but it was worth it and also such a meaningful experience for me. Glad you like the bay tree! I've had it from a 2 1/4" pot, nearly 20 years. It's traveled with us everywhere. A long time ago I got tired of cutting off the suckers and just started twisting them around the trunk instead.

  11. Sorry it took me so long to stop by, I was actually out of town all week. But what fun to find all the links, and I've really enjoyed the tour of your garden. How I wish I had a bat tree!

  12. Hi Town Mouse!
    Glad you enjoyed the tour. We'll have to do it again sometime. Your native garden is fantastic! One of my favorite things to do on Summer evenings is watching the bats flap out for the night. There are hundreds of them inside the trees but the holes are small so only a few can escape at once. If I get up early I can watch them go back into the trees in just the same orderly way. I always wonder how they decide who's turn it is.

  13. What a fascinating garden!! I real enjoyed the tour of your wonderful garden. Thanks to your beautiful picture and your good guide, I felt like I took a walk around your house, had a lovely time before work . Well,I read that your pomegranate grew like crazy last year. That would be mice. I wanted to grow it badly. I can't do due to lack of space. So I am enjoying some shrubs such as a blueberry and a cumquat.
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you for taking a walk around the house, Kumittyi! I wish you could grow a pomegranate too. If I get just one fruit this year, I'll be happy. They're my favorite. Blueberries and cumquats are wonderful too!


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