I’ve been out in the garden, transforming an empty space next to our back deck into a rock garden with large agaves. In a perfect future after some form of lottery win it is envisaged that we will build a timber pergola and clad the walls with plants to insulate the house and give us somewhere shady to sit in summer. In the present, minus the funds and energy, this narrow strip has been a weedy bit of nothingness! I finally got myself together today, broke up the compacted soil, dug in a layer of composted palm mulch (nice open texture; free draining), covered it with weed matting and planted the agaves through slits on top of the mulch. They won’t like to have wet feet and from experience I know they’ll put down roots into whatever surface you lay them upon so I think they’ll be OK. Dearest husband helped to pick up and barrow over the larger rocks, and the rest of it I’m doing myself, a bit at a time in order to conserve the limited use I have of my right elbow and hand. If I work too hard in the garden and pick up too many things (like rocks and weeds) I can’t use my hand for a week! Eventually all that week mat that you can see in the photo will be covered with pebbles and small rocks.
On filling up a wheelbarrow with rocks I saw a greeny-turquoise splash of colour on the ground. I must have knocked this Monarch butterfly chrysalis (Danaeus Plexippus – what a great name! Plexippus means ‘someone who urges on horses‘ such as a charioteer) off its anchor. I’m going to superglue it onto something else in the hope that it will eventually hatch. The photos don’t do it justice (I was just using my phone for speed!) – it is the softest light turquoise with a hint of green, with the most vivid dots of metallic gold… just beautiful.
And on the ‘gold‘ theme, I was preparing the garden bed (above) and came across this lump of quartz. I’m not sure if it is fool’s gold or real gold, but it is also beautiful. It would be rather nice to discover our own gold seam on the property – gold is mined around here in small quantities – but I think that’s too much to hope for.