Tuesday, December 31, 2002
- mexican heather
- meyer lemon (new addition to the collection)
- pineapple sage
- salvia - red
- sugar snap peas (just a few)
Saturday, December 28, 2002
Meyer Lemon Tree. my christmas present to darin. he had mentioned on many occasions that he would like a citrus tree, and meyer lemons are supposed to do well in houston. we will keep it in a pot for easier removal to the garage when we're expecting colder temperatures.
since it would have been hard to hide (not to mention wrap) a lemon tree (even a small one) for our holiday drive to arkansas, i left the tree at buchanan's native plants and wrapped an actual lemon to give to darin on christmas day. we picked up the tree today, following our return to houston.
(l - r) flower buds on the lemon tree and tiny baby lemons
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Holiday Hiatus. blogging has been / will be light for the next week or so due to holiday preparations and celebrations.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Bulb Progress. my brent and becky's order arrived monday (minus the 25 tulipa altaica which were not available), but i didn't start planting until today. the story thus far:
- (2) oxblood lilies (rhodophiala bifida) - planted today at base of front yard oak
- (2) queen's rain lilies (zephyranthes reginae)
- (1) hinckley's columbine (aquilegia hinckleyana)
- (1) red columbine (a. canadensis)
- (1) pennyroyal (mentha pulegium) - planted today in front corner of fig "enclosure"
- (1) sweet lavender (lavandula heterophylla) - planted today in raised veggie / herb bed
* bulbs already sprouting
- crocus tommasinianus* - (20) in the front yard, around the base of the sycamore; (5) at the foot of the driveway, east side
- tulipa turkestanica* - (17) front yard, around base of sycamore
- t. biflora - (12) front yard, around the base of the sycamore; (13) outside edge of the front walk, closest to driveway
- t. batalinii "bright gem" - (13) outside edge of front walk, east of t. biflora
- t. kolpakowskiana* -(13) outside edge of front walk, east of t. batalinii
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Monarch Morning. this morning, as i made my rounds through the yard, i spotted a monarch butterfly that had recently emerged from its chrysalis.
Monday, December 16, 2002
Library Books (Bulbs). i went to the library today to return a couple of unhelpful iris books (unhelpful because i still don't know what kind of iris i have) and picked up three new books:
i've checked the ogden book out before, but want to look at it again; the other two i picked out based on pictures - really amazing pictures of a vast number of flowers.
- taylor's guide to bulbs: how to select and grow more than 400 summer-hardy and tender bulbs (barbara w. ellis, 2001);
- eyewitness garden handbooks bulbs: a photographic guide to more than 500 bulbs by type, size, season of interest, and color (ed. charlotte stock, 1997); and
- garden bulbs for the south (scott ogden, 1994)
what i was really looking for was pictures of iris rhizomes / bulbs so that i could try to narrow down the possible identity of my unidentified iris and mystery bulbs. i did find drawings in one book (that i did not check out) that lead me to think i may have siberian or pacific coast iris. more research required (patience, too).
more detailed books reviews to come after i've perused the books for a while.
Sunday, December 15, 2002
35... on friday i planted 35 more bulbs:
now, only 25 more narcissus to plant before the last 200 bulbs arrive. i've discovered that it's much easier to plant small bulbs - crocus, species tulips - than large bulbs like narcissus and lilies. definitely something to remember in the future.
- (3) "royal fantasy" lilies next to the front door step and (2) by the boxwood in front of the house
- (5) "regale" lilies between the ixora on the other side of the boxwood
- (12) "petrel" narcissus around the base of the oak in the front yard and (13) between the ixora in front of the house
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Rain Delay. it rained all day, so i haven't planted any more bulbs.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Mosquitoes Must Die. i greatly appreciate our mild gulf coast winters. the drawback is that the mosquitoes also appreciate the mild weather. they're still here, albeit in slightly reduced numbers.
10 Down... the van engelen order arrived this afternoon. i planted the 10 pixie lilies on either side of the front porch and have every intention of getting the other 10 lilies in the ground tomorrow. however, the prospect of planting 50 narcissus is pretty daunting; looking at the bag, there just seem to be so many.
i'd told darin that i'd ordered more bulbs but hadn't mentioned how many (and he didn't ask). while i was planting the pixies, he came outside and said, "i think there's a typo on your web page." "oh no, what?" "270 bulbs?" "um, not a typo. but they were on sale!"
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Tracking the Bulbs. today i received notification that my brent and becky's bulbs order has been shipped and is scheduled to arrive next tuesday. and checking the status of my van engelen order on the ups tracking site shows that it has arrived in houston and will be delivered tomorrow.
i know, boring post to everyone but me. the happy news is that i now have much more available garden time (and i live in houston, so things are still growing).
Monday, December 09, 2002
More Winter Weather. by local standards, that is. it's been 40ish and raining most of the day. but to look on the bright side, it will make digging holes for 270 bulbs much easier this weekend!
Sunday, December 08, 2002
Veggie Pictures. due to overwhelming audience demand (okay, one insistent reader), garden spot has secured more storage space to accomodate more regular posting of pictures.
Last of the Bulbs (for now). i've cleared the bulb backlog and am now ready for the impending arrival of 270 more bulbs. today's planting:
(l-r): bloom on the sugar snap peas, black seeded simpson lettuce and giant caesar lettuce. click on images for a larger picture.
i've planted 110+ bulbs so far.
- ornithogalum nutans "silver bells" (11) - in the backyard, interspersed with the mexican heather and (3) in the near corner of the fig tree bed
- ipheion uniflormum "wisley blue" (3) - backyard, along with the mexican heather and silver bells
the van engelen order has been shipped and is scheduled to arrive wednesday. no eta yet for the brent and becky's order. i see much digging in my future.
Saturday, December 07, 2002
Bulb Planting. i still have a few bulbs remaining to plant before my latest orders arrive. here's a catch-up of what i planted a few weeks ago, as well as what i did this afternoon (the first round of plantings is here):
- ipheion uniflorum"wisley blue" (10) - backyard, under the oak, and (3) next to the back step (i think)
- leucojum aestivum (5) - backyard, under the oak
Productive Day. i've just spent the last five hours with the rake and vac, cleaning up the backyard and driveway area. lots and lots and lots of leaves and pine needles. most went onto the compost piles (with an ample dose of coffee grounds), but some of the chopped leaves went to mulch the rose, liriope, salvia and lantana along the driveway.
- tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha (10) - in the center of the front bed
three observations for the day:
- the rake and vac picks up leaves much better than it does pine needles, but once it picks up the pine needles it chops them reasonably well.
- coffee grounds help pine needles compost much, much faster than they do otherwise.
- the red salvia looks really good while the blue salvia looks so ragged that i cut it down to about 3 inches tall. hopefully it will return from the roots.
Friday, December 06, 2002
Monarch Metamorphosis. yesterday morning i noticed that the monarch chrysalis suspended in the pineapple sage had been vacated. i hadn't checked in a couple of days, so i'm not sure exactly when it happened; hopefully in time for the new butterfly to hurry south in front of the cold weather. the last time i did look (sunday, probably) i noticed that the chrysalis was becoming somewhat translucent and i could see shadows of the inhabitant.
Template Fun. i've added two nifty searches to the template, over on the left side.
i admired the gardenweb search functionality over at outside in the garden, so i did a bit of exploring and learned how to put it on garden spot.
then i noticed that binkley's blog has google searching, but what i found even more appealing is the ability to limit the search to a particular website. so, i found the google search solutions page and signed up for the free websearch/sitesearch. voila!
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Today's Bulb Order. from brent and becky's bulbs:the tulips are really something of an experiment. i've selected various species tulips (and a couple of their hybrids) since they are reportedly the most likely to succeed here where we have mild winters. in other words, i do not intend to pre-chill the bulbs before planting them, and i'm hoping that they will return on their own. same is true of the ones i planted last month.
the crocus tommasinianus, if i remember correctly what i read in garden bulbs for the south, should work here.
most of my selections are predominately yellow, but that's okay. it'll make it easy to give people directions to our house next spring, "it's the one with the yellow front yard."
here are a couple of links to read for more info on tulips for mild winters: wildflower tulips and naturalizing with tulips.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
Buying (More) Bulbs. yesterday afternoon, i succumbed to the van engelen end-of-season sale. in a few days i'll be planting the plan is for the petrels to go somewhere in the front yard and the pixies in the front walkway border (currently nothing but liriope and christmas lights there). i'm not sure what to do with the others.
in fact, i'm not even sure anything but the narcissus will do well, but the price was right for a bit of experimentation.
now, back to contemplating the brent and becky's end-of-season sale...
Monday, December 02, 2002
Waiting for Winter. the weather for the long holiday weekend was much nicer than i expected: no rain, mostly sunny and pleasant daytime temperatures. i spent much of yesterday afternoon raking leaves and pine needles out of the beds in front of the house, vacuuming and chopping them with the rake and vac, then putting everything back into the beds. on-the-spot mulch, you know.
so what possessed me to undertake this tedious task (besides the fact that it really, really needed to be done - various plants were starting to disappear beneath the fallen leaves)?
darin and i decided it was time to hang the christmas lights outside and we wanted to put strings of lights in the liriope bordering the beds and the front walk. so i decided i should tidy up the beds a bit. doesn't matter that the casual observer from the street wouldn't be able actually see what a mess the beds were even with the lights on; i knew and it was enough to motivate me. looks much better now.
assuming the camera batteries have recharged sufficiently, i'll take pictures of the lights tonight.
UPDATE: the digital camera just doesn't like rechargeable batteries. my theory is that after a couple of recharges, the batteries just don't "fill up" as much anymore and the camera is too greedy. if anyone has recommendations for digital camera-friendly rechargeable batteries, please email me (address is over there, on the left).
Sunday, December 01, 2002
 not ongoing, just the occasional flower
- lantana - new gold
- mandevilla 
- mexican heather
- pineapple sage
- salvia - blue and red
- sugar snap peas
i need more late fall bloomers.