Per Roselee's Request...!

bobbi_p(z8/9 Cypress, TX)July 15, 2010

I've been working fervently in the garden this week. I'm home alone following a week with family in Illinois (hubby gone on business, kids with grandparents learning what real work is). Since I missed the week of rain, there was a ton of nutgrass to pull when I came home!

But, I must say the work has been more than a pleasure when I get to sit amongst the beauty/nature around me!

So, here goes:

Here are some unplanned combinations:

White lantana has been extremely slow to wake up this year. Now she's in my guara:

Bought this giant cigar plant at The Arbor Gate a few monthes back. It hadn't broken dormancy yet. Been abusing it in the pot. It's still hanging on, but looks like I got a bonus plant. Can you tell me what it is? I know I've seen it, but haven't a clue... It's not one that catches my eye.

Nothing like real rainfall to get those spores to grow! How do you like the puffballs and yellow fungus in the dead portion of my rosemary?

Not planned, but isn't this yellowing leaf striking on the Texas Star Hibiscus?

I didn't know that Lamb's Ears bloomed:

I can't take credit for it. The people who built the house, then backed out chose the landscaping, but the sages sure loved the rain too!

Now, how 'bout some critter combinations?

First, unwelcome: I guess as long as I live in Texas, there'll be leaf-footed stink bugs!

Luckily, even though I viewed my yard as quite "sterile" even last year (I rejoiced at every anole I successfully smuggled home on nursery purchases), I've been pleased at the number of good guys I have:

Do you think this was one of the critters making music for me as I watched the stars come out last night after an evening of weed pulling?

The pollinators have been buzzing my Black and Blue Salvia and Almond Verbena like crazy this week, but of course when I grab a camera they're hard to find. As I was trying to catch this bumble bee:

I didn't even notice the assassin bug!

I noticed these eggs on the underneath of my brug and wonder if they'll become some of those white fuzzy cats? Anyone know? I'll look it up later...

Then there's the vegetable garden combinations I'm happy about. It was late April before hubby was able to finish my veggie beds. I'm pleased to have anything this summer and am looking forward to this fall's garden already!

Buds on the okra finally! I know I'll be tired of it before it's done producing. I really want to pickle some this year. Anyone have a good recipe/tips for this yankee transplant?

Here are some combinations that didn't work as I planned them. Isn't there another post right now about spring visions/summer realities?

Porter weed is blooming, but not visible at all behind the hibiscuses. I think I was worried about how easily it might spread...

This is how I want my Cat's Whiskers and Southern Wood Fern to look. Unfortunately, my skilled photo taking has eliminated the reality of the weeds/grass that grow beneath the Cat's whiskers in the end of the bed that desperately needs guttering placed on the eave above it before I can hope to plant anything of value!

I vaguely remember sprinkling some echinacea seeds in front last year. I just cut out the past peak rudbeckias (since Buchanens had some wild-type mislabelled as Indian Summer), and look who surprised me amongt the red salvia and mealy cup sage!

This planter isn't nearly as full as I'd like. I think I need to move it to more sun. The African Blue Basil is supposed to be stunning in it. Do you think the gnome is nipping the buds, BossJim?

I'm always aggravated that it takes Thyrallis so long to bloom, but what dainty blooms! My depth of field is off and nothing is particularly in focus, but that's kind of how I look at my garden. If I keep my vision blurry, the weeds aren't apparent and the colors are amazing!

And finally, here are a few, just because I haven't posted any photos in a while and I'm relatively pleased with the way my plans are progressing!

Like I said earlier, the white lantana has been very slow to wake up. My white/silver/moon garden will be much brighter when it does. I missed taking photos the first time the brug bloomed. It was breathtaking!

This is that Tumax trellis product for masonry. So far, so good. Just over the past couple of weeks I've gotten good terminal growth on the jasmine to continue training it on up the wall. Guess I can trim out the lower diamonds now that I know it will grow up!

I don't think I've posted photos of the finished veggie beds at all. I didn't get the tomato cages staked before the winds came last week, so they're all a-kilter...

Hope I didn't bore you!

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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

NOT BORED AT ALL, just totally fascinated with the landscaping, all the wonderful color, and all you've accomplished.

I love the plant combinations, planned and unplanned, but never could see the assassin bug -- oh -- just went back and looked again and found it ... LOL. Your pictures are like those "can you find the ___ in this picture" puzzles. Lots of fun!

I'll be looking at them again when I get back in town.

Thanks so much for posting and all your commentary!!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 1:17PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Those are wonderful, thanks for sharing the photos.

Lots of inspiration there and your gardens have really filled in beautifully.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 1:54PM
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Absolutely not.. U'r yard is fantastic. You gave me an idea of how to give support for the cantaloupes. 5 of my cantaloupes fell to the ground after they got almost completly ripe. Also, liked the way u'r training u'r Jasmine.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 2:34PM
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Looks like mexican poinsettia in the 2nd picture. It self seeds freely and everywhere.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 12:54PM
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Lovely garden...lots of color and variety; and the surprise plant is summer poinsettia or Mexican fire plant, Euphorbia cyathophora.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:05PM
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I think you have a really beautiful place and the plants look really healthy. I would be in heaven with your pool too, lol.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 12:26AM
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bobbi_p(z8/9 Cypress, TX)

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Also, thanks for the ID on the Mexican Poinsettia/Fire Plant (Euphorbia cyathophora). It sounds like a plant that I, personally don't want to go to seed. I'm not that fond of it's looks and read that it can shoot it's seeds as projectiles which reminds me of ruellia. After fighting ruellia at our old place, I swore I wouldn't have it here. I even avoid purchasing plants next to it at nurseries!

So, alas, I think I'll go out there right now and pull it from the pot. Maybe I'll go one step further and actually plant the poor Cuphea micropetala so it has a chance to do something this season!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 5:42PM
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Bobbi your hard work is really paying off. The pergola looks great, and the beds around it are beautiful!

I really like the way you are training the jasmine. I may try to copy that.

You are right about the poinsettia. Pull it out while you can. If you have a place for your tall cuphea, where you can give it some support, it can get to 6 or 7 feet, in two or three years. Here's a little picture of mine, before last winter. It was tied to the fence with twine and eye screws. That's a 6' fence.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:00PM
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bobbi_p(z8/9 Cypress, TX)

Wow! That Cuphea's amazing. I need to check again to see what exactly I have. I thought it was a type they have at the ARE that could get 4-5 ft tall, but pretty much from the ground straight up. Yours looks like a very much branching sort of shrub?... I wonder if the difference has to do with whether it gets cut back to the ground each year? Just curious, if yours died back before last winter, how much winter kill you have in a normal year, etc.?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 2:51PM
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