Thursday, April 28, 2011


Spring bloomers are beginning to fade but I have to hand it to them, they have put on a fantastic show despite the heat.

The cornflowers pop up every year. I particularly love the dark maroon ones.

Love-in-a-mist will soon be leaving behind its lovely seed pods, which add interest to the fading spring garden as well as to the dried flower collection

In my herb garden, when the spring flowers leave, there will be herbs. Santolina, oregano, sage and chives.

The first blooms of Verbena bonariensis.

Swan river daisy, Brachyscome grows in a pot with a black pearl pepper, wintered over.

Tall spires of heart leaf skull cap fill this corner of the patio. I'll be having a good clean out in the fall.

I always plan to stuff the flowers of the patty pan squash but never seem to get round to it. I do, however, often stuff the squash itself.

Larkspur everywhere. Many years ago a packet of pale lilac larkspur, their name forgotten. They turn up every year.

May is the time for purple cone flowers, Echinacea purpurea. I wonder if there will be a white one this year.

Blossoms of the Jerusalem thorn, Parkinsonia aculeata. This is the tree that grew in a pile of rubble off the driveway and when I said it had to stay, David built a wall around it! Good man.

Finally, the first of the day lilies. This one came from friends down in Gonzales.

All my plants have enjoyed the last two days of dry air and temperatures only in the 80s. Perfect.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


that it is hellishly hot out there and we haven't had a drop of water since I can remember. Outside my walls this is the dusty scene. Annie, of the Transplantable Rose, once said we were gardening on the edge of Mordor. I am always quoting her. Let's hope that this isn't the start of the 50s when, from 1950 to 1957 when a terrible drought settled on Central Texas.

The grass is not always greener over the septic field.

A few prickly pear cactus have made their home here.

During the terrible drought of the 50s the ranchers burned the spines of the prickly pear cactus to provide food for their cattle, and fires raged across our land. There are still numerous burnt tree stumps here, to attest to that event.

But even if their pads are shriveled they are bend on producing flowers and their flowers are a thing of beauty. So many insects visit the flowers, including this bee. There is only one word for bee antics in the flower. Wallowing. They behave exactly the same way in the pink poppies, rolling around until the stamens are completely naked of their pollen.

A few bluebonnets survived to produce seed, but it looks as thought the cotton rats have been busy eating their seeds. There are little piles of seed casings under every plant.

Even the caterpillars are waiting for the opportunity to slip inside. Can you blame him.

Horror of horrors-we have rabbit in the garden. Who can blame them. There is plenty to eat inside the walls. Well, one should expect bunny at Easter.


The Easter bunny visited our garden during the night. Can you find the 8 eggs he left behind? and can you see the second bunny?

Friday, April 22, 2011


With the royal wedding less than a week away some of my plants are getting pretty excited. Those who can will be wearing tiaras.

Today they had a dress rehearsal.

They had lots of admirers. Little bees were rushing in to take a look. Wallowing in the pollen.

I don't want to tell them but I don't think anyone will be wearing tiaras at the wedding. In fact they may even have been told to leave hats at home. Aghast! A British wedding where the ladies don't wear hats!!! I don't think so.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I was the lucky recipient, last fall, of a manfreda, Manfreda undulata 'chocolate chips' courtesy of a little competition held by Eleanor, at Garden of E.

The plant itself is pretty enough, with undulating leaves and large dark chocolate splotches. Perfect for a dark chocolate lover!
But when the plant begins to flower, then the show really begins. Over a period of two weeks the plant sends up a flower stalk 5 1/2' tall, and a cluster of flowers began to develop at the top.

The flowers open from the bottom up.

The sepals split and the stamens and pistil, which have been tightly folded on the inside start to unfold.

When the first flower was fully open I noticed a reservoir of nectar. I was tempted to taste the liquid to see if it was sweet. I thought maybe this was what humming birds might sip. Sweet it was but with a rather strange bitter taste as well. I'm not sure if hummingbirds do visit this flower. The anthers are so far from the pistil that I am puzzled as to how fertilization takes place.
Every morning new flowers open giving a spidery appearance to the plant.
It really is a thing of beauty. Thank you Eleanor.

Monday, April 18, 2011


In the still morning air, with not a ripple on the water. The perfect time of day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


If you are wondering who this cute couple are they are Michael and Katherine Cain, the owners of Vivero Growers, located at 12000 A HWY 290W. Katherine goes by the name of Kacky ( her family have called her that for ever) and blogs at Vivero Garden.

Michael has been in the wholesale business for more than 15 years and they are now open to the public at this new location. I can tell you their nursery is worth a visit. You might just find that unusual plant you have been searching for.

Their nursery stock is healthy and well tended.

They have agaves, cactus, sedges, agastache. Lion's tail plants I could have walked off with in a minute. They had huge pots of papyrus which made me wish that I had done that water feature in my side entry. I don't think I can manage an agave with a papyrus in the same bed!

They have a darling little shed inside of which Kacky has hung some of her garden photography, which is also for sale.

I have been planning to go out there for months and, after Kacky, I think I'll call her Katherine, posted about her Calandrinia, and that they had more of them in the nursery, I suggested to David that we drive out that way after our usual Saturday morning walk. I remember seeing this plant on a garden tour last year. Struck by the gorgeous magenta flowers. Michael tells me it spreads readily, so it will feel right at home in my garden, and although it may not be hardy here, I can break off and root a cutting quite easily. I'll give it a go. Katherine is holding a pot with flower. I bought one that was not in flower yet, but loaded with buds.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


When Engelmann's daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, takes over. In three years one little plant has reseeded and spawned monsters. They are much taller than the roadside plants and, pretty as they are, they have to go. 'Mannia' like zexmania is a good suffix..

Tomorrow morning! I know there is something waiting behind them to take their place. Smaller is better when it comes to rock gardening.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Can it be that there are still blooms left in the garden, after our weeks of endless heat with no rain. It's time for those northern gardens and other gardens around the world to take over and show us their blooms. Join Carol, at Maydreams and share your pretty flowers.

I like to see long shots of the garden but there is a time and a place for close ups of flowers and today is the day. Bloom day.

It was hard to believe that the mock orange would flower this spring. After all it flowered twice last year. At its normal time in April and then again in late October. We had such a mild, summer-like fall it was clearly confused. But it did.

I love the pink evening primrose when it spills out from under the Salvia greggii. So what if it's invasive. I just keep pulling it out where I don't want it.

Frilly pink poppies. I'm doing some serious pulling of the single flowered variety. I love this one. But what a disappointment that there were no purple ones this year.

The first of the purple cone flowers.

and Love-in-a-mist, Nigella. Great for dried seed heads.

The first rock rose bloom.

And those nasturtiums. Although I sampled the flowers when we were at Red Butte Gardens last year, they haven't yet appeared in my salad bowl.

And some poor gaillardia, with monstrose form.

Lots of flowers on the chive. More flowers for the salad bowl.

It remains to be seen if these will develop into full sized pomegranates. The tree definitely has a problem. Boo hoo.

Sedums, Sedum potosenum, sparkle with star shaped flowers.

Dahlberg daisy and wine cups in the sunken garden.

A mass of blue eyed grass, Sisyrinchium are still open at 8 o'clock in the evening.

I hope this guy didn't drop in for dinner.

Mealy blue sage, Salvia victoria, can be a bit of a pest. After it has flowered I cut it back and it blooms again and again. The goldfinches love the seeds in the fall.

The first rose campion, Lychnis coronaria, flower. The dry winter means there won't be so many this year.

But there will always be lots of blanket flowers, Gaillardia spec.,

We trimmed back the cedars in the English garden this year and the Texas clematis Clematis pitcheri, really appreciates getting more sun. So much so that David extended the trellis.

This columbine has reproduced itself in the master Spanish oak garden. It makes a welcome change from the Hinckley's yellow.

More flowering sedum.
Hope you are enjoying bloom day in your garden. Thanks Carol, for hosting