Sunday, December 4, 2016


Fall has been a very short season this year. The heat continued through to late November making it impossible to move the plants I would normally move in the fall. I put in winter annuals-they fried. I planted fall vegs. they were eaten by caterpillars and a huge hatch of tarnished plant bugs.
This weekend winter arrived, with a cold rain and promise of a heavy freeze later this week. It will not be the first as we have already had two frosts between those 80º days. Such is Texas weather. I began to cut back many of the last blooms of the season to tidy up the garden for winter. Now, all that remain are the plants that add a touch of color in the winter garden.
It has been a hard summer for the Felicia rose. Although she continued to bloom throughout the spring and summer, the fall blooming has been a disappointment. Thrips! But on Friday a beautiful rose with the fragrance that no other rose can beat.

And this pretty little flower on the donkey ears kalanchoe, Kalanchoe gastonia-bonnieri. A native of Madagascar it blooms at the same time as it would be blooming where it comes from. I have moved it into the greenhouse for the winter.

The winter window box on the potting shed is filling out. Never mind that when I planted it up, on the ground, I planted it the wrong way around. By the time I realized it it was too late to change so the snapdragons are on the front rather than the back. I love the color on the ornamental cabbages but in my garden a window box is the only appropriate place for these plants. If only I could be more successful with cabbages in my vegetable garden. I tucked in a few seeds of nasturtiums but they probably won't survive a heavy freeze.

There are even a few new blooms on the flowering senna tree, peaking over the wall into the vegetable garden. A seedling tree that needs relocating.

Even the ghost plant, Graptopetalum,  in the sunken garden is showing tinges of color from the cooler nights.

and of course, the Euphorbia tirucalli Sticks of Fire, is also responding to the cooler nights with flashes of red on the new growth.

and here's one of the Philippine violets,  Barleria cristata, seeded alongside the pathway, starting to bloom. What am I going to do with them all? There are at least 6 growing in the wrong places which I will need to relocate when they go dormant. I already have 3 potted up in the greenhouse.

But the real splash of color comes from the Yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria.

The bird planted pyracantha espalier on the bathroom wall.

It's time for the gardener to take a break!


  1. I love that window box! Best wishes with the Barleria - I'm going to see if I can pass along some of my own B. obtusa seedlings to other gardeners this week. Our weather has been showing similar abrupt fluctuations, although we've remained on the cool side since the rain last weekend - I still have some planting to do but we don't expect frost so I shouldn't have a problem there. If only we could get some more rain...

  2. You still have soooo many lovely things in bloom. That rose is beautiful> I've never had luck with roses.

  3. I love your window box.
    I need to get some winter annuals in. I'm always late with them.
    Stay warm this week.

  4. I like the Barleria and the berries. I've got lots of little bits of color in my garden, but I keep looking outside at the newly-planted areas, wishing they were full and green, especially the baby cork oaks and various Arctostaphylos.

  5. It is crazy to me that you have such heat until so late in the season and yet you beat us to the first real frost. Then, of course, the temperatures are predicted to plunge into single-digit territory here in a few days which usually rarely happens and only much later in winter, so who knows what is happening.

  6. Hello!
    Dreamlike garden and wonderful pictures.
    With great pleasure I admire all the plants.
    For me the gray, rainy, nasty.
    Greetings from Poland.