Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A gardener's week - #16

This week my garden saw the completion of one project and the beginning and near completion of another. It also saw a continual parade of visiting critters in the garden.

Long-time readers may remember my tale of the bottle tree. Just about a year ago, we erected a bottle tree whose trunk was made from a cedar tree that used to live in my backyard but was damaged and made an eyesore by Hurricane Ike.

I loved that tree, but, in the end, it just wasn't working for me for a lot of reasons and I had to recognize that the fixes that needed to be made to it were not going to be made, so, reluctantly, I decided to take it down and put in a smaller tree.

After my long-suffering husband removed the old tree for me, I installed my new, smaller metal tree trunk and put some of the multi-colored bottles on its "limbs". But I just didn't like the effect. After more pondering, I decided that perhaps the tree was just to small to carry all those different colors and maybe a one-color scheme would look better.

Of course, cobalt blue is the traditional color for bottle trees, the color that keeps the "haints" away, so I got some more blue bottles to go with the ones I already had and finally the new tree was complete.

Although I don't have the same sentimental attachment to this version of the tree, I think I can learn to like it at the very least. And I have to admit that it is probably a better scale for the xeric bed where it is "planted". Anyway, any "haints" that dare to enter my garden should now be instantly repelled!

One project down and another under way. I have long wanted to have a small pond in my backyard, but never could quite decide where to put it, until I recently had a brainstorm. I have this small iron pot with a fountain in my backyard and it would be fairly easy to run an electrical cord across the bed that the fountain stands near and plug in on the other side of the bed. So that's what I decided to do. I ordered the pond liner and this week we got busy digging a big hole in the ground.

We worked on the hole off and on for about three days until we got it to the depth and size that we wanted.

Finally, today, I was able to add the liner and the water. Later today, I hope to add some of the rocks that will edge the pond. By the next time you see it, it will be complete and, I hope, will be a nice addition to my habitat garden.

That habitat has been visited by many critters this week, including a late migrating hummingbird. I was sitting in the backyard Thursday afternoon when I heard a familiar "chipping" to my left and turned to see a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird visiting my 'Red Cascade' rose. As I watched, she flew on over to the Cape honeysuckle which is now almost in full bloom and spent a few minutes there before resting and preening on a limb of my apple tree. After that, I lost track of her and haven't seen her again.

But the butterflies have continued to show up in profusion. I showed you my unusual visitor, the Goatweed Leafwing, earlier in the week. I've also had lots of Red Admirals and several of these little guys.

This small sulphur visiting my autumn sage is, I believe, a Sleepy Orange. Love that name!

I've also had another wave of Monarchs this week. They have come from other locations, either as migrants or as locals visiting my garden, but I now have a bumper crop of Monarch caterpillars, so, soon, I hope to have some home-grown butterflies as well.


After today, I'm taking most of next week off to enjoy Thanksgiving, do some shopping, and just generally chill out. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with those you love and I'll see you back here in about a week.


  1. There's a good lesson to be learnt here - somwtimes something doesn't quite work, so we rip it out. But it doesn't mean that the idea itself wasn't a good one - just like your bottle tree. I love your final result.

    Thanks for your visit over at mine - it was good to see you :)

  2. I wasn't too sure about the new bottle tree at first, VP, but it's growing on me. I think I'm going to like it. Thanks for dropping by.