Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bonsai

One of my coworkers had a bonsai tree for a few years.  He dutifully watered it once a week and gave it monthly fertilizer, but he also kept it on the windowsill at work.  The windowsill is a perfectly fine place during the winter, but during the summer it is brutal.  Really, the only plants that should be on the windowsill are those of the cacti - succulent variety.  So it shouldn't be any surprise that the tree finally got too hot and died.  I took the planter home and promised to plant it with plants that would be able to handle the windowsill.  This is what I came up with:


The fawn figurine is from Toys R Us (Schleich), and it was probably about $4.  I had actually bought it a long time ago for the bonsai tree, so I kept it with the planter (though I did think about switching it out for the Condor figurine that Schleich makes).  I'm not exactly sure which cacti and succulents are in this planter - except for the ghost plant which is in front of the deer, maybe the one behind it is some type of haworthia...but I don't know what type of cactus that is.  It's actually because of this fawn figurine (along with a baby hippo one I bought for a different coworker's succulent planter he made) that I've decided I should add some little extras to some of my planters.  I've already started with a little garden gnome, a swan, and a turtle I bought at the Zilker Botanical Gardens when I was there for Monarch Appreciation Day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Critters

Some pictures of the critters who have been making their home in my yard...

Green Anole


Another green anole


Agriope Spider (aka Charlotte)

Praying Mantis

And a few that you have a search for -
A Mediterranean Gecko - He's hidden by the compost - but you can see his head, body and a leg - he's located just a little above and to the right of the largish stick thingy on the lower left portion.

A green anole - you can make out his head and eye hanging on the main stem - just under a leaf.

Monday, September 15, 2014

September wide angles

As per usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short.  Who knew that fostering kittens would take up so much time?  Okay, that's a lie - I'm currently not fostering.  It has more to do with the fact that my husband commandeers the computer when we get home, and I keep feeling like I have nothing to blog about (which is totally not true).

Anhow, we'll get started with September wide angles and then I'll move into mass writing blog entries and having them post every week.

So.  September Wide Angles.  As you all know the drill by now, Heather at XericStyle (which, by the way, I saw that she was on CTG a few months back) invites us to share wide angle photos of our yards so we can see how they change through the seasons.

This year, it's been pretty dry with maybe one good rain a month.  Unfortunately, we did not have a good rain in August; and the yard is showing it.  

From across the street:


Closer:
Those trellises are by Bob at Draco - they're pretty nifty.  :)  And you can see Shawn having just come back from a road ride.

A closer view of the hell strip:

And of the far part of the hell strip with the Rose Bed in the back:

And a view of walking up the front door:
A closer look at Bob's Trellises.  I need to do a post on just them...

Around the side yard:
Featuring the sprinkler which I use to water the plants so they will bloom, thus feeding the hummingbirds and bees.

A panoramic from by the rain barrel

A panoramic from the back door

A picture looking toward the garden


Looking at the garden from the rainbarrel on this side

Sadly, the world photos are causing my computer to crash so I can't post either of them.

Monday, September 1, 2014

August Wide Angles

Okay, so a very late "beginning of the month wide angle photo shots" - I swear I take the photos early in the month (August 10, even!)

From the neighbor's drive way:





Hell Strip Part 1:




Hell Strip Part 2:




Leading up to the front door:

Looking at berm:

Backyard from the deck:

Panorama of the back side yard:

Panorama from the back door:




View of the garden - cleaned up for now:




August World Photo

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Wide Angles

Here we are - at the end of July and I'm just now getting around to posting pictures that I took at the beginning of the month.  The nice thing about my cell phone is that I usually always have it with me (or is easy enough to get), and it automagically downloads all the photos I take to my pictures stash on google.  But it does not, regretfully, automagically make a blog post for me.  It will, however, make auto-albums whenever you go somewhere and take a bunch of photos; like it did for both my husband and me when we went on vacation to London (him) and Paris (both of us).  You can see those albums here and here

Every month, Heather at Xericstyle invites us to post long shots of our yards so we can see how they change over the seasons (and boy do mine change - it makes me realize that I need to add some statuary, or bird baths or something to my side yard).  I also feel compelled to point out that I took these photos after I did the mowing AND weed whacking (Shawn was in London, but the weed whacking almost never gets done because we don't have a long enough power cord - which is why my coworker loaned his to me).  It seems like this is about the ONLY thing I'm doing consistently.  I don't know why that is - I mean, I did make garden goals for the year, those included participating in monthly photos like Wide Angles, Bloom Day, and Foliage Follow Up.  I have been severely negligent in doing Bloom Day and Foliage Follow Up and I don't know why that is.  As mentioned above, this month I was in Paris over Bloom Day and Foliage Follow Up.  But I did take pictures of flowers on Bloom Day (we were at Versailles), and I did take some Foliage only photos on the 16th (we were at Parc Monceau).  We'll get to that when we get to that...maybe.

Anyhow - Wide Angles for July.

From the neighbor's yard:

Of the Berm Bed:

A view of walking up to the front door:

The Hell Strip:

The Rose Bed - after weeding:

Through the gate to the back yard:

A panoramic from by the rain barrel (and featuring our brush pile):

A panoramic from the back door (again, featuring the brush pile):

A closer view of the Grass Corner:

A view of the Veggie Gardens - or as best as I get get both of them in the photo from standing next to my Milkweeds:

And, as always - the Photo Sphere of the back yard

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tomaters

So I didn't plan on having tomatoes this year...or maybe I planned on having 2 plants.  I somehow ended up with 6.  I blame Roberta. We went to the Sunshine Community Plant sale together (as we always do; and just like every other year we both are like "only 4 tomatoes" and end up with 8).  This year has been a very good tomato year (sorry Lori!).

This is a picture I took when the plants were all producing at the same time (except for the Early Girl).  In this photo, clockwise from upper left: Blue Berries, Cherokee Purple, Japanese Black Trifele (center), Dwarf Arctic Rose (bottom center), and Chico III.  I should point out that the very green looking Purple Cherokee is the size of both my fists together.  And I'm pretty sure I don't have carny hands.

As of today, I have harvested the following amounts from each plant:
Blue Berries: 180 (I'm very happy with this plant and recommend it)
Cherokee Purple: 13 (I like the taste of Black Krims a little better)
Japanese Black Trifele: 26 (I don't like this plant at all)
Dwarf Arctic Rose: 5 (a very short patio plant)
Chico III: 59 (but only 30 of the plants haven't had blossom end rot - do not grow in a grow box.  The fruit is okay, but the skins are very tough.  Most definitely a sauce tomato.)
Early Girl: 2 (meh, but I also planted this one very late - the most "traditional" taste of all of them)

Since the plants did so well at the beginning and are now looking extremely sad (especially the Trifele and Chico which are in the grow box and have horn worms), I don't necessarily feel bad about not keeping them alive through the summer. (Disclaimer - I say this now, but I notoriously can't say no to a plant which is TRYING to survive.)  I have decided that I'm going to try to take some cuttings of the Blue Berries and Cherokee Purple tomato plants and get those started now so I can plant them for a fall harvest - I even went and bought rooting hormone which is like totally crazy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sprouting Pineapple

After reading Claude's blog post about growing pineapple from the tops, I decided to give it a go.  The first pineapple I had didn't sprout any roots (I think it was actually "cored" even though it didn't look it), but the second did grow roots.  And, after leaving it in a jar of water for a month or so, I finally planted it in a pot.  This isn't the first time I've grown pineapple, only the first time I 'sprouted' it myself.  The last plant died during a freeze, so I'll have to be sure to not take any chances with this one...


Other plants that can be grown from parts include Celery (which I have blooming right now), Green Onions, and Cabbage

Ginger and Garlic can be grown really easily, though you'll have to give up some of your edible part to get them going (whereas with the linked plants, you're growing the part that you throw away, or it's a part that isn't that big of a deal if you don't eat.