Gryffyn's Garden

a blog about my gardening attempts

   May 09

The Serenity Corner

a quiet little corner in the garden

a little corner to sit a spell and relax

I refinished the Borzoi statue (it’s some sort of plaster) with some textured spray paint in bronze and copper colors over black. I then finished the old, rusty white embedded wheel in the same colors, using a metallic black on the spokes and the copper along the rim and hub.

wagon wheel border

the newly finished embedded wagon wheel

Such a simple touch-up makes quite a difference!

borzoi statue in the garden

our guardian borzoi statue, a gift from our friend Shelby

borzoi statue detail

closeup detail of the guardian borzoi

   May 07

Feeling Rosy

I was worried about trying out some roses here, considering what a novice I am at gardening, and previous plant-related experiences have ended badly. At a trip to North Haven Gardens, I became enamored with a “Romantica ™ hybrid tea rose, the Rouge Royale. The deep red color and bountiful bursting blooms I found very attractive.

I was rewarded with a pair of beautiful blooms this week!

first blooms of the Rouge Royale tea rose

Further Flower Updates

Also have some other bloomin’ pictures to share:

first bud of the La Marne Earthkind rose bush

Dianthus and Artemesia


   Apr 21

Progress Report

Upon my lunchtime perusal of our little garden area, I see that much of the corn seed I planted has sprouted!

newly sprouted corn plant

I also saw 5 patio tomatoes (smaller variety) on the vine; bush beans sprouting in big bed; and it looks like I may have berries on all bushes!

   Apr 20


Today I got a little creative (and a bit weird) when making my lunch decision – poke salat and cheese quesadilla with garlic sour cream; grilled cheese sticks and also had some fresh guacamole and (stale) tortilla chips. It turned out remarkably good – a fine use for leftover poke salat!

poke salat quesadilla


   Apr 15


Well, after last night’s storm and this morning’s winds, the score is…

Wind 1
Dead Redbud Tree 0

Oh yay – a chore I had not scheduled šŸ™

I was even out in the front yard when it went down – oh so silently to boot. I had fed the horses (the tree is just outside the gate of mini-Memphis’ pen), taken the buckets back to the garage and had started my morning chores in the yard, and then noticed that the tree was down. I had a moment of double-take in viewing the scene. Oh well – it will at least remove some of the labor of its eventual planned removal. It just moves it earlier in the schedule than intended!

dead redbud

the Deadbud tree - before

the Deadbud tree - felled during a storm

the Deadbud tree - downed during a storm

   Apr 12

some harvestingā€¦

Tonight I cooked some of the Swiss Chard (boy – this stuff is EASY to grow – it is prolific!) from the garden for dinner tonight as well as some of the fresh lettuce and spinach for a salad and baked an egg casserole with some of the spinach as well. Mmmmmm!

   Apr 01


Last weekend we went down to North Haven Gardens after attending the Collin County Garden Show – I had learned that they had passionflower vines in stock – and I was determined to get one. We had set up a makeshift trellis at the south end of our storage barn utilizing some leftover T-posts and a piece of livestock panel – certainly not the most fashionable work, but definitely functional. The goal was to have it covered in vines with alien-like flowers anyway!

I had been in love with passionflowers and their odd beauty – remembering a neighbor’s home down the street that had a passion vine roaming along the backyard fence. They were a definite must for adding to the landscaping here – I was thrilled to finally get some into the ground.

Today we were rewarded with blue crown passionflower (Passiflora caerulea)Ā Ā blooms!

passionflower blooms

Blue Crown Passionflower (Passiflora caerulea)

   Mar 23

Pokeā€™in Around

In addition to the peach trees, another edible already established here before any interest in gardening occurred is Pokeweed – although “edible” could be debated.



The Pokeweed grows all along the fenceline in between Leo’s (the horse) area and the dogs’ fenceline – rampantly. While trying to identify what it was, I learned about “poke salat” – there’s even a song called “Poke Salad Annie.” I became really curious about it, and asked my father about it since he grew up in a small Louisiana town in the 20s. I figured if he went squirrel and bird hunting, he knew about a native southern dish such as poke salat. He did – and he’d had some. I even learned that until recently, you could buy it canned!

Needless to say a bit nervous when I first cooked it – considering it’s potential for toxicity. You have to pick it young for one. I don’t harvest anything that’s above my knee (the plants can grow to above my head). You also have to change water twice while boiling (to help remove any possible toxic elements). After draining I threw it in a skillet with some chopped onion and bacon, salt and pepper and butter and fried it up. It was darned tasty, although not the most aesthetic dish to look at.

tasty pokeweed

Poke Salat made from wild greens

I may experiment more with Poke in the future. I have read that if you pick the shoots when they are around 8 inches tall, you can cook them like asparagus, or cut and prepare like fried okra. Also read that a tincture can be made from the root in the fall that can help with immunity and arthritis – and thanks to my struggles with psoriatic arthritis, I am game for just about anything that can help the pain without spacing me out!

Some links for more information:

   Mar 22

Bloomin’ Fruit

The blackberry and blueberry shrubs are starting to bloom!

The blueberry blooms are very intriguing in appearance – they’re pendant like bluebells.

pendant blueberry blooms

pendant blueberry blooms

a cluster of blueberry blossoms

a cluster of blueberry blossoms

The blackberry blooms look so shabby chic – a bit rumpled and ragged.

a trio of blackberry blooms

a trio of blackberry blooms

a rumpled blackberry blossom

a rumpled blackberry blossom

   Mar 18


The peach trees were the first edibles here at Gryffyn’s Aeyrie. They came with the place – and they seem to grow like weeds too – sprouting elsewhere along the fenceline. For whatever reason, I was standoffish about snacking on them over the years – but now have come to embrace them and they piqued my interest in planting more fruit trees around here and learning more about growing one’s own fruit. We never pruned the trees or thinned the fruit – hence more apricot-sized harvest, although definitely peachy.

The flowers are spectacular and this year has been no exception.

peach blossoms

peach blossoms galore!

a row of peach blossomspeach blossom