Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Summer Olympics in Texas

No, it isn't a typo - it's just Iris germanica 'Summer Olympics' behaving as though it's already spring rather than January.  With the recent rains and mild temperatures, I'm afraid my entire garden will be seduced into this irrational behavior only to be smacked down by a late freeze or two.  Such is gardening in Central Texas.

The foliage of this gaura has usually frozen to the ground by now. Not this year.  Instead it's putting on a show and feeding the occasional bee. 

Only this single bloom has appeared recently on the coral honeysuckle, but the foliage has remained thick enough to provide a hiding place for anoles, opposum,  and neighborhood cats.  Normally the foliage thins out quite a bit over the winter, sometimes even dying back to the ground.  The local wildlife seem to appreciate the warmth generated by the sun heated water in the rainwater tank underneath it, even if they may not like the company they encounter.

This milkweed (Asclepias) is covered with its usual "crop" of aphids.  Although it's in a container and we have had a couple of nights dip below freezing, for some reason it refuses to die back as it usually does.  The temperature must not have remained below freezing long enough to do its damage.  

The cinnamon basil even has new buds on last year's stems and hundreds of little seedlings coming up under the leaf litter.

Oh well.  "Da Boyz" and I are just enjoying the mild weather while it lasts because tomorrow could bring an ice storm or 80 degree temperatures.  We just never know.

(And as predicted, the next day we almost hit a record high with 83 degrees.   Stay tuned, there's no doubt a freeze on the horizon.) 

Purple Martin Party Time!

Travis Audubon hosted a Purple Martin Colony visit this past Saturday next to the historic home of Laura Joseph.  Laura started...