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

Saturday, March 9, 2013

This week in the garden - #54

Weed, prune, repeat. Weed, prune, repeat. That's been my week in the garden. Those never ending chores are truly...um... never ending. But, I did manage to do a couple of other things, as well.

My new fountain was delivered and Hubby Dear installed it for me. It still needs some rock work to surround it, but it's flowing, much to the delight, I'm sure, of all the critters that call the backyard home.

I got my tomatoes and tomatillos planted into the veggie garden beds. I have to tread carefully in the vegetable garden these days because there is a new family there. My pair of Eastern Bluebirds are feeding a family of nestlings and I don't like to stress the wary parents with my presence. I haven't checked the box to see how many babies there are, but there were five blue eggs in the box last week. I hope they all hatched, because you can't have too many bluebirds!

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While I was in the backyard today, a Monarch butterfly fluttered by. That's the first one I had seen in almost a month. My milkweed is beginning to put up green shoots, but there isn't nearly enough of it to feed ravenous caterpillars yet. I may get some more plants from the nursery, just to be prepared in case a passing Monarch wants to leave me some eggs.

Earlier this week, I saw my second Tiger Swallowtail butterfly of the season. I continue to be surprised by the presence of these butterflies so early in the year. I'm beginning to get used to the Black Swallowtails which seem to be ever-present in the garden these days.

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White is the color of the new blooms in the garden this week.

The white loropetalum, 'Emerald Snow,' isn't nearly as floriferous yet as the pink variety, but it has a few blossoms now. I've had the plant only for a couple of years, while I've had the pink one for many years, so it hasn't quite had a chance to establish itself. One day I hope it will be covered with these white blooms, even as its cousin is covered in pink "fringe.'

The white yarrow is beginning to bloom, also. I didn't notice until I uploaded the picture that one of the blossoms has a visitor.

 It appears to be an assassin bug, one of the many insects which do such good work to help the gardener who is canny enough to forego pesticides.

I do like these pretty blooms and they are very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators, as well.

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Well, the story isn't all about white.

The 'Red Baron' peach that had its very first bloom just last week is now almost full of its delightful blossoms.

And, in another part of the garden, the little redbud tree is just beginning to bud out. Many of the redbud trees in the area are already blooming, but mine seems to be of a different variety from them. It always blooms just a little later. By this time next week, it should be full of those iconic spring flowers.

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My work is cut out for me in the coming week. If I can get the load of moss rocks delivered, I can begin forming the beds around the perimeter of my new patio and begin my planting there, and I can finish the rock work around the fountain. If I can manage all that, I'll have a lot to show you next week!

Happy gardening and don't forget to "spring forward" tonight. Daylight Saving Time begins in the wee small hours of Sunday morning.

8 comments:

  1. Your fountain sounds lovely Dorothy. I can't wait to see photos of it.

    Your yarrow is way ahead of mine, no blooms on mine yet.

    Congratulations on your bluebird family.

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    1. It's always a thrill to have baby bluebirds in the yard once again.

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  2. We may be in the same hardiness zone during the winter, but at this time of year your really get to see the difference between London and Texas! Everything is extremely late this year, my first daffodil flowered today, my crocuses have just started flowering. We have still got night frost for next week, and possibly some snow. Ohh, spring isn’t really here yet.

    Loved your Red Baron, absolutely gorgeous and I have never heard about a white loropetalum, had to look it up. I have a pink one myself, only 2 years old and a foot tall, a rather slow grower. The white one looks interesting, although the leaves look green, not dark red – so not so spectacular but nice anyway.

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    1. I'm impatient for the white loropetalum to get a bit bigger and better established. I think it will be quite lovely when it does. Meantime, it suffers a bit in comparison to the big pink one nearby.

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  3. My pink Loropetalum razzleberry lasted a few years before a cold snap did it in. I don't replace plants that can't make it all the time, so.... I could grow something hardier in the Witch Hazel family. It must be nice to have butterflies already. My bulbs blooming now are Galanthus, maybe a few Muscari, and the Pulmonarias are starting, will those grow in Houston?

    I'm looking forward to seeing you new fountain and plantings.

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    1. The Galanthus does well here. It's one of the few bulbs I have success with in my garden. I've never tried Muscari or Pulmonarias. I suspect they might serve as annuals and then poop out in the summer humidity. I would be interested to hear from gardeners in the area who may have grown them successfully.

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  4. The peach blooms are lovely. When are you going to show us pictures of the new fountain?

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    1. When I finish with putting the rocks around and maybe with the planting. Look for it within the next week.

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