So Tiny

How nice would it be to spend the day on a yellow bloom? A tiny baby brown anole enjoyed the sunshine on Bartram’s Oenothera grandifloria.


Forsythia Sage

My Forsythia Sage has had a hard life. I brought it with me when we moved 20 years ago. I stuck it in a temporary bed while the landscaping was being finished and it has been there ever since. Unfortunately, it is not a great place and is probably too shady. The sage survived, but it is slowly moving south to get more sunlight. The Forsythia Sage must have hit a sweet spot this year and it finally bloomed.


Critters in the Garden

I always enjoy finding wildlife in the garden.  This has been the year of the  Copperhead.  They always seem to appear just where I want to work.

I found these Rosy Wolf snails intertwined on a flower stem.  I hope that means many more snails are on the way.

This Tree Frog blended in perfectly with a Moses leaf. I haven’t seen as many of those this year.

I almost stepped on the small turtle as it was trying to hide under leaves.

Another baby Copperhead ended up in my work space. Thankfully, I usually see them as I am reaching my hand into the bed. I wonder how many I miss. The Copperheads are pretty chill and will hang around to watch unlike the green garden snake I saw earlier that slithered away as soon as I came upon it.

OK…I thought I was done with this post and sure enough, I came across another Copperhead. I was dumping a load of gingers I had just cut down and there it was. As usual the snake was fine with a little photo shoot.


In Bloom

We have no colorful leaves yet, but as my fellow Texans have been posting, we do have colorful flowers blooming. Above is a Pink Flamingo Feather Celosia. It pops up all over the yard and grows up to five feet tall. The flowers can be dried.

I am not ever sure what this plant is. It planted itself in one of my beds and thrived. From what I researched it is some kind of a wild Mist Flower or wild ageratum. Eupatorium coelestinum grows in this area and that is my best guess. All the pollinators love it, so the plant will stay.

Swamp Sunflower is another plant that waits out the summer before setting its bloom. It is a prolific reseeder and I had to pull up many of them. I left enough to enjoy their sunny flowers in the fall.

The Shampoo ginger (Zingiber zerumbet) prefers to make its red cones in the autumn.

I can never let this time of year pass without photos of my beloved Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis). It starts white and turns to deep rose at the end of the day.

Last year I had to cut the gangling shrub severely and was concerned whether it would come back as robust this year. I am not disappointed. Yes, we do not have the glorious colored leaves of the northeast, but we can have flowers all year, including the luxury to grow winter annuals.


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.


All Dressed Up

Could these two be heading out on a date?  It was just too cute when I saw some that Crepe Myrtle flowers had fallen in just the right place to make her look all dressed up.


Philippine Lily

Philippine Lilies (Lilium formosanum) are one bulb that is possible to grow in our Gulf Coast climate.

The white flower looks similar to an Easter Lily, but grows 3 to 5 feet tall and blooms in July and later.

In the evening the lily gives off a scent that attracts hummingbird moths.

The plant makes an attractive seedhead that is quite decorative. Most importantly, it is filled with seeds.  I have been trying to get a colony growing, but usually, only one plant matures and flowers.  It is definitely a goal to work on.


From One Small Stem

One small stem cutting turned into a behemoth plant stuck in a planter.

I wanted to make sure I had a back-up Bat Face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea),which attracts all kinds of pollinators, and decided to start a cutting in my self-watering planter.  It is an excellent planter to start cuttings and seeds in as it will stay damp.

Unfortunately, I paid very little attention to the size the cuphea had become until it had taken up my entire planter. It had to be removed and it was no easy job.  It took a lot of time and tools to free it.

The Cuphea is looking as droopy as I felt after hard work on a hot day.

Note: The plant is much more colorful than the cutting in the first photo.

And I was being watched the entire time.  I found this Rosy Wolf Snail that had crawled to the top of the garbage bag.


Bisected

The Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar perfectly bisected a Passion Flower.