White Texas Star

I was delighted when the white Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus alba) seeds germinated and flowered. I found the seeds in my stash and gave them a try. Hopefully, I will be able to get a colony started.

Red Texas Star is the most common and the seeds can be ordered from many catalogs. It also goes by the names swamp hibiscus, scarlet rose mallow, and red hibiscus.


In the Weeds

Summer brings long-awaited flowers and of course many, many weeds. I found some good company while I was working on a bed. I had pulled quite a few weeds and began removing some big leaves when I realized one of the leaves was a frog. It is either a Leopard Frog or a Needle Nosed Frog, but either way, it wasn’t going to move and hung out for the entire weeding session.


Hello Turtle

Hello again! I have seen this turtle last year in my yard. I can tell it is the same one because of the small hole in its shell.

I was surprised the turtle allowed me to have such a long photoshoot and I took quite a few pictures without it going into its shell. I think it remembered me and has probably been watching me all year.

Soon the turtle had enough and headed into a flower bed.

I hope that maybe the Box Turtle is a female a will lay some eggs.


The Story of a Plant Sent to the Bed of Second Chances

Last fall I made an impulse buy at the nursery. Some people buy shoes, but I buy plants. The label said Japanese Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Pinellia tripartita) My mind immediately jumped to the large colorful Jack-in-the-Pulpits I had seen in the Northeast and the picture looked as if the flower was not open. I brought it home and put it on the patio table so I could watch it bloom. It stayed green and soon was not looking well.

So I moved it to the bed of second chances and forgot about it. This spring I saw an unfamiliar leaf and realized the Jack came back. It made four flowers and then lots and lots of seeds. This prompted me to read the label more carefully and saw that it grows 18 inches tall and forms a colony. It also likes really moist soil and shade. I have the perfect place for the Jack-in-the-Pulpit and now it can be moved from the bed of second chances to a more prominent garden bed.

While I was thinking about moving Jack, the seeds quickly germinated making quite a few baby plants. Sometimes second chances really pay off.


It Could Have Been a Very Bad Day

For me and even worse for the inchworm that appeared on my morning coffee cup.


Art Shot :)

I have been trying to get a photo of my Hardy Gloxinia, Sinningia sellovi. The Gloxinia planted itself in this tiny corner bed next to the driveway and it is having a spectacular year. I was using my cell phone to get underneath and at every kind of angle. I caught the sun in a shot and thought, that’s kinda artsy. Once I put the photo on the computer this is the actual picture I took. Check out the fence in the background. Talk about artsy!

Anyway, I straightened it out and the flowers didn’t look too bad. This isn’t my first nor will be my last silly photo.


Happy Dillo Day

I was taking my morning walk through the wooded area in my backyard and came across this young armadillo searching for grubs.

The armadillo did not have any issues posing for photos. Armadillos are nocturnal, but I have seen youngsters out in the daytime before. They can weigh up to 14 pounds and are 15 to 23 inches long, about the size of a small dog with very short legs.

Before long two siblings appeared. I believe their burrow is under a shrub in my front yard. I read that the mothers always have four babies, but the two times I’ve seen juveniles there have only been three.

After searching my yard, it was time to check the bug situation in the neighbor’s yard.


Didn’t Find the Cat

My new neighbors thought their cat had escaped into my yard. I set off on a hunt for the cat starting in the backyard. The first creature I found was this teenage box turtle. I don’t know if it is really a teenager, but the turtle is a smaller size than others I have seen and its shell does not have any nicks.

Next, I did a search of the wooded area in the front yard and found a little fawn curled up in the Blue Plumbago that its mother had eaten to the ground earlier in the spring. The fawn was very obedient and stayed in place just occasionally changing positions.

I checked on the little fawn throughout the day, because we were under a heat advisory with the temperature reaching 99 degrees, but feeling like 106. I didn’t need to worry as the fawn moved into the middle of my ferns in a shadier area.

After my search, I received the happy news that the cat was just hiding inside the house. The fawn’s mother came back and moved the baby to a new location for the next day. All in all, it was a very good day.


Home Coming

After a short trip, I was welcomed home with newly blooming flowers outside of my kitchen window. The garden just seemed to explode with blooms. The big red one is a Texas Star Hibiscus, behind that is Butterfly Weed and in the back is Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea). All of these plants are very popular with pollinators and the hummingbird feeder was not drained by bees and ants.


Ladybug Feast

This lucky Ladybug found aphids, a great source of food for them.

Ladybugs can eat 5,000 insects in their 2 to 3-year life span. Gardeners often buy them for insect control.

The beetles are omnivores. They eat bugs, aphids being their favorite and their diet also includes leaves, fungus, mushrooms, and mildew.

This little lady will not be running out of food for quite a while.