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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Double Purple Devil's Trumpet


My new Datura bloomed for the first time this evening.  I was so excited, especially since I just planted it a few weeks ago.  I have been diligently watering it, and watching the blooms form, and then the last few nights, I have been going out to see if it had unfurled.  Finally tonight, I got to see it for the first time.  It is so beautiful!!!



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Some tough August plants

This is a tough time of year to be a gardener, for sure. With one hundred degree days and no rain, it is all I can do to just keep my plants limping along toward September.  But there are a few plants that seem to strut their stuff in the hot oven.

Esperanza
No one can deny the glory of the Esperanza.  Requiring very little water, this plants shines in our hottest months.  My back porch Esperanza won't bloom until the fall, but my others always give up their best in August.



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Some new plants

Dave gave me a gift card for my birthday, and it has been burning a hole in my gardening shorts.  But I knew I couldn't purchase anything until after I returned from vacation.  Two weeks in the hot oven without any extra water would not spell well for my plants.

So today I finally got out and purchased some new plants.

South Front Garden Bed
One of my main interests is in filling in the south front garden bed.  In the spring, it is full of blue bonnets, but after the blue bonnets fade, there isn't much there.  I have a dwarf lorapetalum that has never done very much, some bamboo muhly (one of which died over the winter), some four nerve daisies, a struggling black foot daisy and a Knock Out Rose.  

Mirage Burgundy Autumn Sage
I have had such good luck with my salvia greggii in all of my other beds.  In fact, this is just about the only full sun bed I have that doesn't have one.  So I picked up three tiny plants.


Gregg's Mist Flower
This is supposed to spread... we'll see.  I am hoping this will do well behind the black foot daisy, as it seems to do well in part shade. I bought three small plants.

Fire Cracker Fern
I have always loved the look of this plant. In my new move to purchase multiple of plants, I bought two of these.  But since they grow to three foot in size, I am thinking I may only plant one of these in the bed, and another in the north bed.



Side Back Bed
I also purchased a few plants to fill out the side back bed. It is hard to believe, but my mom and I first created this bed in 2013.  Four years later, I honestly would have thought it would have filled out more by now. One of the things I am learning is to purchase multiple plants to fill in an area.  

Mexican Honeysuckle - Justicia Spigera
For example, the Mexican honeysuckle that I purchased in the fall of 2015 has done nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  In fact, it is now smaller than it was when I purchased it.  Last year (in its second year), one of the dogs trampled it, and it lost a lot of foliage. But, as with all of my gardening, I don't give up home.  I purchased three news ones to keep it company.  I am hoping it will fill out that whole area... some day.

Desert Spoon Sotol
There is an area in the middle of the bed that gets no water from the sprinkler system. Nothing has really thrived there.  So, I am going to try the Desert Sotol.  Central Texas Gardener says to plant it in the hottest, most brutal part of your garden.  Check.


Black and Blue Salvia
I recently saw this in another garden, and really liked the look of it. I was originally was going to put it in my back fence bed, but there really wasn't room. So I decided to put it where my recently departed Lamb's ear was.  It claims it likes full sun, but can also grow in part shade, so hopefully it will do well in this spot.  I only bought one, as it is said to grow quickly into a three foot wide bush.

Back Fence Bed
I just started this bed a year ago.  It is my only shade/part-shade bed.  It also is very dry.  The Esperanza that I put in last year seems to be doing well, as is the shrimp plant that I put in this year.  The two cone flowers and one plumbago are hanging in there... about the best I can say for them.  The cone flower is continually being eaten by my two resident rabbits and the plumbago is, well, you know, plumbago...

Double Purple Devil's Trumpet
I have been wanting to try a Datura plant for awhile.  I went to get on from NG, and the sales person talked me into the 2 gallon version of this one. I really should have gotten the one gallon version (let traumatic when it dies and less to dig), but the pictures she showed me of this one were truly beautiful.  SO, I consider this my birthday plant.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

An inch of rain!

The Guara that I purchased earlier this year are really thriving!
Over the last few months, it seems like everyone else in Austin has gotten rain, and we've gotten nothing. But yesterday, we received over an inch of rain. Woot! All of the flowers and plants just soaked it up!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Plants

I have been planting a bunch of new things in my garden this spring.

Apricot Globe Mallow
I have been wanting a globe mallow for awhile, but no one had any in stock. Finally, I found a 5 gallon variety at a local nursery.  Bigger and pricier than I would normally like, but I think that its drought resistant properties will do really well at the bottom of the front garden bed.  Wouldn't you know, as I soon as I purchase this one, I found that NG has a bunch of smaller pots.  Oh well...

My Late Spring Garden

Some views of my spring garden.  The Guaras  and Knock Out Rose in the front, followed by non-blooming Cooper Canyon Daisies, Salvia Greggii, Four Aquare Primrose in the very back.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cilantro and Day Lillies

I love this time of year, everything feels fresh and green and light.  Of course, I am not the only one who loves this time of year, our winged friends do as well!



The bees really love my cilantro plants.  I must admit, I let them take a much larger space in the garden then I could possibly cook with, because I love to watch them collect on the flowers in the spring!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Loving our Lady Bugs

With warmed temperatures ahead, I pulled up my brussels sprouts to make room for some spring vegetables.  I was pleased to see the entire life cycle of lady bug on them!

Lady Bug Eggs

Lady Bug Larvae

Lady Bug Pupa 


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blackberries

A little late, but better late than never, right?  Today I finally got in and weeded the blackberries (which had gotten totally overgrown since I weeded them a few months ago.  I put down Happy Frog fertilizer around each of the stalks, and covered the area with our homegrown (sown, made?) compost.

I counted 17 stalks in all - down from the 20 I coutned in November, so it look like I lost a few to the freeze.  Most stalks have just a wee bit of new growth on the tips

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Peter's Purple Bee Balm and a new Jerusalem Sage

I picked up two new plants for the front bed today. 

Jerusalem sage
The Jerusalem sage has done so well in the back yard, and it has filled the space so nicely, that I wanted to try it in the front yard. I placed it in the center of where the Artemesia was for the last two years.  

Peter's Purple Bee Balm
I was looking for something that would be drought tolerant for the front of the bed. What I really wanted was Globe Mallow, but NG did not have any. I saw a pot of Bee Balm, and picked it up instead.  We have tried growing this from seed, for the bees, with no luck, and I think I even planted some in the back side bed, but I thought I'd give it one more try in the front bed.  Hopefully it will grow and keep the bees happy!

Front Garden Bed

With the mild winter and decent amount of rain, the bluebonnets in the front year have never looked better!  Here is a quick inventory of all the plants in the front garden bed - so I can compare in future years... assuming they live!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Planting tomatoes

I am trying something new this year - container gardening. Partially because I have run out of room in my main garden (and the extra garden is just too shaded) and partly because I want to try something new :o)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Planting potatoes

I planted seven more potatoes today.  I was planning on planting nine, but then realized that I still needed to split one of the big Yukon Gold potatoes.

I planted three red potatoes in the first row (closest to the porch), one red potato than two fingerling potatoes in the second row, and one Yukon Gold in the third row.  I will add the soon-to-be-split two Yukon Gold potatoes in the end row.  

These are in addition to the two fingerlings and two red potatoes I planted last week in the bucket.

Fingers crossed the blight doesn't get them this year!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Potatoes

I picked up some potatoes last week, getting ready for early/mid February.  I purchased two large red Red La Soda (1 lb), 2 large Yukon Gold (1 lb) and five small fingerling potatoes called La Ratte (.35lb)

They've been sitting in their bag for a couple of days, and have just started to sprout their first blooms.  The Red Potatoes have some nice blooms on them, so I cut them in half.  I will now let them air for 3-5 days before I plant them.


The Yukon Gold have not started to sprout much yet, and it seems I might have purchased one potato with only one set of blooms. I am going to let them sit for a bit before I try and cut them.


Friday, January 13, 2017

A few more plants

After two days with lows in the teens, my garden is looking a little sad. I lost three lettuce plants, a bunch of carrot seedlings, and my broccoli and cabbage is somewhat brown :o(



I went to NG to purchase some replacement plants, but they were pretty low themselves.  

I planted four more broccoli.


One little lettuce plant

 and put down a row of snap peas.  
Photo take on 1/16, as the shoots are just starting to appear!
Kind of cool, my brussels sprouts are showing some baby sprouts!  Having never grown these before, I am not sure if this is normal, early or what... I know that I am not supposed to harvest them until April, so these baby sprouts seem a bit early, but who knows?


I would still like to put down two or three more cabbage plants.  I don't think I am going to get much of a harvest from my original set - between the freeze and the caterpillars, I only have two small plants left.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Planting onions

A friend dropped off a whole bunch of onion sets today.  There isn't much room in the garden, and I know I want to save room for some potatoes in a few weeks, so I managed to squeeze them in here and there throughout the garden. I was going to put some in the outer garden, but since nothing has ever done well there, I decided to try and find room in the main garden.

I am hoping to get out to NG this week and pick up some broccoli and cabbage plants. The ones I planted a few months ago have gotten totally eaten up by caterpillars. I might get a little broccoli, but I don't think I am going to get much cabbage :o(


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