Archive for May, 2011

Garden Path Project

We love our patio so much that we decided to extend it by constructing our very own garden path between the beds on the side of our yard – between the house and privacy fence. Here’s the before picture.

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And here it is once we got rid of the grass and weeds.

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We wanted to extend the beds a bit on both sides, so we removed the brick and replaced it with stone for he borders. We are still in the process of cleaning up and finishing the grout work though.

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All I can say is it was hot out there! But we repaired a few sprinkler heads, so the plants will have a much needed water supply throughout the hot summer months ahead!

I’ll post a picture of the finished project soon! I even have a couple of birdhouses on poles, and we’re planning on adding some landscape lighting soon!

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A bloom for Memorial Day

A flower is an educated weed. ~Luther Burbank

I grabbed my iPhone this morning to take a picture of my Hummingbird Vine aka Cypress Vine bloom.

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And here is the flag we ordered from the local Boy Scout troop. The flag was put up early this morning, then taken down before dark. This is in honor of those who have served and are serving our country! They will do this again on Independence and Labor Day, too.

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Hope you had a happy and safe Memorial Day!

Have you checked out bloom IQ dot com?

Bloom IQ

A great garden resource full of information and helpful tips!

Mexican flame vine

Mexican Flame Vine

Just planted this vine by our privacy fence to attract butterflies and hummingbirds! I love the color of this one…

Plant Facts:

Botanical Name: Senecio confusus syn. Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides

Plant Type: Moderately bushy, evergreen twining climber

Origin: Mexico to Honduras

Zones: 9 – 11

Height: 20′ or longer

Rate of Growth: Medium

Soil Requirements: Moderately fertile, well drained soil

Water Requirements: Moderate, water sparingly when not actively growing

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form: Twining vine

I love plants with color!

While I was cleaning out a flower bed last weekend, I noticed the side of our house that faces our neighbors driveway.

No windows, just a brick wall! I thought it was the perfect spot to put a couple of trellises.

So Mark and I went to Lowe’s and found that trellises are not cheap! $40 a piece for a wooden trellis? Really?

Slowly turning to my jack-of-all-trades husband, I didn’t even have to ask, he politely said, “Let me go get what I need.” And here’s the results:

My new trellis!

I have two of these now, and have planted Yellow Trumpet Vines under them. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds so I’m excited to see them grow on the new trellises. They are known to grow at a fast rate and are hardy here in Texas. Here’s what the flowers look like:

Yellow trumpet flower is a variety of Tecoma stans, the Yellow Bells.

Here’s a pictures of some caladiums I planted back in March. I added two different types of English ivy for an added touch. It really turned out to be pretty amazing. I just wish I would have spray painted this pot before doing it. It’s a little scratched up and chipped, but nothing some spray paint couldn’t take care of.

Caladiums with english ivy have filled this pot!

I found this bicycle plant stand at Ross for $20. I couldn’t resist. Isn’t it adorable?

Bicycle plant stand I found at Ross.

Here’s some red salvia I planted in a pot not too long ago. I just love how this picture turned out.

Red salvia

When I first planted this coleus plant, it was teeny, tiny, but now it’s really big! I love the lime color on it’s leaves.

One of my favorite flowering tropical vines is the Bougainvillea. A native to the coast of Brazil, this plant will thrive in any well-drained soil. For blooms like this, make sure you set or plant it in at least 5 hours per day of full sunlight. More is better. They also love to be fed. I feed mine with Miracle Grow pellets that last 3 months at a time. These are awesome in hanging baskets, trellisses, hedges or just a cascading planter plant like mine shown below. Nothing beats the color of a Bougainvillea!

Another favorite of mine is this tough, little flower. Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora). Loves it anywhere it’s hot and dry, and the colors are just amazing. It has succulent leaves and makes a great groundcover or just in a hanging basket. I have my planted in a small pot for now. Once the seasons over, that’s it. They are annuals. Unless you can create a greenhouse, which I’m thinking of doing!

And here’s a couple of flowers that were in my bouquet I received for Mother’s Day. I love this picture. So colorful.

Lastly, my Hibiscus plant. These are the state flower of Hawaii. Easy to grow, loves the sun and anything tropical! I love them!

My scary, monster squash…

Let me start by saying that I’m not an expert when it comes to vegetation, so when I planted some squash seeds on my kitchen countertop, it didn’t surprise me that everyone that day thought they were brownies.

We don’t have much of a yard for vegetable gardening, but I found a spot that looked like it would be okay. Finally working the nerve up to just go for it, I planted them in the spot. I knew they needed all day sun and this was the spot for that.

I threw a bag of some soil I bought from the garden center to mound it up for proper drainage – I read that somewhere and thought it might a good idea – you know, in case it rained – ummm, well, not so much!

Seriously, I must have done something right or just had really good soil in the spot, because this squash has turned out to be way better than I ever expected!

As a matter of fact, it scared the crap out of me today.

First of all, the leaves are so big that in order to see any vegetation, you have to peer inside by moving the monster leaves and getting up close and personal.

Monster Squash

Once inside, this is what I saw…

Is that a freaking snake?

I don’t know about you, but that dark green twisty vine looked like a freakin’ snake to me!

Check out that dark green vine - very creepy looking!

Anyway, after I calmed down and my heart rate went back to normal, I picked this monster.

Squash #3 - the biggest so far!

This is the third pick and there are about 10 – 12 more on the way.

In the meantime, I’ve been watching my newest sweet potato vine, it’s starting to grow and looking really healthy. Nothing scary about this one!

Sweet Potato Vine Plant

And here’s a picture of our Ficus tree by the kitchen window. It’s doing really well in this spot…

In the corner by the kitchen window - our Ficus tree.

Speaking of kitchen, I think I’ll go cook the squash now! Yummy!

Roses that Rock

Moss Rose. This is one of my favorite plants to grow. I remember seeing this in my parent’s yard growing up. It only grows 4 – 8 inches high and spreads up to 2 feet. It’s a perfect ground cover for any large, hot and dry spot in your yard or garden. I’ve seen it grow in rocks as shown in the picture below.

Grows anywhere, even on rocks!

It comes in many color varieties. Here’s a picture of my lovely, orange Moss Rose!

The Moss Rose on my patio!

The thing about these roses is they only open up when the sun comes out. If there’s a cloudy, overcast day, unlike anything we are having here in Texas right now, they will stay closed until the sun comes out again. They love the sun, so be sure and plant them in an area that receives at least 6 – 8 hours daily! Keep in mind, they need good drainage and must be deadheaded so that you can enjoy healthier blooms! You only need to fertilize them once in the middle of the summer and again in late summer.

Planting them anywhere along your driveway, sidewalk, walkway or even between pavers are all good choices for them! I’m about to plant some in a new container and set them in this cute little bicycle planter I found on Amazon. They also make for a beautiful hanging basket!

Isn't this adorable?

These roses definitely rock for Mother’s Day!