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Garden picspam

We had some lovely and much needed rain yesterday, so I ran out with my camera during a pause in the storm to snap some pics - everything looks so intensely hued during a rainstorm. <3

This is a plant commonly called "Chocolate Chip Ajuga" aka Bugloss. Sometimes plants have ugly names. This flower is short lived, but when it first comes up, it's so intensely colored, it's fantastic. It fades as the weather heats up, but at first blush, it's almost identical to blue pen ink. The leaves stick around until frost, and they're darkish purple with green margins, and for some reason that made the taxonomists think of chocolate chips? Alright.

I tried being artistic with the raindrops and all, lol. Dutch Iris, you can't go wrong with blue and yellow, and hey did you notice that I like blue flowers in the Spring? It's such a hard color to find for summer and fall plants, I tend to go a little overboard come springtime...

Spanish lavender, and oh, how I love this tough plant. I've said it before, but I have some newbs reading now: lavender is TOUGH. (Um, not the English variety. That stuff wilts faster than a fellow playing tiddlywinks with a glass of Pimms in a PG Wodehouse novel.) I have this stuff lining my rock wall, it gets NO supplemental water, and gets straight-on hot western exposure in Texas summer. And it thrives like crazy. Plus, the blossoms look like bunnies from a distance. Or bees. I <3 them. Plus? It smells delicious.

Another incident of me trying to be an artiste. :) I love my dry river bed. It's light blue/grey when dry, deeply slate-blue when wet. The black grass in front was a successful experiment of mine: black liriope (also known as monkey grass in some parts.) The Ajuga is in the back, and that bit is starting to fade. The green heart-shaped leaf is an invasive Korean ginkgo that I regret ever planting. It smells like oranges when torn, which is cool, but it takes over everything.

There's the infamous weeping maple (Japanese) that my roofers busted in half last year. It's sloooowly coming back. It's literally half the size it was last year at this time. Oh, so much woe over that. In about a month, you won't be able to see any soil/mulch whatsoever. Anenomes and crocosmias will fill that area all out.

The front of my Texas natives bed, which is also where I grow most of my veggies. Clockwise from top left: bearded iris (not in bloom) bi-colored dianthus, bluebonnets, yellow-eyed blue grass. There's a native goldenrod starting to mound up in the upper right corner. Ah-choo!

Saving the best for last (imo) a closeup on the new leaves that just burst forth on my weeping maple. Look at that color!! Oh, I love to just look at it. Clearly I have no life, sitting around staring bug eyed at trees... Each of these leaves is the length of my pinkie finger. I have three Japanese maples, two are weeping forms, the other traditional.

I have total ants in my pants today. I want to do SOMETHING exciting, but instead I'll most likely end up doing laundry and vacuuming. I'd RATHER be BASE jumping off that cliff with the massive cave at the base in New Zealand. Or hiking in Zion. Anything but flippin' laundry and mom duties. SIIIIGH. Wanderlust, big time.


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, your plants (at first I typed "pants") are gorgeous. The colors! To die for!

Mar. 25th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
hahaha, as I'm still in my running pants, I would have worried about your fashion sense. :D

Thank you very much! Oh, those COLORS. I have all of my windows open so I can just look at them, lol. I am such a nerd.
Mar. 25th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Very pretty! Thanks for sharing!
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And you betcha!
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Your garden is LOVELY!!

I get antsy too. Somehow laundry never seems sexy....
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Most of it is just starting to wake up, though. Hurry up, flowers! :)

Laundry = least sexy chore ever? Nope, scooping cat boxes wins hands-down.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, so pretty.
I love Japanese maple, and this weeping variety is gorgeous.

A couple days ago when it got warm - but omg, so damn windy!! - we went out and ripped out all the weeds and carcasses of dead 'ornamental grasses' that the old owner had planted in a raised bed. Now we have a mostly-empty bed of crummy Missouri dirt, which is rather light and full of rocks. And I mean - *full of rocks*. You can't dig up a spade-ful without getting at least five rocks.

We also pulled up a bunch of mint that was growing along the sidewalk and put it in the bed. My gods, root bundles as thick as Cat's wrist! We got rain the very next day and the mint is all perky now, so yay! I hope it takes over.

I'm going to plant bulbs in there. Lots of bulbs. Day lily and such so it just kinda takes over everywhere the mint doesn't and i don't have to mess with it at all in a couple years.

We're rooting for this low, *very* purple sort of...clover? thing? to take over the yard. Heh. It rather looks like what you have up there in the first picture but not as tall, and a duskier purple. I should look at my Missouri weed/plant sites and see if i can identify it.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
My other weeping maple has a fantastic form I'm shaping into the branches. When everything around it is in bloom, I'll take pictures to show it off. :)

Hahaha, that mint will OWN that spot, be prepared. It doesn't care a whit about rocks, soil, nothing. Putting bulbs in that spot sounds like a great idea! Just remember to stick the tall stuff at the back. ;)

Day lilies, irises, crocosmia, alliums, all would be excellent candidates for you.

That clover is most likely the common purple variety of Oxalis - it doesn't spread fast, and it likes to be shaded in the afternoon, but it's one you stick in the ground and forget about, too. I have lots of that here and there as well.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
I love day lilies the most - they grow wild along the sides of the roads here, in this atrocious clay-mix mess, so i know they'll grow fine in that bed. If the Johnson grass doesn't come back. My gods, that stuff - roots like freakin' steel, and *everywhere*.

I'm going to have my sis-in-law dig up some of my iris i left at my old house.

The stuff in the lawn is definitely not Oxalis. Wrong leaf, wrong flower. It looks much more, in shape, like your Bugloss up there. I'll get a picture as soon as i find the camera. We don't have any shade in the front at all - sob! We're going to plant some trees soon.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Ah, see, when you said clover, I thought you meant clover. ;) That weed you linked to is called henbit, and it's awfully aggressive. I dig it out as soon as I see it. Once things warm up, it'll die off naturally, if you're wanting it gone.

Ajuga makes thick mounds of leaves in a variety of colors, and sticks around until the first hard frost - one of those desirable plants.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Heeeee, well. I sort of used clover as a sort of 'i have no clue' catch-all phrase, 'cause this isn't a grass, and it's not a flower, so i have...no clue.

Henbit! Yay! Thank you! :)

We want it to take over. Very pretty! Less grass to mow, yay! Or, less grass right now. When i was a kid, we had these patches of grass that was very low, and curly. Very thin, blade-shaped ...blades. Heh. It was very thick, grew in sort of cushiony patches, and it would get very pale-gold color in the winter. It never got more than about two inches tall, and i loved it - very springy and neat. I wish our whole yard was whatever that grass was - no mowing, ever! It only grew in a few places under the oak trees....
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
I have been trying to get rid of the henbit from my front lawn for years!! Stupid stuff keeps coming back.

Gorgeous shots, thanks for sharing.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
It's just awful. The best way to combat it is to put down pre-emergent in October, otherwise, get to picking... Bleh.

Thank you very much!
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
This year we are not, after all, going to have a vegetable garden, so I am going to work on getting the lawn in shape. First order of business, poison all fire-ant hills (most of the yard it seems like to me). And in the fall I am definitely treating the lawn with pre-emergent so that we don't have to deal with this stuff again! I plan on living vicariously through your garden photos, so you must put many up.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
Here you go. Yard-weed, but pretty. It gets about....three to four inches high.

Mar. 25th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, your flowers and plants are just gorgeous! I just love that weeping maple's color and leaf shape.

We got a little of that rain, but it was mainly just drippy and muggy and gross here.

Bleh to the mom duties when, really, you should be on a private jet en route to Tulum for a fabulous dive trip (that's whereI want to be right this minute!). "Oh, cabana boy, may I have another margarita?"
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love that deeply toothed leaf on the weeping maple, too. It's so lacy and delicate up close, and compact and lush from a distance. <3

I WANT TO COME ALONG ON THAT FABULOUS TRIP. I'm pretty small, I bet I could fit in your luggage...
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
By Zion I assume you mean the park and not Israel.

Your garden is lovely, and I love you more for being such a serious gardener. It's weird for me how few people seem to know anything about growing things. For me, it's reflexive and not anything I put any effort or thought into. Who kills a jade plant, you know?

When our garden gets going I'll post some pics for you.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
hahaha, yes the park! Whoops... It's my most favorite place to be on this earth, just at the precipice of Angel's Landing. So beautiful.

Thanks, Kassie! You know, I'm all official with schoolin' and a title for gardening. (I'm a Master Gardener.) I love helping people figure out stuff in their yards - it's amazing to me, too, that some people just cannot seem to grow some of the simplest things.

I can't wait to see your garden pics! I'm kind of a plant nerd - I ooh and ahh everything from root hairs to new buds.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Weeping Maple! Spanish Lavender! Those are my favorites. So beautiful, Laura! You have such a purdy garden. Let me see your garden grow.
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Beff. How are you today? Feel free to call and tell me all your TMI info.

My garden is looking pretty sweet - I can't wait for another month when EVERYTHING pops out. NERD ALERT.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
Do not apologize for being excited about stuff in your own journal! Some of us will just nerd right along with you. It's neat to see flowers/plants from other regions.

I may be all a-flutter about the fact that my peas and cukes have sprouted to be SEVEN INCHES TALL already. w00t! I think I need to switch them over to something more permanent (currently just in peat discs) with a bit of netting for support/climbing. I have so much work to do in the yard before I can properly plant, though. It's a bit daunting.

If you like maples, can I suggest that you visit Vancouver one year, and hit Van Dusen gardens? They have a STUNNING display of maples there, and in the autumn...well, you might faint from the pretty. I may have wanted to hug the trees.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I have seen pictures of that park! Vancouver just looks so beautiful and lush to me. (I'm in Texas - just where the lush stops.)

One of my dream vacations is a Japanese botanical garden tour. Uh, in Japan, I should stress. :D

Better get those beds prepped for your veggies! Cucumbers are notoriously snotty about late transplanting.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
Now I am picturing cucumbers with their delicate little noses in the air, harrumphing about the lack of appropriate facilities. Maybe that's the effect you were going for? ;-)

Because I don't know the condition of the soil at this place (and being a fishing neighbourhood I wouldn't be surprised if there are various and sundry pollutants in the ground) I'm going to container garden. So I just need to get 2 for now I think, to get those cukes & peas into...

Yeah, it's pretty lush here. I don't think I could live outside of a temperate zone. I like my rain & my green growing things too much.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
More like a high-falootin' Southern Belle with a fainting couch, threatening to waste away to nothing because she has the vapors. ;)

Anything a foot deep would be fine for your cukes, etc. You can put one trellis or cage in there and let them both grow up it. The peas might actually serve as a support for the cukes, come to think of it.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, the weeping maple is just gorgeous! I love the iris, too.
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I love my little babies. (Or rather, I shouldn't take thanks from Mother Nature, eh?)

Mar. 25th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Where do you get Spanish lavender? I'd love to try and grow some!!

And I miss Irises. ::sigh::

(Also: I'm right there with you on wanting to be doing anything but housework.)
Mar. 25th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
you should be able to find it at Home Depot or Lowes, not to mention any cool nursery in your area. Just make sure that you get the kind that says "Lavender DENTATA or STOECHAS" so you know you're getting the kind we can grow in our hot climates. Put it near the driveway, rocks, any where that gets hot and dry with reflective heat and it'll go crazy nuts.

But you don't have to miss irises! you could plant some out there?
Mar. 25th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Lavender DENTATA

...er, so it's vicious lavender with teeth?
Mar. 25th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
Yep! That type of leaf structure is referred to as having deep "teeth" or lobes. :)
Mar. 25th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Such absolutely gorgeous photos!
Mar. 25th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you very much!
Mar. 25th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Even though I can't eat or drink them your garden is indeed very beautiful!

You could tie the end of the vaccuum cleaner to the tv aerial and jump off the roof on the cord? Or maybe play loud music as you dramatically shove the sheets in to the washing machine?

In half an hour I'm off for lunch - come over and we'll grab a bite.
Mar. 25th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
I decided to run up and down the street screaming, completely naked, a look of fear plastered on my face. Then i walked to the mailbox, got my mail, and ran screaming back. Pepped the whole block up!

Oooh, save me a table and order me a pint, would ya?
Mar. 25th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love it! Get someone to take a picture and you could end up on the front cover of Time Magazine. No?

They put me in charge of the booze at work (!?!) so it's rather cruel to sit here next to a cupboard groaning with the stuff. Thank god for heroin.
Mar. 25th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Beautiful beautiful pics! My gardener just put in a ton of liriope, but I had no ide there's a black variant. It goes so perfectly with those dark river stones.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Aww, look at how your icon coordinates! How thoughtful of you. ;)

I like dwarf liriope for filling in bare spots or between stepping stones, but I don't have much use for the standard green stuff. (We had oodles of that at my house growing up, that's all.) But I saw the black one and began to drool. It's great - a little shade in the afternoon, should you put some in.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
The weeping maple is gorgeous. I'm growing English lavendar and I put in some pink flowered ones last year. Here's hoping they come back.
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Thanks, R! If that lavender doesn't come back, keep your eyes peeled for French or Spanish - they're tougher.
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
God, so gorgeous!
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
*pout* I want pretty flowers! The only things blooming up here are the tulips and daffodils. And of course the fruit trees. Except my apple, which is probably why I *always* get apples! The darn thing is smart enough to bloom later than the others. ;)

*sigh* I'm biding my time for now- supposed to get 6 to 8 inches of snow friday.

Have I mentioned I LOVE spring in the panhandle?

Ah well, I should have some poppies and irises before too awfully long.
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

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