Thursday, July 31, 2014

End of Month View July 2014

A big surprise during this summer of 2014 has been the weather.  In my End of Month View for June I wrote about our relatively cooler temperatures along with rain, and that weather pattern continued into July allowing plenty of time to finish up a few projects.  It's time for a walk through the gardens to see how things are going, so in this post I'm joining Helen at The Patient Gardener for the End of Month View to look at the progress.

Most days still begin with a cloudy sky that burns off through the morning as the sun casts shadows on the east facing front of the house.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Austin Gardens on Tour 2014: Stratford Drive Garden

In early May friends from San Antonio and I met up with a group of Austin garden bloggers for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Gardens on Tour event in Austin.  We had so much fun touring gardens together and I posted on Tait Moring's wonderful garden the following week.  We had great weather all through May and June so I focused on garden projects, but with the summer heat upon us it's about time I get caught up with blogging and posting more garden adventures.

The Stratford Drive garden was our second stop on the tour.  Like a number of gardens on the tour, this garden was very natural in its planting style.  From the hillside in front of the house we get a glimpse of the view across the canyon behind the house and an idea of how steep this garden is.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday July 2014: Matelea reticulata

So pretty and delicate it could be a lacy dress trim--if any of us still wear such things.

Matelea reticulata or Green Milkweed Vine is my choice for Wildflower Wednesday July 2014.  Wildflower Wednesday on the fourth Wednesday of each month is when Gail of Clay and Limestone invites garden bloggers to post about native flowering plants in their garden.

The delicate netted flowers with the iridescent pearl centers make it easy to see why Pearl Milkweed is also one of its common names.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Foliage Follow-up July 2014: Cannas and Caladiums add summer color

Foliage Follow-up hosted by Pam at Digging invites posts about foliage in the garden so today I'm showing my recent update of the face planter in the front garden.  Just over two years ago for Foliage Follow-Up in April of 2012 I posted about planting the face planter.  The deer developed a taste for the original planting of Cordyline so I replaced them with burgundy Cannas.   Everything looked great for a couple of years but by spring 2014 it needed a rework, especially since the Yucca 'Color Guard' plants were not getting enough sun.

I decided to leave the Cannas in place since they were doing so well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day July 2014

It's been a surprising year in my gardens with a record cold winter slowing down the spring blooms to the point that we have a Bluebonnet in July.  No kidding, this early March bloomer has surprised with a bloom as we near the hottest time of year.  I'm joining Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and sharing blooms in my garden for July.

Monday, July 7, 2014

U is for Ungnadia speciosa

Continuing my series on Plant ABCs with the Ungnadia speciosa or Mexican Buckeye.  The ABCs of plants in my garden is a series featuring a plant in my garden for each letter of the alphabet.  Once the alphabet is completed I will continue to add plant profiles with the goal of an alphabetized plant list for reference.

The letter "U" is somewhat rare in plant naming and often skipped on plant lists.  As rare as it is there are two plants native to my region of Texas with botanical names beginning with the letter "U" and one of them is the Ungnadia speciosa or Mexican Buckeye.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dynamite Red, Vinca White, and Plumbago Blue for the Fourth!

Red, White, and Blue posts for the Fourth of July have been a tradition at Rock-Oak-Deer--if three years can be considered a tradition.  A year ago this week I published my favorite posts about the gardens at The Warrior Family Support Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and I've been volunteering each week since then to help maintain the gardens.

The Red, White, and Blue garden has reached its peak bloom just in time for Fourth of July celebrations.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday July 2014

Over the nearly three years I've been blogging I've enjoyed sharing some of the wildlife visitors to my garden under the heading "Garden Visitors" and now I have even more reason to post these photos.  Tina at "My Gardener Says.." has started a new meme as a way of sharing the wildlife we encounter in the garden and she's invited garden bloggers to participate on the first Wednesday of each month.  I'll join in as often as I can starting off with a few of our wildlife visitors this year.

We have to watch our step in the gardens lately since these little toads, barely an inch long, are running rampant for the first time in years.  I think that's due to several weeks of regular rainfall which has left small pools of water in the creek.  They are probably Texas Toads and will provide a natural pest control service the rest of the summer by eating the mosquitoes which are resulting from all this rain.  With the local bat population decimated, this is a positive development.