Monday, March 16, 2009

Belated Bloom Day

So, there is this monthly event in the world of garden blogging called Bloom Day. It occurs on the 15th. This will be my first Bloom Day post and, of course, I am a day late. There is not much blooming right now, but since we had a good rain and temps are rising, things should start growing more.

Mexican Buckeye or Texas Buckeye. This one is in a pot and waiting to stretch its roots out in the soil. I have another in the ground, but it is not blooming yet.
This is my Golden Goundsel. This one must be in stress because it has aphids. I sprayed them with a stream of water last week, but a few held on. Ants are milking the aphids.

Ah, the four nerve daisies. They bloom non-stop, all year long. As long as I have them, I will always have at least one bloom on Bloom Day.

Buffalo Currant. This is its third year in my garden and no fruit yet. Maybe this year.

The Texas Betony is beginning to bloom.

Now for the non-Texan residents of the garden. Summer Snowflake.

This is Kerria.

OK. The calendar is marked for April 15. Maybe I will be on time.

Wildflower Walk at Connemara Meadow Preserve

There was a guided wildflower walk at Connemara on Sunday. We really only saw two kinds of wildflowers. I think it is still a little early for them. The dry weather (before last week's rain) probably did not help matters either.

The Rowlett Creek subsided after the rains. The you could tell from the debris line how high the creek rose as a result of the rain.

Several types of butterflies were flying around the meadow. This was the only one that sat still long enough to be photographed.

One of the few wildflowers blooming on Sunday. The Ten Petal Anemone. According to our guide, they may have between eight and thirteen petals.

The other blooming wildflower was the Golden Groundsel. I bought one at a native plant sale last year to put under my oak tree. It is blooming now too.
Another Golden Groundsel deeper in the woods.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Yard of the Month

A Yard of the Month sign in my unconventional landscape? Yes, but I had to award myself. Sadly, I am not an official winner. A local nursery chain sponsors the award for neighborhood groups. I signed up my neighborhood and picked up the sign. I could not resist putting the sign in my yard long enough to take a picture. The sign will probably never return to my yard. It is not likely that my native landscape will ever be nominated for the award because it is different.

In 2008, I decided to reduce the amount of turf grass in my front yard. The original plan was to create a small island bed in the middle of the yard. I was not happy with the shape of the bed, so I gradually removed more and more grass until most of the front yard was gone.

I would have removed all the grass, but I read that front yard native landscapes are better accepted (or tolerated) if they have a border around them. To accommodate neighborhood sensibilities, I put edging around my native planting and left a small strip of St. Augustine grass on each side. I think the strip of manicured grass emphasises the point that the natural flowerbed is intentional and maintained.

I decided use straight lines for the front and side borders of the of the bed. I just could not get the curves in the slope of the soil in the bed and curves of the pathway between the original bed and the new bed to complement the curves of the borders.

I did put one curve in the edging. It goes around the edges of my front yard rain garden. It's different, but I think it works fairly well.