Not the Texas Panhandle. You need water, acid soil, lots of organic material, water, mild winters, water, and water.
A week ago Friday, heavy fog covered the Texas Panhandle. I took advantage of being out of school and not having any duties until after 10:00 AM to go walking. The bright green of new leaves stood out in the soft, silver mist, and the flowering trees added puddles and spots of white, rose, and purples to the silent, grey scene. The rain on Tuesday and overnight drizzle washed the dust off the plants, making the colors even clearer.
Flowering trees are very popular here. They follow a set sequence every year, no matter what the weather is or has been. The exact day when something starts to bloom might shift from year to year, but the order of blooming never changes. Continue reading
Monarchs of all they survey.
I live on the edge of the monarch migration path. We don’t see the huge clouds of butterflies moving through. However, every autumn, it seems that monarchs, queens, painted-ladies, and others suddenly erupt out of the ground, trying to rip the Buddleia out of by their roots. The big plants in the front garden get most of the attention, but the ones in the back yard do not go unvisited. In case you were wondering, the Buddleia is five feet tall. The one in the back yard is six feet tall. Continue reading
You know, roses like cool weather and rain. Not too much, lest black spot stalk the garden (as has happened this year, alas), but let’s face it, they are not really desert plants at heart. Even our 30+ year old veterans like the Sweet Briar and Gertrude Jekyll endure summer, they don’t enjoy it. However, the cool and damp August, plus a week of really cool and damp weather, has kicked them into one last burst of blooms. And then there are the roses that followed Dad home. Sort of.
I’ve started parking on the street, at least one house away from Redquarters. No, the parking pad is not being re-done. No, it is because fall has arrived, bringing with it a bumper crop of hawthorn berries… and robins.
This branch is normally horizontal.
August was “a little damp,” in the way that Hurricane Harvey moved “a little slowly.” We got over eight inches in three weeks, the temps stayed in the 70s and 80s, and the Panhandle is still humid. Apparently this rainfall pattern agrees with the native grasses and Helianthus (aka sunflowers) because I discovered two weeks ago that there are a pot-load of native sunflowers in the section or so around the playa. And these things are thick, tens of yards thick, great sweeps of yellow and black all following the sun.
Where’s those come from?
A little thick, yes, why anything could hide…
So, you may recall that I gave in and brought home two pots of scraggly, desiccated miniature roses. I potted them up in decent soil, added water, and have been ignoring them, except to move them under cover when hail threatened.
The lavender colored ones had all died, so I got a red and white stripe and a purple. The purple turned out to be pink.
They just followed me home, Mom. Really!
The roses were near peak when I was in Germany.
This was growing in a street near the Elbe river. Author’s finger for scale.
We saw amazing roses all over the place. Like this specimen from Bad Pyrmont, on a fence by houses behind the church above the spa district. Continue reading