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late may

May 21, 2013

I’ve been lazy about posting photos, but sis has requested one special one…that I am going to make her wait until the end to see.

Here we go! Irises are good and over now. These were the last two to make their appearance.

iris Cranberry Ice

iris Cranberry Ice

iris Grape Situation

iris Grape Situation

Now some roses. I’m not sure I’ll be keeping either of these after this year. I love, love, love Blueberry when I see it in San Antonio, but this is the third clone I’ve tried and none of them have done well for me. They sulk and refuse to grow. I’ve nursed this one for four years and it still consists of two spindly sticks with sparse leaves and a couple of flowers a year.

rose Blueberry

rose Blueberry

Prospero is a rose I’ve had even longer. Since it is so very small (about 1 1/2 ft. tall) I dug it up and brought it from the old house. It’s doing a little better in this location, but is still not vigorous. I like the form and fragrance, but really am not into high-maintenance plants. So this may be its last year, too.

rose Prospero

rose Prospero

The butterfly weed grows in the beds where the early spring narcissus are planted. Since the butterfly weed is now up and growing, its time to trim the narcissus foliage. This stuff is food for the Monarchs, and other nectar-sippers like it, too.

butterfly weed - asclepias tuberosa

butterfly weed – asclepias tuberosa

Salvias are up in the front bed. Bless their hearts, they are perennial and have a long, long blooming season. These are another pretty good nectar flower.

salvia - I forget which variety

salvia – I forget which variety

The columbines are blooming really late this year. Must be because of those crazy cold snaps we had this spring. These yellow ones came from a Texas native variety, and they are tough enough to come back year after year. They die back to a little green rosette in summer, but fluff up and bloom every spring.

columbine Texas Gold

columbine Texas Gold

Here’s the photo my sister has been waiting for. Her daughter is named Felicia, and so is this hybrid musk rose. It’s another one I got off the dead pile. How could I resist after seeing its name? It is recovering pretty well, and seems to like the semi-shady spot it’s planted in. It blooms in clusters, but I haven’t found a photogenic cluster yet – seems by the time all the buds are fully open, the first ones are looking a little ratty. They still make for a fine effect in the landscape that way, but not so good for photo closeups. So here is one rose surrounded by buds, with a nice bug chewing on it. Felicia is very, very fragrant. I’m looking forward to seeing how it matures.

rose Felicia

rose Felicia

There are peppers and tomatoes growing on their respective plants in the veggie patch. Squash is also on the way. I need to get busy and get mulching, as soon as my back feels like it can take it!

One last thing — a before and after of one of the front beds. When we moved in, there was an awful ugly fountain backed up by cannas that were absent in the cold months and were only pretty for a few weeks during the warm months. We removed both and replaced with some pole trees and roses. You can still see the footprint of the fountain, but it is better to me as a little patio.

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end of April – week in review

April 28, 2013

Here you go, Pop!

There was not too much new blooming this week, and pretty soon we’ll be in the lull between the spring extravaganza and the tough-as-nails summer stuff. I really need to do something about the lull – seems like I may have to look to the annuals to step into the spotlight.

Irises – three new ones this week. The one called Yaquina Blue is the very picture of My Perfect Iris: crisp and a luminous medium “blue”. I think I’ll have two more to show next week, but their season is waning.

Yaquina Blue on the left; Ticket To Ride on on the right

Yaquina Blue on the left; Ticket To Ride on on the right

Dovedale

Dovedale

Roses: This pale pink rose is one I had growing in a pot last year. It really deserved a more permanent home…so a rose I didn’t like as well had to give up its spot. Yes, I am a hard-hearted Hannah in the garden.

Quietness

Quietness

I showed first blooms from the auspiciously-named Prosperity a few weeks ago, but wanted to show how the bush is growing. The idea was to grow a rose that would form a great big pile when it matured. Here it is at three years old. It’s still a little sparse (I got it off the dead heap at the nursery; it did recover pretty quickly) but is giving an idea of what is in store for the future.

Prosperity - doing great in dappled shade.

Prosperity – doing great in dappled shade.

Veggie garden update – the spinach is doing great! Spinach now moves to “staple” status.

spring is here for realz!

April 20, 2013

In spite of a chilly rain this week, it looks like spring is finally here. We went on the traditional bluebonnet and wildflower drive last weekend. While the fields weren’t blanketed edge to edge like they are in a good year, it was still very pretty. And the cool blue is good to remember in the middle of August.

Image

On to the garden. It is rose and iris time, still. Here are the roses that began blooming this week:

La Sevillana

La Sevillana

Marie Pavie there are two of these in pots on the back patio

Marie Pavie
there are two of these in pots on the back patio

Night Song the most intense-colored rose I grow

Night Song
the most intense-colored rose I grow

I've forgotten this one's name! Will have to find the old journals.

I’ve forgotten this one’s name! Will have to find the old journals.

irises that were here when we moved in. Don't know their names, either.

irises that were here when we moved in. Don’t know their names, either.

salvia gregii, favored by all kinds of insects

salvia gregii, favored by all kinds of insects

the leaves of this sedum are so yellow you can't really see the flowers

the leaves of this sedum are so yellow you can’t really see the flowers

tomatoes!

tomatoes!

chives!

chives!

The lettuce has all bolted, and I’m not going to show that. Phooey! I thought I had a good early start with them. Will try again in the fall.

April 14 – more roses and irii

April 14, 2013

This week a few more roses came into bloom, along with some of my newly-planted irises that I’ve been anxious to see.

Old Blush

Old Blush

We have bushes of Old Blush flanking the driveway.

Souvenir de St. Anne's

Souvenir de St. Anne’s

This is my favorite rose, the one I want on my grave. You listening, David?

Cherry Blossom Express

Cherry Blossom Express

One of the new irises. See the horn at the end of the beard?

Savannah Sunset

Savannah Sunset

And another one. I planted this bright orange next to the very dark blue from last week’s post, hoping that they would bloom together. Well, maybe there will be some overlap next year.

I love the spring, when it’s so easy to have charming flowers. It gets tougher as the year goes on…

on to April

April 7, 2013

Another post to update Dad. Here’s what’s begun blooming this week.

unknown iris

unknown iris

This iris is one of the ones already on the property when we moved in.  I’m very glad to be getting any iris blooms at all this year since I did a big dig & divide last fall and really didn’t expect much.

Iris Navy Blues

Iris Navy Blues

Then there’s this beauty. Last fall we also took out an overgrown hedge. Why do people plant huge shrubs below windows? They grow up, block the view, and look ugly from inside the house. David also has a thing about plants spilling out of their beds, which the big old shrubs certainly did. We replaced the shrubs with irises. They’re evergreen, stay upright, and the leaves stay below the windows. The flowers rise up higher, but I don’t mind seeing flowers out the window.

That bright yellow-green is a sedum filling in between the iris plants. It makes a nice contrast with the blue-green iris leaves when the flowers are done.

Hyacinthoides hispanica

Hyacinthoides hispanica

This is Spanish hyacinth. These naturalize pretty well here and seem to like this shady bed where they give a pretty woodland effect.

scarlet betony

scarlet betony

And here is a patch of scarlet betony, a great cast-iron long-blooming flower that is also flourishing in mostly shade.

On the veggie front, lettuce and spinach are recovering slowly from a pelting by hail. I’m afraid it will get too hot to soon to try them again before fall, but there’s nothing to loose by starting some more seed. Sugar snap peas are starting to set pods. Bush beans and pole beans are up and will go in when they aren’t such succulent bait for cutworms. Two kinds of summer squash were planted yesterday – a grey Mexican type and a little yellow patty-pan. Tomatoes have their first flowers. Val should have the rest of her peppers in, so I should remember to go visit her Thursday.

Here’s a link to a great vegetable-variety finder for Texas. You put in your county and get TAMU’s picks for the area. Putting the link here in case I forget where I filed it!

TEXAS VEGGIE SELECTOR

march at casa cedarita

March 30, 2013
tags: ,

This one is for Dad. Here’s what we have blooming in beautiful Cedar Hill.

Lots of narcissus. There was a crop of earlier yellow ones last month, but these are at their height right now.

Narcissus "Geranium"

Narcissus “Geranium”

Pots of sweet alyssum and violas on the front porch.

This smells great.

This smells great.

These roses have just started.

Louis Philippe aka "Cracker Rose"

Louis Philippe aka “Cracker Rose”

I don’t like this particular iris, but the Spouse does, and it is always the iris leader.

Umm, not my favorite.

Umm, not my favorite.

Sugar snap peas!

FOOD!

FOOD!

fall plans

August 5, 2012

I get to make a good report on something! This spring I tried the dill “Tetra” from Botanical Interests, because they listed it as heat-tolerant. I love dill in eggs, salads, and yogurt, but it usually craps out when the weather warms up. Tetra did really well – did not go to seed until the temperatures had hit 100 for a couple of weeks. This is one that will stay in my lineup.

August 1 is the date that some fall garden crops are started from seed. I am trying carrots again, this time “Little Finger” that I got from Willhite.

Also this week, started another bunch of basil seeds. I’ll make pesto tomorrow from the current plants and hope to be able to make another batch before cold weather comes.

The planned fall lineup:

spinach “Nobel Giant”

swiss chard (existing plants – they’re still going strong)

scallop squash “Sunbeam”

grey zucchini

and I’m going to use leftovers of several green bean varieties. Doing a little reading makes me think I had too much compost in the beds with the green beans – made lots of vine but very few beans. So I’ve amended the beds, adding some crappy soil, and hope to do a little green bean trial. My reading also reveals that fall is the better season for green beans, anyway.

The herb bed needs refreshing. Once I’ve harvested the basil tomorrow, I’ll lift the thyme and parsley, add soil and compost to bring the level back up, and re-plant.

September first is the time to give the rose bushes a trim so that they put on a good fall show. I’m looking forward to this – last winter and spring were so odd that the roses couldn’t figure when to drop their leaves or bloom and there wasn’t much of a mass display.

Also looking forward to a shipment of irises that should show up in September. Their future home needs to be prepared, so there is some hot-weather labor in my future. And a second new iris bed needs to be readied so that the current beds can be thinned. The Spouse likes some of the irises that I don’t. So instead of sending them to the big compost bin in the sky, I’m moving them to an area where I won’t see them as much. Compromise!