Sunday, September 27, 2009

A few new things for Fall

I know-it's not exactly the right time of the year to buy new plants, but when you go to a garden center to buy mulch, you just can't resist picking up a few things!
I don't have any asters, and knew this cute little "Pixie Dark" aster would just fit in a spot by the pond. And it's a perennial, so maybe next year I will see Pixie's cute little flowers again!
I have been trying to think of a way to camouflage these stakes around the pond. Until I do, I thought I might try a dwarf grass. So, I picked up a "Little Bunny" fountain grass. I read about these before I went to the garden center, so this is one plant I was watching for. It will only get about 18 inches tall and wide-perfect for this space!
The wheel-
barrow full of coleus and sweet potato vine is so pretty right now, but I needed something tall for the back. I thought this ornamental pepper plant would work great. It is a very, very dark purple and called "Black Pearl." Should look great against the reds and greens in the wheelbarrow.
I wasn't planning on buying any sweet alysum, but they had some pretty little bedding plants, and I thought I would get a few for the flagstone walkway and enjoy their sweet fragrance this fall.
And of course, who could leave without buying a few pumpkins...

Even though it's in the 90's here today...

It's Fall Y'all!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Window Boxes and Bluebonnets

When we lost the Bradford, I just knew one of the things to go would be my window boxes. They are full of shade loving plants..and they just couldn't survive in the hot west sun, or so I thought. But, look how good they look!
They didn't just survive, they flourished! I have had these window boxes for years. Hubby made them for me. I just stick bits and pieces of this and that in them. There is airplane plants, swedish ivy, wandering jews, some tiny english ivy, and of course my favorite...
...coleus!!! I snip cuttings from all my coleus plants and just stick them in the dirt. So easy!
I am so pleased with the results, and with all that sun too!
Even the purple heart growing below looks good (although I think it enjoys all this added sun).

And the Bluebonnets ??
I scattered seeds 2 weeks ago all around the bed the new tree is in--and here they are! We have had so much rain lately, I just hope they don't drown, but wildflowers like rain early in their life. Hopefully I will have a bed full of these blue beauties in April!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Late Summer Blooms

I couldn't resist the temptation to go outside on this rainy Saturday and get a picture of the morning glories. They love this cooler weather-and will enjoy the rain. It has been a real chore to keep up with watering these plants all summer, but their fall show may just be worth it. This past week I have been taking a walk around the house and making note of what is still blooming in late summer. This are some of my late bloomers...
My favorite thing blooming right now are Blackfoot Daisies. This is an old pail that is on the flagstone patio. I also have several plants in the wildflower bed cascading over the stone border. Our backyard gets hot, hot sun which these little flowers love. When the sun hits them, the have the most wonderful honey fragrance. The entire yard has a sweet and homey scent-kind of like a vanilla candle you might burn inside.
The Salvia Greggi (Autumn Sage) is blooming which is making the humming-
birds really happy. They are getting ready for their trip south, and are filling up on flower nectar as well as the sugar water I provide them.
I have 2 Angelonia which have bloomed continually since I bought them back in spring. I hate that they are annuals, but they are definitely a buy next year.
Profusion zinnias are just the best. They start performing in early summer, and will continue to bloom until I replace them with pansies. I couldn't recommend these flowers more.
I have been totally surprised about how well the red begonias have done in back. We really kept them watered, and I guess that is the trick. We just knew the begonias would die after we lost the tree, but no..they just kept blooming and are beautiful. You can also see that I have a few Rudbeckias still in bloom.
Not everyone likes Ruellia because it is so invasive, but this one is contained and is placed in an area that really needed height. The pink blooms have been beautiful and another flower appreciated by the hummers. I may be pulling new plants next year, but I don't mind.
I still have a few Zinnias. Most are becoming very leggy, but they still add a little bit of color to the gardens.

I don't have any fall blooming plants. We keep summers so long in Texas, we can keep quite a few plants up to our first frost. I think one reason I am so drawn to yellow and orange in the garden is because it is so pretty in all seasons.

It's about time to say goodbye to summer. I don't think many will be sad to see this season end. It will be time to put some flowers to bed, and plant wildflower seeds and bulbs for spring. We will be getting out our sweaters (well, it will be a while before we do that here in Texas!), and buying pumpkins and mums. Knowing summer is coming to an end, I will cherish the memories of summer-both good and bad-and look forward to crisp autumn days and enjoying a cup of hot tea sitting in the swing.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day, Peppers and Birdfeeders

Happy Labor Day everyone! I know it's not fall-and the temper-
ature today will certainly not feel like fall, but I am ready for fall!

I haven't been to a garden center in months, but Saturday was the day to go. We needed so many things, and of course, you can't go to a garden center without looking at the plants!
I always like to buy ornamental peppers this time of year. I found these at the garden center I go to for mulch. They are Sangria Peppers. I have two glazed pottery containers I bought in Santa Fe a few years ago that are perfect for these peppers. One is blue..
...the other one is gold. The peppers can take this Texas heat that will stay around for a while as long as I keep them watered. They are a great plant to start fall!
My other treasure came from Lowe's. You know how I love to feed the birds, and hung bird feeders from our Bradford Pear Tree. Losing that tree has changed my little backyard in so many ways. The birds were very confused when their home and supper table was removed. We have tried to figure out a way to hang feeders and found the perfect solution. This is just what we had in mind. It's like a shepherd's hook, but it is specifically designed for 3 bird feeders. One attaches to the top, and you can hang 2 others. This feeder is a "gazebo" feeder that was sitting right beside the pole.

I think it makes a nice addition to the garden, plus it gives my bird friends a little bit of protection as they eat. Hubby and I each took a guess on what type of bird would find the feeder first. I guessed a cardinal--and I won!!

Have a wonderful day everyone. Fall will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What IS this???

Does anyone recognize this?? It started growing in the wildflower bed last spring. I thought it was pretty, so I just let it go. It adds quite a bit of texture and interest to that bed, but over the summer it has gotten way out of hand.
It has very fine, fern like branches. I promise-I did not plant it. Hubby thinks I must have just forgotten that I planted it, but I think I would remember..wouldn't I? It's not like I have anything else on my mind, right? :)

I will be ready to plant wildflower seeds in about a week, so I will need to cut this back. We are thinking we might try and move it to the corner of the bed this winter, but before I do, I sure would like to know what it is!
Can somebody out there please help me??