Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Weather in Texas...

Growing up, and living in Texas, I've always heard the saying, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute."  Meaning, of course, it changes.... fast.

Two days ago, we were standing in the sun, and the warm wind, watching our granddaughter play soccer.  Today, it rained, it sleeted, and it snowed.

 We didn't get much.  And, with temperatures just above freezing, it didn't stick very well.

But, it was pretty.  The Cardinal, on the feeder, didn't seem to mind.

It built up pretty well, on the deck.

And, over toward the waterfall, you can see it, through the grass.

Just like the pavement of the street, the rocks along the creek didn't hold onto much.

 I should've gotten over there, sooner.

But, it's interesting, seeing the prickly pear, sitting in ice pellets.

It soon began to slow down.

Then, it was over.  The sparrows were back at the feeder, for a late lunch.

Folks to the north of us, got much more than we did.  And, they got a lot more actual snow.
But, this far south, "winter precipitation" is not that common.  We tend to get excited over it.

Our daughter, who lives in North Dakota, laughs when she thinks about how excited she used to get, when it started to snow.

So, if you like icy weather, you had some.  If not....

...just wait a minute.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Making Some Progress...

Side yard before fence.

We've been in this house, a bit over a year.  The first six months were dedicated to remodeling the inside.  There were a few feable attempts to redo the yard last year.  The heat and drought took their toll.

Fenced yard before Rio.
We have deer issues here.  And, we had a drainage issue.  We had a fence built...to keep the deer out and the dog in.

The Rio

Then, we had a drainage/dry creek installed.  We call it The Rio.

We still had some water-flow issues.

So, we had an extention added to The Rio, outside the back gate.

That gave us an opportunity to dig in the dirt.  So, Mr. P. and I did just that.  He dug, I cleaned out the grass, and we made a nice bed.

So, here we are.  I've moved some plants from other, less sunny areas.

There are two Autum sages, salvia greggii....a Jerusalem sage, Phlomis fruticosa...and, a newly bought Mexican Feather Grass, Nasella tenuissima.  I also threw in a 4" Damianita, Chrysactinia mexicana.
I still have to mulch and trim the Autumn Sage. 

That was yesterday.  Everything was still there this morning, even with some curious deer visitors.  They don't like these...but, that doesn't mean they won't pull it up.  So far, so good.

Things are moving along here.  Now, I can start on the next bed...and then, the one after that, and.......

The sun is shining and it's beautiful outside.  I need to get back out there and dig some more.

Hope you're having a nice day, wherever you are.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Foliage Follow-Up February, 2010

dusty miller
Dusty Miller
The weather lately, has been pretty hard on plants, here in Central Texas.   We’ve had record lows.  And, the highs have been a lot lower than normal…..for days.

Where there aren’t many blooms around here, there is foliage, still hanging in there.

Above is Dusty Miller.  It’s a good stand by, for this part of the country.  No effects from the cold…held up in the drought and heat of the summer……and, the deer don’t like it.

 Good old Texas Sage, cenizo.  This is a small volunteer.  I’ll be moving it somewhere else soon. 

jeruselum sage
Jerusalem Sage, Phlomis fruticosa.  This is another grayish leaf, with a fuzzy texture, so the deer don’t like it.  It doesn’t seem to be fazed by the cold, and the heat didn’t hurt it, either.  There will be more of this planted this spring.

tangle of red yucca
Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora.  This is another tough plant.  The deer don’t like it, but they kept pulling these up.  They finally took hold.  I like the foliage….which is good.  As I understand it, the deer will eat the red blooms.

The Nandina  is about as tough as you can get.  Some consider them invasive….but, as I’ve said before, I like them. 

I think this is Vinca Major.  It’s a ground cover that was here when we got here.  I’m not wild about ground covers.  They tend to take over.  But, this one is green, even after our 8 degree temperature.  

daffodils in deer grove 2-12-10
Out in the deer grove, the daffodils from last year are up and looking nice and green.  No buds, no blooms.  Well…there was one bloom, and a bud that froze.   I’m actually surprised they lived through the drought last summer.  Maybe I need to feed them, this year.

twisted leaf yucca 2-12-10
Also, out in the deer grove are several twisted leaf yuccas.  I’m thinking of trying to transplant some of these into the garden.  They get lost in the grasses, that grow out here.

prickly pear 2-12-10
I may also try moving a prickly pear or two.  They get covered with grass, too.  And, they don’t get much sun out here.   I can always use more plants.

Agarita, Mahonia trifoliolata, is another tough, native plant.  I understand it doesn’t like to be transplanted.  It makes a nice shrub, with yellow blooms in spring and red berries.  These didn’t have either, this last year.  Maybe  not enough sun….or, too little rain.  I might try moving a tiny one, and see what happens.

swiss chard 2-12-10
Over in the fenced veggie garden, the Swiss Chard is doing pretty well.  I planted it too early.  The very cold nights we’ve had set it back some.  But, it’s coming along.

daylily coming up 2-12-10
Daylilies are peeking up.  This one is supposed to be evergreen.  That might be in less frigid winters.  All the daylilies will get moved to the fenced yard.  That’ll leave more room for veggies.

Looking outside, there seems to be a lot of green.  I know a lot of the country is under a layer of snow.  In fact, I heard just the other day, there was snow in 49 of the 50 states. 
The DFW storm dropped a record amount of snow….12.5 inches!!  Our former neighbor up there, sent a picture of the view from her front yard, to our old house, in the snow.  Thanks, Rose.

snow in feb 010
I would have loved to see it in person….but, this green is pretty nice. 

Pam at Digging, is the inspiration for The Foliage Follow-Up.  Go over to her place and see what other gardeners are showing.

Stay warm.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloomday, February, 2010

There’s not much blooming here at Patchwork Garden, right now.  It’s been cold.  And, it’s been wet. 
The happy little faces of the yellow Violas are shining.  They’re tough little things, even if they do look delicate.

blue pansy
In the same family, is the pansy.  There’s this blue one….

yellow pansy
…a yellow one….with a touch of freeze damage.

viburnum buds
The Viburnum in the front bed, has put on buds.  I’ve never grown Viburnum before.  Last year, I don’t remember seeing buds.  Maybe, it was the drought.

That’s it, for here.  If you’d like to see other gardens on Bloomday, visit Carol at May Dreams Garden.

And, join us tomorrow, for Foliage Follow-Up.

I hope your Bloomday is a happy one.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunny Day...

We had two straight days of sunshine.  It felt like spring, out there.  So, Mr. P. and I got out and worked on the new beds.

He dug, I got the grass out.  This is clay.  Not the kind I had up in the DFW area.  You can actually do something with this, even when it's a little wet.  I guess there are enough rocks, to cut the stickiness.

Notice our constant companions, laying around in the grove. 

She's probably hoping I'm planting a nice salad bar for her and her friends.  I'm hoping that's not what I'm doing.

I'm itching to get some plants in here.  But, we have more winter to go.  In fact, today has been cloudy and cooler.  Rain is on the way.

But, it won't be long before we'll be getting this planted....with, hopefully, deer resistant plants.
I've come to the knowledge there is no deer proof plant.  They'll try just about anything.

Spring is just around the corner.  I have lots of work to do, to get ready.

One down and LOTS to go.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

While we were away.....

...it rained a little.  The rain gauge...we have one of those remote things....said 1.5 inches.  I don't think it read right.  It had to be more than that.  And, it had to be hard and fast.  It washed down the yard...over the side of the drain.

It washed the sand from under the stepping stones, outside the gate. 

Made a nice pile of dirt and sand, don't you think?

Grass clippings and leaves, piled up against the fence and gate.  The dammed up water then flowed between the fence post and gate, washing out the decomposed granite....

...right down to the liner.

It washed grass clippings...probably from the golf course, across the street....up against the fence in the bed.  It made a nice mulch for the freeze damaged Inland Sea Oats.

And, piles of leaves, grass and mulch, piled up against the back gate and fence.

So, I spent our first day home taking out rocks, shoveling sand and dirt and granite, back where it belongs.   Then, putting the rocks back....ugh.   All that time and energy could have been spent on digging the beds I want, inside and outside the fenced yard. 

Of course, it could've all been worse....

It came up on the garage door.  The bottom seal kept it out on this side.  Not so lucky on the other side...it was deeper there.  But, it didn't get that inch higher that would've brought it onto the front porch, and then, maybe, into the house.  So, we were lucky, after all.

Now, if we can figure out how to keep stuff from damming up the Rio, and making it back up into the driveway.  Or maybe, nothing would've stopped it that time.  It must have really poured.   Our neighbor said it rained 'pretty hard'.  I think so.......