Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oooooops HE did it AGAIN!

Yep... I had started to take down the twig fencing around one of the Mandarin trees, and made the assumption that Raven wouldn't even try to enter that bed since it had been fenced up for YEARS. In the few hours in between me taking a quarter of the fence down, and bringing the supplies to put the new up, He had already started digging. Hopefully the now re-planted pepper will do OK...

This is what gardening with dogs mean. You constantly have to outsmart them, and think about what craziness they're going to do next. The yard would PROBABLY have been "done" by now, If I didn't have to keep spending my energy at fixing stuff they break, erecting fencing to keep them in/out. Problem is that they are so CUTE and seem genuinely remorseful, I can't be mad and then they find a new plant and step or sit on it. My best advice for gardening with 300lbs of dogs, is DON'T.
I have even made them a nice sandbox, where they can dig their little hearts out....but NO, flowerbeds are the best places.
Enough about the dogs, I read an article on MSN ( this morning about what not to do to start a garden, and their number 1 don't was buying seed packets and starting a garden from seed.

Personally I agree and disagree with their statement. There are a lot of plants I agree are time consuming and "difficult" to start from seeds, and then there are the no brainers, you just sprinkle the seeds and magically you get flowers.
  • Alyssum... comes in a nice size box at W-M for about $1. I just sprinkle around areas I would like to have the plants pop up. Everything looks good with alyssum around it.
  • Zinnias... Super easy... just place a few seed in the area you want them, and they will grow. I really like the smaller pinwheel/profusion ones for the front of the border and the tall ones in the back. They really are the perfect cutting flower, though I don't ever cut flowers.
    Morning Glory/Moon flower Vines... soak the seeds overnight, plant in the ground next to a structure they can grow on.
  • Nastriums...I just plant the seeds in and around where I want them in Jan/Feb... then by April I have nice sized blooming plants.
  • Bluebonnets and poppies... sprinkle seeds in Oct/Nov...they become beautiful plants in March-April. It couldn't be easier.
  • PHBV or Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine, Sunflowers, 4 o'clocks, Bluebonnets are all great for beginners as well. It is actually easier to plant these seeds than plant nursery plants! Not to mention a LOT cheaper. A useful tip is the bigger the seed, the easier it is to grow.

Another thing that makes gardening easier is using plants that are hardy and adapted to YOUR area.

For a lot of gardeners Plumbago is an annual... For me it is a pest free, drought tolerant gem. Blooms it's heads of all year long, makes a mid size shrub. I have the white and blue varieties. Can take everything from Full TEXAS sun to shade. A nice staple in the landscape for me
Lantanas work well, and I have all kinds of varieties, shapes and forms. The only issue is the foliage dies after frost, so they only bloom about 10 months a year for me. This is my Giant lantana bush. About 6ft tall and 6ft wide and yes, I chop it down in size several times a year.
Salvias...Salvias as a group are fantastic, but the finest gem for me is Salvia Greggii...Blooms year round pest free and drought tolerant. Bees, Butterflies and Hummers love it. The more it gets chopped back the more it blooms
Below are a red one...4ft tall * 6ft wide, and a coral one 2ft tall*6ft wide

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's that time of year again...

DAYLILY time. First one opened today, and I see buds all around. First one is just a Stella. Well...wasn't supposed to be a Stella d'Oreo, but that's what happens when you buy daylilies that aren't blooming. Kinda bummed out about that, but I guess all I have to do is move it to a different bed where yellow is more predominant.

I guess they are early this year. The first Stella bloomed 5-12 last year, So I guess they are early this year.

Got startled by the first squirrel I have ever seen at this house. Was trying to snap some pics of the Vitex "Shoal Creek", When he came over the fence next to me. Even though I had the camera in my hand I didn't manage to shoot him. Looked at him for a few seconds before he took off. He was being chased by a birdie.
Doesn't those flower stalks look like weeds??? Well they are not they are Devil's Shoestring Nolina lindheimeriana . If I have done this right, then you can click on that and visit it's info site at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

YES, Yes, Yes... TODAY was the day

Today WAS the day. Isn't it Beautiful??? I am in LOVE. It really is a beautiful flower. Got up early and ran outside to see, and there it was. So I had to run back inside get my camera and come back outside and take some pictures. Running back and forth like this I noticed something else. Was a strange bloom, so after my excitement about the moon flower had worn down a but I went over to look. There it was a bloom on my Pineapple Guava shrub. The first one ever. after inspecting it thoroughly, the shrub as lots of buds and a good 10 blooms on it. I swear, they were not open yesterday. Hopefully this means we'll get pineapple guava FRUITS.
The white in the background is white plumbago.
Might not seem so exciting, but we've had that shrub since the fall of 2006. If it didn't bloom this year, it would have been evicted. Ok that sounds harsh, and I'm not sure if I really would have, but that was the plan.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Finally!!!! I think...

and guess what!!!!! The Moon flower is about to open its first bloom....well started opening, just haven't finished.

Got tired of the ratty looking Petunias and decided to chop them back. Should come back to life soon. While I was at i... I decided that the primroses had spread more than I was comfortable with, and I started yanking. I am sure it won't be long til they fill out again. Did get a few surprises. A pink veronica was blooming, hidden in between the mess and there's a bud on a cone flower.


Then I sat and watched as Lizzie the lizard tried to scare me and some birdies off by hissing and doing push ups. Lizzie is hilarious. It felt so nice... That spot under the mesquite trees, seems like there's always a breeze. I nodded of and apparently took an hour long nap...Note to self. I need a chaise lounge there, should me a lot more comfortable napping on.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Got a new FROG!!!!

And I didn't get a picture of it. It's a HUGE Frog garden statue from the BHG collection at Wal-Mart. It just spoke to me. I haven't figured out where it should "live" yet. Me and dh went on a shopping trip and we got a new toy for Puppy and Raven. Raven got a Fox, he seemed moderately to not at all interested in it, and Puppy snagged it and hid it in one of his hiding spots. Then we brought him his miniature goose. He ran off with it, but Kaos caught him and stole it. She was about to rip off the feet when I caught her. There's still just ONE companion that Puppy carries around and it's still Mr. Duck. He likes to carry it around, pretty much everywhere he goes.

In garden related updates... The moon flower is still not blooming. Why oh WHY is it taking so long???? but One Calla lily is blooming. It's a white one with a pale pink blush. Really pretty.
And i had to MOW the yard AGAIN!!! I swear, you can watch it grow...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Got lucky and found a truckload of branches. More twig fences will be put up, and fewer places for the angels to destroy.
Actually took several hours unloading them and grouping them in piles. This is the main fence part pile. There are piles with thicker logs...don't know what I'm gonna do with them yet. Also some itty bitty branches. Might be able to use those for some trellis projects. Have to remember to use annual vines. The branches only last 3-4 years, and then they have to be replaced.

In order to speed the process up, I think I'm gonna try using the nail gun, and not pre drill and then deck screws. Since we've had some rain, and the weeds are flourishing, I got a bit sidetracked, and started weeding. It's great when you can pull the roots so easily.

The moon flower still has buds, but they don't seem interested in opening yet.
Next year I need to stop trying new bulbs, and just get a lot more of these Peruvian daffodils and some more amaryllis. I have tried them, I love them, they are car free and beautiful. I think I'm gonna plant some moon flower vines on this trellis. I am just worried it won't receive enough sun, and that puppy will destroy it. Maybe an early blooming Clematis would do the trick, since the peach tree is after all deciduous.

Friday, May 1, 2009

To rain or not to rain

OK, I know we are in desperate need of the wet stuff, and I wouldn't mind this if we were actually getting rain. But, it is NOT raining, yet it's overcast and it looks like its raining. Temperatures were in the 80's again, and I mowed the yard in about 20 min. Haven't edged it yet, guess I'll do that today. Cleaned up some spent blooms from the geraniums, and't wait till it's blooming again.
Noticed one Castor Bean seed has sprouted, about time I planted it about 3weeks ago. Well, I don't really know if it's the Castor Bean. Could be something else, but I think I planted some seeds in and around that area.

Caught this little fella living on a plumbago. It's a Texas Spiny Lizard... Loves the garden see them everywhere. Well I don't usually see them in bushes, usually on branches and rocks catching some sun.

The Moon flower Bush is loaded with buds, but none has opened. Maybe tonight will be the night? Speaking of moon flowers...I have to remember to plant some vines for my arbors...oh and my artichokes...and... aargh I am so behind..HOW did this happen???
I took a gamble this year as well with onion sets, though because of our erratic winter temperatures I did not get the payout I was hoping. Some bolted, but who knew regular onions had such beautiful blooms. Now my mind is spinning, trying to figure out how to make them staples in the garden. In years of setting out early sets, this is the first time an onion has bolted and flowered on me. I might not get any onions out of this, but the flower head is a good 5in diameter...and they are tall about 4ft tall. Don't worry, this only happened to a few...all of the other ones are growing nice bulbs.