Friday, September 24, 2010

Today’s Wildlife Sightings

I went for a stroll around the garden this afternoon. I haven’t made it out there during daylight hours all week. I knew there would be some mutant okra to cut and probably some eggplant and peppers too. After the harvesting was done, I took a walk to see what I could see and a theme emerged. I saw a huge grasshopper, my long lost friend the zipper spider, several anoles, a dragonfly, some butterflies, and bees. Here are their portraits…
I’ve been reading about MCOK’s zipper spider named Cassandra over the past few weeks. I don’t want my girl to feel left out, so I’d better give her a name too. I think I’ll call her Lucy. I first posted a picture of Lucy on a Macro Monday several weeks ago. I hadn’t read much about her kind yet and I called her a he. Until recently, she’s been hanging out by some ditch lilies and an overgrown salvia. But, I cut the salvia back without realizing I was impacting her web. She found this new location, which I think is better than the old one. Today she had 3 meals all wrapped up and saved for later.

This meal has a few little flies trying to steal a bite.
I’ve been gardening in this yard for 7 years, but last year was the first time I saw any anoles in my yard. I grew up in a small town northeast of Houston and we had anoles ALL over the place (we just called them lizards). I can remember seeing some of them without tails, my dad said that was their defense. When something tried to catch them by the tail, their tail would snap off and they would grow another one.

I can’t believe the clarity of this dragonfly picture. This is one worth clicking on to see all of the detail.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Well, here it is again, that time of the month when all the garden bloggers head out to the garden to document what’s goin’ on out there. Most of us are lucky to have made it through August without having a heat stroke. Really, how much can be blooming in Houston after the hottest recorded August in history!?

Well, I have been surprised every month this summer by what is blooming in my yard and this month is no exception.

I’ve been impressed by these torenia. They have been blooming for months in the dry shade of a water oak.
Torenia and Persian Shield

There is a magnolia growing in the middle of this clump of salvia. I fertilized the tree with cottonseed meal last month. The salvia is reaping the rewards.

I cut back this blue queen salvia a few weeks ago, it was getting leggy, it has bounced back and is already blooming again. The TX Rock Rose aka Pavonia lasiopetala has been blooming for months as well.
Blue Queen Salvia, TX Rock Rose,
and Artemesia Powis Castle

It took this blue porterweed all year to rebound from the winter. It has popped up in various areas of the garden and is making its blooming debut.

Virginia Spiderwort (tradescantia osprey) is one of the new additions this year in the gazebo garden. For one reason or another a couple of stalks have broken off. I stuck them in the ground and paid no attention to them. They are growing happily. I’ve never seen a plant root so easily.IMG_1379
This is a passalong ginger I received at one of the Houston area plant swaps. What a nice surprise it was when it started blooming this year. IMG_1380
I bought this shrimp plant last year at Buchanan’s, I thought it was a goner, but it has taken off this year. I love the blooms. I think it is justicia brandegeana.IMG_1391
I have posted pictures of the bottlebrush blooms before, but this is the first time I’ve noticed the little yellow tips on the blooms. Reminds me of fireworks.IMG_1387
I have Convolvulus ‘Blue Daze’ plants in several areas of the yard, it has been ho-hum all summer, but has gone into full bloom over the past week.IMG_1395
The other plants blooming are: roses, penta, rose of sharon, turnera, angelonia, gaura, batface cuphea, gomphrena, obedient plant, crepe myrtle, turk’s cap, duranta, hamelia, yellow cestrum, & cannas.

Thanks for stopping by my September Bloom Day, visit May Dreams Gardens for more September Garden Bloggers’ bloom days.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Macro Monday

This is a shot I took one night of my night blooming cereus. I was holding a flashlight in my hand and trying to get a good angle, I'm sure I looked ridiculous. The bloom wasn't fully opened that night, but I forgot to go out the next night to take a look at it, then it was gone.

Thanks to Lisa's Chaos for hosting Macro Monday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Keeping tabs on Houston's garden scene

I've been debating whether or not I want to keep a calendar of events on my blog or not. On one hand, I think it will require a lot of upkeep. But, on the other hand, it is nice to have all the events I am (and hopefully others like me are) interested in, listed chronologically in one place. The only site I have run across something similar is HoustonGrows Your Gardening News, but it is listed in the order posted, not in a calendar format. The Houston Chronicle also has a calendar format, but it doesn't appear that many event organizers are using it. If anyone knows of another calendar of Houston gardening events, please let me know. But, in the meantime I will try my best to keep my Houston Area Events page up to date. Please email me other events to put on the calendar. I am also toying with the idea of a Facebook page where I can post events. Keep in mind, I am trying to keep the amount of work I have to put into this at a minimum. So, what do you think? A page on my blog, a facebook page (you can see my testing if you do a Facebook search for Houston Garden Girl), or forget it, this is just too much work. Let me know your thoughts.

As always, thanks for stopping by.
Houston Garden Girl

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Invasive Species

I stumbled across this video on Plano Prairie Garden. I’m dedicated to getting the word out about this problem. You’ll notice that this species has invaded my garden, as shown in my last Wordless Wednesday post. You must educate yourself before it’s too late.