Friday, December 24, 2010

Rufous Hummer

I got him! I finally got a photo of our resident winter hummingbird. He is quite skittish and whenever I go outside he flies away or hides behind the orchid tree where I cannot get his photo, so this is a thru-the-window shot at maximum zoom, but here he is:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wintering Hummingbird!

We have a wintering hummingbird in the garden again this year! The hubby had mentioned he had seen a hummingbird around the last several weeks and so I put out fresh nectar in the hummingbird feeders. Today I finally caught a glimpse of him. It is, as I suspected, a Rufous hummingbird. I tried to get a photo, but he flew away. I'll keep trying to capture a photo and post it up if I get one.

Last time we had a wintering hummingbird in my garden was in 2008. If I recall correctly, that was a warmer than normal Winter as well:

http://thesuniskillingme.blogspot.com/2008/01/hummingbirds-in-winter.html

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bloom Day - December 15, 2010

December bloom day. Happy Holidays to everyone! Garden holiday decorations, Texas-style:



As opposed to the rest of the country, it has been fairly warm so far this year (thanks to La Niña) and we have only had a few light freezes in my garden despite the dire warnings of hard freezes. As a result, I do have some blooms. They are a bit scraggly due to the frosts, but blooming.

Turks cap:



Rain Lily (I watered the other day as it is pretty darn dry and crispy out there):





Pink Skullcap:



Rock Penstemon:



Yellow Flax:



Autumn Crocus. (As I am viewing these crocus on my blog here, with the flax above, it occurs to me these would look wonderful planted next to each other. I am making a note of that for next year.):



Meyer Lemon blossoms (My goodness, these smell wonderful right now!!):



Japanese Aralia blossom:



And finally the christmas cactus is finishing up blooming:



Happy bloom day everyone!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm Covering the Sagos.

I decided at the last minute to cover the sago palms tonight. It only takes me less than 5 minutes to throw a cover over them and I just don't want to take a chance that it might get a little too cold for them. They seem to do fine down to around 25 degrees, but anything less and they start to lose fronds. I would just feel terrible if I didn't take the few minutes to cover them and they froze. It looks like there is a fair chance it will dip into the low 20's tonight:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving First Freeze?

Will it freeze for the first time in Austin tonight? It might. There is a cold north wind blowing right now. It was warm and humid this morning, but it is cold and windy outside this afternoon!

If it freezes, it is gonna ruin the redbud's early blooming plan. Silly tree is confused!:



An indictator in my garden that it will likely freeze in the next couple of days, the aloe vera is blooming:



Every year the aloe sends up bloom stalks just to have them freeze just before they bloom:



Looks like it is gonna happen again. My other frost tender plants need not fret this year, because I got them a toasty little home. A pop-up greenhouse:



I put a heat lamp in there to keep it above freezing and I cracked one of the windows to let some of the humidity out. I'm not losing my potted palm this year!

Another plus, is that the greenhouse helps to shelter the new flowering senna that is planted in the corner to the right of it (Ignore the sandbox. I moved it since the greenhouse is occupying its usual spot right now):



I lost my big beautiful senna last year during the hard winter we had:



It was a bit heartbreaking, but I take it in stride. It's all part of gardening; sometimes things die. Here are its remains:



The corner of the garden looks empty without it, but they grow fairly quickly, so hopefully next year I will have a beautiful senna to fill the corner once again.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bulbs, bulbs, and more bulbs.

The flower bed around the water feature in the backyard lacks interest in winter/early spring except for the The Byzantine glads and couple species tulips planted in it. I, therefore, decided it needed a slight makeover....

I dug the Byzantine glads and small grouping of species tulips that had been multiplying and split them.

Here they are all mixed up. The big ones are the glads, the small ones are the tulips:



Replanting the byzantine glad bulbs:



Replanting the species tulip bulbs:



I also ordered a ton more species tulips - Clusiana Cynthia and Humulis Red Cup, along with a bunch of Blue anemone blanda. I wanted to make a river of anemone around the tulips. This looks really keen in my mind's eye. We shall see what it really looks like come spring. :)

The excavated flower bed:





Speaking of bulbs, the Autumn crocus are popping up right now:



The paperwhites are coming up:



And the Grape Hyacinths are also poking up. I just bought these and planted them 2 weeks ago. They are not the super-tough Southern grape hyacinth, but the regular kind. They were only 5 bucks for like 25 of them from the big box store, so I figure if they don't come back next year, I can just replace them. *shrugs*:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bloom Day - November 15, 2010

Finally cool weather has arrived! It was in the low 60's yesterday and it was wonderful! And it is beginning to look like Autumn outside. Well, what passes for Autumn in Central Texas, that is. The leaves are starting to turn colors, and the flowers are finishing up.

Chocolate flower is still blooming:



Blue Mistflower, too:



The shrimp plant is still blooming, although it's leaves are starting to yellow a bit:



There are a few Costa Rican Peppers to harvest yet:



The Golden Leadball tree is still full of yellow powder-puffs:



There are a few Moon flowers hanging on, having crept their way into the Chili Pequins:



The Eve's Necklacepod tree is living up to it's name:



And the Weeping Yaupon Holly is turning colors. Soon it's red berries will be gone, stripped clean by the denizens of my garden:



And Finally, some Copper Canyon daisy. They look kinda thin this year, as it has been a very dry Fall season:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last Hurrah

The flowers in my garden are starting to peter out. And since I missed last bloom day because I was sick, I wanted to post what is blooming right now before they are all gone.

Morning glory and turks cap:



Chili Pequin and cuphea:



Sternbergia Lutea (yellow autumn crocus):



Passionflower:



Rainbow and batface cuphea:



The Firecracker Vine(Spanish Flag vine)is absolutely stunning right now:



Closer:



Too bad all the hummers are gone for the season, they would have LOVED the firecracker vine. The last hummer left my garden about 2 weeks ago (right on schedule!):



Gulf muhly, mexican mint marigold, russian sage:



Moonflower:



Butterfly on Milkweed:



The Lesser Goldfinches have been hanging around eating sunflower seeds:



And here is a pic taken last month, I never got it posted, but it was so pretty I am gonna go ahead and post it up now :)

Butterfly on Pride of Barbados: