Friday, December 18, 2009


August......still watered the trees using soaker hoses, and the dog using a pool.  We lost a LOT of residents. 
Even dying evergreens look nice at sunset.  HOT, HOT HOT, with no end in sight.  Thanks to my gardening buddies Sue and Petunia on BHG garden talk forum I got back on the boards, looked at gorgeous plant pictures, and sitting next to the ac, started dreaming about the garden again.   Sue's Garden is amazing and a slide show of it is featured on the gardening channel at Better Homes and Gardens website, click on the link to take you there.    At least the Cool season (Oct-March) should be good...


July....the point of no return.  I gave up watering annuals, and the vegetable garden.  Only took 2 days for all the tomato plants to die.  The peppers hung in there a few more days.  Stopped watering the lawn, and using my gardening time inside in the ac checking out different agaves, cacti and other succulents. 

You know it's hot when the dogs don't want to go for a walk.  You woke up it was 90+  and at midnight it was still 90+... By now, my interest in gardening had gone to despair.  Didn't want to go outside or look outside.   Mostly took pics of birds....and lizzie... (all the TX Spiny lizards are named lizzie, anoles are annies)


It's time for JUNE...  a month when I was still hopeful this would be a great summer. Started out Great.   When our Temps rose to the 100+ I kept telling myself, we'll get some rain next week...  we never got any, and towards the end the heat, and lack of water started taking its toll.  In early June, the banana peppers were happy.  I picked and picked, and they were delicious...but there was no break from the heat...and no water...
June claimed some victims.  Most notably, Gaura, Salvia Greggii, and NZ Flax
Towards the end, the previously green grass turned to brown...and more residents were lost 


Next is the time I didn't know doomsday(also known as 68, 100+ days were ahead with no rain) was near.  Dahlias were blooming, and at the end of the month I got my IMPROVED camera with ZOOOM.  I became mostly focused with trying to capture birds and butterflies.  Still not very good at it, just as I focus on them, get ready to shoot, they move.  Gardenias were blooming, they like warm days and kinda cool nights, and the smell is heavenly. 
Daylilies started their annual show.  Couldn't wait to get out of bed and check out what was blooming that morning.  Birds chirping, lizzards tanning themselves, and the joys of discovering a new bloom.  One more beautiful than the next.
Peruvian daffodils, with the white S.greggii in thebackground.  I just love that picture.  I need more of those, absolutely fantastic bulb for my south/southwestern garden.  They multiply, just not as fast as I want   Plumbago....Love them White or blue...who doesn't?


I guess APRIL is next.  Last April was amazing in the yard,  Clematis blooming....not just this purple one, also my Nelly Moser,Lantanas, Prickly pears, Amaryllis, Nastrium, Snaps,everything so fresh and Green..... Spring really is the best time of year. Salvia Greggii under a peach tree. 

Every fall I walk around and randomly plant about 100 daffodils.  They are sooo cute and Cheerful, LOVE them...April is probably the nicest month of the year.  Most everything is bloomin, leaves are out, green and fresh as far as the eye can see

A year in Review... Jan -March

 The year Started out GREAT, then came the summer from Hell, and now things are starting to get better in Fall.
 January started off with Paperwhites, 4o'clocks, Stock, Dianthus, Gaura (sadly passed away in July 09) and Cheerful Pink Gerbera Daisy

February was blooming up a storm the Amaryllis started, as well as Petunias, Calendula, Barbados Cherry, Salvia Greggii, Geranium, Daffodils, Paperwhites, Stock, Dienthus, Gerbera Daisy.  The only part I don't like about winter gardening is that the rest of the yard looks bare.  none of the deciduous trees have gotten their foliage yet.

March... March and April are some of my Favorite months, with May being the probably best.  March is great, Fruit trees are blooming, bees are humming, sun is shining....aaaahhh  you get the picture.  March is great.  The Lavender Lady Passion even is blooming, it always blooms.  Year round.  Perfect beautiful vine.
March  and spring is great... So much possibilities, new plants sprouting every day...definately a rush...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rain Rain Rain GO AWAY!!!!

6 months ago I was praying for rain, now I am praying it'll STOP. Enough already. The ground is saturated and has been for a while, and I can hear the painful screams of my plants as they slowly rot away. The worst part is the false hope the weather men always gives me.... There's always sun and mid to high 60's in their forecast. Just doesn't happen. AAAARGH!!!!!!! I want to be able to go outside and start my seeds. Calendulas, Snaps, Stock, poppies, I really want to attempt once again to Lakespur. Tomatoes and other veggies should be started soon....All I want for Christmas is SUN, SUN, SUN, and NORMAL temperatures.

In two weeks 2009 comes to an end. A whole new decade is approaching. Hopefully one that will provide great gardening seasons for me and everyone else.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mid December Blues

Yeppers, I've got the blues.  Can you blame me???  This has so far been a VERY unusual December.  Temperatures WAY below average, Cloudy, Rainy, Cold and Foggy.  Nobody likes that, my garden included.We've in 2009 had an exeptional drought, our lake levels are still way lower than normal, but this drizzle doesn't help at all.  Many plants have surcombed to the elements.  Surprisingly, most of the casualties, and oldies.  Not new garden aquisitions, but plants that's even lived through the Icestorms of '05 and '07.
I don't think it was caused by our brief dip below freezing, no.  I think 2 weeks worth of 40's no sun and constant drizzle has caused these to die.  My fairly large Blue agave, no longer have firm branches, they are sluggish, as if filled with liquid. 
There's always next year, and until we get normal weather and sun, there's not much I can do except take my daily walk out to the orange trees, and pick me some yummys.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Shock!

December has brought this seasons first frost.  Just barely, and hopefully things will recover.  A lot of plants turned to mush, surprisingly since my lows ended up beeing 31.6 degrees.  Did get colder than that last winter, but not with the same devestating effect. 
The beautiful pink Pentas are goners.  The Duranta, Canna, South African Honeysuckle, Tropical Sage, Plumbago, Nastriums, Geraneums, 4o'clocks, Peppers, Tomatoes.....Some are really surprising.  I have 3 Agaves that turned into MUSH.  I don't understand WHY?????  Foliage on the Lemon trees look sad as well....

Last winter we had lows down to 28, with all of the plants above (except tomatoes and 4 o'clocks) not missing a beat.  Could this be residual damage caused by severelyt stressed plants after the horrid summer???  Who knows.  Winter blooms are not missing a beat.  Calendula, Violas, Pansies, Snapdragons, Dianthus, Alyssum are all going strong.  Once the drizzle stops, and the temperatures warm up to tolerable, I will make a survey of the plants. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

December Snow!!!!

Snow day, snow day... at least that's what the meteorologist want us to believe. Possible 1-4 in of snow. The anticipation was great, and by mid day I did see a flurry.... then a few minutes later another one. I excitingly waited by the window, concentrating , looking , thinking how much fun. It's gonna SNOW, but to no prevail. That was it. 2 snow flurries and it was gone. On the news they reported snow, to the north and south of us. Even Houston got snow. I saw to 2 snow flurries. Does that even count as snow? Probably not. Wouldn't even be able to make the worlds smallest snowman out of that. The rest of the day was chilly, yet sunny and nice. Tried to go outside, dressed in my warmest gear. Picked some Oranges, and went back in. No use to be outside when its THIS cold

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Stroll...

December is here, its a beautiful sunny day.  Let's see what's blooming...
The Pink Jasmine covering the arbor over the gate to the back, back part doesn't look that interesting yet.  I can see what I think is itty bitty flower buds starting to form.  It will be a sight in spring, govered in white flowers and pink buds.
mmmmmm not to mention the smell.  The fragrance of Jasmine is absolutely delightful.  Really need to get a larger structure there to let it ramble along. 

Salvia Greggii, Majestic sage and Lemons, frame a hidden path, while the yellow/orange bulbine nicely interacts with Mexian Bush Sage. 
I think if I could only choose flowers from one genous, it would be Salvia.  There are so many diffener varieties, blooms practically year round, and is relative pest free.   A sunny border, flanked by an Agave in a container, Paperwhites, Zinnias, Dianthus and Ornamental Pepper. 

Monday, November 16, 2009


First Paperwhite to bloom for the 09/10 winter.  I just think they are so cute.  Smells nice as well.  They are a cheerful hello, telling me winter is almost here.  Later in the season their cousins the Daffodils bloom.  Cheerful yellow trumpets, staring at the sun as if they are singing Spring is here, spring is here....
I like most bulbs.  Ok, I like effortless bulbs.  Stick-em-in-the ground and forget about them.  Then on their own time, when they choose, they surprise you with a stunningly beautiful flower.

Potato Vine Solanum laxum, is a vine I kinda forget I have.  Beautiful clusters of white flowers from fall into spring, occasional flowers throughout the year.  The dark evergreen foliage is pest free.  All I did with this plant, is planting it.  It's done everything else on its own.  No disease problem, never seen any pests (exept those bees that has a nest in it), never watered it or fertilized it...You could say it thrives on neglect.  The only thing I do to it is take photograps of it.  There is something so delicate about it, and I am terrified about pruning it.   This year I might get over my fear and trim it a bit...

This is ...I really don't know it's name.  Impulse buy. Like I am the ONLY gardener to take home a funky looking plant.  Got 3 of them, this is the only one still alive.  I thought this one was a goner this summer as well, though it managed to escape me ripping out dead plants.  Now I am wondering if the other two were really dead....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses....

oh...Guess I ment Salvias.  My partner in Crime and Garden "buddy"  follows me on my daily morning walk around the garden.  Early morning is a peaceful time to see if anything "new" is happening.  My buddy Puppy is always right next to me.  Today, however I looked down and the dog wasn't there.  I called him, to no prevail.  Then I noticed him, next to a patch of Tropical Sage, nose buried within the flowerstalks, sniffing and looking very happy. 
Managed to snap a few pictures, and realized, I don't stop to smell the roses nearly as often as I should.  Now that I am aware of his sniffing prefrences, I notice him stealing sniffs every day...not just from Salvias, but roses as well. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's up with the weather????

Isn't that the age old question??? I am confused. Is it gonna be sunny/rainy/hot or cold? I NEVER get it right. Got my winter gear on and it's sunny and 85. THEN thinking I learned something, next day I wear a t-shirt, and I'm about to freeze to death not to mention it's also raining. Right now it's sunny and raining. Go figure!

Got some new additions for the yard, this Better Homes and Gardens collection urn I think it'll look great when the agave in it has grown a bit. Now I just have to find the PERFECT spot for it.

It is nice for a change to go for an early morning stroll and temps being in the 60's. That was a few days ago, THIS morning it was 76. and Sunny rain, yes, it's possible.

Also one of my newest acquisitions. I am thinking I have inadvertently started a new collection.

This is Pinwheel Jasmine.
It smells just as wonderful as all my other Jasmines. See there's that collection. I have Pink, Maids of Orleans, Pinwheel, Star and Madagascar.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Looking back ...

through my pictures and found my Halloween Decor from a few years ago. These Orange Gerbera Daisies really fit the Halloween Spirit.
NEXT year, I think I may perhaps decorate a bit for Halloween. This year I haven't come to terms with it being October yet. One year I will get some decorating done.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday....and Sunny...and warm

Got a few 100 bulbs planted. Also planted some gerbera daisies, a Salvia Greggii, and cleaned up. Dh pruned the peach trees. Really can't believe HOW fast they have grown. Then Puppy almost destroyed the Greggii.... I don't know for SURE it was him, but he has a history.
Sitting on Rain lily I was taking pictures off, Sitting in Flower bed, Walking on newly planted Alyssum... Yes he's cute, but.....
It's funny how having multiple dogs, you instantly "know" who did what. Normally I am right, but there is an element of doubt. Greggis are harder to assess. I can ALWAYS tell who was in the Plumbago... Those sticky flowers, SCREAMS I am the one the sat there. It's hard to make me believe that when he has a blue flower stuck to his behind....and no, I don't think the other two are smart enough to "frame" him.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October Garden stroll

I just can't get enough of the palm/black ornamental pepper look. I just LOVE the contrast. Mix it with Milkweed, white lantana, and Zinnias ant I think its a winning look. The orange next to the dark purple foliage is just stunning. Why haven't I thought of that before???


The next one is some type of petunia if I am not mistaken. Think it's an Asian type, but right now I cant id it. Does really well, and I like it. A late bloomer, didn't start til mid summer to get blooms.
The next one I thought had died. It looked so sad as it withered away this summer, browning and I was sure dying. A few drops of rain and this baby is back. Bought it an Oct many years ago. I don't know it's real name, but it was a breast cancer awareness plant, and I renamed it Debbie. So here we go... Debbie Dahlia. Blooms are about 4in across, and it grows less than 1ft tall

Then we get to lemons. There is no better fragrance than lemon flowers. They are beautiful, and must be tasty as well. Bees are bumming alomg, moving from blossom to blossom. IT really perfumes the air nicely.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bulbs part deux

Got 12 of these Indian lily's or Camassia leichtlinii- 18-24in tall, 8-12 in spread, supposed to naturalise well. we'll see, but it does look funky


Just because they were on special, I got 10 of these checkered lilies, Fritillaria meleagris...I think they'll probably be annuals for me, but we'll see. They are hardy Zone 3-8

Then I got Anemones. Singles and doubles, multicolor. 110 of them.. Pink Ranunculus (40)
Daffodils, yellow ones, (100), Paperwhites, (40)

Lots of these I ordered from Michigan Bulb Co, and I am impressed at the speed of delivery, from the shipping notice, until they were at my house, didn't take more than 24hrs. They all looked great. Have read some not so great reviews on Dave's garden. But so far I like what I see. Also ordered some Red Fox Veronica's (6plants) came very healthy in a funky plant holder thing that kept everything in place.
Most of the allium came from New Holland Bulb, also super fast shipping, and all the bulbs seem to be healthy.

Got my bulbs..part one

All 5 gazillion...slightly exaggerated, but close. Sitting in front of the computer, daydreaming about my garden this past August, I got the BRILLIANT idea of ordering bulbs. I wanted SWEEPING displays in the garden... so I ordered in multiples of 100.
Drumstick Allium, or Allium Sphaerocephalon...purple 20-24in tall 1in flower head, and should do well in Z4-10. Got 100 of these


Nectaroscodum siculum
24-48in tall, with 4-6in blooms.

Large nodding umbels of white or cream flowers, flushed pink or purplish red, and tinted green at the base

Got 100 of these
Allium Roseum,

12-14 in tall, probably great towards the front of the border.

Got 100 of these


Allium Caeruleum-18-22 in tall , got a 100 of these

Allium Aflatunense "Purple Sensation"

One of the best for adding variety of form and color to borders and mixed beds. Purple Sensation blooms in late spring or early summer, producing 4” lilac purple pompom blooms atop 3’ to 3-1/2’ stalks that soar up from a base of broad-leaved foliage. Use them for bouquets fresh or dried. They grow best in partial shade, zones 3-11

Got 50 of these

Allium oreophilum, Alpine Rosy Bells:
10 in tall, got 80 of these

Sterling Star lily, 24-36 in tall, flowers 5-6in across, 8-12in spread. Plant 5-6in deep, 9-12 in apart. Ooops, I planted all of these, and might have spaced them a smidgen to close. Got 12 of these
Lavender Mountain Lily.
Got two different kinds, a bluish one and a purplish one. 15 in tall. Got 120 of these