Curb appeal

The Texan and I bought our house here in Odessa at the beginning of February after two months of living in a hotel.  Our first priority was just getting in and unpacked and making it feel like a home on the inside, then there was lots of traveling and working all the time for both of us…  But we have finally reached a point where there are no immediate travel plans and work has calmed down considerably for both of us so we’ve had a bit more time to focus on other aspects of  making our house a home.  While I may not be as gung-ho for the vegetable garden as the Texan, that’s not to say I’m not up for a little gardening of my own.

Our humble abode. Please ignore the saggy garage door.

As you can see, our landscaping is more zero-scaping than xeriscaping.  We have absolutely no grass in the front here, thanks to three large trees and our total disinterest in watering. If we do actually tackle landscaping the yard this summer, I suspect the pine tree will come down… but, that’s a big IF.  I’m not sure we’re up for a project of that magnitude just yet, since it would also involve putting in a whole new fence, moving the fence line, and some other major projects.  So, for the time being I’ve settle for planting some lovelies in the flower bed along the porch and front of the house.

The red door was the first thing we fell in love with.

One nice thing about living down here where summer starts in February is that my plants only have to live in the house for a couple of months before moving back outside.  The spider plants are still recovering from the traumatic moving experience, and the succulents are in a constant state of replacement because I kill them regularly… but the rest are doing fairly well.

As for the flower bed, I stuck with drought tolerant plants that I was familiar with from landscaping my previous home in Lubbock.  We went with some Confetti Lantana, Red Yucca, Pink Guara, Salvia Greggii, Purple Heart, Texas Rock Rose, an Agave whose variety I’ve forgotten, and a compact sage of some sort.  (I really should be better about writing things down).  Several of them look pretty sad at the moment and I completely lost one of the Lantana, but most seem to be slowly making a comeback as they put down new roots and get comfy in their new home.  I haven’t mulched it in yet because I’m still debating if I want to do pea gravel or crushed glass or what.

Recovering Lantana

I really thought I’d lost this Lantana, and had purchased the Purple Heart to replace it but when I went out to dig it up, I noticed some tiny new leaves.  So now the Purple Heart lives next to the Agave and we’re watching this guy fight his way back.

Red Yucca

Purple heart and Agave


Rock Rose

Pink Guara

I based most of my plant choices based on what did well in my gardens in Lubbock and what was available at the nursery while we were there so this whole garden is somewhat experimental.  I guess we will see how things grow.

Green(ish) Thumb

A week or two ago, the Texan informed me that he wanted a garden.  He comes from a farming family, and is a farmer at heart…and is quite literally going crazy at his inside, limited physical activity-type job.  So I humored him.  “Sure,” I said.  “Knock yourself out.”  After all… I like to eat, so its pretty much win-win.  What I failed to consider is that when the Texan thinks something is worth doing, the Texan thinks it is worth over doing.  And we have a very, very small back yard.

This communication occurred via text, while I was at work so approximately three minutes later I had more or less forgotten the exchange.  Until I got home.  The Texan was beaming with pride.  “Come see my garden,” he said.  And by garden, he meant HALF of the very very small back yard.  Not even exaggerating.  While I was picturing perhaps a few rows of veggies along the fence or in the corner, he was imagining an honest-to-God, feed a family of six, vegetable garden.  There were seed packets every where.  And a map.  A map to the vegetable garden. Seriously.

This is, without exaggeration, the entire west half of our backyard.

Not to mention that the dirt down here is one step above cement.  The shovel pictured above is actually the second one he used.  The first suffered a disgraceful decapitation after proving itself incapable of breaking through the upper crust.  No rototiller, no power tools…the entire thing with a shovel. The testosterone in the air was almost unbearable…

Given the heat and the condition of the sand soil, I really didn’t think it was going to amount to much, but I’ve got to give the Texan some credit.  That boy can grow some plants.

Summer Squash

Spanish Beans

Cucumber (if I'm reading the map correctly...)

Sweet Corn

The summer squash came up with a vengeance, providing some evidence that he may have over planted juuuuust a bit.  They were followed by the Spanish beans, sweet corn, and cucumber.  Since I took these pictures we’ve had a few more assorted plants poke through as well.  Of everything that’s come up so far, I remain most skeptical about the sweet corn.  He swears he can grow it, but I’m not holding my breath.  I come from Ohio… my people know how to grow corn and the stuff they call corn down here usually looks pretty sad.  But I’d be more than happy to eat my words later this year.


Assuming there’s actually anyone out there reading this, thanks for stopping by.  Its been a long time, but I’m dipping my toes back into the blogging world, at least for a little while.  I make no promises on how long it lasts, but we’ll just give it a shot and see where it goes.

As the title of the blog suggests, I’m a native Ohioan currently living in West Texas.  After twenty eight years of life as a Buckeye, I packed up everything and moved to a state that often seems to forget that it is, in fact, a state.  Its been a bit of a culture shock, and a lot of life changes have happened along the way… but I’m now the happiest I have ever been.  And the crazy state of Texas has had a lot to do with it.

Wildflowers in Llano, TX

And because I happen to like posts with pictures, here’s some wildflowers from our recent trip to Llano, TX.  The Texan and I took a weekend roadtrip last weekend to visit some friends and eat some mud bugs at the annual Llano Crawfish Boil.  Had to enjoy the wildflowers while we could because they sure don’t grow here in these parts…