Sunday, August 24, 2008

Garden Rising from the Dead

It rained this past week in the garden - Finally! My garden was about dried up and dead. So of course I had to take photos of the rain, because who knows when I will see it again? I feel a little weird taking photos of the rain - I am originally from Seattle where rain was never a problem - but now that I am a denizen of Austin, I find myself laughing hysterically and running around in circles like an idiot in the rain while snapping photos of the raindrops whenever mother nature turns on the faucet! What is wrong with me? *Sigh* Anyway, the garden is coming alive after the rains.


Pouring out the spout:

Filling up the drainage ditch:

Yellow Rain lilies along the side strip:

A little closer:

Pink rain lilies:

A Hibiscus I recently bought on impulse at HEB because it was just so pretty:

Echeveria blooms:

The insects have been going nuts this week after the rains.

Green Dragonfly:

Blue Dragonfly:

Queen butterflies mobbing the blue mistflower:

A closer look:

An Orb Weaver. I watched the hummingbirds hover near this web over and over and I could not figure out what the heck they were doing. I finally realized they were picking the insects from the spider's web! Better to let somebody else do the hard work and catch the insects for you. The spiders even wrap them up like little presents and hang them out for the hummingbirds to take their pick. How handy! The behavior of stealing food captured by other critters is known as Kleptoparasitism. I tried to get photos of the hummingbirds in action, but they were too fast! I will keep trying and hopefully post a photo of them stealing insects in the future:

Birds hanging out in the shade of the fountain catching a drink and a shower:

Native morning glory and Hot Lips salvia:

Russian Sage:

The Scarlet Runner bean, a hummingbird favorite, is flowering like mad after the rain:

Turks Cap - another hummingbird fave with that brilliant red:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bloom Day - August 15th

Oh good grief! It is August 15th and I fear I have more garden carnage on display than I would like to admit! I have been neglecting the garden over the last 2 months because of a big project at work I was busy with. The temperatures have been between 100 and 105 every day and the temperature at Camp Mabry at 4:30pm yesterday while I was sitting on the freeway was 109. 109!! I know this is Central texas and all, but those are Arizona-type temperatures!

So I guess I will just dive right in with the carnage. Here goes:

What was left of the morning glories (avert your eyes!):

The fuschia. This is what happens when you miss 1 watering day:

The Gloriosa is barely hanging on. This is the best looking one of the bunch, sadly enough:

The Zucchini infested with borers. I didn't have time to pick off the eggs. This zucchini was done for:

The Boston ferns didn't get watered every day and they are looking pretty crispy:

The Basil took over:

So, needless to say, I cleaned the Zuchinni and Morning glories out of the garden and replaced them with new tomato plants and bell pepper plants:

But, all is not crispy critters in my garden. These are the tough guys that have been blooming all summer regardless of the intense heat and serious lack of water:

The Pride of Barbados and Hyacinth Bean:

Rock Rose:

Orchid tree (the picture is a little blurry - the wind kept blowing the branch around):

Rain lilies in the air conditioning unit drainage field:

The Hellstrip out front (it's looking awfully brown!):

This front corner of the hellstrip gets watered once in a while by the neighbor's sprinkler:

An Anole friend stalking prey in the Hellstrip:

I also have been harvesting the cantaloupe 'Northern Arizona':

I am really pleased with the flavor of this cantaloupe. I am definately planting these again!