More Garden Highlights

The last yard post was from the front of Redquarters. Now for a look in the back yard.

Shooting along the front of the back flowerbed. Roses, Aquilegia, salvia, spring Buddleia, and roses in a raised bed.

Yes, this is Texas, not England or western Oregon. This is 30+ years of trying, failing, and lots and lots of watering.

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Some Garden Highlights

Spring has been running a month late, or it was until we were “blessed” with a string of 90+ F days. Even the birds that usually leave in April or arrive in April have waited until May to move on or come in. The plants likewise, other than the bulbs. They took their chances and bloomed on time, then got zapped by the hard freeze for their pains. The same hard freeze (20 F overnight after everything had started budding out) hammered a lot of the older roses, and they are slowly recovering and rebuilding.

Ketchup-n-Mustard is starting to bloom. This is the new plant.

More ketchup than mustard. This is the original plant. Note the attack salvia sneaking up on it.

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When Salvia Attacks

Who is salvia? What is she that all the gardeners commend her? With apologies to the Bard (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

After over thirty years living with and burying plants, er, that is, gardening in a semi-arid climate that likes to lapse into aridity, you learn to latch onto anything that blooms and survives more than one week. But there are limits. The rose that tries to eat joggers and dog walkers? It gets trimmed, with a saber-saw if necessary.

And then there’s the salvia.

Salvia.

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The Floral Sequence

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

Flutter-bys

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

Roses and Second Wind

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.

Matchless Mother.

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