i’ve been a bad garden blogger

if it weren’t for my insistent friend ms. slotharium, i’d probably never get this post up. i know, i’ve been a really bad garden blogger lately, but i just haven’t been able to spend  (i.e. distract myself) for a minute longer at the computer as this is the time of year to be outside in texas! surely you understand, so i won’t waste anymore time giving excuses. besides, it’s the bloom day before the garden bloggers meetup in asheville, so i really need to post something or else the powers that be might not let me participate.

here’s the prettiest blooming thing in the garden, bespeckled with the day’s constant drizzle. it sure makes me smile.

Hemerocallis ‘Big Smile’ (daylily)

no time to post photos of each individual blooming plant right now, so here’s the larger view what the front yarden is looking like. a little wild, yes, but over the past couple of months it’s been host to dozens of metamorphosing butterflies, color shifting anoles and even a few molting snakes seeking refuge.

driveway garden view

garden view to left of driveway

right side garden view

view from the top of the driveway

moving along towards the back yarden, here’s a little project mr. grwhryrpltd put together to support our enthusiastic grapevine.

new grape trellis over the garden gate. concrete footers and enlarging the gravel threshold are all that’s left to do (until i overhaul the gate itself ).

one bountiful cluster of Vitis labrusca ‘Black Spanish’ (grape). this is its first year of fruit production.

speaking of bounty, we’ve been harvesting plums the past few mornings from the front garden. they’re so tasty. i’m going to attempt to make plum jam this evening.

Prunus ‘Methley’ (plum)

beautiful and delicious!

oh right… we were heading to the back garden. here’s what it looks like with somewhat frequent rains (every 10 days or so).

a chair full of drying coriander, now probably lost to the rains it just sat through. oh well, i bet cilantro will be growing here come fall.

a nice place to sit with a glass of wine in the evening, particularly when the cushions are dry

while the vegetables haven’t been too productive this spring, the “native” sunflowers sure have shot up like a rocket. they’re everywhere, but i don’t mind too much. it gives the neighbors something to look at over the garden fence.

i’ve limbed up the sunflower’s leaves as they grow to support the tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers growing underneath them. the upper leaves should provide a bit of shade to get the veg through the heat of the day as well. the patch of sunflowers in front of the raised bed was a little experiment to see how big they’d get under competition from bermuda and st. augustine grass. they doubled in height after the last rain.

did i mention we’ve been visited by critters lately? here’s a few of the highlights.

a handsome anole on Pennisetum ‘Princess Caroline’ and Fig

a non-venomous yellow bellied racer or yellow bellied water snake (i think? snake id is not my forte), unfortunately found dead in the garden. i buried him/her and s/he’s now growing a hearty patch of zinnias.

scare ya? ha! only a gardener would pull a (confirmed dead) snake out of sedges to see just how long it was – 10 wine bottle width’s worth. i wonder how many more might be sneaking around.

now, onto the critters for more gentle souls…

Danaus plexippus (monarch) caterpillars denuded this Asclepias (butterfly weed). it’s since recovered and ready for the next batch of larvae.

a freshly spun monarch chrysalis. you can still distinguish the caterpillar stripes on it.

another monarch chrysalis. safely located under the fence stringer for protection from weather, with lots of room for wing development available underneath.

a monarch chrysalis ready to break open…

she’s free!

even the kitties got to see the butterflies hatching. creaker johnny max (our +1 kitty) didn’t even bat a paw.

first year we’ve had Polygonia interrogationis (Question Mark) butterflies. guess it takes having a few Buddleia (butterfly bush) on hand, but somehow i don’t think these shrubs will survive the texas summer heat.

the Buddleia also attracted these Junonia coepia (common buckeye) butterflies. they may be “common,” but i find them stunning.

on the domestic critter front, the kitties have been, well, kitties. i’ve been playing nurse to puma for the past several weeks as she got into an altercation requiring surgery. while healing from that (with plastic cone collar on, of course) she went downhill fast due to another mysterious reason (stroke? aneurysm? tumor?), to the point we thought we were going to lose her. it’s a looong story, but she’s doing fine now and we’re so glad she’s still with us! dude and max did their best to avoid her, lest they catch what she had.

ms. pretty paws (puma) and mr. fence jumper (dude)

how’s that for an update? i could go on, but i’ve got some things to tend to before taking off for asheville. looking forward to catching up with the garden blogging community while there; and for those of you not going, oh how i wish you were! i probably won’t blog from there, but check out my twitter/instagram feed for pictorial updates enroute.

ttfn.

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13 thoughts on “i’ve been a bad garden blogger

  1. Ha! I’ve been a bad garden blogger too! Work, garden, sleep, work, garden, sleep, you get the picture. I LOVE that daylily. And the rest of your yarden looks fabulous. I especially love all the critters you’ve got. Let’s talk at the Fling about your pergola and sick cat. I’ve got questions on one and advice on the other. Can’t wait to see you!

  2. Wow! You have a lot going on!
    Glad the Kitty-cat is recovering.
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

  3. Insistent? What do you mean? Wait up, who else says I’m insistent? I have to know! Am I really insistent? You have to tell me! Please?

    And despite, well, me, what a great post. The common buckeye is really beautiful, and the Fox Murray Floating Island of Habitat calls to all living things.

  4. Great post and I love your garden! Wish I was going to make the trip to Asheville but major life events have changed that plan. Have a fantastic trip and will meet up with everyone next year in SF.

  5. Your garden is looking beautiful. I enjoyed looking at your cat with the butterfly. And your plums and grapes make me jealous :-)

  6. Butterflies are a joy but the caterpillars, do they cause you or maybe your neighbours a few problems in the garden.

  7. Those are some beautiful grapes and plums! I hope your plum jam turned out well. It’s been nice meeting you here in Asheville.

  8. We had plum trees in our yard when we lived in Texas! It was a rental house so they were already there. We left that house with lots more flowers then it had when we moved in it though. :-) Your fur babies are cute as can be as is the Anole. I just love those guys. Yep, that snake is a good one and keeper but now popping up blooms. I never thought of putting all the dead critters we find into the garden. We just place them into the woods for recycling critters to get them. Raccoon, opossum, etc… How lucky you to get a pic of the Monarch in the casing! And good kitty to not bat a paw…. We have really hot summers here in my part of GA and our butterlfy bushes love it! But we have humidity and you have a dry heat so maybe that is the difference…
    Was nice seeing you at the Fling… Happy Gardening…

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