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

Friday, August 31, 2012

This week in the garden - #29

Let it be noted that this was the week when I finally managed to get started on my fall/winter veggie garden. I got two kinds of winter squash - acorn and butternut - planted, as well as red and yellow onion sets. I have three more kinds of winter squash (I do love winter squash!), as well as peas, that I hope to get planted tomorrow.

Those onion sets had been resting in my refrigerator since April. I had ordered them last fall, with instructions to the nursery that I wanted them for fall planting and, if they could not ship them in a timely fashion, they should cancel my order. I later received an email from them saying that the sets could not be shipped at the time I had requested and my order would be canceled. So I forgot about them.

Imagine my surprise then when I received a shipment in early April of all times! I find it is very hard to convince nurseries in other parts of the country of just what our growing season is like here. Which is a good reason to only deal with nurseries in the area, or at least in the state, when we are ordering plants. Seeds, of course, are another matter, although you do want to make sure that the seeds were produced under conditions that are amenable to our climate.

Well, anyway, I stuck the little onion bulbs in my refrigerator drawer for five months and now I've planted them. I'm interested to see what will happen with them.  

The ground that I planted my seeds and bulbs in was dry, dry, dry. I watered well as I was planting and then ran the sprinkler in the area again today. Unless we get rain soon, I'm going to have to run the sprinkler every two or three days until my seeds germinate. Let's hope that our fall rains get started a little early this year.

This week the Stapelia gigantea is still producing blooms and still drawing in flies from far and near to those odoriferous blossoms.

A much prettier pollinator is this Giant Swallowtail butterfly visiting a Hamelia patens blossom.

The old-fashioned polyantha rose, 'Caldwell Pink,' is in bloom, as it is most months of the year.

The white beautyberry is full of these berries and the mockingbirds are eating them just as fast as they can!

 The almond verbena's blooms are not very showy but they have a delicious scent.

'Coral nymph' has become one of my favorites among the salvias.

We celebrate the rare occurrence of a "Blue Moon" tonight, the last one until 2015. This Blue Moon ironically falls on the day of the funeral of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. It seems appropriate somehow.

And as we get ready for the last big holiday weekend of the summer, I hope your garden under the Blue Moon is in good shape for the coming season.

Happy Labor Day weekend!


  1. Hope you're having a great Labor Day weekend Dorothy. Your blooms are looking wonderful as always (well, perhaps I'll pass on the Stapelia gigantea!) For some reason I've had no luck with the hamelia patens I have planted at this house. I had two beauties where I used to live but I've tried three times here and they've died every time :-(

    1. Hmmm...that's interesting. In my experience, Hamelia has been tough as nails. Maybe you just got an inherently unhealthy plant that was destined to fail.

      Happy Labor Day to you and your family.