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

Friday, December 10, 2010

A gardener's week - #18

With one thing and another, it has been a pretty busy week but not a very productive one in the garden. My list of fall cleanup chores continues to grow, but I made absolutely no headway on it this week. Instead, my week was spent going to appointments, running errands of various kinds, and trying to figure out when I would have time to put up a tree and holiday decorations.

No matter how much I tell myself every year that I won't let it happen again, it always does. These last few weeks of the fifty-two, I'm caught up in a whirlwind of activity as I try to get ready for holiday guests and try to get everything done that needs to be done by the end of the year. And suddenly, the garden, which is my consuming passion for much of the year, plays a distinct second fiddle.

I have new beds that need to be dug, plants that need to be planted, plants that need to be moved, plants that need to be cut back after the few frosts we've had, and none of it is getting done. It's frustrating, but there are only so many hours in the day and I only have so much energy, not a winning combination.

I did note that my Christmas cactus is developing some fat buds. Perhaps they will actually open in time to greet their eponymic holiday. Likewise, the amaryllis bulbs that I potted up (belatedly) are growing. I must say I'm not hopeful about their ability to produce blooms before the end of the year though.

I haven't even been able to spend any significant time observing the birds in my garden, although there still doesn't seem to be much activity at the feeders. Time to get my thistle feeders out. Another of the growing list of chores I need to accomplish this weekend.

Speaking of birds, I dreamed of hummingbirds one night this week. I often dream of birds of all kinds actually, but the ones that visit my dreams most often are hummers. (No doubt there are Freudian implications, but I don't think I want to know about them!) The next day, I was sitting at my computer and idly gazing out the window at the hummingbird feeder that still hangs there when a visitor came calling.

I think you'll agree this is a very odd hummingbird!

Actually, I've seen many kinds of critters making use of my hummingbird feeders this year and it's nice to see that they are still serving some purpose, even though I haven't seen a hummer since about a week before Thanksgiving. I think much of the traffic at the feeders, especially of critters such as anoles, is attributable to our drought. We've had only neglible rain here since July, and, as La Nina is expected to continue to hold sway through at least May of next year, there seems to be little relief in sight.

Meantime, I continue to water plants and critters and hope for the respite of a front that brings significant moisture. Santa, if you're reading this, all I really want is some rain.


  1. omg! i've never seen a butterfly on my hummingbird feeder! i've had some orioles in the spring, but that's it. i will have to keep a closer eye on it!! so funny!!

  2. It's interesting to see the variety of critters that have used the hummingbird feeders this year, Janine. Never a dull moment in the garden!