The the late summer/fall flowers have started to bloom in the garden.
The flowers are showing a little more restraint in their blooming than they would if we had received a nice soaking rain since June and if the temperature was not so slow to moderate. Summer seems to be slow to let go this year.
Nevertheless, the buffet is set and awaiting local pollinators and migrating monarch butterflies. The green spikes of gayfeather (Liatris) that were something of an eyesore a week ago are now purple with nectar rich flowers. And look at pine muhly in the center.
Love that grass.
I have only seen a few monarchs in the last couple of weeks. According to the Journey North website, the leading edge of the peak migration is just crossing into Texas. They better hurry up and get here because the gayfeather is about to peak.
Bees are busily feeding on the flowers.
Here is a closer look at the flowers.
These gayfeather blooms are joined by little bluestem and zexmenia.
I don't have any monarch pictures yet, but I did get a photo of this yellow butterfly. Over the weekend, I saw several pipevine swallowtail butterflies that were taking their first flights around the garden after their summer metamorphoses. A neighbor that frequently walks his dogs past my house said he has been stopped by several people driving by. They all want to know if the butterflies have arrived yet. Apparently, my garden is a bit of a tourist attraction.
My variegated Yucca gloriosa is blooming for the first time. I think the wet spring helped it to get established because it did not show any signs of drought stress this summer like it has in the past.
Around in the back garden, the spiny eryngo is blooming. The plant is not overly attractive when it gets six feet tall and flops over into the pathways.
But the pineapple shaped flowers are a welcome addition to the garden and a treat for the pollinators.
A cool front came through today. I have a feeling that the garden will be full of monarchs and other pollinators this weekend.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I recently "planted" two ollas in my vegetable garden. If you are wondering what an olla is, you may need to know that the pronunciation of the word is oy-ya. It is a Spanish word that means pot.
This is a view of the squash bed from the other direction. The plants on this end are not as healthy due to pill bugs munching on the stems. The smaller plants allow you to see how the olla is buried and how the plants are oriented around it.
Ollas are supposed to last several years. Any freezing and thawing during the cold winter months will probably be the hardest on them. As cold temperatures approach, I will stop refilling them and leave them the ground through the winter.
For your viewing pleasure, here is a clip from Central Texas Gardener about ollas.
And here is another clip showing how to make your own olla. If you search the internet, you can find several plans for making your own ollas.
Elsewhere in the vegetable garden, I have a patch of black eyed peas growing on my homemade cattle panel arch. The taller plant among the black eyed peas is my only surviving green bean plant. I planted green beans before I planted black eyed peas and the pill bugs mowed down all of the others within a couple of days. Fortunately, they do not seem to care for black eyed peas. I hope that one bean plant produces a lot of beans. There are a few more squash plants to the right of the beans.