Blood Lily, Another Survivor

Continuing with plants that made it through the harsh weather this year, I was really pleased to see the Blood Lily back and blooming.

The Lily grows from a bulb and could have drown as it is growing in the good old Texas dirt, which is clay gumbo here.  The ground apparently stayed warm enough to keep the bulb from freezing.

For more information and better photos, go to my Blood Lily post.

 


They’re Back and Blooming

After a year of record breaking rain and freezing temperatures down to the teens, I was worried about my plants returning.  But, they’re back and bigger than ever.  I have been growing these reseeding Black Eyed Susan for many years and have never seen the flowers this large.

A seed from a Blanket Flower made its way across the driveway to grow in this crack.

It seems very happy against the hot wall and drive.

Speaking of hot,  Hot Lips is back.  It is Salvia microphylla.

The Mexican Hat returned. Being in a raised bed might have helped it survive the rains as they prefer drier soil.

One of my all time favorites, Balsam Impatiens, germinated from the seeds they dropped last year. Surprisingly, the seeds were not washed away.

These plants were grown by our founding fathers.

The Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata), managed to reseed a plant or two.

Even though the Butterfly Weed froze to the ground, the roots survived and it is ready for the Monarchs to visit.

A Five Lined Skink photo bombed the shoot.

Although most of the plants survived, there is always room for something new.  I added this Bat Faced Cuphea, but expected it to be red and dark purple, but it is pretty anyway.

Another new addition is this petunia that just showed up in a front yard bed.  I know I grew some several years ago.  Did the seed survive or blow in from a neighbor?  I will enjoy it while it’s here.

My winter anxiety has finally been relieved by seeing new blooms everyday. The Automatic Garden survived.

 


Mystery Solved…Mostly

During the winter a plant with large leaves sprouted in the garden.  I had no idea what it was, as I had planted a variety of annuals there to provide blooms for hummingbirds and butterflies and I wasn’t sure if it was one of them. The plant froze back twice during the winter and I never thought I would find out what it was. Finally, it revealed itself as an Ageratum.

I had originally planted these sweet little Ageratum that are tumbling down the rocks and now this really big one has appeared.  So I am asking the experts out there to explain this.  I think it is a throwback to its original form, before being miniaturized. I do have a Wild Ageratum (Mistflower) in the yard, but this is not the same.


The Babies Have Arrived and Other Lunchtime Amusements

While eating my lunch, I noticed some activity outside my kitchen window.

Baby Cardinals just out of the nest were having a nice mud bath in my flower bed.

Dad was keeping a watchful eye on the kids.

As soon as Cardinal family left, this Green Anole hopped on the sill to do some bug hunting on my window.

Yup, I know that window needs to be cleaned, it always does.

All the photos were taken through the kitchen window.  I planted the bed with flowering plants that attract all kinds of backyard critters and there’s a feeder for Hummingbirds.  I am always entertained while I dine.


Garden Drama

All life is full of drama or what we like to call “the circle of life”.  These poor caterpillars had really bad timing and made their chrysalis right before a hard freeze.  The chrysalis dropped to the ground and dissolved.

If you can enlarge the photo, the spots on the butterfly wing can be seen.

Luckily, I was looking up before I walked into this scene.  The scary looking spider captured a meal that will probably last  for days.

Yes, in the circle of life every creature has to eat.  This predator is  hanging out near the bird feeder.  It will not be a good day for some poor bird.

Plants are major players in life’s drama, but sometimes it works to their advantage.  I call this plant raccoon grapes.  Raccoons love to eat the wild grapes that grow nearby and apparently like to relieve themselves while climbing up trees.  I often find raccoon scat at the base of my trees.  This process is definitely a win, win for the grape vine.  The seeds get moved to a new location to grow and the raccoon deposit the grapes right next to a tree for the vine to climb up.

A garden is just not a garden, it is full of life’s dramas.


Birding at Twilight

We were sitting on our patio at the end of the day, when the action started. First, a Hummingbird slap down occurred right in front of us.  I swear I saw tiny feathers fly.  The Hummer that hit the ground backed off to the safety of a low branch.

Then I heard a call that I haven’t heard in the backyard for awhile.  I was very pleased that I recognized it was a Summer Tanager.  Tanagers are not seed feeders and are harder to find in the trees.  I used a trick that I learned in a birding class to lure him out.  I turned on the Summer Tanager call on my bird app.  Soon the bird started coming closer and buzzing us as he flew over.  I managed to snap a photo, which is not great in the dimming light, but I did identify him with my binoculars.  After teasing the Tanager for awhile with the bird call, we started feeling bad for the poor guy looking for another of his kind and stopped.

While all that was going on, an American Crow was having quite a fit in a neighboring yard.  Usually, this means that a predator is near.  I finally spotted the raptor and could make out a white head.  I was hoping it was an Eagle, but it flew away quickly through the trees in the twilight with the Crow in pursuit  and I couldn’t get a good look.

All in all, it was a very entertaining evening.

 

 


The Corn Field

Well, really my Ginger collection.  It does look a lot like corn and a gardening friend told me a funny story about her daughter who was getting married in her mother’s backyard.  The daughter stated that she did not want to be married by her mom’s corn field.  The mother knew, of course, that the Gingers would be full of beautiful white blooms with a heavenly scent for the wedding.  After her wedding day, the daughter changed her opinion on her mother’s corn field.