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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bluebonnets on Westcott

I went to Wabash Antiques & Feed Store yesterday. On my way I spotted these medians filled with bluebonnets, the Texas state flower. Usually, views like these are seen west of Houston and closer to Austin, but I got my bluebonnet fix right here in the city.
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I ran into my friend Diana while I was at Wabash. She will be selling fruit trees for Urban Harvest this Saturday at the East Side Farmer’s Market. It’s not too late to plant your fruit trees.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Open Days Garden Tour-Del Monte Drive

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The house on Del Monte Drive is only two years old, although the oak trees don’t lead you to that conclusion.

The old house was torn down, but the oak trees were preserved.

We entered the gardens on Del Monte Drive through a side yard. The fence was built to accommodate the gentle giants.

 

 

 

 

 

The Nun’s Orchids were in full bloom.IMG_2119


So was the Chinese Fringe Tree.IMG_2120

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The container plantings are artfully arranged.IMG_2122

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Here’s a view of the side yard from the street. IMG_2129

And a close-up. The garden includes azaleas, viburnum, and camellias and the path is lined with monkey grass and shade tolerant annuals.IMG_2127

This is a nice look for a garden under oak trees. I’m always on the look-out for ideas for my front yard landscape which includes three live oaks and is due for a make-over.

Other Open Days 2011 Gardens:
Open Days-McLaren Garden

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March Madness end in sight

I’ve been slacking on my blogging duties in favor of actual gardening. Crazy, I know!

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Well, 10 yards of dirt, 4 yards of mulch, 2 yards of compost, and 50 plants later, my big spring gardening madness is almost complete.
The massive amount of new beds that I put in this year easily swallowed up my backlog of plants still in their little black pots.

From previous plant sales I planted buttonbush, strawberry bush Euonymus americanus, Blue Emu Eremophila, Chinese Ground Orchid Bletilla striata, Miss Lingard Phlox, Purple Smoke Baptista, Musical Notes Clerodendrum, Fried Egg Tree Gordonia axilarus, Pyramid Bush Melochia tomentosa, Jatropha integerrima, Pavonia peruviensis, hinkley columbine, red cestrum, night blooming white cestrum, and variegated abutilon.
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I went to March Mart on Friday (another awesome vacation day spent at a plant sale). My purchases included the following: white variegated brugmansia, magenta firespike, Yellow Bird of Paradise Caesalpinia gilliesii, lemon verbena, almond verbena, sensitive fern, Red Buckeye Aesculus pavia, Two winged silverbell Halesia diptera var. magniflora, Winecup Callirhoe involucrata, butterfly weed, Brunfelsia americana, Pavonia lasiopetala, calibrachoa, & Scutellaria “Purple Fountain’ and ‘Red Fountain’.

I am mainly listing these for my own records, but hopefully you will see these on upcoming Garden Blogger Bloom Day posts.

Here are some wide shots of the gardens right now:

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IMG_2200I still have a few things to take care of, like cleaning up that big mess of a compost pile.





 



Finishing that last flowerbed that popped up out of nowhere.
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And I have a few more plants to plant, including 3 citrus and a fig tree that really need to be in the ground now. Then it’s on to 2011 Garden Plan #5 – Stop buying plants that will not be planted right away. Although, there is the upcoming HMNS Butterfly Center Plant Sale…

And, just a reminder, check out my event calendar for local gardening events.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Houston’s Open Days–McLaren Garden

IMG_2094_1On Saturday, I attended Houston’s Open Days garden tour held by the Garden Conservancy with Pat from Commonweeder and her family. The proceeds from this garden tour go to Peckerwood Gardens which is a place I definitely want to go visit sometime.

I went to six of the gardens on the tour, but the first one I visited was by far the best. It was the best because it was hosted by the homeowners, who are also the creators of the garden and it has a very naturalistic style. They were there to answer questions about their garden and also had a table showing a pictorial history of the garden.

 

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They grow many native plants and pass-along plants given to them by friends and family. Their garden is also whimsically decorated with bird houses, old garden tools, and all types of other items repurposed as garden art.

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IMG_2106They built the garden shed (below) as a gift to each other. And their potting area is one to be envied. It holds “the nursery”, spots for some experiments, and extra dirt and pots.
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They have four fig trees on the property. This one in particular caught my attention. It’s what you might call an informal espalier (or probably more technically correct, a fan espalier). Something to try with my little fig.

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For more pictures of the McLaren garden, check out the 2008 American Begonia Society garden tour.

I also want to give a big thanks to Pat, Henry, and Kate for touring with me and for the extremely enjoyable lunch. Until Seattle, Pat!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

I’m a little late for bloom day, but better late than never. We are full on into spring here in Houston and some days even feel a little bit like summer (yikes!).

amaryllisI bought this amaryllis around January of last year on the clearance table at Walmart. It’s still in its original little pot.

snap dragonsThese snapdragons were planted last fall, and are now blooming up a storm.

ground orchidThis ground orchid still needs to find its place in the yard, but for now it’s blooming in its pot just fine.

scilla peruvianaI bought this scilla peruviana at last years Bulb & Plant Mart. Aren’t they exotic looking?

Other plants blooming are ice plant, yellow cestrum, salvia greggii ‘lipstick’, & knock-out roses.

Thanks for stopping by, be sure to check out other Garden Bloggers Bloom Days at May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March Madness

I’m not talking about basketball! I’m talking about the mad dash outdoors to garden, the long list of gardening projects, the careful scheduling required to attend all of the plant sales and local gardening talks, the craze that hits us when the temperatures warm up and it is time to garden.

IMG_2063The past two weekends have been about getting the beds ready for the growing season. I’ve been cutting back all the dead branches and raking the leaves out of the beds.

I finally finished that process today and then sprinkled cottonseed meal on everything. Cottonseed meal is an organic fertilizer that can be used on pretty much anything.

Next weekend I’ll top dress everything with compost and mulch.

In between cleaning up the beds, with the help of my husband and a friend of his, we finished the newly constructed beds. They moved 10 yards of soil for me!

Just in time for the plant sales! she says, followed by an evil laugh
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Ignore the hole on the left, just a
little sprinkler repair needed....

The rain barrels that I ordered a few weeks ago came in. I spent part of Saturday getting their cinder block pads created. Now, I just need to call the gutter guys to have the downspouts rerouted into the barrels.
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I can’t wait to have 600 gallons worth of fresh rain water!

No time to chat. I’ve got to start planning how I’m going to fill up those huge new beds. Next Saturday is the first day of the Houston Arboretum’s Native Plant Sale, maybe I’ll see you there.
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