Saturday, April 18, 2009

rain--it makes stuff grow

Looks like it rained again this morning. Everything looks less thirsty. My baby bell peppers appear to have survived the aphid attack with minimal damage, thanks to the ladybugs I bought to address the problem.babybells

Looks like the fennel is ready to harvest. There's only two bulbs: one for me, one for the butterflies. Fennel sauteed in butter and olive oil with mushrooms and onions, served over roasted chicken and brown rice, mmm.

This is the first year I've attempted vegetable gardening with any seriousness, so I'm ridiculously proud of every little flower and bud. This is the only photo of the bush bean that comes close to reflecting the pinky-violet of the little bean flowers.

I haven't tried to grow tomatoes for years. In Houston, it would always get too hot too quickly and the blooms wouldn't set; they'd just fall off. Any tomato that survived the heat would be pecked to death by birds well before any human had a chance.

I bought this black raspberry at the Sunset Valley Farmers' Market last year. I kept it in its big pot because I'm not sure where to plant it yet. The woman who sold it to me said it should do fine in the pot for a year or two. It has two baby berries and several buds.

Now for the ornamental round-up...

I am so pleased the Buff Beauty rose has decided in this, her second year, to grace us with a few blossoms. The first one I planted got chopped off at the surface by some critter, so I planted this one closer to the patio.

The butterfly bush is budding. Behind it (in front of it, sprawled all around it) is flame acanthus; it needs to be cut back or staked or something, I'm not sure what. The flame acanthus won't bloom until August.

The lantana is well out of control, and it's only April. I didn't cut it back at all this year.

I hacked this Hot Lips salvia down to a small mound in January, and it's back bigger than ever.

The Indian Blanket is taking its sweet time to bloom; this little bud's trying its best to open. If I had to guess, I would say it's probably Gaillardia pulchella, reseeded from the Native American Seeds Caddo Mix I threw in a bare patch of dirt last year.

That's all for today. Soon, I'll post pics of our latest "shovel-ready" project: a total overhaul of the front yard. Lawn, be gone!

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