Sunday, June 28, 2015

Enthusiastic volunteers..

My common sunflowers have done their annual take-over of the back garden. Spreading their branches in the sun, I have to duck around them to navigate the space..

They are cheerful, native, feed wildlife and my hens, so I shouldn't complain. I only dislike when they become old, dry and woody and I get splinters from their prickly stems..

I have finally ID'ed this volunteer plant:

It pops up all over the back and is a Bladderpod sida (Rhynchosida physocalyx). It is also native if considered a bit weedy. It must benefit native bees somehow since it continues to propagate in my dry caliche back area..

I threw out multiple native wildflower seed packets last fall in the front yard with little success. Perhaps it was the mulch on the ground, or my errant chickens that escape the back and eat everything, but the primary plants that have chosen to spread are coneflowers (native!) and these pink zinnias (not.). The zinnias have popped up everywhere and I'm ok with that since they do fairly well even in the summer. They still attract bees and butterflies :)

I installed a new circular bed in the back this spring and filled it with plants that should tolerate dry heat (a blue nolina, silver ponyfoot, globe mallow and mexican bush sages). Of course I added compost from my bin to improve the awful soil and with all the rain I have a fun collection of squashes and melons (I think). I'll have to water carefully when it gets hotter so the more xeric plants don't get overwatered..

Acorn squash- of course more productive than any I ever plant on purpose!

Perhaps a melon?

My cenizos have made a couple of volunteer plantlets, but I have been reluctant to encourage them since they grow so big. But I may reconsider since they produce such a beautiful show of flowers after the rain!

And finally I have a couple of new natives that I hope will decide to stick around. My Texas milkweed is battling aphids after I squashed some larger milkweed bugs- I'm waiting for the ladybugs to discover the plants and save the day. And I added a white pavonia in a blank spot in the back and am enjoying it's delicate flowers..


  1. Lots of nice blooming things. Those sunflowers, they're everywhere and that's just fine with me. the white pavonia is lovely and definitely in the mallow family!

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