Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Friday, July 17, 2015

Gardening and ungardening

The last 10 days have been very hard for me, I am sore and limping and exhausted and grinning anyway.  Looking back at changes in my yard two years ago, here is how it was as I had a perfect front lawn dug out completely.
When laying out big curves in a yard for planting beds or such, I use a garden hose, pushing it back and forth till I get a shape I like. Then the hose makes an outline for laying the edging.


Now the front yard is like this with a shady glider, two little tables and three metal chairs. The mostly native Texas plants are blooming with very little else out there but a crepe myrtle and some phlox both of which were already established when I started this in 2013.

In 2014 I had planting done on the side yard and a large brick patio built with space left open for a kitchen garden.  This had also been nice grass.  I was working against a drought of historic proportions. 

With many aches and so little success, I have decided my farming days are over. Vegies will have to come from the market except a few cherry tomatoes in pots.
I called my workers back and have had more brick laid, as well as major brush trimming behind a back fence.

This modern little house is an ugly duckling to me, made more pleasant by having a lot of greenery around it at all seasons. So digging up the lawn might sound counter productive.

The bare bricks look a little stark right now but pot plants and pretty yard furniture plus growing some size on a few large shrubs will make it more appealing.  The back of the lot is shady and the small trees planted there are doing very well.   There is still plenty of garden on my tiny lot.  I hand water and weed it myself more or less continuously, and have good helpers in to do trimming and pickup about once a month.  No lawn to mow and edge.  It is a yard made for relaxing. Sounds good if I can just overcome the mosquitos.  e


  1. I think it's beautiful. We have only a tiny bit of grass in our new place here--and wouldn't even have that if it weren't for the dog who needs it. Your back yard is lovely too, and I'd bet it's a fine place to gather loved ones and visit.

    1. Hi Jan, great to hear from you, warmly, Edyth

  2. Your creativity and design sense are always so evident, E. I love the shady glider area. Here in the Northeast, we have lots of grass. And lots of mowing. It makes one wonder! ;-)

  3. Dear Edyth, everything you touch is magic! Your decision to take up the lawn and replace it was brilliant and looks so inviting. Who needs a silly lawn when you can have a wonderful garden to sit in?


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