Saturday, June 27, 2009


On Friday the North Texas area experienced its sixth earthquake for the month. The area has had more earthquakes in one month than in the past 100 years. Some believe the unprecedented events are cause by increased natural gas drilling. SMU placed seismic equipment in the area before the last quake. It will be interesting to hear their findings.
The Plano Prairie is too far from the epicenter of the quakes to feel any movement, but the prairie is experiencing its own shifting earth.
The clay that comprises Blackland Prairie is drying out in the summer heat. As the clay dries, it shrinks and cracks.I have not watered this year other than selective hand watering of new transplants. As a result, some of the cracks in the soil are wide enough for my hand to fit.Even with all the cracks, the plants are still healthy and blooming.Growing native and adapted plants sure does make a difference. I don't think begonias could survive these conditions.
If only the foundation of the house could hold up to the shrinking soil without regular watering...

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009 Bloom Day--A Study in Purple

Lemon Beebalm or Horsemint. Monarda citriodora. This plant is usually around a foot tall in the wild. With no extra care, it gets three to four feet tall in my prairie.

Purple Coneflower. Echinacea purpurea.

Gayfeather. Liatris spicata in the rain garden. This particular variety is not native to Texas. It is native to the eastern US (as close as AR and LA) however these were grown by a bulb company in Holland. In the background and to the right is a native gayfeather that will bloom later in the year.

What are those yellow flowers doing in this study in purple? Those are Cowpen Daisies, Verbensia encelioids. Mixed in with the Cowpen Daisies is Horsemint. In the background are Purple Coneflower, Prairie Verbena, Agastache, and Garden Phlox from my grandmother's garden.

Winecup Callirhoe involucrata

Pink Hyssop Agastache barberi 'Tutti Frutti'. This plant is not as vigorous as in past years. It may be time to let one of the seedlings take over.