Friday, September 22, 2017

There Going to be a Daylily Sale

Guess who volunteered (or maybe was volunteered, it's a little blurry) to manage the Daylily Sale for our local daylily club?  That would be our household...actually I'm just the support person, the "Real Plant Geek" is actually in charge.

The club will have over 150 varieties available for sale tomorrow morning at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden.  Stop by if your in the neighborhood!

Photo Friday: Worms, They're Whats for Dinner

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Progress is Slow

Back in July I took you on a tour of the back garden.  We moved into our current house in the late spring of 2015 and have only lived here for three summers and the first wasn't spent gardening.  It was spent taking down some over growing weed trees and shrubs, installing a fence and getting a shed.  Not very glamorous, but necessary.  We really started building our garden right after our daughter was born in the winter of 2016.  So we still have a lot of places were there are plans, but not really anything to show except for our ideas and excitement.

This side of the garden is one of those spots.  You can see we had gotten started around the pecan tree making a home for the Japanese Maple first and then the Triceratops we purchased this summer.

The area in front of the shed is eventually going to be a pallet garden to hold daylily seedlings and anything else that needs a little extra protection from the dogs. Back in July, we had gotten all the pallets we needed and purchased the fence.  We had even dug two fence hole (by the way not the best idea to dig hole in the yard and then do nothing with them for a month or two), but nothing beyond that had happened.

Finally with the cooler temperatures a few weeks ago and a little extra time during someone's nap, we've managed to move forward.  The fence is up on all but one side, but the gate isn't in.  The pallets aren't ready for planting yet either, but we're getting there. 

 We did create the flower bed along the fence for our mini-daylilies and move the claw foot bathtub over there.  Formally it lived on the patio and was used a drink cooler on occasion.  It's also been a carnivorous garden and a tropical planter.  Not a single daylily has actually been planted, but we've sorted out who is going where, so when we have the time it won't take us long.  The really short plants will go in the tub and the taller will go into the ground around it.  Hopefully later this week.

We also moved some former indoor decor outside.  Our old house was a four square style farmhouse that had lots of walls and therfore lots of space for wall art.  We had a collection of signs on the stairway wall.  This house is smaller and much more open, with significantly less wall space.  We've gotten creative with the signs and all of them had homes.  Then we switched a few things up and the S & H Green Stamps sign became homeless.  So after a brief stint in the garage, it is once again on display brightening up the side of our shed.  Normally we would worry about ruining the sign, but this one is already in pretty rusty shape. 

 Finally Triceratops has a permanent home in the garden.  While we knew basically where our new dinosaur friend was going to go, we hadn't firmed up the positioning.  We decided that this Triceratops would like to look out over the rest of the garden and the pool.  It also gave us a great view from our patio. Nice how that worked out.  We have planted a few perennials around it's feet and have plans to add some elephant ears and ferns next year.  Down the road, this dinosaur will look right at home in it's garden.

 So thats where we're at right now.  Not as far along as we had hoped, but at least we aren't moving backwards.  What gardening projects have you managed to complete lately?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Foliage Follow Up: September 2017

Welcome to my Foliage Follow-up for September.  Foliage Follow-Up is hosted by Pam Penick of Digging.  Click here to join in the fun!

I'm pretty sure the neighbors think we're building a jungle in the backyard.  That clearly is the only explanation for these pictures.  Our Tropical Garden around the pool is built on foliage.  It's mainly Elephant Ears (alocasia and colecacia), Bananas, and Cannas.  We have a palm, a hardy tapioca, a papaya and a few other plants to add variety.

You can barely see my "Garden Helper".  Don't worry about her, she has her trusty water cup, so she'll be fine as she traipses through the backyard jungle.


We have bananas of all shapes and sizes.

Some are towering over the fence.  The neighbors must wonder what is going on behind it.

One is even fruiting, unfortunately, it's fruit is too seedy to be edible.  I'll have to keep an eye on it though so I can cut one open when they are ready and see what "too seedy" looks like. I don't really think of bananas as having inedible seeds, so I'm pretty curious to check that out.

Here are a few of the different Elephant Ears we currently have.  It's amazing how much variety there is in these plants.

Here are few of our wild card plants.  They add delightful variety and texture to the garden.  You can learn more about our Papaya here and here.  I can say it has that our Papaya has been fabulous and hopefully it will become a regular in a new section of the garden we're currently working on.

We also bought a Hardy Tapioca this year.  As you can see it's taller than our privacy fence.  It is supposed to die back to the ground this winter and should regrow next spring.  It's been another surprise.  We love how tall it's gotten in it's first year.  Plus with all of the broad leaves we have, it's nice to have something with a different feel.

We also have a Talipariti tiliaceum 'Albo-variegatus' or an Variegated Sea Hibiscus.  We moved it from our old house and have been wintering it over in the greenhouse each winter.  It's gotten too big this year, so we won't be able to move it in.  It's a zone 10a-11 plant.  We're definitely not even close to that, so this will be our last year for this Variegated Sea Hibiscus.  We enjoy it, so maybe a new one is in our future, or maybe we'll find something new to take it's place.

It's new foliage comes out a reddish bronze.  So pretty!

Thanks for visiting our Tropical Garden and my Foliage Follow Up.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: September 2017

Welcome to my Garden Blogger's Bloom Day!  We've been having glorious weather that has been a touch cooler than normal.  Even though it's still hot here, you can tell fall is right around the corner!  I'm enjoying the cooler mornings as are the plants I'm sure.  I am hoping that the cooler temperatures will lead so additional flowers.

The Cannas around the pool are looking great.  they bloom all summer as long as you keep deadheading them.  I feel like I'm constantly deadheading, but it's worth it.  Their hot colors look great around the pool.

All around the pool things are still blooming.  You can get a glimpse at some of these lovelies below.  Its the Tropical Garden's second year and it's looking amazing.  Can't wait to see how it changes over the years to come.

This hibiscus decided to put on quite the show.  there's even another bloom on the other side being obscured by one of these beauties.  Not exactly sure how we all missed this bindweed, but the flowers were so nice I decided to share anyway.  I'm sure we've all missed a weed or two.

The Pereskia grandifolia is covered with blooms right now.  It looks great in it's big blue pot.  I can't believe all the pollen that is falling off all the flowers.

Our Turk's Caps plants are basically shrubs at this point.  While they are amazing they are getting moved away from the pool to a more appropriate location.

The Black and Blue Salvias we planted this spring have also reached shrub like proportions.  The bees are going bananas for them.

Not shocking, the butterfly garden is blooming up a storm.  A good things since we've had plenty of visitors this month.

And of course we have daylilies!  I am just amazed at the number of rebloomers we've had this summer.  Pants that are not listed as rebloomer are blooming away.  It's wonderful and weird.

'Spider Man'

'Across the Universe'

A polymerous 'Northfield' flower (count it's pettals

'Beautiful Edgings'

'Dale's Oh My'

'Faith That Moves Mountains'

Thanks for stoping buy!  Be sure to check out other gardens at May Dreams Garden's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Looks Who's Back: Super Sweet 100's Returns (and Leaves Again)

Look who showed back up!  Less than two weeks after I cut the volunteer Super Sweet 100 plant down it had started growing again.  It had actually started to get pretty tall, so I tied it back up to the stake that I hadn't bothered to remove.

Sadly, not to long after I had warmed up to the idea of fall tomatoes and all of their yummy-ness, I noticed the tell tale signs of mites.  Lot of damage to lots of leaves.  After all the damage they did to all of the elephant ears the first time they came through the garden, I was not taking any chances.  The rest of the plants have just now started to look good again.

So I swiftly cut the poor guy back to a stub again and tossed the clippings in the trash can (no hanging out in my compost pile waiting to prey on my other plants).  Anyone think I'll get a third round of tomatoes?  This seems like the tomato plant that won't quit!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Papaya Update

When we last left the Papaya Tree we had the start of a small fruit.  As you can see below, it wasn't too impressive, only about the size of my thumb.

A month has gone by, and my little papaya has grown.  Now I would estimate it's about 4-5 inches long.  Still not close to a ripe papaya that you would eat, be steadily growing.  I'm still pretty sure it won't have time to fully grow and ripen.  Maybe if we have a really, really mild fall and a very late frost/freeze.

Apparently the tree is happy in the back of the Tropical Garden.  As you can see below, my papaya fruit isn't alone anymore.

There are at least three more growing now, maybe even a fourth depending on the fate of the closing flower on the left side of the picture.  (I don't like to count my chickens before they're hatched)

The Papaya has been a great addition to the Tropical Garden.  I can't believe it started out as a 10"-12" mail ordered plant.  We've already decided to plant another one next year, though in a different location where we will get to see the fruit forming a bit easier.

How have your gardening experiments gone this year?  In gardening you win some and lose some, but the Papaya (in this case) definitely goes in the win column.