Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fruit trees in the garden bearing fruit after recent rains...

A tour through the garden this week, after several significant recent rains, has me smiling.  Several of our trees are bearing fruit, thanks to a change of seasons and the end the our drought status.
The Texas ever-bearing fig tree we planted this spring is perking up after the summer and producing a second crop of fruit.  I can't wait to taste them, as those from the spring were stressed by the transplant and heat.
It's a lovely little tree, but I have had to put up a fence to keep Dakota, the fruit-vegetable-bulb-grub-eating dog away from it.
The pineapple guava is getting to be quite large for its spot and when it's done fruiting, I will do some more pruning on it.  I'd like it to be a little less multi-trunked so we can see the structural nature of the tree.
Dakota had eaten some of the guavas, but there are going to be enough for us as I'm keeping a closer eye on her!
The pomegranate tree is absolutely full of fruit.  The birds and squirrels often get into these, and I usually leave some on the tree to split open and give them a treat.  I'm going to try some different ways for us to enjoy the arils this year.  They're so good for you -- their health benefits include helping to fight heart disease, blood pressure, high cholesterol. They have also been shown to help inhibit breast, prostate and colon cancer. We have many more than we could possibly eat, so I'll be sharing.  If you're in Austin, let me know if you'd like to come get some -- they're not quite ready yet, but it won't be long now.  Just post a comment if you're interested in coming to get some.
There is no fruit on the loquat, but it's blooming all over, so that's a promising sign for future production.  Except that this fruit tree sits next to the Pom, so the squirrels usually have a field day with the loquats because they are much less work to eat.  I'll have to be the early bird to get this fruit.

What's fruiting in your garden?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Frogs and toads and eggs in the garden -- oh my!

We're very fortunate to enjoy an abundance of wildlife in our garden.  With an acre and a half - and about one third of it is natural woods -- we see birds, deer, squirrels, foxes, road runners, coyotes and an abundance of lizards and frogs and toads.

I've enjoyed watching frogs and toads near one of our fountains and the pool over the course of this summer.  I went out every day to see if someone was cooling off in the fountain.  Last week, I let the dogs out at night and counted 16 Rio Grande leopard frogs in the pool at once!  They jump in at night and are usually gone by morning.  And I found a cluster of frog spawn in the pool. I scooped it out and carefully and slowly replaced the pool water with rain water from the tank over a period of about a day.  Now I am refreshing the rain water daily.

They seem to be changing, the eggs becoming elongated as they begin the process of morphing into tadpoles.  Several of my garden blogging friends with ponds want to adopt some of them, too!  Fingers crossed that at least some of them make it.

Then last night I saw my first Green tree frog on the back wall of the house.  This Hyla cinerea was just hanging out and didn't move a muscle as Jeff took several pictures of him.

Isn't he cute?  This is definitely the year of the frogs and toads in our garden.

I've blogged about these guys several times over the last few months.  

And an interloper toad came to the party for a while, as well.

A few years ago, I even had a whole family of toads squatting in a bag of potting soil.  Scared me to death when I reached in for some soil!

It's like having the National Geographic channel in our own back yard.  I could spend hours watching our critter friends.

What critters do you enjoy in your garden?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Great garden color combos to perk up the fall garden...

A big package from Plant Delights made me squeal with delight yesterday.  Because I already had two flats of small plants for containers and the garden waiting impatiently in the garage, I vowed to spend the time to get these right into the ground.  

As I considered where to put them -- they are additions to collections I've already started -- I thought I would just mix them in with the existing varieties.  The order included 3 heucherella 'Solar Eclipse,' and 2 hellebores -- 'Berry Swirl' and 'Golden Lotus' -- and 1 sprekelia (red - so going elsewhere).  And, sitting in my garage for two weeks - 2 'Tutti Frutti' shrimp plants.  

Hmmmm. chartreuse and burgundy and cranberry and yellow -- that looks like a fabulous combination.  So, I looked for a spot to place them all together and found a corner with 1 existing 'Tutti Frutti' and plenty of room.

Oh, and see my new shovel?  It's the first time I've used it -- it has a nice flat bar to step on and provide more power and stability and has a nice handle that makes it easier to press down on it and put some oomph into it.  Especially great for me, with tendonitis in my arms and an occasionally cranky back.
It was much easier to use and it's a little smaller than a standard shovel - just my size. I found it at Red Barn Garden Center up north when I was up shopping for a client the other day.

It was getting dark when I finished, so this isn't the best photo of it all done.
Now, Central Texas is flooding, the rain is about to come into my garage and I expect my plants to swim by at any moment.  So much for getting them in before a nice rain!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Garden art, water features & sweet seating vignettes in this garden on Inside Austin Gardens tour

Be sure to put the popular Inside Austin Gardens Tour on your calendar - it's a garden event you don't want to miss.  Saturday's tour provides a rare look inside six private gardens and one public experimental garden.  The gardens demonstrate the practical beauty, variety and stamina of native and well-adapted plants in Central Texas gardens.

I was invited to a preview tour with other local garden bloggers, and that means you get a sneak peek at the wonderful gardens that will be on the tour.  
Cottage garden in Crestview
1315 Cullen Ave 78757

This garden was a delightful, free-form space, full of garden art, seating areas and eclectic touches around every corner.  Multiple paths wind through plants and interesting features and focal points. 

If you're looking for creative inspiration for gardening, water features or found garden art, don't miss this garden.