Weather Stick

I have had this Maine weather stick for quite a few years. Even though it is made from Maine Balsam, it works well in my neck of the woods. When the weather is nice, the stick points up.

If the weather changes, it points down. The wood is responding to the change in barometric pressure. I have had mine for over 20 years and it is still working fine. Kinsman and Company, a garden supply catalog or online, sell them.

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.

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.

Taking Back My Words – Azaleas

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was very disappointed in my new azaleas. They were looking scraggly and not blooming. I now have to take my words back as they suddenly burst out in bloom.

There are a couple that are struggling, but I will work on them and see if they can be coaxed back. I took a look at previous posts of my old azaleas and saw that they usually bloom a month earlier. The post Azaleas has the most views of all my posts.

Garden Helpers

This post was inspired by Flow at Floweralley, you can find her blog on my sidebar. I mentioned to Flow that I used stools while gardening to make it easier on my knees and here they are These stools come in two different sizes. The small one, which I use the most, is 9 inches high and the larger one is 16 inches.

The stools fold flat and are easy to carry around. They can be found in discount stores and are inexpensive, but I have broken a few especially when I use them on cobblestones. They have never collapsed, but the feet or hinges break. I also use them in household chores, such as cleaning a bathtub or anything that takes a lot of bending over. I keep one set of stools for indoors and another for outside.

Flow also posted about her favorite shovel and I have one I also love. The big spade is regular size, but my husband wanted to make sure it would never break and bought a steel-handled one. I admit that I’m a weakling and I can barely lift the big one. I found the middle shovel that was just right. It is metal with a wood handle and I can easily dig a hole with it. The smallest shovel is from a kid’s gardening kit and is perfect for adding soil or compost to my beds.

If Wishbone Plants Were Wishes…

I would have endless wishes to make. Wishbone plants get their name from wishbone shaped stamens. It is a tradition to take the wishbone from a turkey and snap it in half with another person to make a wish. If you got the long part, your wish came true. I have lots of wishbones in my Torenia fournieri that I could snap. Can you see the wishbone at the top of the flower?

The Wishbone is a tough little annual plant that likes part sun and is reseeding profusely in my garden beds. In the evening, I find Hummingbird Moths feeding on them.

I was on a long vacation when the plants germinated and I found them everywhere when I returned. I normally transplant them when they are small, but they became too mature to move. Luckily, I focus on plants and not design. The Wishbones have helped make my poor Split Leaf Philodendron look a little better as it struggles after being frozen last winter.

The Wishbones appeared in the front yard and in patio cracks. How the plants will play when the gardener is away.

All of the Wishbones came up from seeds and here are some of the variations. Pink is the most prolific. Torenias have other names that include Bluewing, Clown Flower and my favorite, Summer Pansy which is its Southern name as we cannot grow real Pansies in the summer heat.

Hyacinth Bean

The Hyacinth Bean, Lablab purpureus, has decided to bloom again. It has made stems of pretty little flowers.

The flowers are barely gone when it starts making seed pods.

I think the best part of this plant is its beautiful seedpods. This variety is called Ruby Moon which is a perfect name.

A Perfect Day

It was a blue sky day. The humidity was gone and the sun ray’s felt just the way they should. A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly was enjoying the warm rays as well. I reached out my hand and the butterfly landed. It was a perfect day.

A Sign of Fall

The change of seasons can be very subtle here on the Gulf Coast. Days are still hot and the leaves don’t change color until much later.  But, one sign of fall I notice is the disappearing leaf litter in my wooded area. The leaves have done their job keeping the soil moist and breaking down into compost to feed the trees.  Just as the old ones disintegrate, the trees will drop this year’s leaves to start the process all over again.

Can’t Be Stopped

I am always fascinated with plants trying to grow no matter what situation they find themselves in.

I had thrown some Fire Spike cuttings into the composter and they managed to stretch their way to the light and find a slit to come through.

The Fire Spike has continued to grow throughout the summer.  Somehow there is enough moisture in the composter to keep it going.

All summer I have been collecting weeds in an empty fertilizer bag and threw an Air Potato Vine tuber in with the weeds.  Even the lack of soil could not stop that vine from growing.