An empty canvas awaits

Tabula rasa: A canvas awaits the artist's deft touch.

July 2, 2011

We have always admired well-conceived landscaping. Admired from afar, because truth is our thumbs are green only when we paint, never when we garden.

To date, our efforts have spawned disappointment. Blueberry plants were picked clean by crickets. An orchard of spindly pecan trees bend feebly to the winds and have yet to produce actual pecans. And the tree that once seemed so charming at the side of the vegetable garden now looms darkly over the plot with the efficiency of a rainforest canopy.

Hope springs eternal though and inspiration is never far away. It can be found in the informative newsletters and soothing radio broadcasts of the patron saint of Texas gardening. It’s also apparent in the natural beauty of a sister’s gardens half a continent away in Virginia  (see photo at right). Similarly, our next door neighbor has clearly tamed the vegetation around his house, creating the allusion of a lush habitat around his pool, as the rest of North Texas withers from one of the worst droughts in a century. Even the welcoming garden (see photo at left) at an unassuming local restaurant provides inspiration. Perhaps too much inspiration. It intrigues on many levels even as it mocks our futile efforts a mile away in the same micro-climate.

No more excuses. We have the time and the willpower and the intellect to prevail and so we shall. Over the  coming weeks we will research the characteristics of the warm earth and extreme temperatures of our region. We will learn which plants work best under what conditions. We will master the fine art of nurturing plants despite the sun and the wind. And we will add color and depth and texture to the barren canvas that awaits our touch.


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