Thursday, April 30, 2009

Old Mobile

Mobile has tons of beautiful old homes. Most of the homes are located downtown. There are over 100 homes/buildings on the National Historic Registry in Mobile, and probably three times more than that, that are not registered. Some of the homes are mind blowing. Each old home has an amazing story to tell. Historians around these parts can tell you everything about these homes, who built them. what they did etc. There are many interesting stories about these homes from the Civil War. Lots of them were used as make shift hospitals for wounded soldiers. If walls could talk, these houses would have a lot to say.
These photo were taken my senior year of college with 35mm. I wasn't lucky enough to have a digital camera then. All images are scanned in.
Just from living here all my life, I gathered a lot of info from just looking at these houses. Most all of them a Spanish, French, or Colonial style....with a few Queen Anne's thrown in. Everything about these houses is done a certain way for reason. Example: Every porch on older homes was always painted light blue. Owners believed that if they painted the ceiling under the porches blue, that wasps would not build nests there (they would think it was the sky). Still to this day a lot of people in the South paint theirs light blue...just an Old South thing. Most of the grand houses sit on Government Street. They are big and bold. I can only imagine the more wealthy lived on Government Street. Dauphin Street has a lot of nice homes as well, but they are not a grand as the ones a few streets over (but I would have any of them). All of the houses you see here are on Government St., and Dauphin St. The historic district is comprised of several areas. Government St. is part of the Historic Oakleigh Garden District. Dauphin St. is part of Lower Dauphin Historic District and Old Dauphin Way District. These district cover an expansive area.
Every day 100's of people drive down these busy thorough fares and never take the time to look at these magnificent homes. I however, am usually the one running off the road trying to look at them! No matter how many times I go downtown, I am still blown away. I always manage to see a house that I have never seen before.
Every Spring and Christmas several of these homes are on the Historic District Garden Tour, or the Historic Christmas Tour of Homes. It is really a sight to see. (slide show of this at the bottom)
These homes have certain building codes to abide by since they are on the Historic Registry. They are only allowed to use certain colors, and those colors must be approved by the board. They are very particular about what they can and cannot do. I feel otherwise. I know members of this board, and some of the things they make home owners do is asinine. If you want fiberglass columns...go for it, but no, the board wants to them to have real wood. Termites people...ever heard of them. It is a wonder that the termites haven't eaten every one of these houses up. We like to refer to the Historical Society as the Hysterical Society.
So here are a few of the hundreds of beautiful homes in downtown Mobile. I do not know the names of all of them, but they all have names. They are generally named after the people that built them. Hope you enjoy them Bragg Mitchell Mansion is a popular pick for weddings
I like this green one...they did something different and didn't follow the crowd!
This is the Tacon-Tissington-Barfield Mansion, built in 1901. This one...is my all time favorite. I have been in this home and it is UNREAL. It is a true Queen Anne. What a beauty she is.
You can go to this website http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/558210253pVFLtl?start=0 for a great photo album of the Home & Garden Tour from 2007. The Tacon-Tissington-Barfield mansion is on the tour.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Visit with the neighbor

My next door neighbor Mrs. Barbara (to the right side) also likes to garden. I just have a hard time catching her at home. She travels alot, so she is gone alot. I did manage to catch up with her yesterday. Her front yard is not that big, and it is 90% shade. She has a lot going on in such a small space and it looks great.
She has a pretty large rose bed in the front with several roses.
She has lots of hostas as well...BIG hostas at that. I have never seen hostas this big. She has them planted all along the front of the house. The crazy thing is that the hostas shown in the picture are in FULL sun! The hostas that are in the shade are half this size. Pretty strange considering hostas are "shade" plants. Makes me reconsider where I have mine planted. I love hostas, but I only love them when they are big like theses are. Not piddly ones like mine...blah!
They are great!
Out by her mailbox she has a GINORMOUS century plant. WOW!!! I take it for granted considering I drive by it everyday, but once you actually walk up to it, you get a grasp for how big it really is.
I am glad to be surrounded by neighbors who take pride in their yards, and garden. Well atleast the ones within eyesight.

Wait for me!!!! I have to get the camera

You leave a plant alone for 12 hours...and you just never know what it is going to do...sigh. I check the garden every day when I get home from work to see what is going on. Well yesterday when I got home I saw that a whole lot of things were going on while I was away at work! The plants were working while I was working....good to know
Remember the seeds...well some of them are big enough to plant. Some are still pretty small. I don't have a greenhouse or heat lamp that I put them under. They are out in the broad open, under the big heat lamp in the sky
Wild ageratum that bloomed. The pansies have been blooming, but I figured I better catch them now because they will soon fall victim to the heat.
Here is the first purple iris to bloom. Isn't she great! (and by the way I don't know why I refer to every flower as "she", "he" may just as pretty....just a habit)
More pansies
Add ImageKnock out rose around the mailbox is loaded, smells pretty nice as well. Jimminy Cricket apparently likes it also.
A few itty bitty hostas popping up. One of them is being slaughtered by slugs...so its time to break out the Pabst Blue Ribbon and have a slug party! Beer is my "green" slug killer. Of only it killed weeds too!
This is an old timey hibiscus...and no I don't know the scientific or common name...I call it Grandma's Hibiscus. I got 5 of these from my grandma. They do great. The blooms are different colors on each plant. You can see the buds on the close ups....I may go home today and have blooms...you just never know!
Coreopsis. This was given to me by one of my mom's friends. I love it.
Another shot Lace cap hydrangea buds

One of my $3 Dinner Plates dahlia's from Big Lots!!! Thats right folks...$3!!!
Is that a little bud forming? So much is going on in the garden now, it is hard to keep up with. I come home from work and see something new everyday. Weeds, blooms, new growth coming up...you name it. Weeds are the most prevalent though! I walk around my yard every afternoon like Inspector Gadget looking for a bud, a bloom, an insect or whatever...I am sure that the neighbors are convinced I am a lunatic! A lunatic with a camera at that.
But I feel better knowing that I am not the only lunatic out in my yard with a camera, because guess what....everyone one of you reading this are too!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First in bloom

I have a few "firsts" in bloom around my garden. First of the year that is. Royal Highness finally bloomed. It is my first rose of the year to bloom...well besides my knock out roses, and I don't really count them! Glad to finally see her, now all the others need to follow her lead!
Now technically this is not my first iris to bloom. All of my irises that have bloomed where white bearded irises and as we all can see this one is PURPLE!! I am excited. Let me refresh ya'll on my irises. I found them from 4-5 different places and dug them out, about 75 of them. I had NO idea what color or type until they bloomed. So 4 of them have bloomed and they were all white bearded irises, and now I have a purple one :). YAY!! I also have a walking iris about to bloom.
The first day lily of the year to bloom, ofcourse all of the neighbors are in bloom...my garden is a few weeks behind!
And here we are again...this day lily has gotten REALLY tall from the previous years. It reminds me of the daylilies on Heather's blog title http://smallgoatgarden.blogspot.com/. I am pretty sure it is the same kind. I have several different types. I can't wait to get photos of them when they all bloom.
I have a TON to do this weekend! I MUST weed...oh the joy of weeding! I have a new mystery weed pop up every year. I guess that the birds bring it in from somewhere. Last years weed was one I had never seen before. I can't get them to my feeders but they love to leave me weeds. C'mon guys and give me a break! I even put out cool little baths for ya'll....don't leave me the weeds, take them down the street :).
Most of my seeds are FINALLY big enough to plant. So I will get them in the ground this weekend. Once the daylilies bloom they will need to be divided.
And on another note...my best friend called me this morning to tell me that the amaryllis I gave her is blooming. Way to pour salt in that wound!!! Every time I give a plant to someone, it blooms in their garden first! Really...what is the deal here! Now Ramona has been in Italy for a little over two weeks now (and I am sure she is hating every minute of it!..kidding), so I haven't really been checking in on her yard like I was supposed to, therefore I haven't been able to see what all she has blooming that is not blooming in mine. My yard is just slow or something. Not sure what it is. She will be back Thursday, so I am sure I will be visiting her sometime this weekend to check on her garden.
I can tell you all that Spring has un-officially sprung out of Alabama, and summer is in full swing...and I don't care what the calendar says, summer starts 2 months early here! When it is 72 degree at 8am, and you walk outside and get harassed by love bugs...summer is here! Yes, thats right Love Bugs, they are already out in full force, and this will be their first visit with us this year...oh but don't fret, they will be back at the end of summer only to die by the thousands on the windshields of our cars! Lovely little bugs they are, can destroy a paint job like no ones business.

And I thought it was hot in Alabama!

A few years ago I had the pleasure of going to Los Angeles for work. I was working on a condo, and the developers flew me to LA to look at places there that they liked. They were from Pasadena. It was such an awesome trip. I had never been to LA. They also took me to Pasadena and Palm Springs. Palm Springs was an amazing place. If you have never been, it is quite the sight to see. It is in the middle of the desert,but everything is so lush and green. I am used to being hot, but it is like an oven in Palm Springs. It was so dry my skin was literally flaking off....disgusting right! Downtown Palm Springs had misting fans mounted everywhere, they list you as you walk around to cool you down. Most places close during the middle of the day, which is the hottest part. There was so much construction going on, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the workers that were working in 110 degree heat. The landscaping was very neat. Everything must be very drought tolerant...obviously since they are in a desert! I was amazed at the ways they landscaped. Most places do not have grass, they use pebbles and plant cacti. A view of Palm Springs from one of the higher points if the city. Actually this is the mountain that Bob Hopes house was on!!! The security didn't like us being up there taking photos...but oh well...I got my photos!
The misting fans in downtown, boy they sure felt good. I just wanted to sit under them for hours!
This is someones front yard!! Big difference from what I see at home! They used the water all througout the front and back gardens. It ran through the front yard around to the pool area.
Here is a shot of another pool. Very lovely. It was so hot! The owners dog kept jumping in and out, and his wet paw prints would dry on the concrete within seconds. Poor little guy...I know he was hot. Most people keep their pets inside....I can see why! Do you see the fire pit over to the right? Hard to believe it can reach over 100 degrees here during the day, and then drop in the low 20's-30's at night! The owners use their fire pit at night to stay warm....that is just nuts to me!
This is a street view of one of the neighborhoods I visited.
How great are those landscaped walls!
Coming back from Palm Springs you get to see the thousands of wind mills that generate energy for several counties. It was truly amazing to see. I think every state should have these. We would all be much better off.
Windmills for as far as you can see
You can almost see the heat!
But look on top of that mountain...SNOW!!!!!!!!!!
Hard to believe at the base of the mountain you are about to pass out from heat exhaustion, but on top of the mountain it is freezing
We stopped at Newport Beach on the way back to LA for lunch at this nice little place. It was a beautiful day.
And heading back to Alabama, I took this shot out of the plane. Not really sure where I was at, at this point....but nice shot anyway.

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