Friday, May 3, 2013

Gardening adventures

My beloved bougainvillea on the front porch.

Gardening with container plants at an apartment is a completely difference experience than landscaping a home. Zach put a lot of hours into our lawn and landscaping last fall, and he's on top of keeping it looking good this year with mowing and such. It's looking really nice! We planted one tree last fall, and that was about the extent of the gardening. This spring, I realized how hard weeding can be.... All of our flower beds had loads of weeds, and I turned over the mulch to prepare for fresh mulch in the process. It was a long process, but enjoyable. The weather has been fantastic.

I hadn't planned on planting anything other than moving my container herbs and irises into the ground, but the more we thought about it, the more we realized we did want some flowers. Having only owned irises and bougainvillea--and my cooking herbs--I'm not much of a landscaper. It's all overwhelming to me. What can be planted that will survive? I don't have much experience with plants outside of horticulture class at A&M--my childhood ventures into gardening were all a failure. Black thumb Abby here. But hey, my herbs are doing pretty well.

We enlisted Sharon, my mother-in-law, to help us choose plants and install them. She was such a trooper! We went to Redenta's nearby for the plants. After picking up some plants and odds n ends, we got to planting. Well... preparing the ground, and planting. Zach meanwhile ripped up three bushes we had growing along the side of our driveway to make way for ROSES! After many, MANY hours, Sharon and I got all the plants in the front placed in the ground. The next day, she came back and helped pulled up the whole back section of some kind of ivy that was getting bedraggled, and that housed tons of bugs I'm sure. We spent all morning preparing the ground back there, and the afternoon planting. Zach and I finished up with fresh mulch all around. We were totally wiped out after all of that, but it makes me so so happy to see our pretty flowers around our home. Crossing fingers that I can keep them going. Wish me luck!!

Here are some photos of the flowers and everything.

I replanted my irises in front of our office. Crossing fingers they will bloom now that they have sun and better soil. Also planted purple queen and lantana.
We planted white, pink and blue hydrangeas on the side of the house next to the porch. They're supposed to get 3-5 feet tall and wide. I can't wait to see them grow and bloom. I'm the most worried about their hardiness, but they are in mostly shade and I'll water them a lot.
More lantana and purple queen in front of the porch.
In front of the garage, we planted purple queen and knockout roses. So pretty!

One of the knockout roses 
Beside the house next to the driveway, we planted three rose bushes that produce beautiful scented roses we can cut. We can see these from our bedroom. I love walking by them and smelling their blooms. Also note--used to have a row of waist-high bushes here. Zach took them out!
Belinda's Dream

David Austin Golden Celebration - this one is getting an iron trellis to climb on soon!

Chrysler Imperial

We moved all my herbs to the back beside the kitchen. I hope they do well here--I've never put my herbs in the ground.

Sweet little celosia. We interspersed these with purple fountain grass and lantana along the back flower bed. They look like troll doll hair to me. *love*


All this used to be yucky ivy, overgrown grass and wobbly bricks. Now it's a nice flower bed with planter's stone, mulch and pretty flowers! Such an improvement!
I can't think my mother-in-law enough for her help. It was a lot of work but definitely worth it. Everything but the celosia is perennials, so... if I don't kill them, we should have them for several years at least! We love looking at our pretty flowers! Y'all should stop by to see them. :-)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mom's chair

My mom used to rock my brothers and I in this chair. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her sitting in her chair reading, petting her cat Frankie or resting. This was her favorite chair for many years. The last time I went to San Antonio (after we knew we were pregnant), we rearranged a bunch of furniture at my mom's house. There are two rocking chairs in the room. I sat down for a rest (moving furniture is hard work y'all!) and it was like a lightbulb went off, and tears actually came to my eyes. I'd been scouring the internet and stores for an upholstered chair for our bedroom, but I really wanted one that rocked. This is exactly what I wanted. Since there were two chairs, Zach suggested bringing it to our home. It was the best decision we could have made.

Every time I sit in this chair, I feel my mom with me. It's such a comfort to me. I look forward to rocking our baby here just like my mom did for me. It's my favorite piece of furniture in this house.

First Trimester: Complete

I can't believe Baby Boatwright has been cooking for 12 weeks! It's true what everyone says--I'm starting to feel like myself again. Not so much nonstop carsickness. My bump is starting to look like I'm pregnant--as opposed to just belly fat. And I'm not *quite* so tired, although I've been sleeping less due to work deadlines.

On Monday we had a midwife appointment. I was hoping we'd find out the gender, but she said it'll be another month or so. Sigh, But!! This time we got to hear the heartbeat. She found it right away, and it's good, strong and fast. Whew! Everything seems to be healthy at this point--Praise Jesus.

I have to tell you something cool though. Sunday night I woke up and as I was going back to sleep, I felt something like a little flick in my lower right abdomen. It didn't feel like anything digestion related or anything I've felt before. I think it was the baby! At the midwife appointment, she put the Doppler *right* on the same spot and that's where she heard the heartbeat! And the next night, I felt like a little poke there. I keep hoping I'll feel it again. :-D

Here's week 11's photo.