Saturday, June 30, 2012

Here Comes the Sun.... Flower

The little green bud opened to reveal its yellow glory.
I am not sure where the seed for this plant blew in from, but it seems very happy with its new home.
Of course, it chose the wrong side of the garden... the pink side.  (The other side is the red/orange/yellow side) But, oh well.  A little splash of yellow in there isn't the end of the world.
And speaking of pink, the Cone flower is looking kind of burnt and tired unfortunately, but I love the little curled stamen all over the cone that you can see if you enlarge the picture. 
And finally, the Russian Sage is fluffing up nicely.  I was a little afraid it was just going to be sad and pathetic and then die, but it seems to have perked up.
And of course the camera I am using now doesn't do really close up very well, but the tiny flowers are soooo sweet. They have these pretty little dark purple stripes on white down in the center of the flower.  Very nice.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Goodbye Butterfly Weed, Hello REALLY FAT Caterpillars

In my morning wanderings today, I discovered that Queen Caterpillars have decided to decimate the Butterfly Weed.
I don't have a very big plant, and pretty soon I imagine I will have even less, because enjoying it immensely are NOT one,

 NOT two,

but THREE, Queen caterpillars. A whole happy little family.  So much for the plant I guess.  I wonder if I'll get to see them turn into butterflies.  
Here is another view of the first one.  The three sets of red and black feelers are amazing, don't you think?
 Oh, and just by the by, am I the only one deafened by Cicadas this summer.  I thought they were loud in Greece, but man... there are a ton this summer right here.  I have been noticing many, many, many of their creepy, prehistoric, discarded shells too...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Unexpected Visitor

It's so nice when something invites itself into your garden that you are actually pleased to see growing there!  
 In the back corner I discovered a sun flower that looks like it is going to have several blooms.
Look how perfect these buds are!  I love the little white hairs along each protective leaf, and the way they overlap one another around the bud.
 The flowers will be fun to see, but I have to say, I am liking it at this stage of its growth VERY much.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Early Morning Garden

The cats in my life are making sure I don't miss the beauty of the garden in the early morning.  Thanks cats.
 Although my thanks are mildly sarcastic, it is a treat to be out there on a quiet Sunday morning.
As I sit in the serene, sleepy stillness, the cacti containers catch the first rays of sunlight.
 And the view across to the bamboo muhli is wonderful.
 I am so in love with this plant.  What could be better than sitting with froth on your coffee, and pale green froth before your eyes?
 Taking a little walk around, I saw that the Bulbine was visiting with the Artemisia,
 The lavender has a beautiful spear of tiny blue flowers,
and the Gaura is tall, and willowy, and covered in delicate pink. 
So sweet.
Thanks cats.  I'll forgive you this time.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Home Again to Wonder at the Weeds....

It has been almost a month since we have been back.  Time enough to say goodbye to the Athens blog, and miss seeing all things Greek.  And time enough to start digging around in the garden, and come to terms with a return to a smaller more contained blogging world. And time enough to start enjoying the changes and growth that I am seeing in the garden.
 I am happy to see that the Ruellia planted in the duct cylinders is thriving... It is so tall that it is easily visible through the living room window.  This is definitely a successful experiment, which means that I will be purchasing more cylinders very soon.
 The combined plantings of the Bamboo, and the Bamboo Muhli, have succeeded in growing into a veritable hedge.  I love the different thicknesses of the feathery grass and bamboo leaves.
 And in front of the bamboo the cacti in the miniature zen garden are happy and bigger too.
 FIVE pomegranates are hanging on the "ornamental" pomegranate tree.  What I am wondering is, do ornamental pomegranates always have fruit but it isn't edible, or... is this not actually an ornamental pomegranate?  I am confused about this one.
 The Texas Mountain Laurel got bigger and even had flowers this year, which is nice to know even if we missed them.  Something to look forward to next year!
 The Cross Vine, doesn't seem too terribly cross, and has a few flowers to show for itself.  But it hasn't done anything wildly dramatic while I was away.  (Of course I was kind of hoping it would have covered the back fence in my absence)
 Quite a few peaches, but they are very small.  Still, At least it is trying to do the right thing.
 Hmmmm.  Can't remember what this is called,
 Or this.
 But the above flowers and the Mexican hat and some wine cups are all very welcome new additions. VERY cool!
 This succulent,
 and this one, are my two favourites on the patio.  This one in particular has such a glorious symmetry.
 A funny little pink moth was enjoying this flower... and I thought at first it was an odd pink petal on the blue plant, but then it fluttered over to another flower.
 View of bamboo from patio,
 And OH MY GOD!!!  I'm not sure quite what to do over here.  The two roses and the grape vine are all vying for space.  Crikey!
 The Rock Rose is also trying to claim a large section of the yard.
 And on the other side the Artemisia is taking some space liberties too.
 It took about a week to get rid of that nasty grass that grows out sideways and flat to the ground...grrrr.
 But when all is said and done.  What is wonderful about the garden is seeing the sunlight shining through the green of a multitude of varied and beautiful plants.

I am beginning a new project... A few new plants and hopefully soon some patio stones that will take the place the grass that I dug up here... the slow reduction of grass is just going to have to be one of those things that inches its way along, due to the obviously back-breaking nature of the job.
 Oh, how I love the Texas Bluebells!!!  A really beautiful addition given by my very wise and wonderful gardening mother.  Every year they just get thicker and more abundant.
 This is kind of a crap photograph, but the Gaura is HUGE beside the peach tree there.  It is nice to see things doing well.
 Artemisia may want to take over but it is hard to begrudge it the space when you see the early morning light sparkling through it's leaves. It looks just like a cloud.
Close up you get a snowflake effect.
And I love this one because the darker leaves in shadow are the ones in focus, with the much lighter sunlit foliage shining through from below.
It's nice to be home.