Sunday, February 9, 2014

Misty Sunday Morning

This morning the weather was a little misty ahead of another cold front that could bring some more frozen precipitation this week.

The moisture always brings out the colors of the Little Bluestem grass. (A setting on my camera brings them out even more.)

Pine Muhly in the foreground. 

Our sudden, early December ice storm did some damage to my spineless prickly pear cactus. The "branches" are slowly drooping closer to the ground and a few of them broke off. I will have more on this tragedy in a future post. I think it will survive, but it may be too early to know for sure.

Possumhaw Holly or Deciduous Yaupon is one of my favorites. The red berry covered branches are upright again after being bent to the ground under the weight of the ice in December.

It has been quite a while since there has been any rain water standing in the rain garden.

Bushy Bluestem grows in the rain garden.

A close up of Bushy Bluestem.

I do a little garden maintenance when we have warm weekends. I may trim a perennial here and there to tidy up the garden a little, but I leave many of them until mid-February because the seedheads add interest to the winter garden and provide food for birds. This is Rudbeckia above.

Salvia greggii.


Skeleton-leaf Goldeneye.

Eryngo. Most of the seeds have fallen to the ground...

and sprouted. These plants will not bloom until late summer.

Bluebonnet seedlings. These will be in full bloom in a couple more months.

The Buffalo Currant sent out a few early flowers. There should be many more over the next month.

Four-Nerve Daisy continues to bloom throughout the winter months.

In the vegetable garden, I planted a couple of varieties of onions in January.

Shallots and garlic were planted in October. The garlic will be ready for harvest at about the same time as the onions. This is my first time to grow shallots, so there will be some guessing as to when to harvest them. Inside the cattle panel cage, the roots of asparagus are preparing to send up new shoots. I cut back last year's ferny growth in January.

This is also my first time to grow Brussels sprouts. I have a purple one and a green one. The purple one is quite attractive in the garden.

I also have four broccoli plants. I harvested florets from two of the plants over the winter. Maybe there will be more to come. I covered my vegetable plants for the December ice storm, but I have not covered them since. They have been exposed to temperatures in the mid teens and it does not seem to have harmed them. When the plants are cold, they look like they melted to the ground, but then they perk up again when the weather warms. They are in mid perk in the pictures above because we had about three consecutive days where the temperature did not get above freezing. 

And then there is my poor red oak tree. It is not perking up. It suffered several broken limbs after the ice storm. There is more damage than can be seen in this photo. As much as I would rather do it myself, I think I need to call in a professional for this job. 

I am ready for spring.


  1. Your garden looks good considering the tough winter. The yucca is a real standout in the late winter. Four-nerve daisy is a good year round bloomer.

    I was just wondering when to cut asparagus back so now I know. This will be the third year so I can harvest a few this spring. I should plant shallots next year, I use a lot of them and they are expensive.

    1. Sounds like you planted your asparagus the same year I did, Shirley. Our local organic gardening radio personality says you can harvest a few spears after the first year so I harvested the first 4-5 spears on my plants last year. I don’t think it caused any damage. I imagine I will be able to harvest even more this year.

  2. That is sad about your tree. Thanks for mentioning the camera setting on this dreary Monday.

    1. I wonder if I am misrepresenting my garden if a camera setting makes it look a little better than real life?

    2. I don't think you are "misrepresenting" your plants. You are giving us nudges to look for the best in nature in the winter months. And I am going to experiment with my own camera settings when we finally get past this yo-yo of frizzle and sneet weather!

  3. I really admire your winter garden. You have done a fine job of creating a year round planting.

    1. Thanks Rock rose. I enjoyed seeing you and your garden on CTG. Here is the link for anyone that missed the show.

  4. Your garden looks good. I love that first photo.
    Sorry about the tree. A good professional should be able to help, though.
    Sure hope the Prickly Pear is ok. It's gorgeous. We can't grow them here...the deer chomp them. :/

    1. I called an arborist today but they will not be out for a couple of weeks because they have been so busy. Those deer will eat almost anything, won’t they? Cotton tail rabbits are our deer here in Plano. At least they can’t reach as high as deer.

  5. Love all of your winter interest. I wish my yard looked half so good right now!

    1. Thanks. I checked out your blog and your garden looked very nice during the summer.

  6. Looks great Michael. I received a few pads of spineless pears last fall from my sons father in laws garden in San Angelo. Put it in a cold frame on the south side of the house. It's a little purple around the edges, but I think it will be fine.

    1. Thanks greggo. I really like my spineless prickly pear. Are you going to grow yours in pots?


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