We are already well into spring now here at the farm. We are harvesting onions and starting to harvest the first of the yellow finn potatoes. We have loads of not quite ripe tomatoes on the plants in the greenhouse and on the plants outdoors and expect to have ripe tomatoes in a couple of […]
It has been so busy on the farm getting ready for spring that I haven’t had time to post lately. I have, however, taken the time to take some pictures so I thought I would create a slide show to share some of the activities that have been keeping us busy. We are planning to […]
My next door neighbor, who is very knowledgeable about native Texas plants, spotted a very rare plant on his property recently and invited me over to see it. The plant is a Spiked Crested Coralroot Orchid (Hexalectris spicata). I have never heard of this plant, nor seen it anywhere else. It is very unusual and […]
The buddleia alternifolia in the courtyard is attracting all manner of bees and butterflies. The plant is absolutely alive with activity. I got a nice photograph of a monarch feeding on it late in the afternoon.
This spring in Central Texas is the most colorful that we have had in years. Not only are there greater numbers and a larger variety of wildflowers this year, they are also much larger and more deep in color than I have ever seen. Every day brings new discoveries and more brilliant displays. We have […]
Thanks to the el nino effect, this has been one of the wettest fall and winter seasons that I can remember since I moved to Central Texas over twenty years ago. The results of all this rain on the gardens and wildflowers is remarkable. The late winter, early spring blooming plants, such as the Carolina […]
Every summer for the past ten or so I have said to myself, surely this summer won’t be as hot and dry as last summer, but unfortunately that just hasn’t turned out to be the case. According to Jim Spencer at KXAN, the summer of 2009 has already been the hottest summer on record so far, with more than 30 days over 100 degrees F. Add to that the fact that we have also had almost no rain for the past six weeks (see the drought map below), we remain in the worst drought that we have seen here for years. All in all, this makes for some terribly challenging growing and gardening conditions.
This native Texas clematis has benefitted from the nice spring rains that we have been having. It has more blooms on it this year than it has had in the past ten years.
I didn’t have much luck with the first desert willow tree that I planted several years ago. It is still alive, but barely. So when we built the retaining wall this spring, which created deep, well drained planting beds, I bought a new desert willow to plant in this bed. I have always wanted to have a mature desert willow tree. They have such beautiful blooms, interesting foliage and graceful growth habits. The blooms on this specimen almost look like orchids.
We didn’t have eggs or bunnies here for Easter, but this Indigo Bunting that we spotted in the back yard early Easter morning was a wonderful Easter surprise. We often see Painted Buntings here in the spring and summer, but I have never seen an Indigo Bunting. They are the most incredible shade of blue.
As I was pruning the native plants that surround our deck; agarita, evergreen sumac, Texas persimmon, grape vine, Mexican silk tassel, and escarpment cherry, I glimpsed a small flower out of the corner of my eye.
We planted the first plants in the courtyard raised beds late last winter, so this is the first real spring for them. I am watching with great interest to see when each plant begins to bloom as I have tried to group plants according to sun requirements, complimentary color and form characteristics, water needs, and I also want continuous blooming from early spring to late fall. So far I am happy with how the courtyard gardens are progressing. The most prolific bloomer in the courtyard at the moment is the pink Laura Bush petunia, which has been blooming since late February, and is starting to choke out the Texas Sotol cactus. I’m going to have to cut it back soon so as not to lose the cactus.
Ron went to Whole Foods early this morning to pick up fresh fruits and veggies for us, and he returned with two nice looking yellow Knock Out roses. This rose, The Sunny (Rosa Radsunny) has been on my wish list ever since I saw an advertisement for it in Fine Gardening magazine last winter. I […]
I sent Ron to the Natural Gardener and Barton Springs Nursery today to search for the trees and vines that I selected to plant in the upper trellis beds. Much to my delight, he was able to find everything I wanted. We didn’t have time to plant them this evening, but we placed them in […]
Aside from having to deal with allergies, spring is a wonderful time of year. The garden is really coming to life now, and every day brings new blooms, birds, and insects. I find it is easy to get so busy with gardening ‘chores’ that I miss the changes taking place all around me. But today, the activity was so intense, and the colors so bright that I had to stop and take some pictures.