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Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

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As usual, summers in Texas are a bit rough, with temperatures varying from the high 90s to 110. We had our hottest ever July day. It doesn’t rival 2010, but it has been a hot year with very little rain.

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Last year was a bad one for okra, and my poor production has continued this year. I’m not sure if it is root-knot nematode again this year, or the extreme heat. It was the 110 degree day that halted production.

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The peppers have had a stellar year, since I added slow release sulphur to the beds, to fix the PH problem. My new favorite pepper is from Baker Creek Heirlooms, called Habanada. It is a non-spicy Habenero, and the flavor is amazing! I only planted 3 plants, but have gotten well over 100 peppers. I’ve been putting them in everything. I also tried Marconi for the first time, and this one will be on my repeat list as well. It is a large yellow bell pepper with great production, and flavor.

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Melons produced pretty well, and I am still getting a few.

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The tomatillos usually die out in the heat of the summer, and this year they lasted a bit longer. I don’t know how long they can hang on, and if I’ll get any fall production.

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Malibar Spinach is thriving, and such a lovely plant.

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Summer beans are just starting to produce, with black-eyed peas leading the pack.

Cut and Come Again Zinnias have been the star of the garden. They seem to like a good soaking every 3 days. My vases have been full all summer. I’ll definitely be planting these again.

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I’ve let the cowpen daisies take over this year. They spread pretty aggressively, but are easy to pull out so I’ve just let them do their thing. They make the veggie garden pretty, when most things are hanging on for dear life.

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As usual, the thai basil has done the best of the varieties. I don’t really care for the flavor, but it is a favorite of the bees. The honey bees have disappeared lately, maybe due to the abundance of robber flies, but I have seen a few bumbles hanging around.

I just started fall seeds this past weekend under the grow lights, so despite the heat, fall is just around the corner!

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Each year I add more wildflower seeds, and the meadow is really taking off.

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Roses

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The roses are just starting to bloom, still a week or two out from peak bloom. This year’s first rose was Marie Daly, followed closely by Marie Gonzales. I am still waiting on Sweet Pea and Belinda’s Dream

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Winter Wonderland

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Looking outside now it is hard to believe that the picture above was just this morning. It warmed up to a still-chilly 52 degrees today and melted away last night’s magic.

It started snowing yesterday evening when the temperatures were already dancing around freezing. It continued dusting us for several hours, enough to actually accumulate. That is quite a feat here in Austin.

The snow wasn’t predicted. Instead we were supposed to hit a light freeze. I covered the more tender of the veggies beds, but left the spinach, chard, and carrots uncovered.  I was a little worried at the scene this morning, but other than a slight burn on the chard, the veggies looked pretty good this afternoon.

 Scenes from the Frontyard

Scenes from the Backyard

Can’t forget the Yard Art

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Irises

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Last fall I transplanted several of the Cemetery White Irises to the front bed, along the drainage ditch. I decided that I’d like to add some color there as well, so put in large order to Schreiners.

I wrote down the order of planting, so in a few years when they are ready to divide, I’ll know what’s what.

Loop the Loop

Gold Galore

Cafe Bleu

Vizier

Anvil of Darkness

Pinafore Pink

Blue Crusader

China Moon

Venetian Glass

Full Figured

Playing with Fire

Fangnificent

Rock Star

Picasso Moon

Gaelic Jig

Deliciously Different

Oreo

Mean Streak

Sofia

Titan’s Glory

April in Paris

Fatal Attraction

Touch of Mahogany

Ambrosie

Cornbread N Honey

Impresisonist

Cleared for Takeoff

Celestial Explosion

Power POint

Let’s Roll

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All Bees Welcome

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After a very long winter (by Texas standards), Spring has finally arrived!

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The bulbs … Tulips, Narcissus and Hyacinths

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Irises

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Front bed — Betony and Lantana. Nestled up against the house, this lantana bloomed all winter

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Bluebonnets — mine are a little late, but coming along

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Wisteria

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My first Mountain Laurel bloom ever!

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Yucca Bloom

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The veggies — tomatoes and peppers are planted. A few winter veggies are still going, and I’m letting things bolt for the bees

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Citrus

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Even the chickens know it is spring. Here are two sitting on eggs. One is using an old rabbit nesting box. We’ll have to keep an eye on her, as she’s about  feet up in the air.

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As all Austin gardeners know, this has been a really rough spring.

Really cold winter, no rain, late freeze.

I was beginning to doubt whether anything was coming back this year. (I still have my doubts on quite a few plants) I walk around every day looking for some sign of spring, and here’s what’s blooming in my garden.

Bluebonnet

Bluebonnet

Bluebonnet

Bluebonnet

Peach

Peach

Aromatic Sumac

Aromatic Sumac

Coreopsis?

Coreopsis?

Unknown Native WIldflower

Unknown Native WIldflower

Grape Hyacinth - Finally!

Grape Hyacinth – Finally!

Daffodils

Daffodils

Dewberries

Dewberries

False Garlic

False Garlic

Striped WInecup

Striped WInecup

Lady Jane Tulip

Lady Jane Tulip

Cameo Flowering Quince

Cameo Flowering Quince

Cemetary Iris - Probably the only type that will bloom this year

Cemetary Iris – Probably the only type that will bloom this year

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