Our Family In The Gardens

I chose not to cook for Thanksgiving 2013, instead we ordered traditional and vegan food from Blaneks.  Our older son Ryan and his fiance Margaret flew into Abilene from their Portland, OR home, where they picked up her three children for a four day TX car trip, our place was the second of several visits with family.  Eben, Nikki, 3 year old Benjamin – and as of 1/16/14 – granddaughter Lily (6#) live in Waco but they too headed out for other family dinners after visiting with us. Multiple family holiday visits involving long car trips (in our case Montana to California) are part of our family’s history.

Playing with the kids in EHHPG’s gardens was a nice way to wrap up the day’s visit. Thanks to Nikki, we have wonderful photos to help us remember the day.

11/2/13: Chris and Lindsey

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Lindsey and Chris added many personal items to the decor including a red screen door for a snapshot display, along with framed/tagged photos of their vacations together. Guest table centerpieces included pecans and acorns from our garden that were added to cylinders filled with Lindsey’s tied bunches of wheat and dried grasses.  A custom Etsy canvas was replaced a sign-in book. A rich palette of deep red, orange, green and brown added warmth to this  joyous, fall wedding and reception. Photographer: ixiphotography; Caterer: Johnny Carino; Cakes: Custom Cakes by Laura; Officiant: James Price

Winter Projects

Many wonderful events occurred but were not blogged about in the gardens between April-November 2013. Over the next couple of days I’ll post some of these. I am recovering from a foot surgery, now able to sit rather than being in bed, so I am more than ready to get some of the stories posted, along with various other computer tasks. Being a patient is difficult but compliance (staying off my feet) is necessary to heal properly. Winter months are a time for us to complete various property maintenance projects; this time it included a manager repair!

EHHPG’s  Ellis Street parking lot is now paved with cement, the last pour was completed yesterday. Azteca Concrete Contractors, removed the asphalt, regraded, laid a tight grid of rebar and added a curbed 4-6″ concrete lot with a street gutter that will provide many years of maintenance-free parking. Greg & Eben will add parking stripes once the weather warms. Azteca (Jesus Hernandez) is a local family-owned business that offers a quality product at competitive pricing. We receive at least three bids on all contracted projects, we also check references and require proof of insurance. Azteca won our last three concrete projects & we are fans.

Leaf and debris removal is a major winter task. All of the beds contain plants that must be cut back once stock freezes. We use a 72″ mulching mower with bagger for leaf pickup in the lawn and on the driveway. The beds are manually raked, mulched in the mower, then composted, or for some of the beds topdressed to naturally breakdown. Due to the variety of trees in the garden, leaf removal is a November-March task. Most of the perennials are trimmed back between December-February. Composting and mulching begins in March.

This month Brian’s Tree Service (a certified arborist) will trim the pecan and oak trees around the tent. Years ago these mature trees were planted too close, resulting in lopsided branches and crowding. The pecans are prone to ‘surprise’ fallen branches that are always a concern with wind and after freezing rains have weighted down the branches so we’re looking forward to the work Brian’s crew will perform, all done via climbing with harnesses.