Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What's blooming and bustin' out

Our first wood violet bloom ever!

Yay-the green milkweed that I bought and planted last October is coming up!
My fragrant gaillardia (?) is about to flower!

One of our volunteer natives that I transplanted.
The hibiscus is coming back...

...and so is the blue wild indigo. Hot dog!

Love the flowers of the death camas.

Camas close up.

An Easter iris for our neighbor, Marcella.
The deer are leaving my groundsel alone. For now.

Here comes the jimson weed!

The tail end of our lone tulip.

Monday, March 30, 2015

We must go to war!

Last week south of Gonzales along Highway 183
Awhile ago, I posted the following and the photo above on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's Facebook page:

"Invasive species are a huge concern, I know. But the rate that some are spreading, particularly the bastard cabbage, is frightening. On our way coming and going to the coast from Central Texas this past week, we only saw one scenic pasture covered with bluebonnets. Bastard cabbage was everywhere! Say farewell soon to our state flower along with Indian paintbrushes, prairie verbenas, and, oh, so many more beautiful native species. Is this an issue that our new Texas First Lady could take up in honor of Lady Bird and her wildflower efforts? We've got to do something and FAST!"

To me, the issue is getting SCARY! We've GOT to eradicate this species! But how? I have no clue! 

The species I'm referring to is Rapistrum rugosum. Apparently, there's just not much we can do to fight it, but I sure wish we'd try.

Can you help, Mrs. Abbott? 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

"What would you do" followup

Texas senna
Thanks for your thoughts, TexasDeb and MartiDIY, on our dilemma. You sound like me for sure. Hate to kill anything. So here's what happened. Today, we browsed our local nursery, Blanco Gardens, where we bought the tree senna. We spotted several Texas persimmons (Diospyros texana), which has been on my native wish list. We bought one! 

Back at home, James dug up the senna, put it in a garbage bag, and gave it to a friend, who said she'd try to keep it alive. Then we planted the persimmon! Yay!

Between you and me, I really didn't like the tree senna anyway. It'd gotten way top heavy and leaned over. Just didn't look like it fit in our Wildscape. Now it'll be happier, and so will we.

Happy birthday to me! The Texas persimmon is my birthday plant for this year!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Five bluebonnets!

I found FIVE--count'em--FIVE bluebonnet plants in the Meadow this spring! I figured they each deserved their own photo. I was hoping for a larger number, but I'll take these! 
P.S. I found four bluebonnets growing in the front yard. They're staked so they won't get mowed. :-)

Blue-eyed babies

This pretty little native annual was growing PROLIFICALLY at Brackenridge Park in San Antonio. So I snagged just a couple. They are called Texas baby blue eyes (Nemophila phacelioides). They were everywhere! So were some tall dayflowers, but I resisted those. I hope my blue eyes make it and reseed!

What would you do?

October 2013
So in 2013, we succumbed to an impulse buy at a nursery and took home a tree senna (Senna corymbosa), mainly because we loved our Lindheimer's senna (Senna lindheimeriana). The Lindheimer's senna is native; the tree senna's hails from Argentina. As you can see, the tree senna is lovely when it blooms.
August 2014
But NOW look at the tree senna (photo below). It's covered with ugly seed pods, it leans to one side, and it's NOT NATIVE. Plus, we're worried that we're going to spread little tree sennas in the neighborhood. Yes, alas, we regret our hasty decision so we're thinking of removing the senna. If we do that, we'll replace it with a native species, like a persimmon or rusty blackhaw viburnum, something that wildlife would enjoy. 

I hate to kill anything, and the tree senna is pretty when it's covered with yellow flowers. I'm wondering––what would YOU do?
March 2015

Transplanting wildflowers etc.

I've been busy transplanting plants within our Wildscape. Last week, I transplanted this fall aster from the front yard into the back because the deer kept eating it down. In the aster's place, I dug up and transplanted a volunteer agarita that I spotted elsewhere in our Wildscape (below). 

I also transplanted some oxalis bulbs. They're so pretty when they green up, bush out, and bloom.

In the Meadow, I set out some walking stones to our purple martin house (no martins yet). Instead of decimating some perennials underneath the stones, I moved and transplanted the flowers to the back yard (above). In the photos below, I dug up Mexican hats and Engelmann daisies from mow areas in the front yard and transplanted them to an ugly area beneath our bird feeder. We already have a wildflower patch started there with transplants and reseedlings. There are some prairie verbenas, too. Onward!

March 2015 in our Wildscape

 It's going to be a beautiful spring!

And now to the back yard (below)....

You can't really see it, but above is my little Blanco crabapple tree. It's growing.