This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.
After 3 years:
Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!
Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):
Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):
My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!
This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?
Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?
July 8, 2019
@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!
There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!
July 8, 2019
Also! Those sad little dinky bushes? They’re crape myrtles. Here they are now:
Hard to see, but a 4th one (purple!) popped up to make the arrangement symmetrical. Perfect. I was told you’re “supposed” to prune them down every winter (essentially back down to nothing), but every winter, I see birds go nuts eating the seeds off of them! Why would I prune them and remove all that bird food?!
They are non-native, but they are big and bushy, and provide great shelter for the birds in my yard. A lady cardinal had beed injured by a hawk, but was able to get away from him in the white one, and the hawk was unable to get her. She lived! Also, some native insects do eat the leaves, plus, the leaves are the favorites for the leaf-cutter bees in my yard:
Those perfect circles were cut from the leaves by leaf-cutter bees who use the material to build their nests! I’ve seen holes in pokeweed and other native plants a couple times, but as soon as spring hits, the crape myrtles start looking like Swiss cheese.
Native plants are best, but if you already have non-natives, they can still play an important role in supporting the habitat you create with native species—you don’t need to worry about removing them in most cases!
July 8, 2019
@snepwig *nervous laughter* I live in an HOA…
July 9, 2019