Friday, September 30, 2011

A Little Relief....

We lucked out yesterday.  We got a little more than a quarter inch of glorious rain.
The last storm that blew through only gave us noise, lightning and wind. 
Dry lightning has been blamed for yet another large wildfire.  We don't need that.

Today it feels a bit more like fall.  A 'cold' front has blown in.

The weather forecasters say this could mean the end of the triple digit temperatures.  Let's all hope they've got it right.
Three full months of this heat has been ENOUGH!

I hope some of you got rain, too....although it was a bit patchy.

Maybe things are looking up.

Have a great weekend.

Happy Gardening...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The first day of Fall.
We made it through the summer.  Not that the temperatures show it.  
But, hopefully they will soon.  We're SO ready for summer to be done. for the photo.....Fall is the biggest of our 'leaf seasons'.  
The Cedar Elms drop their leaves in the fall.  LOTS of leaves....LOTS of sweeping.

On the up-side....they make good compost and mulch.

Have a good weekend....and
Happy First Day of Fall.

Stay safe...pray for rain.

Happy Gardening...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foliage Follow-Up, September, 2011...

Ground Orchid
This has been the most challenging summer ever, in my memory.  
Record heat....Record drought.
Not the easiest time to garden.

Sweet Potato

So, we depend on foliage to pull us through.

I replaced quite a few freeze-dried plants this spring, hoping to protect the new ones better.
This Daniella will need some freeze protection...assuming we cool off sometime.
It's supposed to have little sun.
It's gotten more than expected, because the trees canopy has been more sparse this year, with the drought.
I don't know what the vine is.  But, it's pretty, so it stayed.

Lamb's ear is supposed to be able to take the heat and dryness.  But, this is the last piece I have left.

This Chrysanthemum Pacifica holds up to everything.
It's leggy, but stays green, heat or cold.  The bloom is not much to get excited about.  But, the foliage is nice.

We still have one coleus hanging in there.  They take too much water to be a return plant, next year.

Cuban Oregano is one I really like.  It holds up to the fierce sun really well.  Last year's froze.  I need to take some cuttings soon.  They root easily.

Although they haven't bloomed in a while, the bronze and green stripe-leaf cannas still are good for their foliage.  That pretty stripe has bleached out some.  Hopefully, it will show back up.
They'll die down in the winter.  And, who knows which spot they'll show up next spring.  My experience with cannas is that they like to come up around the last spot, no AT the last spot.  

Over in the Rock Bed, the Mexican Feather grass is still looking good.  The Prickly Pear is holding it's own.  The ones in the Deer Grove have withered a bit.  They'll perk back up, if we ever get rain again.

The Rosemary is growing nicely.  The agaves that I rescued from neighbor Elli's clean-out haven't done anything.  But, they don't look dead.
This bed gets a good soaking about once a month.  And, it's in the hottest, sunniest part of the yard.

In front, the asparagus fern is putting on new growth.  It lived in the garage, on and off last winter.

This container with Soft Leaf Yucca in the Island Bed, is a tough plant.
This whole bed is going to be redone.  The ground cover hasn't perked up, even with occasional soakings......mostly for the tree roots.

The Nandina has put on some berries.  

It's hard to tell from this photo, but the deer have chomped the Nandina leaves as high up as they can reach.  They've never touched it before.  But, this is an extreme year.

Back around to the Porch, this Oyster plant, a ground cover, is doing well in a pot.

I don't know how we could garden, without all the beautiful foliage out there.

If you want to see more foliage, go visit Pam at Digging.
She's hosting Foliage Follow-Up.

Stay safe...pray for rain.

Happy Gardening

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bloomday for September, 2011...

Here we are again.  The middle of the month.  This time, September.  This year is moving fast.

It's still summer type temperatures here in Texas.  And, the drought is still going strong.

But, we don't give up.  So, we join Carol  at May Dreams Garden for Bloomday.

Ladybug plant stake...glows in the dark.

It's been depressing around here, with all the dead grass and stressed out trees.  So, when I went out to take photos, I was a bit surprised how many I got.

The pot, above, with the Ladybug stakes, has been a regular bloomer.

Bougainvillea still going strong.

This morning glory shows up every year.  It hitchhiked down from our old garden, with some other plant.

The cannas have been slow about blooming.  This one finally put on some blooms this week.

You can depend on this cleome "Senorita Margarita".  

And, Mexican Petunia...ruellia

And, a taller, pink version of Ruellia

This Coral Nymph salvia coccinea came back from the dead, after last winter's freezes.

The Hyacinth Bean is blooming.

The Thryallis hasn't grown very tall, but it's blooming nicely.
The Knockout rose is putting on some new blooms.

The Purple Heart has a small bloom, but it adds to the appeal of this old fashioned favorite.

Over in the veggie garden, there are more volunteer flowers than veggies.  
This cosmos reseeded this summer....blooming away, and reseeded some more.  

The same with this orange Zinnia.

And, there was no celosia ever planted in here.  
Must have come in with some compost.  Looks good, though.

I'm grabbing seeds whenever I can from this Narrow leaf zinnia.  
I hope I can have them in several places next year.  They're very good performers.

After a very slow start, the Coral Vine is finally putting on some blooms.  

The most dependable 'bloomer' is the bottle tree.  
Let's hope this drought breaks soon, or this might be my only bloomer.

So, what's blooming in your garden?

Stay safe...pray for rain.

Happy Gardening...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

She shows up all the time.  
She's a Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

This one is the female.  The male has a little red cap on his head.
The whole family shows up.  Momma, Daddy, and Baby.  They all have a sweet tooth.

They're big, and they're noisy.  And, a bit clumsy.  You don't want to have a feeder close to a window....

They come to all the feeders.

And, the hummers don't like it.

The hummers dive bomb the woodpeckers.  But, it doesn't faze them.
They just keep on sippin'.

We seldom see any other types of Woodpeckers.  Occasionally, we see a Hairy Woodpecker.
But, they're fast, and I'm not.  So, no pictures of those.

The heat goes on here.  Keeping water and food out for the 'livestock' is just one of the daily chores.

Fall will come, right?  Let's hope soon.

Pray for rain...

Happy Gardening...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You?...

September 11, 2001

That's the question we ask each other.  Mostly, we ask that when some tragic event happens.

Pearl Harbor

The assassination of President Kennedy

The start of any war

I wasn't watching the news that morning.  Mr. P had gone to work.  I was getting the day started, and had a quilting program on the television.
Our daughter called.  She was watching Good Morning America.  "Are you watching tv?", she asked.
Well, yes....what's going on?

I switched time for us to chatter on about what that first plane hitting the 
World Trade Center in New York City was all about.

Then, shock.....another airliner hit the second tower.

Oh my God!  What is going on?

Then, the scenes on the television switch to the Pentagon.  Smoke rising, people running.
Another plane had flown into the nation's military headquarters.

Oh my God!  What is going on?

Then later, we learn of the crash of Flight 93.  
We wouldn't know until much later that the brave passengers had manage to bring it down, 
saving many more lives.

By then, we knew what was going on.

The day unfolded with more and more horrific scenes.  
In today's world, we can watch horrible things, in real time.  
People trapped in burning buildings.  
Firefighters and police running TO those buildings.  
People running away in terror.

Then, the buildings fell.....
It seemed that all of America gasped.....and then, fell silent.

That was ten years ago, today.

For the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives that day, their lives were changed forever.
For the rest of us, our lives changed, too....though in different ways.
Two wars
New security rules...everywhere.
The wonder if evil people in this world could ever do this again.

We all go on with our lives.  That's what people do...adjust or die.

There's always that hope for the most precious of dreams...
Peace on Earth

So, today we'll stop and think about that day....about all those people who lost their lives.
About the brave people helping one another to survive.
About the men and women who have lost their lives, or been injured, in the wars to avenge this.

And, we'll remember when someone asks...

Where were you?

May God bless each of us.
And, may God Bless America.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Scorched Earth.....

dry wild grasses from 2010

By now, you've probably heard that Texas is burning.

We knew it was a probability.  Here in Central Texas, the woodlands and pastures have been without significant rainfall for almost a year.  Combine that with record high temperatures, for records days, and you have a tinderbox, ready to go up in flames.  Then, bring in a cold front, with 35 mph winds... it's a set up for a 'perfect storm'.

Over the weekend, that's exactly what happened.  These weren't the first fires in Texas this year.  They've been in all four corners and areas in between.  It's just that so many blew up all at once, right here in Central Texas.

The worse is in Bastrop county.  In just this fire, almost 38,000 acres are burned, almost 800 homes destroyed, and at least two people killed.  The beautiful stands of pines make fast burning fuel.
And, it's still burning.

Several other fires surrounded the Austin area.  People evacuated their homes and neighborhoods, not knowing when they'd go back, or what they'd find.  Many lost all they had but what they could gather and escape with.  Some were away at holiday events, not getting a chance to save even that much.

Our son and his family live close to one of the large fires in far west Travis county.  They got word to evacuate Monday.  We helped them gather up photos and mementos, clothes and computers, and carry them away.  They later got word they could return.  
They lost a home to fire a few years ago.  We know how painful that is.

The firefighters have bravely fought these fires for days.  The winds have settled down, and the temperatures are lower.  That helps some.  But, these brave firefighters have to be stretched to their limits.  Many of them are volunteer firefighters.  

A pall of smoke hangs over the area.  Winds would blow it away, but winds that spread the fires even faster, are not what the firefighters need.  

Another cold front is forecast for the week's end.  That will mean more heavy winds.  Winds that could push away any chance of rain from storms forming in the Gulf.  Rain we desperately need....and, 
winds we desperately don't.

Keep a thought for the people who have lost their homes, and some, even their loved ones. 

Be thoughtful of any flame or spark in this tinder dry region.

Please be careful.....stay safe.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What's That, You Say?...

There's a cold front coming?


Are you sure about that? more triple digit degrees......

Some nice cool nights....

Will it be a good thing, Mommy?

Woo Hoo!!!  You bet it'll be a good thing, Kid.

This is gonna be NICE!

Now, if we can just get some rain.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day.

Happy Gardening...