Monday, September 21, 2009


Today was my first chance to get back in the garden for 5 days. We had been busy giving our Canadian friends a taste of Texas life. We had an excellent tour of the State Capitol and the Bob Bullock State History Museum. We hiked around Lady Bird Lake, lunched at Whole Foods, sauntered down South Congress, took an evening cruise on the lake to watch the bats, took a picnic out to Westcave Preserve where Dave Barrett gave his wonderful tour of both the building and the grotto. On the way we hiked down to Hamilton Pool and later had dinner at Z Tejas.

Our friends really knew they were in Texas when this tarantula decided to join us for dinner on the patio. I must remember to wear my gloves in future.

I cut back the Salvia gregii a few weeks ago and the reward has been a flush of new flowers. Such a reliable and fuss free plant.

The blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum and the red ice plant were just waiting for the cooler weather to put on a show, although it really did feel more like summer today.

I had been wondering for a while what was going to show up at the end of this long stalk. I think it is a Maximillian sunflower, Helianthus maximiliani.
The rain has really brought on the plants but it has also caused the germination of thousands of seeds, many of them weeds. Today I boiled kettles of water and doused the weeds growing between the vegetable beds. It may save me having to use roundup. I also gave a few fire ant hills the same treatment.


  1. How kind of the tarantula to join you and your Canadian friends for dinner, to really let them know they were in Texas. Sounds like you had a fun visit doing all things Austin.

  2. Sounds like you hit all the Austin Highlights. What fun! We have seen a few tarantulas lately too. What a good idea to cute back the Salvia...I am wishing I had done that about a month ago, because mine are looking rather scraggly.

  3. I forgot that there were tarantulas where you are. Gave your guests a real taste of Texas anyway. :)

    That Salvia greggi is lovely. I really like the color.

  4. What would a visit to TX be without a nice big insect. Our visitors usually get greeted by scorpions.

    Hope your ant method works. We have found a large colony under our driveway, which wouldn't bother me except they are using the sidewalk and pool deck cracks as their superhighway. Not fun to walk around. They got a chemical treatment.

  5. This sounds like the PERFECT Austin visitor's day! I want to do everything you describe the next time I'm there.
    The BATS! I can't wait to se them again!
    Salvia gregii is one of my favorites ... talk about reliable and beautiful. All drought tolerant gardens need this plant in them!

  6. Pam-I bet they will go home with a few stories!
    Morning Glories- I always cut everything back in July but I was late this year.
    Sweet bay- we don't often see tarantulas but I know they are out there because I see the tarantula killers going under the rocks.
    Bonnie-I have cut down on their numbers but I'm sure they will be back. I have had good success out on the septic field with Concern.
    Germi- You come out to Austin. Come visit me!

  7. Such pretty flowers!! And did you tell your friends that "everything is bigger in Texas" when they saw the tarantula? :)

    Take Care!