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Saturday, July 19, 2003

Goodbye Holly, Hello Hydrangea.

after not too much hinting, darin dug out one of the (several) hollies along the side fence in the backyard. my new oakleaf hydrangea (hydrangea quercifolia) is now sitting there waiting for me to put some nice compost in the hole and plant it.

i'm not sure what kind of holly we disposed of, but i think it was probably a dwarf burford holly (ilex cornuta "burfordii"). i've always hated the spiny hollies because they are such a pain (literally) to work around.

update: sometime between the original draft of this post (july) and the actual posting (november), the hydrangea expired due to neglect.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Ornamentals | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dog Days.

it's hot, it's humid, it's the height of summer in houston. even the dogs don't want to be outside.

to make matters worse, i seem to have become a mosquito magnet. once upon a time, mosquitoes ignored me, preferring to munch on the people around me. apparently i've become sweeter in my middle age. or something like that.

hurricane claudette was kind to us. we got a bit of rain on tuesday and a few more showers wednesday (rain in july is almost always a good thing). a couple of my bell and banana pepper plants were slightly beaten down, but they'll recover. the serrano peppers and the tomatoes were completely unaffected and continue to grow pretty much like weeds. at least they're producing lots of edibles.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

More Weather.

we've had showers with occasionally heavier rain and gusty wind since early this morning. it's just barely sprinkling now. happy to be on the higher side of houston.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, July 14, 2003

Watching the Weather.

we've gone from expecting no impact from tropical storm claudette to expecting a rather closer encounter.

sky was clear and blue all day today, but the clouds have now started moving in and as i type this it is noticably darker outside than it was 30 minutes ago.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Weather | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Tomato Monster.

i really shouldn't have worried so much about the birds eating my tomatoes. as it is, the "matt's wild cherry" tomato plant is producing more tomatoes than i care to eat myself. it doesn't help that darin told me only after the tomatoes started ripening that he doesn't really like "raw" tomatoes.

not only is the plant producing enough tomatoes for me and all our backyard birds, but it has grown large enough to engulf over half my raised herb bed. this despite my fairly regular attempts to keep it pruned to manageable size.

needless to say, next year the tomatoes will be planted somewhere other than in my herb bed.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Edibles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ailing Rosemary.

the rosemary in my raised bed looks terrible -- it's a mere shadow of its formerly beautiful self. this decline happened very quickly over the last few days, so i can't help but think it's related to all the rain we've had recently.

even though the plant is near the edge of a raised bed (~8 inches), i think the soil mix is holding too much moisture. i just went out and pulled back the mulch and sure enough the soil around the rosemary is still awfully damp. so i've pulled back the mulch all around the rosemary to try to dry it out a bit before the rain returns.

regardless of what happens to this plant we'll still have plenty of rosemary. darin has scattered at least half a dozen rosemary plants around the yard -- in the ground and in containers. i'm just disappointed about this particular specimen because it is 'mine.'

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Problems | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Here Comes the Rain. Again.

after thunder and lightning and rain much of yesterday (and a few brief power outages), today started off with sunny blue skies.

but now the clouds have moved in, the wind has picked up and the temperature has dropped. my first look out the window seemed to indicate huge raindrops had just started falling, but closer inspection revealed those huge drops were actually crepe myrtle blossoms. the front bed is now covered in pale pink (or maybe it's lavender) crepe myrtle blossoms.

given that houston is down almost ten inches for rainfall this year, i don't mind too much.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Weather | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

New Plants.

i returned to the nursery and bought:

  • (2 more) hymenoxys scaposa (four nerve daisy)
  • (1) salvia roemeriana (cedar sage)
  • (1) hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea)

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in New Plants | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Monday, July 07, 2003

Beta Blog.

i'm beta-testing typepad.

good timing, i'll say. weather is currently hot, humid and intermittently rainy, so i'm perfectly happy to stay inside learning new blog tricks. most of my posting will probably be at this location for while rather than at the original garden spot site.

first order of business -- customize the template.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

June Flowers...

  • anethum graveolens (dill)
  • aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)
  • crinum
  • cuphea hyssopifolia (mexican heather)
  • hamelia patens (mexican firebush)*
  • hibiscus
  • justicia spicigera (mexican honeysuckle)*
  • lantana camara - "new gold," "radiation," "raspberry," "silver mound"
  • lavandula heterophylla (sweet lavender)
  • liriope muscari
  • lonicera japonica (hall's honeysuckle)
  • meyer lemon
  • origanum vulgare (greek oregano)
  • parsley
  • pentas lanceolata
  • peppers - banana, bell, poblano, serrano
  • plumbago auriculata
  • rose
  • salvia
    • s. elegans (pineapple sage)
    • s. sinaloensis*
    • s. splendens (scarlet sage)
    • s. urtica (blue sage)
  • trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine)
  • tomatoes - "matt's wild cherry" and "sweet million"
  • zephyranthes grandiflora(?) (rain lilies)
*new plants purchased in bloom

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in What's Blooming... | Permalink | Comments (0)