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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's a disaster!

My garden is a disaster. A literal, green, lush disaster.

It all started about a week ago when I stood in the middle of my yard and congratulated myself on the fact that I was finally getting control of the garden. In spite of the drought, things were looking good and I felt good about how they looked.

But trouble was brewing for me in the vegetable garden where things were looking a little TOO good. All of my vegetables were getting ready for harvest at once and I needed to get busy freezing and canning and using the produce. And so I did.

For several days, I concentrated on preserving my vegetables and fruit that were ready to be picked. Through the rest of the week and the weekend, while it was miserably hot, I hardly went into the garden. Meantime, last week, my lawn service failed to come and mow my yard. By the end of the weekend, grass was higher than my ankles.

Then, on Monday, it started to rain. On both Monday and Tuesday, we got substantial amounts of rain. When I walked out into my yard today, I hardly recognized it. My well-ordered landscape of a week ago was gone. The grass, which still hasn't been mowed, is now knee high in places. All of my planting beds are overgrown and full of weeds.

I repeat, my garden is a disaster.

But amid the disaster, there are a few bright spots. I went out with the camera today to record some of them to console myself.

The 'Texas Star' hibiscus near the front door is full of buds and has finally started blooming.

The morning glories bloom among the muscadines.

Suddenly, from last summer, this little 'Tuscan Sun' heliopsis has popped up and started to bloom. It didn't do very well for me last year and disappeared early in the fall. I thought it was gone forever. Guess not.

This jatropha, which I also gave up for dead after last winter, is starting to bloom.

Nearby, this happy-faced daylily has been in bloom for weeks now.

And just starting its bloom is this tiny member of the daylily family.

The volunteer zinnias have spread all over this bed in the veggie garden, the one where I had 'Russian banana' potatoes earlier this year.

The cypress vines reseed every year, too, and always make me think of my mother from whom I got the original plants many years ago.

The volunteer Mexican sunflowers, as usual, have sprung up in several places in the yard. Unless they are in the way of something, I leave them alone because the butterflies and hummingbirds love them so.

I also planted sunflowers myself. This is one of them.

Here's another one I planted. I love the gradations of color here. It could have been painted by Van Gogh.

The plumbago has been slow to come back after last winter, but, finally, it is beginning to bloom a bit.

I have several lantanas around the garden and all of them are in bloom now.

The Phlox paniculata in the mixed border out front if full of blooms.

Tucked in next to 'Hot lips' salvia is this pretty little daylily. So how did it get there? Did I actually plant it there? I can't blame any one else. Evidently, I didn't know what color it was and didn't realize that it would clash with the salvia.

The rejuvenated 'Ponderosa' lemon tree is more than two feet tall now and getting bushier.

'Tropicanna', one of my favorite cannas, has begun its bloom.

This little banana that I got from Bananaman at our recent bloggers' meetup is coming along. I believe it is Musa acuminata, var. Sumatrana. Those orange blossoms in the pot with it are from a nearby cigar plant.

'Chi chi' ruellia which I once erroneously identified here as 'Katie' (but, of course, you knew better) loves the rain we're getting this week.

The variegated potato vine is still putting on a few blooms but its big attraction is its leaves.

'Morden's pink lythrum' has come back strong from last year.

And all around the yard, daylilies of every color and kind are in bloom now.

Including this pretty one.

Whoops! What was that? See that striped tail at the base of the tree? There's a new lizard in my yard. It's one of the racerunners and it lives up to its name. It is very quick, so quick that I couldn't get it to sit still long enough to get its whole body in a picture. It's a pretty big lizard, maybe 9 or 10 inches long and I have never, ever seen one in my yard before. I'll be on the lookout to see if it stays and its numbers increase.

So there are some things of interest in my yard this week in spite of the discouragingly rampant growth of weeds and grass. If the lawn service will just come and mow for me and if I can get into the yard the next couple of days to do some weeding, maybe, just maybe, I'll begin to feel in control again.


  1. Sounds like you have a lush, Amazonian garden on your hands! Enjoy the flowers and watch out for the jaguars :)

  2. I just have to watch out for the Nick-guars, Susan!

  3. I've always been partial to jungles...you never know what mysteries will rise from a disordered space. Yours is beautiful.