Monday, February 19, 2018

One super bad mistake

I know, James. I KNOW. I KNOW. I KNOW. I KNOW. 

I should NEVER have planted those agaves or whatever they are in our "cacti garden" back in 2009. But it WAS a nice idea at the time, right? (See the photo below. Wasn't it lovely?) Well, I've seen learned that agaves are wicked wicked wicked. They reproduce like mad rabbits and take over the joint. I hate them. Anyway, I decided that today was THE DAY. I decided I'd go out there to the Meadow and take'em out.
April 2009
Before Sheryl got to work
Take a look at me after two and a half hours of "taking them out." Not a pretty sight, wouldn't you agree?
As you can see from the photo below, I jumped ship. Yes, I got some out. But it was after much hacking and huffing and puffing that I was able to remove what I did. But I have a feeling that they've all sent out vibes to amp up their reproduction speed. Grrr.

They're trying to bump out my red yucca. I hate them.
After Sheryl jumped ship. Much work still remains to be done. I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.

Signs of spring

 Ten-petal anemone
 Our fragrant honeysuckle is blooming for the first time! Confession: it's not a Texas native.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Madrone update

Not a very good photo, but our Texas madrone child is doing well!

First daffodils!

Merry Christmas cactus!

A year or so ago, my mother passed along a Christmas cactus to me. It's blooming for the first time, and a blossom opened fully this morning. I'd never seen a flower up close. It is AMAZING! Don't you agree? I just had to share. 

I set the pot outside for the day to see if anyone will stop by and pollinate.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mexican honey wasps

Earlier this month, a friend called, asking what he should do with a Mexican honey wasp nest. Thomas works in the landscape business and found this nest on a property. The owner wanted it GONE. So long story short, we got it! The nest now resides in our Wildscape. And it is awesome!
First, I'd never even heard of honey wasps. Have you? Right away, James read up on them. And right away, I need to tell you that they are wonderful pollinators and not aggressive unless strongly provoked. Thomas was able to move the nest, complete with wasps, around like he did because of the cold temperatures at the time.
Mexican honey wasps (Brachygastra mellifica) range from central Texas down to Mexico and Central America. They're not hairy like bees and are much smaller. Like bees, they produce and store honey. Their paper nests, however, can get as large as a basketball and house as many as 50,000 cells. For more info, check out entomologist Mike Quinn's page, Mexican Honey Wasp.

Photos below taken January 31, 2018

I venture outside

Columbine coming up....
 The sun's out again today! So I ventured outside to see what I could see amid the winter browns.....
Mealy sage
Heartleaf skullcap

Mexican hat (top) and Engelmann daisy