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

Monday, December 6, 2010

For some things, it's easy being green

In the vegetable garden these days, it's all about the greens.

There are collards, of course. They took a while to get growing, but once they got started, wow!

The broccoli is beginning to sprout some heads.

The white turnips are growing like there's no tomorrow.

The carrots are eager to keep up. (Pay no attention to those weeds among the carrot tops. My crack gardening crew - AKA Me, Myself and I - will get them pulled out. Any day now.)

Some of the red cabbages' leaves got bitten by the frost, but it has hardly slowed them down.

The mesclun mix has gotten almost knee-high in spots.

And the delicate, ferny leaves of the mizuna mustard are almost too pretty to pick.

Bronze fennel is holding up well, untouched by the frost.

Well, you get the idea. I won't even bother to show you my spinach, Swiss chard and beets. All in all, even though my saved potatoes never germinated, except for one plant, and only a few of my sugar snap peas came up, we should have quite a lot of good eating ahead of us this winter.

Having finished my documentation of the greens, I stopped by my new pond on the way back to the house to visit with my fish. All six of my tiny goldfish, as well as my giant plecostamus, are doing well and seem happy - as best I can judge the happiness of a fish - in their new home.

Here are three of the goldfish. There are three of the orange variety, two white ones and one calico, and no, I haven't named them. They'll have to reveal their personalities to me before I can give them names.

Farther along the path back to the house, I encountered this guest sunning herself.

This is an American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) butterfly. She is smaller and the dots on her wings are slightly different from the plain old Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

This is a Painted Lady that I snapped on my new almond verbena a couple of days ago. She was most uncooperative and I couldn't get a dorsal view, so you can't really tell much about her from this shot, but perhaps you can get a sense that she is quite a bit bigger than the little American Painted Lady.

And speaking of that almond verbena, it is an absolute magnet for butterflies, including the few Monarchs that are gracing my yard these days. I'm so glad I got it! There's not a lot to attract the butterflies in my yard just now but this at least gives them something to sip.

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