Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Foliage goodies

Pot of succulents

Baby Pride of Barbados for my mother

Greenbriar hiding in the flowers, will pull up soon!

Aphids gone from the butterfly plants. I didn't do a thing- some ladybugs must have come by for a feast!

Shady street side bed filling in

Dry back shady bed filling in!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Gardener's Bloom Day..

Shall I join along? I'm a bit of a neophyte, but am enjoying the community out there! Mary at hosts a Gardener's Bloom Day, and it's a wonderful idea..

I like close-ups rather than wide shots, and of course I consider my chickens and cats to be walking/breathing blooms :)

Up front..

My eldest who is eight loves to feel the spikes of the coneflowers. I was envious of my mother's patch that started blooming a month ago but my group has started to put out flowers. They like to self-seed and I've created a much larger (non-grass) bed for them to spread out into, so I hope to have many more next year!

Pride of Barbados.. looking like a fat tropical bird.. I ignore it and it grows immense..

I alternate between loving lantana and being tired of it (after 34 years in Austin). This one I admire because it puts up with bleak harsh sunlight and has a proud stoicism to it. "Bring it on.." it seems to say..

I'm a newbie to fall asters (this is a new plant in the new front tear-out-St-Augustine bed). Isn't it supposed to bloom in the .. fall? I welcome the cheerful blooms anyway!

Mystic spires salvia in front, another (mumble mumble) native red Texan salvia that I can't remember behind. They are new-ish and while they aren't bursting with blooms they've rooted in and grown nicely. I love it when plants grow where they are supposed to!

Headed to the back back..

Some background: the building to the left is a new addition that took 10 months longer than promised. Last fall I threw wildflower seeds into a debris-strewn dirt pile in the hopes something pretty would poke it's head out this spring. Happily, these Black-Eyed Susans are happy to point the way to the back of the lot, living in granite gravel and little water, surviving the kinks of my water hose and making gorgeous cut flowers. I'm a fan!

Not native, but thriving and pretty and low maintenance- Cut and Come Again zinnias in front of a Copper Canyon daisy, growing in a little "pocket garden/rain garden" that catches run off. The brown mulch has been replaced by gravel, but these guys are tall and happy (and the butterflies love them)..

Native yarrow and Houdini my English Speckled Sussex.. The yarrow is in a back dry corner that gets afternoon death rays of sun and it looks great.

Sunflowers behind a different version of Black eyed Susans..

Same view with Silverwing, my Silver laced Wyandotte. The girls love eating the bugs around the compost bin. If I had more time and mess tolerance I'd scoop out a bunch for them. They have their own kitchen scrap pile near their coop but it's too small to get much of a "compost heat" going..

Why having chickens has been great for my garden- woe to the poor bug they found.. They happily slurp up grubs, hornworms, June bugs as well as weeds like clover and even the horseherb. Of course they've also developed a taste for any green tomatoes I don't protect with chicken wire..

New Turk's cap in the dry shady back. They've grown and put out flowers despite living in the corner farthest from any garden hose (and I'm exceedingly lazy about using my watering cans)..

Oregano blooms, which usually mean it's time to shear the plant so it doesn't get leggy..

Ruby my bantam (ie mini-chicken). She lays teeny eggs that are yummy, lets us cuddle with her and enjoys sneaking up on my fat cat Toby..

Sunflowers = ubiquitous. Many were knocked down in the recent rains so I have multiple vases with their blooms in the house. Did they come from Johnny our old neighbor? Or from the birdseed I put out? No matter- they are resilient, vigorous and make the birds and squirrels happy!