Sunday, May 26, 2013

Big Yellow Caterpillar

All of the rain we received since Friday night kind of messed up my outdoor gardening plans for this weekend, so I pulled out my camera this morning to take a few photos.
The horsetail reed in the "galvanized planter" is starting to fill in after being removed while I moved the planter across the garden a couple of months ago. Nearby, the yellow red yucca and red red yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, are in bloom.

The spineless prickly pear is surrounded by blooms. The stems of winecup, Callirhoe involucrata, are weaving in and around and up and over the other plants in the garden which places the magenta flowers at several heights.

Look at all of those flower buds. The cactus will be covered in flowers this year.

The spiky plant is Soapweed Yucca, Yucca glauca. The yellow flowers are Zexmenia, Wedelia texana, and Four Nerve Daisy, Tetraneuris scaposa.

Pale-leaf Yucca, Yucca pallida

American Basketflower, Centaurea americana, is part of the second wave of spring wildflowers to begin blooming in the last week. 

Heartleaf Skullcap, Scutellaria ovata, also started blooming. It has spread rapidly along the edge of the rain garden.

Horsemint, Monarda citriodora, and Indian Blanket, Gaillardia pulchella, are hearty reseeding annual wildflowers. The Horsemint is especially attractive to bees.

This Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa, has never looked better. The flowers were timed perfectly with the arrival of several monarchs. This monarch is enjoying the nectar of the milkweed flowers. The butterflies have also been laying eggs on the milkweed.

This Purple Coneflower is Echinacea sanguinea. I have had this plant for about six years and it has yet to produce any seedlings. The small plant usually produces five or six flowers and then it blends into its surroundings until the following year.

This Purple Coneflower is Echinacea angustifolia. It grows much larger and has more flowers than 
Echinacea sanguinea.

What's that lurking on the other side of the Purple Coneflowers? It is a big yellow caterpillar, but not of the insect variety.

Yes, I have a Caterpillar backhoe parked in front of my house. I am bored with my current garden design and I want to make some dramatic changes. These changes will require moving lots of dirt, too much dirt to move without the use of heavy equipment. 

Dramatic pause...

(Is this guy crazy?)

More pause...

(Why would he destroy his garden after so much work?)

More drama...

(He can't be serious.)

OK that's enough drama. I am not serious. I must confess that I made up the part about making dramatic changes to my garden. I already made my dramatic changes when I removed all of the lawn and planted native plants. That is all the drama (and manual labor) I can handle.

What is really going on is that the city is removing and replacing several sections of the street. Fortunately, they passed over the section in front of my house and did work in front of the houses on both sides of me. I am not really sure what they were repairing because there were no potholes or noticeable problems with the street. 

I am glad they are not doing any work directly in front of my house because they are also replacing the curb. This requires digging about 12 inches into the parkway, which would damage a few plants and displace some decomposed granite in front of my house. So I have no damage, just a yellow Caterpillar parked in front of my house.

It could have been worse. My neighbors have had a portable toilet sitting in front of their house for the past week.


  1. Looks as beautiful as ever. I'm sure the city didn't want to spoil the view of your garden for all those who drive by. I'd like to do that one day.

    1. Get in touch with me the next time you come to Dallas. I have connections and can arrange for a guided tour.

  2. Love how the winecup looks in your garden. Looks like your cactus is going to burst into bloom any minute now. Horsemint really is a magnet to those pollinators. And yes, you would be crazy to destroy a beautiful garden;)

    1. And I would be crazy because my body could not take another major revision!

  3. Pretty funny, good thing they missed your part of the street.

    The changes are amazing in just over a week since I saw your garden. The basketflower is blooming now.

    I do plan a post for Wednesday on my visit to your garden I just took a few days off when we got back.

    I forgot the name of one of your plants, I remember the Bee Brush, the Eryngium and (Blank?). Thanks so much.

    1. Shirley, that third plant is clammy-weed. It might do well in your buffalo grass. It is an annual and produces many seeds. It is supposed to be highly deer resistant. I am looking forward to seeing your photos.

    2. Thanks I'll remember it now, my post on your garden is up today.

  4. Oh my, lucky you for only having a backhoe in front of your house, ha! Your front yard looks spectacular. When you removed your lawn, did you replace the soil with something else or just amend it?

  5. Jean, the backhoe has moved to another street, although the porta potty is still out there. Since my plan was to plant native prairie plants after I removed the lawn, I did not want to improve the soil too much. Regionally native plants are used to the clay soil, so I did not do much besides turn the soil, add a few bags of lava sand and expanded shale. I also added a couple of bags of compost. When I say few and couple, that is exactly what it was. Maybe 3 bags each of lava sand and expanded shale and two or three bags of compost. My plants already grow larger than they do in the wild so over preparation would probably make them weak and floppy.

  6. This year's garden is your best ever! Glad the backhoe moved on. David/:0)


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