Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Wide Angles

As per usual - I took the photos, I just didn't post them in a timely manner.  Thanks to Heather at Xericstyle for hosting the monthly wide-angle post.

The front yard:
Featuring all the leaves.  And Princess, the neighbor's cat.


The Hell Strip:

The Rose Bed:

Closer view of the front:

Seriously - this area needs help.  It gets too much shade for the sun-loving plants (artemisia, pale pavonia, and butterfly iris)
Around the side:





Panoramic from the edge of the deck:

From essentially the back door:


From the other side of the deck:


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Farewell, Queens

The queen butterflies finally emerged on November 25, and I released them the next day - a male and a female.  These are the last of my foster caterpillars for the year.
Female Queen Butterfly


Male Queen Butterfly.  You can tell the difference because the male has the scent spot (i.e. white spot) on his hind wing.



The butterflies sunned themselves for a few hours before taking off.

As I headed back inside, I checked the milkweed plant.

Uh oh...looks like we have a few more left for the season.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hello, Friend.

A Praying Mantis Study:





You know, I don't know if that was a shell or if there was a butterfly to emerge from that chrysalis (it's gulf fritillary, by the way).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roses

So, I figured out the name of the rose that I got from my friend, Andrea.  You may remember me posting some photos of two that I cut off the plant a month or so ago.  Here is another photo of one of the blooms -

Like I said earlier, I found the tag, but I didn't remember the name at the time - I finally went back out and decided I should just take a picture of the tag -

Double Delight (Andeli) is a bicolor hybrid tea rose which is great as a cut rose due to their size and scent.  According to Wikipedia (but I don't see it mentioned on any of the rosearian pages), the red coloring becomes more pronounced in the sun, with those flowers in green houses being almost white.  Which, if that's true, then that explains why the ones I had as cut flowers in the house had more ivory when compared to the ones that are on the plant.  Double Delight was hybridized by Swim in 1977 and the parent plants are Granada and Garden Party.

I really need to find a better place for these roses since they're currently in half-filled large flower pots - but I'm not sure if it's better to have them out in the rose bed (probably the best place for them) or if I should put them on the south side of the house (which would then mean that I need to create a NEW garden bed for them).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cold Front

Cold Front!  BRRRRRRR!

I spent yesterday afternoon getting the plants ready for the impending cold weather.  This front is bringing about 3 days of below 50F temps and two nights of mid to low 30s.  Since I just started harvesting tomatoes from my plants (and they have a bunch of tomatoes on them), I decided to do something I've never done in the past - I decided to actually TRY to save the plants.  I usually will put some bed sheets over the plants when it gets cold, but that's about as far as I go.  This time I actually went to the store and bought some Chistmas lights (I never thought I'd be so happy to have Christmas displays up the day after Halloween) and two extension cords.  Then I came home and tried to wrap the tomato plants in the leaves.  I first wrapped the lights on the cages, then threw the sheet overtop and immediately was like "oh, that's a fire hazard."  On the growbox tomatoes I managed to get the lights away from the sheet with the help of a bunch of clothes pins, but it was not working with the garden tomato.  Then I wrapped the plant itself, which totally bound it all up, and then I had the brilliant idea of wrapping the lights around a T-post, staking it in the ground next to the tomato plant (inside the cage) and then covering the whole thing with a sheet.  Total time to wrap the growbox tomatoes: 1 hour 15 minutes.  Total time to wrap the garden tomatoes (when I actually went with the T-post idea): 13 minutes.

Pre-covering   

After wrapping

Growbox all lit up

Garden Toms all lit up

After getting the tomatoes ready for the weather (and harvesting the basil and eggplants), I decided to do some research for a shelving unit that I could keep my cacti and succulents on when I pull them all inside.  After some research, I narrowed it down to a 30x24x14 3-shelf industrial thing from Lowe's (which would be very good for starting seedlings), the Hyllis (55x24x11) shelf from IKEA, and the Mulig (35x23x13 OR 64x23x13) shelf, also from IKEA. The Hyllis was the cheapest, the Lowe's would be the best for seed starting (but would obviously be covered in plants at the time when I needed to start seedlings), and the Mulig matches our kitchen the best (but was the most expensive).  In the end, I opted to get the Hyllis because I figure I can put it to use elsewhere during the summer season, and at $15, it wouldn't break the budget if I only used it for one year before getting rid of it.

All filled up with plants...most of which probably can be outside.
And of course, the tropicals are too large to fit on the shelf, but needed to be brought in - this year, I've decided they should just stay inside the entire winter (I've always drug them in and out).  So they're all set up in the extra room.
Plumeria, unscented Plumeria and Ginger.

Sadly, the tropicals will be spending the winter in the extra bedroom, which also happens to be "the kitten room" and I probably shouldn't have kittens locked in a room with plants that they can chew on, so that means I can't have foster kittens until next spring...which I'm sad about, but I think the resident cat and the husband are actually very happy about.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Armistice Day

Loving my Country Girl mums I got from Ally at Garden Ally.