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

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What's all that yellow stuff spilling out of the sky and over my yard?

What a beautiful week we have had so far. I hesitate to even mention it for fear of jinxing us, but four days of brilliant sunshine, even though it has been a bit chilly at times, were just exactly what the doctor had ordered for me. Finally, I've been able to get into my yard and start working on that list of backlogged projects and I have actually accomplished quite a lot. It feels wonderful!

I was able to finish up putting in the new beds in the southeast corner of my backyard and, yesterday and today, I started moving some plants to them. Yes, it is still plant migration season in my yard. If this wonderful sunshine can manage to stay with us for just a few more days, it is possible that the migration will finally be complete.

My big - and I do mean BIG - project that I'm working on now is to get two large esperanza plants and two gigantic brugmansias moved into the new beds. I've almost finished with that. One more esperanza to go, tomorrow.

The esperanzas ("yellow bells"), one of which is seen here from last summer, were just too darned happy in the spots where I had placed them. They had overgrown and bullied all their neighbors and I decided it was time to give them more room. I'm not sure if they'll be any happier in their new locations, but I think I will. At least I shouldn't have to keep pruning them to keep them from overwhelming everything around them.

The brugmansias, too, had simply overgrown their beds and one of them in particular was threatening to take over the world.

This large bell-shaped blossom, along with its friend the bee, grew on the brugmansia that was planted just outside my garage door. I loved going out that door at night last summer and encountering that heavenly scent. But the plant also stood just next to the gate to my backyard and it kept trying to block that gate with its limbs. The limbs were always getting damaged or broken by traffic through the gate. In its new spot, it will have all the room it needs to spread those limbs and no one will be running into them.

Both the brugmansias and the esperanzas had died back to the roots after the winter freezes, but then they do that every winter. As I dug the plants out, preparatory to moving them, I was gladdened to see little green shoots coming up from the roots. More signs that spring really is on the way.

My other big project this week has been pruning the roses and, of course, moving some of them.

Last winter, I had moved this 'Dortmund,' one of my favorite antiques, but neither the plant nor I were ever very happy with the new placement. So time to pull up roots and move again. I'm also thinking of getting a couple of more 'Dortmunds' for the bed where this one is going. A little company of its own kind might help the plant feel even more at home, and as far as I'm concerned, one can't have too many of these wonderful roses.

Today I pruned another one of my favorite roses, the David Austin rose 'Graham Thomas.'

'Graham' is another of my plants that is almost too happy where he is and he grows hugely every year, so every winter he gets drastically whacked back. Today was the day this winter. By the time a couple of months have passed, I hope he will have forgiven me and will be well on his way to producing more of these luscious yellow blossoms.

I'm not nearly finished yet, so I'm hoping and wishing and crossing my fingers that this wonderful weather holds out just a little longer. By then, I'll probably be complaining because it hasn't rained in a week. Gardeners are never satisfied!

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