Some Spring Blooms

Although this is not our usual spring due to a freezing February, a few Texas tough plants manged to bloom. The Gulf Coast Penstemon has put out its delicate flowers in three locations in the garden.

Cannas seem to be able to survive anything. This one had no problem coming back quickly and blooming.

Happily, the Hinckley’s Columbine had absolutely no issue with the freeze and just continued on its way.

The Passion Flowers are grown in pots so they rode out the cold in the garage. This has been an unusual spring with very few flowers, but everyday with the temperatures rising, humidity up and a few light showers more flowers will be coming along.


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The Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar perfectly bisected a Passion Flower.


If You Plant It, They Will Come

I mentioned on a previous post, that I was trying to grow the correct Passion Flower to attract the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly.  I finally got it right.  Several have arrived.

The Butterflies got to work and laid eggs which have already hatched into a new generation.

Even more exciting, I found five Pipe-vine Swallow Tail caterpillars on my Aristolochia fimbriata.

The nurseryman was correct with his advice that the butterflies would come.  The plant is nearly gone, but that was the plan.  I collected some of the seeds for next year’s plants and butterflies.


Passion Flowers in the Wild and in the Garden

I live in an area where the wild Maypops grow.

Not far down the path I found the Maypop’s smaller cousin.  A beautiful little gem called Yellow Passion-flower, Passiflora lutea.

The green to yellowish flowers are about an inch across. I may have passed by this elusive jewel many times and I’m glad to have finally spotted it.

I bought this Passion Flower at a nursery a couple of years ago, mainly to provide a plant to host Gulf Fritillary Butterflies.  As it turned out, the butterflies did not like this cultivar.  The flowers are beautiful and I like it.

This year I purchased another Passion Flower that the nurseryman guaranteed that the Gulf Fritillary would lay eggs on and the caterpillars would eat.  We will see.


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”.

 


Good News, Bad News

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I was very happy when my Passion Flower finally bloomed after having no flowers for years.

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I was thrilled when the Gulf Fritillary Butterflies laid eggs and caterpillars appeared on the the Passion Flower Vine.

And of course, the good news is that there are lots of butterflies in the garden.

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The bad news is that there are too many caterpillars for one plant and they have eaten almost all the leaves from the only vine I have.


Eat Away…

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little caterpillars.  For once I don’t mind the destruction of my plants.  The garden has been lacking butterflies for the last several years and I am delighted to see the return of a few.  A Monarch has been floating around, probably on its way to Mexico.

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These caterpillars are on the Passion Flower and they are Gulf Fritillarry Caterpillars.  The butterfly is also attracted to the wild Maypops that grow in the area.


Been Missing You

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Several plants that have not bloomed for years, decided to finally put out flowers this year.  I usually keep plants as long as they are alive, even if they have not bloomed.  It paid off this year.

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This beautiful 8 inch flower is an Angel Trumpet (Burgmansia).

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The red lily is commonly called School House or Hurricane Lily as it blooms at the beginning of school and hurricane season. It has not bloomed in such a long time that I had to do some research to remember what it was called.  It is also know as Oxblood Lily (Rhodophiala bifida).

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This Passion Flower was in really bad shape.  I had left it in large pot in the far end of the yard.  I brought it closer to the backdoor and tended to it on a daily basis.  I was rewarded with fragrant flowers.  It hasn’t bloomed in such a long time, that I thought it was purple and was quite surprised to see it was white!


Passion

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Long before I had garden beds to fill with plants, this incredible wild flower spurred my passion for gardening.  It was hanging over an apartment complex fence and was the most beautiful flower I had ever seen.

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It was long before the ease of using the internet and most apartment dwellers had little knowledge of flowers.  The beautiful flower’s impression stayed with me and years later I found its name…Passion Flower or its wild form, Maypop.

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Maypops (Passiflora incarnata) grow on woodland edges and bloom spring to fall. The scented flowers open in the early evening and for only one day.  They are host for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly.  The Maypop’s fruits are 3 inches around and have an interesting scent.  There are many forms and colors of Passion flowers for sale in nurseries, but nothing stirs a gardener’s passion like finding a Maypop in the wild!