Monday, November 17, 2008

Some of the last of fall color

We got a freeze last night, 26 degrees. There wasn't enough moisture to have a frost though. I was amazed at how little things were effected. Not much damage at all. I think we may be at the end of the fall color. I already posted some color in the garden last week. Here's some more I didn't get to.

Big Mama Turks Cap

Fall Shrimp plant

Green Shrimp Plant

Giant petunias with a volunteer cosmos in the foreground. These petunias usually get over head-high but only managed about four feet this year.

The trailing Rosemary finally bloomed. I was getting a little gardener's anxiety about it. Thought it wasn't going to bloom at all this year.

I had forgotten about my Strawberry Gomphrena until it bloomed.

The Stonecrop finally bloomed in the big limestone planter. I got this planter from a nursery that had it for years and it hadn't sold. They told me if I could carry it out to my truck I could have it. I don't know how much it weighs, but it's a bunch. I wanted it bad and, well, it's mine now.

The Tropical Sage and the Duranta make a wonderful color combo when looking out the yucca gate.

Well, the Flame Acanthus had to flame on just one more time. You can see the two different varieties in the picture. The true native is in the background.

Stay tuned, there is more fall color to come in a few days.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Those darn Buzzards

My wife was already gone this morning when I woke. I stumbled into the bathroom and flipped on the switch. Nothing, nada, zip, zero, zilch. Had to be a breaker. I got dressed, went down stairs, out the door, around the house to the breaker box to flip the breaker. Uuuummm, all the breakers are on. Most welders are also usually pretty good electricians, but not me. I had to think this through. Ah ha, the big switch box on the power pole. I headed around the shop, thinking about how much closer I was getting to a hot cup of coffee. I could almost smell that coffee now. Uh oh, everything looks good here too. Now what to do. I was just about to settle on going to the feed store down the road for my coffee when Bonnie, my Blue Lacy dog started to growl. She was looking over the fence into the neighbors pasture. I looked over the fence to see what the problem was. There was the problem, or at least the cause of my problem.

It appeared that said buzzard had lit on the power pole, causing a short between two lines and blowing the big fuse on the top of the pole. And he paid for it with his carrion eating life too. Poor guy. I have to admit that I felt sorry for him (or her as the case may be). I kind of like buzzards. They have a job to do and it's a job that needs doing. And they are stricken with being really ugly while doing an equally ugly job as well. Poor guy.

While I felt sorry for the poor fried buzzard I did not feel sorry for his buddy perched here on my roof. For some reason they love to sit on the peak of my roof as do the Great Horned owls. I don't mind the owls so much as they just sit there and hoo hoo but the buzzards have to walk back and forth making scratchy noises on the tin. It just drives my dogs crazy. I usually have to go out on the upstairs deck and walk around on the porch roof and scare them off.

While I was up there I did notice this aerial view of the beds that my wife just planted. It certainly gave me a new perspective of the vegetable gardens.

In the end I went to the feed store for my coffee, the poor buzzard lost his life, and a couple of hours later the power was restored. Regardless of what you've read about PEC, the company is a super bunch of people who truly strive to keep you in electricity. They are always so nice and help out any way they can. I've seen them on the side of the road changing a flat for someone. They also have a great magazine they send out. I am really glad to be serviced by them on my electricity. Other than the occasional ice storm or buzzard you will have electricity--and coffee.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall color

With these cooler temps that we have been having, a lot of plants have decided to fit one more flush of blooms in and a nice range of colors as well.

The pink Turks Cap hadn't bloomed all summer but the conditions must have gotten right.

All three of my Ruellias have decided to bloom again.

This Ruellia normally gets over five feet tall and blooms in profusion, but this year the heat kept the blooms to a minimum. With this cooler weather it knew it was its time to bloom. But it only got to about four feet tall.

The pink and yellow Lantana decided the butterflies needed a boost before the first frost so it had a medium flush of blooms, albeit mostly all yellow.

The Salvia Greggii did well all summer but had been without blooms for a while. But here they come again.

You can see the two Flame Acanthus behind this pink and white Salvia Greggii that are about to burst into flame again.

I don't know what kind of Salvia this little one is as it was a gift from a Native Plant Society friend and was unmarked. It couldn't cope with the heat and my stinginess with the water and didn't bloom all summer. It finally bloomed and I am so happy with it. Red is my favorite garden color. I probably have too much red in the garden but hey, it's my garden.

The Euriops and the Esperanza add a little yellow to the garden. The Esperanza blooms are a washed out kind of yellow and not as bright as they were earlier.

I found these two little Esperanzas growing out of cracks in a big rock. They're really entrenched in there and I can't get them out. So I guess I'll just leave them and see what happens.

There are more reds scattered through the garden like the Hummingbird plant in the little rock-lined bed by the back steps. This bed was a real problem as it seemed nothing I planted there did well. But this plant has just flourished.

I think in years to come the Hummingbird plant will completely fill this bed up and will really be a dazzling display of red color.

This next red is a "gimme" plant. I don't really like geraniums and I like miniaturized plants even less. But if someone gives me a plant, I will find a place and take care of it. This one surprised me. It didn't bloom all summer and I thought it might just be a non-bloomer but in reality I think the temperature wasn't to its liking until now. It's a real beauty and I really like it.

A little pink jewel peeking out of the Lariope caught my eye and I had to take a picture. I don't really remember planting this little Oxalis but it was a pleasant surprise.

This Ocatillo was one of those gardener anxieties I've talked about. I dug it up on a ranch in west Texas last October and it has been unchanged ever since. I thought it had taken hold but was unsure as Ocatillo looks for all the world dead until it leafs out. And it finally did. Could a big blooming be in the near future? I sure hope so as they are a beautiful blood red. Did I mention, I like red.

There are more blooms still but this post is getting long so they will have to wait until later.