Saturday, January 30, 2010


I don't like yellow flowers, but I am drawn to them, buy them and plant them in my garden.  They are cheerful, yet clash with the overall look I am going for. 

Here are some of my Yellers.. and WHY they deserve a place in my garden.

Daffodils...It wouldn't be spring without them.  Cheerful sunny faces smiling at you promising warmer temperatures and SPRING.  Every morning in early spring I rush out in the garden to see if any new ones opened.  They bring happiness and warmth, and WHO doesn't like them.

This year I also got yellow pansies and violas, as well as some short yellow snapdragons.  These are not necessary.  Actually in retrospect, I wish I had gotten different colors.....

DAYLILIES...they have the same cheerfulness as Daffs.  At least I do a daily morning walk to see if I have any new blooms.  I have regular daylilies as well as Butterfly Iris Dietes bicolor....Also pale yellow, and their flowers also last only one day.  Until I learned the correct name, I called them Funky daylilies.  I love the texture of the are just a bonus.

Canna...First plants I ever planted in the garden.  Right after we moved in I bought one of every bag of summer bulbs at Home Depot...The only one surviving were these yellow cannas...  Now, they can be found all over the country as I have shared plenty...and all around the garden.  The bright green tropical leaves provides nice texture...and they just have sentimental value

Esperanza/Tecoma stans -Small deciduous tree, blooms NON STOP all summer long.  Regardless of how high the temperatures get and how little rain.  I don't think I ever watered it all summer long in 09, and it was the star attraction of the front yard. 

Bulbine...  I mostly grow it for the foliage.  Great year round structural plant  Spiky medium dark green, about a foot tall.  Get spiky flowers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Clean Up...

There is a saying... what goes up, must come down....that is very true with natural wood structures in the garden, very true. It all started a few years ago when I built a natural arbor using branches from the yard. At the time I thought it was a genius idea. Not to mention easy on the pocketbook.
I planted two Passion Flowers "Lavender Lady", one on each side. They grew and covered the structure beautifully. Critters adopted the arbor as refuge. Amongst the foliage, were bird nest and hiding spots for lizards. Since my stunningly beautiful passion vines preferred to bloom in the cooler parts of the year, and my fear of pruning it, I have let it ramble on for years.
This past summer half of the arbor fell, and this afternoon I pushed the rest down. Cut the vines off and added them to the compost pile, and removed all the deck screws from the rotted wood.
The vines look dead...strange, but a result of an extreme cold front that came through last week. Usually, it's in full bloom during the winter months, and it was this year as well. All the buds and blossoms fell when the temperatures dropped into the teens. The foliage died and dropped. Might actually be a blessing in disguise. It had been growing a bit too much. covered a Loquat and climbing away into the Mesquite tree above. There were blossoms 25ft in the air. Stunning. Though I did know this would be the year I had to cut it back. I really hope it's root hardy...I guess I'll find out in spring. Also time to figure out what kind of arbor to replace it with. If it DOES come back...It will need some support. My thought is to use rebar.

In retrospect. I might build another natural arbor, but Will definitely only use annual vines on it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January Blues.....

2010 has not been great so far. COLD very cold. We even dropped into the teens. My rain barrel froze solid. That's something I've never seen before.
Had bought some Fig trees....and while doing some research on them...discovered they do not like the cold either. I am going to try to espalier them.  Was thinking a fan shape.  Well that is if they survived... If not ...well gotta love the 1year plant guarantee from Lowes and Home Depot.

Speaking of big box stores....their seeds and summer bulbs are in. Got some Dahlias, Amaryllis, seed potatoes, and grapes.  Got some bright pink amaryllis.  Can't wait til they bloom...I am not sure they'll actually turn out to be pink.  Not the first time that has happened. 

The one day with sunny barely tolerable to be outside temperature, I dug the new homes for the grapes. Unfortunately, the winds started, and the cold front moved in.
I also picked the last 50gal of lemons from the trees...figured freezing temps were not going to extend their lives. Currently squeezing and freezing the juice. We've given away sooo many lemons, thrown away probably 50gal of some that went bad. Mayer Lemons are great... the baby fruits all dropped from the trees, as did most of the foliage. Tried to wrap the trees with X-mas lights and cover with tarp. Time will tell if they survived or not.
Same goes for my potatoes, the tops froze off.  I think this is the year I definately have to set up my red-neck hoop house.  Did look good Illuminated with multi color christmas lights.  It's just too cold to attempt to go outside.