Monday, March 23, 2009


This is one of three succulents that Jennifer Schaffer put in when she did our landscaping.  They are agave celsii and they are, sadly, monocarpic (die after flowering once).  
We're looking forward though to seeing what the flower looks like.  It's sort of creepy - I left town for 2 days, nothing; when I pulled up in the driveway, the shoot was suddenly there: at least 3 ft tall.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bluebonnet - Texas' state flower

Here they are, full-grown, with a little bit of red tucked into each petal.  

They've popped out all along our roadside strip, after I scattered some seeds last year. They just make me smile.  

Isn't it illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas?  Nope, it's an urban legend.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Planting, planting, yeay!

An established African bulbine, a succulent, and a good grower in droughts.  No rain all year and look at this just one bloom of probably thirty or so in its cluster.  We've two in the backyard, so far winning against dog.
My son likes to help me prune - I took the opportunity while we were enjoying that gorgeous sunset the other night.  So did he...
I forgot what this ground cover is (above), but the two previous other groundcovers we put in a) drowned in the rain of 06; or b) dried up in the drought of 08.  Go little flowers!
Some kind of salvia - I liked the contrast of the society garlic just behind it.  
My big project last Saturday was purchasing and planting "climbing pinkie" and "lamarque" antique roses from Barton Springs Nursery.  They were recommended as good climbers and bloomers throughout the year.  
Dear ole Dad managed to fix trellises to our limestone siding (used anchors and screws).  Climb, babies, climb!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Passion in Lent

Spring abounds with surprise: the passion vine I put in a thin layer of old dirt, next to our driveway, has produced its first flower.  Check out Wikipedia's entry on Passion Vine for the meaning behind the name: all aspects of the flower have been associated with things relating to Jesus' suffering and death.

The bluebonnets by the road are also popping out now, among other things.
Thanks to one and all for your comments.  I'd like to email you personally, and I'm still learning how to do that on websites like East-Side-Patch.  Help!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Here comes color

Our mountain laurel every mid-Feb. decides either to leaf out or flower out.  Looks like this Spring it's a bit of both.  It smells like Welch's grape juice.  Yum.
This is an ice plant.  Alien-looking.  It's a succulent ground cover.  Wikipedia says it's now classified as an invasive species--fitting, huh? 

Below foreground is the result of bad pruning.  I learned that a plumbago can be cut back almost to the ground.  Because it seems to grow back in the Spring from way at its base.  Does anyone know if I should go ahead and prune these old branches anyway?  
Last summer, I scattered bluebonnet wildflower seeds over our easement (whatever that space is that's publicly owned between sidewalk and street).  I pressed a few into the ground for good measure.
To my delight, about 8 of the 20 or so seeds took.
Talk about anticipation.