Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cactus and Succulents

Today I wanted to share my cactus and succulent collection with you.  This summer my Pickle cactus has bloomed 4 times.  It has a brilliant orange bloom that only lasts 1 day.
The Pickle cactus is on bottom and a varigated prickly pear cactus on top, both from Houston
Green prickly pear cactus from Houston
This is a pass along plant that I received from a lady at work.  It is an African carrion (Stapelia Grandiflora).  It will have a starfish like bloom and you had better stay away because it smells horrible. 
I have 2 barrel cactus from Arizona, 2 agave, aloe vera, 2 Thanksgiving cactus and several other cacti and succulents. 
There are several areas on the acreage where native prickly pear cactus is growing.  It blooms for me every year. 
I bought these at an estate sale. The one on the right is a Zebra Haworthia.  I believe the one on the left is an aloe.
Until next time,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Browsing through the Garden

Come on in and take a walk through my garden.  The periwinkles are looking good.  I fertilize them with water soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks. 
I just love purple coneflowers.
This is Rubylite Rose Calla Lily.  I bought it at Lowes for $5 three years ago.  The label says it is only hardy to 30 degrees but it comes back each year so I consider it a perennial. 
The castor beans are getting tall, around 7 foot tall so far.  It is still amazing to me that they can go from a seed to 7 feet tall in 8 weeks. 
The leaves are huge and they look like the dark green leaves have been sprayed with a purplish-reddish glaze.  The red "flowers" on the top are the seed pods.  I let them dry and then collect seed for next years plants. 
White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moth - this little guy was difficult to photograph.  I couldn't get the camera to focus on the moth but I was able to get 3 good pictures out of about 40.
This moth is about the size of a hummingbird.  It loves the lavendar. 

One last purple coneflower.  Actually this picture and blogger would not cooperate.  It wanted to be last!!
Until next time,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Playground for Grandkids

I have been busy building a playground for my 2 granddaughters.  I thought I would share it with you.  Here are the before and after photos of the project.
Before - I had been spraying Roundup on the grass to try and kill it before I started the project.  It didn't always look this bad.
This was really ugly.

BUT NOW it looks like this!!
I put down 3 yards of playground mulch and 1 yard of river rock.  I had several 1'x1' concrete pavers that I used to make a hard surface for the chairs and fire pit to sit on.
The potager is behind the playground.
Now the playground is tied into the deck that surrounds the pool.  What an improvement if I say so myself. 
Until next time,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Working in the Potager

I have a potager in my back yard.  A potager is a French kitchen garden that contains vegetables, herbs, fruits and/or flowers.  It usually is made up of small rectangular, square and triangle shaped beds separated by stone or brick path ways.  It is usually bordered by a clipped hedge.  My potager contains 10 rectangle shaped beds.  I used river rock in the pathways and the front of each row of beds is bordered with a boxwood hedge.  I designed and built this garden about 15 years ago, long before I knew it was called a potager. 
Today I worked in Bed 10 where I have squash planted.  First I had to weed the bed using my trusty hoe. 
Next I spread Preen to try to prevent some future weeding.  I am not an organic gardener.  I do not use insecticides but I do use herbicides.
Last year I had the soil tested in the potager.  My pH is too high and I had almost no nitrogen in the soil.  They recommended I use Ammonium Sulfate to lower the pH and raise the nitrogen.  I also add compost  when I have it on hand.
I am supposed to use this once a month during the growing season but rarely do I get it applied that often. You have to use this sparingly because a little goes a long way.  Better to use less otherwise you will have a lot of green leaves and very few vegetables.
Next I take the water hose and water directly on the center of each squash plant.  This makes the adult squash bugs run and I can pick them up with gloved hands and SQUISH 'em.
So that was my day working in the potager.  I am not advertising for Preen or Hi Yield but simply showing you what I use.  Hope you are enjoying your summer.  Have a good weekend.

Until next time,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Daylilies in the June Garden

Blogger is working again....woohoo!!  I did learn that I can post to my blog from Flickr when Blogger is down. 
So back to the garden.  The Daylilies are blooming. They are one of my favorite flowers.
Cultivar - Joylene Nichole
Cultivar - Siloam Double Classic
Cultivar - ????
Another Joylene Nichole
Cultivar - Stella de Oro
And I have LOTS of old fashioned Tiger Lilies
And no this is not a daylily but I had to show it.  This is my water lily and it is blooming and it is beautiful. 

So until next time,