Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday Celebrating One Year for July 2015

This week marks one year of Wildlife Wednesday posts hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says..." and I've learned so much by trying to identify all the flying, flitting and crawling things I photograph.  I'm joining Tina to celebrate with a survey of some of the wildlife which visited my garden in June.

In an earlier post about Clammy Weed I noted pollinators seemed to ignore it and now several years later this easy care native plant plays host to a Digger Wasp or Blue Wing Wasp.

Butterflies have been fewer in number due to cloudy days but they are no less interesting.  Beautiful Black Swallowtail resting on succulents.

The Black Swallowtail on succulents would be an unusual sight except parsley is nearby.  When this parsley bolted in early spring I kept it around and the Black Swallowtail caterpillars finished it off.

Gulf Fritillary

One tattered butterfly with barely visible markings making it unidentifiable.

Milkweed for the Monarchs enjoyed by their cousins the Queen butterflies.

Meanwhile the Monarchs go for Gomphrena 'Fireworks' in the same bed.

Sunflowers too

Honeybees also enjoy the Sunflowers

More tiny toads hopping out of my way almost every day in the garden.

Hummingbird at the Pride of Barbados in bloom.

Fights often break out

This month's Awesome Motion features a hummingbird working on a nest just outside the kitchen window.  She later abandoned the project in favor of a higher spot.

Almost missed this tiny fawn nestled in among grapefruit seedlings inside the backyard fence.

The doe keeps an eye out from the neighbor's yard while trying to figure out how to get past the fence.  They were later reunited and all is well.

And that's the survey of wildlife in my garden for June.  Head on over to help Tina celebrate one year of Wildlife Wednesday.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Central Texas Gardener visits WFSC

We recently welcomed the filming team from Central Texas Gardener to the Warrior and Family Support Center at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.   Produced by KLRU, the Austin PBS station, Central Texas Gardener (CTG) is a must-see every Saturday for avid gardeners in our region.   Tuesday is our usual volunteer day but it was with great anticipation we arrived early on a Thursday to make sure the garden was spiffy.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Foliage Follow-up: Trimming the Sophora Secundiflora

Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) is to me the quintessential Texas native plant -- evergreen, low maintenance, drought tolerant, and beautiful when flowering.  As carefree as this local native plant is there are times when it needs a bit of attention.  I'm featuring before and after of my favorite plant getting a trim for Foliage Follow-up hosted by Pam at Digging.

Naturally shrubby with shoots emerging from the lower trunk, this one near the street had overgrown to the point where it was hiding the front of the house and landscape we worked so hard to display.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Now that's better! Changing out the stock tank garden

Remember that mesmerizing spring display of Mexican Feather Grass from a few weeks ago?

By early June the grasses in the stock tank garden were a matted, unsightly mess.

Spring rains and good soil grew them into the biggest specimens I've seen.  But those same rains and "too good" soil led to an early demise plus they were smothering the rest of the plants anyway.  Not a good look.

Mexican Feather Grass (Nasella tenuissima) can usually be rejuvenated by grooming out the brown strands allowing the green to sprout again.  I gave it a try to no avail since all the plants were toasty brown through and through.  It was time to yank them all out and start over.

Much better already without the dead grasses

I could have left it like this for the summer but Mexican Feather Grass reseeds freely and I needed to thin them out from the front garden.  With a ready supply of new plants why not just put a few back to fill in the spaces.

The grasses won't grow nearly as fast the rest of the summer.

There, now that's so much better!  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Rock Planter in One Hour

How often do we see an item in a garden shop and say "I can make that"?  Then how often do we follow through?  Me too.

Rock planters are quite common in nurseries and shops around my area and I often think I'd like to have one but decided we could make one ourselves.  So when Neal showed me a rock from our rock pile and offered to give it a go I was all for the idea.

And it was completed in just under an hour!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday June 2015

Our record-setting spring rains have brought out the wildlife in numbers I haven't experienced in the seven years since I began gardening on our piece of the suburbs.  Presenting just a few of the wildlife visitors over the last few weeks for Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says..."

Every visit to the garden these days brings on a rustle of scurrying, slithering, and flitting.  We've been seeing more snakes than usual with the Checkered Garter Snake most often spotted.