Gardening in Texas

3/17/2019. Still a little chilly here in Texas, but the flowers are blooming!  Below are my Ground Orchids.  In just 5 years, they have spread to two beautiful croppings

2/10/2019 Wow, 2 years later, and getting ready for Bluebonnet Season again.  I must wake up each year around now!  Next week, be sure and trim your rosebushes back.  I try and trim all of my garden if I have the energy!

2/18/2017

In Texas we are getting ready for Bluebonnet Season!!  Yes, we have our own season.  A reader sent me this:

Can’t wait!

Dec. 30, 2015

My Texas backyard has had a great year.  It has provided us with lots of interesting “flora and fauna”.  The lemons this year are bigger than my grapefruit, but my lovely loquat tree died.  Now that was sad.

We love chives and green onions, so I always have some growing somewhere!

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Green onions are so easy to grow here in Texas. These are ready to re-seed themselves, and of course there is a yummy small onion in the ground already.

IMG_6435

Meyer Lemons-my tree is now approx. 15 ft tall. I leave some lemons on the tree through the winter. Makes for a nice refreshing taste during the cold months

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This beautiful sunflower actually originated from my bird seed! Perfect picture to paint, I better get busy

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I love lizards!  Look at the fellow up above shedding his coat.

Water gardening anyone?

Years ago Linda started a pond in a big huge flowerpot.  I think she had goldfish at first.  As her interests grew, I inherited the flowerpot and she acquired a stock tank and graduated to Koi, a pump, and a waterfall.  Now I admit, the stock tank was much more exciting and had lots more activity, but this gardener is not that ambitious.  My flowerpot had just the right amount of plants to provide oxygen that I did not have to use a pump.  My goldfish thrived in that pot for probably 5 or 6 years.  Not to say, I didn’t lose a few along the way, but all in all, they did pretty good.  Eventually I inherited an antique porcelain bathtub from my friend Cindy.  That became my “fishtub” and the flowerpot was tossed into the corner of the compost pile.  The bathtub fish lived off of the plants as well, and besides it was “cute”.    I never had to buy a pump.  In 2009 we moved, and chose to leave the tub behind for the new family.  It weighed about 400 lbs. and I’m just not as strong as I used to be. 

New house, new yard, and new 40 gallon stock tank….for a year and a half I felt like a fish murderer.  Nothing could survive in that thing.  I’m thinking it just got too hot & too cold, because of the metal, and lack of shade.   Now I am back to a big huge flowerpot.  So far so good.   Made it through the Summer, so, hang in there fish!

 Very peaceful.

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It may be hot, but I still have some beauties in my backyard!  I am especially fond of white blooms.

 

These elephant ears are huge! 

My lemon tree in the pot is doing great, however the one in the ground spends all it’s time growing, but no lemons!  The oleanders this year have been beautiful.  I hope my Auntie Shing sees this pic.

We have a friend that calls everything a bouganvilla.  Doesn’t matter if the darn thing is a rose, to JK it is a bouganvilla.  So this pic is for JK:

Last but not least, this little fellow came and sat next to me the other day.  He was beautiful.

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7/1/2011

If this isn’t the perfect 4th of July bloom, I don’t know what is!  I’ve had this hibiscus for about 5 years.  It freezes back and comes back with a bang every Summer!

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 Oh my gosh, where is the rain?  I know we are all wondering  (actually it just started raining here) .  3 whole minutes of rain.

 Just got back from a glorius 5 days of vacation, my little vegetable garden took a beating, but take a look at my bounty up above.  I still have not tried my acorn squash, isn’t it a little early for it??  I’ll let you know.

Now I know you all have been waiting anxiously to see Linda’s Giant Gunnera.  The picture in the past post is our favorite by far.  Here is what she received in the mail.  You may have to zoom in.  We will definatly keep you posted on this gem!

 My white amaryllis is finished blooming, but thought you’d like to see it.  What beauty.  

The okra is kicking in too! 

Our frangi pani/plumeria is just now starting to bloom.  These smell like baby lotion to me, i just love it!

 *********************

The featured picture here is my “volunteer garden”!  At first we planted an eggplant, and two bell pepper plants.   After a week we had probably 100 tomatoe plants and all these squash plants coming up from my compost!  It took a couple of weeks, but now we have identified the squash as acorn.  Never grown it, but love it!

Here is an interesting plant: a giant gunnera.

Linda ordered this online….now she hasn’t received it yet, so we are curious as to how big the plant will be when it gets here.  stay tuned, because we will be following this.

 

In the meantime you cannot miss with this tree:

The Bottle Tree; Word has it; they originated in Africa, perhaps as early as the 1700′s and came with the slaves to America. It was a tradition to hang shiny objects and bright ribbons outside of the home. The thought was that evil spirits were attracted to those objects, and it kept them out of the home.

Often a tree was stripped of leaves near the corner of the house to be decorated with bottles. Cedar trees were preferred, because their branches pointed to heaven. But, any tree would do.

The bottle tree lore contends that evil spirits were attracted to the sparkling colors (traditionally cobalt blue was a favorite), entered the bottles and were trapped inside. When the wind blows, the evil spirits can be heard “howling” inside. There are some who believe that the sun heats the evil spirit up inside the bottle and kills it. 

Here in our garden, we believe eccentricity is magical & oh so much fun.  Oh yeah and we enjoy our drink.

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My young friend Stephanie planted this rose bush below.  I forgot to ask what kind it was, Steph?

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Fever anyone???  The photo featured above “was” my last bloom on the bottle brush tree.  

Grown as a bush or trained into a tree, it is very hardy in our part of Texas (slightly north of Houston) We’d love to share some of your pictures and stories about good plants to grow in Texas. 

anyone have a “ground orchid”?  this is the first name I’ve come up with.  A friend who is not a big gardener, had this in a bucket alongside her garage.  It is blooming now and the flowers will drop soon.  This spreads, but not aggressively, and the leaves are pretty green all year around until the first freeze.  Very hardy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trees are budding out here.  I have tiny leaves on my vitex tree, beautiful flowers on the plum tree (see pic),

 

and lots of new growth on my citrus.  (orange, grapefruit,lemons)  Please share your tips on growing citrus/fruit in Texas. 

In the last 3 years I’ve really enjoyed my grapefruit and lemon trees.  I had to leave the grapefruit tree behind when we moved.  Drove by the old abode the other day and the new owner had left about 6 or 7 huge grapefruit on the tree.  I imagine they have been damaged from our freezes?  If not, maybe I need to go back by and climb up on my  man’s shoulders and pick some fruit!  I don’t own this tree anymore, so I can only say: I grew this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, these are funny plants; Plumerias or Frangi Pani.  Lots of people think they are too much trouble.  Right before your first freeze, dig them up, shake off the dirt and put them in a protected area, like your garage or attic.  This is what they look like today. 

 Like my gardener?  Pretty cute, huh? Now, this is where I’d like some tips from you all.  How often do I feed these?  (the plumeria, not my gardener)Mine have never bloomed a whole lot.  I want more!

Take a look at this will you?!  Yours too could look like this;

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