Freak of Nature

It was a hot and steamy morning.  The backyard critters were lined up waiting for their breakfast.

I walked outside, not totally caffeinated yet,  my eyeglasses fogged over in the humidity.  As I trudged across the yard to feed the animals, my skin was becoming wet from the moisture in the air.  And that is when I saw it.

A freak of nature.  The dark red plant had the wrong flower blooming on it.  I dried my glasses and shook my head awake.  I then realized it was a zinnia perfectly centered on a celosia plant.

I retreated to the cool of the air conditioning, finished my morning coffee and contemplated on what I had just seen.


Bloom Where You Are Planted

Bloom where you are planted.  I’m sure someone came up with this saying after observing plants.  Not all plants feel this way. In particular this violet that is on the rocks.

This Australian Violet (Viola hederacea) had other plans.  It was planted last year in the bed about 4 feet back from the rocks.  Apparently, it was not happy there and spent the year crawling to the rocks where it has made lots of leaves and flowers. How did it know the rocks were there?

The original violet I purchased many years ago has since disappeared, but at the time it was sold with a tag labeled Confederate Violet.  I guess someone thought it was a good way to sell the plant in the South.


Stealth Planting

 

The Oenothera grandiflora Evening Primrose collected by William Bartram is one of my favorite plants to grow.  It is also a favorite of rabbits.

So I came up with a plan to do stealth planting, strategically putting the Primrose among plants rabbits don’t eat.  In the middle of the photo is one planted with Shrimp Plants.

In this photo a Primrose is planted with Salvia.  I bet you can’t even find it.

Rabbits never touch the Gulf Coast Penstemon and neither do I as they smell bad, but make up for that fact by being pretty.

The Primrose in the front yard are the tall plants that were surrounded by the Penstemon when they were small.  They look darn good.

Yup, I was feeling pretty clever thwarting those rabbits.  As it turns out, deer like the Primrose too and they start eating at the top.  The tall plants in the front yard were just about finished off by the deer (not the rabbits).

I guess I will have to count on the Evening Primrose I planted in pots, in a high planter, in the fenced in backyard.

 


This and That

I have taken various photos around my yard that don’t really go together so here is a post of “this and that”.  I was trying to change the focus on my camera and took I shot into the wooded area.  It turned out pretty good.

I came across this giant 3 inch bug on the cobble rocks.  It was dead and not something I want to see flying at me while alive.  I’m not really sure what it is and spent some time looking at pictures of cockroaches to identify it. I had enough of that and gave up.

Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria psittacina) is pretty, but don’t ever plant them.  I was looking for its botanical name and an article came up asking how to get rid of them.

This chubby skink with no color or stripes was sunning on a rock one afternoon.

I had to buy a new Passion Flower plant this year as the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly caterpillars totally ate my last one.

I just thought this Rosy Wolf Snail was pretty against the moss rock.

And that is it for “this and that”.

 


Tulip Envy

I have been seeing so many beautiful photos of tulips, I have become quite envious.

But my Rain Lilies helped me get over it by putting on a spectacular show after the rain.

The Rain Lilies are not quite tulips, but they certainly can brighten the day.


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.