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Showing posts from 2011

Was it a swarm, flutter, kaleidoscope, or rabble?

It's one of those times you immediately want to tell everyone you know what just happened ...
This afternoon, I came home from work and headed into the back yard with the dogs.  As they rushed out, a cloud of butterflies was flushed up into the air and surrounding yards.  I know that I'm capable of hyperbole, but this was truly a CLOUD of hundreds, maybe more than a thousand, butterflies.
So why don't I have pictures of more than a few butterflies?
Because I have two dogs with waterfowl retrieval in their DNA, and they didn't come packaged with a stealth setting.  They ran happily about, effectively scattering my little miracle to the winds while I dashed back into the house for the camera.  And the remaining few who were too tired to scatter still had enough adrenaline to dash off when I got close with the camera.  (Do butterflies have adrenaline?)  These guys must've flown the farthest because they were too tired to move.

Anyway, I got to see it and that's a fair…

My Dad's Sense of Humor

Just returned from 4 days at the Seattle Fling, each jam-packed with garden blogger friendship and tours of amazing gardens.  It'll take several days to sift through all those pixels!  So instead of photos and Fling memories, all I'm sharing today is a little gardening humor from my dad.   We all show love the best way we can. 
An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey.  He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work as the ground was hard.  His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.  The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:
Dear Vincent,  I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here you'd be happy to dig the plot for me like in the old days. Love, Papa
A few days later he received a letter from his son.
Dear Pop, Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies …

Bloom Day

Seems like spring offers a gardener a lot of excuses.  Not only is there a long list of things to be done in our own gardens, for  master gardeners, there's a flood of teachable moments in a community under the influence of spring fever.  A surprisingly cool day, the first rain we've received in nearly 7 months, and Carol's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day gave me more excuses - simply to be still and focus on the details at home that make my heart smile.  
 These 'Bling Bling' zinnias and 'Music Box' kneehigh sunflowers are grown from Renee's Garden seeds.  This is the first year I've intentionally planted a "cutting garden" at the back of my vegetable bed.  Usually I grow sunflowers there for the Great Sunflower Project (a bee counting program), but these were selfishly planted just for me, me, me.
 This is a terrible picture of a native butterfly bush.  It was started from a cutting snipped in San Antonio.

 'Peter's Purple' monarda in…

The Texas Dip - Garden Style

In Texas, we have something called the Texas Dip.  Google it for your entertainment, but basically it's a curtsy unique to Texas debutantes.  It's also a fairly accurate way to describe the central Texas relationship with freezing temperatures.  We flirt, approach, and occasionally "dip" into them, but rarely sink and stay down.  So, it is with increasing dismay that I watch the thermometer reach 17°F and fail to regain its footing on a cold but just above freezing norm.  I know a lot of our garden blogger friends are used to this - and that their experience over the past week of this winter's record breaking storm has been so much harsher than we've seen in Austin.  But we don't plan(t) for this.   I mean, does anyone in Austin think they're going to need a pond de-icer?  


MSS at Zanthan Gardens tweeted earlier this week about her frozen pipes, and it's a good bet a lot more of us will find out we've joined her as the temperatures climb and ou…