Plants with interest in Winter

With yesterday’s beating rain, and last night’s predicted freeze, I decided to cut my first two daffodils and bring them inside to enjoy.

It was just too painful to watch the only flowers in my garden lying prone on the ground in a puddle.

So I rescued them.

Now I can sit and look at them beside me this morning while I enjoy a cup of tea and blog by the fireplace.

They seem to be enjoying my company inside!

While looking around the garden at all the dead, dying and dormant plants, I found a few bright spots.
Like this native Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria, growing wild in our wooded area. It’s chock-full of beautiful berries – a splash of bright red against the palette of browns that’s overtaken the garden.
And then there is the Leatherleaf Mahonia, Mahonia bealei, which is most interesting in winter. In some other states, it’s been declared invasive, but not in Texas. It’s not for everyone, or everywhere, with its upright and prickly form, but does provide unique structure in the garden. Its new winter growth erupts into a few dozen spires of tiny yellow bell-like flowers.
Although the sedum in the hanging planter is long-since dead – a few little Hens and Chicks found their way into the pot and seem to be quite happy.
I kept hearing the Woodpecker outside this week and finally got a picture of him as he landed close to the breakfast room window while looking for his bugs.
This — not so pretty, huh? On the left – a big HOLE! On the right? the roots of a previously chewed up Agapanthus that have now been ripped out of the ground. I moved them all from the back so Dakota wouldn’t eat them, so now the deer are eating them! And if that weren’t enough, then they are coming back to rip out the roots! Argh.

So the big question is, will I try to plant them around the pretty bird bath in the front again or will I give in a go another route to spare myself the aggravation? What do you think?

Behind on Bloom day!

Hard to believe it’s Bloom Day again!

And while I’m late today with my post, I wouldn’t miss out on the invitation extended to all garden bloggers by Carol of May Dreams Gardens to post photos of our garden blooms.

We’ve had a little fall here in Central Texas, and while the nights are cooler – high 50’s, the days are still upper 70’s and 80, even.

Many summer perennials and annuals are still blooming, but I’m starting to see a real change in the garden.

Leaves are turning yellow, blooms are slowing, and many plants are setting seed as most prepare to go dormant.

This huge Duranta is still full of blooms, but there are also many little yellow seeds along the blooms.
This Cassia is still standing tall, but the blooms are a much smaller portion of the bloom stalk than they used to be.
The Alyssum loves the cooler weather, though. No slowing down here.
The Marigolds in the garden are still hard at work, keeping the evil insects from the tomatoes!

The roses have been loving these warm days and cool nights. Maggie has lovely blooms like this all over.

And the Hibiscus in this big pot can seem to stop blooming. Was she doing that when we had company out here? No…. she waits until there isn’t anyone to see her! So she had to go in my post.
The Texas Betony in the back shade bed is growing like a weed all of a sudden.
This little corner off the back patio is blooming – lantana, Euryops, Loropetalum, and some cannas.
My bougainvillea, a passalong from Robin of Getting Grounded, likes the night air.
The front bed, with many of the same plants as the photo above, including Salvia and Cuphea, hasn’t slowed a bit.
The vines on the fence and the Mexican Mint Marigold are putting on a show.
My little mums just started blooming.
I found this Mexican birdbath last week and had to bring it home. She how nice it looks with the transplanted Agapanthus around it? And the Agapanthus says, ‘thanks for rescuing us from that evil Dakota-dog-girl!’
And the Turk’s Cap in the woods is quite happy. The Turk’s Cap in my garden bed is turning yellow and losing leaves rapidly. It’s been too wet for it as we’ve gotten some regular rains.

It’s interesting to note the change of seasons in the garden. Next week we are forecast to get down to 39 one night. Yikes! That will change things around here for sure!

Picking, pruning, pulling … and miles of fire ants

Again? Seriously?

Yes, after I re-re-replanted those Agapanthus, Dakota snuck back in there and pulled them all out again yesterday.

So, as part of my prepping for the Central Texas Gardener t.v. taping here this Thursday, I had to go clean it all up again. And replant them — again.

Then I stepped outside this evening and found a found-lane highway of fire ants racing across my beds, my driveway, down the river rock bed into another flower bed.

No lie – I counted it off, they went 100 feet. And they were in a real hurry. I couldn’t figure out the source at either end and they were going both ways. One bit me before I figured out they were fire ants. It was an amazing, and frightening sight.

So, tomorrow = more pulling and pruning and picking. Most of it is done, but you know, there are always just a few more things you’d like to do … At least I have no plans to rush out to a nursery for any last-minute planting. Now THAT would be nuts!

By | 2016-04-14T02:42:39+00:00 October 6th, 2009|Agapanthus, Blog, CTG, Dakota, fire ants, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments

A little devil at work in the garden…

…and it’s not even Halloween yet.

See those marginally nice-looking Agapanthus? Well, they were short-lived. As you can see below, they were mutilated, bit by bit.

And then devoured.

Leaving a trail that led staight to…
…her mouth! (And she looks so innocent here, doesn’t she?!)

She’s NOT!

I don’t know what it is, but Dakota loves to munch on the poisonous Lantana in the mornings (and puke) and she loves to dig up my bulbs. There must be something about them that she finds tasty or challenging. (Can’t decide if it’s better than Tanner. He eats you-know-what–ewww.)

Ah — as if deer, squirrels, pests and erratic weather weren’t enough!

Looking forward to the Austin Garden Bloggers get together tomorrow to swap plants, visit and meet our new local Ag Extension Agent, Daphne Richards.

By | 2016-04-14T02:42:39+00:00 September 25th, 2009|Agapanthus, Blog, Dakota, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments

Oh exotic Nile Goddess, we await you!

Doesn’t she look just like some ancient Egyptian Nile Goddess?

This is my purple Agapanthus, or Lily of the Nile, just waiting for the perfect moment to make her official entry into my garden.

I have two winding rows of them in the back bed and have had hit or miss luck. Some of the clusters of leaves are big and bold and beautiful and some are still as puny as when I planted them last year.

(Read: I am not in charge. I am not in charge…)

But I can’t help but get excited when they start to bloom. Even if the blooms are crooked and mutant-looking like this one below!

I had trouble with the allium as well — maybe it’s an orb thing!

By | 2016-04-14T02:45:12+00:00 June 22nd, 2008|Agapanthus, Blog, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments